Holidays abroad this summer have been severely hindered by strict travel restrictions and airlines’ services greatly diminished. Britain remains a couple of weeks behind mainland Europe in terms of when the outbreak of COVID-19 first struck – meaning Britons are likely to be among the last to be able to travel without any restrictions.
At a Downing Street coronavirus briefing this week, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden gave Britons a glimmer of hope enjoying a domestic holiday before the summer is out.
Mr Dowden insisted it was possible that tourism within the UK could be up and running by July, but stated this was dependent on the so-called “R” rate of infection being managed.
He said: “I would love to get the tourism sector up as quickly as we possibly can.
“We’ve set this very ambitious plan to try and get it up and running by the beginning of July.
“Clearly, we can only do it if it’s safe to do so because I think the worst thing for our tourism sector would be to start, then see the R rate rise out of control, see a second peak that overwhelms the NHS that we then have to slam on the brakes again.”
Mr Dowden added Prime Minister Boris Johnson, like himself, was a huge advocate for vacations within the UK.
He added: “Believe me, when we get to the point when we can have British tourism back, perhaps apart from the Prime Minister you won’t get a bigger champion of the great British break than me.”
The hope of a summer holiday and the soaring temperatures this week in the UK has seen many Britons already jump the gun, with beaches across Britain packed with sun-seekers.
The UK tourism industry is already gearing up for a July return including holiday parks and caravan sites.
According to the National Caravan Council around two million Britons enjoy a caravanning holiday each year,
The Caravan and Motorhome Club – an organisation representing caravan and motorhome users in the UK and Ireland said sites will begin reopening in July.
Later today the Home Secretary Priti Patel is expected to outline the plans to impose a mandatory 14-day quarantine for arrivals into the UK from next month.
Travellers will be asked to fill in a form with their contact information, and health officials will perform spot checks to ensure compliance with the measures – with fines of up to £1,000 for those who flout the rules.
Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis warned that the quarantine period would also apply to British citizens returning from abroad.
He said: “The reality is we are saying to people, if you are going abroad, you need to look at the fact you may well need to quarantine when you come back.”
Published at Fri, 22 May 2020 09:06:00 +0000