Margaret Keenan Credit: CTA

MARGARET Keenan, the first person in the world to get the Covid-19 vaccination, has made history again as she boarded the first coach trip to the seaside with holiday firm Harry Shaw.

As restrictions on flying allowed the return of some international travel yesterday, the rules on taking coach holidays in the UK were also relaxed. The 91-year-old grandmother from Coventry was among the 30 passengers onboard the first coach to leave the depot since October 2020. 

Travelling with her daughter Sue and son-in-law David, Margaret said she was looking forward to some time away.

Before boarding the coach the retired jewellery assistant who received the world’s first Pfizer coronavirus vaccination on 8th December said: “We are looking forward to a few days by the sea – thanks to everyone, including our wonderful NHS staff and all at Harry Shaw who have made it possible.”

Robert Shaw, a director of the family-owned coach holiday operator, said the coach had left fully booked and the trip proved so popular they had to turn people away. Currently coaches are running at half capacity to comply with social distancing rules. Further trips to popular coastal destinations are leaving this week as they plan to build up to a busy schedule for the summer months ahead. 

Watching the coach leave, Mr Shaw said the high demand left him feeling optimistic.

He said: “It was an inspirational sight to see the coach depart—it’s the first coach off the depot after seven months and to have passengers onboard was exciting. There was applause. I saw the coach off — there were some tears in the eyes. Passengers said they had been really looking forward to it for weeks and they couldn’t believe it was finally happening.

“There are so many people interested in what we do and with so many people desperate to get away there is no better mode to taking a UK holiday than on a coach.”

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