Boris Johnson 'hopes' to reveal on February 22 whether Brits can go on holiday this summer

BORIS Johnson said he hopes he can reveal on February 22 whether Brits can go on holiday – when he sets out his roadmap out of lockdown.

The PM today hailed the latest vaccine statistics with 13million people getting their first one so far, and urged any older Brits who hadn't had it, to come forward now.

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The PM was asked by the BBC today when Brits would be able to go on holiday – after Grant Shapps played down the prospect earlier today.

Boris dodged the question, but said he hoped to give people a clearer answer later on.

He cautioned against booking now – backing up his Transport Secretary who was also cautious.

The PM said tonight: "Well, as you know, everybody knows it's currently illegal to go on holiday.

"That's the state of play at the moment, we're looking at the data, every day, on Monday we'll be able to say a little bit more about where we are, where the data is.

"Then in the week of the 22nd, as I said, we'll be setting out the roadmap.

"I hope that we'll be able to give some clarity to people there.

"I am afraid it is just too early for people to be certain about what we will be able to do this summer.

"We hope to be able to say more in the week of the 22nd when more comes in, and how the vaccine is working on us all.

"We are just going to have to be a bit more patient."

It came at exactly the same time as Matt Hancock told MPs at the 1922 committee he'd already booked his summer break in Cornwall for this summer.

Boris also confirmed the Government is involved in speaking with travel firms about an app which will allow people to go on holiday – and prove they will have had the vaccine.

Despite ministers insisting that they had no plans for a vaccine passport here, the PM admitted that apps were an option for flying abroad.

At least one company has come out to say they are in advanced discussions with ministers about it.

The PM said tonight: "When we're in that different world, all kinds of apps and possibilities will be open to us."

The PM has said he will reveal his roadmap to open the nation on 22 February, after assessing the data next week.

But MPs are becoming incredingly frustrated with the Government's approach.

Tory backbencher Charles Walker said earlier that the strategy was "very stupid and very very short sighted".

He told Sky News earlier the Government's strategy was "dangerous" and risked alienating people.

"I do hold his secretaries of state responsible for this, and he needs to reign them in very very quickly."

The news came as:

  • Ministers will today lay out plans for billions of pounds of fresh support for people trapped in homes covered in dangerous cladding
  • Grant Shapps revealed today his Dad was sick in hospital with Covid
  • He also warned that travel restrictions may not be lifted for months to come

The PM also used tonight's press conference to urge anyone who hadn't yet had the jab and could, to call up and get it.

He said: "There are people across the country who for one reason or another haven’t yet taken up their offer.

"So now is the moment to do it, wherever you are – you won’t be more than about 10 miles away from a vaccination centre.

"So, go online, or get someone to help you or simply pick up the phone and call 119."

Earlier today Transport Secretary Grant Shapps warned that the vaccine rollout will affect the start date of holidays and he didn't want to "raise people's hopes" they could definitely go away on holiday.

He said: "It is a fact that right now it is illegal to leave your home to go on holiday. At the moment that is off the cards."

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Mr Shapps said travelling abroad would depend on "everybody having their vaccinations” in the UK – and potentially abroad.

When asked if travel restrictions will stay in place until everyone has had a vaccine, he said: "Yes."

It comes after The Sun revealed today that just one jab is likely to give two thirds protection against coronavirus, vindicating ministers' decision to give it to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.

Ministers are on track to get all the top four cohorts of vulnerable Brits a vaccine appointment by Valentines' Day, as the rollout continues to run at pace.


 

Nearly 15million people are either working in the NHS and social care sector, or are over 70.

But some places are speeding ahead and offering it to the clinically vulnerable and those over 50 and 60.

Last week No10 admitted they wanted to get all over 50s vaccinated by May – with aims to be nearly reaching everyone – when they have vowed to push ahead with holding local council elections.

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