Do not only pack your toothbrush: Priti Patel advises Britons to go off on holiday that air bridges will not occur ‘overnight’ and that the UK also needs to negotiate with countries to lift quarantine rules


The Home Secretary spoke out after travel firms announced their highest profits on Saturday as bargain seekers tried to book before next week’s launch of a ‘traffic light scheme.’

It is planned that the proposal to allow Brits to go on holiday to the safest destinations without quarantining for 14 days will come into effect on July 6.

The Foreign Office will also lift its advice against ‘all but essential travel’ to low- or medium-risk destinations allowing travel insurance to be obtained.

But Speaking to Sky News’ Ridge today on Sunday, Priti Patel said that some strong talks could be pending until any countries allow UK citizens to move.

Priti Patel said: ‘There will be an announcement in the next few days ahead, the review point is tomorrow, which is what the Government has outlined.

‘You will have to, along with members of the public, listen to the advice, see what the government is saying in terms of the countries that we are going to be opening up with, who we are working with, the countries that my colleague the Transport Secretary (Grant Shapps) is in dialogue with right now.

‘But of course these measures won’t come in overnight, they will take time, because some of this will be down to negotiation, discussions with certain countries.’

Pictured: beaches are jam-packed on the beach of Calella in Barcelona on June 20

It came as former government chief scientific adviser Sir Mark Walport said the UK needs to maintain ‘constant vigilance’ as it eases out of lockdown.

Speaking to Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday, he said the government was facing a ‘fine balancing act’ between managing the outbreak of the virus and the damage to health caused by a damaged economy.

He said it was important for people to be sensible and responsible’ and to seek to minimize social interaction to the full.

Citing coronavirus case numbers, he said: ‘The virus is out there, it is very widely distributed and we have to have constant vigilance.’

Asked if a second surge of the coronavirus outbreak was possible, Sir Mark added: ‘As outbreaks occur, they usually occur in clusters and we see certain working environments, such as food processing plants, as relatively popular places for those clusters to grow.

‘It comes back to local control being really important to identify those clusters when they happen and clamp down on them quickly.

‘We need to do everything we possibly can to avoid a widespread second wave.

‘The evidence that the virus does transmit better in cold workplaces again suggests that winter might be quite a risky time again.’

Asked if the virus could come back in winter when the NHS is under more pressure, Sir Mark said: ‘That is obviously a significant risk.’

He said the virus is likely to last longer in soil, especially in cold and wet conditions on surfaces.

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