Cabinet minister has urged people to “holiday at home” this summer as he dashed hopes that popular foreign destinations will soon go on the green list.
Environment Secretary George Eustice stressed that the Indian variant, also now known as Delta, had changed the outlook for travel overseas and now expects “most people” to stay in the UK for their holidays.
He added that holiday hotspots in Britain could be “very, very busy” in coming months.
He told Sky News: “My advice to people would be – holiday at home – we have got some great places here.
“Obviously some people will want to travel abroad.
“There are still a small number of countries on that green list, if they wanted to do that they can, but obviously they will have to understand there are risks in doing so as well.”
The MP for Camborne and Redruth added: “I think most people will probably decide this year to stay at home, holiday at home.
“We have got some fabulous places to visit in this part of the country, not least of course Cornwall, although, it will be a very, very busy summer I’m sure down there.”
Just weeks ago, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps had raised hopes that more countries could be added to the “green” list including Mediterranean destinations where millions of Britons head for summer breaks.
However, Mr Eustice said: “Obviously we had hoped, with these three categories that we had, we had hoped that situation would be improving in other parts of the world, that we’d be able to progressively add other countries to the green list.
“Sadly, that’s not the situation, we do have this new variant of concern first identified in India that is now cropping up in other countries, and we’ve just got to take a very cautious approach.”
He added: “I will be staying at home, I have no intention of travelling or going on a holiday abroad this summer.”