Staycation masses can snigger at quarantined foreign travellers

PUBLISHED: 10:23 30 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:32 30 July 2020

Passengers, wearing full protective gear to protect against the spread of coronavirus, push their luggage as they check in at an airport in Brussels yesterday

Passengers, wearing full protective gear to protect against the spread of coronavirus, push their luggage as they check in at an airport in Brussels yesterday

If you’ve decided against a foreign holiday this year in favour of pumping money into the UK economy, you’re totally vindicated, says Rachel Moore

Defiant Brits. Stupid Brits. Careless Brits. Angry Brits.

It’s all been said in the last few days about those people filling their social media accounts with sangria and sunshine look-at-us selfies who now face a fortnight’s quarantine when they get home.

Those of us who pledged our holiday pounds to the UK economy this year to support our own recovery might have enjoyed a slight smug snigger about the risk that backfired.

A virus that closed nations for months doesn’t miraculously disappear for school holiday plans to go ahead. If it’s not safe to go to work, how can it be safe to be herded through airports and breathe in air circulating round and round the cabin (through masks) on planes.

But everyone who booked a holiday and stepped on those planes and ferries were waved off with a cheery blessing by our government.

Those who booked holidays and now face losing money were only doing as they were told to.

Go off and enjoy a holiday abroad this year. We’ve fixed it by building lovely “air bridges”. Normal summer service. Hurrah.

Normal service during a pandemic is a pipe dream – and hindsight ais a wonderful thing. What were they thinking?

No wonder those who stampeded over that bridge are furious that a country deemed safe by the government on Friday was off the safe list on Saturday when Spain has fewer recorded cases than Britain. This go-stop, bend with the wind woolly decision-making, telling people what they want to hear one minute and U-turning the next, defines leadership throughout this crisis.

With people cutting their holidays short to dash home to limit their quarantine period so not to miss too much work – and money – tells the story. The government is self-destructing the economy.

They set out to please furious airlines, which will now be furious again. They enraged the UK holiday economy for sending the UK pound aboard. They delighted the masses with the gift of cheap sun, which will now end up costing some dearly.

What a mess.

At home, people swearing by a staycation to be loyal to the UK economy are outraged to watch people furloughed (with government money) since March, who have manicured their gardens and decorated their homes within an inch of their lives, have “swanned off” abroad before returning to work next month, only now to be unable to get back to work.

Those who can’t work at home and took the risk will pay dearly though because their employer is unlikely to pay them for quarantining.

Why should they? And they won’t qualify for sick pay because they’re not sick, although they went on holiday with their government’s blessing.

Thanks, Boris.

In March the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued a blanket warning against all non-essential international travel. This was lifted for 67 destinations on July 4.

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Meanwhile, a shut-the-stable-door-after-the-horse-has-bolted mandatory two-week quarantine for all inbound arrivals, which started on June 8, was scrapped on July 10 for those travelling from a from 59 other countries into England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Nearly 50 FCO and quarantine-exempt lists of countries meant that holidays to these destinations could resume.

Then, as holidaymakers whooped it up Euro-style, those left behind were forced to wear masks in shops and takeaways from last week.

The decision to advise against all non-essential travel to Spain, and quarantine on return, means 300,000 face losing refunds on flights and hotels, while others forced to self-isolate once home will miss out on wages and even jobs.

You get my drift. Where is the sense, strategy and leadership?

Even transport minister Grant Shapps will have to quarantine after returning early from Spain.

Meanwhile, the UK economy withers.

Quarantine measures are now likely to be imposed on returners from a host of new countries.

While the same government that encouraged you to go is now threatening to fine £1,000 for anyone breaking quarantine rules.

The UK has done such a good job of nurturing a dob in your neighbours culture, don’t expect to be able to sneak out to work.

Those next door’s net curtains will be twitching.

Bike safety is key: Something crucial was forgotten in this week’s “get on yer bike” government edict.

Incentives to heave that rusty old Raleigh out of the shed and spend a £50 government voucher on sprucing it up is all very well, but swarms of new cyclists on the road could bring disaster.

No one should be let on the roads without a cycling proficiency test.

The thought of novices wobbling all over the road, riding two, three or four abreast because they’re “getting fit” fills me with horror.

They will be the same people who fill the pavements in a line, chatting and making you step on to the road to pass by.

Leading their lives with no concept of other people – or courtesy.

Last night on a walk along Great Yarmouth seafront, we had near misses with formations of three electric scooters, cyclists and numerous groups of path-hoggers, ignorant of manners let alone coronavirus etiquette

Don’t let them on the road without a certificate.

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