James Heappey MP weekly column

This week there has been a change to the list of ‘air bridges’ to countries which can be travelled to without needing to quarantine on return.

Despite the easing of lockdown and the growing sense that our lives are getting back to some sort of normality, we must remember that we are still in a global pandemic and that what happens in other countries will have a profound effect on us here.

So, an uptick in cases in Spain means that the Government has to make the difficult decision to impose a quarantine on all Brits returning to the UK from mainland Spain and some islands.

This is, of course, very difficult to take for those who have booked holidays and for when a period of quarantine is unworkable.

Families who were looking forward to a holiday away from home may now need to cancel and I have no doubt that they will feel a great deal of anger for having to do so.

I hope, however, that there is also some acknowledgment of the need to constantly review the lockdown measures we have in place in order to give ourselves the best chance of weathering the Covid storm.

As I have written in this column many times before, lockdown measures will inevitably come and go many times over the next year. To lock down permanently would destroy our economy but to not respond to Covid threats at all would expose millions of people to a higher risk of a virus that could kill them.

Striking the right balance is the key challenge for Governments around the world.

Finally, and at the risk of sounding slightly trite, please don’t forget that if you are not yet booked to go overseas, there are thousands of options for a ‘staycation’ here in Somerset and across the South West.