Mark Dolan: Let's bring back international travel and get properly moving

'Britain is ready to fly again. And the sky's the limit.'

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Foreign Travel

Let's begin, with some great news.

The government have axed their bonkers traffic light system for travel, which you needed a PhD, in international tourism, to actually understand.

The travel sector is a huge part of our economy and employs millions of British workers.

People are very blasé about the impact on our airlines, but economic damage from the last year and a half, has impacted their ability to invest in new aircraft and they have been slashing routes to European destinations, left, right and centre.

And airlines and air ports, are a critical part of our transport infrastructure. And that's why they matter so much.

The bizarre, contradictory and often downright illogical judgements made about which countries are green, amber and red, has damaged not just the business model of the sector, but confidence in it too.

The travel sector is a big employer of highly skilled people, and of young people and women in particular.

Job losses have and will continue to spiral, and in many cases, those jobs won't come back.

As a society we've got to learn to live with this virus and get back to normal, and it's the same, for international travel.

Particularly since Brexit, Britain is a global trading nation, so we must reopen our borders to international commerce.

And most of us are globetrotters too.

We are among the most travelled populations in the world, and it's time once again to not just traverse the globe, but welcome the world to us, and attract, cash-rich tourists and businesspeople from overseas, to come and spend their money here in Britain.

Let's bring back international travel, and get properly moving. Britain is ready to fly again. And the sky's the limit.

Nicki Minaj

Pop superstar Nicki Minaj hit the headlines this week, with comments about a cousin of hers in Nigeria seemingly impacted by the Covid vaccine.

However she was slapped down by a man who claims never to have heard of her - Professor Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England. I think he protests too much and I'm sure she's on his Apple Music playlist.

This talented young woman has had a lot of shade thrown in her direction, as a result of these comments and it reflects the febrile and intolerant atmosphere, around vaccines.

I don't know whether her cousin got inflated balls or not, but I have enough confidence in the vaccine to be double jabbed myself.

But her message that you should research these things for yourself, and that it should be personal choice, is perfectly reasonable.

Important even.

The way in which those who have chosen not to be vaccinated, have been vilified, attacked, ostracised and belittled is wrong.

I will take a bullet for those people, or a needle even.

It's their right not to have it.

The vaccine mania that sees the unjabbed as a diseased threat to society, is another example of the erosion of the individual, that we have seen so much of during the pandemic.

Stay at home, don't go to work, don't go to the gym. Wear a mask. Get vaccinated. This bullying around the vaccine only adds to vaccine hesitancy, and fuels the fires of the conspiracy theorists.

It doesn't help, that the government, advised by the JCVI not to vaccinate 12-year-olds, go and do it anyway.

I think the vaccine has been great at stemming hospitalisations and deaths, but the agenda to vaccinate absolutely everybody, even those facing precious little threat from the virus – young children - does little for the vaccine cause. In the end, they should just say: there's the vaccine. Have it if you want it, or don’t have it.

Whatever decision you make, has no bearing on whether you're an intelligent person or stupid person, right, wrong, nice or a monster.

If how you are treated by society, and if your access to certain services and rights, is based upon your medical status, we will have crossed the lexicon and entered a very bad place, from which I fear we would never return.

No jab no job is wrong, and will see appalling shortages in care homes and the NHS.

No jab no pint, no jab no school, no jab no football match, no jab no concert – where does this end?

What we NEED, is an injection of individual choice and common sense, and a vaccine, against the bullies.