HOLIDAYS to Europe have been left in limbo as eager Brits are told that trips may not go ahead after all.
Experts have warned that summer holidays may be off the cards, despite hopes that overseas travel would resume from May 17.
The government's Global Travel Taskforce will announce next month when a trip abroad can resume.
But quarantine-free holidays may not be allowed to most European countries until as late as August or September – though no final decisions have yet been made.
Professor Neil Ferguson said that holidays should only go ahead when all over-50s are vaccinated, which will be late summer.
Dr Mike Tildesley said that allowing holidaymakers to flock to foreign countries could "jeopardise" the UK's vaccination campaign and let new Covid variants in.
He said: "I think that international travel this summer is, for the average holidaymaker, sadly I think, extremely unlikely."
Soaring cases abroad and slow uptakes of the vaccine has led to a third wave in a number of popular holiday hotspots.
Countries which are seeing a reduction in daily cases include Spain, Portugal, Italy and Malta.
Destinations in Europe leading in the vaccine rollout are Malta and Cyprus, although are much further behind that the UK which has given the first jab to 41 per cent of the population.
Here is how likely your trip is to go ahead to your favourite European destinations, depending on a number of factors.
- Daily new cases on March 23 – 5,516
- Percentage change in Covid cases compared to previous week – -1 per cent
- Percentage of population vaccinated – 9 per cent
Spain has been the most vocal in wanting Brits back this summer and has been pushing for vaccine passports and reduced travel restrictions to encourage this.
However, the vaccination rate remains much lower than the UK, despite wanting to have 70 per cent of the population vaccinated by June.
Daily Covid cases are much lower than the peak in January which saw highs of 34,000, so Spain is one of the most likely to open to Brits, depending on the rates.
- Daily new cases on March 23 – 14,673
- Percentage change in Covid cases compared to previous week – +31 per cent
- Percentage of population vaccinated – 9.1 per cent
Despite a drop in new cases yesterday, France has been battling a third wave with new daily cases over 30,000 for most of March.
Experts have also warned that the country's high cases means a prevalence of the South African variant, which poses a threat to the vaccine.
France is the most likely to be added to the UK's travel ban list, meaning it is unlikely a trip across the water is at risk this summer.
- Daily new cases on March 23 – 434
- Percentage change in Covid cases compared to previous week – -20 per cent
- Percentage of population vaccinated – 8.9 per cent
Portugal was the only European country to be put on the UK "red-list" but could be the next destination to open after it was removed earlier this month, and cases are falling.
The country's vaccination rate remains much lower than the UK but daily new cases also remain low.
Vaccine passports have also been backed by Portugal while Madeira has dropped all travel restrictions for Brits to enter.
- Daily new cases on March 23 – 3,517
- Percentage change in Covid cases compared to previous week – +3 per cent
- Percentage of population vaccinated – 9.6 per cent
While lower than other destinations in Europe, Greece reported their highest number of new Covid cases since the pandemic began yesterday.
The vaccine rate is one of the highest among some of the holiday hotspots in Europe, but still much further behind than the UK.
Greece has lowered some of their lockdown restrictions, but will need cases to go down again if Brits are to return this summer with vaccine passports.
- Daily new cases on March 23 – 18,765
- Percentage change in Covid cases compared to previous week – -3 per cent
- Percentage of population vaccinated – 9.1 per cent
Italy has gone back into a partial lockdown after cases have been steadily rising since February, although data shows that they are beginning to go down again with a three per cent reduction from last week.
The country was one of the few to welcome Brits restriction-free last summer with hopes that it happens again this year.
However, the vaccine rollout remains slow across the country.
- Daily new cases on March 23 – 365
- Percentage change in Covid cases compared to previous week-+4.5 per cent
- Percentage of population vaccinated – 10.7 per cent
Cyprus is leading for the vaccination compared to other Europe holiday hotspots.
They will also welcome Brits back from May 1, if they are fully vaccinated.
With daily cases remaining low, Cyprus is one of the most likely holiday destinations this summer.
- Daily new cases on March 23 – 90
- Percentage change in Covid cases compared to previous week – -27 per cent
- Percentage of population vaccinated – 23 per cent
Malta has seen the biggest drop in new daily Covid cases, reporting just 90 yesterday.
However, the island saw their highest daily cases on March 10, so will need to keep them low to see tourists return by the summer.
While still in lockdown, the island was popular last summer due to its low cases.
New travel rules will enforce a £5,000 fine for anyone trying to leave the country to go on holiday from Monday.
Brits already have to also fill out a form if they do want to leave the country, stating their permitted reason to do so, or they will face a £200 fine for not having the right paperwork.
Health Minister Lord Bethell warned the UK may slap ALL of its European neighbours on a travel ban “red list”.
However, Matt Hancock denied this was on the cards right now.
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