BRIT holiday makers’ dreams of relaxing in the sun have suffered a blow after the World Health Organisation warned travellers should NOT use vaccination passports.
The health body has argued there are still “critical unknowns” surrounding how effective vaccines are against stopping transmission of the virus.
? Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates…
The World Health Organisation’s position is a blow to Brits who are desperate to find out whether they’ll be able to go on holiday to Europe this summerCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Covid-19 vaccination passports are likely to be introduced by summer in a huge boost for Brits dreaming of a beach holiday abroad this year.
The EU Commission has said it would need around three months to create the technical basis for such documents.
This means the scheme may be available by May 17 — the earliest date the British government aims to allow travel for non-essential purposes again.
It comes as…
- Over 40s WILL get Covid vaccines next as teachers miss priority jabs
- Vaccination passports ‘will be here by summer’ in holiday boost
- Brits will be recruited to attend packed weddings to test safe opening
- California’s super-Covid variant is up to 11 TIMES more deadly
But the WHO has advised against them, writing in a report that at the present time governments “should not introduce requirements of proof of Covid-19 vaccination for international travel as a condition for departure or entry, given that there are still critical unknowns regarding the efficacy of vaccination in reducing transmission.”
The report adds: “Considering that there is limited availability of vaccines, preferential vaccination of travellers could result in inadequate supplies of vaccines for priority populations considered at high risk of severe Covid-19 disease.
“WHO also recommends that people who are vaccinated should not be exempt from complying with other travel risk reduction measures.”
There are still critical unknowns regarding the efficacy of vaccination in reducing transmission
World Health Organisation
Plans for vaccine certificates to reopen tourism are moving slowly because of bitter infighting among European countries over their use.
Some eurocrats have hinted restrictions on non-essential travel that affect Brits won’t be dropped until 70 per cent of European adults are jabbed.
However, according to the latest figures, just 6.5 per cent of the adults living in the EU had been vaccinated — compared to more than 27 per cent in the UK.
Asked if we’ll be able to holiday on the continent this summer, one said: “I have no crystal ball. It’s too soon to say.
“There is a will to make sure by summer that we have 70 per cent of people vaccinated.”
Britain’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said the Government was looking at the issue of vaccine passports.
But he added that he thought there were “plausible arguments for and plausible arguments against”.
Europe’s slow vaccine rollout could affect Brits’ holidays abroadCredit: MTVA
Vaccine passports and slow rollout of the jab in the EU may delay Brit holidays in the EUCredit: PA:Press Association
MP Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, is leading a review into issues relating to vaccine passports.
This will report before June 21, when the UK is provisionally set to completely reopen.
The Government is understood to want Britons to have the option of displaying either their vaccination status or test results — ensuring those who cannot be vaccinated for health reasons are not penalised.
The NHS app is being considered as an easy way to show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test result.
It is also hoped that the vaccination passports could motivate younger people to get their jabs when they become available to them in the coming months.
It comes as Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron are facing mutinies in their own countries over lockdown measures.
Leaders of Paris have threatened a three-week lockdown while the German chancellor is facing criticism about her caution over lifting restrictions.
Rebellious German states are pressing ahead with reopenings, despite Merkel saying there can only be further easing if the number of Covid cases per 100,000 people is below 35.
But according to the Robert Koch Institute, the country’s public health authority, there are currently around 61.7 cases per 100,000 people.
Both France and Germany’s vaccination programmes have been thrown into chaos as thousands refuse to have the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab — after EU leaders repeatedly made baseless allegations about its efficacy.
A German virologist yesterday revealed his country was sitting on a whopping 1.2 million Oxford jabs.
That came amid warnings of a “third wave” of infections that could sweep Germany as it struggles with its sluggish jab rollout — just as the UK counts down the days to freedom thanks to its vaccination success.
German newspaper Bild praised the UK’s impending end to lockdownCredit: Bild
Boris Johnson laid out his lockdown exit roadmap this weekCredit: AFP