Holiday boost as Grant Shapps says NHS app will be used for travel passport

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
 (Sky News)
(Sky News)

Holidays to the Algarve and Costa del Sol could be back within weeks as it was revealed the UK Government is transforming the NHS app for use as a travel passport.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he would announce at the beginning of May what category each country falls into under the watch list - with gradings from green to red in terms of covid risk. 

It comes as the Portuguese Ambassador to the UK Manuel Lobo Antunes said holidaymakers would be able to visit the country from the “middle of May”.

Meanwhile, Spain’s tourism minister Fernando Valdes Verelst told an international summit they will welcome back tourists - including Brits - in June.

Boosting hopes for holidays, Mr Shapps said the UK’s domestic covid figures “look good” to enable foreign holidays to start again next month.  

The Secretary of State told Sky News: “I can confirm we are working on an NHS application. Actually, it will be the NHS app that is used for people when they book appointments for the NHS and so on - to be able to show that you’ve had a vaccine or that you had testing. 

“I’m working internationally with partners across the world to make sure that system can be internationally recognised, as that’s the way forward.

“I’m chairing a meeting of the G7 secretaries of state for transport, my equivalents from America and Canada and all the G7 countries, next week on exactly this subject.”

Watch: How would a foreign travel traffic light system work?

Mr Shapps said the data “continue to look good” domestically to allow limited international travel but stressed it would be May 17 at the “earliest”.

He added: “We won’t have international travel before that.”

Pressed on what category Spain would be in – the most popular holiday destination for Brits – the minister was reluctant to be pinned down.  

He told Times Radio: “I’m afraid I just don’t have the answer to that because the Joint Biosecurity Centre will need to come up with their assessment and we can’t do that until a bit nearer the time.

“So we will need to wait and see.”

However, Spanish minister Mr Verelst told a conference held by the World Travel and Tourism Council that they would be ready to use the EU’s digital certificate in June. 

The EU previously set out plans for coronavirus vaccine certificates that could be used by UK holidaymakers this summer.

He said: “Spain is going to be ready in June to tell all travellers worldwide that you can visit us.”

Meanwhile Portugal’s Mr Antunes told Sky News they would be opening their borders to UK tourists “as soon as possible”

He added: “We are hopeful, as we have been saying for these last months, that from the middle of May, regular mobility between the UK and Portugal and vice versa, can be established, that’s our hope.” He also said Brits who have not been vaccinated will be able travel to the country under the scheme.

Watch: How do people feel about the AstraZeneca vaccine?

Read More

Holidaymakers will use NHS app to prove their coronavirus status – Shapps

MPs to grill Johnson as questions swirl around funding of flat refurbishments

Smart motorways: Key questions answered

Everything you need to know about the BOSS x Russell Athletic collab

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting