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Passengers refused boarding amid testing confusion

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Passengers refused boarding amid testing confusion

Old 27th May 2021, 07:38
  #1 (permalink)  
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Passengers refused boarding amid testing confusion

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-57243205Even when you triple check the rules, you could be refused to board - it put me out of pocket, distressed me, and distressed my elderly parents who I was visiting."

Sally Shiels was due to fly from Birmingham airport to Dublin on Friday 21st May to visit her parents. She says she, and about 30 other passengers, were not allowed to board the plane because they had the wrong type of negative Covid-19 test result.

Ireland, like many other countries requires people to present a negative result for a RT-PCR test before departure. PCR tests need to be sent away to a lab to be checked, and you are later informed of the results. Sally works for the NHS, and in her role she is offered regular asymptomatic PCR testing. This means staff are regularly tested even if they don't have symptoms. She believed her latest test result from work could be used for travel, because it met the testing standard required by the Irish authorities. However, Sally was refused boarding.

This is because she later learned that the UK government advises that only private providers can be used for PCR tests for travel.

Sally says: "On my arrival at the front of the queue, the ground staff said I was not allowed to board. I asked why and she said it needed the letters PCR. "And when I explained that this was a valid test, it even said exactly what PCR test it was, while it didn't say the letters P, C and R, I couldn't convince her, and myself and 30 other passengers were refused boarding for a variety of reasons that day."

The flight was operated by Ryanair, which told Radio 4's You & Yours programme: "Ryanair fully complies with government restrictions. "A number of passengers on this flight from Birmingham to Dublin were denied boarding as they failed to present a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test result, as required by Irish regulation." The airline also referred to the Department for Transport guidance that private testing should be used, and that NHS Test and Trace cannot provide the required documents.

Sally Shiels says some of the passengers refused boarding had tried to use negative test results obtained from NHS Test and Trace. Tests through NHS Test and Trace are free, but you must be showing symptoms and book an appointment at a test centre. Sally thinks some passengers may have sought NHS tests to avoid paying the costs of a private test which can cost between £50 and over £100. "I completely understand why we shouldn't be using this [Test and Trace] system, otherwise everyone will be using the free NHS system, saying they had a cough or a cold to get their negative swab to travel."

Sally Shiels referred to the Irish government guidance that does not mention the use of NHS tests, and she says she checked the Ryanair website which only warned against NHS Test and Trace testing, not other types of NHS tests.

"It was so poorly managed by Ryanair ground staff, there was dismal customer service, there was no way we could speak to anybody, and we were treated like criminals." Sally later booked another flight to Belfast which didn't require a test and travelled to Dublin from there.

Simon Calder, travel editor at the Independent newspaper, says: "I do sympathise with so many people like Sally who have just tripped up. He added: "If you haven't paid for a test then assume it's not valid."
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Old 27th May 2021, 09:10
  #2 (permalink)  
 
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This kind of idiocy is going to deter many people from resuming air travel, as it has me. The industry is in enough difficulties as it is!
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Old 27th May 2021, 10:03
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Agreed Pistonprop,


With regard to the UK the whole subject of testing either prior to travel or after travel is an absolute minefield....as a general point you often need to examine multiple websites, and they often offer conflicting advice..and then the operator sometimes throws in their twopence worth as well....

Anyhow...back to the OP..

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-ad...y-requirements


If you are arriving into Ireland from overseas or are transiting through an Irish port or airport you must have a negative/‘not detected’ result from a pre-departure Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) COVID-19 test carried out no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival in Ireland. Antigen or other test types do not meet the requirements. See the list of private providers of COVID-19 testing in the UK for the purposes of international travel.
Where I am (France) if I need to test for travel I can rock up at a (private) lab and get a test done for free..OTOH it can sometimes appear that the authorities in some countries have made a lot effort to ensure that a significant amount of testing has to be paid for ....and of course if you grumble at some point you'll run into those who think all travel is for leisure purposes and in any event will claim that if you can afford to fly, you can afford to pay for the tests.....

