Travel restrictions

Flights Crete/ UK. UK/Crete. Other destinations from Crete or Athens, plus late availability & deals
Rick
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Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:50 pm

Travel restrictions

Postby Rick » Tue Mar 23, 2021 12:16 pm

The easing of travel restrictions from the UK to Greece & other EU countries on 17/5/21 is looking increasingly unlikely

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/0 ... countries/

Kilkis
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Re: Travel restrictions

Postby Kilkis » Tue Mar 23, 2021 12:26 pm

The way numbers are going in Europe and the speed, I use the term loosely, of the vaccination programme, I am beginning to have doubts if my trip to France at the end of August will be possible and that is a booking carried over from 2020. I've had both my vaccination doses but it doesn't help me much if everything is shut down and flights are cancelled. I think that people who are booking flights for May and June are crazy.

Warwick

Rick
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Re: Travel restrictions

Postby Rick » Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:41 am

The Sunday Times are reporting that foreign holidays for Brits are now unlikely before August- according to senior figures in Government.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/fore ... -z2swnhnt0

Kilkis
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Re: Travel restrictions

Postby Kilkis » Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:03 am

"Officials also warned that even when the travel restrictions are lifted, travellers will only be able to visit countries with high vaccination rates and no virus mutations."

There are now many thousand variants of SARS-CoV-2 worldwide due to mutations. There isn't anywhere in the world that has "no virus mutations". It is also a bit ironic that UK citizens can't go to Europe because it is now suffering a third wave but that third wave is largely due to the variant that arose in Kent and which the UK kindly donated to them.

Warwick

Rick
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Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:50 pm

Re: Travel restrictions

Postby Rick » Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:16 am

The U.K. intends to make the first of several announcements tomorrow (5/4/21) regarding travel restrictions entering the U.K. from a proposed date of 17/05/21.
Under a “traffic light” system, based on a country’s vaccination rate and variants of concern, Greece is likely to be ranked as ‘amber’ based on current data.
Anyone wishing to visit the U.K. (as well as returning tourists) would need a test in Greece 72 hours prior to departure (cost approximately €50 - €100), then book the U.K. prepaid package of two tests on day 2 and day 8 after arrival (cost £210 per person). Then, a possible period of 10 days quarantine is likely - this could be problematic if you intend to stay with family.

p.s. Flights on a Monday / Tuesday could be problematic, as a pre- departure test needs to be within 72 hours, and many testing centres don't operate over the weekend or public holidays in Greece.

Kathleen
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Location: North East UK/ex Rethymnon

Re: Travel restrictions

Postby Kathleen » Mon Apr 05, 2021 11:24 am

It is also a bit ironic that UK citizens can't go to Europe because it is now suffering a third wave but that third wave is largely due to the variant that arose in Kent and which the UK kindly donated to them.


Agree in part with your comment, but who is to say that the variant was not transported to Kent from across the channel in the first place? Given the fact that illegal migrants, Border Force staff in the front line, and commercial traffic were not being tested on arrival in UK I have always found it odd that this particular variant was first detected there with its close proximity to the continent. UK genomic testing is far more advanced here than in the EU the variant may well have been in circulation across the water well before it was identified here.

Being due my second jab in a couple of weeks, my holiday booking for a late June /July visit to Crete may not go ahead but at least with a Jet2 flight reservation I will have the option of a refund or date change. Such a pity the EU can not get its act together with the immunisation programme and stop spreading its misleading information which is causing unnecessary loss of lives and hardship for many.

Kathleen

Kilkis
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Re: Travel restrictions

Postby Kilkis » Mon Apr 05, 2021 12:34 pm

You can't really lump the EU together as a single unit when it comes to genomic testing, there is vast variation across the member states.

You are correct in your assertion that it "might" have come into the UK from outside BUT given the way that it spread so widely and rapidly across the UK, because it has a much higher level of transmissibility than the original variant, and became the dominant variant while it only started to spread widely in the EU much later it is more probable that it came from the UK. If it had come from the EU why didn't it spread more rapidly in the EU before the spread in the UK. Even without genomic testing it would be detected by the acceleration in rate of spread. That is how it was first detected in Kent before the new sequence was identified.

