In a stunning announcement the U.K. government has warned that ALL vacations including staycations could be canceled for the entire country until the vaccination process is complete.
UK transport minister, Grant Shapps, says that even a trip near home could now be out of the question.
The news came after the nation’s health minister, Matt Hancock, announced that arrivals to the UK who lie about visiting a destination on its Covid “red list” may face up to 10 years in prison or a £10,000 ($13,800) fine.
Until we know the route out of lockdown, which we can’t know until we have more data, more information on vaccines as well, please don’t go ahead and book holidays.Grant Shapps
He went on say it was too early to paint a clear picture about what restrictions would be in place by summer. He advised that travelers should “sit tight and do nothing” until things are clearer.
The warning will be as a disappointment to many UK holidaymakers, who had hoped that the nation’s speedy coronavirus vaccine rollout would pave the way for vacations abroad later in the year. Shapps has stressed that the UK, wo is ahead of many other countries in terms of vaccinations, including the United States will have to wait for other destinations to “catch up.”
We’ll need to wait for other countries to catch up as well, in order to do that wider international unlock.Grant Shapps
The UK, has one of highest Covid-19 death rates in the world. They have nearly four million cases and 114,066 fatalities as of February 9, 2021. As of Wednesday, Britain had administered more than 12.5 million vaccine doses. This equals about 18 percent of its population.
From February 15, UK and Irish residents arriving from countries on the UK’s “red list,” which includes South Africa, Portugal, the UAE and most of South America, will have to buy a “quarantine package”. The cost of the package is £1,750 ($2,400,) and includes accommodation in a government-approved hotel, transport to the accommodation, and Covid-19 testing.
All other travelers who have visited these countries 10 days prior to traveling to the UK, which is currently under a third national lockdown, are banned from entering the UK.
I make no apologies for the strength of these measures, because we’re dealing with one of the strongest threats to our public health that we’ve faced as a nation.Matt Hancock to UK Parliament
This news comes on the heels of a reported shart decline in COVID-19 infestions in recent days. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce a potential loosening of restrictions this month.
Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.