Italy to welcome tourists from mid-May

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gallery - Getty
gallery - Getty

British holidaymakers will be able to visit Italy from the second half of this month without having to quarantine on arrival, Prime Minister Mario Draghi has indicated.

Mr Draghi said at a G20 meeting of tourism ministers on Tuesday that Italy will introduce its own immunisation pass system to boost the struggling tourism industry from which the country generates 13 per cent of its economic output.

A government source said the health ministry would soon formally announce that Italy’s five-day quarantine rule would be scrapped for visitors who can show that they are negative, vaccinated or immune.

An official within the tourism ministry confirmed that the opening up applied to non-EU nationalities such as Britons and Americans as well as EU citizens. The official said that the term "green pass" did not amount to a physical document that needed to be obtained. Instead, it just meant that the quarantine rules had changed.

“As long as you can show that you have been vaccinated or you test negative or you have immunity, then you’ll be welcome to come to Italy,” he said. “So families in the UK who want to travel to Italy this summer can start booking their holidays.”

Italy is likely to be on the UK’s initial “amber list” when its is revealed as part of the UK's traffic light system for the resumption of travel, meaning holidaymakers would be subject to self-isolation on their return.

Scroll down for the latest travel updates.

04:25 PM

That's all for today

Thank you for joining us. We'll be back tomorrow to bring you more of the biggest travel stories as they unfold. For now, here's a re-cap of today's main headlines:

  • Holidaymakers could need paper Covid vaccine certificates

  • No test required for holiday to Gibraltar

  • Develop 'clear' rules for travel, G20 tourism minsters told

  • Tourism bosses call for extra bank holiday

  • Tests cost more than the average short-haul flight, says trade body

  • Jet2 brings forward Iceland flights to meet demand

  • Madeira to offer free departure tests to all visitors

04:19 PM

Eerie photos of empty hotel pools bare scars of lockdown impact

Hotels across the UK are preparing to open their doors again this month, under plans for the next step in easing lockdown, writes Hugh Morris.

Lobbies, restaurants and bedrooms will once again host guests, but so will swimming pools, which have been in stasis since last year.

It was those hotel pools and spas that compelled photographer Anna Dobrovolskaya-Mints to drive across the country, capturing areas associated with laughter and play now silenced.

The project, We Thought It Would End Tomorrow, includes nearly two dozen hotels, kept anonymous but for their location as part of the Russian photographer’s agreement with the properties, but ranging from “cheap roadside inns to luxury hotels”.

View the image gallery here

hotel pool
hotel pool

04:08 PM

Italian tourist board 'hopeful' for UK green list decision

Following the news that Italy is set to lift quarantine restrictions for Britons later this month, the Italian National Tourist Board has issued a statement, welcoming the decision and expressing hope that the UK government reciprocates on May 17:

We are delighted that Italy is once again ready and open for business. Our cities, coasts, countryside and major attractions are world class and we have implemented robust protocols to keep our visitors safe. Tourism is one of our most important industries and key to the nation’s recovery from the terrible impact of Covid-19.

Given the latest announcement from the Prime Minister, we are hopeful that Italy will be on the UK government’s green list meaning holidaymakers will not have to quarantine on their return and will establish consumer confidence once more in visiting such a popular destination as Italy.

03:55 PM

Dancers, travellers and hotel staff came to the rescue when my luggage went missing in Cuba

Travel reminds us of how unexpected, uplifting encounters are worth so much more than material possessions, says Michelle Jana Chan.

Sprinting between gates at Madrid airport, I had minutes to make the connection to Havana. As I arrived at the plane, the doors were closing and a staff member unhelpfully wagged his finger at me.

Still, I didn’t mind as I was heading to Cuba for a couple of months and the airline promised to put me up for the night. I sloped off to collect my luggage, which didn’t appear on the carousel. The airline assured me it was likely the one thing that made the connection.

