MINISTERS will keep holidaymakers on tenterhooks for weeks to come over foreign jaunts, The Sun can reveal.
Next week’s review of international travel will likely conclude that it’s too soon to say when the borders can be reopened.
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Dashing the hopes of thousands of Brits who have booked getaways for May and June, Government sources say “the picture is still too bleak to make a clear decision.”
It was hoped that foreign travel could resume by 17 May, but Europe’s brutal Covid third wave has cast huge doubt on that date.
It comes as:
Experts earlier said the biggest risk to Britain was now the risk of importing variants back into the UK, which may put the vaccine programme at risk.
Speaking at his press conference last night the PM confirmed that an update on holidays will be unveiled on April 5, Easter Monday.
When asked about whether Brits would be able to travel abroad to see their families, Mr Johnson said the most important thing is to continue to vaccinate people in “great numbers”.
He added he’ll soon reveal “what the global travel taskforce has come up with”.
But sources told The Sun: “Don’t expect a firm date then.”
The PM said: “We will be saying more about seeing family abroad and travel abroad, but it won’t be until at least April 5.
“Clearly at the moment, lots of countries are on a red list, where we have very stringent measures in place.”
Matt Hancock refused to be drawn either way, but stressed that the “door is not shut” on foreign trips.
The Health Secretary refused to say either way whether people could go on a summer break, but stressed it was still too early to make any final calls.
But scientists were more pessimistic, saying they would be planning for summer breaks in the UK instead.
Chris Whitty said one of the main worries about opening up the country for international travel was the risk of importing a new variant from abroad.
He said: “The main thing we’re concerned about is the risk of importing into the UK variants which could have a reduced effectiveness of the vaccines we’re currently using.
“In the short term, that is the principal thing that’s driving concerns about border issues at this stage.”
And Professor Sir Mark Walport, former chief scientific adviser to the Government, said data must be a key part in making any decisions.
He said: “Certainly at the moment many countries in Europe have got case numbers that are going up – there [are] 36,000 cases a day in France, 16,000 in Germany, 22,000 in Italy.
“The numbers speak for themselves.”