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Is it possible to avoid another lockdown?

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 WaterMonkey 29 Jun 2020

Is it at all possible that the UK can avoid a second full lockdown and second peak of infections?

When you look at daily new cases in Spain, Italy etc they are really low but here we still have 1-1.5k a day. 
The worldwide new cases are escalating out of control with nearly 200k a day.

Surely unless strict social distancing is actually adhered to it’s only a matter of time before we have to lockdown again?

I genuinely can’t see life getting back to normal for several years unless we can vaccinate everyone.

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 WaterMonkey 29 Jun 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

Yep, he’s shut all schools and non essential shops again and cancelled pubs reopening.

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In reply to WaterMonkey:

I think it could be longer than several years. I think this has changed life as we know it, knew it, for ever. And, don't count on an effective vaccine any time soon. Various medical treatments sound much more promising.

I don't think we've even begun to grasp the full worldwide economic devastation yet, and its multiple knock-on effects. 

High street shopping and most communal entertainments (e.g. cinema and theatre) could be badly damaged for ever, or for a very long time. This coming autumn/winter is obviously going to be critical for us to be able to gauge how it might all pan out.

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 Graeme G 29 Jun 2020
In reply to WaterMonkey:

> Is it at all possible that England can avoid a second full lockdown and second peak of infections?

FTFY

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-53192024

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 Kevin Woods 29 Jun 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

For a while I'd never realised how far Scotland had progressed until the zero-deaths days started being reported. Unfortunate the figures tend to be buried  in the Scot Gov website, it would be nice to see information with more analysis and transparency for Scotland. 

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In reply to Kevin Woods:

> For a while I'd never realised how far Scotland had progressed until the zero-deaths days started being reported. Unfortunate the figures tend to be buried  in the Scot Gov website, it would be nice to see information with more analysis and transparency for Scotland. 

Yes, I agree. I went looking for daily deaths and infections but failed to find records - only the most recent numbers seemed easy to find.

It is increasingly looking like closing the border to non-essential travel might become the sensible course of action at some point. Sturgeon does not seem top have ruled it out but I do wonder whether would be politically or legally possible.

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 baron 30 Jun 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Yes, I agree. I went looking for daily deaths and infections but failed to find records - only the most recent numbers seemed easy to find.

> It is increasingly looking like closing the border to non-essential travel might become the sensible course of action at some point. Sturgeon does not seem top have ruled it out but I do wonder whether would be politically or legally possible.

I can’t see Scotland having the physical presence to close its border nor the economic ability to sustain an economy isolated from England.

Unless, of course, Scotland was still expecting Westminster to fund it.

Politically, I think the SNP would love it.

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In reply to baron:

> I can’t see Scotland having the physical presence.........

What do you mean by that?

> ..........to close its border nor the economic ability to sustain an economy isolated from England.

I was imagining only closing the border to private travel, not commerce.

> Unless, of course, Scotland was still expecting Westminster to fund it.

If it were clearly the best thing for part of the UK, why shouldn't it?

> Politically, I think the SNP would love it.

If it kept the virus out, then yes.

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 waitout 30 Jun 2020
In reply to WaterMonkey:

it can be avoided but its unlikely it will because despite what the task forces try and do enough individuals wont take the most basic actions with their own behaviour and so collectively sabotage the whole.

all this was foreseen early on. 

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 baron 30 Jun 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

I can’t see how Scotland could physically police a closed border especially roads. Not without causing extreme chaos and delays affecting private and commercial transport. There must be a large number of people who travel across the border each day for work?

If Scotland can continue to receive funding to maintain a lockdown why can’t individual regions of the U.K.?

The SNP will do whatever it can to tweek the nose of the Westminster government whether or not it’s of benefit to the people of Scotland.

Post edited at 00:44
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In reply to baron:

> I can’t see how Scotland could physically police a closed border especially roads. 

Like many of the lockdown measures it could not and would not be rigorously enforced.

> If Scotland can continue to receive funding to maintain a lockdown why can’t individual regions of the U.K.?

Indeed why not?

> The SNP will do whatever it can to tweek the nose of the Westminster government whether or not it’s of benefit to the people of Scotland.

Or maybe they will do whatever is necessary to protect the interests of the people of Scotland.

Post edited at 00:49
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 StockportAl 30 Jun 2020
In reply to WaterMonkey:

One commentator in the Scotsman (I know, Scottish Torygraph) did point out that the matter of borders and border security is a reserved issue so the parliament in Holyrood have no powers to close their border with England, to attempt it could end up with Scottish ministers in front of judges.

There is clearly some public support for such a move among some north of the line on the map, and they are being vocal on the likes of twitter but I do wonder if it is just the echo chamber effect where dissenting voices, no matter how reasoned, are shouted down until only a populist clammer remains. I can only see such a move being highly divisive in an already divided country further deepening social and economic harm which started as our various parliaments and assemblies asking for a few weeks of our lives for the greater good but which more than 1/4 of a year later is still happening. 

I don't know which is best way to proceed, this is still a dangerous virus which causes possible long term harm to its survivors and has a high enough mortality rate to matter, especially as it kills across a broad range of ages and co-morbidities (or total lack of). Yes there is an obvious concentration in the older less fit portion of the population but having been told of people who were otherwise fit and healthy and in their 30s succumbing to it we have to continue to pay attention to it. The best course would be proper wide spread testing and contact tracing with contact testing not just sit and wait to see if any develop symptoms, something which we are still a long way short of.

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 baron 30 Jun 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

I think that Scotland, like other places such as the Isle of Man, has managed to almost eradicate Covid but will now struggle to emerge from lockdown without seeing an increase in infection rates.

Can parts of the Scottish economy - I’m thinking especially the tourist industry - survive much longer without many visitors?

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 waitout 30 Jun 2020
In reply to baron:

the Australia/NZ paradigm. cool we avoided it, but hang on.....

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In reply to baron:

> Can parts of the Scottish economy - I’m thinking especially the tourist industry - survive much longer without many visitors?

I don't know, but making do with domestic tourism within Scotland and life largely back to normal has got to be better than a second wave and another lockdown. Obviously England also eliminating the virus has got to be the preferable scenario though.

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 henwardian 30 Jun 2020
In reply to baron:

> Can parts of the Scottish economy - I’m thinking especially the tourist industry - survive much longer without many visitors?

The visitors are already returning, just in lower numbers just now. You can see caravans, campervans, groups of people with luggage, etc. So tourism is already restarting in a very limited way well ahead of any official announcements saying that is OK.

Also, in a more general reply to everyone else: The aim as far as I understand is to keep the R0 below 1 so the infections continue to recede with time. Nobody is aiming to avoid all infections because that isn't really possible - we have a target and all we need to do is stick to it to win in the medium term (and testing a LOT is the key to knowing how we are doing).

Full lockdown is not needed to keep R0 below 1, all we have to do is find out by trial and error (Leicester is a good current example of this) what level of restrictions are needed. So expect all sorts of measures to cycle in and out of use as the disease fluxes between receding and spreading and we fine-tune our society to maximise normality while still keeping R0 under 1. Having had the initial learning experience, the entire public, the entire civil service and all the other structures in the country now have the knowledge of how to recognise that things are going wrong and how best to respond to that. My prediction is that there will not be another gigantic outbreak (for Covid19 at least) like the first because systems are now in place to monitor and respond quickly to any sign that the disease is getting out of control again.

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 JLS 30 Jun 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Yes, I agree. I went looking for daily deaths and infections but failed to find records - only the most recent numbers seemed easy to find.

https://www.travellingtabby.com/scotland-coronavirus-tracker/

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 Kevin Woods 30 Jun 2020
In reply to baron:

Admit I find the just-a-region argument regarding Scotland a bit tiring. Region or otherwise, it seems like a cornerstone of the global solution has been controlling movement between areas with different rates. 

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 Kevin Woods 30 Jun 2020
In reply to JLS:

Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks. 

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 Toccata 30 Jun 2020
In reply to WaterMonkey:

Given there’s no restrictions on movement in the Leicester lockdown I can see it causing spread rather than preventing it. As a Leicester resident-colleague has just told me her and her friends are going for a night out in Nottingham this Saturday instead of Leicester as local pubs are staying closed. Hmm.

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In reply to WaterMonkey:

A few weeks ago someone in a shop told me to expect another lockdown .  

I didn't really conceived of it before then and didn't take it seriously.   

I really hope there isn't. But obviously if it's the consensus and needs to be done . I'll do my bit as I have so far. 

I'm just acutely aware of other people's situations.

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 DaveHK 30 Jun 2020
In reply to Kevin Woods:

>Unfortunate the figures tend to be buried  in the Scot Gov website, it would be nice to see information with more analysis and transparency for Scotland. 

As a local authority employee I get an email every day with this info and it's freely available on the Scottish govt website not 'buried'. Plus NS tends to give this info in the daily briefings.

So if you're not seeing it is probably lack of media coverage rather than lack of transparency.

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 DaveHK 30 Jun 2020
In reply to henwardian:

> My prediction is that there will not be another gigantic outbreak (for Covid19 at least) like the first because systems are now in place to monitor and respond quickly to any sign that the disease is getting out of control again.

​​​​​​This is my feeling too, although my faith in the UK Govt to do their part in this is pretty much non-existent. However, even without large scale Govt intervention I think a lot of systems and behaviours have probably changed sufficiently to avoid another outbreak requiring full lockdown.

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 Graeme G 30 Jun 2020
In reply to StockportAl:

I believe they have the power to quarantine though?

https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/explainers/coronavirus-and-devolution

So not really closing the border. But then it is ‘sort of’.

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 WaterMonkey 30 Jun 2020
In reply to All:

I've not posted or visited here for a while due to it seemingly becoming more and more hostile. I discovered this wasn't great for my mental health.

Now I've asked a simple question and it's got 3 dislikes. I'm curious how anyone can dislike a question?

Back on topic, even if Scotland (and other countries) eradicate the virus, with 200,000 (and growing) daily new cases worldwide surely it's only a matter of time before it takes hold again? 

If we relax quarantine rules to certain countries that will only work if those countries also have quarantine rules with the same countries we do. 

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 girlymonkey 30 Jun 2020
In reply to WaterMonkey:

So what do you propose we do then? Let it eradicate huge swathes of the population?

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 WaterMonkey 30 Jun 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

> So what do you propose we do then? Let it eradicate huge swathes of the population?

Not at all, I think we locked down too late and lifted restrictions too soon. I'm just curious what the future holds.

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 Graeme G 30 Jun 2020
In reply to WaterMonkey:

> I've not posted or visited here for a while due to it seemingly becoming more and more hostile. I discovered this wasn't great for my mental health.

IMO the internet is only good for 3 things; shopping, finding out stuff and being angry.

Given you asked for an opinion I’d suggest it’s inevitable you’re going to attract option number 3, as sad as that is.  Kevin Bridges does a wonderful sketch on why you shouldn’t indulge in social media.

https://www.vimeo.com/357172550

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 WaterMonkey 30 Jun 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

> Given you asked for an opinion I’d suggest it’s inevitable you’re going to attract option number 3,

It would be nice if they said what they were angry about, I might be able to help and calm them a bit!

Are they angry that I asked a question? 

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 DaveHK 30 Jun 2020
In reply to WaterMonkey:

> It would be nice if they said what they were angry about, I might be able to help and calm them a bit!

> Are they angry that I asked a question? 

Not everyone disliking is angry or even in disagreement with you, it's possible they're just disliking the notion of a second lockdown. 

Plus you didn't just ask a question you also expressed an opinion ( it’s only a matter of time before we have to lockdown again?) so maybe they're in disagreement with that?

Either way it's no big deal is it?

Post edited at 08:50
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 WaterMonkey 30 Jun 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

> Kevin Bridges does a wonderful sketch on why you shouldn’t indulge in social media.

That is a great sketch and so true

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 deepsoup 30 Jun 2020
In reply to WaterMonkey:

> Now I've asked a simple question and it's got 3 dislikes.

Don't worry about them, just turn them off.  'User Options' ^ up there, tick the box under the 'forums' tab.

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 Graeme G 30 Jun 2020
In reply to WaterMonkey:

> Are they angry that I asked a question?

Nah, you’ll never know. I think the internet is just a great place to be anonymous and say whatever you like without consequence. And we usually do that when we’re pissed off. So where do I go to be pissed off without anyone knowing I’ve made an arse of myself? The internet.

Don’t worry about it. You asked a perfectly reasonable question. You just have to accept whatever answers you might get.

Glad you like the sketch 😀

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 Jenny C 30 Jun 2020
In reply to Toccata:

> Given there’s no restrictions on movement in the Leicester lockdown I can see it causing spread rather than preventing it. As a Leicester resident-colleague has just told me her and her friends are going for a night out in Nottingham this Saturday instead of Leicester as local pubs are staying closed. Hmm.

Can't say I blame them, it's exactly what I'd do..... well no actually I wouldn't, but everyone is desperate for normality and if the rules say you can...

(travelling from a high risk area for your own gratification is the sort of selfish benefit you'd expect from a senior government advisor - and if its good enough for them why, shouldn't the general public follow their lead?) 

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 Tringa 30 Jun 2020
In reply to WaterMonkey:

> I've not posted or visited here for a while due to it seemingly becoming more and more hostile. I discovered this wasn't great for my mental health.

> Now I've asked a simple question and it's got 3 dislikes. I'm curious how anyone can dislike a question?

> Back on topic, even if Scotland (and other countries) eradicate the virus, with 200,000 (and growing) daily new cases worldwide surely it's only a matter of time before it takes hold again? 

> If we relax quarantine rules to certain countries that will only work if those countries also have quarantine rules with the same countries we do. 

You got three dislikes because liking or disliking a post is anonymous, so some can feel clever by disliking something without risking anyone asking them to explain. I have no problem with people disliking many posts, but, as you say, how can anyone dislike a question?

Agree about trying to control the virus. The 14 day self isolation is a joke. If flights get back to even a quarter of normal we will have thousands of people arriving every month and who is going to check they have self isolated? And this ignores that we allow the people to, after arriving at an airport, travel be any means, for any distance, to get to their self isolation accommodations.

I think we need to stop all non-essential travel into the UK. Imports and exports of goods - OK, but no one is going to die if they don't take a foreign holiday.

Dave

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 MikeSP 30 Jun 2020
 freeflyer 30 Jun 2020
In reply to MikeSP:

Well, there is this:

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/

And you can download the detailed UTLA and LTLA data files from the links provided. However the recently reported spike in Leicester is conspicuously missing from the data - it's just not there. It's frustrating, and makes me question whether they are keeping the publicly available data up to date, and indeed, if they know what they are doing! I think there may be an issue with pillar 2 data (private testing companies) at the moment.

Edit: typo

Post edited at 10:22
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 Harry Jarvis 30 Jun 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Yes, I agree. I went looking for daily deaths and infections but failed to find records - only the most recent numbers seemed easy to find.

Trends in daily data are available here as Excel downloads:

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-trends-in-daily-data/

> It is increasingly looking like closing the border to non-essential travel might become the sensible course of action at some point. Sturgeon does not seem top have ruled it out but I do wonder whether would be politically or legally possible.

There would be an interesting tension between elements of the tourism industry, which would want to welcome as many people as possible from England, and wider parts of society which would want to keep people away in order to maintain the progress that has been made. 

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 tom r 10:41 Tue
In reply to Jenny C:

To be fair, Dominic Cummings wasn't travelling somewhere to go on the piss with a load of other people. 

I really dislike the like feature, I turn it off. I wonder if in social media it has contributed to the non nuanced, black and white thinking.

Post edited at 10:47
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 MikeSP 10:46 Tue
In reply to freeflyer:

Thanks, it didn't have the local data in it last time I looked.

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 Jenny C 10:50 Tue
In reply to tom r:

My point was that our leaders aren't exactly being great role models.

No way I would be travelling if my city went back into lockdown and as for pubs no thanks, I've invested too much into adhering to restrictions to take what I feel are unnecessary risks now. 

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In reply to WaterMonkey:

I think we’re at a dangerous point in the covid 19 in this country, the economic Tsunami hasn’t arrived yet, we’ve come out of lockdown too early which means that when the second wave becomes something the government can’t ignore (which it will try do) a second lock down will become unworkable as the financial Tsunami hits.

