0693-Corona virus & testing upon arrival.

Reizigers uit Ibiza, zojuist geland op de luchthaven Weeze, staan in de rij voor de test.

At Airport Weeze, just across the German border near Nijmegen, travelers from high-risk areas can have themselves tested for the corona virus. Mandatory for Germans, but also available for holidaymakers from the Netherlands. However, they show themselves only marginally in the test street.
Holger Terhorst, manager at Airport Weeze, takes another look at his watch. Almost half past three. The plane of budget airline Ryanair from Ibiza has already started landing. Fifteen minutes early. “That’s always the way with Ryanair,” Terhorst says, laughing. “If they don’t land on time, they are too early. You can almost set the clock on it. “” But that means immediate work to be done. A real corona test street in the terminal of the airport is being prepared in haste. Employees of the Kassenärztliche Vereinigung Nordrhein – the German health service – prepare registration forms, a doctor puts on a kind of astronaut suit.

Free for Germans and Dutch
The Spanish party island of Ibiza, where the Ryanair plane comes from, is known as a risk area in Germany. The number of corona infections has risen so rapidly in recent weeks that the German authorities fear that returning holidaymakers are carrying the contagious lung virus. To rule that out, travelers living in Germany are required to undergo a corona test. “That can be done within three days of returning,” said Christopher Schneider of the health department. “In theory, travelers can go home and make an appointment with the doctor to have a test, but it is that easy at the airport.” “The results usually follow within 48 hours. Until then, staying at home is mandatory. Everyone who is tested will receive a unique QR code, with which the result can be viewed online. The test is completely free, the costs are covered by the German government. For Germans, but also for Dutch.

“Don’t see the point of a test”
Just before four o’clock, the first sun-tanned Ibiza travelers trickle into the arrival hall. Some travelers shuffle somewhat hesitantly towards the improvised test street. In no time, however, a row is created, which then flows through at a rapid pace. It turns out that administering a corona test takes less than two minutes. It is a well-oiled machine: the doctor expertly inserts a cotton swab into the noses and throats of the holidaymakers, who are then taken directly to the exit of the airport. What is striking: it is mainly the Germans who submit themselves to a corona test. Many Dutch travelers skip the medical check. This is also the case for 31-year-old Sven from Arnhem (“no last name, because he doesn’t want any hassle with RIVM”), who smokes a cigarette outside the terminal. “I feel fit, don’t see the point of such a test. If I get complaints, I will stay at home. “” The fact that he has to be quarantined for the next ten days anyway – Ibiza is also a risk area in the Netherlands – is new to him. “None of it. When I left for Ibiza, things were still safe. In any case, I think that quarantine is nonsense, how do they want to control it at all?”

Few infections
In addition: where in Germany a negative test result is a license to be allowed out of quarantine, Dutch people from risk areas are obliged to stay at home for ten days. Even if they can submit a negative result, a spokesman for the RIVM reports. “A test is always a snapshot. The test does not show whether the disease will develop at a later time. “” How many Dutch travelers nevertheless have themselves tested at the airport is difficult to estimate, according to Schneider. On average, half of the passengers from the risk areas – in addition to the Spanish destinations, these are also flights from Morocco – already have themselves tested at the airport. So far, the number of infections is not too bad, he concludes.

Only one traveler at Airport Weeze tested positive for the corona virus this month.




10:24am dep. Nimwegen CS (Intercity train)

11:41am arr. Zwolle CS

11:51am dep. Zwolle CS (Regional transport)

12:24pm arr. Gramsbergen

12:30pm Departure for a march from Gramsbergen (NL) to Laar (D) v.v.. Outbound march through woods; inbound march along the river Vecht. Predicted distance on GSM-program: 20.4K / 13.5M. It is river Vecht either  in province of Overijssel (Ov.) or in province Utrecht (Utr.). The one in the province of Overijssel originates in North-Rhine – Westphalia (Germany) and is 182K / 123M long. The one in the province of Utrecht is a local river and is (only) 40K / 27M long.

