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(18 Posts)
GagaJo Fri 17-Apr-20 23:05:03

The school I work for in Switzerland has got a preliminary reopen date of 11th May. Things in Switzerland aren't as bad as in the UK. I returned to the UK immediately the school shut due to the virus and have been exceptionally careful not to expose myself AT ALL.

I'm VERY anxious at the thought of travel back to Switzerland. This end wouldn't be too bad, there is an airport in my city with direct flights BUT I'd have a 2 train and 2 bus journey at the other end. Very nice journey, usually. Around Lake Geneva. But the risk of exposure is SO high. On the plane. On the public transport.

I'm SO anxious about this. There is NO WAY I will feel safe enough to return this soon.

I understand why they want to reopen as soon as possible but I really just don't feel it will be safe. To be honest, I don't think travel is going to be safe until very late summer, at the latest.

I just don't know what to do.

Most people who work there that are British are still there. They have apartments/houses and have isolated in their homes. I lived in school though and as the school closed, I had to (wanted to) go home. They will not take it well if I refuse to go back and break the terms of my contract.

V3ra Fri 17-Apr-20 23:17:09

Are there passenger flights actually leaving the UK at the moment?
I thought all planes were grounded apart from freight and military flights.

SueDonim Fri 17-Apr-20 23:17:47

Could anyone from the school meet you at the other end? Or could you hire a car? Uber, wearing masks?

MawB Fri 17-Apr-20 23:50:41

Is it actually less safe - or any more unsafe- than when you left in mid-March? Everyone will be aware of the risks and presumably practising social distancing. I understand cheap airlines such as EasyJet are talking about taking out the middle seat in each row of three for instance.
If Switzerland is lifting the restrictions and if travel is possible I fear you may be on very shaky ground if you fail to return and break contract.
Can you afford to be without a job?

MawB Fri 17-Apr-20 23:54:35

Just had a look online
COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice. If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available. Many airlines are suspending flights and many airports are closing, preventing flights from leaving

The decision may be taken out of your hands..

GagaJo Sat 18-Apr-20 00:00:06

I'd like it to be out of my hands. We had an Italian teacher who could get back after Italy's lockdown started and she did online teaching. But she taught middle school, whereas I have exam classes. And since my contract ends in June, I don't think they'd allow me to do that. I think they'd just stop paying me.

EasyJet have flights on sale for May. To be honest, I was hoping I wouldn't go back. I would like to remain in isolation more or less until I leave for my new job in August.

But no, I can't afford to be without my salary.

Pantglas2 Sat 18-Apr-20 07:40:26

Are you able to claim for benefits GagaJo? I appreciate they take time to come through but it might be worth enquiring?

BlueBelle Sat 18-Apr-20 07:51:13

Where are you going in August gaga ?
It sounds as if you might be safer over there I think SueDonin has a good idea could anyone meet you ? But I also totally understand you’re reluctance to go on a plane even with seats not occupied planes are notorious for giving you flu and other viruses
I think it’s a real big worry for you have you approached the school to explain how bad it is here and how you don’t know how you can travel safely

Calendargirl Sat 18-Apr-20 08:15:28

On previous posts, you have said how you are self isolating and being very careful not to put yourself at any sort of risk, if I remember correctly.

I wouldn’t go back. It’s not worth it, even if you need the money.

Grannynannywanny Sat 18-Apr-20 08:25:33

Gagajo as you’ve stated that the situation is making you very anxious would it be worthwhile having a phone chat with your GP? Doctor might provide note certifying you are unfit to currently resume work

MawB Sat 18-Apr-20 09:06:14

I think there could be an awful lot of people in that group,(people suffering from anxiety about travel to work) grannynannywanny and TBH I think it unlikely that that would constitute a reason to be “signed off” - but who am I to say? If gagajo has been furloughed or is indeed on full pay while the school remains closed, she is luckier than many and if term ends in June that is only a month later.
I would say cut your losses frankly, although whether benefits would be payable remains to be seen.

Iam64 Sat 18-Apr-20 09:11:34

Another good post there MawB.

I have family and friends who are self employed and so unable to work but not eligible for benefits.

Alexa Sat 18-Apr-20 09:28:29

Is it possible the school would quarantine you after you arrive there? This would as near as possible ensure you were not carrying the virus into the school.

GagaJo Sat 18-Apr-20 09:33:05

I think if I don't go back, they won't pay me for May or June. Plus all my stuff is there and I have a school Mac (for work). I'm not furloughed. I'm working, from home, far longer hours than usual. Till 10.30 last night.

growstuff Sat 18-Apr-20 09:40:22

Gagajo Why can't you teach exam classes online? I belong to a number of teaching groups (UK and international) and it seems many teachers are still teaching exam classes online. The problem is how to conduct the assessments, but that's not your problem.

GrannyGravy13 Sat 18-Apr-20 09:50:05

Gagajo under the circumstances I feel you should follow your heart not your head, if something feels wrong it usually turns out to be so.

Oopsadaisy3 Sat 18-Apr-20 10:00:47

We might still be in Lockdown, so the choice might be out of your hands, as it’s a preliminary opening date, that too might change.
If the opening date firms up maybe a chat with your Head might give you more options? If you have been so successful working from home maybe you will be allowed to do it for longer.
Best to try not to stress about it yet.

GagaJo Sat 18-Apr-20 11:17:23

I am teaching online, Growstuff. Awful, it is too. I didn’t realise how much of a ‘hands on’ teacher I was before. Being reduced to a voice and a screen is SO hard. Planning for it is taking me ages. We have only been authorised to use one specific system, so can’t use any of the other great software that’s out there.

I think Switzerland will be out of lockdown before us, which is when they’ll want me back. Online lessons are only in place while the school is closed.

I’m trying to ‘wait and see’.