Covid restrictions abroad: updates & observations

Jonny

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The carrier has no actual direct interest in your medical details. However they are often required to verify documentation by the authorities of the country you are travelling to and can be fined if they don't do that correctly. If they let you travel without a visa when you need one they get fined (plus they may have to fly you back again). Likewise there can be penalties for carrying an unvaccinated passenger when that is mandatory. So this information becomes their business by law.

This methodology operates all over the world. If you don’t like it, don’t travel.

I shouldn't have to choose between (non-) treatment and travelling, and I have no plans anyway while "new variant" stunts are being pulled. The trouble is, a lot of airlines operate parallel to railways, sometimes domestic, and there are issues with domestic and/or non-transport function creep as well. I have other reasons for not using the NHS app; not least because I don't want a device tracking me. If any authorities want to do track me, they can go the long way round.

The carrier might also find that they are taken to court and forced to "choose a country" and they have to stop serving countries that coerce medical treatment. Yellow fever prophylaxis would be a classic example, as there isn't much worthwhile treatment. However, I will concede in part that most judges make it up as they go along to suit an agenda so the whole legal system is screwed. However, such things are not not entirely unprecedented... for instance one cannot direct-book flights between the UK and Syria.

Forcing people to have prophylactic treatment is precisely the kind of rubbish that I dropped out of medical school to get away from. Modern medicine is useful, but sometimes over-rated. Healthcare generally is a good servant but a very poor master.

Besides, the example I have been using - on facebook with my real name - is to compare such things to abortion - if that is OK then it's also OK to decline any treatment other than abortion, as one cannot match the level of malicious intent in having (let alone performing) an abortion by declining any prophylactic treatment. Trust me, the comparison I use on facebook is much more blunt than the previous two sentences!
 
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Butts

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Does anyone know why Irish travellers from say Dublin are allowed into the UK with no covid test requirement yet the reverse is not true.

Both are part of The CTA , so if they don't let us in test free why do we extend that privilege to them ?
 

HST274

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Not sure if this has been discussed elsewhere but when talking about under 18s who can't have the vaccine will they still have to have had proof of previous infection instead of a vaccine or just a negative test? (this is talking about countries who may require tourists to have had a vaccine or antibodies to visit)
 

Elwyn

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Does anyone know why Irish travellers from say Dublin are allowed into the UK with no covid test requirement yet the reverse is not true.

Both are part of The CTA , so if they don't let us in test free why do we extend that privilege to them ?
The Republic of Ireland is much further behind the UK in vaccinating its citizens and they still see the risks from Covid as higher. So they have different rules. Horses for courses.

They are just starting to relax the rules slightly now but until just a few days ago residents there weren’t allowed to go out of their county, never mind to the UK, save in certain specified limited circumstances. Nor were they allowed to cross the border into Northern Ireland. So still a slightly stricter regime than in the UK. Because they are still catching up with the UK.
 

Butts

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Because it's not supposed to be about political tit for tat.

But their infection rates per 100,000 are higher than ours so what is the reason bearing in mind it is supposed to be a CTA ?

The Republic of Ireland is much further behind the UK in vaccinating its citizens and they still see the risks from Covid as higher. So they have different rules. Horses for courses.

They are just starting to relax the rules slightly now but until just a few days ago residents there weren’t allowed to go out of their county, never mind to the UK, save in certain specified limited circumstances. Nor were they allowed to cross the border into Northern Ireland. So still a slightly stricter regime than in the UK. Because they are still catching up with the UK.

I read anecdotal accounts that they were all bailing out for Holidays to Dubai et al before a clamp down.

I've recently had to cancel a Break to Dublin as they have provisionally set June 2nd as the date for Hotels to reopen when it was May 29th not so long ago.

Same NI, had booking for May 21st and Hotels now due to open May 24th.
 
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island

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Hopefully I am going from BA Blue to Gold over the course of 6 months.

Next year I will revert to peasant class and use my status for Lounge Access and hogging all the exit seats free of charge.


This has all been funded from my cancelled TUI Holiday to the USA which was due to depart May 17th.