•we’ve lost the “all in it together” because of the mishandling of the Cummings fiasco

•The government does not have enough credibility To call for lockdown 

•Financially we are no longer all in it together as low paid people begin to feel the bite so lockdown isn’t an option for them.

• The country is more divided between urban and rural and Scotland, Wales and England because of covid.

•The NHS can just about deal with it.


I think the government knows it made an almighty f£&&up of this, the government knows it doesn’t have the money to support another lock down plus because of a lack of credibility it will tank the economy for little benefit  on covid.

i think they will just go back to plan A 

they will advise the vulnerable to shelter (with some fig leaf of financial support) and the rest of us will be asked to carry on with 1m + which will be slowly abandoned  by us as a society and the government, in March 2021 One year on guess what, we’ll be back to herd immunity 😕

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In reply to jethro kiernan:

> I think we’re at a dangerous point in the covid 19 in this country, the economic Tsunami hasn’t arrived yet, we’ve come out of lockdown too early which means that when the second wave becomes something the government can’t ignore (which it will try do) a second lock down will become unworkable as the financial Tsunami hits.

> i think they will just go back to plan A 

> they will advise the vulnerable to shelter (with some fig leaf of financial support) and the rest of us will be asked to carry on with 1m + which will be slowly abandoned  by us as a society and the government, in March 2021 One year on guess what, we’ll be back to herd immunity 😕

Yup, and the current plan also seems to be allowing people to fly all over Europe again (quarantine less via the "airbridge" agreement) and re-opening crowded indoor spaces selling alcohol.....what could possibly go wrong?....

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 cb294 11:01 Tue
In reply to henwardian:

R, not R0

CB

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 jkarran 11:37 Tue
In reply to WaterMonkey:

> Is it at all possible that the UK can avoid a second full lockdown and second peak of infections?

Possible in a couple of ways, we can do better at shielding the most vulnerable to reduce the case fatality rate then resign ourselves to it wreaking utter havoc among the rest of us, covid deaths probably stay under 250k, the cost in disability will be appalling but frankly we'd just get used to it eventually. Alternatively we rapidly refine what we're doing to control spread and invest heavily in what works, sustain R reliably and significantly under 1 so the problem fades away over time giving us as much of normal life back and the economy running as is possible. We carry those mothballed businesses and which can't function reviewing that situation after the first wave of vaccines arrive. This requires us to free the economy up to conform to the new norm which will mean changing the support provided to individuals whose jobs have vanished or been placed into suspension. 

> Surely unless strict social distancing is actually adhered to it’s only a matter of time before we have to lockdown again?

Perhaps. We appear to have held it in check for several weeks with part measures. There is hope we can maintain a similar degree of freedom by emphasising the measures which work best and progressively relaxing those which don't or come with very high costs. I don't think we can put the virus on the back foot like this but we might be able to hold our own for what that's worth.

> I genuinely can’t see life getting back to normal for several years unless we can vaccinate everyone.

We'd be prudent to work on the on the assumption the vaccines won't work and even if they do they won't have significant impact well into 2022, we need to live with this for another 18 months minimum.

Having squandered our best chances at coming out of this comparatively well I think the suspect and long-term cheapest option will be another autumn 'lockdown', a significant re-tightening of control measures this time seriously targeting effective eradication in time for the Christmas holiday period (and flu season), at least if we plan for it this time some of the worst economic effects can be more effectively mitigated. It'll still be catastrophic but I fear necessary, I'll be very surprised if we actually manage to actively manage the virus into submission by finessing the rules to balance control against activity and freedom despite it being technically feasible.

jk

Post edited at 11:49
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 jkarran 11:49 Tue
In reply to baron:

> I think that Scotland, like other places such as the Isle of Man, has managed to almost eradicate Covid but will now struggle to emerge from lockdown without seeing an increase in infection rates.

That goes without saying, somewhere that has no active cases can only increase that by reconnecting with the world. It's also almost irrelevant. What actually matters is whether the introduced can be minimised efficiently and prevented from spreading without curtailing normal social and economic activity to the satisfaction of the electorate.

We can only dream of being in that position where a competent government leading a safe covid free nation can seek consent for a managed risk reward balance.

> Can parts of the Scottish economy - I’m thinking especially the tourist industry - survive much longer without many visitors?

If other sectors carry it in order that they may function normally, yes. Otherwise, no.

jk

Post edited at 11:50
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 freeflyer 13:12 Tue
In reply to cb294:

> R, not R0

Pedantically speaking, Re.

https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1891

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 Niceboy 14:55 Tue
In reply to WaterMonkey:

Given that closing the border between Scotland and England is unworkable in practice ( and possibly illegal), it can only be concluded that Ms Sturgeon is indulging in politicking by not ruling it out in future (no matter what she says about it being solely about health). By doing so she is really sending a dog whistle to the more extreme element of Scottish nationalists - as is evidenced by the 5000 people who have signed an online petition to have the border closed.

Looking around Europe, most countries are not trying to eliminate covid 19 as they realise that in order to do so would have a devastating effect on national economies; however, the SG seem now to be adopting elimination as its policy - indeed Sturgeon just yesterday taunted Johnson for only being interested in keeping the level of infection at a point that would ensure that the NHS would not be overwhelmed rather than elimination ( another blatant case of politicking by her). Can someone remind me when this change of policy happened as I seem to have missed that.

Do supporters of this border closing who cite the scenes in Bournmouth beach as evidence to stop people coming to Scotland really believe that these are the types of English people who tend to book holidays to come to Scotland? I don't think so.

I am concerned that mentions of closing borders simply panders to those in Scotland who already have anti-English feelings, giving them a  "lives matter" argument to indulge their xenophobia. ( and notice it is always stopping "the English" from coming in, you rarely hear it mentioning stopping the Welsh or the French etc as , of course, they would also be excluded under the border closing proposals.

Cue cries of, " there's no anti-English feeling in Scotland"! "I'ts all about saving lives" and " lives before money".

I am prepared to be roasted by the (many?) SNP supporters that post on here as I was when I moaned about the 5 mile for exercise in Phase 2 fiasco ( now being removed sooner than expected thank goodness).

PS As an aside can I just point out posters' use of the word, "eradicate". In epidemiological (sp?) terms: eradicating a virus means it no longer exists in nature. Only one virus affecting humans has ever been eradicated, smallpox I believe). I think what people really mean is, "eliminate" where there are no infections within a geographical area for a given length of time eg NZ for 24 days . Even to eliminate a virus requires quarantine and other restrictive health arrangements to stay in place for a long time -  NZ did for 24 days;however they had 2 cases as soon as they opened their borders - from the UK, of course!

Post edited at 15:01
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 Graeme G 15:02 Tue
In reply to Niceboy:

It’s very difficult to reply using neutral language, given your obviously slanted post.

They’re politicians. Why wouldn’t they politic?

Can you also add a link showing where she did she would close the border. I heard the interview and AFAIK she noted quarantining, a wholly different prospect.

Post edited at 15:30
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 cb294 15:02 Tue
In reply to freeflyer:

Re is barely used, normally R is used as shorthand if you are referring to the current, effective value.

R0 is of cause used, but is a different parameter.

CB

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 Naechi 15:36 Tue
In reply to Niceboy:

> Given that closing the border between Scotland and England is unworkable in practice ( and possibly illegal), it can only be concluded that Ms Sturgeon is indulging in politicking by not ruling it out in future

Missed that bit. Links please?

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 Niceboy 15:44 Tue
In reply to Graeme G:

Because every day she says "it's not about politics"?

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 Niceboy 15:48 Tue
In reply to Graeme G:

Surely quarantining is effectively closing the border - that seems to be how most commentators are reading this, including many of your, obvious, political persuasion. 

How else could you do it?

Post edited at 16:03
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 Graeme G 15:51 Tue
In reply to Niceboy:

> Surely quarantining is effectively closing the border, how else could you do it?

Create ‘air bridges’ for visitors from low infection areas? 

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 Niceboy 16:25 Tue
In reply to Graeme G:

But HOW would you screen / quarantine people coming up from England?

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 jkarran 16:36 Tue
In reply to Niceboy:

> But HOW would you screen / quarantine people coming up from England?

If we were actually intent on doing so we could for example require cross border travellers to have a recent test certificate or to undertake a test and leave tracing details at the border. We could in principal do this between regions with radically different infection levels elsewhere within Britain too though it may require legislation if it's to be enforceable since the government has lost the good will and trust of the public.

