France eases lockdown raising summer holiday hopes

Hugh Morris
·28-min read
france green list - AFP/AFP
france green list - AFP/AFP

France will ease its domestic travel restrictions next month as the prime minister declared its “third wave” over, raising hopes the country could reopen to British visitors sooner than expected.

Jean Castex said the third national lockdown would be wound down from May 3, with residents able to travel anywhere within France; outdoor areas of bars and restaurants will also be able to open from mid-May, he said.

“The third wave of the disease is behind us,” Castex told a news conference.

The move opens the door to France’s addition to the UK’s ‘green’ list when international travel resumes for Britons from May 17. The UK Government is expected to reveal the list on May 7.

However, France’s average rate of new infections remains one of the highest in Europe, fifth behind only Cyprus, Sweden, Turkey and Croatia. Its seven-day average cases rate per 100,000 is 341 compared to the UK’s 26.

Interior minister Gerald Darmanin said fresh quarantine measures would be imposed on travellers returning to France from a number of countries, including South Africa and India, in an effort to halt the spread of new variants.

Scroll down for updates

04:15 PM

The main news today

That's all from us. Here's a recap of the top stories:

  • Wales to reopen hotels on May 17

  • France imposes fresh quarantine measures to stop variants

  • India now officially on red list

  • Japan to use lockdown now to save Olympics later

  • Turkey lifts ban on UK flights

  • Cruise ships to have capacity slashed for restart

  • Covid test firms that overcharge holidaymakers could be named and shamed

Join us again next week for the latest travel news as it happens.

04:09 PM

All hail our hoteliers and restaurateurs in these inhospitable times

Anna Hart has been amazed by the ways our hosts make guests feel comfortable and welcome in this demi-lockdown.

Right now, however, we live in inhospitable times. When a stranger turns up at our restaurant, our hotel, or our borders, they’re to be greeted with QR codes, unattractive sanitisation utensils and masked staff who recite a long list of restrictions and rules.

Yet despite this unpromising set of circumstances, this past fortnight I’ve been both charmed and amazed by the creative ways hoteliers and restaurateurs manage to make guests and diners feel comfortable, and welcome, and special

Read the full article here.

Despite restrictions brought about by Covid, Anna received the warmest of welcomes at Heckfield Place 
Despite restrictions brought about by Covid, Anna received the warmest of welcomes at Heckfield Place

04:02 PM

Scotland's largest pub operator blasts SNP hospitality restrictions as 'nonsensical' and 'onerous'

Scotland's largest pub operator has warned that only half its premises will be able to reopen on Monday thanks to Nicola Sturgeon's "nonsensical" restrictions on hospitality.

Star Pubs & Bars, which is owned by brewing giant Heineken, said 50 per cent of its 230 businesses across the country will remain shuttered as they cannot operate with the SNP government's curfews and ban on indoor drinking.

While beer gardens across Scotland will be able to serve alcohol outdoors until 10pm from Monday, the ban on indoor drinking is not set to be lifted until at least May 17 and customers enjoying a meal inside must leave by 8pm.

03:54 PM

EU approves €462 million loan for beleaguered Portugese airline

The European Commission said on Friday it had authorised a loan of €462 million euros ($556.9 million) from the Portuguese government to airline Transportes Aereos Portugueses (TAP) to compensate for damage suffered during the pandemic.

The airline, similar to others across Europe, incurred significant losses due to travel restrictions in Portugal and destination countries, the Commission said.

"This measure will enable Portugal to compensate TAP for the damage it suffered as a direct result of the travel restrictions that Portugal and other destination countries had to implement to limit the spread of coronavirus," EU antitrust commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

The support, in the form of loan, may be converted into capital and disbursed to TAP in one or several instalments.

03:50 PM

‘Who said the UK is all booked up?'

The ‘authentic’ Cornwall does exist, and Meg Mathews is very happy to be a part of it in Newquay after moving there last month.

