WHETHER or not it was right for the UK to err on the side of caution by removing Portugal from its travel green list, the aftermath for those caught in the crossfire is undeniably a godawful mess.
Sunseekers find themselves trapped in a headache-inducing maelstrom of bureaucracy and endless queues, despite having followed all the rules.
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Yes, going on a holiday during a pandemic will always carry risk, but the Government must look at the scenes of despair in the Algarve and learn fast.
It is unlikely, after all, that this is the last time extra Covid travel restrictions will have to be slapped on a holiday destination at short notice.
Any ideas to ease the disruption are worth investigating.
Could British rapid-response teams be deployed to help meet the extra surge in pre-flight Covid testing required, for example?
Relying simply on local provision is optimistic, as holidaymakers found with test centres in the Algarve shutting their doors over the weekend.
Amid Portuguese anger at what they see as an arbitrary attack on their tourist industry, who can blame the locals for not going the extra mile?
It is one thing for our ministers to take the tough decisions, but they can’t just scuttle away from the clean-up afterwards.
TODAY’S Tory rebellion over cuts to foreign aid stirs unfond memories of the Remain campaign in the EU referendum.
The rebels — a disproportionate number of whom, including Theresa May, backed the wrong horse in 2016 too — display the same misplaced sanctimoniousness and tin ear to the public mood.
To add to the feeling of Brexit deja vu, Bob Geldof popped up too — this time to bewail our temporary reduction of aid from 0.7 per cent of GDP to 0.5 per cent.
Even the ex-pop star had to concede, however, that “charity begins at home”.
With the UK under unprecedented economic pressure, Tory MP Esther McVey put it best: “You would never recommend to a neighbour that they go into debt to make a donation to charity, no matter how worthwhile the cause.”
Even after the cut, we would still be giving £1 in every £200 to foreign aid.
Factor in our plans to donate vaccines to the poorest parts of the world and only a fool would argue we’re not doing our bit.
A Lil tenderness
OUR congratulations to Meghan and Harry on the birth of their first daughter.
It is, of course, a true sadness that baby Lilibet Diana will never get to meet the grandmother from whom she takes her middle name.
But we hope she will get to meet the great-grandmother who inspired her first name, if Harry’s touching tribute improves frayed royal relations.
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A GRAN GESTURE
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