Britons will find out which countries they will be able to enjoy quarantine-free travel to this summer “in the next couple of weeks” – as the transport secretary confirmed an NHS app will be used as a COVID passport for travel abroad.
Ministers have set out plans for a “traffic light” system to be used this summer to categorise different destinations.
On Wednesday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps revealed “in the next couple of weeks” he will be able to give details on which countries have made it on to the “green list”.
These will be destinations where Britons will be able to travel without having to quarantine on their return, although they will still need to undergo a COVID test before their departure, as well as on their return to the UK.
Mr Shapps also confirmed an NHS app will be used to allow Britons to demonstrate whether they have had a COVID jab, or tested negative for the virus, before travelling abroad.
It will be the NHS app that is used for people when they book appointments with the NHS and so on, to be able to show you’ve had a vaccine or that you’ve had testing,” he added.
“I’m working internationally with partners across the world to make sure that system can be internationally recognised.”
Government sources clarified the app would not be the NHS COVID app – currently used to “check-in” to venues such as pubs and restaurants for contact-tracing purposes – but would instead be the NHS app used to book general appointments.
Mr Shapps said he was awaiting data from the government’s Joint Biosecurity Centre before being able to state which countries would be deemed “green”, “amber” or “red” under the traffic light system.