Holiday hope as vaccine passport plan tipped to let Brits travel this summer

Vaccination passports could enable British travellers to head overseas this summer in a major hope for holidays.

The European Commission (EC) plans to introduce a "digital green pass" before July to boost the continent's struggling tourism trade.

Last week, the European Union (EU) said a Covid-19 "passport" must be launched by summer.

The certificate is expected to feature details of the holder's vaccinations, Covid test results and data such as antibody levels, reports TheTimes.

EC president Ursula von der Leyen said the proposal would help to "facilitate" safe movement.

She said: "We'll present a legislative proposal for a 'digital green pass'. The pass should facilitate Europeans' lives. The aim is to gradually enable them to move safely in the EU or abroad — for work or tourism."

The plan could even allow Brits who have recently tested negative for coronavirus to travel abroad – regardless of whether they have had a Covid jab.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the UK was already discussing the prospect of vaccine passports with foreign leaders at the Downing Street press conference yesterday.

"As I understand it, the EU proposal is that certification includes both whether you've had the vaccine and also whether you’ve recently had a test for those who can't get vaccinated yet, which is obviously particularly important," he said.

Travel firms and airlines have said they back the scheme.

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Andrew Flintham, managing director of Tui, Britain’s biggest tour operator, said: "We're incredibly supportive of digital travel apps, or vaccine certificates for international travel this summer as they will restore our freedom to travel."

He added that the business was already discussing how to relaunch Europe's travel industry with Spain, Greece and Cyprus.

Global travel could resume as early as May 17 as the government's Global Travel Taskforce planned to discuss restart options with ministers on April 12.

Initially, the EU wants to initially reopen borders within Europe, with no guarantee UK holiday will be able to travel this summer. The vaccination plan is set to be scrutinised at a summit on March 24.

The union has also been discussing its scheme with the World Health Organisation to enable international travel.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to utilise Britain's G7 presidency to find a solution with global leaders, while the Department for Transport will open talks with the EU.

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