Health Secretary Matt Hancock has told Sky News the government is “doing everything we can” to allow Britons to enjoy a holiday this year – amid confusion about whether people should be booking summer breaks.
Following the introduction of tougher border measures for UK nationals returning from abroad and the continuing lockdown restrictions, the government has faced questions about whether summer holidays might be possible.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps this week urged Britons not to book holidays, but Mr Hancock has previously predicted a “great British summer”.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said it is “too early for people to be certain about what we will be able to do this summer”.
Speaking to Sky News, Mr Hancock confirmed he had booked a break to Cornwall this summer, but said he could not yet be sure if his holiday would go ahead.
“I do understand, of course, the yearning for certainty. But certainty is hard in a pandemic,” the health secretary told Sky News.
The prime minister is due to set out how England’s latest lockdown might be eased in the week beginning 22 February.
And, although he admitted it was “difficult at this point”, Mr Hancock urged people to “be patient” ahead of news of how restrictions might be lifted.
“We are doing everything we can to make sure people can have their holiday in the summer,” he added.
“And, even before then, to be able to see their loved ones.
“Even before we get to whether we’re going on holiday, or where we’re going on holiday, how soon we can see and hug our loved ones is important.
“Thankfully, because the vaccine roll-out is going so well… that will all help us to get out of this and get back to normal.”