The Scottish Mail on Sunday

The nation deserves a holiday, so sort out this travel mess


THOUSANDS of words have been written about how illogical the ‘pingdemic’ is, and rightly so. The postponeme­nt of urgent measures to pay for social care – because the Ministers involved are selfisolat­ing – sums up the absurdity. It is yet another way in which government success is being clouded by confusion and pedantic pettifoggi­ng, the rigid imposition of rules often for their own sake, or on very weak grounds.

An equally egregious instance of this is the way we have made it so illogicall­y difficult to travel. The Mail on Sunday has repeatedly pointed out that the families of the nation need and deserve a decent holiday, to help the country get over 18 months of gloom, confinemen­t and separation from loved ones. Once, tight restrictio­ns on travel were justified. But the impressive take-up of the vaccinatio­n should have transforme­d this. It is astonishin­g how little difference it has made.

Claims, later toned down, of dangerous new variants led to severe limitation­s on travel to France. Almost every European country has been subjected to a zig-zagging succession of bans, relaxation­s and new bans. This has caused misery to those who dared to travel. It has deterred many others from even trying, lest they too are forced to make a sudden dawn dash homewards to avoid long and expensive days in quarantine or isolation.

As for the incessant and overpriced tests demanded, they just add to the mental torture heaped on the heads of innocent people trying to take a badly needed break in the sun by the sea.

Ministers really need to act to ensure that, while necessary restrictio­ns on travel are maintained, they are not discredite­d and made ridiculous by over-caution and needless rigidity.

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