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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Covid restrictions in England at nature reserves (1 Viewer)

Robert Wallace

Well-known member
It is interesting to compare and contrast how the various nature conservation organisations have responded to the pandemic in the UK.
Just like our Government there is no consistent approach. This applies especially to hides, during the pandemic most required face coverings to be worn and social distancing to be observed, one Local authority reserve insisted in a 15 minute maximum stay in a hide.
Now restrictions have ended in England, most reserves are encouraging face coverings to be worn and to follow the latest government guidelines. The RSPB however are insisting on wearing masks in hides and I think maintaining social distancing.
I fully agree with wearing masks in crowded enclosed buildings and will continue to do so. But hides? Since the pandemic most if not all have the doors and windows fully open, creating a good flow of air, also most people normally keep a reasonable distance apart especially when using a telescope. We don't want our arc of view restricted. All observers in hides are by and large facing the same way looking out of an open window, often with a good breeze. All in all I regard most hides a low risk environment, exceptions might include some WWT hides and RSPB Titchwell, there may be other examples.
I regard most of the hides that I've used during the past few months far less risky than public transport (which I have avoided).
My wife and I have been cautious during the pandemic and have behaved sensibly both of us have been tested and in my case it was 48 hours prior to day surgery on my arm, my wife was a random self test by UCL
I am now convinced that the approach to the pandemic reflects the culture of the organisation.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Something else that practically no organisation in Britain seems to understand is that when four or five of you have arrived in one car, you are going to treat any demand that you socially distance with the derision it deserves, whether or not you feel that you should socially distance from other parties (and in that regard I wouldn't be too trusting of anyone I didn't personally know).

John
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
So did the restrictions end or not in the UK? If they did, does RSPB even have any legal standing to require masks after that? This is precisely what I have been afraid of the last few months - that even after the state-imposed burdens will end, random zealots will continue pushing for hygiene theater.
 

IAN JAMES THOMPSON

Well-known member
It is interesting to compare and contrast how the various nature conservation organisations have responded to the pandemic in the UK.
Just like our Government there is no consistent approach. This applies especially to hides, during the pandemic most required face coverings to be worn and social distancing to be observed, one Local authority reserve insisted in a 15 minute maximum stay in a hide.
Now restrictions have ended in England, most reserves are encouraging face coverings to be worn and to follow the latest government guidelines. The RSPB however are insisting on wearing masks in hides and I think maintaining social distancing.
I fully agree with wearing masks in crowded enclosed buildings and will continue to do so. But hides? Since the pandemic most if not all have the doors and windows fully open, creating a good flow of air, also most people normally keep a reasonable distance apart especially when using a telescope. We don't want our arc of view restricted. All observers in hides are by and large facing the same way looking out of an open window, often with a good breeze. All in all I regard most hides a low risk environment, exceptions might include some WWT hides and RSPB Titchwell, there may be other examples.
I regard most of the hides that I've used during the past few months far less risky than public transport (which I have avoided).
My wife and I have been cautious during the pandemic and have behaved sensibly both of us have been tested and in my case it was 48 hours prior to day surgery on my arm, my wife was a random self test by UCL
I am now convinced that the approach to the pandemic reflects the culture of the organisation.
As someone who has diabetes type 2, I do agree with the RSPB and the Wildfowl Trust who are restricting the numbers in the various hides. My biggest worry now is local transport. Some bus companies are still insisting with masks, some are not. I’m taking all the right precautions. But mixed messaging again from this Government. But I’m pleased about this. But after looking around a few seconds ago and looking at the details of visiting RSPB reserves. Some RSPB reserves are still thankfully limiting the number in the hides. While some RSPB reserves are now allowing unrestricted numbers. Total confusion!
 
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mjh73

Well-known member
Australia
So did the restrictions end or not in the UK? If they did, does RSPB even have any legal standing to require masks after that? This is precisely what I have been afraid of the last few months - that even after the state-imposed burdens will end, random zealots will continue pushing for hygiene theater.
It is private property.

They can ask you to wear a mask. Everyone is being asked, it is non-discriminatory.

