Not a nightmare rugby score, but a comparison of coronavirus fatalities on Tuesday, June 1. The French figure relates to deaths in hospitals, while the UK figure represents the absence of deaths anywhere in any setting, including old folks homes, in what are now called the four nations, which includes England.
But travel from the UK to France is severely restricted to absolutely essential visits, rather than taking a trip for health reasons or simply for the heck of it. The reason given is the Indian variant, although the new ‘woke’ term to use is the Delta variant.
And it’s not the police manning and womaning the immigration control desks in Paris or Nice who pose the biggest problem for those who chance their luck. Unless you are the fortunate holder of a Monaco residence permit and unfortunate enough to be British, just try getting past the Sri Lankan check-in person to board a BA flight from Heathrow to Nice.
Those UK travellers who own or rent property in France might, just might, be able to persuade the Filipino on the check-in desk that they have an absolutely essential reason for travel, such as the cat needs feeding or the lawn a good mowing. But don’t bet on it.
On Tuesday evening 74.9 percent of the UK’s adult population has had at least one jab, while in France the figure stands at 37.9 percent.
It will be interesting to see which country suffers more and has more fatalities once ongoing lockdown easing takes its next staggering steps, but in France the anglais and the Indian variant will be blamed and not the diabolically slow roll-out of jabbing in the ‘exagon.
Meanwhile Ryanair – yes, hold your nose – is offering a fare of £12.99 from London to nearby Genoa. They operate twice a week, avoid Belarus, and Italy has relaxed its entry rules and not reintroduced them for UK travellers.
The views expressed by Jeff Daniels do not necessarily represent those of the publishers
FILE PHOTO: Outside a hospital treating coronavirus patients in Vietnam, where a hybrid of the English and Indian variants has been discovered Reuters