When I told people about my decision, I was routinely warned of the crowds that descend each year, but as I moved at the tail end of lockdown, everything was still closed when I got here.

For me that was perfect. It meant I had four weeks to find my feet and discover Godrevy, my favourite beach and Pentire Point for beautiful walks before the restrictions eased. I was also never going to let talk of tourist hordes put me off my dream destination; some places are popular for a reason.

Already, I’m starting to feel like a local but it’s still very new and exciting and there are lots of places I am yet to explore. I’ve been told that accommodation was 98% booked up for this Easter which is crazy but I totally get it. Why wouldn’t you want to come here? That said, I didn’t notice the ‘Easter rush’ at all. You can definitely feel a buzz in the air but it’s not overwhelming. In fact, the beaches and car parks were deserted.

Read the full article: ‘Who said the UK is all booked up? It's as quiet as ever here in Newquay'

Meg and her dog Ziggy on the beach in her new home in Cornwall
Meg and her dog Ziggy on the beach in her new home in Cornwall

03:43 PM

Lockdown measures to begin in Cyprus

Cyprus will go into a partial lockdown from Monday that will last two weeks, with only slight easing of restrictions for the Orthodox Easter celebrations in at the beginning of May.

Until May 9, people will be advised to work from home if possible and must seek authorisation for only one non-work-related trip daily. Non-essential shops will close, and a 9pm to 5am curfew will be imposed.

Health minister Constantinos Ioannou said that "the growing number of infections, combined with intense pressure on the health system, cannot leave us indifferent and requires difficult decisions, drastic measures".

Read more: Why Cyprus is the greatest Mediterranean island of all

03:33 PM

UK snapshot: The latest vaccination figures

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03:26 PM

Mark Drakeford: India's Covid surge should be considered before UK travel resumes

India's explosive surge in coronavirus cases should give "real pause for thought" to the UK Government before it reopens international travel, Wales' First Minister has said.

Mark Drakeford warned that the improving public health situation in the UK could be put at risk by the "wild card" of an imported strain of the virus from another part of the globe.

Wales has eight confirmed cases of the Indian variant of Covid-19 from people who have returned from India, with each being monitored by their area's public health teams.

On Friday, Mr Drakeford said that an expected third wave of the virus in the UK could be triggered by newer strain from elsewhere.

03:21 PM

Restrictions to ease in Austria next month

Austria plans to loosen its Covid restrictions on 19 May, letting restaurants, hotels and theatres reopen their doors for the first time in more than five months.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told a news conference that "the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter".

03:12 PM

New capacity rules on cruises unlikely to cause disruption

Following the the news that cruise ships will be forced to sail with reduced capacity they return, cruise writer Dave Monk has told Telegraph Travel that this will not pose too much of an issue to the operators.

He said:

Cruise lines sailing during the UK summer season have been working on low passenger numbers anyway. The only ships leaving port before June 21 will be MSC Virtuosa, which is being limited to 1,000 passengers until that date, and Viking Venus, a 930-passenger ship which is sailing at below capacity, so this measure won't have any immediate great effect.

Read more: Why a cruise around Britain should be your first post-lockdown holiday

02:58 PM

British skiers on a mission to ‘bounce back’

British skiers and snowboarders have been starved of their sacred ski holidays for over a year now – not only has this hit holidaymakers, operators and resorts hard but independent British brands that form the backbone of the nation’s ski industry and community.

”Never has the precarious nature of being a well known ski brand in a nation with little domestic skiing been quite so real,” said founder of Planks Clothing, the sponsors of Team GB, Jim Adlington, who has announced the brand is crowdfunding to secure its future.

“Millions of skiers are desperate to return to the slopes next winter and they’ve saved some money during lockdown too. With investment, Planks is going to be ready to meet that pent-up demand,” said Adlington, who grew up in the UK and learnt to ski on a dry ski slope in Kidsgrove, before shaping a career in snow sports and founding Planks Clothing in 2009.

