'Vaccine passports' are looking more likely
Column by Lynne Page, Grantham-based travel consultant, travel-pa.com
International travel is not due to resume until 17th May at the earliest. Therefore, booking a holiday and attempting to travel out of the country without a “valid reason” for travel and with supporting documentation, could result in a £5,000 fine.
Police will be stepping up patrols at ports and airports and will be conducting spot checks on passengers, requiring them to show their documents, proving their reason for leaving the UK. This does not apply to journeys to or from the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland as long as passengers do not travel onwards.
After 17th May, if the Global Travel Task Force confirm that overseas travel may resume, some countries have already announced that they will welcome tourists who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
At the moment there are 15 countries who have opened to vaccinated arrivals or will do so at a later date. These include Poland, Cyprus, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Seychelles and Thailand to name a few.
Some cruise lines, tour operators and travel companies have also said they will only accept bookings from passengers who have had both vaccines before they travel, bringing the need for a “Vaccine Passport” closer to becoming a reality.
The certificate, which may be digital or on paper, will enable anyone vaccinated against Covid, or who has tested negative, or recently recovered from Coronavirus to be able to travel, although this may just be to countries in the EU.
I would always recommend checking with your Travel Agent or on the Government website for Foreign Office advice before travelling. But I want to reiterate what I have said previously. It is not illegal to book a holiday for any time in the future. The Package Travel Regulations cover any bookings that are made through Travel Agents and all bookings should be ABTA and ATOL protected. So please do not let the recent news of the £5,000 fine put you off booking your long overdue holiday.