Staycations might be on the cards again for sun-seeking Brits
London - Holidays within the UK could resume as early as July, British Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said on Wednesday.
Dowden said if it was safe to do so then he would "love" to get the tourism sector up and running in Britain within a few weeks.
Tourism is one of the few major sectors barely mentioned in the plan for easing the coronavirus lockdown published by Boris Johnson earlier this month. But Dowden revealed there was an "ambitious plan" to enable staycations to happen "as quickly as we possibly can".
It came as Britain enjoyed the hottest day of the year so far, with temperatures reaching 28.2C in Santon Downham, Suffolk. This beat the previous record for the year of 26C set on Tuesday.
The warm weather saw thousands of people flock to beauty spots including Durdle Door beach in Dorset following the easing of lockdown restrictions across England.
Sunseekers were also spotted bathing in Tynemouth and Bournemouth and enjoying the water in Minster on Sea, Kent.
Roads into Devon were reported to be gridlocked as people attempted to make their way to the county’s beaches.
Discussing staycations at the Downing Street briefing, Dowden said: "I would love to get the tourism sector up as quickly as we possibly can.
"We’ve set this very ambitious plan to try and get it up and running by the beginning of July.
"Clearly, we can only do it if it’s safe to do so because I think the worse thing for our tourism sector would be to start, then see the R rate rise out of control, see a second peak that overwhelms the NHS that we then have to slam on the brakes again.
"But, believe me, when we get to the point when we can have British tourism back, perhaps apart from the prime minister you won’t get a bigger champion of the great British break than me."
Also speaking Therese Coffey said that there may be hope for Britons to go on camping holidays in the summer.
The Work and Pensions Secretary told Sky: "Having come from Suffolk down to London, I know there are a lot of campsites that are very keen for people to come."
Campsites are already experiencing a surge in bookings after health officials indicated they could be lower risk holiday destinations than hotels. Booking website Cool Camping said was its strongest day for revenue since it began operating in 2006.