The former UK Minister for Tourism, Sir David Trippier, who served under Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major, has spent the past few days discussing with his wife what the family is going to do this Christmas while enjoying the delights of Puerto Andratx where they have a second home.
And Sir David, who held a number of different briefs while in government and served as the MP for Rossendale from 1979 to 1983 and for Rossendale and Darwen from 1983, told the Bulletin on Saturday that, because of the Covid restrictions in the UK, which only permit gatherings of a maximum of six people, the family will be spending Christmas and New Year here in Majorca.
“It’s not the first time we’ve all got together for the festive season on the island but under the current circumstances, it’s the only option we have of getting the children and grandchildren together for Christmas. Obviously, there are other factors such as flights and also whether those working will be able to self isolate on their return to the UK, should the quarantine measures remain in place in the New Year, to take into account, but as we see things right now, it’s the best solution,” Sir David said while enjoying a coffee in the port.
“It’s not an ideal situation but I think whatever the government does, it’s damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t. There’s no quick fix to this and we just have to hope that we get a vaccine soon because experts I have spoken to believe that this virus will linger for a long time, rather like the ‘flu.
“But I’m sitting here in the port, which is relatively busy all things considered, and it’s very impressive to see everyone observing the protocol, wearing their masks etc.
“That said, having been reading the Bulletin since we arrived some two weeks ago, it’s so sad to see what is happening to the island.
“Majorca is so dependent on tourism, it’s crucial for the island’s economy and to see so many places closed and to read about the lack of hotels which have opened this year and those which are closing early is heartbreaking.
“Obviously, my wife and I will have to self isolate when we return to the UK next week. It’s not a problem for me because I’m retired, but my wife is a full-time barrister, so it will complicate her schedule.
“It’s uncomfortable for everyone - family members were due to fly out and join us but work commitments clash with quarantine - so it’s just not feasible and it’s hurting the UK and Spain, in particular places like Majorca, but what is the option?
“We’re based in the Manchester area where we’ve had some serious spikes and now the spotlight is on Newcastle.
“When is it all going to end?
“And the government can only act on what it is told by the scientists and medical professionals.
“We just have to make the most of a very bad situation and keep flying the flag, it’s all we can do to get through this pandemic,” Sir David, who has written a number of books, stressed.
Letter he sent to the Bulletin
My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed reading Humphrey Carter’s Viewpoint on Friday the 18th September entitled “Christmas in Majorca”. We had both been discussing that very issue quite recently. We bought our apartment in Puerto Andratx 17 years ago and during that period and for some 25 years prior to that, had spent several Christmas’s here.
We have now worked out that the only way our extended family can enjoy this coming Christmas and New Year together is to fly out from England to Mallorca for that period.
Well said Humphrey.
“Keep flying the flag for Majorca”
Sir David Trippier
Former UK Minister for Tourism