I don't think there is anything special about Jet2? Provided someone wishes to travel fairly regularly between the UK and Crete, e.g. at least once per year, then I don't think cancellation is a problem with any airline. My Easyjet flights in April were cancelled, quite sensibly. I opted for a voucher, which arrived in a couple of days by email, and I simply rebooked for October using the voucher. I think it is only really a problem for someone who just wants that one trip and so needs a cash refund if it is cancelled. Then they might wait a long time but I think that is probably true of many airlines.

Warwick

Saddler
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Re: Travel restrictions

Postby Saddler » Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:59 pm

''It is also a bit ironic that UK citizens can't go to Europe because it is now suffering a third wave but that third wave is largely due to the variant that arose in Kent and which the UK kindly donated to them.''

What a stupid and offensive comment considering the amount of subsequent deaths that have occurred.

It was the UK's genomic testing capability that picked up the new variant and wherever it arose from is immaterial. New variants are undoubtedly circulating everywhere, more so where there are larger numbers of infection. If the hapless EU Commission, the bureaucratic lethargy of the EMA and the pathetic incompetent leaders of certain countries in the bloc could stop running around in circles searching for someone to blame instead of looking in the mirror then the EU infection rates would not be out of control.

The fact that German tourists are already pitching up in Majorca and Crete obviously signifies the likes of Spain and Greece think tourism is far more important than containing the virus and therefore avoiding further mutations. The staggeringly incompetent vaccine rollout throughout the EU along with vaccine stockpiling, vaccine hesitancy due to political motives, vaccine trashing of AZ and vaccine export threats, mainly aimed at the UK, is why Europe is now suffering a third wave.

This despite the UK taxpayer providing £21 million, along with expertise, to set up the AZ plant in Holland. That's what I would regard as a 'kindly donation'.

Kilkis
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Re: Travel restrictions

Postby Kilkis » Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:32 pm

Let's face it Saddler, anything I post offends you. This is a quote from a New Scientist article:

    Where did the UK variant come from?
    “It very much looks like a point source in England,” says Susan Hopkins at Public Health England. In other words, it came from a single individual. There is speculation that it could have evolved in the body of a person with a weakened immune system, meaning the immune response wasn’t strong enough to kill off the virus but did force it to evolve. This would help explain why it has more mutations than normal.

While nobody can prove with 100 % certainty that the B.1.1.7 variant arose in the UK it is clearly the opinion of Public Health England that it did and if anybody should know they should. It is also inescapable that it is the B.1.1.7 variant, with its 50 % higher transmissibility, that is mainly responsible for the rapidly increasing spread in Europe now. You might not like how I expressed my point but it is accurate. The UK had one of the worst performances in Europe in controlling spread of the virus in the early phase of the pandemic. As you note yourself mutations occur most where the virus is most prevalent. It is no accident that the most concerning variants arose in the UK, in South Africa and in Brazil. If these three countries had exerted better control those variants might not have arisen and thousands of lives might have been saved.

As a point of accuracy there is no evidence of "bureaucratic lethargy of the EMA". The UK approved vaccines faster than the EMA purely because of the approval procedure, not due to any lethargy on the part of the EMA. The MHRA opted for an "emergency use" approval process which is less stringent than the "conditional use" approval process used by the EMA. I presume this was done with the agreement of the UK government since "emergency use" approval places responsibility for any subsequent compensation claims on the government, i.e. the tax payer. The EMA has no authority to issue "emergency use" approval and "conditional use" approval is the lowest level they can issue. Conditional use approval leaves responsibility for any subsequent compensation claims on the shoulders of the pharmaceutical companies. There were 19 days between the MHRA issuing its first approval and the EMA issuing its first approval which is not really a long time given the different levels of approval. I suspect that the EMA are aware that vaccine hesitancy is much higher in many parts of Europe and a more rapid approval might have been counter-productive. It is pointless issuing approval a few weeks earlier if that results in a bigger proportion of the population refusing to take it.

Emergency use approval can only be issued by national regulatory bodies and only for their own national jurisdiction. Any EU country could, if it wished, have got its own regulatory body to issue "emergency use" approval rather than waiting for the EMA. They all chose not to. The EMA is made up of representatives from all the national regulatory bodies in the EU so each country's regulatory body had access to all the trial data that was submitted to the EMA, i.e. they had all the necessary information.

