FOR the benefit of younger readers, I should explain that in the olden days, Scotland used to play in the men’s football World Cup.

And thus it was that I had my longest stay in Spain waiting for the inevitable moment when the team would go home a week before us.

Since those heady days I’ve only had a couple of breaks in Spain – one of them in Barcelona, which would appear currently to be in the worst part of the country in terms of re-infection rates.

I was due to go back to that city in March with a group who had booked to do a tour of galleries and the works of Gaudi. It was cancelled with just days to go, when Spain pretty well shut up shop.

No worries, we thought. The break was booked, and the insurance taken out many weeks before, in the days when a pandemic was just something you read about in early 20th century history.

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A quick check of the insurance documents confirmed there were no exclusions mentioned for any such eventuality.

A quick check of consumer law indicated that people whose holidays were cancelled, rather than their pulling out, were entitled to a refund within a fortnight.

Plus the flights hadn’t flown, the hold luggage remained unloaded, and the hotel bed linen had been undisturbed.

In short, we had paid for a range of services which had not been forthcoming.

You will not be knocked down with the proverbial feather to learn that we are still awaiting sight of any cash back.

The travel company said it was waiting for the Association of British Travel Agents, and they said they were waiting for a steer from the UK Government.

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The buck was being passed with a speed which would have impressed Usain Bolt.

However, our chagrin is nothing compared to those who have actually flown to Spain within the last few days, assured by two governments that it had been taken off the naughty step and could be travelled to without fear of homecoming quarantine.

In fairness, everyone was told the safe destination list could be changed at any moment.

Yet if you’ve been cherishing the hope of a family holiday these many difficult months, and flown somewhere warm, and maybe released long restrained children into warm seas and sand, how devastating to learn that you may be locked down all over again on your return.

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