I really do understand that NHS resources are spread thin but so are healthcare resources in many countries. Being a cynic I also wonder if that certain interest groups will be lobbying to keep testing in place even when (hopefully) the threat from Covid has declined to being a minor nuisance.
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Old 27th May 2021, 11:11
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At work we use the Traveldoc site for the info and cross reference it with official sources.
A few travelers are falling foul of some countries insisting on a PCR test, as opposed to the rapid Antigen tests. (24 hours versus 1 hour)
I used the NHS system to check for symptoms last year, whilst it does have my name and birthdate as well as the result, it does not specify what test is done.
Even though it was a PCR test.

Gate agents have enough hassle as it is at the moment especially the way the rules change almost weekly. Even though I travel under an exempt category, I still check the requirements and before airlining get a PCR test done but plans change.
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Old 27th May 2021, 11:29
  #5 (permalink)  
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Looks like a cunning plan with multiple objectives:-

1. Make it as hard as possible to travel

2. stop people using NHS facilities for their holidays

3. Line the pockets of their mates
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Old 27th May 2021, 12:42
  #6 (permalink)  
 
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Since I am in quarantine Track & trace phone me each day. standard question is:-
Did you have a private test or an NHS one. Since I had to register
the name of the test provider & their reference number, I don't like
the question. I do think money is changing hands in the testing business.
Sympathy for the lady concerned.
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Old 27th May 2021, 15:21
  #7 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-57243205Even when you triple check the rules, you could be refused to board - it put me out of pocket, distressed me, and distressed my elderly parents who I was visiting."

Sally Shiels was due to fly from Birmingham airport to Dublin on Friday 21st May to visit her parents. She says she, and about 30 other passengers, were not allowed to board the plane because they had the wrong type of negative Covid-19 test result.

Ireland, like many other countries requires people to present a negative result for a RT-PCR test before departure. PCR tests need to be sent away to a lab to be checked, and you are later informed of the results. Sally works for the NHS, and in her role she is offered regular asymptomatic PCR testing. This means staff are regularly tested even if they don't have symptoms. She believed her latest test result from work could be used for travel, because it met the testing standard required by the Irish authorities. However, Sally was refused boarding.

This is because she later learned that the UK government advises that only private providers can be used for PCR tests for travel.

Sally says: "On my arrival at the front of the queue, the ground staff said I was not allowed to board. I asked why and she said it needed the letters PCR. "And when I explained that this was a valid test, it even said exactly what PCR test it was, while it didn't say the letters P, C and R, I couldn't convince her, and myself and 30 other passengers were refused boarding for a variety of reasons that day."

The flight was operated by Ryanair, which told Radio 4's You & Yours programme: "Ryanair fully complies with government restrictions. "A number of passengers on this flight from Birmingham to Dublin were denied boarding as they failed to present a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test result, as required by Irish regulation." The airline also referred to the Department for Transport guidance that private testing should be used, and that NHS Test and Trace cannot provide the required documents.

Sally Shiels says some of the passengers refused boarding had tried to use negative test results obtained from NHS Test and Trace. Tests through NHS Test and Trace are free, but you must be showing symptoms and book an appointment at a test centre. Sally thinks some passengers may have sought NHS tests to avoid paying the costs of a private test which can cost between £50 and over £100. "I completely understand why we shouldn't be using this [Test and Trace] system, otherwise everyone will be using the free NHS system, saying they had a cough or a cold to get their negative swab to travel."

Sally Shiels referred to the Irish government guidance that does not mention the use of NHS tests, and she says she checked the Ryanair website which only warned against NHS Test and Trace testing, not other types of NHS tests.

"It was so poorly managed by Ryanair ground staff, there was dismal customer service, there was no way we could speak to anybody, and we were treated like criminals." Sally later booked another flight to Belfast which didn't require a test and travelled to Dublin from there.

Simon Calder, travel editor at the Independent newspaper, says: "I do sympathise with so many people like Sally who have just tripped up. He added: "If you haven't paid for a test then assume it's not valid."
I call BS on this one. My wife also works for the NHS and has twice weekly tests, but they are not PCR tests. They are lateral flow tests. You enter your result on a website along with the code from the test you took and a few minutes later receive an email saying what your result is.. the result you yourself entered on the website.

