One of the features of the British Chambers of Commerce is the network of British Chambers overseas and last week colleagues from Singapore, Shanghai and Sydney joined our member call to explain their experiences of the Covid-19 crisis.

A common feature of all three has been the strict closure of their international borders from very early on accompanied by an equally strict quarantine for anyone who does have permission to enter their countries. The Australian version has been highly visible to anyone interested in the Australian Open tennis tournament that began on Monday.

I could however sense a collective audience gasp when all three agreed that it was likely their borders would remain closed for the rest of 2021.

If our own governments are contemplating a similar strategy it would seem they have some work to do to convince the business community – if not also the wider population – of its validity and that the official will exists to manage the subsequent economic damage for sectors like tourism and aviation.

It was also notable that the Asian approach to vaccination is less urgent because there are notably fewer fatalities in those countries and already much more freedom to operate inside the closed borders. The fact that the Australian Open is permitting up to 30,000 spectators daily into the tournament makes the point on what has been achieved.

The representative from Singapore – 29 deaths so far in a population of 5.8 million – did comment that the British vaccination roll out was well regarded and was helping to recover some of the reputational losses from the early chaos of our crisis response. But the caution on how far and how quickly vaccinations will bring restrictions to an end was shared across all three countries.

Ryanair has had its knuckles rapped by the Advertising Standards Authority for its Jab and Go marketing campaign potentially confusing customers about the likelihood that they would be able to travel during the Easter or summer holiday periods after being vaccinated.

But since neither the UK nor the Scottish governments is prepared to be definitive about the ability to travel I would not be surprised if there is a fairly common view that the successful completion of the vaccination process for the adult population by early summer means international travel will be back for late summer at least. We are all now making up our own road maps out of the crisis in the absence of an official version.

The most depressing comment must surely have been from King’s College London Professor Tim Spector who argued the British people have to ‘get used to’ the idea that no major international events will be possible for some years ahead.

I’m not sure that is the result we expected after a completed vaccination roll out. Nor it would seem was it the Chancellor’s expectation if it is true that he is complaining the public health experts are moving the goalposts in the face of new variants of the virus.

The Prime Minister’s guidance later this month and the Chancellor’s budget statement in March – along with the First Minister’s reaction – are becoming ever more important in settling business nerves about the year ahead.

Firm target dates for the reopening of the economy may be too much to expect and of course we must understand better what the various variants mean for the effectiveness of the current vaccines.

But there is only so long that the most exposed businesses in tourism, aviation, events, hospitality and retail can cope without some broad understanding of the model we intend to follow.

Stuart Patrick is chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce.