IT is “too soon” to book a holiday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has warned.

The Cabinet minister said this morning that “people shouldn’t be booking holidays right now – not domestically or internationally”.

He went on to add: “The Prime Minister will say more about the route to unlocking this country, starting when he speaks about it on February 22.

“But we don’t know yet whether that will include information on things like holidays, simply because we don’t know where we’ll be up to in terms of the decline in cases, deaths, vaccination.

“And not just the vaccination programme here, but the vaccination programme internationally, because people will be going outside of our borders.

“So it’s too soon.”

Mr Shapps comments follow the announcement yesterday of how quarantine hotels will work and their cost by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

Travellers will be required to stay in a hotel for ten days at a cost of £1,750 after returning from a trip to a select number of 'red list' countries.

Mr Hancock also said that people who lie about the country they have visited could be jailed for a maximum of 10 years and face a £10,000 fine.

This morning, Grant Shapps defended these plans, and said "strong action" was necessary to keep new mutations away from British shores.

 Mr Shapps said the public would expect strong action if lives were being put at risk by people bringing dangerous new variants into the country.

“I do think it is serious if people put others in danger by deliberately misleading and saying that you weren’t in Brazil or South Africa, or one of the red list countries,” he said.

“I think the British public would expect pretty strong action because we’re not talking now just about, ‘Oh there’s a lot of coronavirus in that country and you might bring some more of it back when we already have plenty of it here’.

“What we’re talking about now are the mutations, the variants, and that is a different matter, because we don’t want to be in a situation where we later on discover that there’s a problem with vaccines.”