Just stop all but the most vital air travel, now

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I was not only talking to economists yesterday. I also had one of my regular discussions with an epidemiologist.

Their view was that in two or three weeks UK excess deaths from coronavirus will end, for the time being. They may even go negative. Some elderly people who might have died now have already done so. But this is not necessarily good news. The fear is that the government might use this to release more lockdown.

And lockdown has worked. What is more, right now we still have nothing else to tackle this virus in the UK, most especially when compared to other countries.

But the biggest fear was not what I expected. I presumed it would be the lack of track and trace. But it wasn't. That biggest fear was of air travel. This is thought to be the way any new outbreak could be spread. Just look at New Zealand.

And the suggestion? Just stop all air travel now unless it is absolutely vital, and very little is. We simply cannot afford the risk.

So when the FT asks, as it has today, the question 'when will we fly again?' the best answer would be 'not for a long time'. Corporate lobbyists will be paid a great deal to argue otherwise.