By Kate Holton, Alistair Smout and Elizabeth Piper
LONDON, Apr 5 (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that it is too early yet to say whether there may be international summer holidays this year, a comment suggesting that the planned reopening of travel abroad could be delayed beyond May 17.
The British are among Europe’s biggest spenders, so the fate of the continent’s summer season and the travel industry, hit hard by travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will depend. of when tourists can return to the beaches, cafes and bars of southern Europe.
The UK plans to use a traffic light hazard system for countries once non-essential international travel resumes, but the government said it is too early to say which countries will get the green light, which will only require coronavirus testing before and after the travel.
“Taking into account the most recent situation with (coronavirus) variants and the evidence on the efficacy of vaccines against them, we will confirm in advance whether non-essential international travel can resume on May 17, or if we will have to wait longer before to lift the restriction on travel abroad, “said an official review.
Johnson said at a press conference that he is hopeful that non-essential international travel can restart as of May 17, but does not want to underestimate the growing number of COVID-19 cases elsewhere.
“Obviously, we are hopeful that we can get going on May 17, but I don’t want us to be held hostage to fortune or to underestimate the difficulties we are seeing in some of the destination countries that people might want to go to.” , he claimed.
British media suggested that countries on the green list could include Portugal, Malta, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and the United States. The countries on the yellow list would require self-isolation and those on the red list, quarantine.
Johnson said a planned reopening of the economy could take place next week, with the opening of all shops, gyms, hairdressers and outdoor service areas in England.
(Edited in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)