UK Home Secretary Priti Patel told British holidaymakers on Wednesday that it is still “far too early” to book a summer holiday abroad this year.
The government minister told those potentially seeking to get away from the UK later in the year to wait until Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s lockdown exit roadmap before foreign trips.
While addressing the Home Affairs Select Committee, Ms Patel was asked what advice she would give to holidaymakers looking to organise a foreign trip.
“What would your advice be to all of those people booking their holidays today? To book away or to wait?”, asked Yvette Cooper, the Labour chair of the committee.
Ms Patel replied that 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”, she reiterated.
Ms Cooper then asked if “people thinking about booking a summer holiday in Greece or Spain right now should wait until after the global task force report”.
The Home Secretary responded, confirming her stance and said “there is a roadmap and we would advise everybody to follow all the restrictions, the measures that have been put in place”.
“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”.
Johnson unveiled his reopening strategy on Monday, leading to renewed optimism that people may be able to go abroad for the summer following plans by the PM to see a large return to normal life from 21 June.
Currently, international travel is banned with the exception of specific essential circumstances.
A Global Travel Taskforce is set to report on 12 April with “recommendations aimed at facilitating a return to international travel as soon as possible”, according to the roadmap.
Recommendations will then be examined before deciding if foreign holidays can resume. The document stipulates that international travel will return “no earlier than 17 May”.
Proof of vaccination could potentially become a requirement for quarantine-free travel in the future. This comes as government lawmakers are looking to introduce measures to allow UK travelers to request a vaccine certificate if needed by border security.
The Greek government is reportedly currently in discussions with British authorities over UK tourists being able to go on holiday from May.