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But it’s not just the brand’s future Adlington and his team are keen to get back on track, it’s the UK’s fragile ski industry in general.

“Now there’s light at the end of the tunnel, we’ve made it our mission to rally the ski community and help the industry bounce back. This month, we’ve been motivating British skiers to visit the UK’s recently re-opened indoor and artificial slopes, which really need a boost, through our “Ski at Home” initiative,” said Jim who is encouraging skiers to visit their local dry slope or indoor snow centre, which have recently reopened, with the motto “Ski at home, protect UK slopes, save the scene.”

02:44 PM

Mask-free summer ahead, say Government advisers

The public should be able to ditch face masks over the summer as vaccines do the heavy lifting in controlling Covid-19, Government scientific advisers believe.

Step four of the Government's road map for England currently states that all legal limits on social contact will be removed by June 21 at the earliest, when restrictions on large events such as festivals are also expected to ease.

Scientists advising the Government say there is nothing currently in the data to suggest that people will not be able to enjoy a relatively normal summer, though coronavirus cases may well rise as the autumn approaches.

Asked about mask-wearing in the coming months, one source said that vaccines are working so well, and there is such good vaccine uptake among members of the public, that things will return to much more like normal life over the summer months, with cases dropping very low, particularly in May.

However, masks and possibly other measures may be needed next autumn and winter if cases surge, they said.

Read more from coronavirus live blog.

02:27 PM

Australia-New Zealand travel bubble sees flights soar

The number of people flying between Australia and New Zealand soared more than four-fold in the wake of the opening of a travel bubble between the two countries.

Passenger levels remain below half of what they were in 2019, but figures from aviation analysts Cirium show an instant uptick thanks to the promise of quarantine-free travel.

Airlines, including Air New Zealand and Qantas, said flights were full on Monday, April 19, the first day of the bubble.

Families were reunited this week as the Aus-NZ bubble opened - Getty
Families were reunited this week as the Aus-NZ bubble opened - Getty

02:05 PM

The forgotten ‘green list’ islands, where you can avoid the crowds this summer

Up to 30 destinations are expected to make the UK's quarantine-free travel list, and they could include these hidden gems, writes Emma Featherstone.

Malta, Israel and Gibraltar have all been placed under the spotlight in recent weeks due to their swift vaccine roll outs, with immunisation rates among the key criteria in the Government’s traffic light system for travel. Despite these destinations not typically taking the top spots among our favourite holiday destinations, there is concern that even these could be overrun with Britons this summer season.

With this in mind, we have selected some alternative island destinations for your post-lockdown break. Each has a good chance of inclusion on the green list this summer, and we’ve veered away from the more obvious holiday isles to give you the best chance of evading the tourists hordes.

Read the full article.

How about a trip to the Azores?
How about a trip to the Azores?

01:49 PM

Cruise ships to have capacity slashed for restart

Domestic cruises will be restricted to as little as a fifth of normal capacity for initial sailings, under rules announced by the Department for Transport (DfT).

A dozen cruise lines will operate voyages around the coast of Britain this summer, with many reporting exceptional demand amid uncertainty over restrictions on foreign travel.

Cruises are currently banned in the UK due to the pandemic but will be permitted in England under the next step of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's road map for easing rules, which is planned for May 17.

But the DfT said ships operating in England will only be allowed to carry up to 1,000 passengers - or 50 per cent of their capacity if that is lower - until all limits on social contact are removed.

That means MSC Cruises will only be able to use 20 per cent of the 4,888 capacity of its ship Virtuosa for the planned launch of its programme on May 20.

Other Government rules imposed on initial sailings include a ban on groups of more than six people or two households mixing indoors, even if they are all travelling under the same booking.

Ships are also restricted to only carrying passengers who live in the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, and cannot call at foreign ports.

01:31 PM

Who needs Majorca?

