The announcement from Grant Shapps last week regarding travel is a start, and with Portugal’s dependence on tourism, especially from the UK, a very welcome one.
Politicians and scientists don’t always agree (but you can easily find one that thinks your way) but banning people from traveling, restricting night life, as well as how many people can be in a bar or restaurant is causing enormous economic damage. It’s also not consistent, did you see how many people were at Wembley, shoulder to shoulder, no masks, no social distancing. The British Grand Prix at Silverstone next week will be full capacity, 140,000 spectators, but you can’t buy a beer at the local bar or only have a limited number of people at the table in the local restaurant.
Of course, it all depends on who you are. According to The Telegraph, “Michael Gove was able to avoid self isolation after being "pinged" by NHS Test & Trace, because Downing Street was selected as one of the organisations to join a Government pilot scheme”.
There are always exceptions, for the select few
“In May, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster was contacted by track and trace after he returned from a trip to Portugal to watch the Champions League Final. However, he was able to avoid isolation because he was one of 40,000 people who were included in a Daily Contact Testing Study”.
According to the Mail on Sunday, a Cabinet Office spokesman confirmed that No 10 had signed up to the scheme and as a result Mr Gove was covered under that. Strange that few people knew about this ‘scheme’, obviously it was just for the select few.
Tourism in Portugal is being decimated
The damage being done to the tourism industry in Portugal, from the smallest bar to the largest hotel, is devastating. Perhaps politicians are beginning to realise that Covid is here to stay, it can be controlled by vaccines, but not everybody wants one. The use of masks helps, so does sensible behaviour such as respecting social distancing is all positive, but it’s becoming very evident that you can’t completely stamp out Covid. It’s here to stay, and perhaps for a long time. Flu vaccines helped reduce deaths and hospitalisation, but the flu is still with us.
A lady interviewed by the BBC on her return from the Algarve said she was greatly impressed by the behaviours of the Portuguese people who seemed, by and large, to respect the conditions in place for our protection. She said she was ashamed of the British. I am far from sure that from 19 July 19 that British people will ‘use common sense’, but Boris confirmed on Monday, 12 July, that this is his recommended way forward. Please note he did reserve the right to change his mind in September.
Two jabs and you are good to go
The new plans to allow travel if you have been vaccinated twice will help, but there is still endless political wrangling about what certificate is acceptable. The EU seems to be making quite good progress, but the USA has over 50 different certificates, each state has its own rules. IATA has been trying to implement a common standard for all travellers, but that hasn’t yet succeeded. It’s available to download for your smartphone, but airlines are still only at the stage of testing, and governments have not yet officially accepted the vaccine passport. Only last week there were objections to the Indian manufactured Oxford vaccine. Why? Nobody has an answer to that. Portugal has launched an online digital passport which is compatible with the EU guidelines. www.theportugalnews.com/news/2021-07-09/covid-19-passport-app-now-available/60922 If you live in Portugal, it would be wise to get your ‘digital passport’ as you may now be required to show it at certain establishments. www.theportugalnews.com/news/2021-07-12/the-new-covid-19-rules-explained/61027
London Heathrow is testing fast-track lanes for fully vaccinated holidaymakers if you are arriving from amber list countries.
Passengers would be able to digitally upload their vaccination certificates in advance of their flight and then be directed to separate lanes at immigration to fast-track them through border controls and prevent queues. If they can make this work, other airports will surely implement the same idea. As long as politicians are not allowed to interfere, it might just work. As far as UK politicians are concerned, don’t hold your breath, Boris and Co clearly have done everything to try and keep the British at home. Only a week ago they were trying to stop the new relaxed two jab plan from coming into effect, but Grant Shapps seems to have achieved bring this forward to 19 July.
Since his announcement, holiday bookings have boomed. Skyscanner reported that searches for flights to holiday destinations went up by 51 percent within one hour. Low cost airline easyJet has added around 16,000 seats on flights between Portugal and the UK in response to the strong demand for travel to the country.
