Enough is enough

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Borough Market – in quieter times

With these words the UK prime minister, Theresa May, might be indicating a response to the terrorist attacks that the UK has faced over the last three months.

The phrase has been picked up by media worldwide but what could Mrs May have in mind? Or is this the response of a frustrated person unable to stem these attacks? Mrs May went on to say, “We cannot and must not pretend that things can continue as they are. Things need to change.” Do other party leaders have a policy in mind?

Other than the usual call for more police officers, more money and more cyber security, what else might be being considered? It looks as though online sites such as Google, Facebook and Twitter might have enforced regulation to take down anything that can be linked to terrorist activities. But these companies also agreed to form a joint group to boost anti-terrorism efforts after the Westminster incident in March so this work is already under way. Facebook announced this morning that it will be a ‘hostile environment’ for terrorists.

But there might be more restrictions for holidaymakers and travellers. Over the weekend it was also announced that Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the UAE had broken diplomatic links with Qatar. Saudi Arabia and Egypt has gone further by closing air and sea links because, it is said, Qatar supported IS and other terrorist groups. Early this morning, both Etihad and Emirates have stopped all its flights to Qatar.

The travel industry is already involved. What else might follow? Mr Trump said, after the events of Saturday night, that his travel ban was needed in the US. Will other countries adopt similar ideas?

Could the ban on carrying laptops and other electronic equipment be extended to all flights? There is an aviation industry meeting this week to consider alternatives since airlines say their business is being hurt by the current ban. But, given the number of recent atrocities, might anything they say be discarded in the light of needing to protect passengers? Might we be able to carry fewer items on board a plane? Might luggage be vetted before we enter an airport as happens in Tunisia?

Yet the attacks in Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge/Borough Market were not directed at travellers, but areas where visitors/tourists gather. Expect any large gatherings planned over the summer to have heightened security or to be cancelled as the security forces and the politicians seek to find answers as to why the UK has become so vulnerable this year.

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