This Morning: Simon Calder discusses summer holidays
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Summer holidays may have seemed like a light at the end of the tunnel for many Britons. In recent days, hopes of a May 17 travel restart date have been dampened by a spike in COVID-19 rates across Europe.
Despite this, travel expert Simon Calder has spoken out about the damage further extending a ban on travel could happen.
What’s more, he remains positive some holidays will restart contrary to warnings from Government ministers and experts.
Over the weekend, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace warned: “We can’t be deaf and blind to what’s going on outside the United Kingdom.”
Meanwhile, a scientist on the government’s Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling has warned holidays are “extremely unlikely”.
Speaking BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Dr Tildesley said: “I think that international travel this summer is, for the average holidaymaker, sadly I think, extremely unlikely.”
However, Mr Calder believes axing summer holiday plans could cause “immense grief” for Britons.
Speaking on ITV’s This Morning, he said: “We’ve had a whole series of ministers coming out over the weekend saying ‘don’t book your holiday yet, we don’t know is going to happen’ as well as Government advisors.
“The epidemiologist saying ‘oh no prospect of overseas holidays in July and August’ which is, of course, causing immense grief.
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“Not just for the hundreds and thousands of people who work in the travel industry, the millions of us who want a holiday, but critically the families who have been separated for a year or more and are just desperate to see their loved ones.”
In many European holiday hotspots, such as France, lockdown restrictions are being reimposed.
Yet, as Mr Calder points out, the current infection rates could soon change.
He said: “It has to be said that infection rates in many parts of Europe are going through the roof and as a result of that of course the chances of us going abroad are dependent on how the Government here sees the risk of infection there and at the moment in most parts of Europe it is pretty bleak. But we are still eight weeks away.”
The travel expert showed hope that summer travel could resume as planned, particularly if vaccination efforts pick up speed.
“Europe’s completely bumbled its vaccines but hopefully it will sort itself out and as we say eight weeks from now I am completely confident that I will be going somewhere. Frankly, anywhere that will have me,” he commented.
Currently, leisure travel is off the cards for Britons under the current lockdown rules.
The Government’s Global Travel Taskforce is set to be reinstated next month to discuss the possibility of travel.
Even then, UK holidaymakers will need to contend with entry requirements put in place by destinations.
At the time of wiring, Britons are banned from travelling to France and Spain unless they are legal residents or travelling for “essential” purposes.
However, some destinations have already said they will welcome UK holidaymakers back from May.
Both Greece and Portugal have announced plans to welcome back Britons regardless of whether they have had the COVID-19 vaccination.
Travellers who have not been vaccinated will be able to present a negative coronavirus test taken within a certain period of time in order to cross the border.
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