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Scenarios for travel in the near future

joe

500+ Posts
How the pandemic might play out in 2021 and beyond - a recent article from Nature.
From the article : " “We’re going to need to change the culture of how we interact with other people,” says Neto. Overall, it’s good news that even without testing or a vaccine, behaviours can make a significant difference in disease transmission, he adds. "
Bottom line - there is still a significant lack of data, making predictions quite difficult at this stage.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
The UK added France to their no-travel list late last night. Spain was added a few weeks ago. This means they recommend no non-essential travel and there is a 14 day quarantine on return.

Up until last night we had planned to drive to Switzerland at the end of the month. I had it worked out to overnight in France in small towns, hoping to avoid crowds (Abbeville and Langres near Dijon). Our holiday in Switzerland is in a small town and we would be hiking on empty trails.

Now we are looking at flying to avoid going into France.

The situation changes rapidly!
 

PokeyMindy

100+ Posts
it's like watching a tennis match...look this way, no that way....travel here, don't travel here! I hope it all works out so you can enjoy your time in Switzerland. I am fond of a YouTube channel, Eagle Eye Photography. He recently posted video's of his trip to Switzerland, many gorgeous shots using his drone. He did some hiking near Montreux and nearby areas.

View: https://youtu.be/t0FHHS5PnEY

and another from the day before. (in this he discusses, in the beginning, his decision of which drone model to bring with him to Switzerland....fast forward to around minute 6 to see his gorgeous footage of his hike). (Dan is British but lives now in France).
 
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Pauline

Forums Admin
I spent yesterday looking at flights from the UK to Switzerland but doing a bit more research this morning I realize we can still drive.

If France does not impose a quarantine for UK tourists, we can do our journey by car as planned stopping along the way in France for 2 nights (to make an easy drive) - Abbeville and Langres (near Dijon). Both are small towns which I think is better than going to a city (considering COVID).

On the way home we can transit across France without stopping to avoid the UK quarantine for Brits returning from France. From Switzerland we can drive north into Germany and spend the night, then go across northern France from Baden-Baden or another town in that area. That would make a 5 or 6 hour drive from Germany to the Chunnel. To avoid quarantine you cannot get out of the car and mix with people (so no public restrooms - find a field and fill up on gas before leaving) or let anyone into your car.

If France imposes a quarantine, we can do the same going to Switzerland.

We both woke up thinking "this is too complicated" but now we both think it won't be that bad. Driving is better than flying because we can cut the trip short easily if we need to or extend it if it looks like restrictions will be changed.

Switzerland, here we come!
 

artnbarb

1000+ Posts
it's like watching a tennis match...look this way, no that way....travel here, don't travel here! I hope it all works out so you can enjoy your time in Switzerland. I am fond of a YouTube channel, Eagle Eye Photography. He recently posted video's of his trip to Switzerland, many gorgeous shots using his drone. He did some hiking near Montreux and nearby areas.

View: https://youtu.be/t0FHHS5PnEY

and another from the day before. (in this he discusses, in the beginning, his decision of which drone model to bring with him to Switzerland....fast forward to around minute 6 to see his gorgeous footage of his hike). (Dan is British but lives now in France).
Thanks! We visited the Cailler chocolate factory years ago!
 

CaWino

10+ Posts
Americans are still banned from travel to Europe, and It is still speculative concerning when we will be able to do so. Covid-19 continues to be an issue as it is out of control in USA and 2nd wave surging again in Europe with another shutdown imminent. Across the country, alarming signs suggested the worst was yet to come: More than 20 states reported more cases over the past week than at any time during the pandemic.

USA's Covid-19 cases are increasing in about 40 of 50 states with 80,000 new daily cases reported 10/28/2020. Deaths are at 231,000+ at an average daily rate of just under 1,000. The good old USA continues to lead the world in numbers/poor management of the situation with Texas having the most cases, followed by California, Florida and New York.

I'm hopeful that a vaccine will be developed and distributed by the end of the year, with travel possible by end of third quarter of 2021. When travel is feasible again, it appears that is going to be more expensive according to this article from Frommer's.
 
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joe

500+ Posts
A nice overview of what might start to change in travel now that vaccines are rolling out, and testing is becoming easier, from The Conversation. A short read that's worth a look, written by a professor of biostatistics and epidemiology.
From the article :
"Ugur Şahin, BioNTech’s cofounder and chief executive, believes the vaccine could reduce transmission by 50%. This puts something of a dampener on vaccination being the key to the safe resumption of international travel.
At this stage, we also don’t know how long immunity will last for those vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. But as the trial will continue for several more months, some of this data should become available in 2021."
"It’s going to take months — or, more realistically, years — to vaccinate everybody who wants to be vaccinated. It won’t be feasible to expect every single person travelling internationally to be vaccinated."
 

