Millions of people in Britain were today advised by a Government minister not to book a summer holiday abroad at this stage as new border controls are set to be introduced.
“At the moment, we have reached base camp, if I can describe it as that, with the vaccine deployment programme, over six and a half million people now with the first dose..a long way to go.
“We have had tremendous performance, the NHS family, our armed forces, the private sector, and the brilliant volunteers have come together to deliver this deployment.
“It’s far too early, there are still 37,000 people in hospital with Covid at the moment, it’s far too early for us to even speculate about the summer.”
Watch: Hotel quarantine measures under review, says vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi
He later reiterated his comments that it is “too early” to know if foreign travel will be on the cards this summer.
He told Times Radio: “We want to make sure we reopen the economy in a gradual way and that is very much our intention.
“The priority has to be schools.”
Asked about the possibility of new quarantine measures being introduced, he added: “We keep our border policy under constant review, as do other countries.
“Matt Hancock spoke to the travel industry last week to explain the health challenges but also the Business Secretary constantly engages with the industry as well.”
The Prime Minister will discuss proposals for arrivals to quarantine in designated hotels to ensure they follow self-isolation rules with senior ministers.
Various options are said to be on the table, but Whitehall sources suggested that ministers may opt for a more limited system after aviation leaders warned that introducing tougher border rules would be “catastrophic” for the industry.
The officials said a less sweeping option would apply only to British residents returning from countries with more contagious strains - such as Brazil, South Africa and Portugal.
But the final decision is set to be made at a meeting of the Covid-O committee on Tuesday.
Watch: Should I book a holiday in 2021?