HOLIDAYS to Europe are going to be much easier by July, the EU ambassador to the UK has said.
While most of Europe remains off the UK’s green list currently, excluding Portugal, it is hoped that many of the popular holiday hotspots will be back on the menu by the peak summer season.
However, current Covid restrictions still require mandatory Covid tests to enter, making a holiday complicated and expensive.
Despite this, EU ambassador Joao Vale de Almeida said that the Covid certificate being introduced by the EU will make travelling abroad much easier this summer.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I hope many, many British citizens will come to our countries and I hope many EU citizens will visit the UK.”
He said that the bloc was hoping a digital Covid certificate would pave the way for greater ability to travel.
“We’re hopeful that some time later in the summer, around July, we could be in a situation where travel and tourism will be made a lot easier,” he added.
The EU hopes to lift Covid quarantine rules for vaccinated travellers from July 1, or for travellers who can show they have recovered from Covid, or have a negative test.
The EU executive’s update to its non-binding travel recommendations was unveiled a week before EU legislation on a Digital EU Covid Certificate is expected to be passed with enforceable measures across member states.
That, along with a boost in affordable testing, means “member states are now slowly lifting Covid-19 restrictions both domestically and regarding travel,” he said.
Commission officials said they encouraged member states to start issuing and accepting the Covid certificates in June, so that all EU countries were using it by the end of the month, in time for the peak summer tourist season.
Countries expected to be ready to issue certificates from today include Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Denmark and Poland while France is expected to be ready on June 9.
It also suggested member states should exempt children from quarantine, and those under six years of age from testing, to allow families to travel together.
Member states can also make entry rules more flexible on their own territory, for instance by permitting half-vaccinated people in with no restrictions or those vaccinated with jabs authorised by the WHO but not the EU.
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When the UK will make its next green list travel announcement
It is hoped that more countries will be added to the UK’s green list this week, which may include the Spanish islands and Malta.
If announced on Thursday, Brits may have more holiday choice from June 7.
Costa Rica, Kuwait, Bahrain and Trinidad and Tobago are expected to be added to the red list this week.