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UK underestimated threat from Europe - borders

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Corvuscorax20, Aug 5, 2020.

  1. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Being abroad when news of the approaching virus arrives and then wanting to get home again is different to choosing to set off when the virus has reached the place they are going to.
  2. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    True, but the 50,000 passengers a day in March were returning from Spain, not going out there. By mid March it was widely publicised that Coronavirus was out of control in Spain. They were already on 3000 new cases a day when the UK still hardly had a few hundred, so Spain was no more an attractive holiday destination by then than Italy.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
  3. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    As an aside here, my brother just flew back from visiting family in Italy yesterday. He said he filled in his Track and Trace form and no-one was interested, no-one wanted it and no-one was even there to take the forms. This was at both the Italy and UK airports - Rome and London-Stansted.
    Mangleworzle likes this.
  4. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    They should have been tested on arrival and checked that they were self isolating for 14 days when they came back. I know someone who was in the Caribbean in March, they had their temperature taken twice en route but once here, they were just left to go home. How many of those who subsequently caught it did so on the journey back or passed it on when back in the UK again? We don't know, the travel industry didn't care and still largely doesn't.

    There were still people flying around the world and back to the UK right throughout the months of March to June, they weren't all just returning from holiday.

    How else do you think the virus arrived here other than via the travel industry? It was brought many times, not just the once by a carrier and then spread.
  5. Corvuscorax20

    Corvuscorax20 Senior commenter

    I think I read some time ago that it entered the UK 1400 separate times, from Italy
    monicabilongame likes this.
  6. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    The country did not have the facilities to test even frontline health workers back in March, let alone the 23.7 million passengers returning from abroad during the first 3 months of this year. Nor did we have the facilities to check that those 23.7 million people were self-isolating for 14 days.

    What you suggest was an unachievable counsel of perfection.

    That is exactly how it arrived, but trying to test half the adult population of the country when only a few thousand test kits were available was clearly impossible. Passengers from China, Iran and northern Italy were quarantined until the numbers became too great - but by the time scientists realised that the virus was being imported mainly from Spain, Covid-19 was already being transmitted mainly within the community in the UK.

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    And now, the biggest threat seems to be from our own citizens and their determination to go for the holiday.
  8. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    What was done was essentially nothing at all. The travel industry didn't see it as its problem, they were still happy to fill planes with as many as possible and didn't by and large want any costs or disruptions to their operations and behaved irresponsibly. They are still acting in a similar way, they are largely washing their hands of the issue. The government didn't want to be seen to anything unpopular and so tried to let people do as much as they could as long as possible, a mistake.

    Both could have done more and earlier. Maybe you think the response was perfect under the circumstances, many think it could have been much better under the circumstances.

    Remember this? Belfast to London flights, article from the 4th of May. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-52539141

    NOT people returning from holidays.
  9. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Correct. Beyond quarantining passengers from China, Iran and Northern Italy, there was nothing that could be done, for the reasons I stated.

    I don't think it was perfect at all. I think nothing better was possible given the impossibility of testing and quarantining up to 23.7 million incoming passengers. Even armchair critics with oodles of hindsight need a bit of realism.

    Yes indeed. Mainly people trying to get to (or return from) work. Many self-employed people (including friends of mine) have not benefitted from furlough and have had to seize what work they can to support themselves and their families.
  10. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    There are always things that can be done, to do nothing was a politically motivated cop out.

    A lack of imagination doesn't mean there weren't better possibilities.

    I am self employed, I have not benefitted from furlough. However I did my part and didn't travel at risk of spreading the virus because I self certified that I wanted to.
  11. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    What would you have done?

    So you say, but you don't tell us what they were.
  12. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Looks like our border security is world beating...not:

    Coronavirus: just 10 enforcement orders issued for breach of UK quarantine rules
    Fears measures may be extended to France, but little enforcement appears to be taking place


    "The quarantine policy is supposedly backed up by law enforcement, but little appears to be taking place. The Home Office said border forces had issued nine sanctions and the police had issued one.

    Police remain sympathetic to the challenges that the pandemic presents to the government but are bemused by the flurry of announcements made by senior politicians.

    Two sources told the Guardian that they ignored grand pronouncements from, for example, the prime minister on TV and waited until officials sent through details. What is legally enforceable is often different from what politicians wish is possible.

    Another source complained of a “haphazard” approach from Downing Street and the Cabinet Office leading to frustration in policing, noting that other departments such as the Home Office were performing better in asking for realistic measures and listening to police advice on how to lawfully and proportionately enforce restrictions".
  13. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    "And then the Home Secretary said, "we've got control of our borders back but we need the French to help us out...""

    ajrowing and Mangleworzle like this.
  14. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    I have made suggestions, your answer amounts to - it would have been a bit hard so best not to try.

    Obviously you will unerringly support the government and their policy at the time of "don't do anything that people might not like and see what happens" and dismiss anything else in your usual "discussion" style. I've wasted time on that in the past.

    The fact remains that air travel was and is a major issue that wasn't addressed properly and still isn't being addressed properly because of a lack of will, not ability.

    It is driven by airlines prioritising themselves and ignoring the uncomfortable position of responsibility they find themselves in where they could make a difference but choose not to, and by people wanting to travel overseas because they think they deserve it.

    Spending several hours in an enclosed space in close proximity to 100-300 other people during a pandemic is not a good idea to say the least. I read a rant earlier today by a couple who were complaining about the lack of social distancing at Heathrow between getting off the plane and leaving the airport, they conveniently didn't mention the hours they just spent on a plane coming back from their Spanish holiday - or the same when they went out there in the first place.
    ajrowing likes this.
  15. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    But they were totally impractical, as I pointed out. There were hot even enough tests available for frontline health workers, let alone enough to test 23.7 million incoming passengers. Nor was it possible to quarantine that many people. Nor was there any point in doing so when community transmission was rife.

    I don't support the government at all, but I will point out that by making impossible suggestions on what they should have done - and by not being able to make any plausible suggestion on what could have been done with 23.7 million incoming passengers in the circumstances, you are in fact confirming my point that there was no alternative.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2020
  16. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    What should have been done was to have a plan ready in advance, Boris turning up to those seven Cobra meetings for a start and the government taking it seriously rather than being in denial and then responding with "anything else would be impossible" is just feeble.

    Neither does it explain what continues to happen now.
    ajrowing likes this.
  17. ajrowing

    ajrowing Star commenter

    Wouldn't it have been so much better if all those returning had been quarantined at their point of arrival in the UK.
  18. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    What - we have nowhere near enough tests so let's send the SAS in and steal 50 million from Germany?

    Given that Covid-19 was new in the first quarter of this year, having an advance plan was never going to be possible. Think about it: what advance plan would you suggest for the unknown disease that will strike in March 2022?

    Would that really have helped? COBRA is normally chaired by the minister responsible - Matt Hancock on this case.
  19. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    That is what happened when the numbers were small (well, they were actually transported from Heathrow to Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral). But that was only ever practical for a few hundred. There was never any prospect of quarantining 23.7 million.
  20. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    It was on its way, the world had known about it for months, we had notice, we underestimated it and didn't do enough. It's not only tests, you can do plenty without tests and then prioritise getting many tests up and running asap.

    Can you tell us anything about this disease in 2022?
    We know that his non-attendance didn't make it better.

    It shows it wasn't on the PM's list of most-important and shows it was not a top government priority. It should have been. The threat was underestimated, in fact it was underestimated until the point where Boris got it.

    Clearly this is not true, in this case or in countless others. You'll clearly never accept anything better could have been done, no point in continuing the discussion.
    ajrowing likes this.

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