Obviously it's not perfect but as I've pointed out time and time again, we don't need perfect interventions, they just have to be practical and good enough.

In reality this is unlikely on the Scottish border for a number of reasons but it's not impractical.

jk

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 Niceboy 16:52 Tue
In reply to jkarran:

"require cross border travellers to have a recent test certificate or to undertake a test and leave tracing details at the border."

"but it's not impractical."?

Sorry, but it is completely impractical! 

Post edited at 16:54
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In reply to Niceboy:

> "require cross border travellers to have a recent test certificate or to undertake a test and leave tracing details at the border."

> "but it's not impractical."?

> Sorry, but it is completely impractical! 

No it isn't, because it's exactly what has been happening in Jersey for the past week or two. When you enter the island you have a choice of 'do 2 weeks quarantine' or 'take a test and leave contact details'.  They hit 0 active cases today.  If you give someone the choice between 'no/quarantined travel', or 'travel with testing' then they'll put up with it quite happily.

Post edited at 17:24
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 Kean 17:42 Tue
In reply to WaterMonkey:

Most chilling stat I've heard for a month or so. Evan Davies on R4 "PM" prog yesterday:

When Europe was going into lockdown, global cases were rising at 10,000 a day. They're now rising at 150,000 a day. 

Scary...sobering.

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 Niceboy 17:45 Tue
In reply to Toerag:

Seriously?

And how many vehicles come into Jersey every day compared with across the border from England into Scotland. How many possible routes are there into Jersey compared with into Scotland from England. How many people travel between Jersey and the UK for work compared between Scotland and England?

Where would you set up the control points on the Scotland/ England border as they have in Jersey? Who would man them , who would enforce breaches.

Didn't know they had a train link between Jersey and the UK, did Boris build that?! How do you deal with rail passengers?

PS There is even concerned that they won't be able to control the lockdown in one city, Leicester, never mind a country!

Post edited at 17:50
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 jkarran 17:55 Tue
In reply to Niceboy:

> Sorry, but it is completely impractical! 

It really isn't. It's totally abnormal I'll give you that. If you weren't already well used to the process you'd doubtless say the same about modern airport security screening. If we want to do it (we won't), we can.

Jk

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 Niceboy 18:11 Tue
In reply to jkarran:

Notice you haven't answered any of my questions! 

Just saying, "If we want to do it we can" is a cop-out, and we haven't even started to consider the effect on the Scottish economy of even trying to do this! 

PS They estimate 10000 vehicles cross the Scotland/ England border every day.

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 elsewhere 18:20 Tue
In reply to Niceboy:

Border controls within the UK probably relatively easy (ie still difficult!) compared to within USA where New York, New Jersey and Connecticut  trying to quarantine on those entering from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-53167780

The impractical and the unprecedented is the norm. Strange times.

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 jkarran 19:08 Tue
In reply to Niceboy:

> Notice you haven't answered any of my questions! 

You didn't ask me any. 

> Just saying, "If we want to do it we can" is a cop-out, and we haven't even started to consider the effect on the Scottish economy of even trying to do this! 

> PS They estimate 10000 vehicles cross the Scotland/ England border every day.

FFS, what's the point in me speculating about which service provider would get the contract, where the tents would go, what the enforcement measures would be or how digital certificates might be integrated with the rail pass system? It's all more than possible but as I said, I don't believe it'll happen for a number of reasons. I don't deny it would be disruptive but that's sort of the point of border restrictions!

Any negative impact on the Scottish economy, mostly in lost daytrips would be weighed against being able to reopen almost all of it in a near normal way behind the screen. 

Swings and roundabouts. 

Jk

Post edited at 19:11
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 Niceboy 19:26 Tue
In reply to jkarran:

" You didn't ask me any" .

Eh?

"Any negative impact on the Scottish economy, mostly in lost daytrips would be weighed against being able to reopen almost all of it in a near normal way behind the screen. 

Swings and roundabouts."

I give up!!! 

"

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 jkarran 19:49 Tue
In reply to Niceboy:

Question marks help draw attention to questions.

Jk

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In reply to jkarran:

A fun new game. Spot the question. I can't see it there.

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 neilh 09:25 Wed
In reply to jkarran:

How many road border crossings are there between England and Scotland?

How many people do you think you would need on a rolling 24 hour basis to monitor and enforce  those crossings?

How many harbours are there in Scotland? How many people do you think you are going to need at those harbours to enforce and monitor a border?

What occupations are you going to allow in and out? Say I am a nurse living in England who crosses the border to work. How are you going to allow me to do my job?

What exceptions are going to apply to the border control?( it is surprising how many exceptions there are on Uk's current quarntine list- including enginners and people with specialist technical skills).

It really is pretty easy to figure out that the concept  of a border quarantine cpapable of being enforced and more importnatly that does actually have an impact on the control of the virus does not stand upto scrutiny for two refions- England and Scotland - whiuch have been united /integrated as a county for a long time.

Even in Northern Ireland they would struggle.........

You could do it if you wanted, but it would be a pretty daft idea.

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In reply to neilh:

> You could do it if you wanted, but it would be a pretty daft idea.

I agree that it would be impractical to police and enforce a strict closure of the border. However, many of the measures we have been asked to take to contain covid have legally unenforceable or just requests for cooperation with guidelines. Yes, some people would ignore a request not to travel to Scotland for non-essential reasons, but enough might comply to keep the virus suppressed and allow life to get largely back to normal in Scotland in the event of England struggling to do so. 

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 neilh 11:15 Wed
In reply to Robert Durran:

Do you really honestly think with a virus that it is going to be back to near normal in Scotland?

Have recent global events of countrys and regions  going in and out of lockdown not punctured that idea.

I will have you a bet that in some food processing plant somewhere in Scotland at the moment there are certainly cases which could spin out.

Too much wishful thinking for me. Although I fully understand your view.

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 baron 11:40 Wed
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I agree that it would be impractical to police and enforce a strict closure of the border. However, many of the measures we have been asked to take to contain covid have legally unenforceable or just requests for cooperation with guidelines. Yes, some people would ignore a request not to travel to Scotland for non-essential reasons, but enough might comply to keep the virus suppressed and allow life to get largely back to normal in Scotland in the event of England struggling to do so. 

While I wish that was true I do fear for Scotland in the coming weeks.

The Internet is awash with motorhomers planning to invade all parts of Scotland beginning on Friday.

The more remote the area the better.

Wild camping everywhere, would could possibly go wrong?

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In reply to neilh:

> Do you really honestly think with a virus that it is going to be back to near normal in Scotland?

> Have recent global events of countrys and regions  going in and out of lockdown not punctured that idea.

We need to get back to as near normal as possible while containing the virus and snuffing out the inevitable outbreaks. Scotland is taking a more cautious approach and this seems to be putting us in a better position to do so than is the case south of the border. If the differing approaches produce a clear imbalance it would be a shame to let the greater short term personal and economic sacrifices in Scotland go to waste if this could be prevented by border restrictions. 

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In reply to baron:

> While I wish that was true I do fear for Scotland in the coming weeks.

> The Internet is awash with motorhomers planning to invade all parts of Scotland beginning on Friday.

Yes, the motorhome plague has become bad enough in a normal year. Add to that idiots queuing up to trash every lochside within a few hours drive of the central belt and it is a bit of a nighmare scenario.

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 Doug 13:40 Wed
In reply to neilh:

Elsewhere in Europe borders were shut for a while but with exceptions for those living one side of a boder but working the other & for essential trade. Maybe the UK could, for once, learn from elsewhere ?

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In reply to Niceboy:

> Seriously?

> And how many vehicles come into Jersey every day compared with across the border from England into Scotland. How many possible routes are there into Jersey compared with into Scotland from England. How many people travel between Jersey and the UK for work compared between Scotland and England?

> Where would you set up the control points on the Scotland/ England border as they have in Jersey? Who would man them , who would enforce breaches.

> Didn't know they had a train link between Jersey and the UK, did Boris build that?! How do you deal with rail passengers?

> PS There is even concerned that they won't be able to control the lockdown in one city, Leicester, never mind a country!


