Britons who are planning on travelling in 2021 can start preparing for their trip after the European Union leaders agreed to work on initiating vaccine passports by the summer.
However, the procedure for implementing vaccine passports for the UK could take at least three months for the technical work to be completed. So, the system might not be available by the time the UK government expects non-essential travel abroad to recommence on May 17.
The UK is evaluating the use of vaccine passports to help reopen the economy. After finding out more about vaccines’ efficacy against variants, it will consider a travel certificate, though ministers have recognised the ethical concerns.
Westminster is working with the WHO and other countries on a global travel framework.
Greece and Spain have been calling for vaccine passports to allow travellers to return and promote their tourism-dependent economies. However, other countries, such as France and Belgium, are concerned the vaccine passport certificates would disfavour those who have not been immunised.
The EU-wide certificate would also be supported by Austria and Bulgaria. Meanwhile, at Vienna, the immunisation certificate would be introduced if the EU cannot agree on anything by spring and include people who have resistance through having COVID-19 and those who have tested negative.
Emmanuel Macron, the French President, said that there should be a proper balance. There will still be ethical questions to be resolved, adding that the immunisation certificates would be unfair for younger people at the back of the vaccine queue.