Eurostar passenger booted for wearing wrong mask

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John Bredin

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While this may not be the whole story, it makes that Eurostar crewmember sound like a jerk!

It's undisputed he was wearing the "wrong type of mask" rather than not wearing one. He changed his mask, other passengers supported him, and he was removed at an unscheduled stop. On the other hand, the article mentions a "heated argument," which suggests something less one-sided.

This article struck me for two reasons.

1) I've seen plenty of drunken yahoos get booted off Metra, and one off Amtrak (City of New Orleans, for smoking inside the train). All were for good reason, though the middle-aged not-belligerent not-yet-plastered barhopping group booted because one accidentally dropped a bottle from the gallery and struck a passenger seemed borderline. But the prospect of being booted from a train -- particularly an intercity train far from home -- by a tinpot dictator for arbitrary or half-assed reasons never really struck me until now.

2) I wear cloth masks. Multiple quality cloth masks I paid decent money for, wearing and laundering them in rotation so they're fresh. I'd prefer not to wear disposables by the box and add to the pale blue litter seemingly everywhere. But some international airlines -- no domestic lines as far as I know -- won't accept cloth masks. 🤔 If this guy got booted for wearing a half-assed bandanna, that's one thing. But if he was booted for wearing a quality cloth mask, my sympathies are firmly with him.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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European Union train travel requirements are different than the US. During this pandemic they require certain types of mask to be worn. There is flexible between member states. Our N95 and KN95 mask should meet the German requirements. However since they are not certified by a European agency, and are not labeled to meet such requirements, you might have a issue. It best to buy local mask with the correct certification.
 

west point

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Cloth masks are not fine enough to filter the fine droplets . Sorry but that is the facts. Another problem of persons wearing masks is that many cloth do not cover the nose properly. It is in the nose cavities that the virus can first incubate. That is why masks protect both non infected persons from receiving the virus and infected persons from spreading the virus
 

MARC Rider

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Cloth masks are not fine enough to filter the fine droplets . Sorry but that is the facts. Another problem of persons wearing masks is that many cloth do not cover the nose properly.
That's not necessarily true. Cloth masks cover the nose just as well as an N95 mask. And the papers I've read show that cloth masks are pretty effective at reducing aerosol spread. Maybe not as effective as an N95 mask, but effective enough to slow the spread of the disease. I think requiring N95 masks, outside of real high risk applications, like health care workers in COVID wards, is a bit of overkill.

In any event, Eurostar let the guy board the train with his cloth mask. Why should they kick him off? Did they offer the passenger an N95 mask? As someone else said, it seems like Amtrak isn't the only railroad that has conductors on power trips.
 

Ziv

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The British guy may have had two strikes against him before he even boarded the train. British young men are viewed as being possible problems by just about everyone who is working with the public in Europe. It may not sound fair, but it is what it is.
I was in Estonia several years ago and found the locals to be taciturn or downright short with me as I was wandering around the Old Town area of Tallinn. I went back to my hotel to get rid of my jacket and the front desk clerk asked me how I was doing. I mentioned some of the buildings I was impressed by and then said something like, "Estonians don't seem to like Americans much." She was nonplussed by the comment at first and then said, "They think you are a British soccer lout!" Apparently RyanAir had specials cheap enough so that Brits were going to mainland Europe to drink and raise Caine. And they really cause a LOT of problems!
The front desk clerk gave me her prized New York Yankees baseball hat to wear that afternoon and it was like night and day. I was transformed from 'Probable British Soccer Lout' to 'Well Traveled American' by simply donning a baseball hat. And the Tallinn people I encountered in the second half of the day were very welcoming, proud of their city and willing to bend my ear to tout its positives. British young men have a reputation that makes it more likely that they will be dealt with rather strictly.
I was going to say 99% of British young men give the rest of them a bad name, but that isn't accurate.

Guess there is always two sides to story, but starting argument with employees will put passenger at loosing end.
 

caravanman

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As with the Empire Builder crash, news outlets simply get half the story wrong...
There are no "wrong types of masks" as laid down by Eurostar. What actually happened before and after the guy was asked to leave the train, nobody here knows. He was not arrested after all. Keep in mind also that the Daily Mail newspaper is rabidly pro brexit, so any anti French spin is their thing.
Always good to read that I can disguise my British loutish persona by putting on a baseball cap with a logo. :mad:
 

Ziv

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Maybe so, caravan man, but deep down, I really am a Yank.
But who knows, perhaps a New York Yankees hat may be effective enough to magically transform any truly British person into a "Well Traveled American", but I am not sure that there are many British citizens that would wish to be "honored" in such a way. ;-)

...
Always good to read that I can disguise my British loutish persona by putting on a baseball cap with a logo. :mad:
 

