ritish families were told to “hold off” booking a foreign holiday today as Government ministers urged “caution” with Covid rates rising across Europe.
She told BBC Breakfast: “I know everybody feels like it’s time for a holiday. We all need that.
“My advice would be to anybody right now is just to hold off on booking international travel.
“The Prime Minister launched a taskforce to look specifically at international travel. That will be reporting back shortly. It just feels premature to be booking international travel at the moment.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously touted May 17 as the earliest possible date for when non-essential travel abroad can resume. However, this date is looking increasingly unlikely amid a surge of coronavirus in Europe.
Health minister Ms Whately added: “What I would counsel is caution at the moment for people to hold off on booking.
“Because as anybody can see, we are in a situation where there are rising rates in many countries in Europe.
“We know also something that comes with rising rates is increased risk of variants that’s why it’s so important that we are going to be able to test more rapidly for variants of concern. So I would say to people just hold off.”
Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, the Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said he had not booked a summer holiday abroad and do so now would be “premature” and “potentially risky” due to “growing variants”.