Health Secretary 'really hopes' for summer holidays abroad despite UK travel ban still in place

THE Health Secretary has said he "really hopes" Brits will be able to go abroad this summer holiday – despite the UK travel ban still in place.

The UK government currently advises against all non-essential travel abroad.

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While there are some suggestions this could be lifted in the next few weeks, families risk being stranded abroad and having invalid travel insurance, if they choose to jet away.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News: "I really hope people are going to be able to fly to go on summer holiday, but we’ve got to take an approach that starts with caution."

He added that the quarantine policy in place as of today – which enforces two-week quarantines on anyone entering the country – was vital in keeping coronavirus cases in the UK down.

He continued: "We’re bringing in the quarantine policy again because as the number of new infections comes down, so the proportion of infections that come from abroad increases, simply because the number of new infections domestically is coming right down."

Mr Hancock previously warned that summer holidays abroad were out of the question, stating last month: "I think it’s unlikely that big lavish international holidays are going to be possible for this summer."

I really hope people are going to be able to fly to go on summer holiday

He backtracked later that month, adding: "I am a little bit more optimistic than I was about being able to get some foreign travel back up.

"You know […] I absolutely wouldn't rule it out."

MP Kit Malthouse told Sky News earlier today that trips abroad this summer may have to be scrapped, saying: "If that means this summer we have to go without an overseas holiday, then that's a sacrifice we're willing to make."

Yet airlines are already hoping for a summer getaway, with carriers including Ryanair, easyJet and British Airways planning to resume flights abroad from next month.

While operating limited schedules, the airlines will offer flights to destinations in Europe, Asia and the US.

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary claims thousands of families have already booked flights to Europe in July and August following the announcement of flights resuming.

He told Radio 4's Today programme: "We are seeing thousands of British families booking their two-week holiday, because they themselves expect they won't be affected by the quarantine when they return home. "

The Sun has learned that the Foreign Office advice against all but essential international travel is expected to be scrapped within days now.

The FCO last night confirmed the advice is being reviewed.

And in a big hint that a change is imminent, a new note appeared beside the travel ban on its website in the last few days saying: “This advice is being kept under constant review”.

Some Brits are opting for holidays during the October half term amid fears a trip this summer won't be able to go ahead.

Air bridges are also being considered to allow Brits to travel.

The air bridge scheme would see an agreement between two countries to allow travellers to visit without needing to quarantine.


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