When this is all over, let’s have a bank holiday week
PUBLISHED: 11:40 13 April 2020 | UPDATED: 10:30 14 April 2020
This weekend, we have had a bank holiday weekend like no other - unfortunately for all of the wrong reasons.
Ordinarily, with the weather the way it is, the long Easter weekend would have been a terrific opportunity to get out with the family, enjoy the sunshine or even have a snifter or two in your local beer garden.
Instead, it has been one of resolute self-isolation, staying at home and all doing our bit to limit the spread of this awful virus - and more importantly, not flouting the rules and undoing the hard work and dedication of those that have been sticking by the regulations.
Realistically, it hasn’t really felt like a bank holiday at all, which is a shame but also absolutely necessary for the good of all of us - particularly our already under pressure NHS workers.
But even though this is obviously a sacrifice we are all making for a good reason, it still feels sad that we are, in effect, losing a bank holiday. This got me thinking - why should we lose one (or more) at all?
So I’ve had an idea: how about the government carry them over until once this is over and done with? Or - in effect - when we are on the other side, let’s have a bank holiday WEEK.
Of course, I appreciate that many people have to work on bank holidays, NHS workers in particular.
But making it last a week - let’s call it a long week, eight days - gives employees ample opportunity to make sure every worker gets to enjoy at least one or two of the days off.
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Perhaps there could also be some kind of voucher scheme that affords certain benefits at a later date to those who do have to work?
It could provide a prime opportunity for pubs and restaurants to get a footing after this tough period - they could host celebrations, concerts and garden parties to encourage people to get out.
Communities could be encouraged to host street parties and other celebrations, almost like a homecoming party for normality.
Tourist attractions could also host events or offer discounted entries, giving families the chance to make up for lost time and enjoy some quality time together.
Vitally though, while the main objective will be to lift the spirits, it could also hopefully get some cashflow moving through the tourism and hospitality industry - one of the sectors being hit hardest by this outbreak.
But also, it would be an opportunity for us all to show each other appreciation for the sacrifices we have all been required to make over what will no doubt become months.
Moreover, it could serve as a disincentive for those that might otherwise struggle to resist the temptation to flout the rules elsewhere. Something to truly look forward to - almost feel like a reward.
Of course, it would need to be held a safe amount of time after the worst of the outbreak is done with, rather than immediately, so it can be safely said that it would not undo any of the good work.
However, I believe it would be a lovely way of giving the economy a shot in the arm, celebrating coming out of the other side of these strange times and giving the nation something to look forward to.
It goes without saying that when the worst of this is over, spirits will need raising. This could be a terrific way of doing it.
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