Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has told the government to "get rid of the mixed messages" on summer holidays after days of confusion sown by a string of conflicting statements from ministers.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps got the ball rolling on Wednesday (10 February), telling BBC Breakfast a resumption of travel would depend on the UK’s vaccination effort, and progress overseas.
Prime minister Boris Johnson later that day told the nation he would be able to give a more definitive answer in the week of 22 February when he plans to set out a roadmap out of lockdown.
The following morning, Matt Hancock reiterated he’d already booked his summer holiday to Cornwall, adding: "We’re doing everything we can to make sure people can have their holiday in the summer."
It all comes while the government continues to run a prominent ad campaign, most notably on social media, warning people that "going on holiday is currently illegal".
Ministers have been criticised for failing to distinguish between going on holiday, and booking holidays – with this discrepancy hurting travel companies’ efforts to get forward bookings in.
In response to Shapps’ comments, Abta stressed people could book packages with confidence, and highlighted the additional flexibility offered by many firms owing to the uncertainty created by Covid.