There are 21 roads crossing the border, 5 of which are A roads. Perfectly feasible to checkpoint them all, or to close some little ones and force traffic onto the A roads for checkpointing.

Flights - there aren't many, but could easily be tested. Rail passengers - the same.

work - if the situation is bad enough to throttle the border most people won't be working, or they accommodate themselves in the right country some of the time.

Enforcement - you amend/make laws to help. £1000 fine for breaking the rules? Wealthy people will take the risk. £10k fine plus £10k for the employer for whom they're travelling to work for like we have here will make people think twice.

It might be costly and a pain in the arse, but it absolutely can be done.  They think they might not be able to control Leicester because they're stuck in a 'we must have freedom' mindset.  These are extraordinary times requiring extraordinary measures.

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The notion of regional lockdowns or quarantines during a pandemic shouldn't be controversial at all!

Why on Earth are people getting their knickers in a twist about the idea Scotland could restrict travel for visitors from areas of much higher infection? Is it just people being desperate to see everything through a Scottish or UK Nationalist prism?

It could reasonably be done by or to any region. The existence of weak borders around the devolved nations just makes it a bit easier to do there, but if, say, Glasgow (or, indeed, Leicester) had a large increase in infections it might be reasonable to restrict travel from it to the rest of the country. Why play politics with it? It either makes sense or it doesn't, and there are apparently no plans to do it just now anyway! It would be disappointing if governments weren't considering the practicalities and usefulness of such options, surely?

Yes, it could be tricky to enforce - and some people would try to cheat it, some would succeed, and others would be caught and punished. Most laws work that way, don't they?!

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In reply to skog:

> The notion of regional lockdowns or quarantines during a pandemic shouldn't be controversial at all!

> Why on Earth are people getting their knickers in a twist about the idea Scotland could restrict travel for visitors from areas of much higher infection?

Janey Godley nails it: https://www.facebook.com/janeygodleyfanpage/videos/3340620802636738/UzpfSTE0Njc5MzIyNjk6MTAyMTcyNTU3MDY1MzI1MzY/

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 Alyson30 06:59 Thu
In reply to WaterMonkey:

I’ve said this before but the only sure solution is eradication of the virus. It is perfectly possible they’ve done it in NZ, in Cyprus, and about to do it in Scotland. The only thing to do is strict lockdown and then quarantine people on arrival.

When you speak to people most seem to have the idea that at some point the virus will go away on its own but I can’t see any guarantee of that happening. There is no reason to think it doesn’t become like the common cold except far deadlier.

Post edited at 07:08
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 girlymonkey 07:20 Thu
In reply to jkarran:

> Possible in a couple of ways, we can do better at shielding the most vulnerable to reduce the case fatality rate then resign ourselves to it wreaking utter havoc among the rest of us

People keep saying this, but it can't be done. If someone needs care, then the people providing that care live in the community. If the virus is at large in the community, it will rip through the most vulnerable parts of our society. You are not going to get enough care workers willing to shield alongside their clients! Community infections have to be controlled! (I know you carried on to give other much more productive suggestions, this is more a rant about people who are just proposing this as a solution)

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 Blunderbuss 07:36 Thu
In reply to Alyson30:

> I’ve said this before but the only sure solution is eradication of the virus. It is perfectly possible they’ve done it in NZ, in Cyprus, and about to do it in Scotland. The only thing to do is strict lockdown and then quarantine people on arrival.

Is this a joke?

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 Alyson30 08:07 Thu
In reply to Blunderbuss:

> Is this a joke?

No, just facts.

1) there is no guarantee whatsoever that Corona is going away on its own or that any vaccine or treatment will really work.

2) locally, eradication is perfectly possible, and in fact it’s not that hard to achieve.

Post edited at 08:13
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In reply to Robert Durran:

Janey Godley really should be taken on full time as communications officer.

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 Blunderbuss 08:51 Thu
In reply to Alyson30:

> No, just facts.

> 1) there is no guarantee whatsoever that Corona is going away on its own or that any vaccine or treatment will really work.

I agree

> 2) locally, eradication is perfectly possible, and in fact it’s not that hard to achieve.

The idea of 'sealing up the border' and driving down cases to zero is simply not realistic.

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 Alyson30 09:35 Thu
In reply to Blunderbuss:

> The idea of 'sealing up the border' and driving down cases to zero is simply not realistic.

Why ? I don’t see what is unrealistic with driving cases to zero and testing and quarantining people on arrival.. Just like several countries have done.

Seems a lot less unrealistic (and cheaper) to me than shutting down a third of the economy for ever.

Not only it is realistic but several countries have done it.

Post edited at 09:45
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 Blunderbuss 09:50 Thu
In reply to Alyson30:

How many countries in Europe are doing this or proposing it?

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In reply to skog:

> Janey Godley really should be taken on full time as communications officer.

Have you seen the interview where Sturgeon says what a fan she is of Godley and that she reinforces her own message better than she can do partly because she has to use more restrained language? I might try to find it later.

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 Naechi 10:02 Thu
In reply to Blunderbuss:

Most of them yes.

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 Blunderbuss 10:02 Thu
In reply to Naechi:

> Most of them yes.

Can you name them?

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 Alyson30 10:25 Thu
In reply to Blunderbuss:

> How many countries in Europe are doing this or proposing it?

Cyprus has done this. I don’t know about others.


You still haven’t explained why it’s unrealistic. What is the practical reason preventing us from doing that ? 

Post edited at 10:26
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 rogerwebb 10:38 Thu
In reply to skog:

> The notion of regional lockdowns or quarantines during a pandemic shouldn't be controversial at all!

> Why on Earth are people getting their knickers in a twist about the idea Scotland could restrict travel for visitors from areas of much higher infection? Is it just people being desperate to see everything through a Scottish or UK Nationalist prism?

> It could reasonably be done by or to any region. The existence of weak borders around the devolved nations just makes it a bit easier to do there, but if, say, Glasgow (or, indeed, Leicester) had a large increase in infections it might be reasonable to restrict travel from it to the rest of the country. Why play politics with it? It either makes sense or it doesn't, and there are apparently no plans to do it just now anyway! It would be disappointing if governments weren't considering the practicalities and usefulness of such options, surely?

> Yes, it could be tricky to enforce - and some people would try to cheat it, some would succeed, and others would be caught and punished. Most laws work that way, don't they?!

Well put.

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 MargieB 10:42 Thu
In reply to WaterMonkey:

Restore  confidence in disease control by making face coverings compulsory by law in retail outlets, and the queues for retail outlets. Transmission in a German town { Jena, I recall}  that used this method was reduced by 40% which is what we need now. We can't grind to a complete halt.

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In reply to Blunderbuss:

> How many countries in Europe are doing this or proposing it?

Guernsey, Jersey, IoM, Gibraltar, Montenegro (although they've opened up and imported cases now).  Monaco and Gibraltar also crushed their curves but are now forced to open by being in the EU.

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 jkarran 10:53 Thu
In reply to neilh:

> How many road border crossings are there between England and Scotland?

I don't know, I'd guess 30, 5 major roads. What does it matter, if you are screening it doesn't have to happen at the border, it just has to be a legal obligation that you have a recent (as determined by the relative risks across the border and virus behaviour) negative test, that you have reasonable expectation you may be challenged to prove that, that there is meaningful sanction and that for those who don't have a valid certificate there are efficient accessible test hubs on/near the border, also that traceability for result reporting in the event of a positive test at the border is a legal obligation.

This is not perfect but if we have to live like this for years it is possible and almost certainly sufficient (alongside ongoing vigilance and minor risk mitigation measures) to keep Scotland safe.

> How many people do you think you would need on a rolling 24 hour basis to monitor and enforce  those crossings?

A couple of hundred I'd guess including admin, more if it's not well integrated with the British T&T system and existing public health teams, some of the tasks (like checking certificates) can be pushed out to transport providers (trains, ferries, airliners). How many hospitality workers are sacked, furloughed or soon will be? What is the economic cost of a potentially covid safe (essentially covid free) Scotland, being shackled to England's disastrous 'pretend it's not happening' strategy over the next one, two, maybe more years if we're still maintaining thousands of infections, hundreds of deaths a day?

> How many harbours are there in Scotland? How many people do you think you are going to need at those harbours to enforce and monitor a border?

