Overseas travel on hold until 'everybody has vaccinations', Transport Secretary says

Laura Hampson
·2-min read
Overseas travel may not be possible until everyone is vaccinated (Getty)
Overseas travel may not be possible until everyone is vaccinated (Getty)

If you were holding out hope for a summer holiday abroad, you may need to postpone your plans as Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said overseas travel will depend on “everybody having their vaccinations”.

Shapps was speaking on BBC Breakfast on Wednesday 10 February when presenter Louise Minchin asked: “There’s so much concern from many people, including of course the travel industry, about how you lift this – so what is the pathway, what needs to be the difference for this to change?”

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Shapps replied: “First of all, everybody having their vaccinations.” The government’s vaccination plan shows that it expects all adults to be vaccinated by the autumn.

When Minchin asked if that meant that restrictions wouldn’t be lifted until then, Shapps replied with, “Yes”.

He added: “We’ll need to wait for other countries to catch up as well, in order to do that wider international unlock.”

Portugal is one of the countries on the government's 'red list' (Getty)
Portugal is one of the countries on the government's 'red list' (Getty)

During a separate interview on BBC Today, Shapps added that you legally cannot book a holiday under the “current circumstances”.

"Until you know the result of a lockdown which we can't know until we have more data, more information, more information on vaccines as well, please don't go ahead and book holidays for something which at this stage it is illegal to actually go and do – whether it's here or abroad,” Shapps continued.

“Further down the line I simply don't know the answer to the question of where we’ll be up to this summer. It's too early to be able to give you that information. You’d want to wait until that's clear before booking anything. The best advice is: do nothing at this stage.”

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This comes after the government revealed plans earlier this week for many UK arrivals to go into mandatory hotel quarantine - with a fee of £1,750 for the stay.

Failure to disclose a visit to one of the “red listed” countries - including Portugal, South Africa and the Seychelles - could see penalties of up to 10 years in prison.

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Speaking of this on BBC Breakfast, Shapps said: “I think the British public would expect pretty strong action.”

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