Allen

10+ Posts
In the midst of the daily horror of the reports of thousands of our fellows here in the US and people around the globe succumbing to the covid-19 virus scourge, this was nevertheless an important and welcome day for those of us who believe in the remarkable work of the scientific community, public and private. While it’s premature not to need fingers crossed, and easy to cherry pick contrary opinions, vaccines seem clearly to be our best hope to very significantly reduce the number of expected covid related deaths world wide. I’m sure everyone will make their own fully informed decision about the best way of protecting oneself, but personally, I will soon be unable to resist looking into a (mid-late?) summer trip to Italy (ok - full disclosure - I already peeked).
 

joe

500+ Posts
....this was nevertheless an important and welcome day for those of us who believe in the remarkable work of the scientific community, public and private. While it’s premature not to need fingers crossed, and easy to cherry pick contrary opinions, vaccines seem clearly to be our best hope to very significantly reduce the number of expected covid related deaths world wide.
I agree. If the vaccine proves to be as good as claimed, this is a remarkable achievement, and should encourage the ongoing development of solutions for other health problems. It seems that this proves that if there is a will - backed by enough financial support - there is a way. It will be good to see the Covid wards start to scale down, and the elderly and weak be less anxious about going back to a more normal routine.

I am also hoping that any regulation imposed upon citizens will be restricted at most to rapid testing for Covid, and will not make the vaccine compulsory for all.
 

joe

500+ Posts
From today's Guardian, a virologist explains why travel bans may not be such a good idea.

An excerpt :
"Draconian measures can encourage panic and make the situation worse. When the lockdown and domestic travel restrictions were announced in the UK, passengers packed train station platforms and crowded carriages to leave London prior to enforcement of tier 4 restrictions, creating conditions conducive to virus spread.

Rather than harsh and largely ineffective travel bans, we should instead focus on encouraging compliance with proven interventions such as masking, distancing, avoiding crowds and enclosed spaces, avoiding gathering outside of one’s household or quarantine pod, and practising good hand hygiene. By emphasizing the additive nature of risk reduction, transmission can be reduced in a way that empowers people with the information to make good decisions to protect themselves and their families."
 

italian excursion

100+ Posts
Joe, you're assuming all humans have solid critical thinking skills! It's a good idea but not realistic. We know, scientifically, what reduces risk and it's quite simple. But unless put to practice, it's quite useless. Sadly, short attention span and fear based reasoning are not conducive to your formula.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Our neighbors, both over 80, had their first shots last week. Even though things are bad in the UK (two new variants of the virus, rates going up) I do feel hopeful. And tonight it looks like they are going to avoid a no deal Brexit.

I’ve started doing some travel research!
 

joe

500+ Posts
Joe, you're assuming all humans have solid critical thinking skills! It's a good idea but not realistic. We know, scientifically, what reduces risk and it's quite simple. But unless put to practice, it's quite useless.
Hi italian excursion!
I agree with you about this, but I also think that science many times offers data that can support multiple answers to the same question. The answer one chooses is of course dependent on many factors. Critical thinking is only one of these factors, and you could argue that even "critical thinking" can be done in multiple ways.

For example, we are seeing significant declining rates of the flu this winter, very clearly in the southern hemisphere, but there are signs, too, that this might be the case in the northern one as well. There is not enough data to understand this yet completely, but it's logical to suppose that the many restrictions imposed by the necessity to deal with Covid (distancing, masks, travel bans, lockdowns, etc.) are effecting flu rates as well.

How can science answer the question : should we prevent influenza by vaccines, or by Covid-like restrictions, or by both? Science can make informed estimates, but - as we learned from Michael Crichton - "life finds a way". ;)

An informative and interesting article about the play between Covid and the flu is here in a recent report from Nature, worth a read.

Good luck to all who are resuming travel plans!
 

joe

500+ Posts
On the same note as above : data on the efficacy of travel bans is starting to be analyzed, especially after multiple waves/lockdowns in many countries.

This report from Nature suggests that travel restrictions should be more nuanced, in order to balance between their efficacy in reducing transmission, and their damage to the economy.
From the report :
"This suggests that travel restrictions weren’t justified later in the pandemic except in highly connected countries, or in regions with low transmission that wanted to keep the virus out, says co-author Mark Jit, an infectious-disease modeller at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Preventing travel from high-prevalence countries would be sufficient to reduce exposure in many regions, says Jit. “Countries shouldn’t instinctively say that, just because there is a pandemic, we should have travel restrictions.”

Hoffman says that observational studies are now needed to tease out the effectiveness of countries completely shutting their borders. “There is a good chance that a whole lot of what we are doing is causing more harm than good.”"

As time goes by, we will probably learn more and more about what works, and what doesn't, when reacting to a pandemic like this - each country and its nuances. Looking at the steps taken in many countries, it seems that - nine months into this - there is still a lot to learn, and certainly a need for proper leadership.
 

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