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Jonathan Van-Tam warns against booking a summer holiday this year
9 February 2021, 06:10 | Updated: 9 February 2021, 06:12
England's deputy chief medical officer has advised against booking summer holidays abroad just yet.
Speaking at a briefing yesterday, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said "the more elaborate your plans are for summer holidays... the more you are stepping into making guesses about the unknown."
He explained: "The more elaborate your plans are for summer holidays, in terms of crossing borders, in terms of household mixing, given where we are now, I think we just have to say the more you are stepping into making guesses about the unknown. I can't give people a proper answer at this point because we don't yet have the data. It's just too early."
He said any easing of lockdown restrictions in England would have to take place "gradually" and that contemplating what will happen in summer is stepping into the realm of a guessing game.
Prof Van-Tam told a No 10 news briefing that it is "just too early to say".
He added: "Public health counter measures, non-pharmaceutical interventions, social distancing restrictions, they will have to be released gradually.
"How quickly they can be released will depend upon three things - the virus, the vaccine and the extent to which the public obey the rules that are in place, which thankfully the vast majority always do."
He said it was too soon to say to what extent people could begin to start planning summer holidays.
Prof Van-Tam added: "The key with this coronavirus is again through vaccination, to take the whole curve and shift it to the left, so the vast majority of the illness is an illness that is manageable in the community - as opposed to causing enormous pressure on our hospitals.
"And we can do that through vaccination, and if we do that we open up a whole way of living normally - much more normally - again in the future."