Two jabs; no self-isolation

By | Category: Travel rumblings

The travel industry seems delighted by yesterday’s news. At least that is what they are telling us.

Jandia beach on Fuertaventura. Will yesterday’s announcement help fill up tourist accommodation in the Canaries?

Yesterday when Grant Shapps made his announcement they didn’t get into a lather about the other restrictions that weren’t altered.

Instead they grasped his words and suggested it was wonderful for travel.

Shapps said that people over eighteen wouldn’t have to quarantine on returning to England after July 19th (yes I mean England since Wales and Scotland haven’t agreed yet. Northern Ireland will follow suit on July 29th) from amber list countries if they had been fully vaccinated. But travellers still have to wait for fourteen days after the second jab before travelling or continue to self-isolate on their return.

They also must still get a PCR test prior to travelling for each member of the family depending on age and they must have a test on their return. For a family of four that means eight tests at a not inconsiderable cost even allowing that many tour operators and airlines offering discounts.

The boss of easyJet, Johan Lundgren, was one of the few to strike a negative note. He said, “We do not want to see a return to flying being a preserve of the rich and expensive testing could sadly make travel out of reach for some this summer.

Many others avoided the issue. Doncaster-Sheffield Airport said was that they welcomed the announcement as did the boss of Butter, the company that which allows you to spread the cost of travel over a period of time. The co- founder of the ccommodation booking platform, Hoo, said, “It’s great to see some real intent by the government to help revive… one of the worst hit sectors during the pandemic.”

Anybody would think that travel had returned to normal. It hasn’t.

Booking rose, easyJet says by 400% but that means nothing unless we know the actual numbers. If bookings were previously 1 and rose to 4 that is 400% and means next to nothing. But if 10,000 bookings rose to 40,000, it is significant.

It is in the interests of the travel industry to talk up the increase of bookings to encourage others to book. Up until 6pm last night, I had over a hundred e-mails with many talking about the holiday opportunities that were open to fully vaccinated passengers.

But many countries still require testing or quarantine or both such as France and Italy, Australia and New Zealand – large holiday destinations for Britons. A PCR test in France costs €49 and now, travellers have to pay for it unlike before.

The delta and newly identified lambda strains are he reason for the increased nervousness in many countries.

Yes, it is better not to have to self-isolate on your return to the UK so people can return to work and kids can go back to school without having to sit at home for days.

And for those who won’t be able to get a full vaccination sequence before the summer is over, the group that ministers were saying only a few weeks ago would be discriminated against, what about them? And those who are unable to be vaccinated.

The biggest issue facing British holidaymakers who travel abroad is whether their destinations impose speedy shutdowns or restrictions It could happen. The spike in cases in Japan has resulted in their being no spectators watching the Olympics which start in just a fortnight’s time.

There are lots of concerns about overseas travel that holidaymakers need to weigh up before deciding wether to book.

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