Summer is ‘likely’ to be cancelled – despite plans to reopen ‘some’ of the hospitality industry in early July – Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said today.
“Asked whether people could rent self-catering holiday homes for “staycation” holidays in this period, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “No, the rules allow for you to make visits to enjoy parks or something with pleasure status but you can’t stay overnight.”
Max Channon www.devonlive.com
It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson told people who have holiday or second homes in Devon and Cornwall that they must not travel to them – but revealed a 14 day quarantine period would not apply to visitors to and from France.
The latter has potential ramifications for Plymouth’s international ferry port and its Brittany Ferries sailings between the city and Roscoff. The Brittany Ferries website appears to be taking bookings on the route from June 15 onwards.
Meanwhile, Isles of Scilly Travel says it intends to resume bookings for sailings on the Scillonian III to the islands off the coast of Cornwall from the July 1 2020, but will “keep this under review in line with Government advice”.
And Dartmoor National Park has said it is “reviewing how we are able to safely welcome visitors back to Dartmoor”, after the PM announced that people can from Wednesday drive to other destinations to undertake exercise, with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab adding on Monday morning that people will be able to drive as far as they want to exercise when the legal regulations are changed.
However, senior politicians in Devon have renewed their appeal to holidaymakers and second homeowners to stay away from the region despite the easing of lockdown restrictions, while Cornwall’s tourism chief said he does not want people to needlessly travel to the county.
Locally, the message to visitors unequivocally remains Come Back Later – and now Mr Hancoock has said people are also unlikely to be able to go on foreign summer holidays this year.
Asked whether “summer was cancelled”, he told ITV’s This Morning: “I think that’s likely to be the case.
“We haven’t made a final decision on that yet but it is clear that we will seek to reopen hospitality, some hospitality, from early July if we keep successfully reducing the spread of this virus.
“But social distancing of some kind is going to continue.
“The conclusion from that is it is unlikely that big, lavish international holidays are going to possible for this summer.
“I just think that’s a reality of life.”
It comes after Ryanair announced a plan to restore 40% of its flight schedule from July 1. The airline said the measure is subject to government restrictions on flights within the EU being lifted and “effective public health measures” being put in place at airports.
The Government has announced that anyone coming into the UK on a flight is likely to face 14 days in self-isolation quarantine.
But Mr Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron have agreed quarantine measures would not apply between France and the UK “at this stage”, according to a joint statement.
Plymouth Live understands Brittany Ferries – which operates ferries between Plymouth and Roscoff – is currently working through the detail on the Anglo-French agreement announced on Sunday evening.
Airports are requiring all passengers to wear masks and gloves and airlines are imposing the same rules along with temperature checks.
It comes after the Government said UK holidays are still banned despite coronavirus lockdown restrictions being eased.
A document published by the Cabinet Office said staying overnight at a location other than the place you live “for a holiday or other purpose is not allowed”. This includes visiting second homes.
Boris Johnson told the daily Downing Street press conference on Monday that people should not travel to UK beauty spots to stay for long periods of time.
Asked by Alex from the Lake District if there would be a limit on how far people could travel for their daily exercise, the Prime Minister, said: “What we’re saying is we want people to be able to use the outdoors, to be able to exercise in an unlimited way outdoors, but they’ve got to obey social distancing.
“So there can’t be any question of people just going off for holidays for staying in places like the Lake District.”
Locals living in Cumbria have raised concerns about the area being inundated with tourists as people take advantage of the “unlimited daily exercise” announcement.
The area, home to the Lake District National Park, saw 47 million visitors in 2018, according to Cumbria Tourism.
From Wednesday, people in England have permission to travel to “outdoor open space irrespective of distance”.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have all so far remained with the previous, stricter, advice – which also banned holiday travel.
But the Cabinet Office said “premises such as hotels and bed and breakfasts will remain closed” unless they are being used for special circumstances such as providing accommodation for critical workers.
Asked whether people could rent self-catering holiday homes for “staycation” holidays in this period, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “No, the rules allow for you to make visits to enjoy parks or something with pleasure status but you can’t stay overnight.”
Places of accommodation will reopen as part of step three of England’s recovery strategy, which will not begin earlier than July 4.
Premises will be required to meet “Covid-19 secure” guidelines to minimise the risk of infection.