Yesterday, transport minister Grant Shapps gloated in the way any Tory does when they get to publicly say ‘successful vaccination programme’.
He said: “UK residents who are fully vaccinated will not have to isolate when travelling from amber list countries.” The key words there are “UK residents”.
So if by chance you happen to live on this piece of land, you can go to an amber list country, mix in with its people, and come back enjoying the privilege of not having to self-isolate if you are fully vaccinated.
But if an amber list country resident wants a holiday in the UK, or wants to see their family here, they can have all their jabs they like, they would still have to choose between not seeing their family, losing their annual leave, or losing their jobs. After all, only vaccines done in the UK mean success.
Thanks to our successful vaccination programme, our intention is that later in the summer ☀️ UK residents who are fully vaccinated will not have to isolate when travelling from amber list countries 🟠— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) June 24, 2021
We’ll set out further details next month.
And I should know, because for years I chased healthcare in Romania despite being a UK resident, because I was made to feel like an unwelcome burden – and so I got fully-jabbed in Romania last month, only to find out the government does not have a way of registering foreign-administered jabs in the NHS App, so that, you know, I could travel too as a UK resident.
Speaking of Romania, as an example of a EU country stuck in the Tory travel shambles – for reasons we don’t know about, it has constantly been on the amber list, surely nothing to do with Brexit and wanting to keep eastern Europeans out.
With just over 1 million cases and 32,771 deaths throughout the whole pandemic, it has both less cases and less deaths proportional to its population than the 4.6 million UK cases and 128,048 deaths. And for those who may jump at the assumption that the Romanian reporting may not be accurate, firstly ask yourself why you have that assumption, and just know that we would hear about it if the hospitals were at capacity.
‘Science-led travel decisions’
The Tories seem to suggest that they are also basing their decisions on restrictions on a country’s capability to detect Covid variants.
Should we punish financially poorer countries from not reuniting their families in the UK? If the government wants to keep searching for variants for the rest of our lives, then so be it, but maybe don’t restrict countries who can’t afford to do so because they didn’t hoard the world’s wealth through questionable practices.
And since they keep arguing that they ‘base all their decisions on science’, it would be great to know what the science is behind the decision to no longer quarantine arrivals from the Balearic Islands, conveniently a popular summer destination for Brits. Or the science behind all the green list countries that 99% of the people wouldn’t travel to because they are too far and travel costs would be too high.
We’re adding Malta to the Govt green list 🟢— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) June 24, 2021
We’re also adding Madeira, the Balearic Islands, several UK Overseas Territories and Caribbean Islands (including Barbados) to the green list and green watchlist.
Israel & Jerusalem are also added to the green watchlist.
All about who has the vote
The government doesn’t care about winning anyone over other than UK citizens because UK citizens have the vote. Everyone else doesn’t. And, post-Brexit, they are making sure it’s as hard as possible to become one, even by bringing back an unfair retrospective requirement for EU citizens in the UK, such as the comprehensive sickness insurance (CSI).
So if you voted Brexit, travel rules announcements are one of your chances to show you didn’t vote Leave because you hate ‘foreigners’. If you voted Remain, it’s your chance to show you didn’t just do it for your own benefit.
EU citizens are your neighbours, and in this ever-divided world, it would benefit everyone if we stood up for each other and showed some humanity.