Day after day, the concierge had no news from the airport. After a week, one of the receptionists offered to lend me one of her white work shirts, her nicest clothes. She gave it to me perfectly pressed with a shy smile and I gratefully accepted, touched by her kindness. It became my daily workwear; I washed the collar every night. We waved across the lobby whenever we caught ourselves twinning.

I made regular trips to Havana’s stark department stores but there was little to buy. At that time, rationing was customary. But one day, the concierge said some stock had arrived at a shop he knew. I hurried there to find they’d set aside a pink acrylic dress for me, “the girl with the lost luggage”. I conducted some of my most important interviews resembling a 1970s stewardess.

Read the full article here

havana salsa - Terry Donnelly / Alamy Stock Photo 
havana salsa - Terry Donnelly / Alamy Stock Photo

03:43 PM

The 10 beautiful islands every Briton should visit

From the heights of Scotland to the southern edges of England, Britain's coastline is dotted with incredible isles, says Hazel Plush.

So hoist the mainsail (or catch the next ferry) – every Briton should have these spots in their sights.

See the full list here

Llanddwyn Bay, Anglesey  - Getty
Llanddwyn Bay, Anglesey - Getty

03:31 PM

Fake Covid vaccine cards available online for as little as £5

Fake vaccine cards have been sold online for as little as £5, reports Sophie Barnes, amid fears that some travellers could cheat 'Covid passport' schemes.

Fraudsters on eBay have been charging up to £28 a time for documentation that claims to record a person’s Covid-19 vaccination.

The cards – which are almost identical to those given out by the NHS to people who have received jabs to protect them against the potentially deadly virus – can be customised with details to falsely show that a patient has received a specific vaccination and the date that it was administered.

Reporters at The Telegraph bought one of the fake cards from a scammer on eBay, whose listing stated that they had already sold more than 140 of the cards in three days before it was removed.

The card, which cost £5, bears the NHS logo and has exactly the same design and words as the real ones but is on thin shiny card rather than paper, like the originals.

Experts are concerned that the fake cards could be used by people wanting to prove they have received the immunisation so they can travel abroad.

Read the full investigation here.

03:16 PM

Leo Varadkar hopeful for normality by August

Leo Varadkar, the Republic of Ireland's Tánaiste or deputy head of government, said he is hopeful most coronavirus restrictions will be gone by August.

Speaking at the department of health in Dublin, Varadkar said he is looking at countries such as Israel where the vaccination programme is further ahead than in Ireland.

"They're welcoming tourists again and they're having not very large gatherings, but they are having mass gatherings," he said.

03:02 PM

St Helena welcomes visitors (with test and quarantine)

The second most-remote inhabited island in the world has opened its doors to vaccinated or Covid-free visitors, with testing and quarantine requirements still in place.

st helena - Getty
st helena - Getty

St Helena announced over 95 per cent of its adult population is now fully vaccinated against COVID-19; with 98

The Governor of St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Dr Philip Rushbrook, said:

It has been a privilege to oversee such a comprehensive vaccination programme on St Helena. Since the onset of the global pandemic, we have remained totally COVID-19 free and now our population is fully vaccinated we look forward to a continuation of that status.

Approximate monthly flights from London Stansted are operational and we hope to welcome British travellers who wish to enjoy a little bit of sub-tropical paradise here on St Helena after such a tough year in the UK. Our walking, diving, sailing, cultural and nature experiences are second to none. St Helena offers the perfect tonic to anyone wishing to embrace life after lockdown in a beautiful and safe environment.

All visitors are required to have a test on arrival, quarantine for 14 days and take a further negative test at the end of the quarantine period.

02:45 PM

Which countries will accept paper vaccination certificates?

A ‘vaccine passport’ app looks unlikely before May 17, the UK Government has admitted – but we might not need one after all.

Hazel Plush takes a closer look.

02:22 PM

Turkey welcomes foreign tourists while locking down locals

The Turkish government has exempted foreign holidaymakers from the 2-1/2-week long lockdown in an effort to revitalise tourism, a critical sector of the Turkish economy, reports Reuters.

