Ministers will announce next week that the ban on overseas holidays will end on 17 May as part of the government’s Covid-19 roadmap out of lockdown restrictions, it has been reported.
The Telegraph reported on Friday that the government was planning to introduce a traffic light system to allow Britons to go abroad on holiday, with a “tiny handful” of countries expected to be on the green list with the lowest level of restrictions.
All people, including those who have been vaccinated, will have to take a PCR coronavirus test when they return to the UK, according to the newspaper.
Most European countries are reportedly likely to end up on the amber list, meaning holidaymakers will be required to quarantine for 10 days when they return and take two tests on days two and eight of their isolation.
Those returning from red list countries will be forced to quarantine for 10 days in government-approved hotels at their own expense, the paper said.
The Times also reported on Friday that the government was expected to approve plans for a green list of countries where people can go on holiday next month, with destinations such as Portugal and Malta potentially set to be included.
Earlier this month, Boris Johnson said he understood that people were “impatient” to book summer holidays this year and insisted that he had not “given up” on resuming non-essential travel on 17 May.
“I do want to see international travel start up again. We have to be realistic – a lot of the destinations we want to go to at the moment are suffering a new wave of the illness, of Covid, as we know,” the prime minister said.
“We can’t do it immediately, but that doesn’t mean we’ve given up on 17 May. We’ll be saying as much as we can, as soon as we can, about international travel.
“I know how impatient people are to book their holidays if they possibly can. But we just have to be prudent at this stage.”
More than 34 million adults in the UK have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine so far and 14.5 million have received both doses, according to government figures, as of Friday.
If the lockdown easing in England does go ahead next month as planned, indoor hospitality such as pubs and restaurants will be allowed to reopen serving groups of six people or up to two households.
Cinemas, museums, galleries and theatres will also be allowed to reopen for the first time since the start of the third national lockdown in January.