It’s one of the things that people are missing the most as a result of the pandemic: travelling.
And now a member of the Government’s SAGE says that unless more people are vaccinated worldwide, holidays abroad could be out of the question.
Sir Jeremy Farrar said that the latest travel restrictions are likely to remain in place for a “very long time”, reports the Mirror.
He added that in order for people in the UK to be able to enjoy trips to other countries again, there would need to be an increase in global vaccinations.
Speaking on BBC’s Today programme, Sir Jeremy said: “Travel restrictions can buy you time, but they do need to be comprehensive and they wont prevent variants arriving.
“They have to be very smart and comprehensive and go on a very long time.
“Look at what Australia and New Zealand are going through with their travel restrictions.”
His words indicate that the current quarantine hotel scheme, that affects just 30 countries (full list below), may not be enough.
The Government has so far issued 10.5 vaccination doses per 100 people.
That can be compared to Spain, which has issued 2.49 doses, France which has issues 1.51 and Greece which has vaccinated the same number as France per 100 people.
Sir Jeremy added that Britain needs to “learn lessons from 2020”, saying that if the nation had imposed travel restrictions in January and February on high-risk countries, it would have been likely to have been China.
It is believed that the virus originated in Wuhan, in China’s Hubei province.
Sir Jeremy said: “Almost all the viruses arriving in the UK in January, February and March came from Europe.”
Michael Gove also warned people that the couldn’t expect to see the travel restrictions imposed to be lifted ‘prematurely’.
Responding to Mr Gove, Sir Jeremy said on Twitter: “For any travel restrictions to work need to be comprehensive & in place for a long time.
“Work best when transmission is very low here & much higher elsewhere.
“They might buy you time they do not ultimately prevent spread unless you use that time to change fundamentals of infection.”
But Sir Jeremy did offer some hope: that restrictions could be eased during 2021.
Michael Gove agreed, adding: “As we proceed with our vaccination programme, and others proceed with theirs, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”
Full list of countries included in ‘quarantine hotels’ policy
- Cape Verde
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- French Guiana
- Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores)
- South Africa
-- to www.walesonline.co.uk