Is COVID Being Used as an Excuse to Stop Cheap Travel?

You know the elites would love to go from virus to climate restrictions and purge their favorite destinations of mass tourism

It takes a lot to part us Brits from our overseas breaks. No sooner had France been removed from the “amber plus” list than queues were reported to have formed at St Pancras International station as people sought tickets for the Eurostar.

Under these revised rules, anyone holidaying in France will not have to isolate for 10 days on their return, though a family of four will still have to pay hundreds of pounds for repeated Covid tests – and they do still risk falling foul of sudden changes in rules. Forget the assurances from Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, that people can now enjoy a holiday in France “without looking over their shoulders”; ever since Shapps himself was forced to hot-foot it back from a Spanish holiday last summer after his own department changed the rules at short notice, the Government has repeatedly played around with travellers’ plans.

The latest victims are Britons on holiday in Mexico who, from 4am on Sunday, will be obliged to pay £2,285 each for hotel quarantine on their return – that country having suddenly been added to the red list.

There is no end in sight to this travel misery. Indeed, Shapps seemed to hint yesterday that testing for international travellers could continue indefinitely, even when the pandemic is over. Anyone would think that the Government had a deliberate policy of fobbing off the travel industry by relaxing a few rules while continuing to mess around ordinary travellers so much that they will give up their ambition for a fortnight in the sun and settle for a caravan in Skegness instead.

Turning the clock back 50 years as sharply as that would be quite a manoeuvre. For the past five or more decades, we have become accustomed to our cheap two-week beach breaks in foreign climes. More than a hope, they are an expectation, a civil right – and why not?

Prior to the launch of the first package holiday (London Gatwick to Corsica in 1950, six hours via Lyon), most ordinary folk had a fortnight at a British seaside resort, enduring long car or coach journeys, inadequate service stations and challenging B&Bs.

But once you could buy an entire holiday in a shop on the high street, complete with paper vouchers and luggage labels, the world turned upside down.

Thousands of Britons were soon flying chartered planes to Majorca, the Costa Brava, and Sardinia, courtesy of the first mass travel company Horizon.

Competition came quickly:  Wings, set up in 1955 by the Ramblers’ Association, advertised package holidays to Portugal costing 49 guineas for two weeks (about £1,180 today).

By the 1960s, demand from tourists was boosting airport growth; Luton was one of the first to capitalise on the opportunity. (Later, the airport’s role in mass tourism would be immortalised in an award-winning ad for Campari and lemonade, the ultimate package holiday drink.)

The annual shiny Lunn Poly or Thomas Cook brochure could be collected from your high street travel agent and pored over at home, en famille. Each year, there were new and ever-more exotic destinations: Corfu Town, Albufeira, Naples, Dubrovnik. The hotels promised in-room TVs, three-star dining, local entertainment and day trips. Package holidays went upmarket with Roman ruins and butterfly farms, while souvenir shops offered cheesecloth dresses and hand-woven bedspreads.

Yet still for most the main idea was to spend as much time as possible in the sun.  Night times were for fun at the disco, retsina and waterside dining watched by a horde of feral cats.

Over time two tiers of fliers emerged: the ones who “travel”, and then everyone else, who “go on holiday”. The former look down on the latter, sneering at the way they buy flight and accommodation as a unit, rather than – the ultimate virtue signalling – booking one’s own flight and calling that charming hotel your best pal told you about, in the sort of exotic destination that requires at least three vaccinations – and this pre-Covid. While no one seems to begrudge this kind of thoughtful traveller – casually offsetting their CO2 via an app, cheerful Costa-mongers are another matter. And have been for quite a while.

And so Covid may now have become an excuse for doing what some of our elitist leaders have perhaps dreamed of for years: putting an end to the cheap package holiday.

But while the talk now is of the need to keep expensive testing and complicated rules – in place, this undeclared war on cheap travel is unlikely to end with Covid. There will be others looking to stop the bargain-bucket Benidorm crowd for environmental reasons.

Already, powerful government advisers have mass travel in their sights as they ponder how Britain can meet the government’s legally binding target of reducing carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. For them, Covid restrictions have been a dry run for how our lifestyles might be curtailed in future for the good of the planet.

Yes, that would mean turning the clock back to the era when travel was so complicated and expensive that only the most dedicated and economically blessed among us would consider getting away. And as the numbers of putative passengers to Spain, say, fell, then there would be fewer flights, and those would be offered at higher prices. Throw in testing that costs as much as the holiday itself and suddenly, the sort of ordinary Brit who has come to depend on their annual dose of vitamin D wouldn’t be able to afford it anyway.

Keeping the masses off planes would delight well-off travellers – the sort who assuage their own guilt by buying carbon offsets and who shudder at the fly-and-flop crowd at the boarding gate.

Among those who see Covid as a dry run for restricting our freedom to travel is Dr Susan Michie, member of the Sage committee and director of the Centre for Behaviour Change at UCL.

In a Channel 5 News interview in June, she said: “We need to think about the way we plan our cities, our transport, our lifestyles – instead of going back to huge long commutes, we have more local hubs where people don’t have to travel so much – good not only for health but for the environment – the environmental crisis is the next one down the road.”

In other words, now we have conditioned the public to expect lockdowns and other restrictions, let’s use them to cut carbon emissions.

