Britons will be allowed to holiday in countries with high vaccination rates, PM to announce

Britons will be allowed to holiday in countries with high vaccination rates this summer, Boris Johnson will say today.

The Prime Minister will unveil a traffic light system that will see destinations rated as red, amber and green.

Government sources tonight said they will categorise countries using criteria including the percentage of the population that has been vaccinated, the rate of infection, any emerging variants and the country’s access to reliable data and genomic sequencing.

Sunseekers returning from countries in the green category will not have to isolate, although they will need to have tests before and after they fly. 

Those coming back from red list countries would have to quarantine in a hotel for ten days, while arrivals from amber destinations will have to isolate at home.

The Prime Minister will re-affirm May 17 will be the earliest that foreign holidays can resume and the new system comes into effect. But he will say he is unable to advise yet whether any countries will be classed as green on this date.

It comes as – 

  • Boris Johnson today urged everybody to take two free Covid tests a week to help safeguard the unlocking of the country;
  • The PM prepared to brief the Cabinet today that the conditions have been met to allow shops, gyms and hairdressers to reopen as planned on April 12;
  • Millions of Britons filled up parks and commons during pleasant weather over the weekend;  
  • Hairdressers and barbers are allowed to reopen in Scotland from today as further lockdown restrictions are lifted;
  • Mr Johnson looks at risk of failing to get Commons approval for vaccine passports, as Michael Gove promised MPs who are critical of the scheme the chance to vote against it. 
The Prime Minister will unveil a traffic light system that will see destinations rated as red, amber and green

The Prime Minister will unveil a traffic light system that will see destinations rated as red, amber and green

The Prime Minister will unveil a traffic light system that will see destinations rated as red, amber and green

Britons will be allowed to holiday in countries with high vaccination rates this summer, Boris Johnson will say today (File image)

Britons will be allowed to holiday in countries with high vaccination rates this summer, Boris Johnson will say today (File image)

Britons will be allowed to holiday in countries with high vaccination rates this summer, Boris Johnson will say today (File image) 

A Government source said last night: ‘It is too early to predict which countries will be on which list over the summer. As such, we continue to advise people not to book summer holidays abroad.’ One scientist said yesterday the traffic light system could be too simplistic to stop the spread of new cases.

Professor Gabriel Scally, a member of the Independent Sage committee, said: ‘It is not quite as simple as looking at what the situation is in an individual country from which a flight originated. We know people will mix together from all over the world, and this is what spurred the autumn surges of cases.’

Malta’s health minister yesterday said there was ‘no reason’ why holidaymakers should not be allowed to travel between countries that have vaccinated a high proportion of their population. Christopher Fearne told Radio 4’s The World This Weekend: ‘Malta by the summer will probably be one of the safest places to travel to certainly in Europe and probably in the world.

‘That is because we are vaccinating at a high rate.’

Malta has announced British travellers who have had both doses of the vaccine are welcome from June 1.

A public health campaign message is displayed on an arrivals information board at Heathrow Airport (File image)

A public health campaign message is displayed on an arrivals information board at Heathrow Airport (File image)

A public health campaign message is displayed on an arrivals information board at Heathrow Airport (File image) 

Travel chiefs urged Mr Johnson to add a fourth tier to the system which would eliminate the need for testing or quarantine to very low-risk countries.

Chief executive of easyJet John Lungren, Jet2 boss Stephen Heapy and Manchester Airports Group boss Charlie Cornish have handed ministers ‘independent and scientifically-robust’ research they each commissioned which suggests safe travel ‘to Europe and beyond will be possible this summer, in many cases without any restrictions’.

 

More Stories
Women’s Tour set for individual time trial for first time ever in Atherstone