Wiganers' views on summer holidays ...
With summer now well under way and the British weather taking a turn for the worse, Wigan people still have very mixed feelings about jetting off abroad this summer.
And while foreign travel has once again taken flight, many still believe the sun overseas to be nothing more than a distant dream.
One older resident said she will “possibly be going abroad in September”.
“I originally booked my holiday two years ago and this is the second time we have had to reschedule for Portugal – the regulations have been a nightmare.”
May 17 was the first big date in the calendar that marked the gradual re-opening of foreign travel, with 16 new destinations being added to the green list a short while later on June 24 – destinations included holiday spots popular with Brits such as Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca.
For the most part, the UK has returned to life as “normal,” with the Government issuing guidance rather than legally enforceable restrictions; nightclubs have reopened, restaurants and pubs are no longer restricted to table service, and there are no limits on how many people can meet – to name but a few changes!
However, one thing that will remain in place is the Government’s traffic light system, with fully vaccinated UK tourists able to return from amber list countries without quarantining upon arrival to the UK (except France).
One couple that certainly won’t be going abroad is Anthony and Jenifer Hemill from Wigan.
The retired couple said: “If we do go away, we definitely won’t be going abroad, we’ll be stopping in the UK and we usually love to go to the Lake District.
“We don’t think it’s a sensible decision for people to be going abroad at the moment.”
Anthony added: “This country should be closed down to everybody outside the UK until Covid’s gone and we shouldn’t be opening up to tourists from the EU and US at this moment in time – it’s too soon.”
The Government recently announced that it will be opening the UK up to fully vaccinated US and EU citizens arriving from amber list countries as of Monday, August 2 and more countries are being moved from amber to green.
Unlike Mr and Mrs Hemill, Andy Platt, a 22-year-old charity fund-raiser from Manchester, thinks the UK is ready to welcome tourists to our towns and cities.
Andy plans to “go away within the UK this summer, probably to Bristol, and is ready to be free again and have fun”.
Helen Stazicker, who works for the NHS, said: “I definitely won’t be going abroad this summer.
“I have seen first hand how stretched health services have been throughout the pandemic and I couldn’t risk having to isolate when returning to the UK – you never quite know if a country will stay on the green list or if it could change.
“I understand we’re all tired and need a break after 18 months of Covid restrictions of varying degrees, but we just need to be cautious because the pandemic is still on-going and the NHS and frontline workers need time to recover.
“I will be heading to Cornwall this summer for a peaceful staycation with my family – I can’t wait!
“There are so many beautiful places to visit in the UK, the only downside is that you’re not guaranteed good weather.”
Charlotte Wright, aged 29, and owner of Runway Rebel on Wigan Market, said: “I think going abroad should be down to personal preference and also whether or not people are following the safety measures and guidance put in place by the government.
“That said, I don’t think the traffic light system has been very clear.
“A lot of people haven’t had the chance to get away and with the weather in the UK not being very predictable, people should be able to enjoy a holiday abroad, although it would be better to stay in the UK.
“I’m not planning on going away, but if I do it will be in the UK.”
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