Beachgoers enjoy the sea at Cullercoats Bay, North Tyneside - Will Walker / North News
Beachgoers enjoy the sea at Cullercoats Bay, North Tyneside - Will Walker / North News
Marnie Jane Olsen, two, builds at sandcastle at Cullercoats Bay - Will Walker / North News
Marnie Jane Olsen, two, builds at sandcastle at Cullercoats Bay - Will Walker / North News

01:13 PM

'The Balearics should be on green list'

The Balearic Islands should be included on the UK’s ‘green’ list regardless of mainland Spain’s status.

This is the view of Nacho Gozalbo, commercial director of Palladium Hotel Group, which has hotels on the islands.

He said the Mediterranean islands, including Majorca and Ibiza, were “eagerly awaiting” an update from the UK Government on its travel lists. The Government this week indicated that it would consider islands separately, opening the door for some of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe to be quarantine free come May 17.

Gozalbo said:

We do believe that safe travel to the Balearics can be resumed with a reliable testing programme pre departure and prior to return. Rates in the Balearic Islands are currently just 27,66 per 100,000, based on the latest data, published on 22 April (based on the last seven days). This is below the rate for the whole of Spain.

The Balearic archipelago has all the infrastructure in place to accommodate visitors in a safe way and our vaccination programme is underway. For many businesses in the islands, the reopening of international travel from the UK is vital. Given the position, we feel that travel to the Balearic Islands should be included within the green list and permitted from 17 May onwards. We remain hopeful.

Majorca is consistently popular with British holidaymakers - Getty
Majorca is consistently popular with British holidaymakers - Getty

12:47 PM

Covid test firms that overcharge holidaymakers could be named and shamed

Covid testing firms that overcharge could be named and shamed in a Government league table in a bid to drive added costs below £50 per person for summer holidays.

The Department for Transport (DfT) is considering ranking firms on the costs of their gold standard PCR tests to help holidaymakers find the cheapest deals when foreign travel is due to resume from May 17.

It is part of an attempt by Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, to slash prices from their current average of more than £100 per person. Some have been charging up to £300 for “premium” services that would add more than £1,000 to a family of four’s holiday.

“I want to see a properly competitive market driving down the costs of these tests,” Mr Shapps told a webinar organised earlier this week by ConservativeHome. “One has cut prices to £60 from £120. Another provider going through accreditation is offering a PCR test for £45.”

Read the full story.

12:28 PM

Perth to enter three-day lockdown

Perth, the state capital of Western Australia, and the neighbouring Peel region will enter a snap three-day lockdown from midnight local time on Friday after a man tested positive for Covid-19. According to reports, he was in the community for a number of days following hotel quarantine.

The person is likely to have contracted the virus during his two-week quarantine in a Perth hotel, health officials said, raising concerns about community transmission as more virulent virus strains emerge.

“I know this is hard to take and I wish we didn’t need to do this. But we can’t take any chances with the virus,” Premier Mark McGowan told reporters.

Perth is to return to a brief lockdown - Getty/Getty
Perth is to return to a brief lockdown - Getty/Getty

12:24 PM

Cruise boss expecting 'bonanza'

The UK boss of cruise line Silversea has said he expects a booking "bonanza" over the next year as those who have been unable to travel book their next voyage.

Speaking at CLIA's Luxury and Expedition Showcase, he said that forward booking was strong and that he expects "another jump" when details about the UK's traffic light system are revealed next month.

He described bookings for 2022 as "quite spectacular".

Read more: How (and where) cruise holidays will return over the next year – an expert guide

12:15 PM

Easing of Welsh restrictions confirmed

As reported earlier, First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed that hotels and hospitality businesses are likely to reopen in Wales on May 17.

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, he added that “these are choices for the next government to make”, with Senedd elections due to take place on May 6.

From tomorrow, groups of up to six people are able to meet outdoors, including private gardens, and from Monday in beer gardens too. Also from Monday, up to 30 people will be able to attend wedding receptions, funerals and wakes in Wales, as long as they are held outside, and outdoor attractions can reopen.

