Slumped on the sofa after another day of home schooling, many families will have longingly eyed adverts for getaways: sun, sandy beaches and glittering pools, a much-needed reward after a year in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic. But ministers are becoming increasingly concerned they may have to ask the British public to sacrifice their hopes of a break abroad this summer. On Thursday, Priti Patel became the latest cabinet minister to say it was too soon to book an overseas break; Matt Hancock has already announced he is going to Cornwall. Officials are anxiously awaiting the results of studies on whether new Covid variants are resistant to the existing vaccines, millions of doses of which are being distributed across the UK, but they are not expected for several weeks. Tough UK border measures that came into effect this week were initially planned to last a fortnight, but stricter enforcement is already under consideration, including obliging arrivals to pay to stay in “quarantine hotels” while they self-isolate. There are growing fears in government that the prime minister, so reluctant to “cancel Christmas”, may have to tell the public to abandon hopes of a dose of foreign sunshine this summer. Several… Read full this story
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