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Guide to Self-Quarantine After Travel

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Self-quarantine after travel is a significant way to stop the possible transmission of COVID-19, be it to your loved ones or your colleagues at work.

Admit it. It’s a tad difficult to stop yourself from traveling especially when you’re so used to going places way before the onset of this nasty pandemic. Experts, however, stress that it’s important for you to follow protocols. So, even when you can get away with it, you need to remember to self-quarantine after travel.

If you’ve been out of state during Thanksgiving, it’s crucial to self-quarantine after travel. California announced that traveling residents must do a 14-day quarantine right after arrival. Moreover, if you’ve been lengthyly exposed to someone who isn’t part of your household, it’s imperative for you to quarantine yourself, as well.

Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, former director of the division of communicable disease control and prevention at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and a current professor at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, asserts that people must do self-quarantine after travel, an automatic new normal response as opposed to doing complete isolation when you know that you have the COVID-19 virus. Self-quarantining, he says, is a kind of middle ground between full isolation and outdoor mask-wearing.

The term, “quarantine,” has seemingly lost its gravity as we typically have been hearing it since the onset of this deadly pandemic. Nevertheless, it is crucial to take heed of the different warnings provided by authorities as to the significance of this word. More so, doing self-quarantine after travel allows us to protect others especially if we have been unknowingly exposed to the virus while traveling.

Below are several tips that we should remember as regards the importance of voluntary self-quarantine after travel.

What is self-quarantine? Self-quarantine is the act of staying isolated from others for 14 days after we arrive from a prolonged travel to another area besides our own. This means, then, that you voluntarily stay away from people, even from your housemates, for a period of two weeks to eradicate the possibility of COVID-19 transmission if, for instance, you’ve been unfortunately infected with it. The 14-day rule also allows you to check yourself for the symptoms of the virus as they typically manifest themselves during the said duration.

Aside from staying away from your family and housemates, it is also crucial to stay home from work. This means that you can apply for a work from home arrangement, as well. Doing a self-quarantine after travel includes isolating yourself from work colleagues, preferring to do WFH for the time being. As with the possibility of transmitting COVID-19 to your family, you might transfer the virus to your workmates, as well. A responsible traveler, of course, must aim to halt infection and the two-week isolation is an effective safety measure.

Finally, Kim-Farley shares that, as regards food and other essentials, you may want to adopt a temporary no-contact basis of procuring these things. For example, you can ask your loved ones to leave these implements outside your room or, if you live alone, you can request deliveries to be left on your doorstep. Paying for these goods may be done through digital means, as well. Self-quarantine after travel is your way of helping halt the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus as more and more cases are still being reported daily.

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A UK Bar Pretends To Be A Church To Get Around Pandemic Rules

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The pandemic has made it difficult for some businesses to run, which is why this bar is getting creative by registering as a church to their customers

With everyone being in lockdown and not being able to go out, not a lot people have been able to offer up prayers to the 400 rabbit gods, and with 2020 being the hot mess that it is, a tequila joint in Nottingham, England is planning to change that and keep their business afloat, as well. 

England just got out of its second nation-wide lockdown as of December 2, and now implements a system where they have tiered restrictions. Nottingham currently sits on the highest risk, the tier 3 category, which states that businesses targeted towards hospitality will stay closed with the exception of delivery or takeout.

Church of 400 Rabbits is an Aztec-themed bar that has an extensive choice of tequila and an application to become a worship center that is currently waiting for approval from Nottingham’s registrar general.

This bar decided to mix spirits with spirituality in hopes that it can implement a loophole in the COVID-19 rules of England, which says that if you’re a church or a place of worship, groups from the same bubble or household can enter your business. 

After posting their application that will certify their bar to operate as a place of worship, Church of 400 Rabbits is now looking for devotees through their website.

People who are interested in becoming a Bunny Believer can do this for free, and with a small fee of $13, (£10), you can be ordained as a Reverend, with a t-shirt that you use as your official robes. 

James Aspell, owner of Church of 400 Rabbits isn’t too hopeful that Nottingham will consider the application, but says that it’s an attempt to show how ridiculous the tier system is and how some of the rules are contradictory.

He says that it’s difficult because the government insists on these strict rules but that there is little to no financial support. Aspell believes that even if they moved down to a tier 2, they wouldn’t be able to open without dishing out substantial meals, and adding that it’s another Scotch Egg debacle. 

For those of you that don’t know what a Scotch egg is, it’s a hard-boiled egg that is wrapped with sausage meat and breadcrumbs. After a lot of debate, it has been considered a substantial meal by Michael Gove, who came under fire when he described it as an appetizer. 

Church of 400 Rabbits isn’t the first business that tried to apply as a place of worship, as Atlantic Squash and Fitness Club also rebranded to Church of the Healthy Body to keep their gym open.

Aspell notes that the number of devotees for 400 Rabbits is multiplying rapidly, as rabbits would and has decided to donate all proceeds to a Nottingham homeless charity group. 

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Britons Get Stuck Abroad Due to COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

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Britons get stuck offshore as they await the lifting of the recently imposed travel ban to and from the UK.

