In what can only be seen as an admission that its decision to impose quarantine restrictions on visitors from abroad was a monumentally idiotic idea, the British government has just published a list of 60 countries from which people may visit England without having to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.
Yesterday was the first time in months that I ventured out of the suburb I've been living in and into a major metropolis, and it was quite an eye-opening experience. Throughout the day, I was fortunate in that most of the people I encountered in confined or enclosed areas were doing their civic duty and wearing a face covering of some sort or another (most were wearing masks), but rarely does a day goes by without a new story about a new set of idiots (usually back home in the US) who are refusing to cover their noses and mouths. This post contains a message to those idiots.
I've been seeing out the current pandemic in the suburbs just outside London but, until yesterday, I hadn't been into the center of the city since a few weeks before we were locked down. With the UK's lockdown rules easing, I had assumed that London had been getting back to its usual bustling self since most stores were allowed to reopen earlier this month, so I wasn't prepared for the scenes that met me yesterday morning.
While in recent weeks, it has been heartening to read reports that fewer and fewer people are choosing to ignore the "wear a mask" advice, it's clear that there are still a significant number of flyers who, for reasons best known to themselves, are refusing to wear a mask on board an aircraft...and that's a shame. At a time when we should be doing our best to act in the interests of everyone around us as well as ourselves, this kind of selfishness is, to put it mildly, disappointing.
On Monday, 8 June, the UK introduced the quarantine rules that were originally announced back in May, so most visitors entering the country are now expected to self-isolate for 14 days before they can join the rest of the population and go about their business. The new rules are nothing short of idiotic and now three of the UK's major airlines have filed legal papers requesting the rules are put to a judicial review.
Last month, to the despair of most in the British travel industry, the UK government announced that it was planning to introduce a rule requiring most people arriving into the UK to self-isolate for a period of 14 days. As of today, 8 June 2020, that rule is now in force and it's nothing short of idiotic.
On 10 May, the UK Prime Minister used an address to the nation to announce that his government would be introducing a 14-day quarantine period for visitors entering the UK as well as for nationals returning from abroad. At the time of the announcement the government's messaging was inexplicably mixed, the facts were very thin on the ground, the Prime Minister looked worryingly unsure of what he was announcing, and the country couldn't even be told when the quarantine restrictions would come into effect. The whole situation was farcical.
Eight days ago the UK's Prime Minister appeared on national TV to address the nation and to update it on the direction the country would be taking as it attempts to emerge from lockdown. The country was hoping for clear messaging and a road map back to normality but, instead, it was presented with 15 minutes of waffle and ideas that had clearly not been thought through.
Just like a lot of people reading this post, I've had a number of trips cancelled thanks to the current pandemic and I expect to see some of my trips planned for July and August to be badly affected too, but that's not stopping me planning for the future. 2020 may end up being a year in which I don't get to travel very much at all but I have higher hopes for 2021.
In last night's address to the nation, Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a series of announcements regarding the progress being made and the path his government will steer over the course of the coming weeks and months and, as far as travel goes, he made one very important announcement