Foreign summer holidays will pose ‘no risk’ to the UK’s own infection rate, provided that the destination’s case rate is not higher than our own, a leading epidemiologist and Government advisor has said.
“[If] by the summer, infection levels in France and Italy are the same sort of levels that they are here, then there is no risk associated with travelling overseas,” Professor Neil Ferguson told Radio Four’s Today programme.
“The risk comes from going from a place like the UK, with very low infection levels, to a place with much higher infection levels – and therefore having the risk of bringing infection back.”
Referencing the UK’s advanced inoculation programme, Professor Ferguson said the country is in a “good position to stick to the Government’s roadmap”, which aims to restart international travel on May 17.
The Government is to release its ‘traffic light’ list this week, with travel industry leaders expecting Spain, Greece and France to be given the green light for restriction-free travel by June. The EU, too, plans to approve vaccinated visitors in time for summer getaways.
However on Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson played down hopes of an immediate mass getaway, saying that putting a significant number of countries on the “green list” from May 17 would risk an “influx of disease”.