More countries could be included on the quarantine-free green list after prime minister Boris Johnson delivered an “upbeat” assessment to Tory MPs.
Elsewhere, the EU is preparing to take a major step forward in its efforts to open up travel this summer across the continent with agreement over the use of certificates for travellers to prove their Covid status.
Meanwhile, a ceasefire has been agreed between the Israeli government and Hamas to end the 11-day conflict in the country.
‘Quite a few’ destinations in green list reckoning
Boris Johnson has told a private meeting of Conservative backbench MPs that several more destinations could be included on the updated green list at the beginning of June. A group of countries, which were “near misses” from the original list of 12 destinations, could be included next time – including Malta, Finland and several Caribbean states. (The Telegraph)
EU reaches deal on Covid certificates
EU member states have reached a deal to use Covid certificates to open up travel across the EU this summer. The certificate will be created through a QR code on a smartphone or paper giving details of a visitor’s Covid status using records from their home country, including vaccination details, test results or immunity after recovering from the virus. (Sky News)
Heathrow to open ‘red list’ investigation
The government has ordered the UK’s hub airport to take measures to separate travellers from red list countries inside its terminals, after reports of them having to queue alongside passengers from other destinations in recent days. The i also looks at how some airlines are promoting flights to red list destinations. (The i )
Surge testing results ease fears over Indian variant
Covid infection rates do not appear to be “clearly rising” in most hot spots affected by the new Indian variant of the virus, suggesting this strain is not as transmissible as first feared. These surge testing results have led to renewed hope that the government’s final stage of unlocking can go ahead as planned in June. (The Times)
Israel approves ceasefire to end bombing campaign
The Israeli government has approved a ceasefire to end an 11-day conflict with Gaza-based Palestinian group Hamas. The ceasefire came into force at midnight on Friday (21 May) when bombing raids were due to stop. Israel is one of only 12 countries on the UK government’s green list for quarantine-free travel. (The Guardian)
UK consumer confidence returns to pre-Covid levels
The easing of Covid restrictions in the UK is boosting consumer confidence which has “bounced back” more than expected during May fuelling hopes for a “feel good” boost to the economy in the coming weeks. (Financial Times)