Is there anybody who might be able to explain to me the UK Government’s policy with regard to foreign travel, particularly in respect of those individuals who are now double vaccinated.
Perhaps I ought to apologise here to the devolved nations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, because I actually mean the policy that is being disseminated from number 10, that of ‘Jester in Chief’ Boris Johnson.
In an announcement made last Wednesday afternoon by Grant Schapps, the Secretary of State for Transport, from 4am on Monday 2 August, anyone entering England from either the EU or the USA will no longer need to quarantine provided they can show proof of having been fully vaccinated against Covid 19.
The announcement came as a major boost for the airlines and for the tourist sector as a whole, both of which have been severely hit by coronavirus legislation. It was particularly welcomed here in Spain.
On release of the news, share prices increased across the sector, by as much as 5% on the London exchange.
However, since that announcement by the Minister the speculation has been rife about additional lists to be included in the UK Travel ‘Traffic Light System,’ an ‘Amber-Plus’ list which really has thrown a spanner in the works for double vaccinated people, many of who were hoping to go on holiday without having to quarantine when they returned.
Currently, France is the only country on that list but there are fears that other countries, including Greece and Spain, could be added to the list due to the prevalence of the Beta variant, as a result of which the hopes of millions now hang in the balance
Those additions could be made as early as next Thursday at crucial meeting of ministers which will determine the travel rules for August.
But as Boris’s inner circle pontificate in their statistical squabbles, the emotions of millions of people are being torn apart by arbitrary decisions that sometimes have no basis in reality, with the sense growing that ministers are making up travel policy as they go along, subsequently then fumbling around for evidence to justify their over-hasty actions.
However, it now appears as though at least one of the government’s senior minister’s has finally broken ranks with an article in the Sunday Times Newspaper which states that Chancellor Rishi Sunak, has written to Boris Johnson calling for the urgent easing of travel restrictions as the holiday hopes of millions could be ruined during the coming week.
The chancellor said that the UK is failing to take advantage of its vaccination programme and has saddled travellers with more “draconian” rules than Britain’s EU rivals. In the letter, Sunak said that UK border policy was “out of step with our international competitors”.
As some political analysts suggested that the move could be seen as evidence that the ambitious Sunak is strengthening his position as key power broker, the Chancellor went on to warn about jobs, as well as irreparable damage to the travel and hospitality sectors.
According to the Sunday Times, “Rishi has called time on travel restrictions.” A source close to Sunak con-firmed he wants to see the rules relaxed and was also worried that the restrictions are hampering firms in the City as they compete against European cities to do business with America.
If the speculation that Spain could move to Amber plus, when the next review of the traffic light lists for international travel takes place, as well as to British holidaymakers, the move would be a serious blow to the business community, particularly those in the hospitality and tourism sectors.
It will be Thursday’s cabinet meeting, rather than the Spanish sunshine, that will decide just how long summer will be allowed to continue here on the Costa Blanca.