May 12, 2020 / 9:36 AM / 12 days ago

Summer holidays abroad unlikely, Britain's health minister says

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Secretary of State of Health Matt Hancock leaves Downing Street in London, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain May 11, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - British people are unlikely to be able to go on international holidays this summer because of the coronavirus pandemic, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Tuesday.

Asked on ITV’s This Morning show if people should accept that the normal summer holiday season for travelling abroad was cancelled, he replied: “I think that’s likely to be the case.”

While the government is slowly trying to open up different segments of the economy, some form of social distancing will be required for some time.

“The conclusion from that is it is unlikely that big, lavish international holidays are going to possible for this summer,” he said.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday the government planned to introduce a 14-day quarantine for international travellers to prevent a second spike in the virus, infuriating airlines which planned to resume flying in the coming months.

Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Michael Holden

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