A SUMMER holiday in Europe can go ahead this year as long as it is “done safely”, a top European politician has advised.
European Commission vice president Margrethe Vestager said she hoped Britons could travel abroad for a break in July and August, despite previous fears that holidays may not happen.
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Asked about the prospect of Britons travelling to Europe for a vacation, Ms Vestager told BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme: “I would hope so.
“I think that there’s discussion over it at every dinner table in Europe and probably also in the UK.
“We really need a break from this. Can we go as we planned, or will we have to stay within the borders of our home country?
“We think that it can be done safely.”
She also said that she is positive it can be done following the opening of other borders, adding: “And I think it’s a very good sign that Germany said yesterday (Wednesday) that they will open their borders towards France and Austria.”
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania hope to open their borders to one another by the end of the week as well.
Her comments follow a number of proposals put forward by the European Commission in an attempt to restart the tourism industry in time for the summer holidays, including targeted restrictions replacing a general ban on travel, and internal border checks slowly lifted as the health situation improves.
However, whether this will include the UK too is still to be decided – with the country having the highest coronavirus death rates in Europe.
Not only that, but the UK is also enforcing 14-day quarantines on any incoming arrivals, including Brits returning from a holiday abroad.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned on Tuesday that people were unlikely to be able to go on foreign holidays this summer.
On Tuesday, asked whether “summer was cancelled”, Mr Hancock told ITV’s This Morning: “I think that’s likely to be the case.”
He added: “It is unlikely that big, lavish international holidays are going to be possible for this summer.
“I just think that’s a reality of life.”
This is in spite of airlines resuming their schedules in the upcoming months – Wizz Air has already launched limited flights to Europe, and Ryanair plans to restore 40 per cent of its flights from July.
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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said yesterday that Brits could technically book a holiday but they were gambling on the travel advice changing in the coming months.
He told the BBC: “If you are booking it then you are clearly, by the very nature, taking a chance on where the direction of this virus goes and therefore where the travel advice is in the future.”
The Costa del Sol has practically given up on the idea of attracting British tourists this year, with Andalucia’s Regional Tourism Minister Juan Marin admitting the international market was “effectively dead” this summer.
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