As government hits its target for 15 million Covid-19 vaccinations in the UK, Brittany Ferries says now is the time for a re-think on travel corridors.
While the focus today is rightly on the UK, the transport and holiday company notes that vaccination rates are rising significantly in France and Spain too.
These are the countries it serves with ferries departing Portsmouth, Poole and Plymouth.
They are also the top two destinations for British holidaymakers.
By summer, the case for reciprocal travel corridors – in the case of Brittany Ferries “sea lanes” – to France and Spain should be “persuasive”.
In France, health minister, Olivier Véran, confirmed that four million people would be vaccinated by the end of February, rising to 43 million by the end of June.
That means around 80 per cent of the adult population in Brittany Ferries’ most popular destination should be vaccinated well ahead of the summer holiday season.
Vaccination rates in Spain are currently higher than in France by proportion of the population and, back home, all over-50s are forecast to have received the vaccine by the end of May.
“Vaccine roll-out is moving apace in the UK, thanks to the NHS, volunteers and support of the armed forces,” said Christophe Mathieu, Brittany Ferries chief executive.
“While France and Spain are a little behind, the ramp-up is gaining significant momentum.
“We all believe that vaccines are the way out of this dreadful crisis.
“So by spring we think there will be a clear case for the adoption of vaccination-led travel corridors – or in our case sea lanes – that allow holidays to go ahead this summer and for hope to return.”
Vaccination projections are of course not set in stone.
Brittany Ferries said it also acknowledges the Covid crisis is fluid, that protecting the health and wellbeing of the nation is key and that circumstances may change.
But, as of today, vaccine roll-out should be an opportunity to present hope and optimism for a brighter summer.
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