12:10 PM

Stratford for a midsummer night's stay?

Today is St George's Day, which is also the birthday of William Shakespeare. Harriet O'Brien explains why it's a perfect time to book a trip to his hometown.

For a wonderfully informative overview of Stratford – Shakespeare and all – join a Stratford Town Walk (adults £10, children £5). Two-hour ambles leave from outside the RSC main theatre at 11am daily (limited to your household/bubble at the moment); among many other places, you’ll pause outside the wattle and daub house where Shakespeare was born, the church where he is buried and the house where his daughter and her frankly crackpot-sounding, physician husband lived.

Along the way you’ll be treated to terrifically diverse stories, learning that it was the actor David Garrick who kick-started tourism to Stratford by organising the first Shakespeare jubilee here in 1769, and that in the Nineties The Teletubbies (another great Stratford export) was devised from a studio on Chapel Street, now an optician’s practice.

Read more: Much ado about Stratford-upon-Avon

The Bard's birthplace, Straford upon Avon - SURA ARK
The Bard's birthplace, Straford upon Avon - SURA ARK

11:56 AM

Jump on the slow train and discover a secret Spain you never knew existed

Riding Spain’s lesser-known railways took Tom Chesshyre on a slow slide through gorges and valleys into an Art Nouveau masterpiece.

He writes:

The ticket office and main hall at Cuenca Station are closed in the morning, shutters down; I have arrived early for the 09:18 to València and the stationmaster has not turned up yet. Across the street, I now notice, is a fine work of abstract street art representing a Renfe train haunted by alien-like ghosts with purple tidal waves of paint pouring down from one side and a mysterious hand rising from out of nowhere clasping a ticket marked sin rumbo (aimlessly).

So much, so normal for Cuenca.

Reads the full article.

The beach at Valencia awaits - Shutterstock
The beach at Valencia awaits - Shutterstock

11:35 AM

Spotlight: How is Turkey coping with infection rates

Turkey may have lifted its ban on direct flights from the UK but its daily case numbers do not make for promising reading for those hoping the country will make the 'green' list.

11:17 AM

Virgin first UK airline to use Iata's vaccine passport

Virgin Atlantic has become the first UK airline to trial Iata’s Travel Pass today.

The carrier has used what is essentially a holiday vaccine passport on a service from Heathrow to Barbados.

The Travel Pass is one of the options open to the UK Government, which said this week it was working towards a vaccine passport solution for Britons travelling overseas.

Virgin said the Travel Pass offers a “one stop shop for customers to collect, store and verify documents on a secure smartphone app”

Corneel Koster, chief customer and operating office of the airline, said the UK Government needed to confirm that such apps would be valid for use at border health checks.

“When international restarts at scale; rapid, affordable testing and effective digital proof of Covid-19 credentials based on global common standards will make journeys easier and provide greater confidence to book,” he said.

“We urge the UK Government to confirm that our customers can use digital apps and that these will be accepted at the UK border. The current paper-only-based processes will not be viable as customer numbers increase.”

British Airways has trialled a similar app called veriFLY while its parent company IAG has worked with Iata on the Travel Pass.

10:56 AM

Pandemic over in Britain, research shows

Some news on the homefront, now.

Sarah Knapton reports:

Britain is no longer in a pandemic, experts have said, as new data showed the vaccination programme is reducing symptomatic Covid infections by up to 90 per cent.

In the first large real-world study of the impact of vaccination on the general population, researchers found that the rollout is having a major impact on cutting both symptomatic and asymptomatic cases.

Sarah Walker, Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology at Oxford and Chief Investigator on the Office for National Statistics Covid-19 Infection Survey, said that Britain had ‘moved from a pandemic to an endemic situation’ where the virus is circulating at a low, largely controllable level in the community.

