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Trips to the beach could be allowed soon but foreign holidays are still banned, MPs have been told.
Experts who advise the government's Sage group of scientists have set out how restrictions could be lifted in the coming months to the Science Committee.
Professor Mark Woolhouse, of the University of Edinburgh, said there were no outbreaks linked to crowded beaches in the UK last summer.
He suggested activities that were not “mass gatherings” could soon be restarted as there was “very little evidence of outdoor transmission”.
The expert, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology, said the data is pointing to "earlier unlocking".
He said: “There were no outbreaks to crowded beaches. There’s never been a Covid-19 outbreak linked to a beach ever anywhere in the world to the best of my knowledge.
“So I think we do have to understand where the risks are and aren’t so that he can do as much as possible safely.”
But MPs were told foreign jaunts may have to wait because of the risk of importing dangerous new variants, the Mirror reports.
Professor Dame Angela McLean, of Oxford University, said: "The evidence was from earlier in the outbreak many cases were imported from Europe by returning holidaymakers.
"It wasn’t mainly imported from China. I think we could learn from that.”
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