BRITS should think twice about booking their summer holidays abroad as the world is still in the grips of the deadly pandemic, Grant Shapps warned last night.
The Transport Secretary poured cold water on the idea of securing a summer break for later this year – after holiday firms reported a bounce in reservations as the vaccine is rolled out across the country.
But he warned off Brits taking his advice, saying: “I’m the last person you should take this advice from… don’t take travel advice from me.”
The over-50s are leading the charge for going on holiday, travel companies are reporting, with many having got their first jab or are set to in the coming weeks.
The Government has promised to vaccinate all over 50s by the spring – though they haven’t put a specific date on it yet.
All over 80s, NHS and social care staff will be jabbed by the middle of February under current predictions – with up to 3million vaccinations a day predicted by March.
Mr Shapps told LBC today he was the last person they should take advice from after he flew to Spain last year with his family only to slam the country on the quarantine list and head straight home again.
And while the nation was in the middle of the worst part of the pandemic, he expressed caution at booking another getaway.
He was asked this morning: “Would you advise my listeners they should book a summer holiday?”
And he replied: “I think we have to recognise at this moment in time, that we are still in the grip of this pandemic.
“Suffering hospitals full to the brim, I think its 36,000 in hospital, with high numbers of deaths.
“Right now, let’s make sure we are staying at home and let’s make sure that we are doing the right thing.”
When pressed on it again, he added: “All I am telling you is, I had this question last year, I said at the time, I wasn’t at that time.
“We then had the travel corridors in place. I booked my holiday, I went to Spain.
“Then the first thing I did within an hour of getting there is put Spain on the travel corridor list. Don’t take advice from me!”
The UK recorded another 1,248 deaths from Covid yesterday – and 48,000 positive cases.
Matt Hancock has said previously he’s secured a Cornwall cottage for next summer in the hope he can get away on a break with his family.
Ministers hope the the vaccine rollout will enable the country to get back to normal by the Spring.
But the entire nation won’t get vaccinated until the autumn under the Government’s plan.
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