Boris Johnson has reached an inflexion point in the battle to protect the nation’s health and wealth.
Thanks to the voices of the government’s scientific advisors, the rates of infection are on a downward path, the pressure on the NHS is gradually dissipating, and the miraculous performance of the vaccination programme is starting to pay dividends.
But now, it’s time to listen to the voices of industry. They are demanding that attention is paid to the hard-pressed owners of British businesses and to the physical and mental health of furloughed and redundant workers.
It’s crucial that both sets of advice are listened to and acted upon, in a balanced, safe manner. But in doing so, the prime minister must hold one question in mind, when he finalises his roadmap out of the third, national lockdown. That question is not "when?" but "how?"
The travel industry needs clarity from the prime minister. We need to know how the lifting of travel restrictions will be prioritised. We need to know how the end of the hotel quarantine process will be triggered. We need to know how the inevitable vaccine passports will become ubiquitous. And we need to know how businesses will be incentivised – and not punished – for helping people to travel the world and rebuilding the economy.