UK travel: Expert advises on booking summer holidays
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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s plans for a Digital Green Pass could kick-start travel to the Continent. The scheme may begin as early as June. EU member states around the Mediterranean are already pushing bloc leaders to allow UK tourists to save the lucrative summer holiday season. No 10 is said to be ready for talks with Brussels officials.
Mrs von der Leyen said yesterday: “The Digital Green Pass should facilitate Europeans’ lives. The aim is to gradually enable them to move safely in the European Union or abroad for work or tourism.”
A source close to her said Britons are “always welcome, as long as you meet all of the conditions and standards”.
It is understood that Covid cases will have to carry on falling in the UK before the scheme is extended here.
But the remarks offer hope to lockdown-weary Britons desperate for a sunshine trip.
Mrs von der Leyen’s chief spokesman said Eurocrats will talk with the World Health Organisation so international visitors can use the vaccine passport this summer.
He said: “There should be a way to scale this up globally. We will work on a European solution now. But we need to take this step by step.”
The Commission will unveil its final proposals on March 17 and EU members are likely to discuss them a week later at a summit in Brussels.
Spanish tourism minister Maria Reyes Maroto yesterday called on the Commission to accelerate plans to encourage holidaying Britons back.
And her deputy Fernando Valdes revealed Madrid is talking with the UK about a summer travel corridor. He said: “The solutions have first to be part of the discussions in the EU. If that cannot be reached we will be thinking of other solutions.”
No 10 was yesterday said to be looking into the idea.
Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said: “The Department for Transport will work and speak to countries across the world in terms of how they may introduce passports.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock yesterday said the Government is working with the EU on the possibility of vaccine passports.
He said: “We are working with our international partners on the need for certification in terms of having had a vaccine to be able to travel to another country.
“We want to enable Brits to be able to take that journey.”
Britons are currently banned from non-essential travel into the bloc as part of an EU-wide measure to curb the overall spread of coronavirus.
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