Holidaymakers in the UK could be heading to European travel destinations within weeks under new plans to ease coronavirus restrictions.
The EU has announced proposals to allow fully vaccinated travellers and those from countries with low COVID-19 infection rates to visit from June.
The European Commission said it is proposing “to allow entry to the EU for non-essential reasons not only for all persons coming from countries with a good epidemiological situation, but also all people who have received the last recommended dose of an EU-authorised vaccine”.
It has not said which countries would be on its list, but one unnamed EU official told PA the UK remains a “question mark”.
Officials said EU borders would reopen by the start of June at the latest, subject to agreement from member states later this month.
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen tweeted: “Time to revive tourism industry and for cross-border friendships to rekindle – safely.
“We propose to welcome again vaccinated visitors and those from countries with a good health situation.
“But if variants emerge we have to act fast: we propose an EU emergency brake mechanism.”
In the next relaxation of England’s COVID-19 restrictions, international travel may resume from 17 May.
The UK’s “green list” of countries to which people can travel without having to isolate for 14 days on their return is expected to be released this week.
Both The Times and The Guardian said destinations likely to make it on to the list for travel include Portugal, Malta and Gibraltar, while The Telegraph said Spain, Greece and France could be added by the end of June.
While the green list is not expected to be published until later this week, government travel advice indicates the destinations which could be on it.
According to the latest updates from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), tourists visiting a number of popular summer hotspots do not face a level of risk for coronavirus that is “unacceptably high”.
The FCDO is not advising against non-essential travel to Portugal (excluding the Azores), Spain’s Canary Islands or the Greek islands of Rhodes, Kos, Zante, Corfu and Crete.
However, prime minister Boris Johnson said the approach to foreign travel this summer will be sensible and cautious to avoid “an influx of disease”.
He said there will be “some opening up” on 17 May but that things must be done in a way “to make sure that we don’t see the virus coming back in” to the UK.
But MPs have warned holidays abroad should still be discouraged even if they are legal in order to prevent coronavirus variants being brought into the UK.
On Tuesday, international trade secretary Liz Truss urged people to wait for an announcement before booking a holiday.
Read more: EU plans to welcome tourists next month
Watch: EU eyes opening up to fully vaccinated travellers