04 May COVID-19: British holidaymakers could be allowed to travel to Europe within weeks | UK News
Ministers are reportedly considering a small handful of countries people from the UK will be able to travel to initially in the coming weeks.
Reports suggested the list could include about a dozen countries, although some newspapers have suggested it could be fewer than 10.
Several newspapers named Malta, Gibraltar, Portugal and Israel as likely destinations to be open to Britons, while the Daily Telegraph said Spain, Greece and France could be added by the end of June.
The Times put the Seychelles on its list while the Daily Telegraph also included Iceland.
The European Commission said it is proposing “to allow entry to the EU for nonessential reasons not only for all persons coming from countries with a good epidemiological situation, but also all people who have received the last recommended dose of an EU-authorised vaccine”.
It was not said which countries would be on its list, but one unnamed EU official said the UK remains a “question mark”.
The UK government’s “green list” of countries to which people can travel without having to isolate for 14 days on their return is expected to be released this week, although it is understood details are still being finalised.
It comes as Boris Johnson said the approach to foreign travel this summer will be sensible and cautious to avoid “an influx of disease”.
The prime minister said there will be “some opening up” on 17 May, the next milestone in the government’s roadmap for restrictions to lift, but that things must be done in a way “to make sure that we don’t see the virus coming back in” to the UK.
Trade secretary Liz Truss urged holidaymakers to wait for government announcements on travel before booking.
Asked if we will see travel resume from 17 May, Ms Truss told Sky News: “We are doing all we can to make sure we follow the roadmap and open up the economy and travel gradually.
“The really important thing is we don’t move too fast and jeopardise the progress we have made – so people will have to wait a bit longer to be able to hear the news on what is happening on the travel front.”
She said she would encourage people to wait before booking a summer holiday so they can see what the “details are based on the data”.
The government fully supports safe travel but “we need to be cautious to make sure that we are not simply importing the virus after we have successfully dealt with it in Britain”, Ms Truss said.
She added: “If we are able to have people go on holiday, I don’t see any reason provided it is safe.”
Health secretary Matt Hancock, meanwhile, expressed certainty over a “great British summer” ahead as he confirmed that a total of 50 million COVID-19 jabs have been given out across the UK.
The government said one further person had died within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19 as of Monday, bringing the UK total to 127,539.