Are regional lockdowns the answer to travel quarantine and is technology holding this back?
At a time where boredom and frustration with months of lockdown measures looks to be finally lifting. Where both the travel and events industry are attempting to regain confidence back into the market. The UK government announce a travel quarantine for the whole of the Spain region.
But are we being harsh, even somewhat naive on the new restrictions? First of all, our support goes out to our suppliers and partners across Spain and the islands for yet another blow to their businesses. We also recognise those who have completely been caught out by this weekend's news. However, with local and regional lockdowns being put into place within the UK in recent weeks, such as Leicester, Luton and Blackburn. Are we being naive to think this would also not happen within Europe?
The continued media push for a "second wave" isn't helping. There is always going to be a spike or surge as we slowly try to return to normality, or at least the new normality! But this doesn't have to mean or lead to a second wave or lockdown. It means we need to be vigilant and cautious, not paralysed with fear.
The opening up of travel and live events should be welcomed, but not seen as a starter's gun to get back as fast as we can. So to those who are thinking of travel or events in the near future, just be mindful. Don't be caught out or outraged when announcements such as that with Spain come about. It will be the new normal as well, for quite a while to come, so protect yourself and your business for that.
So where do we stand? Well, it was a very quick reaction and decision from the government. But to be fair, they must be terrified right now as everything is being scrutinised and criticised. It wouldn't be an easy decision either, they would recognise the impact it will have on people and the travel economy. I think the fact they acted decisively must be commended. It is disappointing that it covers the entirety of Spain and it's islands. From all reports these spikes or surges are only seen in certain parts of the Spanish mainland.
There may not have been a choice though. Again from reports we have from people we trust within the industry, it could be a technology issue. Whilst we have been embracing and getting fatigues with technology over lockdown. The track and trace app we have in place may mean that we can only select Spain as a destination. So in terms of Balearics and Canaries, or opting for more localised regions lockdowns, it simply wasn't able to happen at this time. Opinions on the app and if it should have been better and more comprehensive is another debate!
So for now we need to take this one on the chin. Recognise that safety is the up-most importance for all of us, our industry and our economy. There will be bumps along the way as we move hopefully to a post-covid era. It is likely we will get regional quarantines in place for spikes. But we also have to keep in mind, it isn't a permanent ruling. It will be removed, likelihood is within a couple of weeks and maybe sooner for the Spanish Isles. If you are one to push on immediately, you have to take the risks as well. In health and in business.