Social Media is abuzz with reports of travel opening up, pent-up demand, full flights, sold out resorts, yadda, yadda, yadda.
All of which appears to bode well for all concerned.
For some perhaps, but not all.
From the land that many years ago introduced us to Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks, comes the recent announcement from the U.K. Ministry of Puzzling Edicts regarding lifting the quarantine ban in play for Canadians visiting Her Majesty.
In short, we’re not welcome to visit anytime soon.
American visitors, on the other hand, provided they’re double vaccinated, are being welcomed with open arms without the need to quarantine.
Those very same Americans whose case loads are running higher than a Jeff Bezos space capsule.
Those very same Americans who are being advised by their own government not to travel to an increasingly large number of states due to what they perceive as a dangerous 4th wave of D-variant in play in the U.S.
Those very same Americans who are now walking back their original drive for vaccinations.
Sadly, Canada didn’t make the cut.
We’re on the AMBER LIST along with China, Japan, Russia and other notables such as Libya. And, as such, must still quarantine for 10 days on arrival in Britain.
It warms the cockles of my heart to know that our Canadian athletes are in the same “stay the hell away from these people” category as are the good folks in Japan who are currently dealing with their own significant issues.
The U.S., on the other hand, is on the GREEN LIST. No quarantine required.
Also sharing the podium on the Green List is:
Israel – where daily cases have jumped to levels not seen since March.
Australia – where half the country’s population is currently under lockdown – “possibly” because they’ve only managed to inoculate 16 per cent of the population.
And, of course, not to be outdone, The Ministry of Silly Edicts cleared Antarctica on to the Green List.
At some point I’m sure a responsible adult within Great Britain will point out to the Minister that Antarctica is not a country. In fact, it’s a continent that will never be a nation. There is no such thing as an Antarctic citizen.
That’s not to say you can’t obtain an Antarctica Passport in exchange for donations to a few select causes.
As such, I have to wonder if the fate of travel’s go-forward plan is truly in the right hands.
But let’s not dwell on the land of Fawlty Towers. There’s enough nonsense to go around.
Cruise lines sailing out of the Excited States this winter will disallow the boarding of passengers whose inoculations consist of:
- double dose AstraZeneca
- 1 dose Astra + 2nd dose Moderna or Pfizer – despite the fact The Wizard of Odd-Awa advised the great unwashed “it’s acceptable.”
Some destinations require no proof of vaccine, no pre-arrival COVID tests. Others require PCR tests and vaccines.
Some are okay with antigen tests.
One of the problems here, kids, is that there does not appear to be much in terms of acceptable identifiable standards, nor does it seem there’s much of a move afoot to create some.
Where in hell is a good Rosetta Stone when you really need one?
But “great news” – we’ve opened the land border with the U.S.
Ever stayed in a hotel with interconnecting rooms? These digs typically have two locked doors, each of which are locked/unlocked for purposes of intra-room visits by the individual room occupant.
All well and fine if room 102 unlocks his/her door, but if your relatives in the next room still harbour a grudge for past indiscretions, real or made up via social media – that door’s gonna remain shut for quite some time.
With all of the confusion surrounding travel policies, ever-changing scientific advice, required documentation to get from A to B – and with a little luck back again – one of the most frequent questions tossed into my cage from folks is: "Is it safe to travel right now?"
I had someone ask me a similar question about 50 years ago in the middle of the worst snowstorm to have ever hit Montreal.
My answer was: “If you’ve got the skill set to handle a vehicle in this mess, a vehicle that’s fully equipped to stay out of trouble most of the time, and get out of trouble if all else fails, and a series of plans A, B, C, D…etc., should all hit the fan – then it’s probably as safe as it’s going to get over the next little while."
Heeding that sage advice, he headed out. About three hours later, he returned to the apartment building on the back of a snowmobile.
“Once they clear the roads,” he said, “they’ll start looking for my car – in the meantime, can I catch a ride with you?”
I believe he’s still waiting for me to pick him up.
Some destinations, which have opened up, are about 90 per cent as safe as they were prior to March 2020 – if you plan the trip properly and count on employing a Plan B if Plan A doesn’t work out.
If, however, you’re looking to throw caution to the wind and refuse to get yourself vaccinated, your offshore options are somewhat limited for the foreseeable future.
We’ll get there, folks, but we’ve a ways to go yet.