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  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 63 A Walking Weekend

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 63 A Walking Weekend

    The thought of leading my first tour for over a year keeps my spirits up during week 62 of the coronavirus pandemic. This week brings more bad news as the Indian virus – now referred to as the delta virus that originated in India – is spreading quickly and has become the predominant COVID-19 mutation in the UK. England’s exit from lockdown forecast for 21 June is now looking unlikely. With no new destinations on the green list and the removal of Portugal from that list a staycation seems to be the only option for a summer holiday this year.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 62 A Trip to London

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 62 A Trip to London

    This week my diary records the events of week 62 of the coronavirus pandemic. It is good news for me as I finally have some dates for work in my diary. But it is not good news in England. New cases are now increasing at a rapid rate and the majority of these cases relate to the Indian mutation of the virus. Initially the main areas affected were in the North East of the country but other hotspots start to emerge this week. The lifting of all lockdown restrictions on 21 June is now in doubt. But our Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has other things on his mind, his secret wedding and a volley of accusations from his former aide Dominic Cummings.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 61 Rain, Rain Go Away

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 61 Rain, Rain Go Away

    This week, week 61 of the coronavirus pandemic, sees the re-introduction of international travel for non-essential purposes. But the number of destinations on the UK green list are very limited and of the twelve on the list some are inaccessible, some don’t allow quarantine-free travel to arrivals from the UK and it is probable already too late to book a holiday at the viable destinations. Meanwhile, the spread of the Indian variant of COVID-19 in some parts of England is causing concern amongst the experts.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 60 and Blue Raspberry Vodka

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 60 and Blue Raspberry Vodka

    I enjoy another new experience during this week, week 60 of the coronavirus pandemic. My work bubble, at the vaccination hub, celebrates the birthday of one of the members with an impromptu barbecue. I am introduced to the delights of blue raspberry vodka. Meanwhile, many people are in a frenzy of holiday plans and booking as the green list will become effective next week. Bookings to countries on the amber list are also being encouraged by tour operators despite warnings from the government that they do not consider this to be within the spirit of the new rules.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: April Showers in May during Week 59

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: April Showers in May during Week 59

    Anticipation heightens and air fares rise as 17 May approaches when international travel will be legal again. It is week 59 of the coronavirus pandemic and as England emerges from its third lockdown the resumption of international travel is eagerly awaited. A list of countries expected to be on the green list is published during the week. But inclusion on the green list does not mean holidays in those countries will be possible. Australia, New Zealand and Singapore are not open to visitors from overseas. Other news includes a threat by the French to cut off supplies of electricity to Jersey and a brief blockade of the port of St Helier by French fisherman as a dispute about fishing rights escalates.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Green List Speculation in Week 58

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Green List Speculation in Week 58

    During week 58 of the coronavirus pandemic the papers begin to speculate about the countries that will be on the green list from 17 May the date it now seems certain international travel will be allowed once more. And that travellers returning from green list countries will not be required to self-isolate but they will still be subject to a testing regime. The government is taking measures to ensure the cost of the tests will come down. However, the government misses the deadline for announcing the list of green countries and the promised vaccination passport is already subject to delay. Despite the uncertainty plans are being made for holidays abroad.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 57 Sees Huge Surge of Cases in India

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 57 Sees Huge Surge of Cases in India

    During week 57 of the coronavirus pandemic the vaccination roll-out in the UK continues as many receive second doses of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs. Cases of COVID-19 are coming down and so are the number of deaths. But, tragically, India becomes the new epicentre of the pandemic with record-breaking numbers of cases and deaths day after day. Hospitals have to close due to lack of oxygen and the new, triple mutation of the virus causing this surge is discovered in other countries.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: More Restrictions Lifted in Week 56

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: More Restrictions Lifted in Week 56

    Week 56 of the coronavirus pandemic sees England relax some more lockdown restrictions. Town centres come back to life as non-essential shops and businesses open again and cafés, bars and restaurants start serving food and drinks – but only outside. A third vaccine, the Moderna vaccine, starts its roll-out in the UK and will be offered to the under-thirties as an alternative to the OxfordAstraZeneca vaccine due to fears about a link with that vaccine and rare blood clots.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 55 Prince Philip Dies

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: Week 55 Prince Philip Dies

    Sad news during week 55 of the coronavirus pandemic as Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh passes away peacefully at Windsor Castle. The prince, aged 99, was married to Queen Elizabeth II for 73 years and at the time of his death both of them were in residence at the castle. As England is still in lockdown his funeral will be a very scaled-down affair with a maximum of 30 guests and members of the public unable to attend. Meanwhile the suspected link of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine continues to cause concern and the under-30s are to be offered a different vaccine, Pfizer or Moderna.

  • Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: #stayathome ends Week 54

    Life During a Coronavirus Pandemic: #stayathome ends Week 54

    It is week 54 of the coronavirus pandemic and England starts to emerged from the third national lockdown. This week is the last day of shielding for millions of the clinically vulnerable. We no longer have to #remainathome but are free to go out locally as often as we like. But travel outside England is restricted by the threat a fine of up to £5,000 for anyone who tries to leave the country before 30 June without "good reason". Concerns about the OxfordAstraZeneca and rare blood clots continue to hit the headlines and some European countries stop giving this vaccine to younger age groups. Regulators continue to insist the benefits outweigh the risks.

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