Many Britons get stuck abroad due to the recent travel bans imposed. Worries related to taxes, jobs, and Brexit get exacerbated as UK residents are forced to have lengthier stays in their current locations.

As more and more nations start imposing travel restrictions to and from the United Kingdom, more and more Britons get stuck in their present locations offshore. To halt the spread of the recently pinpointed highly communicable strain of COVID-19 virus, UK travel has come into a standstill.

23-year-old Heather Alder, a resident of Edinburg, went to Aarhus, Denmark with her fiancé last week. They had to visit her fiancé’s father and take him to do several tests for cancer. Alder and her fiancé were planning to go back to the UK this week but are now stuck in a farmhouse in Denmark due to the recent travel ban. “Even if the travel ban is lifted in a few days or weeks, we don’t know whether we can leave and we don’t know whether we can get back in easily,” Alder mentions.

Alder was able to secure a new job last month and she is grateful that her new boss has been so kind as to allow her to travel to Denmark. “My father-in-law’s house is about as remote as Denmark gets, so we’ve had to install new WIFI in order to be able to work from here. My boss has been wonderful about it all, but my partner is studying and working part-time for a Danish company, but pays tax in the UK. If we get stuck here for longer, we might have to report it, and he could end up having to pay tax in Denmark, where income tax is at 48%. This would have a big impact on our finances. It’s very stressful,” she shares.

The Brexit deadline is on 31 December 2020 and Alder does not know whether or not she will have to apply for a Denmark visa in case she will be forced to stay in the country for a longer period of time. “It’s very concerning that on top of everything, I now need to sort out my status here before Brexit. Due to Christmas closures, that means submitting documentation so I can apply as an EU citizen for the right to stay by 23 December. Nobody seems to have an answer as to what Britons in Denmark should do in the new year. Obviously, all our documents are in the UK, where we can’t return, which is making the whole process maddening and extremely worrying. The combination of Brexit and coronavirus has turned what was already a difficult situation into an unmanageable one,” Alder says.

The recent travel bans have caused further strain on many UK residents who are presently out of the country. Many of them complain about the need to go back to the UK in time for the resumption of work after the holidays. Nonetheless, Britons get stuck abroad and have to deal with the necessity of securing extended visas in their present locations and seek ways to do virtual ‘work-from-home’ arrangements while awaiting the lifting of the said travel ban.

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A Quiet Bethlehem This 2020 Christmas Celebration

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Sans the influx of tourists in the historical birthplace of Christ, a quiet Bethlehem community gets to experience a renewal in faith over a boom in business.

Prior to the pandemic, the Palestinian city located in occupied West Bank was always filled with visiting tourists who wanted to experience walking in the land of Jesus Christ’s official birthplace. In the past, those who wanted to visit the Church of the Nativity were forced to maneuver through the crowds teeming the streets of Bethlehem. This year, however, a quiet Bethlehem becomes largely part of the massive lockdown and quarantine restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Nevertheless, the absence of tourists is an opportunity for renewal, says Father Rami Asakrieh, the parish priest of Bethlehem. “Sometimes there are more than half million people who arrive in this period to visit the Nativity Church,” he recounts.

During the days leading to Christmas, however, the Church of the Nativity has been so silent, devoid of the yearly visiting faithful who traditionally visited Bethlehem from all over the world. A quiet Bethlehem, then, is a new thing for the community as locals are used to the noisy throng of commuters and visitors who annually arrived during the holiday season.

Armenian prayers are recited by four (4) monks below the Grotto of the Nativity, echoing through the typically crowded vicinity. Even during this year’s Christmas Eve, the most essential part of the celebration, the church was closed to the public. The lack of yearly visits from Palestinian authority representatives starkly reiterated the difference of this year’s celebration, as well.

“It has never happened before,” contemplates Asakrieh, as he mentions that the only times that the church was forced to close its doors were during periods of uprisings and Palestinian intifadas that were done in protest against Israel’s continued occupation.

“I think that this Christmas is different because people are not busy with the external manifestations of the feast,” the priest shares, referring to the customary purchasing of gifts and the conduct of extravagant get-togethers that have long been linked to Christmas celebrations.  “Now (people) have the time, and they are obligated, to concentrate on the essential… the theological spirit of Christmas,” he expressed. “Less business, but more religion,” Asakrieh continues.

During the days leading up to Christmas, the chapel of Saint Catherine, a small one that is next to the Church of the Nativity was made open to the local Bethlehem public. Amid a distinctively quiet Bethlehem atmosphere, many of the local faithful turned up as they donned their Sunday’s best.

One of them was Nicolas al-Zoghbi who mentions that the usual joy of the Christmas season was replaced by the overall feeling of depression. He shares that his son is among those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. “We hope the Lord will destroy corona, just get rid of it so we can return to our previous life,” states al-Zoghbi who is now in his 70s.

The city’s economy is hugely reliant on the annual influx of visitors who purchase items like rosaries and other Nativity-based trinkets from the shops and stands that pepper the place. Thus, a quiet Bethlehem during this holiday season signifies a highly decreased income for those who rely on the earnings that used to be generated from these yearly tourist visits.

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