A shout out to Cornwall Reports for highlighting one of the many issues with the current regional restrictions in place.
Put basically, Newquay Airport (owned by Cornwall Council which is urging people in tier 3 not to travel to tier 1 areas like Cornwall) runs flights to and from Manchester and Bradford (both tier 3).
Obviously, the Council and the airport are cash-strapped and need all the money they can get but it does give out a double message which is hard to fathom.
Although the Government has said that travel from tier 3 should only be for essential purposes, there are no checks, so it is mere guidance.
Cornwall Reports says an airport spokesperson gave the following information:
“The responsibility to follow government advice regarding travel restrictions is that of the individual whether that travel is by air, road or rail. There are no powers bestowed on any third parties in this respect.
“Safe travel through airports is strictly managed, including temperature screening of passengers before boarding flights.
“We support Cornwall Council in echoing government advice that anyone from a Tier 3 high risk area should not be travelling to Cornwall unless their visit relates to one of the exceptions in the government guidance.”
Obviously, those coming from many other countries are currently expected to self-isolate for 14 days but there is no such requirement from (often higher level) tier 3 areas.
So, do these tiers have any meaning at all? Certainly the interactions between them seem unabated. The virus spreads and we wonder why. Levels in Cornwall are still pretty low but anomalies like this cannot be helping. Certainly, most people coming to Cornwall arrive by car so the airport is relatively ‘small fry’ but it is an example of how the system is simply not working to combat Covid-19.