Holidays abroad should NOT go ahead from May 17, warns Wales First Minister

THE WELSH First Minister has warned that holidays abroad should not go ahead from May 17.

The government is to announce next week when trips abroad will be able to go ahead, with the earliest date being from mid-May.

However, Mark Drakeford has said he hopes Boris Johnson will push this date back due to the risk of importing Covid cases to the UK, in particular variants such as the South African Strain.

He told Good Morning Britain: "I've long argued that it is over-optimistic, that it doesn't reflect the risk of reimporting coronavirus from other parts of the world where there are new variants in circulation."

Mr Drakeford said the newest lockdown in France in response to rising cases of Covid-19 there was evidence of "how close to this country some of those risks are currently being experienced".

He added: "When the Prime Minister speaks next week I hope that he will say that date is having to be pushed back further into the future in order to go on protecting the United Kingdom against the developments we see elsewhere in the world."

Wales has already allowed domestic holidays to go ahead with Welsh families able to book a self-catered trip since last weekend.

England will follow suit from April 12, which is when Wales' borders will also open up to English tourists.


Mr Drakeford said that a UK holiday should be at the top of the list this summer, not one abroad.

He continued: "If ever there was a year to enjoy what we have domestically, and to find those spots in Wales that you haven't visited before, this is the year to do it."

Mr Drakeford said the Welsh Government would not seek to prevent people from travelling internationally if rules allow later in the year.

"It's not realistic to try to prevent people and we won't make that attempt. What my advice to people in Wales would be this year, stay at home, enjoy what we have here. Don't put yourselves and other people at risk."

MPs are to discuss a traffic light system later today in a way to restart holidays abroad, which would allow "green" destinations to avoid any restrictions.

This could include destinations such as Israel and Iceland, where Covid cases are low and vaccines are high, while holiday destinations such as Spain, Greece and France could be on the amber or red list which have restrictions.

Vaccine passports are also being put forward by a number of countries in the EU to welcome Brits back from May.

Current rules include a £5,000 fine for anyone attempting to leave the country for a holiday.

However, a recent study has found that travel could resume to as many as 130 countries without putting the UK at risk, due to the vaccine rollout.

Despite this, some experts have warned that holidays should not resume until August due to the threat they pose to the country.

Professor Neil Ferguson said that holidays should only go ahead when all over-50s are vaccinated, which will be late summer.

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