Travel should begin to return to normal next year, vaccine tsar Kate Bingham said today as Britain’s vaccination programme began.
“My gut feeling is that we will all be going on summer holidays,” Ms Bingham told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“It is likely that those people most at risk will be vaccinated through to April, and then the JCVI and the Department for Health will then consider how to broaden out the vaccinations to other adults”, she added. “I think by the summer we should be in a much better place to get on planes.”
Holiday bookings surged last month following the news of the first vaccine’s success rate and many tour operators and industry experts have expressed hope of the resumption of mass travel in 2021.
“Things are definitely looking up since the announcement of the vaccine and we are confident that most travel will resume within Europe from Easter,” Stephen Ellison, head of marketing at Vintage Travel, told Telegraph Travel.
Meanwhile, John Grant, senior analyst at global travel data provider OAG, took a cautious, but still positive, view. “It will take a long time for sufficient vaccine coverage around the world to be in place for us to be able to travel without rules and requirements that we previously did not have,” he said.
“However, those rules will not be particularly onerous, travellers who have been vaccinated and have a health certificate will be able to travel freely to most countries,” he added.
Last week, Cyprus became the first country to announce a plan to waive quarantine for vaccinated arrivals.
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