Covid is not going away, learn to live with it
We have to be realistic; the time has come to accept that we have to learn to live with Covid, it’s going to be around for a long time, though hopefully well under control by the vaccines. The vast majority of research says they are at least 90 percent effective. If you haven’t had your jab yet, get it!
Believe the anti vax campaigners if you must, but the BBC published a good assessment ‘What's behind the 'anti-vax' movement?’. www.bbc.com/news/health-33774181 It might help you reach an informed decision.
We've always learnt to live with a bad flu.
So what's new ?
By Sandy from UK on 13 Jul 2021, 11:00
What is the procedure to be followed by the substantial minority ( especially of age over 65) who, by choice. do not possess an i-phone ?
By Roberto Cavaleiro from Other on 13 Jul 2021, 12:19
Doesn't anyone think this is going a bit too far here? The world has really gone mad. Everything is apparently allowed. Ethics and morality are thrown overboard, physical integrity and privacy are abolished. All this in less than a year and a half for a virus that most people do not die from and often do not even get sick.
By Pedro from Lisbon on 13 Jul 2021, 12:35
The author has been spreading propaganda for weeks.
Just because people don't want to take an experimental vaccine, that has only received emergency use authorisation in the USA,doesn't make them an anti vaxxar.
The author has been encouraging Opening everything up for months and the result is the Delta variant sweeping Portugal.
The author needs to learn to write informed unbiased articles,to even have a chance to regain any credibility he may have left.
This so called newspaper has become gutter press.
By James from Algarve on 13 Jul 2021, 12:54
covid is a mild flu with a 99.8% recovery rate. Corrupt politicians are stealing all the power they can while they lockdown the citizens, put businesses out of business, make you wear an unhealthy mask etc.
Politicians never missed a paycheck but force citizens to not work. That's why we elected them. Right?
By rodric reese from USA on 13 Jul 2021, 13:16
‘What's behind the 'anti-vax' movement?’. www.bbc.com/news/health-33774181 It might help you reach an informed decision.
Nice try Paul.
The BBC has never ever printed a global unbiased report in its history.
'We're British sweetie, we print what we like!'
By Love Steve from Alentejo on 13 Jul 2021, 13:33
This is an attempt at "normalization". If you love propaganda, Paul is your type of guy. If you like freedom, please stand up for it before it's too late
By Latoysha Adams from USA on 13 Jul 2021, 15:02
Big Businesses like MEO, Sonae, Makro BOOMING !
Small to Medium sized businesses MURDERED beyond salvation.
For a virus that has a mortality rate of 0.3%
If this is not about fear mongering of the masses and money making for a selected few I don't know what this is.
Smells so much like them masons doing their thing it actually stinks.
No wonder they want us masked up !
Are we going to wake up finally ?
By David from Lisbon on 13 Jul 2021, 15:23
By Jules Ransley from Other on 13 Jul 2021, 15:24
I as a restaurant owner we get no help from the Portuguese government in no form. We are dying day by day as rules being implemented which makes no logic. Football is ok, race car races are fine with massive spectators . We at the restaurant is the safest and the cleanest as we have implemented all the measures. Wake up and start helping the business that helps your economy recover and portugal is getting so much money from the European Union and where is the money going ??? Then you have corruption galore by all these crooks who knows someone in the government to help them and the ordinary locals and people suffer with consequences because we have not paid our taxes on time . We get No tax break/ no rent break where is the justice . Instead prices are increasing. Portugal never checked the price gauging in pharmacies where they were selling masks for 25.00 euros and in other countries you could buy it 3.00 euros. If corrupt is not the word then I don’t what is???
By Sonya from Lisbon on 13 Jul 2021, 19:50
The Corona virus in NOT a flu. Most people understand that and live accordingly. Many ignorant people refuse to accept facts. Perhaps you who do not understand the real dangers of the Corona virus have not lost a parent or a grand parent or a good friend. God guide the ignorant.
