FOREIGN holiday hopes have been dealt a blow after a Cabinet minister suggested there are unlikely to be any new additions to the green list soon.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said Brits should stay at home this summer as the spread of the Indian variant has wrecked plans to reopen travel.
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Brits have been urged to holiday at home this summer[/caption]
He warned people not to go abroad “unless it’s absolutely necessary” and those who do “have to understand there are obviously risks”.
His remarks came after chaotic scenes at airports as Brits tried to rush back from Portugal before it was slammed on the amber list this morning.
Mr Eustice said it’s up to people to “make their own individual judgements” whether they want to risk a trip abroad this summer.
But he insisted the PM will prioritise protecting the unlocking at home over opening up more destinations for holidays.
He said: “Basically now there are very few countries on that green list. Our advice all along has been don’t travel unless it’s absolutely necessary.
“We’d hoped the situation would be improving in other parts of the world, that we’d be able to progressively add other countries to the green list.
“Sadly that’s not the situation, we do have this new variant of concern first identified in India that is now cropping up in other countries.
“We’ve got to take a very cautious approach. The most important thing is we can continue to open up our own economy get back to life as normal here.
“The biggest threat to that is we’d have a variant come from another country that would find a way of getting around the vaccine.”
Brits had to dash home from Portugal after it was slammed on the amber list[/caption]
George Eustice suggested there are unlikely to be any new additions to the green list[/caption]
Mr Eustice said he’ll be spending his summer break in Cornwall, and added: “My advice to people would be holiday at home.
“I will be staying at home – I have no intention of travelling or going on a holiday abroad this summer.
“Some people may but they have to understand there are obviously risks in doing so because it’s a dynamic situation.
“I think most people this year will probably decide to stay at home, holiday at home.”
The senior Cabinet minister also insisted no decision has yet been taken on whether Freedom Day will go ahead on June 21 as planned.
There have been reports Boris Johnson is ready to pull the plug and order a two-week delay after a “grim” briefing from scientists about case numbers.
But Mr Eustice said: “The PM has always said he’s going to take this a step at a time.
“We can’t make the final assessment until June 14, and we obviously don’t rule anything out. I’m not sure I would say it’s grim.
“We’ve seen an increase in the infection rate, but what we’re not seeing at the moment is that growth in hospitalisations associated with it.”
He said the “critical test” would be whether people who have received both doses of the jab can still get infected with the Indian variant.
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Mr Eustice said it was “encouraging” that so far only a small number of such instances have been recorded.
He said: “There have been a few cases of people who have had the double jab who have then gone on still to get infected again.
“That’s why we need to look very closely at this. We’re obviously making good progress on the vaccination but it’s too early to say yet what we’ll do.”