Covid restrictions abroad: updates & observations

duncanp

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It’s on Eurostar website

Thank you.

I wonder how long it will be before the Foreign Office get round to updating their travel advice.

When I travelled to France at the end of November last year, the (rather bored looking) French immigration officer at St Pancras didn't look at the vaccination certificate or the "declaration sur l'honneur" form regarding having COVID symptoms.

So the restriction was pretty pointless anyway.

Now all we need to do is to get Eurostar to drop the following message

For everyone’s comfort, we recommend wearing a mask on board our trains.

They are flogging a dead horse, and I certanly won't be wearing one when I travel to Lille next month.
 
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Citybreak1

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Thank you.

I wonder how long it will be before the Foreign Office get round to updating their travel advice.

When I travelled to France at the end of November last year, the (rather bored looking) French immigration officer at St Pancras didn't look at the vaccination certificate or the "declaration sur l'honneur" form regarding having COVID symptoms.

So the restriction was pretty pointless anyway.

Now all we need to do is to get Eurostar to drop the following message



They are flogging a dead horse, and I certanly won't be wearing one when I travel to Lille next month.
Yes I agree about the masks. Crazy how Holland still ban unvaccinated and not even allowed to test. I use to think they were a forward thinking country.
 

Bikeman78

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Yes I agree about the masks. Crazy how Holland still ban unvaccinated and not even allowed to test. I use to think they were a forward thinking country.
Totally pointless anyway. You can walk, cycle, drive or take the train from Belgium or Germany without any checks. I've crossed the Belgian border over 100 times in 40 years and had my passport checked once or twice at most.
 

duncanp

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That is good, but the last paragraph is a bit worrying

Conformément à la loi, le Gouvernement conserve enfin jusqu’au 31 janvier 2023 la possibilité d’activer des mesures de « frein d’urgence » pour une durée maximale de deux mois, après avis de la Haute autorité de santé en cas d’apparition et de circulation d’un nouveau variant de la covid-19 susceptible de constituer une menace sanitaire grave ou, dans les outre-mer, en cas de risque de saturation du système de santé.

In essence the French government reserves the right to reintroduce restrictions before 31st January 2023 for a maximum period of two months if there is a new COVID-19 variant which constitutes a serious threat to health.

However, I think the likelihood of anything really serious happening is quite low.

And the Foreign Office have finally updated their page about French entry requirements.
 
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Germany has today decided to extend Surgical/FFP2 mask wearing on public transport until at least the 7th April 2023, and other measures such as testing/vaccination (the latter has a three-month limit) can be introduced to access certain indoor areas mask-free from the 1st of October. Federal states can also implement further measures such as capacity restrictions at events and social distancing measures in public areas if 'the capacity of the healthcare system is threatened'
 

nedchester

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Germany has today decided to extend Surgical/FFP2 mask wearing on public transport until at least the 7th April 2023, and other measures such as testing/vaccination (the latter has a three-month limit) can be introduced to access certain indoor areas mask-free from the 1st of October. Federal states can also implement further measures such as capacity restrictions at events and social distancing measures in public areas if 'the capacity of the healthcare system is threatened'

FFS! They're not letting go are they.

Germany off the list to visit then
 

MikeWM

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Germany has today decided to extend Surgical/FFP2 mask wearing on public transport until at least the 7th April 2023, and other measures such as testing/vaccination (the latter has a three-month limit) can be introduced to access certain indoor areas mask-free from the 1st of October. Federal states can also implement further measures such as capacity restrictions at events and social distancing measures in public areas if 'the capacity of the healthcare system is threatened'

That'll be Germany where the health minister recently tweeted approvingly about the latest pro-mask 'study' that came out, which is so incredibly bad many people are speculating it is actually a Sokal-style hoax.

Full details here

https://www.eugyppius.com/p/karl-lauterbach-cites-new-mask-mega
I noticed immediately that there’s something really, really wrong with it. Admittedly, there’s something wrong with a lot of mask studies, but that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that this isn’t an ordinary paper. It reads like it was written in crayon.

While the authors claim to have “screened” over 1,700 earlier analyses, they ultimately consider the results of only thirteen papers, all of them bizarrely low-quality items, and none published later than 2020.

