Jonathan Van-Tam says there's 'great uncertainty' as he speaks out on summer holidays

2 March 2021, 08:30 | Updated: 2 March 2021, 10:17

Polly Foreman

By Polly Foreman

Jonathan Van Tam spoke out about the prospect of summer holidays during the government press conference last night.

Jonathan Van-Tam has said he doesn't know whether summer holidays will be able to go ahead this year, stressing that they'd depend on the rules of country.

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Speaking at yesterday's Downing Street press conference, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer warned that parts of Europe were behind the UK in their vaccine rollouts, and that he couldn't say either way if holidays will happen.

Jonathan Van-Tam has said that it's still unclear whether summer holidays can go ahead
Jonathan Van-Tam has said that it's still unclear whether summer holidays can go ahead. Picture: PA

He said: "We are still in a zone of great uncertainty about what the virus will do next.

"On top of that many of the vaccination programmes in Europe, a place where we frequently go on holiday, are running behind ours.

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"Whether we can go on holidays abroad depends on what other countries will say and do in terms of foreign tourism.

"I am not going to give you a firm answer, because I genuinely don't think there is one at this point."

Jonathan Van Tam discussed summer holidays in the press conference yesterday
Summer holidays were discussed in the press conference yesterday. Picture: PA

When delivering his roadmap out of lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson did not give a precise date on when foreign holidays will be able to take place - but the earliest possible date is 17 May, the third stage of England's lockdown lifting.

However, all lockdown lifting is subject to the following four conditions:

  1. The vaccine deployment continuing successfully
  2. There is evidence that the vaccine is effective in reducing deaths
  3. There isn't a surge in hospitalisation
  4. Assessment of risks are not fundamentally changed by new variants of Covid that cause concern

It is unknown whether summer holidays will go ahead this year
It is unknown whether summer holidays will go ahead this year. Picture: PA

Holidays abroad will also depend on the laws of the country being visited. Some countries - including Greece - are said to be looking to open their borders for vaccinated Brits this summer.

Home Secretary Priti Patel recently warned that it was 'too early' to book holidays.

Speaking to the Home Affairs Select Committee, she said: "We have to look at the data at every single stage and the road map."

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