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The European Union last night announced plans to bring in a 'vaccine passport' scheme that would allow travel to resume around the continent this summer, and Britain and other non-EU countries could be included in that scheme.
Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission (EC) president, said that the 'Digital Green Pass' would aim to get the travel and tourism industry restarted around the EU this summer.
She explained: "The Digital Green Pass should facilitate Europeans' lives.
"The aim is to gradually enable them to move safely in the EU or abroad for work or tourism."
A chief spokesperson for the EC boss later added: "We're of the view that in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, there should be a way to scale this up globally."
That means tourists from countries outside the European Union - including the United Kingdom - could be included in the scheme.
This new scheme could be in place as early as June and would allow the tourism industry to hopefully bounce back from a troublesome and difficult year as the world attempts to emerge from the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic.
It is thought the plans will not necessitate proof of a vaccine, but will allow non-vaccinated tourists to travel provided they can evidence that they have provided a negative test.
Matt Hancock said last night (1 March) that the UK is 'working with international partners' to allow British citizens to travel abroad as soon as feasibly possible.
Speaking at a Downing Street press conference, he said: "The EU is part of those discussions, as are several other countries around the world, and it's obviously important work.
"In a sense, this already exists because you need to have a test before you can travel to the UK and, as far as I understand it from the details set out today, the EU proposal is that certification includes both whether you've had the vaccine and also whether you've recently had a test for those who can't get vaccinated yet.
"Therefore it's something that we're working with them and others on and it matters that we get the details of this right for international travel."
Several EU countries have lobbied for travel restrictions to be eased so that tourism can rebound, but the Metro reports it is likely cases must continue to fall in the UK before acceptance to the scheme.
It could be as long as three months before the technology is in place to bring the scheme to fruition.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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