Asked about the extension, Helen Whately told BBC Breakfast: “The roadmap is on the right track and we indeed want to lift these restrictions by June 21.
“We have said that we will take action with caution and that we will be driven by the data rather than these dates.
“There are also a number of things that will have to continue and will continue for a longer period of time.
“So, for example, the leave scheme, which the Chancellor extended until October, and this law is necessary to have the holiday scheme.
“There is also sick pay which means you can receive sick pay from day one and for example if you isolate yourself from Covid so there are things we need to put in place at – beyond the dates indicated on the roadmap. ”
Ms Whately, when asked if she agreed with an assessment that social distancing and wearing masks could continue for years, highlighted the work of a task force that is to report to the Prime Minister as part of his roadmap plan to release the lockdown.
Dr Mary Ramsay, head of vaccination at Public Health England, said on Sunday that ‘lower level’ restrictions could be in place for ‘a few years’ until the rest of the world is better vaccinated against Covid-19 .
Asked about the comments, Health Minister Ms Whately told BBC Breakfast: ‘There is specific work going on to look at what social distancing measures we’re going to need and I don’t think I should anticipate the result of this work. ”
Ms Whately said it was “premature” to consider booking vacations abroad with coronavirus rates rising in other countries.
The Health Minister told BBC Breakfast: ‘I know everyone feels it’s time for a vacation, we all need it.
“It turns out that when I was on vacation last August, I actually booked my next vacation, which is a UK vacation, for later this summer.
“But my advice would be to anyone at this time not to book international travel.
“The Prime Minister has launched a working group specifically dedicated to international travel which will report shortly and it just seems premature to book international vacations at this time.”
Asked if the roadmap’s target for overseas travel that could start on May 17 was likely to be pushed back, Ms Whately added: “I don’t think it’s useful for me to say one way or another.
“What I would advise is caution at the moment for people not to book because, as anyone can see, we are in a situation where fares are increasing in many countries in Europe and we know that it is also something that comes with rising tariffs. is an increase in variant rates, which is why it’s so important that we can test issue variants faster, as I pointed out.