I only hope my liver can cope with all The Malt's I will be imbibing.
Gold is a lot of fun but the lounges are no longer self-pour because of COVID19, which has a considerable limiting effect on one’s JW consumption.
I notice Disney Cruise Line (even for U.K. Staycation cruises) is requiring all guests to be “fully vaccinated”. This is something I was seriously looking at booking but neither I nor my travel companion are likely to have received our second dose by late July! And testing is only an alternative for those under 18.

The two-tier society is already here :frown:
I’ve booked the very last sailing in October. They have a no quibble refund policy in the event that an adult is not vaccinated in time.
Does anyone know why Irish travellers from say Dublin are allowed into the UK with no covid test requirement yet the reverse is not true.

Both are part of The CTA , so if they don't let us in test free why do we extend that privilege to them ?
Ireland long ago gave up respecting the CTA and systematically checks passports/ID for passengers arriving from GB. Whilst one can notionally travel with a driving licence, if one’s place of birth is outside the UK or Ireland the Gardaí can give one quite a hard time.

On the other hand, Ireland only brought in regulations requiring GB arrivals to quarantine from 4 February. Prior to that it was advisory only. The country, where I have many relatives and friends, is obsessed with the notion that all or materially all of its Covid cases are being brought in by nasty foreigners, a notion not in any way supported by data.
 

TravelDream

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Two tests to come back to the UK even for green list countries. How annoying. What about those of us who like to pop off for a weekend somewhere? Saturday morning to Monday morning doesn't leave time for testing in the destination country.
And this is on top of whatever the destination country will want. Whether that's both vaccines like Greece or some sort of testing regime.
Honestly, 2020 without the vaccine was much better than 2021 with the vaccine.

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Ireland long ago gave up respecting the CTA and systematically checks passports/ID for passengers arriving from GB. Whilst one can notionally travel with a driving licence, if one’s place of birth is outside the UK or Ireland the Gardaí can give one quite a hard time.

How do they know if you're a UK citizen from that? It's quite possible to be born in the UK and have a UK driving licence and not be a UK citizen.
 

island

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How do they know if you're a UK citizen from that? It's quite possible to be born in the UK and have a UK driving licence and not be a UK citizen.
It’s possible, but unlikely enough that they don’t seem to mind.
 

joncombe

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Two tests to come back to the UK even for green list countries. How annoying. What about those of us who like to pop off for a weekend somewhere? Saturday morning to Monday morning doesn't leave time for testing in the destination country.
And this is on top of whatever the destination country will want. Whether that's both vaccines like Greece or some sort of testing regime.
Honestly, 2020 without the vaccine was much better than 2021 with the vaccine.

42458172-0-image-a-69_1619903597671.jpg




How do they know if you're a UK citizen from that? It's quite possible to be born in the UK and have a UK driving licence and not be a UK citizen.
It does say the 72 hours can be lateral flow. So get one of the free tests and take it with you? Can't see why that wouldn't be allowed, though I haven't checked. I guess if going for the weekend, take it before you leave?
 

Cdd89

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It does say the 72 hours can be lateral flow. So get one of the free tests and take it with you? Can't see why that wouldn't be allowed, though I haven't checked. I guess if going for the weekend, take it before you leave?
There are services now that allow people to take a lateral flow test with them, and to take the test via video link, which meet UK requirements. I expect this will be the preferred way forward as these are £30 at the moment and will probably get cheaper as the need to appeal to the mass market grows.

I expect the return PCR testing will also be substantially cheaper. This is already possible at £99 for two tests, again taken over video link and posted off, so I think £50 for one test would be realistic. An £80 "holiday surcharge" will be a nuisance but I don't think it's a dealbreaker (though for a hop across the border to France, it might well be). The real dealbreaker for me is the ever-present risk of false positives when trying to return home, but I suppose that is (going to be) life.

