UK cautions against booking holidays, with hotel quarantine announcement pending
LONDON (UK) – The British public should not make any booking for any overseas summer vacation yet, said the minister responsible for the country’s COVID vaccination programme on Tuesday, before an expected announcement on tighter border measures.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he is considering the option of introducing quarantine hotels for those coming to Britain to prevent the risk of “vaccine-busting” new coronavirus variants making its entry into the country.
Nadhim Zahawi told Sky News there would be an announcement later on Tuesday. The BBC reported that it will required to isolate in a hotel for 10 days for arrivals from most of Southern Africa and South America, as well as Portugal.
It said there had been “no definitive decision yet” on arrivals from other parts of the world and this was “still a live issue”. Johnson will preside over a meeting with senior ministers to come up with the decision later on Tuesday.
Zahawi said when asked if the possible measures meant it was too soon for the public to make bookings for holidays, : “Absolutely”.
“I think it’s far too early. There’s still 37,000 people in hospital with COVID at the moment, it’s far too early for us to even speculate about the summer.”
Britain has suffered the fifth worst death toll in the world because of the pandemic, with 98,531 people losing lives within 28 days of a positive test, and witnessing one of the deepest economic contractions on record.
The introduction of quarantine hotels plus the warning not to book vacations will be a blow to the travel industry, already reeling.