28 October 2021
In one scenario, UK Covid cases remain stubbornly high and perhaps other countries restrict travel. Another sees our cases plummet as we enter a post-pandemic world. NEW
The UK has a large number of Covid-19 cases, one of the highest in Europe.
It registers on average more than 40,000 new cases per day.
Currently, 488 people per 100,000 inhabitants catch the virus over a 7-day period.
A glance at the number of cases in ski countries across Europe makes one wonder why they would welcome skiers and snowboarders from the UK who could then increase their own cases.
Switzerland has 90, Andorra 85, Norway 76, France 54, Sweden 39, Italy 38 and Spain 28.
Austria is perhaps the only Alpine country comparable to the UK, although it trails us out of 256.
We have already looked at whether the borders could be closed to UK travelers if cases continue to rise:
But it’s not that simple and we’ll look at both sides of the debate.
First, the signs of encouragement.
Are international comparisons even valid?
Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, one of the scientists behind the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine, testified this week on Commons science and technology.
He says it is “not fair” to say that comparisons with other countries can be made.
The ‘very high’ number of cases in the UK is ‘partly because of our very high testing rate’, so it is ‘important not to criticize the UK’ with international comparisons.
Germany actually has the highest test positivity rate in Europe.
What is perhaps more interesting is that some recent modeling suggests that UK cases are now starting to drop and that could be the start of a big reduction.
“There is actually a school of thought that we may be on the verge of seeing infection levels plummet,” said Nick Triggle, BBC health correspondent.
“Modeling done for the government suggests that cases and deaths may soon start to drop dramatically,” he said.
See here for his full report.
The modeling he reviewed is from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, LSHTM.
It is only a scientific source that feeds the government, but its findings are very interesting for the ski season which is approaching.
Any significant and lasting reduction depends on a number of factors.
These include the vast majority of the over 50s who show up for their boosters, and cautious behavior throughout the winter when it comes to mingling and socializing.
The government has welcomed the fall, but is cautious to draw conclusions from figures suggesting that Covid cases may be leveling off.
“It is too early to draw full conclusions from case rates and we will continue to urge the public to comply with the guidelines set out and who are eligible for booster doses,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said. this week.
“The prevalence remains relatively high although it has decreased to some extent. “
All of this could have significant consequences for the approaching winter ski season.
There is no doubt that demand is high and bookings are on the rise.
Crystal Ski’s first charter flight to Turin, Italy on December 16 is fully booked.
I know this because I had to participate because I plan to ski in Cervinia in the Aosta Valley for a few days.
I have to find another route to go skiing in Cervinia as the assigned PlanetSKI seat is needed for Crystal customers.
PlanetSKI is also at Les2Alpes this weekend and the station is practically full, although our chief reporter, Jane Peel, was able to find a bed.
But what about a more pessimistic scenario?
Some say forecasts of a potential drop in the number of cases seem at odds with what is currently happening in the UK and that the government must introduce so-called Plan B measures with immediate effect.
These could include mandatory face coverings in indoor spaces and working from home.
This could lead to a significant reduction in the “unacceptable” number of Covid-19 cases in the UK, said Professor Peter Openshaw, member of the Advisory Group on New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats (Nervtag).
He said the level of infections in England is a “surprisingly high rate” compared to other countries in Western Europe.
Some fear that restrictions on travelers from the UK will be introduced soon.
Morocco has already banned flights to and from the UK and other countries are closely monitoring our cases.
Flights between Morocco and Germany and the Netherlands have also been suspended.
“This shows how unpredictable international travel remains,” said the editor of Which? Travel, Rory Boland, while Morocco has made up its mind.
Some Alpine countries have low vaccination rates and are therefore more vulnerable – Switzerland is at 66% and Austria at 72%.
In France, the adult vaccination rate is 85% and in Italy it is 78%.
A number of factors may explain why cases are so high in the UK:
- Less mask wear
- More social and professional diversity
- People’s immunity goes down
- Slow deployment of boosters
- Vaccine rollout for first two doses stalled
The start of the 2021/22 main ski season is still over a month away, so all the numbers will change, but authorities are monitoring the numbers closely.
The same goes for UK skiers and snowboarders, the snow sports industry and ski resorts.
Main image c / o Ski Solutions