Covid passports: How would it work and which countries can Brits enjoy this summer?

28 April 2021, 15:14 | Updated: 28 April 2021, 15:16

Brits could be allowed to travel abroad for holidays this summer
Brits could be allowed to travel abroad for holidays this summer. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Coronavirus passports are becoming increasingly likely to allow Brits a summer holiday abroad this year.

World leaders are organising to set up a system of Covid passports or certificates in the coming months to allow their citizens to travel abroad this summer following the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ministers and heads of state are set to meet at the G7 Summit in Cornwall between 11 and 13 June, when it is reported the UK has asked to hold talks about a system for allowing vaccinated people to travel.

But how would this system work? Which countries are likely to take part? When would it start?

The UK Government is yet to officially announce whether restrictions on travel abroad will be eased on 17 May - the earliest possible date under the roadmap - or which destinations people can visit without self-isolating on their return.

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How would Covid passports work?

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has requested the meeting which will look at "digital solutions to simplify and facilitate international travel", according to reports in the Telegraph.

Countries could be added to 'travel corridors' by 28 June - similar to plans already in place in England which were suspended in January due to lockdown - that would allow tourists and business visitors to skip tests and quarantine if they have been given a jab.

Mr Shapps told reporters on Wednesday that the NHS Covid-19 App would likely be redeveloped into an app which can be used as proof of having a vaccine and a recent coronavirus test.

Which countries could people travel go?

The UK's Global Travel Taskforce, announced earlier in April, has been exploring options to open up travelling this summer.

Spain's tourism minister said yesterday he hopes to welcome holidaymakers back to the country by June with a 'digital certificate scheme' being trialled in the country in May.

The European Union also plans to introduce 'Digital Green Certificates' which can be used by EU nationals and arrivals to EU countries as "proof" a person had a Covid-19 jab, received a negative test result or recovered from the virus.

In the US, meanwhile, no such plans are being draw up yet but individual states such as New York are trialling apps which offer similar functions.

Apps are being developed by multiple countries to be used as covid passports
Apps are being developed by multiple countries to be used as covid passports. Picture: PA Images

When are UK plans being announced?

Mr Shapps announced on Wednesday that Brits will find out which countries they can visit in the next two weeks as more details about the UK's plans to lift travel restrictions are revealed.

The Government has been criticised for being too slow to announced plans for international holidays and business trips, with airline Jet2, which has cancelled all its flights until 24 June, expressing its disappointment "at the lack of clarity contained" in a report by the Global Travel Taskforce.

It has called for more clarity around the announced 'traffic light' system which will see countries placed on three separate lists - each with their own restrictions.