With significant regular border crossings I'd guess less than 10. Again, screening does not have to occur at the border, it only has to be a legal obligation (with real teeth) and ideally available near the border.

> What occupations are you going to allow in and out? Say I am a nurse living in England who crosses the border to work. How are you going to allow me to do my job?

All so long as they have valid certificate. There is no problem with frequent cross border work, it just necessitates a periodic test or exemptions may be pragmatically granted on a risk basis.

> What exceptions are going to apply to the border control?( it is surprising how many exceptions there are on Uk's current quarntine list- including enginners and people with specialist technical skills).

I don't really see any are needed except perhaps where the border is crossed for emergency work. For residents of border towns like Coldstream some sort of exemption would be pragmatic though alternatively any law could be drafted so as to enable low risk 'local' crossings. I don't claim it would be easy, only possible and potentially valuable.

> It really is pretty easy to figure out that the concept  of a border quarantine cpapable of being enforced and more importnatly that does actually have an impact on the control of the virus does not stand upto scrutiny for two refions- England and Scotland - whiuch have been united /integrated as a county for a long time.

If those two regions have radically divergent outcomes resulting from notably different policies the cost benefit balance shifts and the politics change too. Johnson doesn't need Scottish seats but Labour desperately does, it's easy to see them standing with the SNP to highlight the disparity of approach, and outcome, to shame Johnson's government into retreat. It's emotive stuff, people choking to death because our government is inadequate. It'll be hard to overlook in '24 if the crisis drags on.

I don't pretend it would be cheap, easy or universally popular. I'm sure it wouldn't. I can see though that it would be technically possible and that if we remain on divergent paths it may become politically deliverable, necessary even despite intense resistance from Johnson's government.

> Even in Northern Ireland they would struggle.........

There's no 'even' about it, closing NI's border has clear additional difficulties but again, if the covid situation radically diverged across the border over a sustained period of time then the politics and the cost benefit balance change, perhaps sufficiently to make the currently unthinkable temporarily tolerable.

> You could do it if you wanted, but it would be a pretty daft idea.

Currently I agree it doesn't make much practical sense though it makes for good Scot's nationalist politics having such a sharp demarcation between Sturgeon's safe Scotland and Johnson's mess. However, if we in England still don't have a handle on this by autumn and Scotland still does then it quickly starts looking less daft with Christmas, New Year, ski season and the '21 summer tourist season looming.

jk

Post edited at 11:06
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 Alyson30 11:27 Thu
In reply to neilh:

> How many road border crossings are there between England and Scotland?

I reckon about 5/6 major ones, 40 minor ones ?

> How many harbours are there in Scotland? How many people do you think you are going to need at those harbours to enforce and monitor a border?

> What occupations are you going to allow in and out? Say I am a nurse living in England who crosses the border to work. How are you going to allow me to do my job?

Not a bid deal to have high frequency tests for the very few cross border workers.

> It really is pretty easy to figure out that the concept  of a border quarantine cpapable of being enforced and more importnatly that does actually have an impact on the control of the virus does not stand upto scrutiny for two refions- England and Scotland - whiuch have been united /integrated as a county for a long time.

Actually no it’s not that easy to figure out. Economic integration can continue all the same nobody is talking about stopping freight or trade. 

> You could do it if you wanted, but it would be a pretty daft idea.

You haven’t explained why it’s daft.

Seems pretty sensible.

Scotland is close to eradicating the virus. The benefit of being able to lift all restrictions in Scotland at the price of asking people who visit  from outside to quarantine pending a negative test result is quite small.

Here in Cyprus that’s exactly what they have done. Lockdown was extremely strict for two months, all arrivals put in isolation in hotels, people who tested positive put ankle bracelet, the result is that we are virtually covid-free and nearly everything can function as normal.

It was tough at first but totally worth it.

It can work only if you’re doing at the scale of a small country or region. I don’t think you could do that at U.K. level, it’s just too big.

But split this up, decentralise the approach, and we’ll get somewhere.

Post edited at 11:33
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 Devonr28 11:54 Thu
In reply to WaterMonkey:

Just don't do it. Simple

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 baron 12:13 Thu
In reply to Alyson30:

> I reckon about 5/6 major ones, 40 minor ones ?

> Not a bid deal to have high frequency tests for the very few cross border workers.

> Actually no it’s not that easy to figure out. Economic integration can continue all the same nobody is talking about stopping freight or trade. 

> You haven’t explained why it’s daft.

> Seems pretty sensible.

> Scotland is close to eradicating the virus. The benefit of being able to lift all restrictions in Scotland at the price of asking people who visit  from outside to quarantine pending a negative test result is quite small.

> Here in Cyprus that’s exactly what they have done. Lockdown was extremely strict for two months, all arrivals put in isolation in hotels, people who tested positive put ankle bracelet, the result is that we are virtually covid-free and nearly everything can function as normal.

> It was tough at first but totally worth it.

> It can work only if you’re doing at the scale of a small country or region. I don’t think you could do that at U.K. level, it’s just too big.

> But split this up, decentralise the approach, and we’ll get somewhere.

How’s the Cypriot tourist industry doing?

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 neilh 12:25 Thu
In reply to Alyson30:

I would love to see a map of England which shows the areas which have similar low infection rates as per Scotland.You can get an idea of those area on the Covid app which have low rates.

We should have border crossings there as well whilst we are at it.

Shropshrie looks ripe for a sutiable border.Norfolk as well.Copeland. Etc etc.

Post edited at 12:31
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In reply to Robert Durran:

No, but I can easily believe it!

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 Blunderbuss 13:59 Thu
In reply to Toerag:

> Guernsey, Jersey, IoM, Gibraltar, Montenegro (although they've opened up and imported cases now).  Monaco and Gibraltar also crushed their curves but are now forced to open by being in the EU.

So no major nation such as ours that used to handle tens of millions of air passengers every year...

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 Blunderbuss 14:15 Thu
In reply to Alyson30:

> Cyprus has done this. I don’t know about others.

> You still haven’t explained why it’s unrealistic. What is the practical reason preventing us from doing that ? 

So you think every major nation such as the UK should in effect seal up its borders indefinitely? Have you actually thought this through....

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 jkarran 14:37 Thu
In reply to Blunderbuss:

> So you think every major nation such as the UK should in effect seal up its borders indefinitely? Have you actually thought this through....

Border screening (and to a lesser extent quarantine) does not equate with closing, it's a way of keeping borders open while managing risk.

jk

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 jkarran 14:42 Thu
In reply to neilh:

The King's College covid app certainly provides that data to app users, possibly to everyon. Have a browse, it's in there somewhere https://covid.joinzoe.com/data

I get the point you're making about the somewhat arbitrary nature of borders but it's futile pretending there isn't a potentially quite useful one across the top of England.

jk

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 Blunderbuss 14:43 Thu
In reply to jkarran:

> Border screening (and to a lesser extent quarantine) does not equate with closing, it's a way of keeping borders open while managing risk.

> jk

The other dude said 'quarantine'..........it's totally bonkers.

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 jkarran 15:28 Thu
In reply to Blunderbuss:

> The other dude said 'quarantine'..........it's totally bonkers.

Quarantine could just be holding for a negative test certificate, potentially a day at home, at work or on the road, or it could be 2 weeks in an alarmed hotel room with guards. One allows quite a lot of fairly safe border porosity, the other rather less freedom in exchange for rather more security. Few places have stuck with the latter approach even where it's been tried, it isn't really proportionate.

Border screening can be lighter still while remaining worthwhile. Ditch the holding period, test everyone who doesn't have a recent certificate then let everyone not obviously symptomatic through. Oblige travellers to be contactable, advise or require they minimise contact until the result comes back. Trace and isolate covid positive travellers and their subsequent contacts asap after identification.

Lighter still: online self declarations with screening questions (as face to face health services currently do) and maybe IR fever checks (widely used elsewhere). Trigger swab/spit tests for suspect responses and for a random fraction. Prosecute for inaccurate declarations or failure to declare.

How 'bonkers' any particular mitigation strategy is would be measured not just by what it costs but by what it achieves.

