Priti Patel warns it is still ‘far too early’ for people to book a summer holiday abroad as she says the nation must wait for the vaccination drive to make more progress despite Boris Johnson targeting ‘return to normal’ on June 21
- Home Secretary said ‘far too early’ for people to book summer holidays abroad
- Priti Patel said everyone must stick to the roadmap unveiled by Boris Johnson
- Roadmap states international travel will not resume before May 17 at the earliest
Priti Patel today warned British holidaymakers it is ‘far too early’ for them to book a summer break abroad this year.
The publication of the PM’s strategy on Monday sparked a wave of optimism that people could could now start planning a getaway, with Mr Johnson targeting a return to something close to normal life from June 21.
But Ms Patel said everyone should remain focused on sticking to the current lockdown rules as the vaccination drive continues.
Boris Johnson’s roadmap states that the earliest international travel rules could be relaxed is May 17
International travel during lockdown is banned unless it is for essential purposes.
Under the PM’s roadmap a Global Travel Taskforce will report on April 12 with ‘recommendations aimed at facilitating a return to international travel as soon as possible’.
The Government will then examine the recommendations before determining when foreign holidays can resume. However, the document warns that this will be ‘no earlier than 17 May’.
Ms Patel was asked this morning during an appearance in front of the Home Affairs Select Committee what her advice would be to would-be holidaymakers who want to book a foreign trip.
Yvette Cooper, the Labour chairman of the committee, asked the Home Secretary: ‘What would your advice be to all of those people booking their holidays today? To book away or to wait?’
Ms Patel replied: ‘Well, it is too early. You have already heard me say. It is far too early.
‘It is too early and we have to look at the data at every single stage and the roadmap outlined by the Prime Minister makes that abundantly clear.’
Ms Cooper then asked: ‘So people thinking about booking a summer holiday in Greece or Spain right now should wait until after the global task force report? They shouldn’t be booking things now?’
Ms Patel replied: ‘Well, first of all it is too early, absolutely, and there is a roadmap and we would advise everybody to follow all the restrictions, the measures that have been put in place.
Vaccine certificates could be a requirement for entry to some countries in the future, with the Greek government pushing for UK tourists to be allowed back in May. Tigaki beach in Kos, Greece, is pictured
‘As I have said we have got to continue with the vaccine roll-out and the four tests that the Prime Minister has outlined as well that we will need to meet before restrictions change.’
Many countries are expected to require proof of vaccination as a condition of quarantine-free travel in the future.
Ministers are currently working on proposals which would allow UK travellers to request a vaccine certificate should it be asked for by border officials.
Greece is leading the way on the issue and is said to be in discussions with the British Government about how to get UK tourists back from May.