For those who are desperate to jet off and are willing to do whatever it takes to see the sandy beaches of Spain, The Department for Transport is seeking to implement an official vaccine certification system for British travellers by May 17th.
The passport would allow those travelling out of the UK to enter countries such as Greece, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Croatia, Cyprus, and Israel – countries that have indicated they would happily welcome those who prove that they are fully vaccinated.
A Telegraph article reported that government officials are “fast-tracking” a vaccine passport system so that travellers can show a document at borders overseas to prove they are fully inoculated.
The news follows the announcement by a European medical agency that recommended that fully vaccinated travellers should be able to “sidestep” Covid tests and quarantines.
The plans for a vaccine passport were reported by The Telegraph, which stated that they learned of the details of a telephone call which was held between government officials and industry figures.
This phone call was reportedly held on Wednesday afternoon between the members of the Tourism Industry Emergency Response Group (TIERG) and focused on issues regarding reopening borders.
A government official present on the call said: “We aim to give people the ability to prove their vaccine status by the time international travel restarts where other countries require it. The earliest that will restart is May 17.”
These comments were noted by an industry source and a second source was reported to confirm the accuracy of the statement.
This news lines up with private briefings from government figures that the ban on overseas holidays is expected to be lifted on May 17th, however, the UK government is yet to confirm the return of overseas holidays by this date.
According to government officials, the Covid vaccine passports will only be applied to Britons flying out of the UK and not other countries.
However, in early April, Boris Johnson announced that vaccine passports would likely be implemented within the UK for over a year, and would cover public spaces such as pubs, stadiums, and theatres.
The issue regarding a domestic vaccine passport has come under scrutiny from human rights organisations, and over 72 MPs who have warned that the introduction of jab IDs would further divide the country and restrict individuals of their freedoms.
Despite this, the UK government has attempted to convert an NHS app to show proof of negative tests and antibodies and to act as a vaccine certificate – which they have announced would take longer than expected to develop.
It appears as though vaccinate individuals would hold more rights than unvaccinated, as the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDPC) said: “Requirements for testing and quarantine of travellers (if implemented) and regular testing at workplaces can be waived or modified for fully vaccinated individuals.”
If you’re looking to book a holiday abroad, but don’t want to get vaccinated, don’t get your hopes up: Only those who have the papers to prove they have received both doses of the rushed vaccine can fly out of the UK – that is, if they haven’t suffered an adverse reaction before the travel restrictions are lifted.