The new research, based on throat swabs from 373,402 people between December 1 last year and April 3, found three weeks after one dose of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca jab, symptomatic infections fell by 74 per cent and infections without symptoms by 57 per cent.

Read the full article.

10:31 AM

Turkey lifts ban on UK flights

Turkey has lifted its ban on direct flights from the UK.

The country is unlikely to make the UK's 'green' list in May, as it has one of the highest case rates in Europe, but its tourist board has said Britons would not need a vaccine to visit, only a negative PCR test.

Turkey has a rolling case rate over seven days of 505 per 100,000, compared to the UK's 26, but has said it is focussing its vaccination programme on its hospitality staff to help facilitate the safe return of tourists.

The news will be encouragement to the carriers operating between the UK and holiday hotspots in Turkey, such as easyJet, British Airways and Jet2.

Turkey has more than its fair share of appealing beaches - Kbitka Fabian
Turkey has more than its fair share of appealing beaches - Kbitka Fabian

10:03 AM

How long should you wait before flying after your Covid jab?

You’ve had your vaccine and you’re raring to jump on an airplane – but with concerns over blood clots, is it safe to fly straight away?

Alice Hall has the answers:

It is well established that flying increases your chances of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) estimates the annual incidence of DVT to be about 1 in 1,000. However, the risk of developing it increases two-to threefold after long haul flights – categorised as those which last longer than four hours.If a clot breaks free, it can get stuck inside a blood vessel in your lungs and become a fatal pulmonary embolism. Pregnancy, being over the age of 50, a family history of blood clots, taking the contraceptive pill and obesity all increase someone’s chances of developing DVT.

Read the full article.

09:48 AM

Last minute holidays you can still book for the early May bank holiday

The first May bank holiday is looming, and with the possibility of international holidays still a glimmer in Grant Shapps' eye, that means those hoping for a getaway will have to look for it close to home.

For those who have booked their domestic bank holiday trips months in advance, there’s no problem (unless you count the threat of apparent holiday ‘gazumping’). But what of those who have put off making plans? Thankfully, there are still options. Previously locked down Britons are flocking to campsites and self-catered accommodation now that domestic holidays have become possible in England, but not everything is booked up just yet.

Read on for your options.

Believe it or not there is still availability in Cornwall - Getty
Believe it or not there is still availability in Cornwall - Getty

09:30 AM

Japan to use lockdown now to save Olympics later

Japan will declare "short and powerful" states of emergency for Tokyo, Osaka and two other prefectures on Friday as the country struggles to contain a resurgent pandemic just three months ahead of the Olympics.

Under a new state of emergency for April 25 to May 11, the government will require restaurants, bars, and karaoke parlours serving alcohol to close, and big sporting events to be held without spectators, Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said.

"We absolutely have to limit the movement of people, and we have to do it decisively. We need powerful, short and focused measures," he said, asking people to remember the lockdowns of last spring and stay at home.

The Olympics are set to go ahead in Japan this summer - AFP
The Olympics are set to go ahead in Japan this summer - AFP

09:19 AM

UN launches one-stop shop for overseas Covid travel rules

The UN’s tourism arm and Iata, the International Air Transport Association, have worked together to provide a one-stop shop for all the information travellers will need to enter foreign countries once international travel resumes.

The online Destination Tracker is available for governments around the world to add exactly what rules and regulations need to be followed by international tourists.

The tracker will also show local infection rates and vaccine rollout figures, test and quarantine requirements, and general health and safety rules.

Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary general of the UN World Tourism Organisation, said the Destination Tracker is necessary to provide travellers with accurate information.

“Travellers and companies will be able to check requirements in place for air travel, as well as what measures will be in place at the visited destination,” he said.

“We trust this tool is also critical for governments to track existing travel restrictions and support the safe restart of our sector.

“When governments have the confidence to re-open borders people will be eager to travel. And they will need accurate information to guide them.”

See the tracker here.

