Holidays boost as whole EU to allow Brits in test-free with 'vaccine passport' – but ministers tell us to stay at home

BRITS are set welcomed into Europe using "vaccine passports" as confusion over holidays continues after ministers urged people to book staycations despite the travel ban ending.

EU ambassadors are expected to rubber stamp plans this week to let fully-vaccinated British holidaymakers fly to anywhere in Europe without the need for quarantine or a Covid test.

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It comes as hundreds are expected to head to popular European destinations as the blanket bar on holidays was lifted for the first time this year.

Right now, all European countries except Portugal and Gibraltar are on the government's amber travel list – meaning anyone jetting off for a break must quarantine and take two tests on their return.

The EU, however, has formulated a plan which would see member states give those who have had both jabs from low-risk countries such as the UK unrestricted entry to popular places including Spain and Italy, reports the Telegraph.

Countries in the EU will be encouraged to set up digital portals to enable Brits to use the NHS app as a vaccine passport.

Those who have not received both jab doses will have to provide a negative Covid test.

The bloc's green list is currently limited to just seven countries deemed to be safe, including Australia and New Zealand – but the UK is expected to be added from Wednesday as infection rates tumble.

Portugal and Greece have already given the thumbs up to Brits flying in for breaks, but the whole continent could soon be open to holidaymakers from the UK.

It comes as BA and Heathrow chiefs pleaded with the government to issue an advance list countries expected to make it to green status by summer so people can plan holidays.

Brits are now allowed to travel abroad for breaks – but just twelve countries made it onto the “green list”, which does not require quarantine on return. 

Of the handful of destinations on the list, just four are open to the UK

Some 43 Covid-ravaged nations are on the red list where arrivals must undergo quarantine in hotels for 10 days.

Everywhere else is on the amber list, where people have to self-isolate on their return but can be released with a negative test.

But holiday plans have been thrown into chaos as Brits have been urged to stay away from “amber list” countries.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that people should not travel to amber countries except for essential reasons and “certainly not” to countries such as Italy, France, Greece and Spain.

Cautious experts have also lined up to tell Brits not to book foreign breaks full stop.

Another cabinet minister doubled down on Mr Hancock's advice, casting confusion for those who have already booked trips.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told Sky News: "People are allowed to do things, but it doesn’t mean everybody should be going away at the same time."

He added: "The Health Secretary said he wouldn't be recommending people travelling to amber list countries.

"He is someone who is very on top of the risks and I think his advice is probably the one I would suggest people follow."

Sun-starved Brits flocked to airports first thing on Monday to head to Portugal as travel restrictions lifted. 

Long queues formed at Heathrow and Gatwick Airport from 6am as airports prepared for their busiest day of the year so far.

Meanwhile, travellers facing two-hour queues on arrival in the UK have blasted airports as a "petri dish for Covid".

It's claimed some people landing at Heathrow on Monday morning had to mingle with arrivals from Covid red-list countries

It comes after an airport chief warned Border Force problems meant passengers face "chaos" and "unacceptable" queues when returning to the UK.

Lockdown-weary travel bosses are urging the government to expand the green list to most of Europe.

But Boris Johnson has said it is unlikely that anymore countries will be added in the near future.

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