Spain holidays: How holidaymakers may need a green pass ‘to move safely in EU’

European Union facing internal 'battle' over vaccines says MEP

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Spain is already set to be a popular destination for British tourists, with easyJet and Skyscanner both reporting an increase in bookings to the hotspot since the Prime Minister’s “roadmap” out of lockdown was announced. However, plans for a new “EU green pass” could soon add a requirement for UK travellers looking to visit the bloc.

The EU Commission is set to put forward a proposal for a “digital green pass” proving travellers have received their coronavirus vaccination.

President of the Commission Ursula von der Leyen confirmed plans stating: “As for the question of what the digital green passport could look like: we will submit a legislative proposal in March.”

Ms von der Leyen said the digital green pass “should facilitate Europeans’ lives”.

She said: “The aim is to gradually enable them to move safely in the European Union or abroad – for work or tourism.”

Mr Hancock told a Downing Street press conference the UK was “working with international partners” on the issue.

“The EU is part of those discussions, as are several other countries around the world, and it’s obviously important work,” he said.

“What I’d also say is that in a sense this already exists because you need to have a test before you can travel to the UK and, as far as I understand it from the details set out today, the EU proposal is that certification includes both whether you’ve had the vaccine and also whether you’ve recently had a test for those who can’t get vaccinated yet, which is obviously particularly important.

“Therefore it’s something that we’re working with them and others on and it matters that we get the details of this right for international travel.”

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Prof Van-Tam struck a cautious tone about foreign travel, saying: “We are still in a zone of great uncertainty about what the virus will do next.

“On top of that, many of the vaccination programmes in Europe – which is a place where we frequently go on holiday abroad – are running behind ours.

“Clearly, whether we can go on holiday abroad to places such as Europe depends on what other countries will say and do in terms of foreign tourism.

“There has to be great uncertainty at the moment.”

Downing Street said Department for Transport officials will speak to the EU about the approach it is planning for the 27-member bloc.

The full details of plans are not fully known yet, or how much they are likely to impact British tourists heading to the likes of France, Spain and Italy.

The UK Government has suggested one more is understood about the impact of vaccines, it may introduce a system which allows those who have been inoculated to travel more freely.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We have said that we are looking at the issue of vaccine passports.

“As you can expect, DfT (the Department for Transport) will work (with) and do speak to countries across the world in terms of how they may look to introduce passports.”

However, one travel expert has predicted the new “green pass” may not impact Britons’ ability to travel.

“I believe that a vaccine passport will not be necessary in order to travel to the EU, but will probably be used to either eliminate or reduce any quarantine time at arrival at your destination and on return home to the UK,” Neil Wright, founder and managing director of CoverForYou told

Mr Wright continued: “It would make sense for the UK to follow suit as this is clearly a way in which travel, which supports so many jobs in the UK, can be safely opened up.

“A standard Covid vaccine passport will allow for normal holiday travel to be a real possibility this summer and should be welcomed.”

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