UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to provide a full-scale travel update on restrictions on April 5.
Speaking at the government’s latest Covid-19 briefing on Tuesday, Johnson said he “certainly would hope to be able to say more on that date.” His update is to be followed by a report, due to be made public on April 12, by the government’s Global Travel Taskforce, which has been tasked with establishing how international travel can be restarted safely and robustly despite the pandemic, with May 17 fixed as the “at the very earliest” date for any such resumption.
“We’ve heard already there are other European countries where their disease is now rising, so things certainly look difficult for the time being. But we will be able to say more, we hope, in a few days’ time. I certainly hope to be saying some more by April 5,” Johnson said.
The UK’s “stay at home” order will be lifted on Monday, March 29, in what the government has described as stage 1A of its plans to exit lockdown.
Some limited domestic leisure travel in self-contained holiday accommodation will be permitted from April 12 as part of a wider second stage of the government’s plans to lift various restrictions.
An integrated review of vaccine certification to unlock various domestic leisure pursuits, being led by the Cabinet Office, is also expected.
Despite the government’s plans to strengthen its legal provisions to keep Brits at home until the start of July if deemed necessary to guard against the import of new Covid-19 variants, May 17 — the start of the third stage of the government’s roadmap out of Covid lockdown – remains the “at the very earliest” date for a resumption of international travel.
Vaccine certification and pre-departure testing are expected to be key components of any plan to restart international travel.
Various mechanisms have been floated that could govern the resumption of international travel, including a traffic light system. The EU, meanwhile, has devised a digital green pass that will allow travellers to certify their Covid status through a digital vaccination certificate and/or evidence of a negative pre-travel test for coronavirus.