TRAVEL refunds, a return to so-called normality and Covid confidence were the issues raised by columnists in the newspapers.

The Daily Mail

Victoria Bischoff said that, at the start of the first lockdown, the advice for travellers who had paid for flights or holidays was to accept a credit note or change the date of travel.

“People have lost loved ones, or their own health has suffered and they can no longer travel,” she said. “Others cannot afford to go away after losing their jobs or livelihoods. And some simply don’t want to deal with any more uncertainty or disappointment.

“After a year of constantly changing travel rules, they would rather have their money back for other uses, or to set aside for a new plan when things have settled.”

She said some firms, however, were stubbornly refusing to refund money paid.

“The Competition and Markets Authority did a brilliant job of standing up for consumers in the early days of the pandemic. And, over the past 12 months, the watchdog has issued several stern warnings where firms have failed to play fair. The fight is far from over.”

The Guardian

Rafael Behr said the pandemic had beren going on for so long that it made little sense to talk of a return to normality.

“What does that word even mean with this prime minister?,” he asked. “We can understand it in the context of the pandemic as the return to small pleasures and social proximities. It means familiarity.”

In politics, he said, what feels familiar can be misleading and Boris Johnson was a master of deception.

“He is adept at the casual display of power, informal, unchecked, direct to camera; government by force of character. His gift is to make that seem natural, as if it has always been this way. But it is an accident of historical circumstance. It is the elision of Brexit aftermath and pandemic. And it is not normal.”

The Independent

James Moore said how Covid confident we were was going to be an important question as we start to reopen the country again.

“All over the UK, the Covid-cautious are now engaged in conversations with friends and colleagues that go something like this: “They want us to come back for a day or two a week. How do you feel about that? I really don’t want to.,” he said.

“I remember touring non-essential shops after the first lockdown ended. Business wasn’t exactly brisk. Pubs may enjoy a mini-boom in their soon to reopen beer gardens, but will it be sustained?”

He is torn on the idea of vaccine passports, he added.

“I’m inclined to map my own path out of lockdown. It will be quite a bit slower than the government’s.

“I don’t think I’m alone in this.”