People must be 'realistic' over foreign holiday restart, says PM

Holidays in Suffolk have much to offer all tastes - like a visit to Southwold beach. Picture: LUCY T

Will people be travelling abroad this year or visiting beaches such as Southwold?

People in Suffolk must be "realistic" over the resumption of foreign holidays due to "a surge" of coronavirus in popular destinations, the prime minister said. 

Speaking at Monday's press briefing, Boris Johnson said: "I wish I could give you more on that" but insisted there was not enough "solid data" on the virus.

This led to an angry reaction from the travel industry.

Heathrow Airport chief executive John Holland-Kaye claimed "the opportunity has been missed to provide more certainty", while trade body the Business Travel Association described the update as "beyond disappointing".

A Downing Street paper on easing coronavirus restrictions confirmed that a traffic light system for international travel will be introduced.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson addressed a Downing Street press briefing on Easter Monday - Credit: PA

But it stated it is not known when trips could resume, and advised consumers not to make bookings yet.
People living in the UK are currently banned from taking foreign holidays.

The government's global travel taskforce will provide a report later this week on how international leisure travel can resume.

Under England's road map for easing pandemic rules, the earliest that foreign holidays could be permitted is May 17.

The prime minister did confirm the next step in the government's road map out of lockdown would go ahead as planned on April 12

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What are the changes?

  • Non-essential retail, hairdressers and nail salons can reopen alongside libraries and community centres
  • Pubs, restaurants and cafes can serve customers outdoors. Table service rules will remain, although the "substantial meal" requirement for alcohol will not be in effect
  • Theme parks, zoos and other outdoor attractions can reopen, while drive-in cinemas and drive-in performances can also take place
  • Indoor leisure facilities including gyms and swimming pools can open their doors again – but only for use of people on their own or with their household
  • Self-contained accommodation such as holiday lets can reopen so long as indoor facilities are not shared with other households
  • Up to 15 people will be allowed to attend weddings, receptions and wakes. Funerals can continue with up to 30 people
  • All children’s activities and indoor parent and child groups can go ahead with up to 15 parents present