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19 February 2021, 07:45
There's hope for holidays this summer as Greece has hinted trips abroad could go ahead if you have a vaccine.
Greece’s tourism minister has suggested UK holidaymakers may be able to travel to the country if they have been vaccinated.
Haris Theoharis said he’s hopeful for a ‘semi-normal’ summer and hinted Greece could welcome back both vaccinated people and those with a negative Covid test without the need to quarantine.
Speaking in a recent interview, he said the Government was in the very early discussions of how this could work.
“Technical discussions are underway to see if that’s going to be feasible,” he said, continuing: “I am very hopeful we can reach some kind of solution.
“We don’t want to limit travel to those who have been vaccinated of course, but since we are mandating that before travelling someone has to have a negative test result, this is a waste of resources if people are vaccinated, to be tested every time they travel, the need for this testing could be limited by the vaccination certificate.”
This comes after Boris Johnson said over the weekend he is ‘hopeful’ summer holidays will be allowed in some form.
The Prime Minister told reporters: “I’m optimistic, I won’t hide it from you. I’m optimistic, but we have to be cautious.”
Mr Johnson later said he felt it may become ‘inevitable’ for vaccine passport schemes to enable foreign travel to open up, but added he had no plans to introduce them for activities such as going to the pub.
He reiterated that the government’s main priority is getting children back to school, before gradually reopening the retail and hospitality sectors.
“Our children’s education is our number one priority,” he said, continuing: “But then working forward, getting non-essential retail open as well and then, in due course as and when we can prudently, cautiously, of course we want to be opening hospitality as well.
“I will be trying to set out as much as I possibly can in as much detail as I can, always understanding that we have to be wary of the pattern of disease. We don’t want to be forced into any kind of retreat or reverse ferret.”
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Matt Hancock recently said the government is ‘doing everything they can’ to make sure holidays can go ahead.
Talking to Sky News, he said: "It is difficult at this point, and people will have to be patient as the Prime Minister said.
"But we are doing everything we can to make sure people can have that holiday. And even before then to see their loved ones."
But Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, has warned the public should hold off on booking trips as it is ‘just too early’.
He explained at a Downing Street press conference: "The more elaborate your plans are for summer holidays, in terms of crossing borders, in terms of household mixing, given where we are now, I think we just have to say the more you are stepping into making guesses about the unknown at this point."