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F1 to be exempt from new UK quarantine rules?

NEWS STORY
11/05/2020

While the country tries to decipher last night's speech by UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, though it remains unclear whether the nation is still under lockdown it does appear that from the end of May all travellers arriving in the UK (by air) would need to undergo two weeks of mandatory quarantine.

Such a move would be a blow to F1's hopes of staging the British Grand Prix on 19 July, just seven days after the proposed second race at the Red Bull Ring.

However, British tabloid, the Sun, reports that "top sportsmen" would be exempt from the new rule.

According to the tabloid "football and motor racing chiefs are locked in discussions with ministers to allow them to come and go more freely from abroad".

Though nobody is directly quoted, the Sun claims that "senior government figures have agreed sports stars will not be subject to the full rule", adding that "they will instead be expected to undergo a rigorous testing regime and isolate themselves immediately if they test positive for the virus so as not to become spreaders".

"There will be exemptions for sports," said a source.

Other than the fact that the paper only refers to "sportsmen", with no mention of the vast army of technical staff and management, there is the little matter of the claim by top virologists that drivers would need to be held in solitary confinement for up to five days before races.

"Current tests are not sensitive enough to detect infections within the first couple of days after infection," Dr Jeremy Rossman, a virologist at the University of Kent, told the Independent. "Most people will have a detectable virus in three to five days, so testing everyone three times over a span of five days would give good confidence that most people are not infected.

"All staff would have to be isolated during the testing and during the whole event," he added"

In essence, the virus is not detectable if caught in the five days leading up to being tested, and as a result infected personnel could show up as being negative.

In order to avoid this, those who test negative would need to be tested again five days later in case they caught the virus in the days prior to their first test.

Between the two tests the personnel would be required to stay in solitary confinement to ensure they do not pick up the virus from anyone that they might come into contact with.

This process of testing and quarantining would be required before every event and personnel would have to test negative every time.

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1. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 11/05/2020 19:48

"In NZ we've got the boarder restrictions of two weeks of isolation on arrival as has Australia.

There is a competition here called the NRL (National Rugby League).

There has been an exemption made for the Auckland based team, to leave NZ and go to Aus and be based there for two weeks of isolated training before the show kicks off.

It could be an example of what is in store for the UK.

Just how the general population accepts one group having priority over the rest of the populace remains to be seen.

That being said, Australia and New Zealand have no-where near the same cases of Covid-19 as the UK so people are by and large a bit more relaxed about this sort of thing, particularly the Aussies who still have an economy, unlike the carnage that has and still is happening here in NZ with very tough lock down rules for businesses compared to Australia."

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