It is “far too early” for Britons to be thinking about booking a summer holiday, a minister has told Sky News.
Asked if people should hold off on booking a trip, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi replied: “Absolutely.”
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He added: “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.”
Mr Zahawi was speaking ahead of a meeting of senior ministers on Tuesday to consider further COVID-19 travel restrictions.
On the agenda is the possibility of requiring travellers arriving in the UK to pay to quarantine at a designated hotel.
The exact details of such a policy are unclear at this stage – for instance whether it would apply to arrivals from all countries or a set list.
It is also not clear how long such a measure would need to be in place for.
“There will be an announcement on this issue later on today,” Mr Zahawi said.
The continuing rollout of coronavirus vaccines has raised hopes that life could start to return normal in the months to come, but a number of uncertainties around the pandemic remain.
It is not known yet whether vaccines impact upon the transmission of the virus.
There are also worries that new variants of the disease, including ones first identified in South Africa and Brazil, could prove resistant to vaccines.