Skipping istio minor releases

We are managing multiple clusters where upgrade periods are not within our direct control.

This means that upgrading istio becomes a coordination challenge because an instance on 1.6 must be upgraded to 1.7, 1.8, 1.9 and each of those installs must be supported by our istio installer. For context we are using istio canary deployments.

The documentation says that Istio minor versions cannot be skipped. Is there any plan to reduce this requirement as the project matures or any advice on internal testing we should do if we are considering skipping minor releases?

If the answer is that this is highly unadvised then what are the likely risks?