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Published on Monday, March 22, 2021

Which? reacts after scientist scuppers hope of overseas summer holidays

Which? responded following comments by a scientist that overseas summer holidays are 'extremely unlikely.

Government advisor Dr Mike Tildesley said there is still a 'real risk' of increased infections of Covid  variants brought back by travellers if overseas leisure travel is permitted.

"The government has made it clear it will make decisions on reopening travel based on the health situation abroad, meaning travel will continue to be restricted and rules will change in line with scientific guidance," said Rory Boland, Editor of Which? Travel.

Which? advised consumers to be cautious about booking overseas trips now until there is more certainty.

"There remains a financial risk to booking travel currently. That's why it's vital that plans to restart international travel take on board consumer concerns and make safety, affordable tests and vaccine passports and reassurance about refunds when travel is disrupted a top priority."

"So far as possible, it's important that rules and requirements remain consistent, as changing them will leave travellers footing the bill again and further risk undermining consumers' confidence in booking travel."

Dr Tildesley told Radio 4's Today programme: "I think that international travel this summer is, for the average holidaymaker, sadly I think, extremely unlikely."

He said the country is 'running a real risk' of bringing more new variants back.

"What is really dangerous is if we jeopardise our vaccination campaign by having these variants, where the vaccines don't work as effectively."

The current roadmap conditions put 17 May as the earliest possible date when overseas trips may be permitted again.

However, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said it is still 'too early to tell' when overseas holidays would be allowed.


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