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Millions of EU citizens can enjoy quarantine-free travel within Europe from today thanks to the launch of the bloc’s vaccine passport app, while immunised Britons still await exemption.
The EU Digital Covid Certificate shows immunity to Covid-19 through vaccination, previous infection or a negative test result and has officially come into force in all member states, sparing holidaymakers from self-isolation or additional tests.
All 27 EU nations, as well as Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein, are part of the scheme, although Ireland is not ready for the launch due to a major cyber attack last month.
Meanwhile, the UK Government is seeking approval from the European Commission for an upgraded NHS app to be integrated into the EU’s system.
British holidaymakers’ overseas travel plans still rely on the expansion of the green list and the implementation of a proposal to exempt fully vaccinated Britons from self-isolation on their return from amber list destinations.
This could come into effect ahead of the school summer holidays, according to a report by The Times – however, on Tuesday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told the House of Commons that it was a “complicated policy that requires time to work through”.
Scroll down for the latest travel updates.
Phuket reopens to tourists
The Thai holiday island of Phuket is welcoming back some international tourists more than a year after the country’s borders closed.
Around 400 foreign tourists were due to arrive in Phuket today as part of a scheme that officials hope will reboot the country’s tourism industry.
The programme, Phuket Sandbox, requires visitors to say on the island for 14 days if they wish to travel elsewhere in the country. Travellers have to comply with other measures on arrival.
Phuket residents were prioritised for vaccination, which at least 70 per cent of the population having received one dose.
What happened yesterday?
The main stories from Thursday:
- Malta to accept NHS app as vaccine proof
- Portugal to allow in unvaccinated children with a test
- Thailand to reopen Phuket in July as planned
- France loosens lockdown restrictions, removing capacity limits on restaurants
- EU to launch vaccine passport app tomorrow
Now onto today’s news.