Airline security screening might seem 'bonkers' if air travel were always as safe as it now is, if the significant cost and disruption everyone pays and endures today wasn't a price paid for the safety we can now take for granted. Would the industry be more or less profitable if hijackings were still as common as they were in the 70s even after the cost of ongoing screening is considered? I'm not sure but as not everything has a simple £ price we accept it in exchange for peace of mind.

jk

Post edited at 15:33
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 Alyson30 16:23 Thu
In reply to Blunderbuss:

> So you think every major nation such as the UK should in effect seal up its borders indefinitely? Have you actually thought this through....

Not it's not nice indefinitely which is exactly why you need to get rid of the virus. And the only sure way to do that beyond vaccines is the good old tried and tested quarantine.
 

The more countries get rid of the virus the more we'll be able to have international travel. 

Post edited at 16:29
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 Alyson30 16:28 Thu
In reply to Blunderbuss:

> The other dude said 'quarantine'..........it's totally bonkers.

That is exactly what they have done in Cyprus,.
The government put people up for free in mandatory isolation in 5 star luxury hotel rooms whilst they were waiting for their test result. Nobody complained!

Given that there are no tourists it's a pretty good use of hotel space and helped preserve some jobs. 

That seems a lot less bonkers an approach to me than trying to live with a deadly virus around permanently. I much prefer being able to walk around and do what I want than to suffer on and off lockdowns for years to come.
 

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 Alyson30 16:33 Thu
In reply to Blunderbuss:

> So no major nation such as ours that used to handle tens of millions of air passengers every year...

How many passengers are there now? I bet It's down at least 90%. You're not going to so much travel if the virus is rife in the country.

Moreover, I don't think foreign business trips and foreign travel is the main priority people have right now. 

Post edited at 16:33
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 Alyson30 16:36 Thu
In reply to baron:

> How’s the Cypriot tourist industry doing?

Very badly but actually starting to reopen with other countries that have gained control over the virus and with quick testing in airports.

But at least everything else works and had very few deaths.  Anyway moving away from the economy from dependency on tourism isn't a bad thing in my view.

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 Blunderbuss 17:25 Thu
In reply to Alyson30:

Right, so why are no other major European countries planning to implement your idea....does this not tell you something...or have they all got it wrong?

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 Alyson30 18:43 Thu
In reply to Blunderbuss:

> Right, so why are no other major European countries planning to implement your idea....does this not tell you something...or have they all got it wrong?

Well, rather, evidently yes.

Several countries adopted a fatalistic approach to some degree, the most fatalistic approaches in the U.K. and US have resulted in very large numbers of deaths.

Those who toke early radical actions succeeded in virtually eradicating the virus and are now in a better place by far.

Eradication at the global level is impossible. But locally it seems very feasible.

Post edited at 18:50
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In reply to Blunderbuss:

> Right, so why are no other major European countries planning to implement your idea....does this not tell you something...or have they all got it wrong?


Yes, because they took the view that many have done - 'you'll never get rid of the virus', when the converse is true - it's easy to get rid of if you actually try.  Or they reacted too slowly and it got beyond test&trace. Or they thought their populations wouldn't cope with a proper lockdown and didn't do one.  However, they're now realising that they can't let it continue on in the community because the restrictions required to do that don't let the hospitality industry function either at all or profitably. Nightclubs,  bars, concerts, festivals, gigs, contact sport, sports events with fans attending, schools etc can't open or happen at all. Everything else able to open (restaurants, parties, dance classes, etc.) requires social distancing and is either unprofitable or not worth doing.  When the virus is in the wild people will voluntarily stay at home (as witnessed just before UK lockdown) and the economy fails regardless of what the government say you can do.  The capacity of the healthcare system is so low compared to the population that it takes so long to get herd immunity without overwhelming it that either too many people die, or too many businesses run out of reserves and go bust, or the government can't afford to bail out the economy. UK population is 40% obese, 20% elderly plus ??% medical conditions.  You can't infect the majority of the population on a herd immunity quest without killing loads of those people or giving them long term health issues.  You can't say the vulnerable should shield and let everyone else get infected because there's simply too much interaction with their carers who will get infected when they go home at night, and too many shielders not working kills the economy.

USA - didn't crush the curve hard enough and opened up with too much virus in the community. Because they (and the UK) haven't crushed the curve enough they're stuck between a rock and a hard place. They can't lift restrictions because their first wave simply carries on where it left off (Texas, Arizona, Florida now), and they can't restrict people hard enough for long enough to get the level of infection down to a point where they can open up with working test & trace. They need to stop travel between states and perhaps counties to allow T&T to work properly and create a togetherness in each state.

  Countries don't have to stay locked down indefinitely. They expand their safe bubble with other countries at the same stage. Guernsey & IoM are now bubbling together with no travel restrictions between them.  Various EU countries are opening up to other countries which pose no higher risk than what they already have in their own country.  All the time you still allow people who really need to travel to do so under quarantine - those moving for jobs, returning students etc. will do it. Those needing to do an urgent essential job are in and out with no contact, or quarantined onsite. If you quarantine people for 7 days then test them you'll pick up virtually all the people infected before travel, and 80% of those infected during travel. That's enough to let test&trace work as the number of cases getting through is such a small percentage - 20% of those who happened to be infected whilst travelling, who in turn are a small percentage if masks are worn.  Quarantine only disrupts holidays, and holidays aren't essential. People didn't go on holiday for 5 years in ww2.

If you polled the UK at the start of March and offered them a proper lockdown in return for being back to normal by the end of May and half the number of deaths, or the current situation; what do you think they'd choose?

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 Blunderbuss 05:06 Fri
In reply to Toerag:

So just to be clear no other major European nations are following this 'eradicate' and 'quarantine' policy....

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In reply to Alyson30:

>The government put people up for free in mandatory isolation in 5 star luxury hotel rooms whilst they were waiting for their test result.

You sure about this?  The first batch of quarantined individuals were deposited in the Troodos and Rodon hotels iirc, both of which would probably struggle to rank as 3 star.

> Nobody complained!

Some people definitely did.

[Edit] Just had a quick shufty at the other hotels used - look mostly to be 3 star.  I didn't check them all, so maybe there's a few better ones in the list. Probably not totally relevant to your argument, just being pedantic (it's what I do).

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 Alyson30 07:01 Fri
In reply to Andy Gamisou:

Haha sure maybe not all of them, I just know about a few ones. my point is simply that it seemed to have worked pretty well and quarantining arrivals to varying degree in perfectly possible.

Locally eradication seem very possible to me, in fact this is the stated objective of the Scottish government and according to their scientific advice they are only - hopefully - a few weeks away from it. The issue will be imported infection. Asking people to show a negative test on arrival or to isolate isn’t impossible .

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 wbo2 07:43 Fri
In reply to Blunderbuss:I rather think most other European countries did do a version of limiting border travel?  Very strictly if you refer to Norway, Denmark, Germany, others I have less experience of.  The UK is the outlier

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In reply to wbo2:

> I rather think most other European countries did do a version of limiting border travel?  Very strictly if you refer to Norway, Denmark, Germany, others I have less experience of.  The UK is the outlier

I think Germany is strict, they do love a rule to follow there, but i get the impression Norway and Denmark have been strict by name, not so much by nature. Plus now they've exited their lockdown they've got post lock down fever and gone feral, completely forgetting they should still be social distancing. 

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 Blunderbuss 08:24 Fri
In reply to wbo2:

I am on about now.....no major European nations are following the 'eradication' and 'quarantine' policy that Alyson30 thinks we should now follow.

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In reply to Blunderbuss:

> I am on about now.....no major European nations are following the 'eradication' and 'quarantine' policy that Alyson30 thinks we should now follow.

Whilst the mantra has been 'saving lives' it's only really in the sense that the spread has been slowed so that if a person needs a hospital bed there is one free for them. Flattening the curve, but extending duration. 

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 elsewhere 09:02 Fri
In reply to summo:

> Whilst the mantra has been 'saving lives' it's only really in the sense that the spread has been slowed so that if a person needs a hospital bed there is one free for them. Flattening the curve, but extending duration. 

You keep saying this and I keep saying you are wrong. For countries with the disease under control it will take a thousand* years for the whole population to be infected. If most of the population never get infected you save lives.

*divide the  population by the number infected per day for an estimate, reduce by a fudge factor for undetected infections.

Difficult to calculate for NZ as you can end up with an infinity.