You can choose to comply or flounce off in a huff somewhere else.
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
Now I probably just don't understand British lingo, but the R standa for "Royal", so to me it sounds more like government property? Or can anyone call themselves "Royal" in the UK as they please? Even then, they are a service provider, for money, which in most of Europe still means they can't make people go through random hoops to get said service. In the Czech Republic, I cannot open a barbershop and ask people to come in blue shirts only.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Now I probably just don't understand British lingo, but the R standa for "Royal", so to me it sounds more like government property? Or can anyone call themselves "Royal" in the UK as they please? Even then, they are a service provider, for money, which in most of Europe still means they can't make people go through random hoops to get said service. In the Czech Republic, I cannot open a barbershop and ask people to come in blue shirts only.
No, to gain a "Royal" prefix one requires the patronage of the Queen (which does not mean she patronises you :ROFLMAO: ) e.g. becomes honorary President or simply agrees to the prefix. It has nothing to do with Government property, indeed whereas we have a Royal Navy and Royal Air Force we refer to the British Army (though within that are e.g. the Royal Engineers, Royal Armoured Corps etc).

I don't know of any legislation that says it has to make sense.

John
 

Mono

Hi!
Staff member
Supporter
Europe
The Society for the Protection of Birds was founded in 1889 it didn't get its R until 1904.
 

MJB

Well-known member
That's just fear mongering.
Unfortunately, that isn't the case. This is from Public Health England 0n 23 July:

"From June 21 to July 19, some 1,788 people were admitted to hospital after testing positive for Delta.

Of these, 970 (54%) were unvaccinated, while 530 (30%) had received both doses."

While it seems the case that reinfected vaccinated people generally have reduced symptoms or are asymptomatic and so far appear to suffer a lower virus loading and hence present a lower risk of transmitting the delta variant to unvaccinated people, the delta variant remains highly transmissible from anyone whose infection is in an active state. There are four subsequent variants now identified as spreading in various parts of the globe, but the data are insufficient so far to pinpoint their tranmissibility and their lethality. The delta variant presents higher risks to unvaccinated people than did the alpha variant, in particular to the under 50s.

The main concern now is that the existence of significant numbers of unvaccinated people in any country allows the opportunity for rapid evolution of further variants. Vaccine production worldwide is constrained by the lack of essential constituents for the manufacturing process, because their production is at the maximum capacity. New production lines are unable to increase output until more supplies of essential constituents can be obtained. Surprisingly, manufacturing of specialist plastics that won't react to the vaccine constituents during manufacture, transport or storage is another constraining factor.

The main source for this information is New Scientist, current issues.
MJB
 

PaulCountyDurham

Well-known member
United Kingdom
So did the restrictions end or not in the UK? If they did, does RSPB even have any legal standing to require masks after that? This is precisely what I have been afraid of the last few months - that even after the state-imposed burdens will end, random zealots will continue pushing for hygiene theater.

Well, I consider myself to be a pragmatic person and not influenced by political dogma in any way, shape or form.

We have had 94 people recorded as dying on a single day in the last week. Take into account the lag in infection to loss of life and the fact that cases really took off say a month ago, and add in that hospitalisation is on the increase; then that number could quite conceivably be 200 people before too long.

Is it worth wearing a mask for 15 minutes if it helps in some small way to keep those numbers down? Of course it is. Does that mean I'm somehow a servant of the state? You couldn't be farther from the truth.

The government and associates do not need to inform anyone with a pair of eyes and ears that there is a very dangerous virus doing the rounds and we don't yet know exactly how effective the vaccines are going to be. I'm not sure how it is in the Czech Republic but a good proportion of people shouting about freedom in this country wouldn't know John Locke from John Smiths: they have never thought to read and learn about the democratic process over the centuries in this country because they have no interest in freedom and what it means. They're not fooling anyone except themselves.

As for hides, I don't usually go in them because I prefer a more 'natural' setting but I was in one in County Durham during the week just gone and there was no requirement to wear a mask.
 

PaulCountyDurham

Well-known member
United Kingdom
As someone who has diabetes type 2, I do agree with the RSPB and the Wildfowl Trust who are restricting the numbers in the various hides. My biggest worry now is local transport. Some bus companies are still insisting with masks, some are not. I’m taking all the right precautions. But mixed messaging again from this Government. But I’m pleased about this. But after looking around a few seconds ago and looking at the details of visiting RSPB reserves. Some RSPB reserves are still thankfully limiting the number in the hides. While some RSPB reserves are now allowing unrestricted numbers. Total confusion!

I think the government has generally adopted a 'recommendation' approach, leading to various groups/bodies/individuals taking a number of different actions.

It is pretty clear now that vaccines will only be part of the answer for the foreseeable, and so we all have a role to play to help keep someone somewhere out of hospital. I would fully support mandated mask wearing and social distancing indoors, including in hides: with immediate effect. It's unclear how things are going to go due to the following: the virus eventually getting widely among those who don't socialise much indoors and are more likely to be seriously ill; the waning protection from the vaccines as time passes; the colder weather 'round the corner and more people spending more time indoors; increasing uncertainty as to just how effective the vaccines are going to be against certain variants.

