So it will be Grant Shapps who takes the spotlight at 5pm today (Friday 7 May) to deliver the news the travel industry has been anticipating for months; destination X – green, amber or red?
I imagine Boris Johnson had something else on, he usually likes to take the lead on these "big" announcements. Or perhaps it’s indicative of the disdain government has shown travel for the past 14 months – tourism minister Nigel Huddleston’s insistence in a TTG interview that travel and tourism "got huge amounts" of Covid support still rings out hollow in my ears.
I digress. Back to this Friday. 5pm – great. That’s another weekend wiped out for agents across the country, whose phones will no doubt be ringing off the hooks with clients wondering what’s going on with their holidays.
Airlines and operators, meanwhile, will be working around the clock to take any advantage they can of the announcement and get travel moving again, albeit with the barest of notice.
It’s somehow fitting too, the traffic light announcement coming almost exactly a year to the day (10 May) since Johnson announced the UK would be introducing an inbound quarantine regime, one we now know – not that we didn’t at the time – came months too late.