Bear in mind that there will be a lot of spare testing capacity in the UK as test and trace begins to wind down (at least on the demand side!). That may also drive down the price. Again, I don't like any of this, but it is what it is. I would expect companies will offer packages for the whole thing, whether that's two tests (green), three tests (amber) or four (amber+test to release). I certainly won't be letting it deter me from travelling, and to be honest I would even be willing to travel to amber countries and isolate since I'm able to work from home. Also, remember that under the old rules if you went to a dirty country and then spent a few days in a clean country, those days are subtracted from your quarantine. I expect that’s how it might work for “Amber followed by Green” too (but probably not for the paranoia Red List where you’d need to spend the full 10).

Finally, I suspect the UK government is very hesitant to give any preferential treatment to the vaccinated, before everyone over 18 has been offered the vaccine (either one dose, or both doses). Arguably rightly so, as well. Clearly a lot of the above rules make zero sense for the vaccinated given what we know about the effect on transmission.
 
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Yew

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Sounds pretty much like international travel is banned for those of us who can't work from home.
 

Cdd89

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Sounds pretty much like international travel is banned for those of us who can't work from home.
I'd personally wait to see if the "Amber followed by Green" ruse I speculated on above pans out in the legislation before definitively saying that. I expect there will be green countries that will gladly accommodate you without quarantining where you could spend an enjoyable latter 4 days of your holiday.

If it doesn't then I would find it hard to disagree with that statement.
 

packermac

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I shouldn't have to choose between (non-) treatment and travelling, and I have no plans anyway while "new variant" stunts are being pulled. The trouble is, a lot of airlines operate parallel to railways, sometimes domestic, and there are issues with domestic and/or non-transport function creep as well. I have other reasons for not using the NHS app; not least because I don't want a device tracking me. If any authorities want to do track me, they can go the long way round.

The carrier might also find that they are taken to court and forced to "choose a country" and they have to stop serving countries that coerce medical treatment. Yellow fever prophylaxis would be a classic example, as there isn't much worthwhile treatment. However, I will concede in part that most judges make it up as they go along to suit an agenda so the whole legal system is screwed. However, such things are not not entirely unprecedented... for instance one cannot direct-book flights between the UK and Syria.

Forcing people to have prophylactic treatment is precisely the kind of rubbish that I dropped out of medical school to get away from. Modern medicine is useful, but sometimes over-rated. Healthcare generally is a good servant but a very poor master.

Besides, the example I have been using - on facebook with my real name - is to compare such things to abortion - if that is OK then it's also OK to decline any treatment other than abortion, as one cannot match the level of malicious intent in having (let alone performing) an abortion by declining any prophylactic treatment. Trust me, the comparison I use on facebook is much more blunt than the previous two sentences!
I can only assume you have not travelled internationally much. Airlines will operate where there is a market, not based on a countries medical needs. Plus even on British Airlines other nationalites of course use those services.
As many other have said entry requirements are decided by the country you want to enter and airlines must ensure passengers comply or be fined, and have to repatriate those people back to origin if they are denied entry.
 

alastair

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Gold is a lot of fun but the lounges are no longer self-pour because of COVID19, which has a considerable limiting effect on one’s JW consumption.

I’ve booked the very last sailing in October. They have a no quibble refund policy in the event that an adult is not vaccinated in time.

Ireland long ago gave up respecting the CTA and systematically checks passports/ID for passengers arriving from GB. Whilst one can notionally travel with a driving licence, if one’s place of birth is outside the UK or Ireland the Gardaí can give one quite a hard time.

On the other hand, Ireland only brought in regulations requiring GB arrivals to quarantine from 4 February. Prior to that it was advisory only. The country, where I have many relatives and friends, is obsessed with the notion that all or materially all of its Covid cases are being brought in by nasty foreigners, a notion not in any way supported by data.

With respect, that is not quite true what you say, at least for ferry passengers. Up to the end of 2019 I made numerous journeys with my car to Ireland through Rosslare and Dublin and have NEVER been asked for ID either when checking in or upon arrival in Ireland. Has it changed recently? Also the Aer Lingus website makes it clear that any form of "official" photo ID is OK for UK or Irish citizens, this includes bus passes and works ID provided they have a photo. I would guess that the main reason that passports have become the norm are that Ryanair who convey so many in normal times have always only accepted passports as ID.

Completely agree with your last para. by the way!
 

island

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With respect, that is not quite true what you say, at least for ferry passengers. Up to the end of 2019 I made numerous journeys with my car to Ireland through Rosslare and Dublin and have NEVER been asked for ID either when checking in or upon arrival in Ireland. Has it changed recently? Also the Aer Lingus website makes it clear that any form of "official" photo ID is OK for UK or Irish citizens, this includes bus passes and works ID provided they have a photo. I would guess that the main reason that passports have become the norm are that Ryanair who convey so many in normal times have always only accepted passports as ID.

Completely agree with your last para. by the way!
Sorry, yes, I was referring to air travel when talking about systematic checks.

The Gardaí (or INIS in Dublin) have been known to give a hard time to people with non-standard forms of ID.
 

Jonny

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I can only assume you have not travelled internationally much. Airlines will operate where there is a market, not based on a countries medical needs. Plus even on British Airlines other nationalites of course use those services.
As many other have said entry requirements are decided by the country you want to enter and airlines must ensure passengers comply or be fined, and have to repatriate those people back to origin if they are denied entry.

Those who decide entry requirements are not above the law, and some have been breaching it for far too long.
 

Bantamzen

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There are services now that allow people to take a lateral flow test with them, and to take the test via video link, which meet UK requirements. I expect this will be the preferred way forward as these are £30 at the moment and will probably get cheaper as the need to appeal to the mass market grows.

I expect the return PCR testing will also be substantially cheaper. This is already possible at £99 for two tests, again taken over video link and posted off, so I think £50 for one test would be realistic. An £80 "holiday surcharge" will be a nuisance but I don't think it's a dealbreaker (though for a hop across the border to France, it might well be). The real dealbreaker for me is the ever-present risk of false positives when trying to return home, but I suppose that is (going to be) life.

Bear in mind that there will be a lot of spare testing capacity in the UK as test and trace begins to wind down (at least on the demand side!). That may also drive down the price. Again, I don't like any of this, but it is what it is. I would expect companies will offer packages for the whole thing, whether that's two tests (green), three tests (amber) or four (amber+test to release). I certainly won't be letting it deter me from travelling, and to be honest I would even be willing to travel to amber countries and isolate since I'm able to work from home. Also, remember that under the old rules if you went to a dirty country and then spent a few days in a clean country, those days are subtracted from your quarantine. I expect that’s how it might work for “Amber followed by Green” too (but probably not for the paranoia Red List where you’d need to spend the full 10).

Finally, I suspect the UK government is very hesitant to give any preferential treatment to the vaccinated, before everyone over 18 has been offered the vaccine (either one dose, or both doses). Arguably rightly so, as well. Clearly a lot of the above rules make zero sense for the vaccinated given what we know about the effect on transmission.
I don't agree that forcing people to buy PCR tests isn't a deal breaker. I've just booked a holiday for next May in Kefalonia and it was considerably more expensive than it would have been in 2019. So adding on another couple of hundred quid onto that price really will prove to be too much for many, especially given that travel insurance is likely to be more costly too.

As for the principal of testing, vaccines have long been mooted as a route back to normality. But if testing remains something mandatory for even vaccinated people, some people may question why they should have it all.
 

Cdd89

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I mean I personally think mandatory testing on pain of fines after returning is a pretty dodgy precedent (and is fundamentally different from pre-departure testing; the penalty is not “you don’t have to do this nasty medical procedure but if you haven’t done it you can’t do this thing”, it’s “do this nasty medical procedure or else you will have the book thrown at you”). With every other mandatory medical procedure there is always the opportunity to opt out at the last minute but in this example once you take the flight you’re legally committed to undergoing the procedure.

But the ship sailed on that back in January and unfortunately I don’t recall many people complaining about it (outside this forum, of course).
 

Yew

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I don't agree that forcing people to buy PCR tests isn't a deal breaker. I've just booked a holiday for next May in Kefalonia and it was considerably more expensive than it would have been in 2019. So adding on another couple of hundred quid onto that price really will prove to be too much for many, especially given that travel insurance is likely to be more costly too.

As for the principal of testing, vaccines have long been mooted as a route back to normality. But if testing remains something mandatory for even vaccinated people, some people may question why they should have it all.
It's not just testing though, it's a potential sentence for two weeks of forced home confinement, which could represent a significant loss-of-earnings for those who can't work from home.
 

TravelDream

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It's not just testing though, it's a potential sentence for two weeks of forced home confinement, which could represent a significant loss-of-earnings for those who can't work from home.

This is quite possible and will put many who can't work from home off.

However, it's very possible vaccines dramatically reduce the incidence of any Covid infection (symptomatic and asymptomatic).
The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) conducted a study on 4,000 medical workers in the US. Some recieved the Pfizer vaccine, some Moderna and some no vaccine. They were all tested each week with a PCR to check if they were infected even if with no symptoms. The efficacy of the two vaccines was 80% after one dose and 90% after two.

I have seen anything like this on the Oxford/AZ vaccine.
 

berneyarms

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Does anyone know why Irish travellers from say Dublin are allowed into the UK with no covid test requirement yet the reverse is not true.

Both are part of The CTA , so if they don't let us in test free why do we extend that privilege to them ?
That's really an issue for the UK Government. Given that it is illegal for Irish people to travel internationally for non-essential purposes, I would assume that the UK government view the risk as minimal.

On the other hand, people entering Ireland on UK flights could be coming from anywhere (there aren't many flights from anywhere other than Heathrow at the moment), and as such the Irish public health officials view it as a risk.


But their infection rates per 100,000 are higher than ours so what is the reason bearing in mind it is supposed to be a CTA ?



I read anecdotal accounts that they were all bailing out for Holidays to Dubai et al before a clamp down.

I've recently had to cancel a Break to Dublin as they have provisionally set June 2nd as the date for Hotels to reopen when it was May 29th not so long ago.

Same NI, had booking for May 21st and Hotels now due to open May 24th.

I would remind you that Ireland is an independent country - we are entitled to implement our own public health measures, irrespective of the CTA, the provisions of which I would point out only apply to Irish and UK citizens. There are virtually no common visas that allow travel to both the UK and Ireland. Separate immigration requirements apply to enter Ireland and the UK for non-Irish/UK citizens.

You ought to really check things before booking trips like that. The Government never said that hotels would reopen on May 29th. The first indication of any reopening was last Thursday when it was announced that hotels and accommodation would reopen on June 2nd, subject to the public health situation at the time. There are no guarantees about this. Bars and restaurants won't reopen until June 7th at the earliest, and that will be for outdoor service only.

I certainly would not be expecting travel restrictions into/out of Ireland to be lifted until July at the earliest given that vaccinations are only ramping up here now, and it will be the end of June before a critical mass of the population is vaccinated. We are about six weeks behind the UK in terms of vaccinating our population, due to the well publicised supply issues back in February.

Ireland long ago gave up respecting the CTA and systematically checks passports/ID for passengers arriving from GB. Whilst one can notionally travel with a driving licence, if one’s place of birth is outside the UK or Ireland the Gardaí can give one quite a hard time.

On the other hand, Ireland only brought in regulations requiring GB arrivals to quarantine from 4 February. Prior to that it was advisory only. The country, where I have many relatives and friends, is obsessed with the notion that all or materially all of its Covid cases are being brought in by nasty foreigners, a notion not in any way supported by data.
The simple reason for implementing the immigration checks at Irish airports some considerable time ago was that it was found that there were significant numbers of people entering Ireland illegally via flights from the UK. As a sovereign country, I think that our government are well within their rights to do so if it is an issue.

Immigration officials from the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) operate the immigration checks at Irish airports (not members of An Garda Síochána). They are obliged to satisfy themselves that arriving passengers are entitled to avail of the provisions of the CTA, and generally involves checking the documentation and asking questions to establish their nationality.

The UK government clearly do not see illegal immigration through Ireland as a major issue, but for the record, UK Border Force do instigate intelligence lead spot checks at UK airports on flights from Ireland from time to time - I've experienced it myself.

There certainly were large outbreaks around New Year that were traced back to people coming home for Christmas and flouting the request about self-isolating. Our health service just doesn't have the capacity to deal with the risk of that happening again, hence the request to self-isolate becoming a mandatory rule. All parties in the Dáil supported this change.