Do we leave things as they are: a situation where some people are losing their lives unnecessarily because we have a significant minority who can't bring themselves to wear a mask or social distance or do we stop them to prevent more damage? I'm all for choice, but democracy was never intended to be choice for the sake of it. The idea was that we would have a voice within the community and we would grab at that chance to have a stake in the community, that our voice would be used in a constructive manner for the benefit of peace and prosperity for the wider community.

On balance, I think there is too much at stake to allow these people, who can't bring themselves to wear a mask on a bus or wherever for half an hour so in the knowledge there is a chance it may help keep someone somewhere out of hospital, to continue down their own merry path. It's time to nip it in the bud and mandate tried and tested means of controlling this virus, particularly social distancing. We've all seen people dying alone in hospital, elderly folks stuck in care homes without their families, businesses going to the wall and not everyone was covered by the furlough scheme and lost everything, community organisations lost forever due to relying on events and such for income. I wouldn't bet a lot of money against it happening again and whatever the government said a while back, another lockdown will be implemented in the event we can't control it because there is no way on this earth that the authorities will allow a situation where hospitals/NHS are over-run.

I think there are enough concerning indicators now for the government to move away from 'recommendations' and back to mandating simple, effective actions. It will certainly help keep some people out of hospital and it could ensure we avoid another lockdown.

I don't go in hides, once in the past 6 months I think, but to hear organisations that exist to care for what is in the community, in this case birds and nature, do not realise what is at stake here; is disheartening. I mean, I can sort of understand, as pathetic as it is, those lost in a world of Netflix, awful television, beer, pizza and ice cream not being able to grasp that some things beyond their immediate existence are worth caring about. But, an organisation that has 'care' as its reason for being can't appreciate that there is a chance someone in one of their hides will pass the virus on to someone else which will eventually lead to someone who will be seriously ill? 'Very difficult to understand what is going through their minds given the uncertainty of how this is going to unfold over the coming months.
 

Jos Stratford

Beast from the East
That's just fear mongering.
It is not fear mongering - backing up earlier findings, the largest scientific study to date shows that, unlike the Alpha variant, fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the Delta variant have similar levels of the virus to those unvaccinated. Authors of the research do not know how this impacts transmission as yet, but state that the potential to transmit is as high as if unvaccinated.




And furthermore, the effectiveness of both the leading vaccines is around 70% at the 4-5 month mark, still plenty of vulnerable people around. It is pure selfishness for someone to not use a mask on a bus or in a hide - a small personal sacrifice that potentially avoids someone ending up in hospital or worse.
 

Jos Stratford

Beast from the East
As an aside, Lithuania has taken a fairly radical step in the last days - if you are not vaccinated, and a significant percentage of the population still refuses to do so, from September you will not be able to visit supermarkets, restaurants, service providers such as hairdressers, etc etc. Or, in order to visit these places, you would need a negative full PCR covid test in the previous 48 hours. Seems fair enough to me, it'll cost you 75 euro every time you want to go to the supermarket :)
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
"effectiveness of both the leading vaccines is around 70% at the 4-5 month mark," is, again, pure fearmongering. This is effectiveness against catching disease, but the protection offered against severe disease and death is far higher. When you get covid after vaccination, it's not much more dangerous to you than a flu. It's pure selfishness to request people to bend down to your random pipe dream of eradicate this particular virus, when after vaccinations, it's no different from any other viruses running around freely. This insanity has to stop now.
 

Jos Stratford

Beast from the East
It's pure selfishness to request people to bend down to your random pipe dream of eradicate this particular virus, when after vaccinations, it's no different from any other viruses running around freely. This insanity has to stop now.
There is something wrong with you - celebrating at the beginning of the pandemic that it would mean guides would lose their jobs (because you don't like to use guides), ranting about Covid restrictions from the outset, now dismissing a virus that is still hospitalising people as nothing more than flu (even in vaccinated people, Israel for example is reporting quite high levels of hospitalisation). Mask wearing and social distancing are not major infringements on freedoms, they are minor inconveniences - if they have the potential to reduce possible impact on others, then what's the big deal?
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
So what do you propose? Are we gonna live like this forever? Because the virus is not going anywhere. I am not willing to give up my life for your fear of this particular virus. Mask wearing and social distancing are NOT minor incoveniences.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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