Holidays: Britons share concerns about international travel
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Travel between Italian regions has been strictly restricted for much of the year to fight the virus. But with case numbers falling, the Government is hoping to bring in visitors over the summer with so-called vaccine passports. It comes before the EU has had its chance to implement its own health pass system, which is expected in the middle of June.
Mr 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: “Waiting for the European Certificate … we have a national green pass that will enable people to move from region to region and will be operational by mid-May, so let us not wait until mid-June for the EU pass.
“In mid-May tourists can have the Italian pass … so the time has come to book your holidays in Italy.”
The EU pass is for use between EU countries, to make travel between the member states easier and with less Covid risk.
It is expected to require travellers to have proof of vaccination, a recent negative test, or proof of recent infection of the virus.
Read More: Are THESE the holiday destinations on the green list?
When can I go on holiday to Italy?
Mr Draghi did not give a specific date for when travel will reopen for foreign tourists, but it is expected to be in the middle or toward the end of May.
This should coincide roughly with the UK’s own date for the resumption of foreign holidays – May 17.
The Government is expected to announce the “green list” – destinations with the lightest restrictions – on Friday, May 7.
Most of Europe is expected to be amber initially, including key holiday destinations such as Italy, Spain, France and Greece.
Iceland, Malta, Gibraltar and Portugal are mooted as possible green list candidates.
The UK Government is paying close attention to Covid data around the world when considering how to rank countries under the traffic light system.
International tourist arrivals dropped 73 percent globally in 2020 and nearly 62 million travel and tourism jobs have been lost globally as a result of the pandemic, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.
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How will the traffic light system work?
From May 17, international travel will be different from before, with the UK creating lists of countries dependent on their coronavirus levels.
The categorisations will be decided based on the following criteria:
- The percentage of a country’s population which have been vaccinated
- The rate of infection
- The prevalence of variants of concern
- The country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing
All levels will require coronavirus tests to take place, whether the holidaymaker has had a vaccine or not.
Those holidaying in green countries will need to take a test before departure, as well as a PCR test on or before day two of their arrival back into the UK, but will not be required to quarantine at home or in a hotel.
Those travelling to amber countries will need to quarantine for 10 days when they return from their holiday, as well as do the two tests above.
There will also be an option to take an additional test, which must be paid for, on day five of the isolation, which will allow holidaymakers to be let out early from quarantine if it comes up negative.
Those travelling from red list countries will need to quarantine in a designated, managed hotel when they return, at their own expense.
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