Also any EU country was free to opt out of the centralised Commission vaccine purchasing scheme, if they wished to, and could have negotiated their own supply contracts. The only constraint was that if they did opt into the Commission purchasing scheme they could not do side deals with any company that the Commission reached a deal with. They were still free to do additional deals with companies outside the Commission scheme, e.g as Hungary has done by issuing national emergency use approval for the Sputnik vaccine.

Warwick

Kamisiana
Posts: 496
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:06 pm

Re: Travel restrictions

Postby Kamisiana » Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:57 am

Kilkis wrote:Let's face it Saddler, anything I post offends you. This is a quote from a New Scientist article:

    Where did the UK variant come from?
    “It very much looks like a point source in England,” says Susan Hopkins at Public Health England. In other words, it came from a single individual. There is speculation that it could have evolved in the body of a person with a weakened immune system, meaning the immune response wasn’t strong enough to kill off the virus but did force it to evolve. This would help explain why it has more mutations than normal.

While nobody can prove with 100 % certainty that the B.1.1.7 variant arose in the UK it is clearly the opinion of Public Health England that it did and if anybody should know they should. It is also inescapable that it is the B.1.1.7 variant, with its 50 % higher transmissibility, that is mainly responsible for the rapidly increasing spread in Europe now. You might not like how I expressed my point but it is accurate. The UK had one of the worst performances in Europe in controlling spread of the virus in the early phase of the pandemic. As you note yourself mutations occur most where the virus is most prevalent. It is no accident that the most concerning variants arose in the UK, in South Africa and in Brazil. If these three countries had exerted better control those variants might not have arisen and thousands of lives might have been saved.

As a point of accuracy there is no evidence of "bureaucratic lethargy of the EMA". The UK approved vaccines faster than the EMA purely because of the approval procedure, not due to any lethargy on the part of the EMA. The MHRA opted for an "emergency use" approval process which is less stringent than the "conditional use" approval process used by the EMA. I presume this was done with the agreement of the UK government since "emergency use" approval places responsibility for any subsequent compensation claims on the government, i.e. the tax payer. The EMA has no authority to issue "emergency use" approval and "conditional use" approval is the lowest level they can issue. Conditional use approval leaves responsibility for any subsequent compensation claims on the shoulders of the pharmaceutical companies. There were 19 days between the MHRA issuing its first approval and the EMA issuing its first approval which is not really a long time given the different levels of approval. I suspect that the EMA are aware that vaccine hesitancy is much higher in many parts of Europe and a more rapid approval might have been counter-productive. It is pointless issuing approval a few weeks earlier if that results in a bigger proportion of the population refusing to take it.

Emergency use approval can only be issued by national regulatory bodies and only for their own national jurisdiction. Any EU country could, if it wished, have got its own regulatory body to issue "emergency use" approval rather than waiting for the EMA. They all chose not to. The EMA is made up of representatives from all the national regulatory bodies in the EU so each country's regulatory body had access to all the trial data that was submitted to the EMA, i.e. they had all the necessary information.

Also any EU country was free to opt out of the centralised Commission vaccine purchasing scheme, if they wished to, and could have negotiated their own supply contracts. The only constraint was that if they did opt into the Commission purchasing scheme they could not do side deals with any company that the Commission reached a deal with. They were still free to do additional deals with companies outside the Commission scheme, e.g as Hungary has done by issuing national emergency use approval for the Sputnik vaccine.

Warwick


DO YOU have a thesis on why it is labelled the UK variant and not Covid B.1.1.7 or something else, the original (Chinese virus) was named Sars-Cov-2 (Covid -19) so as not to stigmatize the poor old Chinese, you would not have the (UK variant) as you like to call it donated to Crete had it not been for the original Chinese virus.

