Summer holiday plans for millions of Brits could be in jeopardy as experts fear foreign destinations may reinstate tough Covid curbs to counter surging infections.
Tests, facemasks and vaccine passes could return to favoured holiday hotspots and airports could see further chaos if the number of self-isolating workers skyrockets.
Now MPs and experts have publicly shared their concerns for the future of millions of Brits’ summer holiday plans which could hang in the balance.
Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus, warned foreign getaways and even staycations could be scuppered.
She told the Mirror: ‘It is possible that holiday plans will be ruined due to rising Covid rates in the UK.
‘Other countries could reintroduce restrictions on arrivals from Britain, and transport companies – already in crisis from the Government’s mishandling of Brexit and industrial action, are likely to see an increase in staff shortages with more off sick.’
Data from the Office for National Statistics showed 2.3million people had coronavirus in the week ending June 24, a 32 per cent rise from the previous week.
Experts believe the latest flare-up in cases are likely linked to the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants of Omicron, which could push the total number of patients above April’s peak of 16,600.
Those variations are thought to be more infectious but just as mild as the original Omicron strain.
The Government has said it is monitoring the situation ‘very quickly’ but does not yet plan to reintroduce restrictions.
Tests, facemasks and vaccine passes could return to favoured holiday hotspots and airports could see further chaos if the number of self-isolating workers skyrockets. Pictured: Crowds pack out Bournemouth beach on June 17 during one of the hottest days of the year in England
Covid infections have shot up in England to over 2 million according to the latest Office of National Statistics data
ITV Good Morning’s resident doctor Hilary Jones added: ‘There are large numbers of cases in Italy.
‘They could say ‘right, you’re going to need a Covid pass, you’re going to need proof of vaccination or recent infection’.
‘I would say to people who are travelling – look at the foreign travel advice for that country, see if you need a test before you fly and see if your NHS Covid pass works’.
Figures from NHS England show there were around 10,658 patients hospitalised with the virus on Monday.
Infections have doubled in a fortnight across England — with around 1,000 patients now being admitted with the virus each day.
There are fears that a new sweep of the latest Covid variant could decimate NHS staff levels once more, causing knock-on effects for ambulance wait times and the availability of specialists and operations.
The development comes just days before the UK’s summer holiday season is expected to ramp up, with millions of passengers bracing for disruption as travel bosses tell airlines to cancel more flights while aviation experts have shared fears over an extended period of ‘Airmageddon’.
Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus , warned foreign getaways and even staycations could be scuppered by a rise in infections and the knock-on effect this has on airports’ staff levels
Staff shortages, issues with baggage handling services and a lack of trained security staff are all contributing to the disruption seen at many of the UK’s major commercial airports this year.
And there is set to be even more disruption later this month with hundreds of British Airways check-in staff are expected to walkout in a dispute of pay.
It comes as hospitals are set to bring back the wearing of face coverings and reinstate social distancing measures in a bid to curb a recent surge in Covid cases.
Trusts from Cambridgeshire, Hampshire, Nottinghamshire, Devon and Wales have all reinstated guidance that urges people to mask-up because of a spike in infections.
HEATHROW: Thousands of travellers heading through Heathrow were left to endure the latest scenes of chaos hitting Britain’s beleaguered airports after flights were delayed due to a fuelling issue
STANSTED: Huge queues also built up at Stansted Airport on Saturday as Britain’s summer of travel hell continued
MANCHESTER: It comes after months of travel chaos at British airports, with travel hubs struggling to cope with the number of passengers trying to travel abroad after Covid restrictions were eased. Queues at Manchester Airport, above
Dame Sarah Gilbert, whose pioneering work helped develop the AstraZeneca vaccine added: ‘What we’re seeing with the increase in infection rates is not completely unsurprising.
‘We know that pandemics do rumble on – it’s a bit of a rollercoaster before they eventually come to and end.’
Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously refused to rule out a future lockdown in April, saying it would be ‘irresponsible’ to discard something ‘that could save lives’ if a deadlier variant emerges.
It comes days after health officials gave their first public backing for an Omicron-specific booster jab this Autumn that is set to ‘increase and extend’ protection.
GPs in Britain have been told that the NHS is preparing to start its booster campaign on September 1, with officials expressing a ‘definite interest’ in Moderna’s new vaccine.
Infections have doubled in a fortnight across England — with around 1,000 patients now being admitted with the virus each day
Hospitals are set to bring back the wearing of face coverings and reinstate social distancing measures in a bid to curb a recent surge in Covid cases. Pictured: A nurse in King’s College Hospital wears a mask in the critical care unit of the hospital in December 2021
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is recommending people over the age of 65 get a booster jab, but the chief medical officer of Moderna has suggested they are given to everyone, including children.
The company says it has already produced millions of doses of a new jab which it claims is five times better than the original vaccine, and is specifically tailored to counter the Omicron variant of the disease.
However, this new jab still needs to be given the green light by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) before it can be rolled out, with officials prepared to use already approved vaccines if it isn’t.
As well as people over the age of 65, the JCVI is recommending booster jabs are given to care home residents, health workers and people who have certain health conditions.
Dr Paul Burton, chief medical officer at Moderna, said there is a ‘definite interest’ from the UK in purchasing its new vaccine, the Telegraph reports.
Last week Dr Burton urged governments to vaccinate people under the age of 65, including children, with the new booster.
He said: ‘Clearly governments will have to make their own public health decisions but my sense is that actually for this upcoming booster season, a broader opportunity to vaccinate everybody, including children, is probably warranted for consideration.’
He added that the new vaccine could be so effective it means it would only be needed annually.