How do they know if you're a UK citizen from that? It's quite possible to be born in the UK and have a UK driving licence and not be a UK citizen.
As above, it can ultimately be professional judgement based on asking a series of questions.

With respect, that is not quite true what you say, at least for ferry passengers. Up to the end of 2019 I made numerous journeys with my car to Ireland through Rosslare and Dublin and have NEVER been asked for ID either when checking in or upon arrival in Ireland. Has it changed recently? Also the Aer Lingus website makes it clear that any form of "official" photo ID is OK for UK or Irish citizens, this includes bus passes and works ID provided they have a photo. I would guess that the main reason that passports have become the norm are that Ryanair who convey so many in normal times have always only accepted passports as ID.

Completely agree with your last para. by the way!
The main perceived risk was people arriving illegally into Ireland by air not ferry but the current situation does see public health rules banning all non-essential nternational travel into/out of Ireland and requiring those who do travel to have a negative test and to self-isolate on arrival.
 

island

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Immigration officials from the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) operate the immigration checks at Irish airports (not members of An Garda Síochána). They are obliged to satisfy themselves that arriving passengers are entitled to avail of the provisions of the CTA, and generally involves checking the documentation and asking questions to establish their nationality.
In fact, INIS only operate immigration checks at one airport, namely Dublin. As we Corkonians like to remind you, Dublin is not the entire country :p. Gardaí (acting as the GNIB) perform checks at all other Irish airports.

There certainly were large outbreaks around New Year that were traced back to people coming home for Christmas and flouting the request about self-isolating. Our health service just doesn't have the capacity to deal with the risk of that happening again, hence the request to self-isolate becoming a mandatory rule. All parties in the Dáil supported this change.
That was reported by media but not supported by official data, which showed an average of one imported case a day in a fortnight around the new year. Flights from the UK to Ireland were banned from the week of Christmas to mid-January.
 
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Butts

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So whilst the EU can't wait to welcome us back we hear today there is a cross party Parliamentary Group of killjoys trying to put the brakes on Summer Vacations.

Deport the lot of them :E
 

Ianno87

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So whilst the EU can't wait to welcome us back we hear today there is a cross party Parliamentary Group of killjoys trying to put the brakes on Summer Vacations.

Deport the lot of them :E

"Taking back control". Isn't that what we voted for in 2016?
 

berneyarms

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So whilst the EU can't wait to welcome us back we hear today there is a cross party Parliamentary Group of killjoys trying to put the brakes on Summer Vacations.

Deport the lot of them :E
Well I don't think that is necessarily true.
The government here in Ireland wants a critical mass of the population vaccinated before travel restrictions are lifted.

That was reported by media but not supported by official data, which showed an average of one imported case a day in a fortnight around the new year. Flights from the UK to Ireland were banned from the week of Christmas to mid-January.
Actually it was supported by data. Check out Belmullet where there was a specific outbreak.

How the hell else could the b117 strain have arrived here but from international travel?

In fact, INIS only operate immigration checks at one airport, namely Dublin. As we Corkonians like to remind you, Dublin is not the entire country :p. Gardaí (acting as the GNIB) perform checks at all other Irish airports.
You are getting into pedantry here - the rationale for entry checks at airports still remains the same - excessive illegal immigration.

That was reported by media but not supported by data, which showed an average of one imported case a day in a fortnight around the new year. Flights from the UK to Ireland were banned from the week of Christmas to mid-January.
I must have been imagining when NPHET recommended mandatory self-isolation / quarantine on purely scientific grounds then?
 
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Watershed

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How the hell else could the b117 strain have arrived here but from international travel?
Many of the advantageous mutations found in variants such as B.1.1.7 have independently evolved across the world. So international travel is by no means automatically the source of a particular variant.
 

berneyarms

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Many of the advantageous mutations found in variants such as B.1.1.7 have independently evolved across the world. So international travel is by no means automatically the source of a particular variant.
I’m prepared to accept Irish government public health advice and recommendations on this rather than something on a message board.
 

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