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Matt Hancock confirms he booked holiday as Boris Johnson orders Britons to ‘stay put’

Matt Hancock confirms he's booked a summer holiday

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The Health Secretary joined the BBC’s Charlie Stayt to discuss confusion over booking holidays and whether making arrangement was allowed under the current coronavirus restrictions. Matt Hancock was challenged on reports he himself had booked a gateway in Cornwall and was called on to clarify what the situation regarding vaccination is for Britons. He told BBC Breakfast viewers he knew people were “yearning for certainty as to whether they could have a summer holiday” before offering clarification on his own holiday plans.

The Health Secretary continued: “But pandemics are difficult times and there is a lot of uncertainty so I am afraid people will have to be patient before we can get that certainty.

“We are doing everything we can to make sure that people can have a holiday this summer.

“And of course the vaccination rollout is absolutely essential for that, to make sure we protect people as much as possible.

“So it is really good news that the vaccination programme as been going so fast.”

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We will set out more in more detail when we can,” he added.

“But at the moment there is that uncertainty still.”

Mr Stayt pressed the minister again on his own holiday plans, “have you booked a holiday to Cornwall in the Summer?”

“Yes, I booked it months ago,” replied Mr Hancock.

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“So that’s what I really hope we can do and I said before I hope we can have a great British summer.

“We are working incredibly hard to make sure that can happen but there is that uncertainty around.”

It comes after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps suggested restrictions on travel to and from the UK might only be lifted once other European nations catch up with London in administering the coronavirus vaccine.

Leisure travel is prohibited under the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown, but the travel industry is desperate for rules to be relaxed in time for the vital summer season.

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Asked on BBC Breakfast what needs to change for restrictions on overseas travel to be lifted, Mr Shapps replied: “First of all, everybody having their vaccinations.”

Pressed on whether the rules will remain in place until that happens, he said “yes”, before explaining that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out a “road map” for relaxing lockdown measures on February 22.

He added: “It depends on both the level of vaccination here and, critically, elsewhere. We’ve done 13 million-plus vaccinations, which is just more than the whole of the EU put together.

“So we’ll need to wait for other countries to catch up as well in order to be able to do that wider international unlock, because we can only control the situation here.”

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