MOS COMMENT: Spare us from the mental torture of crazy travel rules

MOS COMMENT: Spare us from the mental torture of crazy travel rules

July 31, 2021

MAIL ON SUNDAY COMMENT: Spare us from the mental torture of crazy travel rules

It sometimes seems as if someone wants to punish us for wanting to live normally again. The extraordinary ever-changing rules governing foreign travel have now reached another level of futile spite. 

Countries to which travel is just about allowed now face being placed on an ‘amber watch list’. 

This would mean they could without notice be switched to the red list, forcing returning travellers to undergo ruinous and miserable detention in grim quarantine hotels. 

Countries to which travel is just about allowed now face being placed on an ‘amber watch list. Pictured: a sign to a Covid-19 test centre at London’s Heathrow Airport on July 31

It must have taken some effort to devise this new form of mental torture, calculated to ruin any holiday with incessant worries about whether the shutters will slam down. Is it really so urgent?

Our columnist Sarah Vine this week makes a very reasonable proposal to at least reduce the misery. 

Whatever the status of a country is when you go there, that same status should apply when you return, within a sensible time limit. 

That way, people can be deterred from setting out for an infection hot-spot, but not penalised for being caught in one through no fault of their own.

Whatever the status of a country is when you go there, that same status should apply when you return, within a sensible time limit (file photo of Corfu in Greece)

The Mail on Sunday has repeatedly pointed out that the freedom to take a relaxing family break in the summer months is not just some frivolous extra, but a central part of life for millions, a small but vital refuge from the unending frazzled cares of work, taxes, mortgages, long-distance commuting and general fretfulness which fill so much of modern life. 

Some politicians, living as they do on a different plane from the rest of us, have not had this experience and do not understand it. But they should take it from us that it matters a great deal.

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