Speaking on BBC Breakfast on Monday (22 March), Hays Travel chair Irene Hays said vaccination levels in popular destinations would be a clincher for the UK government.
"I think to travel abroad, yes, definitely – the government will be looking at the infection rates and the progress of vaccines in other countries," said Hays.
"My opinion is it will be nuanced; that some places will open and they will have requirements for some sort of certification or perhaps some lateral flow test on entry, but at the minute, as usual, it’s not a clear picture."
She said it was also unclear whether the UK would be part of the EU’s digital green certificate. "That position’s not clear in the UK yet, but that would be a very good thing to demonstrate that you do have vaccinations."
Hays was speaking amid a chorus of "don’t book" messages. The latest came on Monday morning from health minister Helen Whately, who told the programme: "My advice would be to hold off on booking international travel… it feels premature to be booking international holidays at the moment."
Whately was asked if 17 May was now unlikely to be the date when Britons could start travelling, it being the current "at the very earliest" date set by prime minister Boris Johnson last month.
She declined to speculate, but said: "As anyone can see, there are rising rates of infection in Europe. With that there is increasing risk of variants. So I would say to people, just hold off."