‘Travel corridors’? The transport secretary might as well have opened up Narnia and the Moon

travel corridors the transport secretary might as well have opened up narnia and the moon scaled

You don’t have my phone number, but I guarantee that several of your hard-working officials do; we talk often, usually (at my behest) at unsocial hours. The reason I mention it: every Thursday, just before 5pm, my colleagues and I stop what we’re doing and gather, virtually, around your Twitter feed for our now-familiar teatime quarantine bingo. 

Small bets are exchanged on which countries might join the UK’s no-go list, and – more excitingly from a travel perspective – which may gain exemption from the government’s abiding principle that arrivals from abroad are suspect and must self-isolate for two weeks.

Before your latest performance, my prediction to colleagues was: “South Africa is the only one I can see coming off the list, 5-1 that Jamaica might, and a couple of minor and irrelevant surprises.”

Well, you certainly surprised me this week. I was initially thrilled to learn, in your Trumpian capitals: “ISRAEL, NAMIBIA, RWANDA, SRI LANKA, URUGUAY, BONAIRE, ST EUSTATIUS & SABA, THE NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS and THE US VIRGIN ISLANDS have been ADDED to the #TravelCorrdor [sic] list.”

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These were both major and minor surprises. But from the holidaymaker’s point of view, it turns out all are supremely irrelevant.

May I lead you through the welcome offered by the tourism authorities in some of those countries?

“Entry to Israel will be refused to non-citizens or non-residents of Israel arriving from anywhere in the world.”

“Entry to Sri Lanka is currently prohibited for all non-nationals, and the government of Sri Lanka is not currently issuing visas to travel to the country.”

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