“Close the loop holes that people are exploiting” – Star Readers' discuss easing of lockdown due to Indian Covid-19 variant

In light of the increasing government concern over the prevalence of the Indian variant of Covid-19, we asked our readers whether the planned easing of lockdown restrictions on June 21 should still go ahead.

By Christopher Hallam
Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 12:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 12:48 pm

And this is what they had to say on the matter:

Sarah Hill says that she thinks that; “they should lock Bolton down that's it Boris needs to stop people from India travelling back to this country until they can prove they had vaccine and clear from covid or make them quarantine over there for 14 days until they’re clear.”

However, Julie Bond believes that we “need to get back to living a normal life ,it’s not going anywhere anytime soon so have to learn to live with it like we have with other things over the year.” Julie Sheppard also feels the same way, saying; “No way like hell it should be we want some normality back been stressful enough without putting it back.”

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Could we see a return to the tiered lockdown system across UK regions?

Denise Granger has her sceptic hat firmly on, “Of course it will be delayed, the elections are over with now. No need for positive promises.” And Mark Gooney is not too happy with how it’s been dealt with at all; “yes, Boris waited too long to close the airport now that as given the green light for those to get back here before it is closed and bring back the indian variant with them. Thank you Boris you have f****d it up again and now we are in the s**t again” — we can safely assume that Mark is not in any way chuffed, and who can blame him? Arline Gurnhill is of the same opinion as Mark, but much more to the point; “No, close the borders.”

Bev Smythe is of the opinion that some caution needs to be exercised, saying “If the data gets worse. Yes.”

John Porter summed it up quite nicely with a very thorough explanation of how the process should be in action, ““What they need to do is close the loop holes that people are exploiting. Anyone who has been abroad, for any reason goes into quarantine on return. All should have to give a full travel log of countries visited whilst out of the UK so we can keep tabs on variants etc. Anyone who refuses should be hit with a hefty fine or the threat of jail time. Or the simplest way is to close all borders full stop. No-one gets in unless it's for an absolutely required reason (no a holiday isn't a valid reason)”, and his overview garnered many responses in support.

Christine Ann Belcher responded to Mr Porter, saying; “I totally agree. We should have done what Australia did closed the borders straight away. No one in nobody out. Boris said last night that people coming in from India had isolated when they arrived back. I think not Why is this variant so high already?” to which Mr Porter replied once more, “Because quite simply, those coming back from India have diverted via other countries with low risk to avoid the need to quarantine. So when they arrive back they don't disclose they been to India!”.

"Close the airports stop bringing people in from other countrues we cannot cope” wrote Penelope Lax, and this was swiftly followed by Chris Wheeler, who said “the path of least death is preferable, whichever way that may be.”

Not everyone agreed though, Sarah Hill thinks it’s a problem that’s related to one place only, “No way, it’s only in Bolton and few other areas, and there will be different strains over next five 10 years anyway. What are we going to do, stay lockdown for ever? Most have been vacinnated too” — hate to be the one to correct you here, Sarah, but according to the government the Indian variant has now been detected across multiple areas (outside of Bolton) and this is increasingly prevalent in areas where the uptake of the vaccine is much lower. Meanwhile, Frank McCormack added his two pence to the discussion; “No we, suffered enough by not seeing family and wearing these bloody masks, Johnson only wore his when he, felt like it” — he also got Covid-19, Frank. And, Stacey Lianne also is firmly in the camp of “No”, saying that “we need to treat it like flu and jst get on with life! Accept it’s never going away…… we can’t be in lockdown forever. It’s already been to long, it’s destroying lives and business. We need to move on.”

Many people were firmly of the opinion that they did not want this to affect the planned easing of lockdown, with some people saying that areas with the increase should be locked down – it looks like that may be happening with a possible return to the tiered system – and a few others just wanted to “get on with it”. What is clear is that the cases are once again rising and despite many people thinking that “we’ve had enough lockdowns”, without proper and prompt responses we’ll be continuing to live in this fragmented approach to life, as frustrating and inconvenient as that may be. You can read the rest of the discussion here.