UK PM Johnson says hopeful international travel could resume from May 17

FILE PHOTO: People queue to enter terminal 2, as tighter rules for international travellers start, at Heathrow Airport, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, London, Britain, January 18, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday his government was hopeful that non-essential international travel would restart from May 17, but did not want to underestimate the growing number of COVID-19 cases elsewhere.

“Obviously we are hopeful that we can get going from May 17th, but I do not wish to give hostages to fortune or to underestimate the difficulties that we are seeing in some of the destination countries that people might want to go to,” Johnson told a news conference, adding that he did not want to see cases being reimported into Britain.

He said a taskforce would report later on this week to set out what might be a “reasonable” plan.

Reporting by Kate Holton, writing by Elizabeth Piper, editing by Alistair Smout