Holiday cases of the virus

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Two days ago the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) published a report showing the incidence of coronavirus amongst certain occupations. Unsurprisingly, health workers and those carrying out ancillary functions in health were the most affected. The next highest group is those working in food processing plants, again something that wouldn’t surprise many given the publicity to plants in North Wales and the USA, Germany and elsewhere.

Bournemouth beach
Bournemouth on a a previous sunny day when social distancing didn’t matter

But where is the research about the effect that travelling causes a spike in cases?

It seems logical that people who have travelled to hotspots and then return might be likely to carry the virus back to their communities and I don’t question this logic.

What I do question is the role played by the holidaymaker.

Governments have been quick to point out that cases have been imported and obvious examples exist like those on cruise ships. But cruise ships are confined spaces. What about holidaymakers who have spent much of their time on beaches?

A few weeks ago an estimated 350,000 people flocked to the beaches around Bournemouth and the Dorset coastline. I have been waiting for reports of a spike as a result of that weekend yet I don’t think there has been one. Similar stories of congestion at beaches in Brighton, Southend, Barry Island and outdoor sites like Snowdonia don’t seem to have resulted in spikes either unless, and this seems very unlikely, those places that have seen a spike like Leicester, parts of Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire all visited beaches a couple of weeks ago.

Now I could be completely wrong, and those qualified to tell me so would be welcome to contact me and I’ll set the record straight, but it seems that – by and large – large groups in open spaces eg beach goers and holidaymakers – are not contributing to the spikes in a significant way. I am not saying there aren’t cases but it looks small.

If this is the case then largely outdoor holidays could be promoted to the mental benefit of the population and the economic benefit of the regions of our countries.

Perhaps the next ECDC report could look at the difference amongst holiday sectors to suggest what we might do and what should be discouraged.

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