Nadhim Zahawi said that British travellers should not book summer 2021 holidays yet.
Those looking forward to jetting off this summer are warned that it is still ‘far too early’ to be thinking about going away given the rate of the virus in the UK.
When asked if it was too soon for the public to book holidays, vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi said:
“Absolutely. I think it’s far too early.
“There’s still 37,000 people in hospital with Covid at the moment. It’s far too early for us to even speculate about the summer.”
He later spoke to Times Radio where he said it was still ‘too early’ to know if summer holidays will go ahead.
There will be a meeting with senior ministers held today to consider further travel restrictions including the possibility of requiring travellers to quarantine at a designated hotel.
It is not clear the exact details of such a measure including how long this would be in place for.
“There will be an announcement on this issue later on today,” Mr Zahawi said.
The BBC reports that ministers are expected to approve the plan to require UK citizens to quarantine in a hotel if they arrive in the country from a high-risk country.
Speaking to Sky News, Mr Zahawi said: “We review our border policy like any other responsible country would – Germany and Canada did a similar thing in January.
“We’ve done that with the pre-departure testing that is now required to enter the UK and of course with passenger locator forms.
“There will be an announcement on this issue later on today, so I can only say to you that it is the right thing to do, because I am the vaccines minister, that as we vaccinate more of the adult population, if there are new variants like the South African or the Brazilian variants, we need to be very careful.
“We acted on those very quickly and of course dealt with travel from those countries, and from Portugal and elsewhere, rapidly so it is important we continue to review our border policy and an announcement will be made when a decision has been taken.
“And of course the industry itself will be engaged with heavily, including (Health Secretary) Matt Hancock engaging with the industry to explain the decision making at health, as well as of course the business department with the Business Secretary.”
Chief executive of Best Western hotel groups told the BBC that the hotel industry was ready to assist the government if they did opt for such a policy. He said the sector was ‘familiar and accustomed to managing Covid-positive customers in our hotels’.
Mr Paterson added: “From the hotels’ perspective, we would have to treat each of these customers as Covid-positive, so we would have to have strong infection control and protocols around security in the hotel to ensure we can deliver safely.”
An announcement on this from the government is expected to be made on Wednesday.
Cyprus to welcome back vaccinated British holidaymakers from May 1st
There is an issue with the dates, however
British tourists who have received their Covid vaccine could be holidaying in Cyprus this summer.
The Mediterranean country, a popular destination for tourists from the UK, has said it will open its borders to British people who have been vaccinated.
However, this date clashes with the UK ban on foreign travel imposed by the government, with restrictions still in place at the start of May.
The Cypriot government announced that anyone who had received both their vaccinations could travel with no restrictions on their side from May 1st.
According to Cyprus’s deputy tourism minister, Savvas Perdios, the island will let tourists from the UK who’ve had vaccines which are approved by the European Medicines Agency visit – with no quarantine or a negative test required.
The minister added that anyone travelling to the country will need to have had their second dose of the vaccine at least seven days before travel.
So far nearly a million people have received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine in the UK.
The issue for any British holidaymakers wanting to travel to Cyprus is that leisure travel to foreign countries is banned until May 17th at the very earliest.
The May 17th date is also dependent on several factors, including the emergence of new Covid variants and the progress of the vaccine programme.
Holidays in the UK are set to begin earlier, with plans to let people stay in self-contained accommodation, like holiday lets, from April 12th at the earliest.
Are you wanting to take a holiday abroad this year?
Haven is reopening its caravan parks following latest lockdown announcement
Everything you need to know
Following the prime minister’s announcement on Monday, Haven has announced it will be opening its caravan parks from April 12th.
It’s great news for one household families who are looking for a getaway – Haven will be open in England from April 12th.
Two households will be able to stay together from May 17th.
Haven said in a statement: “Following the Government announcement earlier this week with regards to the roadmap out of lockdown measures, we can confirm that our parks will remain closed in England until Monday 12 April.
“We are however, delighted that the roadmap has considered self-contained accommodation to reopen at Stage two and we look forward to welcoming many families to enjoy a coastal break that we pride ourselves on from the 12 April across our parks in England.”
It comes just in time for the Easter half term which ends on April 16th, with holidays in Yorkshire starting from £69.
Haven added: “We would like to thank our guests for their patience and continued understanding whilst we work through this as quickly as we can.”
Currently, this only applies to those in England and guests should expect some restrictions in place in accordance with the lockdown rules.
Indoor entertainment is also unlikely to return but outdoor activities are expected to take place.
It comes after Travelodge also announced a sale on rooms with prices starting as little as £25.
Travelodge launches huge sale with more than 1 million rooms for £25 or less across England
Make sure you don’t miss these super low prices
Travelodge launches sale with breaks available for £25 or less a night in hotels across England.
Following on from Boris Johnson’s announcement at the beginning of this week, Travelodge has confirmed they are now taking bookings from May 17th and have even slashed their prices.
Staycations are likely to stay popular for quite some time with rooms available from just £25 a night – it’s the perfect way to explore the UK this year.
Hotels across the country are included in the deal, from coastal locations like Cornwall and Devon to countryside destinations such as the Peak District and the Yorkshire Dales.
Those looking for a city break can grab a bargain night in the likes of London, Liverpool, York and Cambridge.
Family rooms are also included in the sale meaning a stay can cost just £6.25 per person for a night, or those looking for a romantic getaway can grab a room for £12.50 each.
From May 17th, hotels can reopen and holiday homes can be let to groups of up to six people from different households or groups from two households. Holidays in self-contained accommodation can go ahead from April 12th at the earliest.