It would be “wrong to speculate” about travel plans while the Covid-19 pandemic is ongoing, Foreign Office minister James Cleverly has said.
The minister said on Friday morning that he gets “how frustrating this is” but “we cannot give guarantees because that is not how viruses work.” Ministers said on Monday that a scheme for vaccine certification for travel is being drawn up.
His comments come as Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford suggested that Wales could open up for some tourism at Easter at some “self-contained accommodation only.”
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Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Mr Cleverly said: “The Prime Minister will be setting out exactly what restrictions we are able to ease and when in as much detail as he is able.
“But we cannot give guarantees because that is not how viruses work. Our vaccination programme, our current set of restrictions have been effective, we know that. We are currently assessing how effective and what the implications might be of certain options.
“But ultimately we want to open up society, the economy as much as we are able but only on the condition that it is safe to do so.”
On summer holidays, he added: “I get how frustrating this is, it’s completely natural. We all want to get a break from this, I get that. But it would wrong for me to start speculating now.
“We are assessing the numbers, we are making a judgment based on the science and we will be making an announcement on Monday. I can’t go any further than that.”
The Welsh Government will work with the tourism industry in Wales on some “limited reopening” around Easter, First Minister Mark Drakeford told the same programme
Mr Drakeford told BBC Breakfast: “I met our tourism taskforce in Wales yesterday, the people who work in the sector.
“What we will work on with them is the possibility – and it is only that – of some limited reopening around Easter of self-contained accommodation only, places where people don’t mix with other people, where there aren’t shared facilities.
“That is how we began the reopening of tourism in Wales last year, if we can bring that forward to Easter if conditions allow, I know that will be a huge relief to many many hundreds of thousands of families in Wales.
“Six weeks is a very long time in the business of dealing with coronavirus so we will have to make that final assessment much closer to the time.”
On Thursday, bosses from leading UK airlines called on the Prime Minister to outline a recovery road map for the industry so they can plan for the summer.
The chief executives of British Airways, easyJet, Jet2.com, Loganair, Ryanair, Tui and Virgin Atlantic warned that without a clear indication of intent from the Government that aviation will restart in the coming months, the UK faces a year of limited connectivity to the rest of the world, and the economic recovery will be hampered.
They said that when the Prime Minister makes his announcement on the lockdown next week, a road map would be critical for airlines and consumers to help them plan for the summer and pave the way for the safe reopening of international travel.
Airlines also called for further economic support for UK aviation to stimulate and strengthen any recovery when it comes.
Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, said: “The Prime Minister needs to indicate the intent for international travel to reopen again this summer and provide much-needed reassurance that travel will be possible, helping to restore consumer confidence.
“We do not expect travel restrictions to be lifted tomorrow, but it is important that the country has a clear view on the plan for international travel as we emerge from lockdown.
“We expect every other domestic economic sector, from hospitality to retail to leisure, will have a road map announced – so must aviation.”
Additional reporting by Press Association.
— to inews.co.uk