Woodchopper wrote: ↑
Wed Jul 07, 2021 6:34 pm
Yes, we’re in the middle of vaccinating the world and the UK is less than 1% of human population. What happens in Britain is unlikely to make much difference. If it does Britain will have been very unfortunate for a variant of concern to appear twice.
It depends on your point of view and scope. Frankly, what happens in Britain makes a lot of difference to the countries around you, the ones your government have repeatedly treated like absolute sh1t for the last 5 years as well.
Ireland was due to unlock further on 19 July. That date was set while your government was still discussing the possibility of opening on 4 July. This is now under intense discussion because of the Delta variant. The Delta variant got its foothold in Europe via one primary route, and that was the UK. Ireland has applied extensive lockdowns. It is, to some extent, dependent on what happens in the UK because of the common travel area and also, the fact that the DUP have valued idiocy above protecting the people of Northern Ireland. The sensible thing to do at various points would have been to block arrivals from Great Britain to anywhere on the island of Ireland. NI's infection numbers are, in absolute numbers, not far off Ireland's. In relative terms, that makes for a rate almost three times higher per capita. It's not surprising that the hotspots in the Republic are mostly in the border counties, with towns in Donegal particularly affected. The other big outbreak related to a single event. The debate in Ireland is hot but I would not be surprised for indoor dining to open with things like requiring vaccination certs/rapid tests if it opens at all. In short, the debate is existing on the plane that it may not.
Ireland's rates were per capita almost twice as high as most of the rest of western Europe not including the UK. Most of Europe is currently green on the ECDC map with notable exceptions like Spain (relatively recent change). The view regarding the sharp increase of rates in Portugal is that it correlates with arrivals from the UK. The Delta variant is currently responsible for 50% of cases in Belgium where I live. Suffice to say that we are extremely worried now about the rate of increase. I don't exclude some of the openings announced earlier in the summer relating to large events to be reversed and I assume that at some point we will see rolling lockdowns happening again. Delta mostly arrived here from the UK. Alpha shut both Ireland and Belgium down after Christmas. I'm not very grateful to be honest with you.
In short, what does happen in the UK very much matters unless you North Korea-ify your country and keep everyone from leaving the place. Your raison d'etre of Brexit, another monumentally stupid event in your country, means that you're not going to do this. Britain, open to the world, etc etc. As far as I know, we already have a lot of restrictions on people arriving from mainland UK but it might well be too late for the simple reason that by the time you guys tell us you've a problem (cf alpha) you've already spread it to nearly every other country in Europe. Sure Delta came from the Indian subcontinent but there weren't many places through which it was arriving. Why was that? Because Johnson wanted to go to India to announce another trade deal, if it's anything like the Australian one, then probably balanced in favour of your partners than yourselves.
I am off to Ireland to see aging parents in 2 weeks' time. If I get there, because of Delta, I expect that it will be a while before I can get there again afterwards. I now am not sure I will be at home for Christmas. Their government is buying vaccines from every partner they can reach to try and outvaccinate the delta variant. They are not sure they will succeed.
This is not abstract. What happens in the UK, does matter. Two variants have spread uncontrolled out of your country already. Currently most of the EU is relatively okay but that is changing and they know it is. The UK alone was accounting for almost 45% of cases in European countries this week. Russia accounted for another good chunk. Iberia is now starting to see big numbers, linked with tourism from the UK more than likely so the UK's cut is falling to 35% or so cases across a total of 41 countries. But in Belgium, our repro rate went back up above 1 for the first time in months. THe Delta variant accounts for at least 50% of new cases per figures during the week. Given the speed in turn around in case occurrences, I imagine it is already a good chunk higher.
That being said, this is actually not just a Johnson problem. I have very clear memories of the Blair government making a mess of managing a foot and mouth outbreak. Ireland cancelled everything that year too.
A sane country would insist Sunday's football final would be played without an audience. I doubt you're going to do this because to be honest, I think your government is too scared to do it.
And that's what has driven a lot of your policy for years. Your politicians are too cowardly to make hard decisions that might not resonate with some parts of your population.