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Foreign holidays for millions of families 'unlikely' to return to normal this year

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But UK tourism chiefs said it will give many the chance to “rediscover the crown jewels” of Britain. A third wave of Covid-19 cases sweeping through Europe and the Continent’s sluggish vaccination rates are expected to dramatically hit the overseas tourism sector this summer. A Government source said: “Holidays won’t be as we know them for the foreseeable future.”

On Monday, the Prime Minister is expected to unveil a three-level “traffic light” system drawn up by the Government’s Global Travel Taskforce.

Travel to and from “red list’ countries will be banned.

A new “amber list” is expected to allow limited travel but with testing and quarantine for up to 10 days on return, while “green list” countries will be quarantine-free.

The UK’s borders are not expected to open until June at the earliest – several weeks after the date announced by Boris Johnson when international travel could resume.

Sources said a country’s vaccination rate would “play a big part” in its status, as well as its level of “variants of concern”. The US, Maldives and Israel are tipped for an early return.

Nearly 40 countries are on the red list and more could be added with just a few hours’ notice. Most of Europe is poised for amber status.

Ministers expect passenger numbers for the rest of the year to remain a fraction of 2019 levels.

Yesterday, Kenya, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines were added to the no-travel list.

But Paul Charles, CEO of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: “We stand by our forecast that several countries will be open from May 17, with much of Europe able to open from July onwards.”

VisitBritain director Patricia Yates yesterday urged people desperate for a getaway to consider “an extra holiday at home this year”.

She said: “With international tourists slower to return, this really is the year to rediscover the crown jewels of British tourism in our vibrant city centres.

“Tourism is going to need all of us to make sure it can bounce back to once again be one of the most successful sectors of the UK economy.”



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