Foreign summer holidays hopes boosted for millions of Brits thanks to 'world-class' vaccine rollout, minister says

MILLIONS of Brits have been given a summer holidays boost after a minister said our "world class" vaccine drive may open the way for foreign travel.

Foreign office minister James Cleverly said the UK will work with tourist destinations to try and restart trips for those who have had the jab.

🦠 Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

He made the remarks after it was reported the Government is working on vaccine passports to help Brits jet off for some sun.

Greece, where case numbers are lower than in the rest of Europe, is preparing to waive quarantine rules for tourists who have been jabbed from as early as May.

Local authorities in Spain have also revealed Brits could be the first tourists to return there due to the success of our vaccine rollout.

EU diplomats say other Mediterranean hotspots like Portugal are also already pushing for ways to get Brits back in this summer.

They expect a network of "travel corridors" to emerge again over the next few months as European countries take different approaches to reopening borders.

It came as

  • The PM is set to ditch rules making pubs serve a 'substantial meal' with drinks when they reopen
  • It emerged just one in four people arriving in Britain are being checked to see if they came from a Covid hotspot
  • Nicola Sturgeon sparked fury by claiming the UK's vaccine success has little to do with Brexit

Asked about foreign holidays, Mr Cleverly said it will be up to each destination to set its own rules for those arriving.

But he added: "We are incredibly proud of the speed and the breadth of our vaccination rollout.

"Of course the whole world hopes that the vaccination programme will be a way of getting back to normality quickly.

"It's often the case that the entry requirements for countries are for vaccinations or inoculations and that is not an uncommon practice.

"We will work with international partners to help facilitate their border arrangements and their immigration arrangements as they bring them in."

Mr Cleverly said the choice of destinations for Brits will depend on jabs elsewhere being "as effectively distributed as they are here in the UK".

And he said: "One of the things we are seeing now is the UK is one of the leading counties in the world, over 10.5 million people vaccinated.

"We're seeing that our world class vaccine programme is really giving us positive news."

Today the Times reported officials at the Foreign Office are working on plans to issue vaccine passports to Brits.

Greece is said to be drawing up plans to allow travellers in who have had both doses of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine.

The country, whose tourism industry has been battered by the pandemic, is keen to welcome back Brits.

But other Europeans, including Germans, may have to wait longer because of the EU's shambolic jabs rollout.

Grigoris Tasios, of the Greece's hoteliers federation, said: “Greece has long been a favourite holiday destination for the British.

"With the rate of inoculations in the UK largely outpacing all others across Europe and beyond, British travellers will be among the safest to travel here by as early as May.”

Last month, Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis told EU chiefs there needs to be a “common understanding” on vaccine passports to help kick start travel the summer season.

Although he stopped short of saying they should be made mandatory for travel he said a formal jab certificate would encourage people to get inoculated.

Other EU countries with big tourism industries are also pushing hard for a common vaccine passport system that could include Britain.

Pedro Homar, director of the Palma Tourism Board, said UK holidaymakers could be back in the Balearic Islands as soon as May.

While Spain's UK travel ban is currently in place until February 16, and Brits are banned from travelling abroad for holidays, Mr Homar said he was "confident" that Majorca summer holidays will return this year.

He told Telegraph Travel: "With the rate in which the UK is rolling out the vaccination, we are confident that the UK market will be one of the first to return to Palma.

"In terms of timings, we expect the UK market to return from around May onwards."

But some nations where jabs scepticism is high, especially France, are resisting the idea.


 

Source: Read Full Article