‘Vaccine passports’ being fast-tracked to ease foreign travel

Nicholas Cecil
·2-min read
<p>It is hoped that the certificates proving that Britons have been vaccinated against Covid-19 could be ready to be issued by May 17</p> (AFP via Getty Images)

It is hoped that the certificates proving that Britons have been vaccinated against Covid-19 could be ready to be issued by May 17

(AFP via Getty Images)

Government officials are fast-tracking work on “vaccine passports” that will allow travellers to avoid quarantine and costly tests when they enter other countries this summer.

It is hoped that the certificates proving that Britons have been vaccinated against Covid-19 could be ready to be issued by May 17, the earliest date that foreign holidays could be legalised again under the terms of the Government’s road map out of lockdown.

They will enable tourists to enter dozens of countries including popular destinations such as Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Croatia, Turkey, Greece and Israel that have indicated that holidaymakers who can prove they have been vaccinated will be welcome.

However, travellers may still have to undergo quarantine and tests on return, depending on the “traffic light” status of the country visited.

The certificates could be in physical or digital form. The initial focus will be on providing them to people who have to travel for work or education but they may also be used by holidaymakers. Government officials briefed travel industry leaders yesterday about the “priority” being given to the vaccine certification plans.

According to the Daily Telegraph, one official said: “We aim to give people the ability to prove their vaccine status by the time international travel restarts, where other countries require it. The earliest that will restart is May 17.”

There will be huge relief in the tourism industries of southern Europe that large numbers of British holiday makers will be able to make their way to popular resorts without onerous restrictions.

Spain’s tourism minister Fernando Valdés told Sky News today: “We are desperate to welcome you this summer. I think we will be ready here in Spain and we also think that things on the vaccination scheme of the UK are going pretty well. So, hopefully we will be seeing this summer the restart of holidays.”

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