I always respected Germany and thought they were a country to aspire to. The last three years have been most disappointing.
 

Richard Scott

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FFS! They're not letting go are they.

Germany off the list to visit then
Will steer clear during my Easter holidays and way they are going next year as a whole. Shame, always enjoyed Germany but not going along with their mask nonsense.
 

davetheguard

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I always respected Germany and thought they were a country to aspire to. The last three years have been most disappointing.

I'm with you totally there. I've had many happy holidays there: everywhere from the Baltic Coast to the Bavarian Alps.

Unfortunately it's now off the list for the foreseeable future.

I'm missing the Bratkartoffeln & the Weissbier!
 

Class 33

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Big fan of Germany here too. As it used to be anyway. But whilst they're still dragging on their mandatory FFP2 face mask laws NONSENSE, then I will not be returning there. Can't be doing with going on a short break/holiday there and seeing hundreds/thousands of people wearing dystopian face masks on trains, buses, train stations, as well as having to wear the stupid things. Here's hoping they finally scrap that nonsense in April 2023. But wouldn't be atall surprised if they extend it again after that! Absolutely ridiculous beyond belief, it really is!
 

nedchester

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Big fan of Germany here too. As it used to be anyway. But whilst they're still dragging on their mandatory FFP2 face mask laws NONSENSE, then I will not be returning there. Can't be doing with going on a short break/holiday there and seeing hundreds/thousands of people wearing dystopian face masks on trains, buses, train stations, as well as having to wear the stupid things. Here's hoping they finally scrap that nonsense in April 2023. But wouldn't be atall surprised if they extend it again after that! Absolutely ridiculous beyond belief, it really is!

I think we are at a stage where certain countries like Germany will never lift restrictions especially in the winter months.

The whole issue has become massively polarised.
 

MikeWM

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The other thing about that Germany story that I missed at first, is that they're saying booster vaccinations are now only valid for *3 months* for the purposes outlined here, ie. not having to wear a mask in indoor venues.

Which doesn't seem much of a statement of confidence in the boosters, and/or are they intending to give them to people every 3 months now?
 

kristiang85

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I've just spent the last few days in Panama, and - despite a rule of masks on public transport - nobody cared. Not even when flying on COPA was it enforced.

Then today I got to Nicaragua. Oh my. 2020 called and want their rules back. Masks EVERYWHERE inside, right from getting off the plane, in the taxi, in the hotel, in the shops. Lots of people wearing them in the street even. In the phone shop as I was getting my SIM card, seats were taped off and social distancing enforced. It's awful going back to those 2020 feelings. Even worse, my Spanish is not great and I'm finding communication a lot harder here than I did in Panama, as you can't see facial expressions - with the heat from the masks too, it's made me very irritable. Hopefully it will get better when I'm out of the capital, as I've been looking forward to coming here for years.

Then again, I guess it was to be expected given they only dropped the PCR requirement for the vaccinated last month...

I know some say masks are no big deal, but they really can make things such a chore.
 

Yew

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Seems that Saint Jacinda is paying the price of her "Zero COVID" policy.

Don't expect to hear much about this on the BBC, Locktivist Sky News, The Grauniad....etc.

I don't know, I could get on board with our bloated house prices falling a little.

I've just spent the last few days in Panama, and - despite a rule of masks on public transport - nobody cared. Not even when flying on COPA was it enforced.

Then today I got to Nicaragua. Oh my. 2020 called and want their rules back. Masks EVERYWHERE inside, right from getting off the plane, in the taxi, in the hotel, in the shops. Lots of people wearing them in the street even. In the phone shop as I was getting my SIM card, seats were taped off and social distancing enforced. It's awful going back to those 2020 feelings. Even worse, my Spanish is not great and I'm finding communication a lot harder here than I did in Panama, as you can't see facial expressions - with the heat from the masks too, it's made me very irritable. Hopefully it will get better when I'm out of the capital, as I've been looking forward to coming here for years.

Then again, I guess it was to be expected given they only dropped the PCR requirement for the vaccinated last month...

I know some say masks are no big deal, but they really can make things such a chore.
I don't suppose you know what's going on in Mexico. A friend is heading over that way in a few months, and I'm considering joining.
 

greyman42

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Why are people even considering travelling to countries where there is a risk of having to wear masks?
 

nedchester

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Why are people even considering travelling to countries where there is a risk of having to wear masks?
There's a difference between having to wear masks all the time (Public Transport in Germany for example) and occasionally being 'required' to wear them.

Just back from the USA where in the National Parks they are very 'masky' but it was just on buses and ferries (odd one open top ferry to Alcatraz!) but 95% of the time no compulsion but it didn't really bother me.

However, I'm not really going to entertain going on holiday if I have to wear a mask all the time. It's just uncomfortable and spoils the enjoyment of going away.
 

kristiang85

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I don't know, I could get on board with our bloated house prices falling a little.


I don't suppose you know what's going on in Mexico. A friend is heading over that way in a few months, and I'm considering joining.

Sorry, no, but I'll try to find out for you if I meet anybody who's come from that way.
 

Watershed

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Why are people even considering travelling to countries where there is a risk of having to wear masks?
I certainly wouldn't entertain a visit to countries where I'd need to be masked for any notable length of time (e.g. on the flight, or on all public transport whilst there). But if it's just in a handful of places then I can live with that.
 

Yew

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I certainly wouldn't entertain a visit to countries where I'd need to be masked for any notable length of time (e.g. on the flight, or on all public transport whilst there). But if it's just in a handful of places then I can live with that.
I'd entertain it, but not when there are plenty of other places I've not been to yet!
 

Jimini

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China: the gift that keeps on giving

Sanya: Covid lockdown strands tourists on 'China's Hawaii'​

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Beach at Sanya

More than 80,000 tourists have been left stranded in a popular resort in China after a coronavirus outbreak sparked a lockdown.
Authorities cancelled all flights and trains from Sanya, known as "China's Hawaii", on Saturday, a day after 263 positive cases were confirmed.
Travellers must now present five negative PCR tests over seven days before being allowed to leave.
China is the only major economy to still follow a "zero Covid" policy.
The country has recorded fewer than 15,000 deaths since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University. However, there have been concerns about the impact of the strict rules, including mass testing and local lockdowns, on the economy.
The restrictions on Sanya, a city on the southern Hainan Island and a popular surfing destination, come during the peak tourist season.
Essential services such as supermarkets and pharmacies remain open, but entertainment venues have been closed since last week, AFP news agency reports.
Authorities have said they will ask hotels to offer a 50 per cent discount until restrictions are lifted.
Sanya is not the only city to have gone into lockdown in recent months. Around a million people in a suburb of Wuhan, the city in central China where Covid-19 was first recorded, faced fresh curbs last month after four asymptomatic cases were confirmed.
In June, meanwhile, Shanghai's 25 million residents finally emerged from a strict-two month lockdown.
 

Fragezeichnen

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Why are people even considering travelling to countries where there is a risk of having to wear masks?

I appreciate that some holidays, particular by members of this forum, might involve extensive train travel, with an enjoyable travel experience itself being one of the main aims. However, if a holiday involves a flight and a bus transfer to a nearby hotel followed by two weeks relaxing on the beach or by a pool, no reasonable person would determine their entire holiday based on around needing to briefly wear a mask on the bus.

It's ironic that the people who at the height of the pandemic complained of an obsession with Covid restrictions and called for everyone just get on with get on with their lives as normal are now the only ones left obsessing over Covid restrictions, whilst everyone else gets on with their lives as normal.
 

yorkie

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I appreciate that some holidays, particular by members of this forum, might involve extensive train travel, with an enjoyable travel experience itself being one of the main aims. However, if a holiday involves a flight and a bus transfer to a nearby hotel followed by two weeks relaxing on the beach or by a pool, no reasonable person would determine their entire holiday based on around needing to briefly wear a mask on the bus.
Many of us are explorers and our idea of a holiday may not be doing nothing and going nowhere for two weeks. But if that's what you like to do that's absolutely fine too. People really need to respect each person's choices and not impose things on others.

It's ironic that the people who at the height of the pandemic complained of an obsession with Covid restrictions and called for everyone just get on with get on with their lives as normal are now the only ones left obsessing over Covid restrictions, whilst everyone else gets on with their lives as normal.
I'm living my life as normal (which means not doing anything different to life before the pandemic) as is nearly everyone else.

There are some people who are either not living their lives as normal or who are trying to convince people in power to force us not to live normal lives but these people are deluded and should not be pandered to.

I completely agree we should go back to normal and indeed there will be no need to discuss anything relating to Covid once everyone accepts that.

Unfortunately I don't think everyone in the world is going to accept that we should be living normally.
 

Mojo

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I appreciate that some holidays, particular by members of this forum, might involve extensive train travel, with an enjoyable travel experience itself being one of the main aims. However, if a holiday involves a flight and a bus transfer to a nearby hotel followed by two weeks relaxing on the beach or by a pool, no reasonable person would determine their entire holiday based on around needing to briefly wear a mask on the bus.
I would, and have done, as there are plenty of places both at home and abroad I would like to go that are mask-free.

Is there anywhere aside from New York City and the Bart system in San Francisco that mandates masks only on local public transport but not on the flights to get to the place, as most countries with a public transport mask mandate also require it to include aviation?
 

SouthEastBuses

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I would, and have done, as there are plenty of places both at home and abroad I would like to go that are mask-free.

Is there anywhere aside from New York City and the Bart system in San Francisco that mandates masks only on local public transport but not on the flights to get to the place, as most countries with a public transport mask mandate also require it to include aviation?

Italy
 

zero

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I have been in Australia for the past 2 weeks. I have been in WA, QLD and NSW. The rules seem to be that masks are only required on public transport, and at least in QLD they are theoretically required at public transport stops too.

Outside of public transport, it's more or less like the UK was in August 2021 and March 2022, when it stopped being a legal requirement but a significant minority of people still continued to wear them. There are some signs up encouraging masks but they are not very prominent. There is a higher proportion of people of East Asian descent here compared to the UK, so one might expect these people to be more likely to wear masks, but that is not the case. Just like in the UK, there isn't really a correlation between people who choose to wear masks and their ethnicity, age, gender or assumed socio-economic status.

Most people choosing to wear masks do not remove or put them on when entering buildings, which means they wear them outdoors too. However it's winter which means outdoor and indoor temperatures are roughly the same, so there isn't any additional discomfort; I expect this will change as summer approaches.

On Brisbane and Sydney public transport perhaps half of passengers do not wear masks and they are not challenged even though announcements are blasted out every few minutes. On Perth public transport everybody follows the rules (I only saw one person holding a coffee cup and sipping throughout their journey, but you're not meant to eat or drink on buses anyway), including bus drivers which doesn't even happen in mask-loving Germany. Perhaps it has something to do with WA emerging from zero-covid later.

Apart from plastic screens and masks the only differences from my pre-covid trips are that a lot of bank branches have "temporarily closed due to staff shortage", and shops that used to be cash only now accept cards, but most of these charge more to use cards than cash (which is completely legal and a completely stupid decision by the government regulator).
 

nedchester

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I would, and have done, as there are plenty of places both at home and abroad I would like to go that are mask-free.

Is there anywhere aside from New York City and the Bart system in San Francisco that mandates masks only on local public transport but not on the flights to get to the place, as most countries with a public transport mask mandate also require it to include aviation?
The subway in New York is supposed to be masks but sparsely observed. When I was there last month even the police were mask free on the subway. No-one bothers you about it.

San Francisco tends to be quite 'masky' although I didn't try the trains the trams and buses were mask free but anything in the National Parks (including the open top boat to Alcatraz insisted on masks)

As for the Airprts and Airlines. Flights were all mask free and we had the bizarre spectacle of flying from Manchester to New York without a mask (a 7-hour flight) to be told we had to wear a mask at JFK. No insistence on masks at SFO airport!
 

duncanp

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Flights were all mask free and we had the bizarre spectacle of flying from Manchester to New York without a mask (a 7-hour flight) to be told we had to wear a mask at JFK. No insistence on masks at SFO airport!

This just shows you what a complete joke these restrictions are.

What benefit is there putting on a mask upon touchdown at JFK airport if, the minute you have gone thorugh border control and picked up your luggage, you are able to take it off again?
 

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