MARC Rider

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The British guy may have had two strikes against him before he even boarded the train. British young men are viewed as being possible problems by just about everyone who is working with the public in Europe. It may not sound fair, but it is what it is.
I was in Estonia several years ago and found the locals to be taciturn or downright short with me as I was wandering around the Old Town area of Tallinn. I went back to my hotel to get rid of my jacket and the front desk clerk asked me how I was doing. I mentioned some of the buildings I was impressed by and then said something like, "Estonians don't seem to like Americans much." She was nonplussed by the comment at first and then said, "They think you are a British soccer lout!" Apparently RyanAir had specials cheap enough so that Brits were going to mainland Europe to drink and raise Caine. And they really cause a LOT of problems!
The front desk clerk gave me her prized New York Yankees baseball hat to wear that afternoon and it was like night and day. I was transformed from 'Probable British Soccer Lout' to 'Well Traveled American' by simply donning a baseball hat. And the Tallinn people I encountered in the second half of the day were very welcoming, proud of their city and willing to bend my ear to tout its positives. British young men have a reputation that makes it more likely that they will be dealt with rather strictly.
I was going to say 99% of British young men give the rest of them a bad name, but that isn't accurate.
OK, so if I go to Estonia wearing a New York Yankees hat, I'll be treated well, but what if I come wearing a Baltimore Orioles or Boston Red Sox hat? Are the Estonians friendly to Americans in general, or are they rabid Yankees fans? :)
 

Ziv

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I wondered about that myself. I think the Yankees hat was desirable for the front desk clerk for its cachet. Orioles hat? Given their record of late, your results may differ. LOL! I don't think Estonians give a flip about baseball, they are more into soccer, hockey, judo and basketball (now).

Estonians were pretty friendly once they realized I was not there to drink beer and raise Cain, and the baseball hat was just too unusual in Tallinn at that time for them not to see me as an American, so maybe the Orioles hat would work ok after all? 😁
Most of them said that few Americans had come to their country, which may have changed in the recent past. The big thing to remember is that even though Americans are pretty popular in most countries I have traveled to, our politics ARE NOT!

OK, so if I go to Estonia wearing a New York Yankees hat, I'll be treated well, but what if I come wearing a Baltimore Orioles or Boston Red Sox hat? Are the Estonians friendly to Americans in general, or are they rabid Yankees fans? :)
 

jis

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OK, so if I go to Estonia wearing a New York Yankees hat, I'll be treated well, but what if I come wearing a Baltimore Orioles or Boston Red Sox hat? Are the Estonians friendly to Americans in general, or are they rabid Yankees fans? :)
Heck, even wearing an Amtrak shirt might work. You just have to indicate you are not British :D
 

cirdan

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Without knowing the details or whether there was another side to this story, it sounds like yet another case of certain individuals getting "drunk with power".

I would have thought that if you find yourself in a situation wearing the wrong mask (and this can happen, with requirements being so non-uniform across different countries and situations) that surely the train staff have some spare ones (I know on Austrian trains they will actually sell masks to those who forgot) or otherwise friendly co-passengers can help out.

Talking about drunk with power, I have a friend who lives in Spain. She is a retired teacher and lives in a little house on a road that leads nowhere. It is not a shortcut to anywhere. If you drive down her road it forks a bit further along from where she is and the two prongs eventually rejoin forming a sort of balloon loop, with houses on both sides of the road all the way. Maybe it's half a mile in total or a bit less even. There are no other streets going off that street besides access driveways to parking lots and garages. Nobody would drive down that road unless they were going to one of those houses.

During the big lockdown last year there was a curfew at 8pm and nobody was allowed outside their house after 8pm and police would patrol the streets to check nobody was breaking the curfew.

My friend says there were several occasions that about 5 police cars with lights flashing and sirens wailing raced past her house at a very dangerous speed. She assumed there might be a serious incident in one of the houses on her street, but less than a minute later they would be racing back the other way, having barely had the time to race around the loop. They were overtaking one another and driving very dangerously.

Give a little bit of power to idiots and they will use it to act even more like idiots.
 
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Ziv

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Caravanman, I apologize for the irritation I have caused. I did use a rather broad brush, and that was not appropriate.
It won't make much of a difference, but all 4 of my Grandparents' families were of British heritage, three from England and one from Wales. So if I was casting uncalled for aspersions on a people, I was doing so towards my own family.
All the same, you have my apologies.

What is the word that describes judging residents of a place as if they were all the same?
 

cirdan

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Caravanman, I apologize for the irritation I have caused. I did use a rather broad brush, and that was not appropriate.
It won't make much of a difference, but all 4 of my Grandparents' families were of British heritage, three from England and one from Wales. So if I was casting uncalled for aspersions on a people, I was doing so towards my own family.
All the same, you have my apologies.
Speaking as a Brit myself, I feel I am very well received in the United States, and that people are very friendly towards me and are often asking where I come from and seeking to talk about England or to tell me where their ancestors hail from, or to apologize for anything that appears to be problematic or unpleasant (even though said problem is typically not bothering me at all).

I appreciate and value their friendliness and try to repay it. I regret than in Europe some people are not always equally friendly towards Americans.
 

cirdan

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Reading between the lines, I suspect he may have thought - bearing in mind that the train was non-stop from Paris to London - that he was OK to do as he pleased once the train left Paris. If so, that was an error.
The article clearly said he change his mask to the correct type after a fellow passenger had provided one.

So it seems to me he inadvertently used the wrong type of mask and was not interested in creating a fuss of any sort.

The idiocy in my opinion is entirely on the part of Eurostar.
 

jis

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The article clearly said he change his mask to the correct type after a fellow passenger had provided one.

So it seems to me he inadvertently used the wrong type of mask and was not interested in creating a fuss of any sort.

The idiocy in my opinion is entirely on the part of Eurostar.
Apparently there was some "attitude" issue possibly on both sides. It is hard to tell what happened and why it happened exactly if one was not a witness to it. So best to hold judgement as far as my take on it goes. At the end of the day it was not a big thing leading to some huge disruption, so thank the stars for that.
 
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