The government will say more about traveling abroad on April 5, Boris Johnson says.
The earliest possible foreign holiday date on the government’s roadmap for the lockdown in England is May 17 – a date that has become increasingly unlikely with a new wave of infections across Europe.
Speaking at a briefing on Downing Street, the Prime Minister said, “I think the most important thing we need to do now to continue immunizing large numbers of people in this country is to protect our country as much as possible. It will never be perfect, but do as much as you can to prevent the virus from coming back from abroad and new variants from coming from abroad.
“The rules about what you can do, what people can do to see their families abroad, are fully governed by the rules that cover traveling abroad and people from abroad.
“As you know, travel is currently banned. We’ll say a little more on April 5th about what the global travel taskforce has come up with.
“At the moment there are of course many countries that are on a red list. 35 countries are on a red list, in which we take very strict measures for people who come from these countries.”
He added, “We’ll say more about how to see a family abroad and travel abroad, but it won’t be until April 5th.”
UK chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said there were two risks to the UK from rising cases in Europe and elsewhere – the possibility of importing cases and “much greater” concerns about variants that could reduce the effects of the vaccines.
Speaking to a press conference on Downing Street, he said: “Are we concerned about what is happening in Europe and elsewhere?
“Everyone would be concerned about any country in the world where interest rates rise as it has a huge impact on people’s health and lives.
“As citizens of the world, we would all be concerned about any of these countries.”
In the long term there would be ways to deal with the problems of variants, but “in the short term this is the main thing that drives concerns about border issues at this stage”.