Don't book foreign holidays now, Brits warned in shocking message from travel agent

BRITS hoping for a foreign holiday this summer have been warned to hold off until the government reveals more details about its plans to open up travel abroad. 

A travel agent has advised against booking any trips, despite various EU countries announcing their plans to open to Brits in the next six weeks. 

Currently, a number of good deals can be had on last minute breaks, with trips to Spain, Greece and Portugal available for a fraction of the typical price at this time of year. 

But Lee Hunt, managing director of Deven Travel told the Telegraph that he is advising interested customers not to book. 

He said: “There is still so much uncertainty. We are actively putting customers off booking for this summer until the list of green countries is announced along with the associated rules. We then hope to see an influx of bookings.”

The advice is at odds with the government’s own message, with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps telling the public that they could start booking their holidays abroad earlier this month. 

He said on April 9: “I'm not telling people they shouldn't book summer holidays now, it's the first time I've been able to say that for many months."

The mixed messages are a sign of how little confidence the travel industry now has in the government to open up travel effectively this summer. 

Despite plans to open the borders from May 17, with details on which countries will be allowed to skip UK quarantine coming at the beginning of next month, Jet2 has already cancelled all holidays and flights until June 23. 

The travel company made the decision to postpone all trips because of the government’s "lack of clarity" over when Brits will be able to travel again.

Jet2's announcement came just hours after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said people could 'start to think' about booking foreign trips.

A furious Steve Heapy, CEO of the travel giant, told Sun Online Travel at the time: “We still don’t know when we can start to fly, where we can fly to and the availability and cost of testing."

“The government has said it will release details of which countries will be classified as green, amber or red in a few weeks time but that’s just not good enough.

“We can’t run an airline like that. Pilots need to undergo training, aircraft need to be serviced and we need to recruit seasonal staff.

“It’s simply not sustainable for us a business to start planning for a total return to travel without knowing when a country will open up or even where we can fly.”

Brits have been given a boost in their hope for foreign holidays in the last week, after Spain, Cyprus and Portugal all announced plans to reopen to Brits in May.

In addition, vaccine passports are set to be ready in time for the May 17 reopening of foreign travel, a top minister declared today.

Nadhim Zahawi said officials are working to make sure the Covid certificates can be issued in time for people to jet off on their hols.

He said: "For travel overseas, clearly a number of countries are now indicating they will request a Covid certification.

"That's proof of either a Covid jab, or obviously a test as we currently request a pre-departure test certificate – other countries do the same thing.

"So, NHSX under Matthew Gould are working on making that operationally possible by the 17th of May.

"Internationally, it is right to make the certification available for our citizens and to shape the protocols around the world.

"Because clearly a number of countries are going to do this – we'd much rather do it in a co-ordinated way."

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