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22 June 2021, 11:31
The Health Secretary has cast doubts over whether international travel will be possible this year.
Matt Hancock has warned summer holidays abroad will be ‘difficult’ this year.
The Health Secretary said while the Government is ‘on track’ for easing lockdown restrictions on July 19, opening up the travel industry will not be straight-forward.
“Thankfully, because of the vaccination programme, we have been able to free up a huge number of the restrictions here at home,” he told Sky News.
“We are on track to deliver Step 4, the further openings, on July 19, which is good.
“We are also looking to see how we can replace the protections that are currently there with the restrictions with protections that come from the vaccine, with respect to international travel as well.
“But it is more difficult freeing up international travel.”
Mr Hancock also said the government is working on plans to allow fully vaccinated people in the UK to travel abroad without having to quarantine when they return.
“This hasn’t been clinically advised yet – we’re working on it,” he said.
Asked if these plans could be in place as soon as August, the Health Secretary replied: “We have one of the tightest border control systems in the world and we have that because we want to protect this amazing progress we’ve made at home with the vaccination programme.
“We’ll get there when it’s safe to do so.”
Holidays are currently banned to all countries except those on the 'green list'.
This comes after Boris Johnson also warned people not to pin all their hopes on a trip across seas this summer.
The Prime Minister said: “I want to stress that this is going to be, whatever happens, a difficult year for travel.
“There will be hassle, there will be delays, because the priority has got to be to keep the country safe and stop the virus coming back in.”