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 Alyson30 09:02 Fri
In reply to Blunderbuss:

> I am on about now.....no major European nations are following the 'eradication' and 'quarantine' policy that Alyson30 thinks we should now follow.

Which is exactly why they are in a whole load of shit, and New Zealand, Cyprus and others who took early radical action and strong quarantine measure are Covid free.

The reason large centralised countries can’t do it is purely political. 

BTW, elimination is the stated objective of the Scottish government and they are actually only weeks away from it.

You still haven’t managed to come up with any convincing reason as to why this would be impossible. Your only argument is that large countries haven’t done it, so it just be impossible, which isn’t a good argument at all as they are all struggling.

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 Blunderbuss 09:10 Fri
In reply to Alyson30:

Which countries in Europe are in a whole world of shit?

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 Alyson30 09:14 Fri
In reply to Blunderbuss:

> Which countries in Europe are in a whole world of shit?

France, UK, Italy, Spain..  all still have new cases. 

And please answer the question: what makes you think eradication is impossible locally. We know this isn’t true as this has been achieved elsewhere, but I’d like to hear at least one convincing argument.

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 Blunderbuss 09:24 Fri
In reply to Alyson30:

Germany has new cases in the hundreds every day.....are they in a 'world of shit'?

Define locally and I'll give you an answer.

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 Alyson30 09:28 Fri
In reply to Blunderbuss:

> Germany has new cases in the hundreds every day.....are they in a 'world of shit'?

Well pretty much yes, in order to keep those cases in the hundreds they must maintain social distancing.

> Define locally and I'll give you an answer.

Well it depends. Whatever administrative unit you can reasonably manage. So it could be a french or English Region, or Scotland, or smaller countries like New Zealand, or Cyprus.

Post edited at 09:34
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 Blunderbuss 09:41 Fri
In reply to Alyson30:

So 'whole world of shit' = social distancing.....ok

How would say London drive cases down to zero whilst the rest of the UK doesn't....would you be quarantining people travelling into London from outside the M25 as well as anyone flying in from abroad?

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In reply to Alyson30:

> Haha sure maybe not all of them, I just know about a few ones. my point is simply that it seemed to have worked pretty well and quarantining arrivals to varying degree in perfectly possible.

Yup.  Let's see how it evolves now they've started letting those damn dirty tourists ;-)

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 Alyson30 09:53 Fri
In reply to Blunderbuss:

> So 'whole world of shit' = social distancing.....ok

> How would say London drive cases down to zero whilst the rest of the UK doesn't....would you be quarantining people travelling into London from outside the M25 as well as anyone flying in from abroad?

Well, yes, in principle.


And we are already asking asking people coming from abroad to quarantine for 14 days.

Post edited at 09:55
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 Blunderbuss 09:56 Fri
In reply to Alyson30:

You're mad.....or on a wind up.

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 Alyson30 09:57 Fri
In reply to Blunderbuss:

> So 'whole world of shit' = social distancing.....ok

Not being able to see friends and family, colleagues, etc etc yes I call this pretty much a world of shit.

This isn’t sustainable long term.

I personally much prefer a strict lockdown for 6-10 weeks instead of living in this dystopian semi-lockdown state for years.

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In reply to elsewhere:

You make a few presumptions which I'll go with in part. I think it's probably more widespread than thought, countries which do more testing also keeping funding more cases etc.. not just those severe or needing care. Plus keeping the r rate low does to an extent involve countries not functioning and some countries populations (uk) don't appear to be able to strike a balance between full lock down and going wild, so UK r rate will likely rocket in July. 

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 jkarran 10:41 Fri
In reply to summo:

> Whilst the mantra has been 'saving lives' it's only really in the sense that the spread has been slowed so that if a person needs a hospital bed there is one free for them. Flattening the curve, but extending duration. 

Nonsense.

This is only true where the disease can't be eradicated by denying it hosts and or where there is no hope of effective future medical intervention.

Local eradication followed by effective suppression of imported cases clearly is possible. Under these conditions most people will in the course of a normal life never meet the virus. 

Six months in effective treatments are already being found, survival rates increasing. Vaccines are already in human trials, more candidates are behind them in the pipeline. 

You're a bright guy, I have no idea why you keep repeating this.

Jk

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 freeflyer 11:04 Fri
In reply to freeflyer:

> Well, there is this:

> And you can download the detailed UTLA and LTLA data files from the links provided. However the recently reported spike in Leicester is conspicuously missing from the data - it's just not there. It's frustrating, and makes me question whether they are keeping the publicly available data up to date, and indeed, if they know what they are doing! I think there may be an issue with pillar 2 data (private testing companies) at the moment.

This morning there's an update notice on the site which says: "

The methodology for reporting positive cases changed on 2 July 2020 to remove duplicates within and across pillars 1 and 2, to ensure that a person who tests positive is only counted once. Due to this change, and a revision of historical data in pillar 1, the cumulative total for positive cases is 30,302 lower than if you added the daily figure to yesterday’s total.

Numbers of lab-confirmed positive cases throughout this website now include those identified by testing in all settings (pillars 1 and 2)."

They are also providing postcode-level data to the local authorities. So someone has applied the 10,000 volts to the DHSC data processing department. Maybe we aren't totally incompetent after all.

Leicester had 4 cases yesterday, down from an average of 20-30 a day during June. Seems like there wasn't a spike though, from a quick look at the data, more a generally high level of transmission which didn't slow down.

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 elsewhere 11:20 Fri
In reply to summo:

> You make a few presumptions which I'll go with in part. I think it's probably more widespread than thought, countries which do more testing also keeping funding more cases etc.. not just those severe or needing care. Plus keeping the r rate low does to an extent involve countries not functioning and some countries populations (uk) don't appear to be able to strike a balance between full lock down and going wild, so UK r rate will likely rocket in July. 

The highest rate of infection I'm aware of is 42% for locals of Ischgl so an estimate on upper limit for those infected is 1.5 undetected for each detected without exceeding 100% infected in Ischgl.

I think the UK is 9% infected (ONS sampling general population) so preventing the UK going up to Ischgl levels has saved (42/9-1)*60,000=220,000 deaths (fag packet estimate).

Putting that another way the early estimate of 1% fatalities has been correct for the UK.

65,000/(0.09*67,000,000)=1% (excess deaths/number of people infected)

What will happen in July?

I don't know.

If we repeat the cluster-expletive that is Leicester, detect something and then wait a two* or three weeks until we have an outbreak we will do badly.

The good news posted by freeflyer is that local authority figures are now published so local authority and local press can inform the public they need to do something different before a lockdown is required. It's criminal that it's taken the Leicester outbreak for this data to be published.

*https://www.newscientist.com/article/2237475-covid-19-news-app-identified-leicester-as-a-virus-hotspot-weeks-ago/

If we clamp down on single** figure clusters before they become outbreaks I think we will do well.

**https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-53248166

Post edited at 11:41
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In reply to elsewhere:

The ski resort had an intense few weeks... but I'm not sure how the spread will differ with many months of pretend lockdown. 

For most theories we won't know exactly how accurate they are or how it has spread for some time and can hopefully then be better prepared for the next. 

Blanket testing would be the only way, but then you'd need better tests etc. I'm sure they'll come as it ties in with research towards longer term immunity and even a possible vaccine. 

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 wbo2 12:10 Fri
In reply to summo:Norwegian lockdown was never as strict as some, but was well followed all the same.  But most businesses,  shops took actions.  The advantages of a relatively low population but also a government that acted promptly and earned trust through that.

 Ain't seen no feral yet, but that may just be the media in jealous Sweden? 

We've almost eliminated the infection locally 🙂🙂

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 elsewhere 12:31 Fri
In reply to summo:

> The ski resort had an intense few weeks... but I'm not sure how the spread will differ with many months of pretend lockdown. 

> For most theories we won't know exactly how accurate they are or how it has spread for some time and can hopefully then be better prepared for the next. 

> Blanket testing would be the only way, but then you'd need better tests etc. I'm sure they'll come as it ties in with research towards longer term immunity and even a possible vaccine. 

None of which suggests that the disease can't be suppressed reducing the death toll as most people don't get infected. 

Imagine how stupid a country would look to let the disease run it's course only for a vaccine to be discovered later or for other countries to suppress the disease indefinitely and open up the economy with fewer casualties.

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