FAMILIES have been warned against booking summer holidays abroad as quarantine hotels are likely to remain in place for "quite some time".
Scotland's Deputy First Minister John Swinney made the warning as tour operators and airlines report a mad dash to book a foreign holiday for the summer.
The quarantine hotels, which were introduced earlier this year, require arrivals from a high-risk country to stay for 10 days at a government-mandated hotel.
On the list of 33 countries, this includes Portugal and the UAE, including Dubai, although other countries can be placed on the list at short notice if they pose a risk to the UK due to a different Covid strain.
Arrivals must cover the cost themselves, with it costing £1,750 per person and includes two coronavirus tests during the stay.
Mr Swinney warned: "I can’t absolutely predict, but I think quarantine hotels are going to be with us for quite some time.
“Where it’s a package holiday I would counsel against it, and quarantine hotels I think are going to be around for quite some time to come."
He added: "I think we’re far too early in this process, and if we are interested in taking the sustained measures to try to suppress the pandemic, package holidays don’t strike me as being a thing that’s going to help us in that endeavour."
Not only do quarantine hotels make a holiday much more expensive, but they also mean families must factor in another 10 days to their trip away.
Despite the booking boom, holidays abroad are yet to be given the go ahead.
The government's Global Taskforce will be announcing on April 12 when overseas holidays can restart, with hopes that it could be from May 17.
However, it is feared that this may be too early and is more likely to be a later date of June 21.
UK holidays are able to go ahead from April 12, however, with some restrictions.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van Tam previously warned regarding holidays: "We are still in a zone of great uncertainty about what the virus will do next.
"On top of that many of the vaccination programmes in Europe, a place where we frequently go on holiday, are running behind ours.
"Whether we can go on holidays abroad depends on what other countries will say and do in terms of foreign tourism.
"I am not going to give you a firm answer, I don't think there is one at this point."
Vaccine passports are also being suggested as a way to resume foreign holidays, with Spain and Greece pushing for the scheme.
An app, currently being trialled, could allow travellers to enter a country restriction-free if they can prove they have had the full vaccine.
Cyprus recently announced that they will allow fully-vaccinated tourists to enter the country without restrictions from May 1.
We've revealed which countries are likely to welcome Brits back this summer for a long-awaited holiday.
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