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LONDON, April 7 -- UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday that his government will try to make things easier for UK holidaymakers to travel abroad once current COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, hinting that cheaper coronavirus lateral flow tests could be used to cut down holiday costs, reported Sputnik.
“I do think we want to make things as easy as we possibly can. We’re going to see what we can do to make things as flexible and affordable as possible,” Johnson told reporters during a visit to the AstraZeneca plant in the central English town of Macclesfield.
The prime minister, who during a televised press conference on Monday had said that he was “hopeful” that the current ban on non-essential international travels could be lifted on May 17 as part of the stage 3 of the roadmap out of the lockdown, stressed on Tuesday that he is still confident about it, but warned that the government needs to be “prudent at this stage.”
“I do want to see international travel start up again. (But) we have to be realistic, a lot of the destinations we want to go to at the moment are suffering a new wave of the illness, of COVID, as we know,” he added.
Johnson also reacted to comments by EasyJet low-cost airline group chief Johan Lundgren, who warned earlier that if UK travellers were forced to pay for the more expensive PCR tests when returning from abroad only people who can afford it would be able to travel.
“I don't think that is fair, I don't think it's right, and I don't think it is necessarily established from a medical and scientific point of view that is the right thing to do,” the businessman said.
According to Johnson, the EasyJet boss was right to focus on this issue, but urged people to wait until May 17, when the government will be saying “as much as we can as soon as we can” about international travel.