So remember when I was mostly concerned about tourists from the EU Schengen countries (and frankly, also from Spanish virus hotspots like Madrid and Barcelona) suddenly being allowed to travel freely throughout Spain from July 1st? Well it turns out those were the days!
In a blink of an eye the Spanish government caved once again and now we are opening our borders to Schengen countries NEXT MONDAY. That’s right, the very day that we are released from lockdown after 100 days. Without giving us any time at all to adapt and see how we do here with implementing the “new now” regulations as well as dealing with our own homegrown Covidiots. Like, we now have to deal with untested asymptomatic carriers coming here ON FUCKING HOLIDAY from day one. But okay, at least this new deal excluded tourists from the UK (aka Plague Island) so I thought that was at least one less worry. Except now it looks like it actually may become a worry, and a big one.
Ah who am I trying to kid? Of course our government is going to cave again and allow UK tourists in. Bear in mind there will be no testing or quarantining involved with anybody coming here. Just a quick temperature check (useless for infectious asymptomatic carriers, approx 40% of people who test positive for Covid), fill out a form, and welcome to Spain. The only question now is when? Also next Monday? Or will they stick with the original (still way too soon) date of July 1st?
Had the government stuck with July 1st and only Schengen countries, that would have made a huge difference as most of these countries are following similar protocols as we have been in Spain. And the dread curve has pretty much been flattened. Not so with the UK. At the moment their numbers are still spiking and they are in a sort of “Phase 1” de-escalation without clear rules, masks are not mandatory, heck even their hairdressers haven’t reopened. And yet I have already seen them Twittering about how soon they can book their flights to Spain. It’s terrifying.
I’m afraid that on Twitter (ok, let’s be honest – everywhere online) I’ve gone from being the ranty WEAR A FUCKING MASK woman to the crazy JUST STAY THE FUCK AT HOME THIS SUMMER lady. It’s just that I honestly do not understand how taking a holiday is a priority for anyone right now, especially in another country where you may spread or catch Covid. I mean, why not wait until we see the outcome of this first wave? Just 2-4 more months. Meanwhile people can holiday at home.
Think about it. If ALL OF US spent our holiday money on visiting places in our own countries, supporting local businesses, we could help revive our own economies without adding the extra risk of untested carriers coming in from other countries. It would be a bit slower, but safer. Because if/when the next wave hits then it all goes to shit and will cost a helluva lot more – in every way – than if we’d just taken things a bit more slowly now.
Personally I was looking forward to moving myself from Phase 2 to Phase 3 next Monday, and have at least a couple of weeks trying out the “new now” – going out for walks, maybe eating in bars – before tourists started arriving from Schengen and the rest of Spain. Now that won’t happen with EU tourists coming here as of Monday, and with the Brits right behind them.
Governments are playing dice with our lives. Hell, starting today the Baleares are flying in 11,000 German guinea pigs for a “tourism pilot programme”. In other words, hey let’s try this and see what happens. Frankly you couldn’t pay me enough to get on a plane right now, and probably at least for another year or so.
But apparently people are just dying to travel. Shame they don’t care who else dies while they satisfy their selfish need to pretend things are back to normal again. Assholes.