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I'm finding this 'traffic light' system rather confusing @Daphne, because the UK and now France have one and they are a bit different and changing daily. Seems the UK and France are amber both ways, so you need PCR tests and quarantine at both ends. What will confuse it further is the new European passport coming into operation 1st July, but both Spain and Greece are accepting UK visitors without one. That assumes the UK will be in the same system?

New record in France yesterday with 748,000 vaccinations done. Some tourist Regions are now allowing people to walk outside without a mask, which may be a bit early?

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I think the plot thickens even more than that, Beantree.  I read that France has just/is about to open its borders if you are double vaccinated - ie before passports on 1st July.  The article said that UK citizens would be allowed in if double vaccinated with 14 days having passed (I believe the NHS app is supposed to/shortly supposed to allow you to prove this) and only having to have a negative antigen test which is the lateral flow one, ie cheap, quick and easy unlike the PCR one which you need for amber countries from a UK perspective, and no need to quarantine.  Also, from the French side, you no longer have to have a compelling reason to go to France!  For EU citizens I think we can just now enter France without any tests/quarantine, providing we can prove we are vaccinated, so I could wave a piece of paper.  At this rate, when OH is sorted out, we may be coming to France before I go to the UK, which I didn't think would happen.  I don't think it has been decided if the UK with join the EU passport scheme, my personal view is that it won't, especially as not all EU countries have said they are definitely going to use it as I understand it. 

However, it is all happening very quickly, and you have France becoming more liberal with the UK becoming more strict.  I don't blame the UK, as the cases here in Portugal are rising, and although its partly because of increased tourism (Portugal's choice) it is also because of more cases in Lisbon and Porto.  We only have 20% of population double vaccinated, compared to 50% of UK.  It was always going to be a gamble opening the borders (an unreasonable one in my view) and until the vast majority are double vaccinated I certainly wouldn't advocate stopping mask wearing.  Visiting an open air park yesterday (hurrah! an outing! not to the supermarket!) it was noticeable how many people were carrying their masks, putting them on if they walked past us.  Some were tourists, but some were locals.

We have friends who arrived yesterday from UK, going back on Tues so they will fall foul of the new regs.  My friend is half Portugeuse, and has a house here which he hasn't seen for 10 months having had to cancel 4 trips already, so I do have some sympathy for him and all the other people who have had to make difficult and expensive decisions because of the lack of notice.

I have been watching the French Open tennis.  Most bizarre to see the audience ushered off before curfew!  The Eiffel Tower looks amazing though, all lit up, as does Roland Garros.  Its been a real treat so far.

Edited by Daphne
typo
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Got my second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine last week. Only side effect was a very mild headache that went away after 20 minutes!  

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Just had our second Pfizer and again I couldn't feel the needle; "no sense no feeling" my father used to say and I still don't understand that? Asked the doctor if the QR passport could be used now to go to Spain and he said yes; the guidelines say wait 7 days for the second vaccine to activate, but it seems the passport activates immediately.

So at the moment no side effects at all, other than a mild headache from the celebration.

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Congratulations all of you!  Much to his/my surprise OH was given his first jab yesterday.  It was Pfizer, he wasn't rescheduled and told to go to the hospital at all, it was done locally, with the 2nd scheduled for 4 weeks time. 

Beantree, I thought you had to wait a fortnight after the 2nd jab to travel, I must check it out properly, but you must be feeling relieved in any case.  At the weekend Spain tried to make Portuguese travellers have a test before crossing the land border, but when Portugal said, OK, but the border has two sides, you have to do it to come here as well, they changed their minds! 

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You may or may not have heard of the 'Delta' variant which has flared up in the Far Southwest corner of France. For some reason that's the name given to the Indian variant here. Whilst numbers are falling slowly overall, in that area the 'R' number is above 1 and it's being blamed on English tourists. They discovered a 'cluster' as they call them here; a very localised infection. There were 31 tested positive for the Delta variant but what is surprising everyone was over 50, in fact one was 75 and NONE had been vaccinated, not even the first dose! Seems they had opted out and are now paying the price.

An employee in a Paris hospital has been dismissed. Why, when they are all short staffed? Faking vaccination certificates!

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Just been on the news @Daphne and so you are quite right; whilst our second vaccination has resulted in us getting a QR health passport code, we can't use it until 14 days have elapsed. So our Spain trip will be delayed accordingly.

