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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

One rule for us, another for VIPs

This government does not do itself any favours when it comes to enforcing Covid rules. There is of course the controversy over important contracts going to Tory party donors and friends of Ministers, but there is also Dominic Cummings' trip up north during lockdown and the clear impression that the rules are flexible providing you are one of the privileged elite.

Now, we have the European Championships final and the clear impression being given by Ministers that restrictions on travel that apply to all of us, to stop the spread of Covid and to keep nasty variants out of this country, do not apply if you are a VIP travelling to the final at Wembley.

The Independent reports that the media minister has said that “people who are important” should be entitled to avoid tough quarantine rules when travelling to the UK:

Speaking on Sky News, John Whittingdale was asked why players, officials and others coming to London for the Euros final on 11 July should be allowed in without self-isolating.

He said: “We’ve always said that for some people who are important, players, for instance …”

The presenter, Kay Burley, interrupted him, saying: “So people who want to go on holiday are not important. Is that what you’re saying?”

“No of course not. We’re talking a very limited number of people who are coming in and they’re also subject still to quite significant restrictions.

“They’re not just able to travel around Britain. They come in to attend a match then go away again.

“We wouldn’t have been able to host the tournament at Wembley if we hadn’t allowed the players and people associated with the teams to come in and do so.”

Mr Whittingdale was speaking as travel industry leaders gather in London for a day of action in protest at the quarantine rules on returning to the UK which, they say, amount to a ban on international travel.

Meanwhile in the land of irony, it seems that because of Covid rules Welsh and Danish fans cannot go to Amsterdam for Saturday's cup tie between their two countries. 

Except that Danish fans can go providing they don't stay in the Netherlands for longer than twelve hours. That is because Denmark is in the EU and the UK is not. They didn't put that on the side of a bus.

One notes that Portugal was put on the government's amber list only after Chelsea and Manchester City fans returned from the UEFA Champions League Final.

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