Antalya Turkey - Getty
Antalya Turkey - Getty

Turkish people on social media have voiced indignation at images of tourists partying on the country's Mediterranean coast or locals fined for being outdoors while foreign visitors can wander around as they wish.

Tourism revenues plunged by two-thirds to $12 billion last year as the pandemic hit an industry which accounts usually for up to 12 per cent of the economy. Turkey hopes the current restrictions on movement will rescue this season. Those arriving in Turkey must show proof of negative Covid-19 tests.

02:09 PM

Seychelles sees spike in cases despite swift vaccine roll out

The Seychelles has fully vaccinated more of its population than any other country worldwide.

More than 60 per cent of people have had both doses of a jab. Most of these, Bloomberg reports, were the Sinopharm vaccine, and the rest AstraZeneca.

The government is now reimposing restrictions as cases have surged. The country has recorded around 1,000 active cases, a third of those infected have had two vaccine doses.

01:53 PM

Norway to introduce Covid vaccine passports in June

Norway will introduce a certification that will permit holders to gain admittance to events held in Norway, with an updated, EU-compliant version to be rolled out in late June, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said today.

"We can use such a certificate to open our society more, and quicker," Ms Solberg told a news conference. She added that the passports will initially to be used primarily for larger public events, cruises and package tours.

A later version of the certificate will be in line with EU standards and is to be used for travel abroad.

01:39 PM

Madeira to offer free departure tests to all visitors

Madeira is to offer tourists a free Covid PCR test on departure in a move that will help reduce holiday costs for Britons.

madeira - Getty
madeira - Getty

The Portuguese islands of Madeira already permit entry with proof of vaccination, results from a negative PCR test or a PCR test taken on arrival.

Visitors to Madeira are offered one free PCR test, so can choose to take up this offer either for their departure test or their arrival test. There are also discounts on offer for any further tests required, with PCR tests from €90 and antigen tests from €18.

Some 27.1 per cent of Madeira's adult population have received the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

01:26 PM

Budget airlines report year-on-year rise in passenger numbers

Wizz Air and Ryanair reported signs of travel recovery in April, compared to April 2020.

Hungarian budget carrier Wizz Air flew 565,000 passengers last month against 78,382 in April last year.

Ryanair’s April passenger numbers rose to 1 million from just 40,000 a year earlier

01:05 PM

US rural accommodation provider launches in UK

US-based rural accommodation specialist Yonder has announced its expansion to the UK market.

It offers accommodation such as farm stays, guesthouses, cottages, cabins and treehouses, all of which are supposed to bring guests closer to nature. Yonder is launching with over 5,000 options in the UK, which are available to book through its app and website.

Bill Lee, chief executive of Yonder, said:

When we started this business in 2018 our prime focus was to make it easy for people to find brilliant places to stay so they could reconnect to nature. The interest in this type of holiday has skyrocketed in both the US and UK, especially during the pandemic.

The UK portfolio includes The Shearing Shed, Old Farm Dorn, in a single storey barn conversion on a working farm in The Cotswolds and at a cluster of cabins at Hoe Grange Holidays.

12:54 PM

'September is the finest month, it deserves a Bank Holiday'

Since the pandemic shuttered the UK’s tourism economy, hospitality chiefs have been calling for an additional Bank Holiday, and the consensus seems to be that September is the best month for it.

The latest call comes after the recent washed-out Bank Holiday weekend. The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) tweeted this week: “Due to largely terrible, unseasonably wet & cold weather #UKtourism really isn’t benefiting from this Bank Holiday, only the 2nd most tourism businesses have been open [for] 14 months (indoor attractions still aren’t open). We need an extra Bank Holiday at the end of September.”

Telegraph Travel readers appear to agree with the proposal. According to our snap Twitter poll, taken this morning, more than 75% of respondents support the idea of a paid day off in September.

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It’s a particularly good idea, because September is a particularly fine month to explore the UK.

