FAIR AND SQUARE: Traveling as a privilege for a select few or How hard is it to leave the country these days?
It's going to be a year of the coronavirus being around. A year of the government keeping us more or less locked up, so to speak. A year of most of the world's population sitting at home. Those who chose not to be afraid have set out into a world that is similar to ours. And because the winter and the lockdown have been going on for a long time, many people really did pack their bags and went chasing the sun. Somewhere where the world is more or less okay. But no, our executives don't like that either. So, out of the few options for travel we have left, they decided to make it such a complicated operation that we will have to really just dream about it, or dish out a solid sum for tests, making travelling a privilege only for the chosen ones...
Changes will take effect from midnight
Bankrupting travel agencies are to offer at least something to travel-hungry tourists, whether it is Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco or the exotic Zanzibar or the Maldives. Anyone who has been fortunate to leave and return by this time can now applaud. Tests upon leaving the country were enough for that. It will be worse from Friday.
The government simply said that they've had it with travel-hungry Czechs. Due to the fact that the mutated British, African and who knows what other kind of coronavirus, which are said to be much more contagious, are spreading around the world, hospitals are constantly being filled with patients, and apparently, it's necessary to keep people at home in their chairs.
Tests, quarantine, respirators
So if you have paid for a trip or airfare to wherever that's lit up red on the covid traffic light, be sure that not only will you pay for a test for the trip there, because we are also a threat to the world, but you will have to pay and take another test over there before leaving for home, then you will happily fly to the Czech Republic, go into quarantine for five days, then have another test and for ten days you won't be able to take the respirator off your face! And that's if you turn out to be negative.
These are the new government regulations, please. If you are a multi-member family, only those tests will cost you a fortune! I'm not going to elaborate on how much money is in this for some people... Now tell me, who'd bother with all this for those few moments abroad? It seems to me like total bullying of those who have finally decided to do something about this wretched year. When vitamin D is desirable in the fight against the coronavirus...!
On the other hand, I would be really surprised if someone could actually keep all this in check. We don't have enough paramedics to take care of dying covid patients, but we do have enough hygienists to check on those naughty travellers to see if they'd had a test, if they're home, and then if they're honestly wearing the awful thing they can't breathe in? Seriously?
Travelling in spite of the government
But I believe that there will be a few lucky people, mostly single, who only have to pay tests for one person, who will refuse to be intimidated or driven into a corner. After all, some people are still posting beautiful travel photos in travel groups on Facebook...
For example, my friends have now returned from Portugal, specifically Madeira. They were absolutely thrilled to be able to sit freely in a restaurant after so many weeks, where they were even served by someone! They said that they could even go to the store there and buy clothes that they could try on! Not that they needed anything, but just because they could, they spent a fortune.
Doesn't that sound like science fiction to you? Yes, after seven o'clock in the evening there was a curfew, but according to the local police, walking or jogging is completely tolerated even after said time. Another friend is chilling in the Maldives and she says people have no idea there, of course in air quotes, that the coronavirus even exists. She is literally in bliss because she escaped not only from the bad weather, but mainly from the stress here.
When will normal life resume?
Another friend, living in Canada, is desperate. They have had a lockdown without anything being open for a really long time, but the numbers aren't improving, so they came up with the perfect solution. No matter where you fly in from, and even if you're a resident, no one cares and you go straight from the airport to the quarantine hotel, at your own expense. It costs only two thousand Canadian dollars...
And I ask: when will this end and when will we start living normally again? Can we really only dream about meeting up in pubs or on the road? Is anyone going anywhere in the near future?