Kilkis
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Location: Near Chania

Re: Travel restrictions

Postby Kilkis » Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:15 am

It depends what you mean by "labelled". Scientists involved with COVID-19 will normally refer to the variants by their scientific designation, e.g. they might refer to the K417N, E484K and N501Y mutations of the spike protein on the B.1.351 lineage or the 501Y.V2 variant of the B.1.351 lineage or 20H/501Y.V2. Also the designation can change, e.g. 20H/501Y.V2 used to be 20C/501Y.V2. There are well over 4,000 variants most of which are of no particular concern. The average person in the street has no idea what these scientific designations mean nor do they need to. Therefore scientists who are communicating to the public use simple designations that are easy to understand. Of the three variants that are currently of serious concern one arose in the UK, one arose in South Africa and one arose in Brazil so it is simpler to refer to them in that way. I am sure there will be others that arise in other places in the future. They are all variants of SARS-CoV-2 which is the WHO designation for this particular Coronavirus. COVID-19 is the WHO designation for the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. If you become ill with any variant of SARS-CoV-2 then you have COVID-19.

It would be interesting to draw a Venn diagram of people who were pro-Brexit, those who were pro-remain, those who are very sensitive about references to the "UK variant" and those who are quite happy to use the term?

Warwick
Last edited by Kilkis on Fri Apr 09, 2021 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Rick
Posts: 138
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:50 pm

Re: Travel restrictions

Postby Rick » Fri Apr 09, 2021 2:10 pm

Jet2 cancells ALL flights & holidays from UK until June 23.
They have a significant presence in West & East Crete.

Kamisiana
Posts: 496
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:06 pm

Re: Travel restrictions

Postby Kamisiana » Wed May 19, 2021 10:16 am

https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2021/ ... h-experts/
Kilkis wrote:It depends what you mean by "labelled". Scientists involved with COVID-19 will normally refer to the variants by their scientific designation, e.g. they might refer to the K417N, E484K and N501Y mutations of the spike protein on the B.1.351 lineage or the 501Y.V2 variant of the B.1.351 lineage or 20H/501Y.V2. Also the designation can change, e.g. 20H/501Y.V2 used to be 20C/501Y.V2. There are well over 4,000 variants most of which are of no particular concern. The average person in the street has no idea what these scientific designations mean nor do they need to. Therefore scientists who are communicating to the public use simple designations that are easy to understand. Of the three variants that are currently of serious concern one arose in the UK, one arose in South Africa and one arose in Brazil so it is simpler to refer to them in that way. I am sure there will be others that arise in other places in the future. They are all variants of SARS-CoV-2 which is the WHO designation for this particular Coronavirus. COVID-19 is the WHO designation for the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. If you become ill with any variant of SARS-CoV-2 then you have COVID-19.

It would be interesting to draw a Venn diagram of people who were pro-Brexit, those who were pro-remain, those who are very sensitive about references to the "UK variant" and those who are quite happy to use the term?

Warwick

https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2021/ ... h-experts/
Athenian/Greek mutation as it will be known, we can not all remember those scientific designations lets hope no one gets too sensitive about it we all have our mutation to bear.

Kilkis
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Location: Near Chania

Re: Travel restrictions

Postby Kilkis » Wed May 19, 2021 11:07 am

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, ECDC, does not currently list any variant as originating in Athens.

As I mentioned in my previous post, scientists working with the virus do not use terminology like the Athens Variant because there are often several variants that were first detected in a particular country. For example if you look at country of origin in the ECDC tables there are 5 variants that were first detected in the UK so referring to a variant as "the UK variant" could mean any one of those 5. As I also wrote previously, scientists communicating with the general public tend to use this type of terminology because it is easily understood. The general public do not need to know if it is (E484K + N501Y + D614G) or (K417N + E484K + N501Y + D614G); they need to know there is a variant that is spreading more rapidly in their area so they would be wise to be more careful.

I presume the scientists reported in the original article used the terminology "Athens Variant" because it is a variant that is currently causing concern in Athens. The terminology does not attach any sort of blame. To a doctor in Athens it doesn't matter at all where the variant came from, what matters is that it is spreading rapidly in a particular area and somebody needs to do something to stop that continuing.

Good to see that you validate my earlier speculation on a Venn diagram. You, as a prominent Brexiteer, are obviously very exercised about what names are used? Personally, as a centrist remainer, couldn't care less what names are used.

Warwick


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