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    It looks like Team Hoc are head down and pushing for Belgium after the disasters of yesterday.

    They are on the autobahn in Germany which is probably very frustrating in a van with a dodgy clutch, because my experience tells me there are two speeds on the Autobahn: 180kmh for drivers of Audis and BMWs, and 70kmh for drivers of lorries, and there are only two lanes on lots of them

    Your choices are:

    - driving very slow behind the lorries, which isn't great if you have to get to your art show in time
    - driving very fast with the Audis, which is almost certainly impossible, and if not that certainly dangerous and terrifying
    - driving at a normal speed in the fast lane, then seeing Audis appear out of nowhere in your rear view mirror right on your arse, so you go into the slow lane between lorries and then have to wait for a gap to pull out. Which is the right thing to do, but is exhausting driving.

    Perhaps the fact that it's heading into the middle of the night will make things easier for them.

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      I think that they will have three lanes in their direction for at least a meaningful portion of their 500+ km

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        Made it. I'm fucked. About 3 hours of sleep now before we have to get up and set up the stall

        https://www.toepfereimuseum.org/News...eramics-Market

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          Have fun.

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            Thought I would be needed to access my long dormant French, but it turns out we're in a part of Wallonia where everyone speaks German

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              The corner of the country that is responsible for German being an official language - something that surprised me when I lived there.

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                Just got home yesterday from a fortnight back in the UK.

                Heading out from Schiphol was alright: get all your documents together, go to a gate near your actual departure gate, get a sticker on the back of your passport when they've all been checked, and off to your actual gate.

                Manchester, on the other hand, was the same complete shitshow it was before the pandemic. Test results/quarantine forms etc. all checked at the regular check-in desks. Of the three desks staffed when I arrived, two were dealing with what appeared to be complicated cases, so I was a half-hour waiting before that queue even started to move. Then into the security queue, a snaking queue of hundreds of people as dense as a concert crowd, running back and forth for maximum breathing-in-other-people's-faces opportunity. Ceiling about seven foot high. Large number of pricks getting gobby when asked to mask up.

                I was under the impression I'm obliged to do ten days quarantine now I'm back - and arguably should - but realized after I send the form off that I qualify for a necessary family visit exemption. Asked at the desk and was given a replacement form to fill in, which I am almost certain won't have been processed: document checks before boarding were so cursory that the bloke took my new quarantine form, but I'd been sat ten minutes on the plane before somebody apologetically arrived and asked if I actually had a boarding pass.

                A sidenote, but I was absolutely astounded when my sister told me that the UK system for registering LFT results appears to be completely self-reporting??

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                  Arrived in Toronto for a couple of Weeks.
                  Heathrow T5 wasn't too busy or difficult, Had to provide evidence of Double Vax and fit to fly PCR test (45) as well as filling out the ArriveCan App, practically everyone was masked.

                  Flight was full and masks were worn.

                  Arriving in Toronto was relatively smooth, The kiosk sent me to the a border Agent, once I had showed him my PCR results and evidence of double-vaccination i was waved through and had to take another PCR test once I had collected my luggage, all in all was in the Airport just over an hour.

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                    Originally posted by beak View Post
                    A sidenote, but I was absolutely astounded when my sister told me that the UK system for registering LFT results appears to be completely self-reporting??
                    Hilarious innit. I've done test result checks at event entry gates where we peer at people's text messages in the full knowledge that they could have just reported any old bollox and not even done a test

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                      Many people self-testing with a swab won't be doing it remotely correctly anyway, no matter what they report as the result. Utterly farcical, the whole scheme.

                      The PM is being urged today by the Telegraph ( who he does seem to listen to) to rip up the whole traffic light travel restriction system altogether and just go back to 'normal'.

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                        Originally posted by Rogin the Armchair fan View Post
                        Many people self-testing with a swab won't be doing it remotely correctly anyway, no matter what they report as the result. Utterly farcical, the whole scheme.

                        The PM is being urged today by the Telegraph ( who he does seem to listen to) to rip up the whole traffic light travel restriction system altogether and just go back to 'normal'.
                        Yeah there is that. I watched people doing their own swabs at an event and was surprised at how delicately they dabbed at their orifices

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                          Ah, the land of the free. We can travel anywhere in the US, but if you are not vaxxed they have you quarantine for 10 days if you visit any state that is orange (which would apply to our children who are too young to get vaccinated).

                          How's that looking? Oh.

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                            Is the kids' school enforcing that?

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                              When you say "have to quarantine" I believe you mean "it's vaguely suggested that you quarantine but nobody checks and there's no enforcement and not even the vaguest thought of how it could be enforced"

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                                Border crossings in Europe so far have been mostly as pre Covid. Shuttling between Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands over the last couple of days I've seen no existence of borders (the only way I know I am in a new country is that I get a text message in Romanian welcoming me to X). Romania to Hungary was normal (which means it took about 20 minutes in the queue, but it was only a passport check). The only one that varied was Hungary into Austria, which is Schengen and usually straight through. In this case the Austrian officials asked where we were going and when we said Belgium they just waved us through as transiting.

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                                  Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
                                  Is the kids' school enforcing that?
                                  That is Chicago's current COVID rules, so in theory yes. I sense people play a little hard and fast with rural Michigan and Wisconsin.

                                  San Bernardhinault - obviously the infrastructure to enforce this is challenging. The part you may be less familiar with is a young child's ability to sell their parents down the river by talking about spending the weekend in Michigan with family.

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                                    Our firm has been asking anyone who comes into the office to self report recent travel, but I can't believe that is being observed to the letter or that it will survive a general return to the office.

                                    Business travel is obviously easier to monitor.

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                                      On the way home now. Autobahn much busier than it was on Friday night, but it's nice to be able to see things from time to time. Managed to persuade my co pilot to let me do the first stretch past Frankfurt so he wouldn't be distracted by the sat nav saying confusing things through Kln and Frankfurt

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                                        Staying in Győr tonight. Seen zero border checks of any nature despite crossing 3 today

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                                          Is there even infrastructure for checks?

                                          Some of it was dismantled post-Schengen

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                                            There's no visible border of any sort between Belgium and Germany. The border posts still exist between Germany and Austria and between Austria and Hungary but neither were used in any way (the other way between Hungary and Austria there was a check - which was covid specific, no passport involved)

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                                              I went to N Wales to meet up with old pals over the weekend.
                                              Sadly that involved overlapping with the Manc music festival so, on the way back, surrounded by mask free teenagers on very crowded trains.

                                              Still, I'm back in at work next week where I will be negotiating mask free teens in crowded corridors, so might as well get used to it...

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                                                I can also reveal that in Hungary and the Netherlands nobody wears masks anywhere. In Belgium, Germany and Austria you have to wear one to go into a shop or any other kind of public place

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                                                  Lost all patience with my co-pilot. About 3 more hours of this to put up with

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                                                    No way to cheekily change the language of the SatNav?

                                                    That said, I have always found long distance shared driving to be inherently stressful (much like group cooking projects)

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