politics

UK's chief Covid modeller isn't booking a foreign holiday – not even next year


The UK’s chief pandemic modeller has revealed he is not booking a foreign summer holiday for his family – not even NEXT year.

Prof Graham Medley said it’s a “time of caution” – despite a surge of travel bookings after Boris Johnson said he hopes to remove legal restrictions on social contact in England as soon as June 21.

Ministers are set to lead a new “Global Travel Task Force” which will report by April 12 on whether people in England can holiday abroad this summer.

But the SAGE member, who is Professor of infectious disease modelling at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said he would not book a foreign break.

Asked by LBC radio if he was going abroad with his family he said: “No, and I think the discussions are increasingly going to become to look overseas to see what’s happening.

“I’m not, I didn’t last year and I won’t next year probably either.



Tourists sunbathe at Palmanova Beach on the Island of Mallorca on July 27, 2020
Tourists sunbathe at Palmanova Beach on the Island of Mallorca on July 27, 2020

“I think it’s a time of caution and we have to see.

“While we’re doing very well with the vaccine in this country, other countries are not doing so well.”

Asked to clarify he would not even book a foreign holiday for 2022, Prof Medley replied: “Not at the moment. I wouldn’t book anything.”

He added: “I think the whole situation’s going to be uncertain for a long time.

“We’ve got more optimism and certainty now in this country than we have for most other places.”



Professor Graham Medley said it was a 'time of caution' despite optimism about a vaccine
Professor Graham Medley said it was a ‘time of caution’ despite optimism about a vaccine

Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown allows domestic breaks in self-contained accommodation with people from your own household or bubble in Step 2 – which starts on April 12 at the earliest.

But foreign travel will still be banned at that point.

Only in Step 3 – from May 17 at the earliest – will people from different households be allowed to go on holidays together, with hotels and B&Bs fully reopening in Englnad.

Foreign travel may be allowed from that date but will depend on the outcome of a Global Travel Task Force review, and quarantine rules could still be in place when Brits return from overseas.

That could mean people have to give up an extra 10 days’ annual leave – and potentially £1,750 a head for a quarantine hotel – if they want to head abroad this summer.





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