Maybe next time, guys!
Grant Shapps faced the wrath of the travel industry today as he snuffed out hopes of a summer holiday season, warning people not to book anything at home or abroad.
The Transport Secretary made clear there is no guarantee that breaks will be possible at all this year, saying he did not want to ‘raise people’s hopes’.
Asked in an interview on BBC Breakfast what needs to change for restrictions on overseas travel to be lifted, Mr Shapps replied: ‘First of all, everybody having their vaccinations.’
Pressed on whether the rules will remain in place until that happens, he said ‘yes’.
He stressed that it is currently illegal to go abroad for any non-essential reason – although he did say the government is looking at a ‘vaccines passport’ system that might allow leisure travel to resume when the crisis eases.
The grim comments came despite Boris Johnson previously voicing ‘optimism’ about the summer, and Matt Hancock revealing he has already booked a trip to Cornwall. Tory MPs said ‘hope is evaporating’ due to the harsh line.
Mr Johnson increased the gloom at PMQs this afternoon by warning the country will have to ‘get used’ to the idea of vaccine booster shots in the Autumn, and dodging Tory calls to guarantee that all schools in England will return on March 8.
The ABTA industry body said people could have ‘confidence’ booking holidays and pointed out many companies are offering ‘additional flexibility to take into account the uncertainty created by the pandemic’.
Just try back next summer!
Maybe then we’ll let you move!