The UK travel industry has criticised the government after it warned members of the British public to refrain from planning a summer holiday as uncertainty surrounding the current pandemic continues.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I won’t be booking a summer holiday at this point. Let’s put it that way. Clearly people will want to see what the trajectory of this disease is in the next few weeks.
“We’ve just started to see a flattening of that tragic curve which shows the deaths each day, where they’re bubbling around at the same level, and the number of people going into intensive care, and the rest of it. But we’re not seeing the declines yet.”
The British Travel Association (ABTA) has condemned Shapp’s advice following the interview, however, claiming it was a “thoughtless comment and not based on any facts about what we know today about the future of the pandemic”.
The association warned it would be “better if the government focused on taking the necessary steps to support the sector rather than undermining confidence in it”.
The news comes as the government announced an extension to the coronavirus lockdown for “at least” a further three weeks.
The decision was announced at yesterday’s (16 April) press briefing which was led by foreign secretary Dominic Raab. It also comes after Raab led an emergency Cobra committee and cabinet meetings about the continuation of social distancing measures earlier in the day.