‘Don’t e-book holidays but,’ minister warns – to the dismay of the journey business

A government minister has warned British travelers not to book summer holidays. Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi was asked on Sky News if it was too early for the public to book a vacation.

“Absolutely,” he replied. “I think it’s way too early.

“There are currently 37,000 people with Covid in the hospital. It is far too early to speculate about the summer at all. “

The statements met with fierce criticism from the travel industry, which ends its worst January ever in terms of advance bookings.

Usually the first month of the year sees the most Christmas sales.

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Sutton Travel, based in the Midlands, tweeted: “Travel agencies and tour operators are closing day by day. Tens of thousands of seasoned, loyal, and hard-working travel professionals are added as statistics to the government’s ever-increasing unemployment. “

The Minister reiterated the BBC breakfast warning when Dan Walker asked, “What is your message to those who are considering booking a vacation in the summer and beyond in the future? What are you telling them this morning “

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Mr Zahawi spoke as Ministers prepare to announce mandatory hotel quarantine for arrivals in the UK.

The program is expected to apply to arrivals from southern Africa, South America and Portugal.

Paul Goldstein, co-owner of the Kicheche Safari Camps in Kenya, said: “Just when I think that this government can no longer strike the beleaguered travel industry, they conjure up yet another absolutely unenforceable nonsense.

“This whole hotel quarantine is ridiculous. Somebody needs to inform the government that this horse ran away 10 months ago. Trying to compare ourselves to Australia or New Zealand is absurd.

“This is the latest in a catalog of idiotic tricks designed to divert attention from your hideous use of the virus.”

Jeremy Hunt, the former health secretary who now chairs the health and social care selection board, was cautiously optimistic about the holidays later this year.

On BBC Today he said, “I think things could change dramatically over the summer months.

“But until then it’s really a race to make sure we break the gears as much as possible.”

A decision on hotel quarantine is expected to be announced this week.

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