No sympathy whatsoever, she tried to save a few quid, but wasnít bright enough to realise the difference between rapid antigen (lateral flow) and a PCR test.
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Old 27th May 2021, 17:10
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So whats the point of the NHS tests at all . We are told, and rightly so at the moment that the NHS are wonderful but then told their tests can not be used.

I have to think there is corruption at play here since I fail to understand how a government entity is effectively overridden by private test entities who charge what seems an excessive amount for their work.




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Old 27th May 2021, 17:37
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Originally Posted by highflyer40 View Post
I call BS on this one. My wife also works for the NHS and has twice weekly tests, but they are not PCR tests. They are lateral flow tests. You enter your result on a website along with the code from the test you took and a few minutes later receive an email saying what your result is.. the result you yourself entered on the website.

No sympathy whatsoever, she tried to save a few quid, but wasnít bright enough to realise the difference between rapid antigen (lateral flow) and a PCR test.
From the post that you quoted, but don't appear to have read:

Sally says: "On my arrival at the front of the queue, the ground staff said I was not allowed to board. I asked why and she said it needed the letters PCR. "And when I explained that this was a valid test, it even said exactly what PCR test it was, while it didn't say the letters P, C and R, I couldn't convince her, and myself and 30 other passengers were refused boarding for a variety of reasons that day."
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Old 27th May 2021, 17:37
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Originally Posted by pax britanica View Post
So whats the point of the NHS tests at all . We are told, and rightly so at the moment that the NHS are wonderful but then told their tests can not be used.

I have to think there is corruption at play here since I fail to understand how a government entity is effectively overridden by private test entities who charge what seems an excessive amount for their work.
Seriously?

You canít use their test because the NHS is a health service not a travel service. Their tests are for sick people or people think they may be sick. Not wanting to go off on holiday!

We will be back to where we were in September when it was taking a week or more to get your NHS results because so many were using it for travel purposes.

There are agreements between some countries not to accept health agencies tests for solely this reason.
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Old 27th May 2021, 17:44
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
From the post that you quoted, but don't appear to have read:
And if you read the next few words you would see it says specifically that it didnít mention PCR anywhere. Again the NHS does not give bi weekly PCR tests to its staff, like she says she used. They give lateral flow tests. This is some woman who wouldnít know a lateral flow test to a PCR test to a mushroom!
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Old 27th May 2021, 19:25
  #12 (permalink)  
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This about people entering the UK via the Tunnel and ferry:
EU tourists complain of fingerprinting at UK border. EU citizens stopped by Border Force officers tell of being detained and treated Ďlike criminalsí
The Guardian
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Old 27th May 2021, 20:21
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Originally Posted by PAXboy View Post
This about people entering the UK via the Tunnel and ferry:

The Guardian
Three cases mentioned out of the tens of thousands who had no issues over the intervening time.

The first case. Everybody should know if you are trying to enter a country without proof of leaving the country there are going to be delays and extra questioning. Try flying into the USA, Australia, China, almost any country other than the European bloc and you are going to have problems.

Second case. Suspicious. Tried to enter the country the first time and was questioned and voluntarily decided to leave (who does that unless you are trying to deceive). So was flagged for extra questions the next time.

Canít comment on the third case as I have already forgot the details of that one.

Just reread the article and can see why I canít remember the third case. There wasnít one. Only two stories.


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Old 27th May 2021, 20:44
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-57243205Even when you triple check the rules, you could be refused to board - it put me out of pocket, distressed me, and distressed my elderly parents who I was visiting."

Sally Shiels was due to fly from Birmingham airport to Dublin on Friday 21st May to visit her parents. She says she, and about 30 other passengers, were not allowed to board the plane because they had the wrong type of negative Covid-19 test result.

