“People think they are free, but nothing is free when there is plague” Albert Camus, The Plague
As I See It: No one should expect compensation if their holiday plans are disrupted by the quarantine rule, says TERRY MURDEN
It says a lot about modern consumerism and the sense of entitlement we now have for non-essential devices and activities that being unable to take two weeks on the Costa del Sol is being greeted almost as a denial of human rights.
After four months of lockdown it is understandable that families have been desperate to get away somewhere, enjoy a sunshine pick-me-up and forget about the gloom that has descended on all our lives.
Many share their frustration, and that includes the politicians who are now being criticised for re-imposing quarantine measures on those returning from Spain. Holidaymakers are fuming over the reversal of a decision taken only days earlier to allow them to travel to the country free of the restriction.
On this occasion, the argument has to be in favour of the politicians. It’s a classic damned-if-they-do-damned-if-they-don’t situation. Cases of coronavirus have escalated and they would not want to be blamed for a sudden spike in the UK caused by those bringing it back from the Spanish costas.
No one can predict or dictate the behaviour of the virus, but we can dictate the behaviour of those who are stamping their feet like spoiled brats being told they cannot have another go on the fairground ride.
No one is entitled to a holiday. Being deprived of one is hardly a hardship. Those now indignantly accusing the authorities of letting them down by changing their advice need to get a grip. No one can claim not to be aware that the pandemic is still with us, re-emerging in areas where it was thought to be under control. There has been plenty of publicity around new outbreaks in Catalonia and other areas of Spain. Ignorance is not bliss, it is a passport into danger.
There are calls for employers to be lenient with those who will be forced into quarantine when they return from Spain. Willie Rennie, the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, is now making the ridiculous demand that the Scottish Government should compensate people facing a loss of income. Employers and politicians should resist such calls.
Employers are under no obligation to pay staff while they are in quarantine, and some people could even face the sack if they have to isolate when returning home. So it looks like some people will be learning a few harsh lessons.
‘Holidays are a “nice to have” but they are not a vital service’
No one should be compensated beyond the claims they can make through normal channels – their insurance policies. If that doesn’t provide sufficient cover, then tough luck.
Holidays are a “nice to have” but they are not a vital service, not even a priority over other consumer “wants” or essentials.
Those choosing a holiday have every right to do so, but they do not have a right to put others in danger, or expect those choosing not to travel to feel sorry for them for their lack of self-denial.
They are taking a risk that the virus will not affect them, and that their travel plans will not be disrupted. Like any sort risky venture, there is no guarantee that they will get back what they choose to invest or gamble.