'We can't be blind to what is going on outside the UK' warns Wyre MP as summer holidays abroad 'highly unlikely'
A Wyre MP has said today, March 21, that allowing summer holidays abroad from the UK could be 'reckless' in light of rising European Covid-19 rates.
Government Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, who is also the Conservative MP for Wyre and Preston North today spoke out on Sky News this morning saying that foreign travel may be "reckless".
The news comes as the Government decide whether jetting off on foreign holidays will be allowed this summer, with a decision due to be announced next month.
This morning he said: "We can't be deaf and blind to what is going on outside of the United Kingdom. If you look in Europe, there are increases of infections and we can't put at risk the huge amount of effort by the taxpayer, by the NHS, by our scientists in developing this vaccine.'
"If we were to be reckless in any way and import new variants that put that at risk, then what would people say about that?
"We have got a good direction of travel. We are getting there and I think that we need to protect that at all costs."
Scientists have also warned that foreign holidays in July and August present “a real risk” of bringing Covid variants back into the UK, amid concerns that a third coronavirus wave emerging in Europe could hit the UK.
Dr Mike Tildesley, a member of the Spi-M modelling group which advises the Government, said there was a danger that new variants could jeopardise the vaccination programme later in the year adding trips abroad would be 'highly unlikely'.
The Government’s Global Travel Taskforce is due to report on April 12 on proposals for restarting international leisure travel, with the earliest possible date for residents in England to go abroad currently May 17.
But according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, 20 countries in the European Union have now reported an increase in the rate of positive tests and 15 have said hospital or intensive care admissions have increased.
Mr Wallace also spoke in support of the Government’s plans to extend coronavirus lockdown powers in England for another six months in a Commons vote this week.
He added: “The final mile is the most important thing for us all, make sure we buckle down, get through the different stages the Prime Minister set out.
“At each stage, we will be taking assessments from the science, from where we are in the pandemic, and take the steps required.
“It is not a one-way street. Just because we are seeking to extend the powers doesn’t mean we are deaf to how facts change on the ground.”
Government data up to March 19 suggests that 26,853,407 people aged 18 and over have now received a first dose of the jab – around 51 per cent of the population.
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