Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said today that he wouldn’t rule out overseas summer holidays this year.
Speaking on ITV’s This Morning programme, he said he was “more optimistic” than before about the prospect of travelling overseas from July.
He said: “I am a little bit more optimistic than I was about, about being able to get some foreign travel back up.
“And so that is one of the things where things have gone a bit better than expected.”
He reiterated government policy that the UK’s quarantine measures were due to come into place from June 8, meaning anyone who returns back from an overseas holiday would have to self-isolate for two weeks.
Hancock said those measures would be reviewed every three weeks – as the overall lockdown is.
He added that people arriving from overseas are a “bigger proportion” of new Covid-19 cases as the R rate of infection in the UK continues to reduce.
When asked directly whether Brits would be able to book a flight and get away from July onwards, he replied: “You know, let’s I absolutely wouldn’t rule it out.
“We’ve got to proceed cautiously. We’ve seen what happens when this virus gets out of control.”
The Foreign Office continues to advise against all non-essential travel, but destinations such as Spain, Greece, Italy and Portugal have said they are “open for business” from July, or earlier in some cases.
British Airways also hopes to resume flights by July, and Ryanair hopes to reinstate 40% of its programme from July 1. Tui today extended the cancellation of its beach holidays to June 30. Jet2holidays is targeting a return to operations on July 1.
EasyJet hopes to restart its flight schedule as soon as June 15, but for domestic flights and services to France. It is surveying customers to ask which European destinations they want it to return to first.