Jab and Go

By Paul Luckman, in News, Opinion · 22-06-2021 18:26:00 · 10 Comments

There is an old saying, ‘I used to be indecisive, but now I am not sure’. This would seem very appropriate for the UK government who struggle to decide on a definite way forward regarding travel in and out of the UK.

In the last few weeks, we have seen Portugal given the green light, then changed to amber, other Covid-19 safe countries kept on the amber list when in all honesty, they should never be there. There is disbelief about the continued absence of Malta and some Mediterranean islands, from the green list, despite their successful vaccination programmes and low case rates.

Nobody can sensibly criticise the Boris led government (except Dominic Cummings) for their roll out of vaccines in the UK, it was World beating, much to the disgust of the EU. However, firm decisions do need to be made. Of course, if it’s anything to do with football, then all the rules go out of the window. In these cases, Boris Johnson says "sensible accommodations" can be made. There is nothing sensible about it, one rule for everyone, if only Boris can decide what the one rule is.

A few days ago, the UK media were full of reports that the UK would admit visitors from the USA as long as they had both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. Then it changed to just testing negative. Then it was ‘leaked’, double-jabbed tourists could be allowed to travel to amber list countries without quarantining under new government plans. According to The Telegraph, always very well informed of what the tory party are doing (in secret of course, ‘informed sources’), “The change would effectively turn amber countries green for the vaccinated, opening up the possibility of quarantine-free travel to most major holiday destinations in Europe and the US”. The UK ‘is working’ on a vaccine passport.

The Portuguese Government are working faster in preparation for what most of the EU have decided is the way forward, prove you have had both of your vaccinations and you can travel. By last Friday you could already download a digital certificate from the SNS24 portal proving you have had both doses of the vaccine. The so-called vaccine passport.

Evidence for travellers who have received both vaccination doses to avoid isolation was “still developing”, but heading in the right direction, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland told the BBC last week.

Jesse Norman, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, confirmed last week that the Government was looking at opening up summer holidays abroad to fully vaccinated Britons. He also confirmed concerns that EU nations are stealing a march on the UK, he said: "We don't want to be left behind by other countries that are taking a two-jab approach if it can be done safely."

According to The Times on Monday, fewer than one in 200 travellers arriving from countries on the government's amber list are testing positive for Covid-19. Matt Hancock confirmed that none of the few who tested positive brought back any variants.

We are told that this Thursday the government will review the countries on the green, amber and red lights. At the same time Boris said on Monday, that this year will be "a difficult year for travel"

Confused? You will be

“Public health paranoia will have trumped common sense”

Henry Smith, the Tory chairman of the all-party Future of Aviation group, told the press, “Britain would be an "outlier" (a person or thing differing from all other members of a particular group or set) if it did not adopt the same approach to vaccinated travellers as most other countries. At least 33 countries, including Germany, France, Spain and Greece, exempt vaccinated passengers from quarantine”.

"If we don't do it, we will be at a significant disadvantage to our international competitors. Public health paranoia will have trumped common sense if we don't go down that route," Mr Smith said.

Meanwhile British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Ryanair have joined the court action over the traffic lights system. Launched by Stansted Airport, Manchester airport and East Midlands, they have called for a judicial review over the system’s “lack of transparency”.

Court papers officially filed on 17 June, argue the government’s reasons for their decisions on who gets the status of green, amber or red are “undisclosed and the decision-making process lacks transparency in a fundamental way”. They are asking a judge to rule on whether the UK government’s decision to amend the traffic light list was against the law. The court papers name the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, and the health secretary, Matt Hancock, as defendants. The aim is to increase pressure on reopening many more countries to international travel over the next few weeks.

There are many figures regarding the value to the UK of the airline industry, but most research suggest that it is worth over 50 billion to the UK government and employs over 500,000 people. The airline and travel industry have a powerful voice and can only be ignored for a short time.

