FLICKING through newspapers, there is one thing that lifts my spirits - holiday adverts.

I especially like seeing the lavish ones described in the weekend supplements, the ones that involve long tours of far-away places, that would cost more than my annual salary: ‘Glorious Asia,’, ‘The Ultimate Caribbean, ‘The Wonders of India.’

I like seeing the pictures of exotic temples, sultry forests, dramatic canyons and bustling capital cities, not because I particularly want to go there, but because they give me hope - they represent the notion of there being a time in the not-too-distant future when we will once again be able to cross continents and meet others and not worry about catching a deadly virus. A time when we are back to normal.

These trips are not taking place this year, but next year and the year after. For many holiday companies this year has, quite rightly, been written off for foreign travel.

Not that you would guess that from news footage of UK airports. Why so many people are jetting across the globe in the middle of a pandemic, or are even allowed to, is a mystery to me.

Not so long ago people were getting fined for taking day trips to the Yorkshire Dales or the Lake District. I am not permitted to go into my office a 20-minute bus ride away without a good reason or allowed to take a train to see my daughters in London, so can anyone tell me how people are able to board planes flying here, there and everywhere? No wonder foreign variants of Covid-19 are arriving on our shores.

This week tighter quarantine procedures have been introduced, but the question everyone should be asking is why are so many people still travelling vast distances by air in the first place.

Is it for work, is it holidays? Some are certainly travelling for the latter - I’m tired of reading about celebrities ‘escaping lockdown’ on beaches in places like Dubai, Barbados and the Maldives.

We are not allowed to holiday here, so why - up until Wednesday, when Priti Patel clamped down on foreign breaks - have we been allowed to holiday elsewhere in the world? I would no more dream of going to an airport and getting on a plane at the moment than I would run naked across the Humber Bridge.

For those of us who are doing the right thing and staying put, many within the same four walls for months on end, to watch see busy airports on TV is irritating to say the least.

Presumably travellers have to get to the airport, which will more than likely involves trains, buses or taxis coming from another part of the country.

Thankfully, if restrictions are watered down and we are allowed to take holidays this year, many people across the UK have made the sensible decision to remain here.

Last summer so-called staycations boomed in popularity and 2021 looks set to be the same. A study by Wyndham Hotels & Resorts found that 44 per cent of people are intending to revisit a UK destination, while 39 per cent are going to explore a new location across the country this year.

Bookings on camping and caravan sites across the UK surged and many are already full.

Coronavirus doesn’t many silver linings, but this is one of them. People will find out that you don’t have to travel abroad to have a great holiday. It may even set a trend for the future.

I would like to think that by 2022 we will have the freedom to take holidays where we please and those lavish overseas tours will be getting booked up by those with deep pockets.

But for now it’s time to put away passports, stay put and stay safe.