Read the full article here

12:43 PM

'I met my now-partner at a dinner party on Everest'

“If you’re looking for love, I don’t suggest you sign up to the next trip to summit Everest based on my experience. But I was in the right place at the right time and that’s the beauty of travel,” says Jane Chynoweth.

The 35-year-old management consultant admits that she was facing burnout on the dating scene, after travelling non-stop for work and living amid the bright lights of Los Angeles and New York, where romances would come and go as quickly as subway trains.

But just as she’d stopped dating for a while, she embarked on an extraordinary trip that changed the course of her life.

Read the full article here

everest romance
everest romance

12:30 PM

'No drama' – Federer and de Niro team up for Switzerland

Tennis champion Roger Federer and actor Robert De Niro have been unveiled as the new faces of Swiss tourism in a short film promoting travel to the country.

The minute-and-a-half clip shows Basel-born Federer, Alpine scenery behind him, trying to convince the US actor to take part in a feature film about Switzerland, only for De Niro to decline, saying the country is "too perfect" and that there is "no drama" there.

Martin Nydegger, chief executive of Switzerland Tourism, said: “Adding this touch of Hollywood to our campaign will bring more attention to Switzerland and its dramatically beautiful nature.”

Federer commented: “I was really excited to have a worldwide campaign where I can invite people to Switzerland to highlight its beauty because I am so very proud to be from such a beautiful country.

“I’ve admired Robert De Niro’s work for quite some time now, but I wasn’t sure he’d agree to be part of our Swiss project. I’m very excited it worked out so well.”

Warning: video contains some strong language

12:14 PM

'The USA won't be on the green list, and that's a crying shame'

When it comes – if it comes – the “green list” is likely to be as anti-climactic as the final episode of a prime-time BBC police drama where the villain turns out to be Not The Bad Guy The All-Seeing And Never-Wrong Eye Of Social Media Wants It To Be, writes Chris Leadbeater.

It may well feature Malta. It will probably include Portugal. But its contents almost certainly won’t stretch to double figures, and your very fair response to it might well be to mumble in an underwhelmed fashion, and wonder if it isn’t better to postpone any talk of a holiday until the list is expanded at a later date.

However, one thing about the “green list” is all but guaranteed. That there will be one significant omission – of a much-loved destination for British travellers – that will be simultaneously both unsurprising and disappointing. America – when will we meet again?

arizona, usa - Getty
arizona, usa - Getty

Of course, the absence of the USA from the “green list” will be about as big a shock as the result of the latest Premier League match between Super League Faceless Billionaires FC and Comparative Church Mice Rovers. Not because tourists from the UK are no longer interested in crossing the Atlantic – but because, at this point in the battle with Covid, America does not want us.

Read the full article here

12:00 PM

Jet2 brings forward Iceland flights to meet demand and Jet2CityBreaks have moved forward the start of their scheduled Iceland flights to September 2.

Fjadrargljufur canyon, Iceland - Getty
Fjadrargljufur canyon, Iceland - Getty

Iceland is expected to be included on the UK government’s green list, which is likely to be revealed on Friday. now offers a wider programme of scheduled services to Iceland from Manchester airport this year, in addition to scheduled services from Birmingham airport. Twice-weekly services will run from September 2 from Manchester, and from September 30 from Birmingham – both until November 22, 2021. In 2022, scheduled services will run from February 10-November 10 from Manchester, and from February 10-April 25, 2022, from Birmingham. and Jet2CityBreaks are also offering 37 three- and four-night trips to Iceland from seven other UK airports: Belfast International, East Midlands, Leeds Bradford, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Stansted.

11:45 AM

Tests cost more than the average short-haul flight, says trade body

The International Air Transport Association (Iata) has said the expense of Covid tests for travel could threaten recovery and has urged governments to tackle the problem.

An IATA survey of PCR testing costs found wide variations across 16 countries with only France following the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation for the state to bear the cost of testing for travellers. In the other 15 countries, the average minimum cost for testing was $90 and the average maximum cost for testing was $208.

Willie Walsh, director general of IATA, said:

As travel restrictions are lifted in domestic markets, we are seeing strong demand. The same can be expected in international markets. But that could be perilously compromised by testing costs – particularly PCR testing. The impact will be greatest for short-haul trips, up to 1,100km. With average fares of $105, the tests will cost more than the flight. Testing costs must be better managed. That’s critical if governments want to save tourism and transport jobs; and avoid limiting travel freedoms to the wealthy.

11:30 AM

Tanzania stops flights to and from India

Tanzania's health ministry suspended all flights to and from India yesterday days after Uganda and Kenya announced the same.

It said exceptions will only be made for cargo flights or those for humanitarian, medical or diplomatic purposes.

Former Tanzanian President John Magufuli was a prominent coronavirus sceptic, and repeatedly claimed the country was "Covid-free".

11:09 AM

'Gibraltar is now one of the safest places in Europe to visit'

Gibraltar will welcome British holidaymakers after May 17 without requiring them to take a Covid test. Vijay Daryanani MP, Gibraltar's minister for business, tourism and transport, told Telegraph Travel:

Thanks to UK Government all of our population has been vaccinated, therefore visitors from the UK will not require a COVID test. As travel re-opens from the UK we look forward to welcoming our visitors to a great British staycation in the Mediterranean. Gibraltar is now one of the safest places in Europe to visit and we invite all to experience our unique tourism product.

10:56 AM

In pictures: The new cruise ship that 'defies imagination'

Celebrity Cruises is going big with their newest ship. The Miami-based cruise line revealed its latest vessel last week – the 1,073-foot Celebrity Beyond.

The third vessel in the Edge Series will be able to accommodate 3,260 passengers in 1,646 cabins when she sets sail on her inaugural voyage from Southampton next spring. Celebrity Beyond will then offer a series of Mediterranean sailings, before heading to the Caribbean.

As UK cruising gets ready to relaunch later this month, Telegraph Cruise has stepped aboard to get a closer look at the luxurious newcomer.

Take the full tour here

celebrity beyond
celebrity beyond

10:42 AM

Tourism bosses call for extra bank holiday

An extra bank holiday should be added at the end of September to make up for the poor weather of the May Day weekend, tourism bosses have said.

“Hospitality and tourism has missed out on almost all bank holidays last year and the start of this,” wrote Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality on Twitter. “An extra bank holiday would be a boost to business, the economy, jobs and investment.”

Ms Nicholls was responding to calls from the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (Alva), which tweeted: “Due to largely terrible, unseasonably wet & cold weather [UK tourism] really isn’t benefitting from this Bank Holiday, only the 2nd most tourism businesses have been open [for] 14 months (indoor attractions still aren’t open). We need an extra Bank Holiday at the end of September.”

The loss of domestic tourism and foreign visitors has cost the British economy £80 billion over the last 12 months, according to Visit Britain.

May 17 is the date at which indoor attractions such as museums can reopen in England.

10:26 AM

'I escaped the crowds on a coastal holiday in west Wales'

Move aside Cornwall and Devon, just across the water there's a whole region that has never been overrun and is just as spectacular, writes Paul Miles.

Marros Sands in Carmarthenshire, overlooked by a cliff called Top Castle, was once busy with small quarries and stonemasons but now all is silent. A few sheep graze among the gorse and heather and there are just two houses above the lonely beach. It feels as wild and deserted as a bay in the remote Scottish Highlands but we are three hours’ train travel (or two hours’ drive) from Bristol, on the border of Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire, in an area known by some, including the late local historian Roscoe Howells, as ‘Little England beyond Wales’. Here, the historic dialect word for holiday is ‘girt’.

Read the full story.

10:07 AM

Scenic and Emerald Cruises to resume Douro sailings in July

Scenic Cruises is set to become the first river line to resume sailing the Douro River this summer, starting from July 30.

douro valley - Getty
douro valley - Getty

Emerald Cruises will also pick up its Douro schedule, sailing eight-day round-trips from Porto from July 31.

Nichola Absalom, global brand director at Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours, said: "Portugal has long been a popular destination for our UK guests so we’re thrilled to be able to announce our return to the spectacular Douro Valley this summer [...] This is an exciting first step towards getting our ships back sailing across Europe’s rivers."

Scenic and Emerald are both offering deposit-free bookings on their 2021 Douro seasons until the government’s proposed traffic-light system is confirmed.

Portugal has been tipped for both the amber and green lists: the Government is set to reveal the full lists on Friday.

09:50 AM

'There’s nothing immoral about foreign holidays'

We haven’t abandoned our basic freedoms to live a hair-shirt existence based on extreme risk aversion, writes Madeline Grant.

A new debate is opening up which threatens to outlive the pandemic. We saw a glimpse of it on the Today programme yesterday. “Let’s assume [holidays abroad are] allowed,” presenter Mishal Husain asked epidemiologist Professor Neil Ferguson. “Would you still think that if it can be avoided, it’s probably the responsible thing to do?” Her questioning had moved beyond rights and into the realm of ethics.

Holidaying at home – and helping the hard-pressed UK tourism sector – is being recast as the right thing to do even if going abroad carries no identifiable Covid risk. Many will agree in principle, aside from the practical difficulty of finding a halfway decent hotel in booked-up Britain. As it happens, I am plotting a Fawlty-Towers themed pilgrimage to Torquay next month – probably sharing a cubby-hole with Manuel, given the demand for “staycations”. Yet privileged and highly parochial assumptions are overshadowing the debate.

Read Madeline's comment article in full.

09:43 AM

Thai travel agencies offer 'vaccine tours' to US

Travel agencies in Thailand are selling coronavirus "vaccine tours" to the United States, with mass inoculations in the Thailand still a month away.

Bangkok tour operator, Unithai Trip, has packages from 75,000 baht to 200,000 baht ($2,400 to $6,400) for trips to San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, with prices dependent on the time gap between doses.

"Johnson & Johnson is one jab, but 90% of inquires want Pfizer," which needs about 20 days between the first and second doses, the agency's owner, Rachphol Yamsaeng, told Reuters. He said a group was tentatively scheduled to leave next week.

My Journey Travel is offering a 10-day trip to San Francisco for a Johnson & Johnson shot and said it has received hundreds of calls in three days.

09:30 AM

Which countries are most likely to be on the 'amber list'?

The Government is set to reveal its traffic light ratings for different countries on Friday. It is expected only a handful of destinations will be on the "green list".

Most European destinations are likely to be amber in the initial review. We've taken a look at what this means for travellers.

composite of countries
composite of countries

09:13 AM

Travel firm to offer refunds for traffic light changes

Customers booking with travel agency Flight Centre will be able to choose whether to travel, change or cancel with a full refund if their destination’s traffic light status changes.

Flight Centre's new traffic light change policy comes as holidaymakers wait for the Government to reveal which destinations will be green-listed. An announcement is expected this Friday.

The firm's policy aims to address travellers' nervousness about booking a trip while classifications are subject to change. The company found that:

  • 69% of customers would be willing to travel to a green list destination

  • 14% to an amber destination

  • 2% to an amber destination

08:56 AM

'Book your holidays in Italy', says Draghi

Prime Minister Mario Draghi urged foreigners on Tuesday to book their summer holidays in Italy, saying it was set to introduce travel passes from the middle of May, sooner than much of the rest of Europe.

Gallerie dell'Accademia - Getty
Gallerie dell'Accademia - Getty

Speaking after a meeting of tourism ministers from the Group of 20 wealthy nations, Draghi said it was important to provide clear, simple rules to ensure that tourists can once again travel freely in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. He said the European Union would introduce a health pass by the middle of June, allowing easy travel across the continent for those who had been vaccinated, had just tested negative or could prove they had recently recovered from COVID-19.

Mr Draghi said Italy, which generates some 13 per cent of its economic output from tourism, would have its own green pass ready by the middle of this month.