08:05pm dep. Gramsbergen (Regional transport)

08:39pm arr. Zwolle CS

08:50pm dep. Zwolle CS (Intercity train)

10:06pm arr. Nimwegen


The space age Hyperloop sounds fun – but speed isn’t everything in travel, some-times it’s the journey itself

He’s at it again. Having promised us space tourism, and trains that run on time, the relentlessly optimistic Sir Richard Branson is now pledging to bring us another revolutionary form of travel: the Hyperloop One. In these futuristic pods – the brainchild of Tesla billionaire Elon Musk – passengers will hurtle through low-pressure tubes at speeds of up to 670mph. With Branson now in the driving seat, the plan is to launch the Virgin Hyperloop One in 2021.  This hyperloop would connect Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, enabling passengers to travel between the airports in as little as five minutes, seven to Stansted: no need for a third runway.  Another connecting London to Edinburgh would cut the four-and-a-half hour train journey to a mere 45 minutes. It sounds incredible. Travelling 100mph faster than a cruising Boeing 747, we will whip across counties in minutes. No need for torturous journeys by bus, train and tube to make – or miss – a plane connection. No more sweating and swearing on the M25. Greater London becomes an invisible irrelevance. Yet for all the time it saves, the Hyperloop will rob us of something too. High-speed travel may be efficient but it is deeply unromantic. Entering a metal tube in one place and emerging a short while later in another, where the climate, culture and landscape are entirely different is, as any long-haul air travellers knows, discombobulating and jarring.  In a normal train you can observe the scenery unfurl outside, the city fraying at the edges, the gaps between houses growing larger, until they become countryside. You observe the details that delineate county boundaries: redbrick and golf courses give way to brick-and-flint and fields, then to stone thatches and sheep. Your window becomes a gallery of Turner and Constable paintings flashing by. None of this will you witness as you hurtle in a pod, like a receipt whizzing through those pneumatic messaging tubes used by old-fashioned stores. You will enter it in the Home Counties and minutes later arrive in East Anglia. Imagine the culture shock! Or exchange London for Edinburgh in under an hour, missing out on hundreds of miles of breathtaking scenery. For what? To arrive feeling desiccated, exhausted, disoriented, if air travel is anything to go by. Our bodies were built for slower speeds. A century ago, even a ten-mile journey was an event. Neighbours sat beside each other in carts, or walked and talked on their way to market. Now that we travel more speedily we gain time but lose much else. Travelling on foot you get to know every nuance of the landscape and seasons: pregnant ewes and crocuses clustering herald spring. On buses and trains you get to know people on your route. As we spend our working days in airless offices, our leisure time in virtual worlds, even shared meals glued to our phones, staying in touch with the real world feels increasingly important. Some people have woken up to this and choose to walk for an hour rather than spend twenty minutes on the Tube. A friend’s father eschews air travel and travels by container ship: it’s cheap, sedate and he experiences several cultures and climates en route. Cruises are popular for similar reasons. Pods may sound like progress but I, for one, hope that they don’t take off.



German wolf sets standards for Netherlands


The discovery of a dead wolf on the A28 yesterday morning does nature lovers rebounding from their seats. ,,It is the third year in a row that a wolf is signaled in the Netherlands. It is therefore not whether he will settle here again, but when.” Road inspector Bert Bontjer did yesterday morning what he does so often he went off on a report of a dead animal along the highway. That it turned out to be a wolf, he noticed only locally. ,,I immediately thought: this is not a dog. It was a beast, or about 50 kilos”, he says. ,,Still, I was not so impressed.” For many nature lovers it is different. Wolves Kenner Leo Linnartz is overjoyed with the fact that another wolf was spotted in the Netherlands. He says: ,,Three years ago, to see there were no wolves still here. This has now just started the third in three years and the year. So it is clearly increasing, which is nice to see.” That wolves return, has to deal with a changed attitude of man against the wolf, Linnartz explains. ,,They were once a threat to farmers, because the animals attacking their livestock. And so they were shot. Thus, they were gone over Europe around 1850. Nowadays there are more opportunities for farmers to protect themselves against wolves and, moreover, the government can come to the rescue. The threat is gone.”

w2To protect
It is therefore done much to facilitate the return of the wolf. Linnartz: ,,There is now done much more to protect them. In Germany the number of herds increased in recent years from 45 to 55. There is also very precisely track which couples where life. High probability that this wolf is coming from.” Ranger Andre Donker, who worked for years in South Drenthe, yet adds: ,,It is striking that the place where the wolf was hit, the very place where it was once planned for a wildlife crossing. That could have prevented that would have killed this animal. Too bad.” Donker is also excited about the return of the wolf: ,,It is a vital link in the ecosystem. The wolf hunting is excellent and just the animals that already some are weakened. He knows well is currently maintain in Poland and Germany, but sooner or later he will also settle. For me it is a matter of ten years.”