The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has indicated that island holiday destinations like the Canary Islands and Majorca could be added to the ‘green list’ when the next review takes place on June 7th.
Up until now the list of places that we can holiday is pretty scant. The dozen options given by the government quickly whittles down to just three when you factor in that the likes of New Zealand simply won’t fathom visitors from any country, least of all one where the Indian variant is on the rampage albeit so-far controlled by our successful vaccination programme. Meanwhile other green lit countries include tiny inaccessible islands (one has a population of zero), eventually leaving Iceland, Gibraltar and Portugal. So, basically, Portugal…
So the news that we may soon be able to book an island jaunt to somewhere that isn’t an archipelago inhabited by only penguins will come as a huge relief.
But let’s not all go bikini shopping at once. It’s not a done deal yet.
But let's not all go bikini shopping at once. It's not a done deal yet...
Asked by Parliament’s Transport Select Committee, Mr Shapps told MPs that he has “asked The Joint Biosecurity Centre to consider islands within their criteria and where possible they would look to include if the facts stacked up”.
The Secretary of State gave a hopeful but ambiguous answer when pushed as to whether we might see this happen by the 7th June, review, saying “technically that is possible, but I actually don’t know because I don’t have the data yet as to whether islands make the grade.”
But there’s another place that we’re probably not heading any time soon. France. A few days after Germany added the UK to their verboten list, the French have followed suit.
A few days after Germany added the UK to their verboten list, the French have followed suit...
France remains in the midst of a third wave with tens of thousands of infections per day. Meanwhile their stumbling vaccination process lags behind the UK and other European countries. The last thing they can allow is the more transmissible Indian variant, soon to become the dominant variant in the UK, becoming widespread in a largely undefended France.
Which is fine, we’re happy to swap fine wine and cheese for sun sea and swimming trunks in Ibiza, thank you very much!