Sir David King, the former chief Scientific Adviser who set up the shadow “independent Sage” committee and the similar Climate Change Advisory Group, is another who might not want to let the opportunity slip.

Last September, he wrote in The Washington Post: “The pandemic ought to make fighting climate change easier, serving as a model for responding to the climate crisis. While it did so at a huge cost to the economy, it has proved that large swaths of the population could change their behaviour and lower the trajectory of emissions — not over decades but in a matter of weeks.”

His argument somewhat ignores an important point: the public supported restrictions on the basis it was a brief response to a disease threatening to kill large numbers of people in a short time.

However much you dress up the dangers of climate change, it isn’t going to be solved with restrictive measures over weeks or months. If a government was going to try to cut carbon emissions by announcing a ban on, say, holiday flights, it would have to stay indefinitely, or until some alternative technology was invented.

The public might be a little less keen to accept that. Except, perhaps, if they can be either put off going away (the cost, the effort) or frightened into changing behaviour (disease, global warming) forever.

So the culture war over travel has begun.  Government ministers from Johnson and Sunak down are already modelling the responsible, patriotic and green style of holiday: a sodden staycation in wellies and a coat. It’s one that would suit the World Economic Forum (WEF), which carries on its website a piece by Arthur Wyns, former climate adviser to the World Health Organisation, saying: “The global health crisis we find ourselves in has forced us to dramatically change our behaviour in order to protect ourselves and those around us, to a degree most of us have never experienced before. This temporary shift of gears could lead to a long-term shift in old behaviours and assumptions, which could lead to a public drive for collective action and effective risk management.”

Can we take that as a promise that the WEF will no longer be inviting the great and good to fly to Davos in their private jets? I fear not. You can be sure the wealthy will carry on travelling, while lecturing the rest of us on climate change. I don’t doubt that, given half a chance, the PM will be jetting off to some borrowed villa in the Caribbean once again.

Covid will be used to justify interference in the lifestyles of ordinary people – by a global elite which, to judge from the fact that G7, COP26 and other beanfeasts are carrying on regardless, are immune to changing behaviour. Life is returning to normal for those important people, who get swept through empty airports without being imprisoned for 10 days at the Holiday Inn. But for the rest of us, the byzantine rules on travel and the cost of complying with them are a foretaste of what is to come.

Source: The Telegraph

  1. Sally Snyder says

    As shown here, Pfizer already has another drug in its “pipeline” that may prove to be yet another solution to the pandemic:

    On the upside for Pfizer and its upper floor corner office dwellers and its Board of Directors, if the company’s COVID-19 vaccine turns out to be ineffective and falls out of favour, maybe they can “win one for the team” if Ritonavir turns out to be a resounding success! This could be a classic win-win for Big Pharma.

    1. Georgia says

      Ivermectin works — they are suppressing it only because they can’t make tons of $$$ on it as it is basically a generic drug. Big Pharma are gangsters and have bought off Congress.

      1. ken says

        Somewhat true but the biggie…

        They are suppressing it because “if there is a cure, then they have to remove the Emergency Use Authorization from an experimental concoction” which is why they are pushing so hard for FDA approval of the kill shot.

  2. ken says

    The Fake Sars Cov 2 is being used to stop all life exactly what the global warming cultists have been trying to do for years.

    1. ken says

      I have to add that the GW Cultists and the fake Sars Cov2 Cultists are one and the same. It’s easy to show the relationship…

      No matter how much evidence is shown to disprove either agenda, they cannot be killed. No matter what!,,, both agendas continue like the energizer bunny.

      Do not comply!

      1. Monnie Matthews says

        Brilliant explanation! A Venn diagram of the two groups would show a near 100% overlap. As you said, these cultists are completely closed-minded to any facts or logic. Reminds me of a favorite saying of my late father: “don’t confuse me with facts; my mind is made up”. Much of the problem is the cultists’ sheep-like belief in the power and goodness of government.

  3. almadison says

    duh. of course

  4. GMC says

    All these airlines have been bailed out by the Federal Reserves of the world so now they are employees of the Crime syndicate. They took the welfare checks.

    The corona problem is that the Bioweapons masters can add a little this or a little that to any flu virus and make it lethal – in any region they wish to spread their poisons. If they wish to make Florida a little more lethal , because of De Santis’s conservative policies, they just have to spread a little Sarin , untill their death rate rises. Between the bought off media, law enforcement, politicians, so called medical experts, etc. the informed people like us are the only honest ones around. As the old saying says – We can be right but we can also be dead. The NWO Crime Syndicate has Checked us in the chess game.

  5. Fred says

    Did not Magna Carta push back against travel restriction?

  6. Voz 0db says

    Life is returning to normal for those important people

    For the SRF & Billionaires & friends life never changed!

  7. jim says

    Keeping the masses off planes would delight well-off travellers”

    No offence, but how often have you been on a plane lately?

    Notice all those fistfights in airports involving our more diverse ethnic groups?

    Air travel is full of lower class louts who don’t belong on planes as they don’t know how to behave. I’m all for returning to the days when plane travel was for richer, more elite types. Plus it would mean that a pack of Somalis couldn’t hop onto a plane to Sweden and declare bullcrap asylum.

    1. al madison says

      Nazi ?

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