In the meantime, the Portuguese tourist authorities are doing everything possible to make visitors from other countries welcome, very sensible. But never underestimate the UK tourists, they are they have a love of Portugal that has endured for over 50 years. While other markets come and go, the British just keep coming back year after year.

Why? At the end of the 80’s we commissioned two surveys by the world-famous Gallup Poll organisation, which were held at our Algarve in London Exhibition on Park Lane.

One of the many questions asked was what was the attraction of Portugal?

No, it wasn’t sun, the beaches or golf, number one, both years, was always ‘The Portuguese people’. UK visitors love the warm genuine welcome they get in Portugal, everything else is a bonus. It’s a friendship that’s not going to stop soon. Not even Boris can stop it!

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A member of parliament’s Transport Select Committee said today 'UK HAS BECOME 'BORIS JOHNSON'S PRISON ISLAND' Says it all

By Fred from Algarve on 23-06-2021 06:27

It's funny how people who complain about this newspaper are still reading it. I suppose visiting the Algarve would be like visiting south Florida...you don't really get a feel for the locals. My in-laws are from just north of Lisbon. My first visit to Portugal was to meet them. Wow! Cousins are treated like brothers and sisters! I get familiar with my own cousins by reading their obituaries. Talk about the Portuguese people...they just love it when you try to speak a little Portuguese, unlike the snobby French. Later, when we had to return to Portugal to take care of matters pertaining to aging parents, my absentminded Portuguese brother-in-law, left all his important documents in the buggy at the Lisbon airport. Of course he didn't realize it until we got to Alverca. So we drove back, and low and behold...it was still in the buggy, untouched by human hands! Being peas in the same pod, his sister left hers in a local cafe and didn't realize it until that night. Went back the next day, the owners had safely put it aside. So ya, I would visit Portugal again for the PEOPLE...along with the seafood, pastries, history, culture....no bullfights though.

By William from Other on 23-06-2021 05:51

The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing. The author of this article, conscious of this, and having tradesman- like habits, supplies their demands.

By Simon from Alentejo on 23-06-2021 04:57

I'm sure this tosh was taken from one of those old election leaflets the Labour Party comrades stuffed through our letter box before my Father set the dog on them. So the Brits love the Portuguese people eh. Not sure about that, but yes, I agree, mostly they are okay. But that does mean other nationalities aren't. Does it? A bit of Sycophancy is okay Portugal News, but for Gawd's sake make if a bit more subtle.

By Mike Towl from Algarve on 23-06-2021 11:54

I live in England and would love to travel to Portugal without restrictions or testing but I can see that people might be mightily peed off if foreign travel was opened up whilst restrictions in England have been extended.

A 30 year old survey found the attraction to Portugal was 'The Portuguese people' and they are lovely but I doubt many modern day tourists encounter any Portuguese except at the airport.

By Nick Gibson from UK on 23-06-2021 11:34

Nah, Portuguese people surely do not welcome unruly drunkards that even not not drunk are egomaniacal enough to not use a mask.
As for welcoming full vaccinated people without tests, no idea whether what the point of that "war". Tests are cheap, and it is already well proven by science full vaccinated still got covid, still transmit it, and if frail enough, still die of it.
Stop the nonsense.
As for not being the sun, strangely brits prefers the South, and we avoid "Allgarve" in the summer because of them.

By Rui F Ribeiro from Lisbon on 23-06-2021 11:10

I guess you didn't get the memo the Germans are blaming the Portuguese for allowing the Brits into Portugal in May, seeding the Delta variantr into the EU as a result.

Short termism and greed are the recipe for catastrophe.

By James from Algarve on 23-06-2021 08:42

"Not even Boris can stop it!" Want to bet!

By Anna from USA on 23-06-2021 08:41

Is this site the UK news or the Portugal news?

By Antony from Other on 23-06-2021 06:18

Stab and Gone
It's a one way ticket once you're stabbed with the human experiment

By Bruno Pereira from Madeira on 23-06-2021 12:18
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