09:04 AM

Spotlight: Cases in India soar

08:50 AM

India now officially on red list

Passengers on flights into the UK from India must now enter hotel quarantine as the country is officially added to the UK's coronavirus travel red list.

As of 4am on Friday, people returning from India must quarantine in a Government-approved hotel for 10 days, while anyone who is not a UK or Irish resident or a British citizen will be banned from entering the country if they have been in India in the previous 10 days.

Four airlines asked for a total of eight extra flights to arrive at Heathrow before the 4am cut-off, however it is understood Heathrow declined the airlines' requests to ensure existing pressures at the border were not exacerbated.

The restrictions come in response to mounting concern about the number of coronavirus cases in India and the emergence there of a variant of the virus.

08:39 AM

France imposes fresh quarantine measures to stop variants

Some more from France as the country looks to ease its third lockdown.

The interior minister has said it will impose quarantine measures on arrivals from a number of countries in an effort to limit the spread of new variants.

Gerald Darmanin said a 10-day quarantine will be imposed from Saturday for travellers arriving from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, India and South Africa.

He said travellers will have to provide proof of where they will be quarantined and there will be controls.

People in quarantine will be allowed to go outside only between 10 and 12 noon and fines for breach of quarantine will be as high as 1,500 euros.

08:21 AM

What Covid vaccine passports mean for your summer holiday – and how to get one

It now looks more likely than ever that British holidaymakers will be required to carry some sort of holiday vaccine passport for international travel after May 17.

The Government this week told the travel industry it was working towards a system that would “give people the ability to prove their vaccine status” to satisfy the entry requirements of a growing list of countries including Greece, Croatia and Spain.

But after months of speculation, Britons are no clearer on how such a scheme might work. Below we run through some of the most common questions.

How do I get a holiday vaccine passport?

It presumably needs to be linked to your NHS profile and number, which knows whether you have received a coronavirus vaccination or not.

Travel medicine specialist Dr Richard Dawood said he had been assisting Iata, among others, with developing their apps. He said: “For the UK vaccination programme, there will need to be a way for travellers to download their vaccine records from the NHS securely.”

One might imagine then that those with proof of vaccine cards might be able to input a number into a vaccine passport app to confirm their status.

Read the full article here.

Iata has produced its own Travel Pass - PA
Iata has produced its own Travel Pass - PA

08:12 AM

Wales to reopen hotels on May 17

Indoor hospitality and all tourist accommodation in Wales is expected to reopen on May 17 after the First Minister added further dates to the country's coronavirus road map.

Mark Drakeford said it would be for the incoming Welsh Government to confirm the reopening, but the main opposition parties have already committed to the same date if they win the May 6 Senedd election.

Other changes expected by May 17 include reopening indoor entertainment venues and attractions, with more changes "subject to the public health situation remaining favourable".

The dates for indoor hospitality and tourism accommodation brings Wales in line with the reopening dates in England.

Wales has the lowest level of virus infections in the UK and is third in the world in terms of vaccine delivery.

On Thursday, Mr Drakeford said: "At the last three-week review, I set out a forward-look of how the restrictions could continue to be lifted in the weeks ahead, if the public health situation remains stable."

07:58 AM

Spotlight: How France is coping with a 'thiird wave'

France's prime minister says the country is past its third wave, but is this supported by the numbers?

The cases rates have fallen and vaccinated numbers are rising, but nothing by the UK's standards.

07:44 AM

Good morning

Good morning, below are some of the key stories in the world of travel likely to keep us busy today.

  • Up to 30 countries could be on 'green' list for early summer holidays

  • US added UK to ‘Do Not Travel’ list

  • EasyJet launches new route between Newquay and Gatwick

  • Spain 'desperate to welcome' UK visitors

  • Inoculated can avoid tests and quarantine, say European officials

  • Covid passports proving vaccine status will be available for summer holidays

  • Government must reveal 'green list' by May 1, say MPs