By Erik from Beiras on 13 Jul 2021, 20:04
Dear David and others, you completely undermine your comments by stating false statistics - the covid mortality rate for Portugal is 1.9% and for the UK 2.5%, rather more than 0.3%. As for covid being "like a mild flu", try telling that to the families of the more than 4 million people who've died so far. I suggest that a week's work on a hospital covid ward might help focus your minds on reality.
By Felix from UK on 13 Jul 2021, 20:56
You seem to like numbers.
Let's say you are right, 4 million have died.
What was the average age group please?
Now add this up.
Mass propaganda - aging scared mind with a temperature - panic - emergency - hospital drama - inject Ketomine/other tunnel drugs =
Unconscious Anaphalatic Shock!
That's right, I'm making it up - just like you!
By Love Steve from Alentejo on 14 Jul 2021, 07:16
Felix, you are brain washed. You must find the true facts! You must understand that they registrer almost all who die now as covid, but its so wrong! Please wake up, you are brain washed and thats so sad!
By Liz from Lisbon on 14 Jul 2021, 08:18
All good comments. on the EU Covid Vaccine Passport. I live in Lisboa BUT I got vaccinated in the USA and I have a CDC Vaccination Card. What are people vaccinated out of the EU doing to try to get the EU Digital Passport?
By Forrest Lorick from Lisbon on 14 Jul 2021, 08:33
Why are we not adopting a watchdog like policy,? We all know that governments all around the world are corrupt to some degree!
But as a nation common sense should prevail! It's ok to sit back and point fingers and apportion blame, but the buck stops with each and everyone of us.
Stop being blindsided by what people say there are to many street experts who somehow seem to have so much knowledge, and this is in its own a danger.
We need to adopt common sense, we all have it !! It is within us to observe the world around us and be aware, don't be like lost sheep because of some corrupt news feed..
Look out for eachother, stick together as a nation, don't be stupid and we will beat the beast.
We'll never beat corruption in governments, but nothing stops us from expressing ourselves and standing United.
By Mark Inns from Lisbon on 14 Jul 2021, 10:56
Dear Liz, what a meaningless comment. First show us your evidence about death registrations. The true facts are those published by all independent medical authorities and you'll find no room for any doubt there. I suggest that you're the victim of brainwashing!
By Felix from UK on 14 Jul 2021, 11:12
It seems that there is a certain conceptual confusion regarding the mortality in covid 19 and also a lot of pitfalls. Case fatality rate (CFR) is the number of deaths from the known cases of covid 19. Infection fatality rate (IFR) is the deaths among those in the population estimated having been infected by the virus. IFR is thus always lower than CFR. Regarding the fatality in Covid-19 disease, it will be more difficult than normal to get the numbers right. Partly because of the way they count fatalities and also because of how ”new cases are counted. A large percentage of the "new cases" have no symptoms but only a positive PCR test. This is strange as a PCR test can be positive due to an old virus residue from a previous corona infection or which is common, incorrect test methodology. Nevertheless, all positive PCR tests are counted as new cases which then form the basis for new restrictions. It becomes even more complicated when you are counted as dead in Covid if you die within a month after a positive test, regardless of the actual cause of death, such as severe heart failure or terminal malignancy. Excess mortality among the population is often also used as a measure of Covid mortality. This measure is at best a correlation and not a causality. How many have taken their own lives during this time, died of apathy, depression and despair, especially our elderly who have been practically imprisoned with exit and contact bans in many nursing homes?
And finally, to the article writer, Paul Luckman, where did you get the figure of 90% effectiveness from? And effective against what? Disease? Transmission? Death? There is a difference between relative risk reduction (efficacy)and absolute risk reduction (effectiveness)
By Nils from Algarve on 14 Jul 2021, 12:41
We live in the mountians full of older people who do not have internet never mind an IPhone.
So every Eedd they have a bus to take them to Sao Nras to shop & eat at the restaurant they will habe no Digital certs. its absolutely ridiculous forget it. You may as well shut all your eating places down!
By Julie from Algarve on 14 Jul 2021, 23:17