‘Don’t go abroad this summer – visit Wales instead’, says public health expert
Public health expert has advised people not to go abroad this summer, and to visit Wales instead.
Professor John Ashton made the comments in a discussion on Good Morning Britain about “whether it’s wrong” to holiday abroad amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Some international travel could resume from May 17 – with a ‘traffic light system’ in place.
But Professor Ashton argued that this would be “premature” and suggested people “explore our domestic environment” this summer.
However, Alan French, the CEO of travel firm Thomas Cook said that wouldn’t help his business
Professor Ashton, said: “I think we’re getting mixed messages from the government. I think it’s premature really now.
“We’re tantalisingly close to getting on top of this virus, and we need to secure that victory over the next couple of months.”
He added: “We saw what happened last summer when we eased off too early, so my advice is to hurry slowly.
“We’ve heard Jonathan Van-Tam tell us the risk of the third wave is from new variants coming in, and you have to remember that Europe is really porous.
“People come in and out of Europe from all over the world and most parts of the world still haven’t had the vaccine, so it’s premature to do this.
“Let’s just go to Wales. We’ve just seen how wonderful it is in Wales. Let’s just go an explore our domestic environment this summer and look forward to something else this year.”
When it was suggested to Alan French, the CEO of travel firm Thomas Cook, that it wouldn’t help his business, he said: “No it wouldn’t, and I don’t have the advantage of being able to speak Welsh.
“But we talk to customers day in day out as you can imagine because we’re having to move people around and re-book holidays, and one of the things that comes through is that holidays are really important to people – particularly after the year that we’ve had where people now are really looking forward to doing things that they love with the people they love.
“But they do want to do that safely and with certainty as to how they can get out and how they can return.
“We’ve seen good progress on things like vaccinations, and the roadmap out of lockdown, the next step is to open up borders safely and we’re looking forward to that.
“Now the government’s got great information. It wants to react on the back of data.
“So, we’re looking forward to countries opening up to travel to that are safe to go to and we can get to and back again safely.”