Over the past week, both Canada and the UK have introduced mandatory pre-departure tests for anyone entering the country, which rather than replace the already tough entry requirements (in Canada this includes two week quarantine for all), comes in addition to them.
If you work in the industry, you might think that these measures are too draconian and mark yet another body blow for aviation.
Wider public opinion however has a different view. In fact, it’s starting to become accepted that any kind of travel and flying during the pandemic is selfish and reckless.
This is flight shaming, something the industry has experienced before. Over the past few years environmental groups have tried to make air travel socially unacceptable, with modest degrees of success in places like Scandinavia. The difference here is that while the environment is still an abstract concept for many, the pandemic affects just about everyone in a very direct and immediate way.
The industry needs to be aware of this fundamental shift in public opinion, and both engage and respond to it, as it has long-term implications.
Foreign travel is now a resignation issue
At the same time as Canada has further tightened COVID border controls, various politicians have been in hot water for leaving the country.
Liberal MP Kamal Khera resigned from her post as parliamentary secretary to the International Development Minister for going no further than Seattle. Given her resignation, you might imagine she would have been going on vacation, when in fact she attended a memorial for her dead Uncle and Father attended by less than ten people.
Meanwhile MP Niki Ashton had to step down from her parliamentary post after traveling to Greece to see her sick grandmother, a visit the Greek authorities allowed for urgent family reasons.
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