IT’S all a bit of a bourach, is it not? The traffic light system for foreign travel is just bound to need endless tweaking.

Remember the last time going abroad was on the agenda? The list of “safe” countries changed weekly. And now scientists warn of yet another autumn spike in the virus.

Right back at the beginning of all this, I was due to go with a party to Barcelona to check out its galleries and Gaudi haunts.

First the airline cancelled us. Then Barcelona shut up shop altogether. Then the travel company said they were waiting for the insurers to rule, and vice versa.

Eventually, after many, many interventions by travellers and organisers, we got a refund. In time to be locked down all over again.

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Meanwhile there are apparently many thousands of people coming into UK airports daily, with no enforced quarantining, and, considering the virus currently ripping through Europe originated in Kent, I doubt that British travellers will find the welcome mat rolled out in some of the traditional holiday spots.

As is the way of that cuddly fiscal rule known as “market forces”, people deciding that this has to be a staycation year are finding the cost of doing that might well dwarf whatever they usually spent taking the family to the Costa Del Fun.

In some senses you understand where the renters are coming from - holiday lets for self catering families have had a rough old year; they’re probably using the rush of bookings to try and keep their show on the road.

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The airline industry has been hit where it hurts too, so you can understand why they want those expensively run cigar tubes back in the skies asap.

Yet this year, of all years, seems one where most of us will just bite the bullet and travel within our own countries.

We will shortly have the not inconsiderable pleasure of being able to eat in restaurants again, cook for friends indoors as well as out, and have a glass that someone else pours.

It’s a tough call trying to balance economic survival and the real kind. As any politician will tell you.

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