Demand for holidays abroad have surged ever since Boris Johnson revealed his roadmap for exiting lockdown.
If all goes according to plan, Britons yearning for sun – or just a change of scenery – will be able to travel to favourite holiday destinations this summer.
The UK government has been in talks with international partners to establish travel corridors.
But there are are a lot of factors to weigh in – including the progress of the vaccination programme and other countries’ regulations.
This is the latest you need to know if you are planning to book a holiday abroad.
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When can overseas holidays resume?
The earliest day people in England will be able to travel abroad for s holiday is May 17.
A month earlier on April 12, a government taskforce, led by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, will review the state of the pandemic and decide whether it would be safe to resume international travel.
The government will look at whether the four tests are met:
- The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully.
- Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.
- Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
- The assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new “variants of concern”.
At the moment, travel for leisure is banned, and travellers re-entering the country have to quarantine.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has warned it is currently “too early” to book.
Speaking to the Home Affairs Select Committee, she said: “We have to look at the data at every single stage and the road map.”
Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland have not yet announced their plans for international travel.
Will I need a ‘vaccine passport’?
It is likely that if you want to travel overseas you will need to carry certification that proves you have been vaccinated against Covid-19.
Some countries are already rolling out vaccine passports, and an agreed international system that will require travellers to have a certificate in order to gain entry in a county is likely to come into play. An international Digital Health Pass app, that air passengers will use to prove their vaccination status before travelling, will reportedly be ready within weeks.
The UK Government is currently looking into options for providing vaccine certificates to British people who want to travel.
A vaccine passport will likely be granted only after both doses of the vaccine have been administer. According to plans in place, the first jab will have been offered to all adults by July 31.
Which countries develop vaccine certificates?
Some countries are keen to welcome vaccinated holidaymakers as soon as possible to reboot their tourism industries. And many are planning to provide their citizens with vaccine certificates imminently.
Vaccinated Britons might be able to travel to Greece from as early as May.
The country may thus diverge from the European Union approach, which is more restricted and cautious.
Greece and Cyprus have already come to an agreement with Israel to commence a travel corridor. Travellers with vaccine proof will be able to move without limitations or quarantine.
Spain is also looking to open the doors to tourists in May a return to tourism in May, aided by vaccine passports. .
The country was in the centre of a controversy when it announced it would record those refusing the vaccine in a database, which it would share with the EU.
Spain is now pushing for an EU-wide vaccine certification. As foreign minister Arancha Gonzalez told RNE radio station: “Vaccine certification is something we are going towards inevitably.”
Portugal’s Interior Minister Eduardo Cabrita has said vaccine certificates would do away with certain requirements at borders – in particular, the requirement for PCR tests.
Arrivals that have an antibody test no more than 12 days old that proves they have had Covid-19 are not required to quarantine.
The country has also began administering digital vaccine passports to citizens that received their two doses.
Denmark plans for a digital vaccine certification. Morten Bødskov, Denmark’s acting finance minister told CNN.:”This is fundamental because if we want to start to export again and trading again, see business people meet again, things like the corona passport are fundamental to making that happen.”
Sweden is also planning to issue digital vaccine passports by summer.
The Seychelles already welcomes tourists with certification that proves they have received the full vaccine, with more than two weeks after their final dose.
Bahrain has developed an app that allows citizens to prove their vaccinated status two weeks after receiving both doses of the jab.
Cyprus is also considering to waive testing requirements for arrivals who have been vaccinated.
Estonia said travellers who can prove they have been vaccinated or have recovered from the virus in the previous six months will not need to quarantine.
Georgia said it would allow air passengers from any country if they carry documents that prove they received the full vaccine.
Hungary said visitors would need to prove their vaccination status via an app to be allowed to the country.
Romania said it will waive quarantine for those coming from high risk areas, or who have come into direct contact with someone who’s tested positive for coronavirus, if they have been fully vaccinated.