United Kingdom

MAIL ON SUNDAY COMMENT: How can this absurd travel ban possibly be justified?

The continued blockage of most foreign holidays continues to blight many businesses and to make life in general less pleasant than it should be.

Why? Plenty of highly responsible people, including the former Prime Minister Theresa May, are baffled by it, as are many ordinary members of the public.

What is it supposed to achieve? What reasonable basis is there for continuing it?

A significant number of people have now decided to accept the Government rules as a sort of tax in money and inconvenience, which they reluctantly pay.

The continued blockage of most foreign holidays continues to blight many businesses and to make life in general less pleasant than it should be. Why? Plenty of highly responsible people, including the former Prime Minister Theresa May, are baffled by it, as are many ordinary members of the public. What is it supposed to achieve? What reasonable basis is there for continuing it?

They hand over vast, inflated fees (what happened to Government promises that these would be brought down?) for multiple nasal swabs.

It is necessary for a double-vaccinated person, who travels to a Covid-free Greek island and back, and wants to keep self-isolation to a minimum, to undergo five such tests.

They sacrifice many days of precious holiday for quarantine periods when they come home.

They endure petty officials banging on their doors to check that they are isolating themselves properly.

It is necessary for a double-vaccinated person, who travels to a Covid-free Greek island and back, and wants to keep self-isolation to a minimum, to undergo five such tests (file photo)

But millions cannot do this, or quite reasonably think the burden is too heavy.

The huge success of the vaccine programme is simply not being used, by a government in thrall to risk-averse, unaccountable officials.

Who is in charge here? Holidays are good for those who take them, an innocent, mind-expanding pleasure.

They are good for business. Do Boris and Carrie Johnson not themselves dream of sitting in the Mediterranean sun by the never-resting, wine-dark sea, with a chilled glass of something delicious at their elbows? Of course they do.

But unlike the rest of us, the Prime Minister has the power to free millions, himself included, to fulfil this harmless, happy dream. He should do so.

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