Health secretary Matt Hancock has said the government is doing everything it can "to make sure people can have their holiday in the summer".
Hancock was pressed on government mixed messaging on holidays in recent days during a Sky News interview on Thursday morning (11 February).
It comes after transport secretary Grant Shapps on Wednesday (10 February) intimated holidays would be unlikely until a greater proportion of the population is vaccinated against Covid-19.
Shapps also said other countries would also have to make progress on their vaccination programmes before international travel would likely be able to resume.
Later that same day, prime minister Boris Johnson called for people to be patient and await further details of the government’s plan to exit lockdown, due in the week beginning 22 February.
Abta warned the transport secretary’s comments risked the sector losing another summer season to the pandemic, and said people could book with confidence for future travel with its members.
Summer holidays are understood to be part of government’s discussions ahead of that announcement; in response to a letter from constituent Miles Morgan, owner of Miles Morgan Travel, seen by TTG, Monmouth MP David Davies said it was his understanding that ministers were "actively looking at a roadmap" for reopening the travel sector.
Hancock, who late last month said people could look forward to a "happy and free great British summer" and revealed he had a Cornwall family holiday booked, was quizzed on government messaging on holidays during a Sky News slot on Thursday.
"I don’t like to flag differences between ministers," said presenter Niall Paterson. "But between you, Grant Shapps and even the prime minister, you might be slightly at odds as to whether or not we should be booking our summer holidays this year. What is the government’s position on whether or not [we should be booking] as we see the travel industry on its uppers at the moment."
Hancock responded by saying he understood people were "yearning for certainty" while stressing "certainty is hard in a pandemic".
"The prime minister will be saying more in detail in the week beginning the 22nd of February so in a couple of weeks time," said Hancock.
"People will have to be patient as the prime minister said. But we are doing everything we can to make sure people can have that holiday."