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Passport office staff going back to work!

(31 Posts)
dottiedodah Thu 09-Apr-20 12:51:15

Apparently they have been asked to return to work next week! (Social distancing will be practised)! ( BBC News )What does everyone think of this?

OP’s posts: |
GirlCalledJames Thu 09-Apr-20 12:52:35

Doesn’t seem like many people will be in urgent need of a passport these days.

Devlesko Thu 09-Apr-20 12:53:46

I'm thinking that we are going to be seeing air traffic getting back to normal, we can't allow death to get in the way of business, and the fat cats millions, I'm surprised you have to ask grin
They really don't give a shit how many people die.

refraction Thu 09-Apr-20 12:55:52

It's outrageous it really is but not surprising.

dottiedodah Thu 09-Apr-20 13:09:25

Devlelsko Yes you are right there I think!

OP’s posts: |
AHippoNamedBooBooButt Thu 09-Apr-20 13:11:51

I didn't realise they weren't working. Being civil servants, I thought they were included as "key workers". My passport needs renewing this summer and dh said I should do it now because it will be really quiet. Assumed they were still there. Hopefully they will return as a skeleton staff

LIZS Thu 09-Apr-20 13:20:18

Likewise @AHippoNamedBooBooButt . They may have a backlog to process (remember some people were keen to get the blue "British" cover) and it can be important for proof of id purposes and residency. Assume no face to face appointments.

pocketem Thu 09-Apr-20 13:25:29

The most worrying part of the story is that the government are still apparently working on a herd immunity strategy:

t...he Home Office deputy scientific adviser, Rupert Shute, told those listening that staying at home was important but "we also have to keep functioning our lives. You are no more at risk at the workplace as you would be in your home or at the supermarket. It is about minimising it," he said.

"*We are working on the assessment that 80% of us, if we haven't already, will get the virus*."

He added: "We cannot hide away from it forever."

K456789 Thu 09-Apr-20 13:27:32

Yes classed as keyworkers. I work for a supplier of the passport service and we are classed as a key worker as a result.

EmMac7 Thu 09-Apr-20 13:29:10

No more at risk? What utter bullshit. An enclosed space full of humans will of course be more risky than one’s home, away from other humans!

PicsInRed Thu 09-Apr-20 13:30:16

Passport is a form of photo ID, passports expire daily, and if the office is shut too long there could be a 6 to 12 month backlog of applications - or more if there are staff shortages.

turquoisedoor Thu 09-Apr-20 13:32:00

How would the NHS cope with herd immunity? Covid and non Covid care. Already, in lockdown, all but the most urgent non Covid care is postponed because they can't cope.

GCAcademic Thu 09-Apr-20 13:32:40

The most worrying part of the story is that the government are still apparently working on a herd immunity strategy

I don't know why anyone ever thought that this strategy had gone away. It was revised, so that we would get it in a staggered way and not to overwhelm the NHS, but I'm afraid that social Darwinism is still the modus operandi.

Statistician999 Thu 09-Apr-20 13:34:22

There are 100s of thousands of Brits abroad who require a valid UK passport to be able to continue to live legally in the countries they are in. They also need a valid UK passport if they need to return home eg for family funerals.

Similarly there are 100s of thousands of UK citizens in UK who need a valid passport to prove their identity and access basic government services.

If passport offices can operate with safe social distancing there is no excuse for them not doing so.

It’s not about people going on package trips to Benidorm.

PrivateD00r Thu 09-Apr-20 13:46:02

I don't know why anyone ever thought that this strategy had gone away. It was revised, so that we would get it in a staggered way and not to overwhelm the NHS, but I'm afraid that social Darwinism is still the modus operandi

Totally agree. The only way to try and eradicate the virus is a complete shutdown, I just cannot see how any European country could truly achieve this, it is simply too late. I was surprised to see on recent threads that people thought the gov had taken a u-turn from this plan.

maleficent53 Thu 09-Apr-20 13:52:39

So what do people suggest. Eventually we will all need to return to work as safetly as possible. Once the nhs has seen the peak of cases go down we cannot all sit at home until a vaccination is produced. It could well take two years to have appropriate vaccines and in the meantime a semblance of normality will need to be restored. It is scary but the lockdown will need to be lifted at some point in the next month or so

AJPTaylor Thu 09-Apr-20 14:08:13

If I worked for the passport service I would not be jumping at it.
How are they going to get there? If public transport is how it is here.
They have some staff in to do the few priority cases
Most people won't need their passports now until next year
Once they are through the backlog, demand will go down so probably lay offs

Statistician999 Thu 09-Apr-20 14:14:47

@maleficent53

Exactly. The vast majority of people who get this illness recover quickly and with minimal inconvenience. Some people have horrible complications - but it is possible to predict and model the numbers to whom this will apply. We just need to ensure that those people - should they contract the virus- have a hospital bed to go to when they do. It is a question of managing the flow.

Locking everyone up for years is not an option as the country will run out of money. We will no longer be able to feed people, still less supply advanced medical care to them.

If people are really vulnerable they will have the option of staying at home for a prolonged period. But the money to fund that has to come from somewhere.

TheAirbender Thu 09-Apr-20 14:17:38

We live overseas, are very likely to lose our jobs soon and will therefore need to return to the UK. BUT our 9 years olds passport has been in for renewal since before this all really kicked off. It’s not just holidaymakers who need passports.

GirlCalledJames Thu 09-Apr-20 14:24:49

They could just decide to accept passports 6 months after they expire.
People going on about the economic consequences of a quarantine might want to read up on the economic consequences of a pandemic with no quarantine. Seems from the research like recovery may be quicker with a quarantine and less illness and death.

Statistician999 Thu 09-Apr-20 14:26:55

They could just decide to accept passports 6 months after they expire

Would you see this as a global solution with the UK reaching reciprocal agreements with all other countries across the globe?

GirlCalledJames Thu 09-Apr-20 14:32:42

Why not, almost every other country has the same problem.

loobyloo1234 Thu 09-Apr-20 14:33:36

Surely it depends on if they can ensure the staff can work 2 metres from each other? If so, this is what the Government have asked all companies that are still open to make sure is happening

Notonmyshift Thu 09-Apr-20 14:40:36

Passports are still being printed and made at the moment.

DreamingofSunshine Thu 09-Apr-20 14:51:54

I'm waiting for my EU country's passport to be issued, so I imagine there are Brits who need theirs renewed too? It's the main form of ID for many, especially if you don't have a driving licence.

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