Matt Hancock has doubled down on his assertion that summer is essentially cancelled this year by announcing he will not travel abroad.

The health secretary told the BBC’s Today programme: “I was already going to not leave the UK this summer, I’d already made that decision.

“But I think you know everybody is doing their level best to try to get the country back on her feet.”

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

On ITV’s This Morning on 12 May, Phillip Schofield asked the health secretary, Matt Hancock, if summer was essentially cancelled.

“I think that’s likely to be the case, yes. We haven’t made a final decision on that yet.

“We will and seek to reopen some hospitality from early July if we keep successfully reducing the spread of this virus.

“But social distancing of some kind is going to continue and I think the conclusion from that is that it is unlikely that lavish international holidays are going to be possible for this summer.

“I just think that’s it a reality of life.”

When asked on Today by Nick Robinson if foreign holidays might be possible for British travellers this summer, Mr Hancock said: “We have made some good progress since I was asked that question, and I think the answer is let’s see where we get to.

“This isn’t easy. We’re doing the very best we can.”

Separately, a cross-party group of 40 MPs has urged the government to drop its plans for mandatory quarantine for travellers to the UK.

The home secretary, Priti Patel, has announced that from 8 June, almost all arrivals at UK airports, ferry ports and international rail terminals will be required to self-isolate at home, out of direct contact with family and friends, for two weeks.

But the Future of Aviation group of MPs argues that quarantine will damage the already deeply wounded travel industry still further.

They include seven former Tory ministers, one of whom is the ex-transport secretary, Chris Grayling.

The call came as easyJet announced 4,500 job losses.

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