Another thirty days?

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Today the EU suggested that the lockdown in the Schengen countries (that is those in the EU plus Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Romania, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland) should last until May 15th.

the Schengen monument – a monument to borderless travel that may be inceasingly irrelevant

Will the UK which is outside Schengen consider something similar?

At the same time, the Welsh First Minister, Mark Drakeford, was suggesting that the UK lockdown will continue for some time to come and that was echoed by his health minister, Vaughan Gethin. On Thursday there is a Cobra meeting to discuss the impact of the 17 day lockdown and when it might be lifted. Or at least that is being reported by the mainstream media as what they will discuss.

As it stands, the government must review the lockdown by 16th of April and extend or end it.

According to the EU, measures to defeat coronavirus require an additional thirty days to be effective. That is dependent on modelling and us lesser mortals wonder how accurate this modelling is.

The Wuhan lockdown lasted 76 days.

Even adding 30 days to the existing 21 (the figure it will be by April 16th) makes just 51. That means if we follow the Wuhan model it could be a further 25 days taking us into mid-June before we can go out and start behaving like tourists, visitors and normal human beings again.

How a lockdown will affect the tourism industry if it lasts until mid-June is anyone’s guess.

Modellers can play with any plans and algorithms that they want.

The other problem that governments and modellers face is how do you end a lockdown? Will we be free to go wherever we like? Will we able to go abroad? Will we have to stay in our local regions rather than risk causing secondary infections? What is a local region? Is it our village, a town, a city, a county? Will those areas like Powys and Dumfries & Galloway that have had few cases want visitors coming to their areas and risking an increase in cases? The same might apply to overseas countries where outbreaks have been limited such as Botswana and many Caribbean countries.

Whereas in the past tourism has been encouraged it may not be so popular with destinations until they are sure that COVID-19 won’t return.

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