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HomeUK NewsCOVID passports for travel abroad to be available 'as soon as possible'

COVID passports for travel abroad to be available ‘as soon as possible’

The Department for Transport says it is “working on a solution to enable residents to prove their COVID-19 status” in the form of COVID passports

Britons’ prospects of booking a holiday abroad this summer have been given a boost, with the UK government saying that COVID passports will become available “as soon as possible”.

Many tourist hotspots across the globe will require travellers to have been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus or would need to provide proof of a recent negative test before entering the country.

COVID passports, also known as health certificates, would allow holidaymakers to meet this requirement.

Under the UK government’s roadmap for easing restrictions, foreign holidays for people living in England could be allowed as early as the 17th of May.

This comes after the first legal nightclub event in the UK for over a year is set to take place at the end of this month in Liverpool. The event will be held across two nights, with the nightclub Circus hosting The First Dance event, which will be welcoming 6,000 club-goers.

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: “We are working on a solution to enable residents to prove their COVID-19 status, including vaccination status, to other countries on the outbound leg.

“We are working on this as a priority and intend to have the solution ready as soon as possible.”

It comes following the Daily Telegraph reporting that a government official had told travel industry leaders that “we aim to give people the ability to prove their vaccine status by the time international travel restarts where other countries require it”.

According to the newspaper’s report, COVID passports would at first only be available for those travelling overseas, with a wider domestic scheme unlikely to be ready next month.

Meanwhile, Spain’s tourism minister has told Sky News that the country is “desperate to welcome” Britons to its shore this summer.

“I think we will be ready here in Spain,” Fernando Valdes said.

“We also think that the vaccination scheme in the UK is going pretty well, so hopefully we’ll be seeing this summer the restart of holidays.”

He said COVID passports are “going to help us” and that Madrid was “pushing hard” to persuade the EU to strike agreements to restart travel between “third parties such as the UK” and member states.

“If we reach these kind of agreements from the month of June, we will be able to have a summer,” Mr Valdes said.

“Probably not as the one we had in 2019, but obviously the restart of tourism again.”

The Transport Select Committee has warned that the restart of international travel is in danger because of “vague and costly” proposals that fall short of kickstarting the aviation and tourism sectors once more.

This comes after First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, has said that measures were being eased earlier than originally planned in order to help aid people’s mental health. People will be permitted to meet other adults in groups of up to six from as many six households within outdoor settings.

In a highly critical report, the group of MPs said international travel has had its “wings clipped” by the “cautious” report from the government’s Global Travel Taskforce.

The taskforce reported back earlier this month and confirmed plans for a traffic light system for international travel, with countries divided between “green”, “amber” and “red” destinations.

Under the proposals there would be different travel restrictions applied to each category of country, which would be determined depending on their perceived COVID risk.

Quarantine-free travel would be allowed to “green” countries, while 10-day isolation periods would be required for those returning from “amber” destinations, and a 10-day quarantine period in a hotel would be mandated for those coming back from “red” countries.

The MPs also found, even where detail is provided, costs may be disproportionate to the risk and add £500 on to the cost of a family-of-four travelling to the safest parts of the globe where the vaccine rollout is comparable to the UK.

Under the taskforce’s plans, a pre-departure coronavirus test would be needed before heading to a “green” country, with a PCR test needed on or before day two of their arrival back into the UK.

Eve Cooper
Eve Cooper
I've been writing articles and stories for as long as I can remember and in the past few years I've had the fortune of turning that love & passion for writing into my job :)

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