Brits could be soaking in the sun this summer after all with the big news today that ministers are working on plans for Covid status certificates.
Sun-seekers could use the certificated to prove they have had a Covid vaccine, a negative test or antibodies after surviving an infection.
Thanks to the UK’s successful vaccine rollout, EU officials are planning to update entry recommendations, meaning Brits could be allowed in as early as June if the Covid ‘passport’ system is set up.
Under the UK’s current lockdown roadmap, the earliest international travel for Brits could restart is May 17 – but it will be up to individual EU countries to decide when they begin to open up again.
Here all all your key questions answered…
What is your view? Have your say in the comment section
When will I be able to go on holiday abroad?
The Government’s Global Travel Taskforce says the earliest international travel is May 17.
How likely is that looking?
There are no guarantees, but we think it’s more likely than not.
Where will I be able to go?
The smart money is on countries with good jab rates and low infections. We think it’s likely to be Israel, USA, Iceland, Ireland, Gibraltar, Malta, New Zealand and Australia (though the latter are only in a travel bubble together).
Anywhere else in the frame?
There’s a good chance that Portugal’s islands Madeira and the Azores will also be opened up, plus Spain’s Canaries and Balearics and some Greek islands.
So not the Portuguese, Spanish or Greek mainlands?
We think they will follow in late June or early July. If the USA is not in the first round of nations, it will also resume then.
Transport Minister Grant Shapps says it’s OK to book but I must bear in mind risks. How can I minimise them?
Book a package holiday from expert travel agents and tour operators to ensure UK Civil Aviation Authority ATOL (Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing) protection, which helps if an airline or travel firm goes bust.
This covers both a firm going under while you are away, or a collapse before you travel. Many tour operators also offer specific virus cover if your holiday, or you, are affected.
Also, look out for trips with travel association ABTA’s consumer financial protection scheme, which can cover non-flight based holidays, such as coach, cruise or rail.
What if I want to book a DIY getaway?
We are not recommending this for holidays in 2021, but if you really do prefer to arrange your own travel, buying your own hotel and flights separately, it’s a good idea to pay on a credit card so you are covered for up to £30,000 under section 75 of the UK Consumer Credit Act, though this may not apply to bookings made via a third party.
Will I need extra insurance?
Never travel abroad without a suitable travel insurance policy and it’s definitely worth considering one with Covid cover.
Will I need a vaccination certificate to travel?
The Government is planning to issue Covid passports to adults – either in paper or digital form – so they can prove that they have been vaccinated. However this wouldn’t change the rules when you get home.
How will the traffic light system work?
If you travel to a “green” country you’ll need one negative test up to 72 hours before returning to the UK and a gold-standard PCR test two days later.
You’ll only have to quarantine if the test is positive.
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If your destination is “amber” you’ll need a test and have to quarantine at home for 10 days when you get back.
From a “red” country you’ll need one test and pay £1,750 for 10-day hotel quarantine.