Brits shouldn’t book a vacation home or abroad until more is known about the success of the UK’s COVID-19 vaccination program, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Wednesday.
Under new border restrictions, people arriving from countries where coronavirus variants are spreading have to pay for 10 days of quarantine in hotels. Anyone who breaks the rules could face a hefty fine or a 10-year prison sentence.
Addressing the “dwindling chance” someone would consider booking a vacation, Shapps said it was wrong to do so as vacation is illegal under the current restrictions.
“Until you know the way out of the lockdown, which we won’t know until we have more data and information on vaccines, please don’t book a vacation to do something that is currently illegal, whether here or abroad,” he told BBC Radio .
The UK has given a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to 12.6 million people. However, the government has stated that more information is needed about the impact it will have on the transmission of the virus or new variants before the final ban can be lifted.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce a plan to ease the lockdown on February 22nd.
Shapps said it was too early to know what that would mean for the summer vacation.
TUI Group, the world‘s largest vacation company, said it needed a summer rebound to ease the burden on finances and is betting on vaccinated Britons going abroad during the peak months.
It has said it has taken 2.8 million bookings, including 1.5 million from the UK.
According to Shapps, between 16,000 and 20,000 people arrived in the UK every day, including freight forwarders.
After the hotel quarantine requirement went into effect on Monday, Shapps expects a drop in arrivals from countries like South Africa and Brazil where new variants have been discovered.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)