Coronavirus: Transport secretary suggests delay on booking summer holidays

17 April 2020, 20:34

Grant Shapps said he won't be booking a summer holiday for the time being
Grant Shapps said he won't be booking a summer holiday for the time being. Picture: PA

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has suggested that families delay booking a summer holiday due to ongoing concerns about coronavirus.

Estimating that most people would wait until they see further developments to curb the spread of Covid-19, Mr Shapps said he would not be booking a getaway himself "at this point".

In an interview with BBC Radio 4, he said: "Clearly people will want to see what the trajectory of this disease is in the next few weeks.

"I won't be booking a summer holiday at this point, let's put it that way."

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The comments come just a day after the government announced it would be extending the nationwide lockdown for "at least" another three weeks - taking us up to 7 May.

But, according to Mr Shapps, the Cabinet has asked medical and scientific advisers to present plans on easing restrictions in the next fortnight.

READ MORE: UK government announces coronavirus vaccine taskforce

The government has increasingly come under pressure to reveal its plans for an exit strategy as wider Europe begins enacting theirs.

Later on Friday, the prime minister's official spokesman reacted to the transport secretary's comments and said holidays were "not something which the current social distancing guidelines allow for."

READ MORE: Top public health expert warns MPs of 40,000 UK deaths in first wave of Covid-19

The spokesman said: "While we are making progress in our fight against coronavirus, we are not able to say with certainty the point at which the social distancing measures can be relaxed and in terms of travelling within the United Kingdom for holidays, that is not something which the current social distancing guidelines allow for.

"And secondly, in terms of travel abroad, the advice of the Foreign Office continues to be that you should go abroad for essential travel only.

"As of today, it is a fact that both the guidelines and the official Foreign Office advice do not allow for people going on holidays."