Coronavirus National & International

Government Adviser warns, Summer vacations abroad are ‘unlikely’

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Summer holidays overseas are “extremely unlikely” because of the risk of travellers bringing coronavirus variants back to the UK, a scientist on a government advisory body has said.

The UK faces a “real risk” if people travel abroad, Dr Mike Tildesley said. Foreign holidays are currently not allowed and returning travellers have to quarantine. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said it was “too early to tell” when holidays abroad would be allowed, according to BBC news.

Under the current road map for easing restrictions, the earliest date people in England could holiday abroad would be 17 May. People can currently travel abroad for a limited number of reasons, such as education or work, with anyone who does having to fill in a “Declaration to Travel” form stating a valid reason for leaving the country.

A government taskforce will report to the prime minister on 12 April detailing when and how international travel can resume.

In Scotland, national clinical director Jason Leitch also said foreign summer holidays in Europe were looking “less likely” as Covid numbers in some countries were a “cause for concern”.  Airlines UK, which represents UK-registered carriers, said it was “too early to say” what the state of Covid will be in Europe and the rest of the world in 10 weeks’ time.

“We have always said any reopening must be risk-based, but also led by the overriding assumption that as the vaccine rollout accelerates both here and abroad, a phased easing of restrictions is achievable,” Airlines UK said.

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