Brits should NOT book their summer holidays just yet, warns minister after Boris gives getaway hope
BRITS should NOT book their summers holidays yet as it's "too early" to know for sure whether they will take place, a minister warned today.
Minister of State for universities Michelle Donelan spoke out just hours after Boris Johnson said he was "optimistic" that people would be able to book a getaway over the summer.
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So far the Government haven't set out when any restrictions on travel will be likely to be relaxed.
Ms Donelan told Times Radio this morning: "I certainly won't be booking any summer holidays yet.
"I think it is a little bit too early. But we can all hope and dream that we will be able to get that summer vacation."
It came as:
- Matt Hancock will give a statement to MPs on the latest measures to tackle the South Africa variant today
- Earlier today a minister said people living in the affected areas should think twice before going out – even to buy food
The PM said yesterday he is "optimistic" Britain can have a summer holiday this year – but ONLY if the vaccine rollout continues to go well.
He refused to make any promises but said he was hopeful people could go on a break – as he made a visit to Batley in West Yorkshire.
He said it was too early to be lifting restrictions just yet – but there were signs the lockdown was starting to have an effect.
The PM was asked how optimistic he was that the UK can have a "happy and free summer" – when quizzed over the lockdown effect on Yorkshire's tourism industry.
And he replied: "The last time I was on holiday in Yorkshire I had a fantastic time…
"I don't want to give too much concrete by way of dates for our summer holidays. I am optimistic – I understand the reasons for being optimistic – but some things have got to go right for us.
"The vaccine programme has got to continue to be successful.
"We have got to make sure that we don't get thrown off course by new variants, we have got to make sure that we continue to keep the disease under control and the level of infections come down.
"I'll be setting out on February 22 more on the way ahead and people should certainly be able to plan on that basis."
He refused to say whether it would be UK holidays or foreign holidays that might be allowed this summer.
Matt Hancock has already booked his vacation in Cornwall for later this year – but it's uncertain whether trips abroad will be allowed.
At the moment no one is allowed to go on holiday in the current lockdown.
Yesterday Liz Truss played it down – saying it was too early to tell.
Ministers last week revealed plans for all arrivals from 30 hotspot nations to have to pay to quarantine inside special hotels.
If cases grow around the world, more places could be added to the list, which currently includes most of South Africa, South America, the UEA and several other destinations – but there's no date when this will come in just yet.
It was reported this could be as late as February 15 – but Government sources have pushed back on this.
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