Hope for summer hols as UK vaccine success ‘should open travel to 130 countries’

SUMMER holidays should go ahead to as many as 130 countries due to the success of the vaccine rollout, a study has found.

The UK has given the first jab of the vaccine to nearly 45 per cent of the population, and is one of the leading countries for the rollout.

A study has found that countries currently on the "green list" – which will allow restriction-free travel when lockdown is lifted – could be doubled without risking public health.

The research was carried out by Oxera and Edge Health for Manchester Airports Group and said countries such as Spain, the US and Dubai could be back on the cards, if case rates are similar to last summer.

It is suggested that due to the UK's vaccination progress, countries with a virus prevalence of three times what they were in 2020 could still open up without putting pressure on the NHS.

The study, which looked at 143 countries where Covid rates are available, said the combination of the vaccine and Covid testing could increase the countries opening to British holidaymakers.

Oxera's Michele Granatstein said: "The successful rollout of the UK’s vaccination programme, with 32m people having received a first dose, is crucial to the safe re-opening of air travel.

"The vaccines’ role in significantly reducing not only the number of hospitalisations and COVID-19 deaths but transmission rates of the virus should give assurance that safe travel to international destinations is within reach."


She added that extending the travel corridor scheme would also help holidays go ahead by removing the expensive quarantine restrictions.

There are currently 35 countries on the red list, which includes the UAE, where travel is banned and returning passengers must quarantine for 10 days at a hotel costing travellers £1,750.

Manchester Airports Group Charlie Cornish said the UK's vaccine programme was the "envy of the world," adding: "We look forward to continuing to work with the Taskforce ahead of the publication of its framework next week, and to playing our part in getting Britain flying again and driving our recovery from this pandemic."

The government's Global Travel Taskforce will announce next month when holidays abroad can go ahead, with announcements on April 5 and April 12.

The earliest dates that overseas travel will go ahead is from May 17 although experts have warned this may be pushed back as far as August.

Full list of red list travel ban countries

  • Angola
  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Burundi
  • Cape Verde
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Ecuador
  • Eswatini
  • Ethiopia
  • French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Oman
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Qatar
  • Rwanda
  • Seychelles
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • Suriname
  • Tanzania
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

A traffic light system has been suggested as a way to resume travel this summer.

The three-tiered system could see passengers flying to certain countries exempt from pre-departure tests and a mandatory quarantine when they return if on the "green" list.

"Amber" countries may not be on the travel ban list but may require some travel restrictions such as Covid tests or quarantines.

However those looking to get away to higher risk “red” destinations could face tough restrictions such as extra Covid-19 tests and an isolation period or even a full ban on non-essential travel.

Here is everything you need to know about your foreign holiday going ahead this year.

New travel rules will enforce a £5,000 fine for anyone trying to leave the country to go on holiday from Monday.

Brits already have to also fill out a form if they do want to leave the country, stating their permitted reason to do so, or they will face a £200 fine for not having the right paperwork.

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