'Summer holidays to Europe to return' after successful UK vaccine rollout - what we know so far

Holidaymakers in the UK will be able to enjoy summer trips to European destinations due to the success of the Covid vaccine rollout.

The Sun reported that Spain, Portugal and Greece were leading the push to restart holidays, as EU officials meet to discuss reopening borders to travellers.

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Countries with a strong vaccination programme - such as the UK - will be exempt from the EU’s travel ban, according to the newspaper.

Due to the success of the jabs rollout here, a senior EU official said Brits could be allowed to holiday to popular destinations from June.

It comes as Boris Johnson prepares to lift the ban on international leisure travel from 17 May.

Successful jabs rollout could allow holidaymakers to enter EU

EU officials had an initial meeting on Monday (19 April) to discuss ways to begin lifting travel restrictions, looking to June as a potential start date for summer holidays.

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Vaccination rates were discussed when diplomats from member states were looking at which countries would be allowed back in.

A document seen by The Sun was said to refer to Britain’s successful jabs rollout, along with the vaccination schemes in Israel and the UAE, as a reason to allow people to take summer holidays in the EU.

It said scientific evidence and data “support updating the approach for the safe lifting of restrictions and non-essential travel into the EU”.

“There’s a discussion over whether incidence rate should be the defining factor, or if vaccination rates should also be looked at,” an EU diplomat told the publication.

“That would all still be in the framework of the list.”

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The EU Commission has said it will have a Europe-wide vaccine certificate scheme implemented by the end of June.

Vaccines could ‘change’ travel criteria

Popular destinations for holidaymakers from the UK - like Spain, Portugal and Greece - have been urging the bloc to relax border restrictions for Brits so they can resume tourism.

A Brussels source told The Sun: “The criteria the EU has set for third countries are very strict.

“We took that decision last year when the situation was different.

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“But now, with the vaccines, we have to change the orientation regarding travellers.

“We should change the way we see this and allow people that, for example, have been fully vaccinated to travel.”

However, another EU official said some member states were still “very cautious” about the risk of importing new strains if holidays restart.

They said: “We’ll need to coordinate with the third countries we’re lifting restrictions on to avoid a backdoor entry of variants.”

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