Returning from Spain

John H

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Well, we have finally arrived back in sunny Derbyshire after a very enjoyable last extended winter in Spain. You might be interested in how we survived the red tape to get home, so here goes. The Spanish were excellent with their end of the bargain. The clinic which did our Covid tests before departure was very efficient, helpful and speedy; the campsites were very accommodating at printing off the necessary paperwork; and the port authorities at Santander were fast and efficient - we barely queued at all. Briittany Ferries were also vey good at providing advanced information and the boarding process and rules on board well worked out. It is a pity that the passengers (over 90% Brits) weren't always willing to follow those rules carefully enough. The only problems we had, apart from other passengers, were with the UK part of the bargain. The Passenger Locator Form was far too long, asking for information they either already had or didn't need; and it was unclear in places (for example, asking when you left when you had to fill in the form before leaving!) and bizarre in others (it seems you are allowed to "isolate" in several different locations and with several different people!). When we arrived at Portsmouth, the disembarkation from the ferry worked well but when the local staff took over, the directions at the port were chaotic. It took over 90 minutes to get from the ship to the exit and the official who checked our papers and examined the motorhome refused to wear a mask because she had been vaccinated, so she was ok! I told her that I had just tested negative and still had to isolate and insisted she put on her mask to see inside our van (which she did). The one bright side to the UK side of things was that the company that provided the day2 and day 8 tests were efficient (it wasn't their fault that the government in effect imposed an almost £600 levy on us for enjoying a winter in the sun and safety of Los Escullos.).

As an after thought, I now see why there was never any possibility of putting Spain on the red list. Our ferry was packed, as were several before us - and the next one is also sold out. Nearly all the passengers were Brits returning before the 90 day rule kicked in and many of them in motorhomes and caravans. I knew there were a lot of us out there but didn't realise just how many until I saw a chunk of them all in one place. There simply would not have been enough hotel space to accommodate us all - especially since they would also have had to cope with hundreds of large vehicles, many of which contained pets.

On the positive side, it looks like the next few days will be Spanish-style weather. I shall have to get my shorts out again! :)
 

grath

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Good news, John, pity about the Brits not keeping their distance, but we have had that all year here at home. Always us dodging others on footpaths, never them!
The Custom official not wanting to wear a mask reminds me of when I made one of them put plastic over shoes on to inspect our van
Anyway John, thanks for the report, enjoy the Derbyshire sunshine and get the BBQ out! 🍷
 

REC

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Thanks for the account ....may well be doing similar but through the tunnel in another months time. Enjoy the sun, and your isolation.
 

Moonraker 2

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It is nice to hear good comments. I knew some people had stayed over winter and was wondering how the heck they managed. I don't think I could cope with all the bureaucracy.
 

John H

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Well, the saga is almost over. We both tested negative again on day 2 of our isolation and have today sent off our day 8 tests (it is now day 9 but day 8 was a bank holiday). Tomorrow is the last day before we can travel beyond the confines of the house and we have fixed up our vaccines for Thursday. Still haven't got used to all this cold weather though. :)
 

REC

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Well, the saga is almost over. We both tested negative again on day 2 of our isolation and have today sent off our day 8 tests (it is now day 9 but day 8 was a bank holiday). Tomorrow is the last day before we can travel beyond the confines of the house and we have fixed up our vaccines for Thursday. Still haven't got used to all this cold weather though. :)
Assume the tests are DIY ones? Wonder about this as if done incorrectly, would be negative....for the cost they should be administered....unless they are! :oops: :unsure:
The cooler temperatures always hit us when we return to UK.....jumpers on again!
 

John H

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Assume the tests are DIY ones? Wonder about this as if done incorrectly, would be negative....for the cost they should be administered....unless they are! :oops: :unsure:
The cooler temperatures always hit us when we return to UK.....jumpers on again!
Yes, Ruth - and it did occur to me that there is no control over how they are administered. An unscrupulous person could have tested the dog!

As for jumpers - Jenny is busy knitting as we speak :)
 

alcam

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That would be ironic, wouldn't it - somebody tries to get round the system by testing the dog and the dog proves positive! :ROFLMAO:
Was refused entry to open air bar at Edinburgh university last year because my dog could be a carrier
 
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grath

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More likely the dogs collar.
I often think of this when our Daughter calls around with her dog
or touching the fur infected by a person stroking the dog
 

REC

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More likely the dogs collar.
I often think of this when our Daughter calls around with her dog
or touching the fur infected by a person stroking the dog
Apparently the risk is very very minimal and not proven.....
With the test, I wonder what is to stop someone just not putting swab in far enough to get an accurate sample? Other than having paid £105 for it! Was looking at tests here yesterday and there was one which was sent by post but had to make an appointment for a video call with nurse who watched it being taken...for the money UK are charging, that would be more appropriate?
 

2cv

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Certainly it is mooted in the BMJ that the tests are not really suitable for purpose;

"Meanwhile, Jon Deeks, professor of biostatistics at the University of Birmingham and leader of the Cochrane Collaboration’s covid-19 test evaluation activities, highlighted concerns about the findings from the testing centre evaluation, where people self-administered the test. The report said that the test’s sensitivity was 58% when used by the public and that the false positive rate was 0.38% (0.16% to 0.88%).

He said that, while 0.4% (400 in 100 000) was a very low rate, with a sensitivity of 58% and specificity of 99.6%, this would mean that 100 000 people being tested would find 630 positives—of which only 230 would actually have covid-19, while 400 would be false positives.

“The poor detection rate of the test makes it entirely unsuitable for the government’s claim that it will allow safe ‘test and release’ of people from lockdown and students from university,” he warned. “As the test may miss up to half of covid-19 cases, a negative test result indicates a reduced risk of infection but does not exclude covid-19."
 

grath

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Our indirect experience of the tests is that they are not to be relied upon.
Our Daughter had two neg tests, and each time waited for a day for the Neg results but had all the symptoms and her GP told her she definitely had Covid. He also said the tests were not as accurate as people think .
A Friend had symptoms, her Hubby no symptoms, so she and her Hubby were tested.
She was Neg and he was Pos
 

alcam

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More likely the dogs collar.
I often think of this when our Daughter calls around with her dog
or touching the fur infected by a person stroking the dog
To be honest think the girl hadn't a clue and just busked it
 

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