Prime minister Boris Johnson has denied “cancelling summer" for UK holidaymakers, despite new Covid-19 restrictions being imposed in areas of northern England.
Johnson was responding to a question during a Downing Street press conference, which focused on new measures being imposed in parts of northern England, as well as a delay in the easing of some UK-wide restrictions that had been due to be lifted on Saturday (1 August).
“I would encourage people still to think of the wonderful staycations here in the UK,” he told the press conference.
“There are all sorts of fantastic destinations – the best in the world, I would say. I’m sure people will have a great time over the summer.”
Johnson added that he hoped to take his own “brief staycation” if possible during the next few weeks.
The press conference came minutes after the Scottish government issued a warning against non-essential travel to parts of northern England.
There are fears that such moves could damage domestic tourism during the next few weeks as they may discourage holidaymakers from taking a UK break.
Ben Cordwell, travel and tourism analyst at GlobalData, said: “The latest government announcement could be an enormous blow to the domestic tourism industry within the UK and the increased Covid-19 anxiety may cause prospective travellers to cross even staycations off their to-do list this year.
“A significant reduction in domestic tourism over the summer months could be a critical blow to many companies. Hotels, restaurants, pubs, bars and attractions have already had to survive months with little or no business.
“Any further financial strain could see some companies closing permanently.”
The government has also postponed the opening up of several activities that had been due to restart from Saturday (1 August) until at least 15 August.
These activities include small weddings for up to 30 guests, although socially distanced ceremonies can still go ahead as currently allowed.