"Let us not wait until mid-June for the EU pass," Draghi said. "In mid-May tourists can have the Italian pass ... so the time has come to book your holidays in Italy," he added.

08:49 AM

Brighton cancels pride parade

Brighton and Hove pride events scheduled to take place in August have been cancelled.

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08:37 AM

Develop 'clear' rules for travel, G20 tourism minsters told

G20 nations must develop clear and coordinated travel rules to help rescue millions of jobs in the sector, The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) have said.

Italy has assumed the presidency of the G20 and tourism ministers met to discuss the G20 Rome Guidelines for the Future of Tourism.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC president and chief executive, said at the tourism ministers’ meeting on May 4:

We need clear rules and agreements amongst countries to safely restore international mobility, which will in turn enable the return of safe international travel and bring back millions of jobs.

UNWTO secretary-general, Zurab Pololikashvili said there was a need for:

common, harmonised criteria for the easing of travel restrictions, and for increased investment in systems that support safe travel, including testing on departure and on arrival.

08:28 AM

Travel traffic light system 'sensible', says JCVI member

Asked about the traffic light system, Professor Adam Finn told Sky News: "The principle of trying to think carefully about how this is done and to minimise the overall risks is clearly a sensible one.

"I think the plans need to be thought through carefully and put in place and not done in too much of a rush, because we don't want to now lose ground and have to catch back up again to where we are in the later part of the year."

08:23 AM

JCVI member: Unregulated intl travel can be 'very dangerous'

A member of the Government's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation said unregulated international travel "can be very dangerous indeed" but there are steps which can minimise the risk.

Professor Adam Finn told Sky News: "We certainly got our hands very comprehensively burned in in March 2020 when very large numbers of people returned from holidays in Europe with the virus and set the pandemic going in the UK at a very fast rate.

"So, we've learned our lesson that international travel in an unregulated way can be very dangerous indeed.

"I think while travel is inevitably going to start happening, we really do need to do everything we can to minimise the risks associated with that: think about the places where people are going to travel; to make sure that people have been immunised before they travel; and if necessary, implement quarantine and control measures to stop the virus being imported and spreading about."

08:12 AM

No test required for holiday to Gibraltar

Britons planning a holiday in Gibraltar will not need to take a Covid test on or before arrival, its chief minister Fabian Picardo told Sky News.

He said that no test is required for people travelling from Spain to Gibraltar by land, so it would not make sense to test people from the UK, given that Britain has a lower rate of infections.

British holidaymakers will be subject to rules for return though, including a requirement to take a test before arriving back in the UK.

gibraltar - Getty
gibraltar - Getty

07:57 AM

Holidaymakers could need paper Covid vaccine certificates

Holidaymakers may have to use paper Covid certificates to prove they have been vaccinated when the foreign travel ban is lifted from May 17, it emerged on Tuesday.

Downing Street admitted that the NHS app may not be ready for use as a vaccine passport in time and the Government is preparing for "another approach" for holidaymakers travelling abroad in the interim.

At least 20 countries have already indicated that they will accept vaccination certificates as an alternative to PCR tests for holidaymakers to prove their Covid status. Only Greece, however, has so far explicitly said that it will take paper certificates, despite concerns that they are more easily forged.

Rita Marques, Portugal's tourism minister, has said her country would accept only a digital pass because of the risk of fakes. Spain, due to trial its app at more than 40 airports, has said it is in talks with the UK Government over the need for a "mutually recognisable" app.

Read the full story.

07:26 AM

What happened yesterday?

The main headlines from Tuesday:

  • Spain's Balearic isles 'very optimistic' for summer restart

  • Airlines praise EU for 'game-changing' approach to travel bans

  • Portugal: 'We're pushing for Brits to holiday here this summer'

  • Only 13% of Britons prepared to go abroad this year

  • NHS app may not be ready for use in international travel

  • Austria to offer free coronavirus tests to tourists

Now onto today's news.