After officials previously signaled that a foreign trip may not be possible during 2021, UK transport minister, Grant Shapps, says that even a break on home soil may now be out of the question.
“Until we know the route out of lockdown, which we can’t know until we have more data, more information on vaccines as well, please don’t go ahead and book holidays,” Shapps said during a BBC interview early Wednesday.
He went on say it was too early to paint a clear picture about what restrictions would be in place by summer, advising travelers to sit tight and “do nothing” until things are clearer.
The warning will be as a disappointment to many UK holidaymakers, who had hoped that the nation’s speedy coronavirus vaccine rollout would pave the way for vacations abroad later in the year.
However, Shapps has stressed that the UK, which has administered more than 13 million Covid-19 jabs, will have to wait for other destinations to “catch up.”
All other travelers who have visited these countries 10 days prior to traveling to the UK, which is currently under a third national lockdown, are banned from entering
Those who fail to comply with the quarantine requirements or attempt to conceal the fact they’ve visited a high risk country before arriving could receive a 10-year prison sentence or a fine.
“I make no apologies for the strength of these measures, because we’re dealing with one of the strongest threats to our public health that we’ve faced as a nation,” Hancock told MPs at the house of the UK Parliament.
Passengers arriving from destinations that aren’t on the “red list” must present a negative test within 72 hours of their departure.
In addition, they are also required to isolate for 10 days, as well as take a Covid-19 test on the second and eighth day after their arrival.
Anyone planning to arrive in the UK from Monday will need to book the new post-arrival tests through an online portal before they travel.