Home secretary Priti Patel has said it is too early to book holidays – only a day after the industry saw booming sales as the 17 May restart was pencilled in.
Patel was questioned by the Home Affairs Select Committee on Wednesday. She was asked to give her advice to anyone “thinking about booking overseas holidays”.
Bookings were soaring, committee chair Yvette Cooper said, “with people thinking at the moment that international restrictions are likely to come down as domestic restrictions come down”.
Cooper said science suggested that as domestic restrictions came down, “international restrictions may need to go up”. She asked Patel what her advice would be “to all of those people booking their holidays today, to book away or to wait?”
Patel replied: “Well, it’s too early, it’s far too early. We have to look at the data at every single stage and the roadmap outlined by the prime minister makes that abundantly clear.”
Patel was pressed again on the issue, with Cooper asking if people “thinking about booking a summer holiday in Greece or Spain, right now, should wait until after the Global Taskforce report, they shouldn’t be booking things now?”
Patel replied: “It is too early, absolutely.”
She said the vaccine roll-out would need to be continued and the government’s four tests would need to be met “before restrictions change”.