THE UK must be “realistic” over the resumption of foreign holidays due to “a surge” of coronavirus in popular destinations, Boris Johnson said.

The prime minister told a Downing Street briefing “I wish I could give you more on that” but insisted there was not enough “solid data” on the virus.

This led to an angry reaction from the travel industry.

Heathrow Airport chief executive John Holland-Kaye claimed “the opportunity has been missed to provide more certainty”, while trade body the Business Travel Association described the update as “beyond disappointing”.

A Downing Street paper on easing coronavirus restrictions confirmed that a traffic light system for international travel will be introduced.

But it stated it is not known when trips could resume, and advised consumers not to make bookings yet.

People living in the UK are banned from taking foreign holidays.


The Government’s Global Travel Taskforce will provide a report later this week on how international leisure travel can resume.

Mr Johnson said: “Obviously we are hopeful that we can get going from May 17, we are hopeful.

“But I do not wish to give hostages to fortune or to underestimate the difficulty we are seeing in some of the destination countries people might want to go to.

“We don’t want to see the virus being reimported into this country from abroad.

“Plainly, there is a surge in other parts of the world and we have to be to be mindful of that and we have to be realistic.”