Britain wants to allow people to have holidays abroad again but the government is wary of the risks, a minister said on Thursday ahead of an announcement on whether a narrow list of quarantine-free travel destinations would be expanded.
Anger is growing at Britain's onerous restrictions on foreign travel: pilots, cabin crew, travel agents and other workers from the travel industry held protests on Wednesday, begging the government to open up more routes.
British citizens are essentially prevented from travelling to most countries - including those in the European Union - as quarantine and testing rules are so cumbersome and expensive.
"Personally I want us to get back to a position where we can support those who want to travel to do so," Environment Secretary George Eustice told Sky News when asked if Brits could soon be on the beach in Spain's Balearic Islands.
"But it is difficult, we are being cautious," he added, saying that there was a risk of new variants emerging in other countries which are more resistant to vaccination.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will later on Thursday say whether any new destinations are added to England's "green" list for quarantine free travel amid speculation that restrictions could be eased for Spanish islands such as Ibiza.
Eustice warned that there were unlikely to be huge changes to the green list.
Malta and the Portuguese island of Madeira have also been touted as possible additions to the list, and British Airways , easyJet and TUI have said they will be ready to go should new destinations open.