We all need a holiday but there is no need to go abroad - Stephen Jardine

At the moment less than two per cent of people in sub-Saharan Africa have had one Covid vaccine. In India the death toll from Coronavirus is officially 270,000 but experts fear it could be up to five times that figure.
Ben A-an in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park with views over Loch Katrine. Picture: Kenny Lam/VisitScotlandBen A-an in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park with views over Loch Katrine. Picture: Kenny Lam/VisitScotland
Ben A-an in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park with views over Loch Katrine. Picture: Kenny Lam/VisitScotland

Here case numbers have been rising and the economy still has to face the massive jolt of furlough ending. There is much to worry about at the moment, so why do we need to add foreign holidays to that list?

It’s always seemed odd that during the few months when we can expect warm sunshine in Scotland what we like to do is spend lots of money to be jammed in a metal tube and hurled across Europe in search of some slightly warmer sunshine.

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It’s not like we live in Siberia. We have a temperate climate and some of the most stunning scenery anywhere. That is why over 40 million people came to visit the UK in the year before Covid. As people lucky enough to live here, we’ve hit the jackpot.

This summer we could revel in that, enjoy all that our country has to offer and put some much needed cash into UK hospitality and tourism. For some however, that is not good enough.

As soon as Portugal was added to the amber list of countries requiring quarantine, the whining started from those quickly checking to see if a trip to Faro is protected under human rights legislation.

“We need this holiday, we’ve worked all year”, said the bloke interviewed on the news with the straw hat and the startled looking wife and child.

News just in, we all need a holiday.

Some people worked throughout the pandemic in critical care putting breathing tubes into people succumbing to Covid. Others worked long hours on low wages in supermarkets making sure we had food on the table. Everyone needs a break right now but why does it have to involve poking the bear that is Covid?.

As an island, we had one great advantage in this fight from the very beginning but unlike New Zealand, we didn’t use it. Appallingly late to the party, we need to keep our borders closed and secure until vaccination is complete and restrictions here are lifted.

For people missing loved ones overseas, that is heartbreaking. For people fixated with getting sunburned in Benelmadena, that is just tough but they will get over it.

For too long the annual fortnight in the sun has been the sticking plaster for problems in life. It comes with so many expectations but afterwards our troubles remain, now exacerbated by the credit card bill.

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With climate catastrophe on the horizon, something had to change and flying abroad for £29 is a good place to start. That is tough for the travel and aviation industries but they have driven a demand that was unsustainable and are now paying the price.

Business travellers can instead use Zoom and the rest of us will probably fly less in future and have to pay more. In a world where only 4% of the world’s population can even get on a plane and travel abroad in the first place, it is the definition of a first world problem.

But that is for the future, right now summer is here and Scotland is open for business so let’s make the best of it.



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