Ireland, like many other countries requires people to present a negative result for a RT-PCR test before departure. PCR tests need to be sent away to a lab to be checked, and you are later informed of the results. Sally works for the NHS, and in her role she is offered regular asymptomatic PCR testing. This means staff are regularly tested even if they don't have symptoms. She believed her latest test result from work could be used for travel, because it met the testing standard required by the Irish authorities. However, Sally was refused boarding.

This is because she later learned that the UK government advises that only private providers can be used for PCR tests for travel.

Sally says: "On my arrival at the front of the queue, the ground staff said I was not allowed to board. I asked why and she said it needed the letters PCR. "And when I explained that this was a valid test, it even said exactly what PCR test it was, while it didn't say the letters P, C and R, I couldn't convince her, and myself and 30 other passengers were refused boarding for a variety of reasons that day."

The flight was operated by Ryanair, which told Radio 4's You & Yours programme: "Ryanair fully complies with government restrictions. "A number of passengers on this flight from Birmingham to Dublin were denied boarding as they failed to present a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test result, as required by Irish regulation." The airline also referred to the Department for Transport guidance that private testing should be used, and that NHS Test and Trace cannot provide the required documents.

Sally Shiels says some of the passengers refused boarding had tried to use negative test results obtained from NHS Test and Trace. Tests through NHS Test and Trace are free, but you must be showing symptoms and book an appointment at a test centre. Sally thinks some passengers may have sought NHS tests to avoid paying the costs of a private test which can cost between £50 and over £100. "I completely understand why we shouldn't be using this [Test and Trace] system, otherwise everyone will be using the free NHS system, saying they had a cough or a cold to get their negative swab to travel."

Sally Shiels referred to the Irish government guidance that does not mention the use of NHS tests, and she says she checked the Ryanair website which only warned against NHS Test and Trace testing, not other types of NHS tests.

"It was so poorly managed by Ryanair ground staff, there was dismal customer service, there was no way we could speak to anybody, and we were treated like criminals." Sally later booked another flight to Belfast which didn't require a test and travelled to Dublin from there.

Simon Calder, travel editor at the Independent newspaper, says: "I do sympathise with so many people like Sally who have just tripped up. He added: "If you haven't paid for a test then assume it's not valid."
It seemed very clear to me when checking health regulations that a NHS Covid test will not be accepted for travel, either from the UK or to any other country .
I sympathise but it is not difficult to review the requirements and this should come as no surprise, no real story here Iím afraid. What is interesting is that the passenger in question is a NHS employee and was badly informed
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Old 27th May 2021, 21:09
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Originally Posted by esa-aardvark View Post
Since I am in quarantine Track & trace phone me each day.
Do they phone you on your landline or mobile ?
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Old 27th May 2021, 21:10
  #16 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Jack D View Post
It seemed very clear to me when checking health regulations that a NHS Covid test will not be accepted for travel, either from the UK or to any other country .
I sympathise but it is not difficult to review the requirements and this should come as no surprise, no real story here Iím afraid. What is interesting is that the passenger in question is a NHS employee and was badly informed
Just under half of the NHS workforce have nothing to do with healthcare. Support staff, IT, HR, clerical, cleaners, the list goes on. The fact she works for the NHS is a red herring.
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Old 28th May 2021, 06:00
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Do they phone you on your landline or mobile ?
The UK passenger locator form requires at least one telephone number. The number(s) can be mobile, landline or both. When I was in UK quarantine, I received daily calls on my mobile and occasional SMS informative messages. I didnít provide a landline.

No way are NHS tests acceptable PCRís for inbound quarantine tests or outbound. In fact I was specifically asked by Test & Trace each day whether my booked tests were NHS or Private. I underwent 4 PCR tests within 11 days for a short UK visit, the last nasal swab made me bleed. I wonder how many have been injured by these tests?
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Old 28th May 2021, 08:08
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fewer than die from Covid
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Old 28th May 2021, 10:07
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to NRU74,
on my mobile, but I believe I could divert my landline.
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Old 28th May 2021, 10:54
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Originally Posted by esa-aardvark View Post
to NRU74,
on my mobile, but I believe I could divert my landline.
Thanks,
Makes you wonder about the effectiveness of some of the quarantine.
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