Easter is probably a no-no

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

A couple of times recently and in answers to readers’ questions, Just about Travel has queried as to whether there will Easter international holiday travel.

Heathrow’s boss seems to think Easter will be a soft travel time.

Our rather unhelpful conclusion was that we didn’t know!

But the comments of the boss of Heathrow Airport carry more weight than ours and he seems to believe Easter isn’t really on as a departure date.

Last Friday, John Holland-Kaye did the rounds of the media in response to this week’s clampdown on travel regulations and was asked on Radio 4’s Today programme about when he thought we could see an upturn in travel.

Like many he thought there would be an upturn when vaccinations would be more widespread than now. He went in to say that he thought passenger numbers would increase through the summer and see higher numbers next Autumn.

That suggests he has written off any real increase over the late Spring or even Easter.

The suggestion in what he has said is that even early Summer could be sluggish.

What he didn’t say was whether the passenger travel market would remain low because of a lack of confidence amongst passengers or due to regulations introduced by both home and overseas countries.

If it is when countries decide to re-open borders at what point might that happen? Would, for example, Spain or France being the two largest destinations for Britons and Irish visitors say that 50% vaccination would be sufficient to allow entry? Given that 50% would probably not include 18-45 year olds who fare better with coronavirus symptoms but can still pass it on, would the percentage vaccination rate have to be higher?

Probably governments and their health advisors are trying to work this figure out.

But it has to work both ways. Both the UK and France have had high figures and a drop by one country rather than both might not be enough to allow an opening up of travel. Would a country with very ow case numbers like New Zealand or Australia want Britons until British case numbers were as low as theirs?

Holland-Kaye and every airport, airline and travel organisation would like to know the answer to that question.

Until then, I’m inclined to accept Holland-Kaye’s thinking and forget about an Easter break unless I take a staycation.

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