COVID passports are said to be of top priority for ministers in the UK at the moment as plans to reopen foreign holiday travel is less than a month away.
Desperate for tourism
According to reports, Greece is ready to welcome vaccinated Brits as soon as 17 May, while Spain and Portugal are looking to finalize travel agreements by early June. In light of the UK's world-leading vaccine rollout program—with more than 33 million having received at least one dose and more than 10 million both doses—Brits are up in the list of those will be allowed to travel internationally across Europe.
Spanish Tourism Secretary, Fernando Valdés said:
We are desperate to welcome you this summer. We've been having constant conversations with UK authorities. I believe that certificates is going to help us. Since the beginning of the pandemic we have been trying to put in place different means to help safe tourism.
Almost 400 days of lockdown for the UK
The news comes as the UK finds itself five days shy of being under lockdown for 400 days since the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020. For many, this means that they will finally be able to reunite with loved ones while others will be able to take what many are saying will be a much needed time of relaxation over the summer. Valdés added:
It is true we have passed through some waves of this pandemic, this virus, but now I think we are ready because we do have vaccinations. We have been having constant conversations with UK authorities, these certificates are going to ease travel and help tourism from this summer on.
This will also be crucial for the travel industry to receive the boost it needs to get itself out of the economic rut that was brought forth by the pandemic. A spokesperson for the Department for Transport (DfT) said:
We are working on a solution to enable residents to prove their Covid-19 status, including vaccination status, to other countries on the outbound leg. We are working on this as a priority and intend to have the solution ready as soon as possible.