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Published on Monday, February 1, 2021

Confusion reigns over summer holidays

Mixed messages are continuing to emerge from Government over whether Brits will be able to enjoy summer holidays this year.

Health secretary Matt Hancock suggested UK holidaymakers could enjoy a 'happy and free' summer after millions are vaccinated against coronavirus.

Speaking on the BBC Politics East programme on Sunday, Hancock said: "In six months we'll be in the middle of, I hope, a happy and free Great British summer - I have a high degree of confidence that by then the vast majority of adults will have been vaccinated."  

He added: "I think we are going to have a great summer, but we will have a tough few months between now and then."

However, Hancock's optimism was almost immediately quashed after cabinet colleague Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss refused to rule out social distancing measures remaining in place for the rest of the year due to coronavirus.

Speaking on LBC radio's Swarbrick on Sunday show and responding to a question regarding whether people could go on a summer holiday to a limited number of countries where they wouldn't need to isolate, Truss said: "It's far too early to make those sorts of predictions and there's an awful lot of water to flow under the bridge before summer."

"I think it would be very dangerous for a Government minister to come on your showing making promises about summer holidays," conceding restrictions on international travel are here for the foreseeable future and the priority is getting schools open.

"Summer holidays are a lower priority I'm afraid than getting kids back to school," she added.

All non-essential travel out of the UK is currently banned. Anyone entering the UK must provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken less than 72 hours before departure, with those travelling from the 30 most high risk countries forced to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days.

By Louise Longman, Contributing Editor (UK)

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  • Any advances on testing?

    Are the government or travel industry doing anything to simplify getting quicker/cheaper testing for negative Covid results within 72 hours of travel? I did read something about an effective saliva test, but don't know if this is being researched/ if it may be approved to speed up pre-travel testing. I believe this is the key to opening up overseas travel. Being vaccinated is not yet proven to prevent you being infected, it just improves your own life chances.

    By Sylvia Cook, Monday, February 1, 2021

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