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The delta variant (it’s called that rather than the Indian variant because they were concerned that naming variants after countries stigmatised them so they’re going for Greek letters instead) is causing cases to rise again in the UK now.

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15 minutes ago, mullethunter said:

The delta variant (it’s called that rather than the Indian variant because they were concerned that naming variants after countries stigmatised them so they’re going for Greek letters instead) is causing cases to rise again in the UK now.

It’s said that just one vaccine doesn’t protect well against delta. Reason why I’m glad not getting Janssen. 

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Yes, I seem to have drawn the short straw. They were literally only giving the Janssen jab for one day in my local health centre.

Edited by Daphne
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Aren't they questioning the effectiveness of all the jabs against this new variant? Given the virus's obvious ability to mutate so quickly, I'm assuming new vaccines will be developed for the most virulent strains too.

Sadly, a girl in my class lost her sister to this variant the other week, although her sister was still living back in India. According to her, the situation out there is even worse than portrayed in the media, so god knows what the reality must be like.

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It was mentioned here that one big problem faced in India is a lack of Oxygen. It must be terrible to count over 6000 deaths in one day!

I haven't seen anything here mentioning the actual effectiveness of the Janssen single jab @Daphne with the Delta, but what's appeared now on our Doctolib account is a statement that the Pfizer and Astrazeneca are not fully active until two weeks have elapsed and the Janssen is fully active after four weeks.

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13 hours ago, Beantree said:

It was mentioned here that one big problem faced in India is a lack of Oxygen. It must be terrible to count over 6000 deaths in one day!

I haven't seen anything here mentioning the actual effectiveness of the Janssen single jab @Daphne with the Delta, but what's appeared now on our Doctolib account is a statement that the Pfizer and Astrazeneca are not fully active until two weeks have elapsed and the Janssen is fully active after four weeks.

Yeah, that's pretty much what caused it, sadly. She was taken to the ICU, but there wasn't much they could do for her. Very sad.

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The targets have been exceeded early so they have decided to scrap the 11.00pm curfew, which was costing a fortune to Police and seemed rather pointless anyway. Compulsory mask wearing outside has been modified, so we only need to wear them when queueing, sitting in an arena or at an outside market. Wearing them everywhere inside remains obligatory. Not sure if it's a bit early to be doing this, as the numbers are not that low really? In view of the increasing presence of the Delta variant we'll be sticking with wearing masks.

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Numbers are going up in Portugal.  Partly because of visitors, but mostly because of close city living in Lisbon, and the fact you can more or less do everything but only something like 25% of population has had 2 jabs.  Its still a numbers game.  Masks are still compulsory.  As of yesterday I can apply for a vaccine passport online, which I will do.   Rather bizarrely, the next municipality to us is in a bit of lockdown because there has been an outbreak in a factory making ladies underwear!  Nobody has died or gone to hospital, but there are 50 cases, which is a lot for the small population.

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Numbers are rocketing up in Cornwall. Thanks to hospitality opening and huge numbers of tourists coming here because they can’t go over seas largely I suspect. Not good.

Bad on a personal level because my sister and her husband are here to visit for a week with my 18 month old nephew. They arrive this evening. My dad was so looking forward to spending some time with them but today had a a message from Test and Trace saying he has to self isolate for 8 days so he now won’t be able to see them at all.

On the plus side I’ve been able to bring my second dose forward so will now be double jabbed on the 30th June.

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That's bad luck with the test and trace Mullethunter. Good news with the second dose advance though.

Seems this Delta variant is causing problems all over the place. Russia was mentioned on our news, with cases tripling in a week, 90% being Delta. Also mentioned was the UK now going on our red list, which will be a blow somewhat for the tourist industry, but they are having a boom in some areas with French visitors who don't want to risk going abroad.

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Oh that is bad luck for your Dad, I feel for him.  The pandemic has been wearing on many of us, but I feel particularly strongly for older people and those with serious underlying illness.  I can understand your frustration with tourism as well, almost half the cases in the Algarve are Brits, although possibly they are resident here.  I haven't seen the news but if France is putting UK on red list I can see a possibility they may decide to do the same with Portugal in a few weeks unless we get our numbers back down, so I'm not booking my trip up to Normandy yet.

However, on the bright side, all things being equal, we are going away for one night this week, to a hotel, about 3 hours away, for a change of scene (although still in the middle of nowhere) and routine (and dinner!)  OH has only left the municipality about 6 times in the last 18 months.  Hurrah!!!!!!

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