Brittany Ferries on Transport Secretary’s Radio 4 Today comments – 10 February 2021
Brittany Ferries recognises the challenges government faces in controlling the virus and protecting the health of the nation – which must be its priority. However, the transport and holiday company believes the comments of the transport secretary on Radio 4 Today (this morning, 10 February 2021) advising against booking a summer holiday were disproportionate.
For many listeners the comments may have discouraged any plans for a holiday abroad this summer, just when storm clouds appear to be clearing. Vaccine roll-out is moving apace in the UK, thanks to the NHS, volunteers and support of the armed forces. And while countries which Brittany Ferries serves like France are a little behind, the ramp-up is gaining significant momentum there too.
French Health Minister Olivier Véran confirmed that four million people would be vaccinated by the end of February, rising to 43 million by the end of June. That means around 80 per cent of the French adult population should be vaccinated well ahead of the summer holiday season. In the UK meanwhile, all over-50s are due to receive the vaccine by the end of May.
These are of course projections. Brittany Ferries acknowledges the Covid crisis is fluid, and circumstances may change. But, as of today, the vaccine roll-out programme should be an opportunity to present hope and optimism for a brighter summer ahead.
Furthermore, companies like Brittany Ferries offer flexible booking options with the promise of options like refunds and easy schedule changes if government advice were to change. So dissuading everyone from booking a summer holiday abroad in mid-February seems unnecessary and over-cautious.
Echoing the wider travel industry, Brittany Ferries also calls on the government for a clear strategy and roadmap for a pragmatic, co-ordinated exit from strict travel controls and a pathway towards safe travel this summer as vaccines are rolled out and the health situation improves on both sides of the Channel. This solution could include measures such as safe travel corridors, testing, and (potentially) vaccine passports.