In Italy, mandatory Covid tests required for travel have a fixed price of €15 set by the government, with a result provided within 20 minutes (Cowboy’ providers could lose approval to sell PCR travel tests, 23 August). This is a sensible and fair approach that is helping lead the tide of optimism in Italy. Perhaps it has something to do with the country’s health minister being so appropriately named Bob Hope (Roberto Speranza).
• “Research … does not suggest a direct correlation between the rises in gun sales and violence” (Editorial, 22 August). I don’t think I have ever read anything so ridiculous. Does the proliferation of mobile phones not lead to more phone use? If spoons were substituted for guns, I guarantee there will be less deaths but more spoon-related attacks.
• The most misquoted well-known phrase (Letters, 22 August)? My contender is “Westminster is the mother of Parliaments”. In 1865, John Bright observed that “England is the mother of parliaments”. By implication, Westminster is the first of England’s children.
• With the Cop26 meeting coming this autumn, there is just time for a passionate bus tour of the country with “Take back control of our climate” splashed on the side.
• My Irish uncle used to say: “I had a lovely week in Kerry. It only rained twice. Once for three days, and once for four days” (Letters, 23 August).
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