Hopes for Cyprus, Greece and Turkey summer holidays as TUI boss says even Caribbean could be on cards

BRITS will be able to fly to Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and even the Caribbean this summer – and there's hope for hols in the rest of Europe too.

The boss of travel giant TUI said sunshine breaks will be back within weeks – although some destinations are much more likely than others.

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Andrew Flintham spoke hours before Boris Johnson addresses the nation with his plan for a travel traffic-light system which could allow Brits to head abroad in just six weeks.

The managing director told BBC Breakfast there's still time before the summer season for European countries to get spiralling Covid cases back under control.

It comes as:

  • Brits will offered two free Covid tests a week as a new single-shot jab looks set to save foreign holidays
  • Boris Johnson prepares to make four big lockdown announcements today
  • Covid deaths halve in a week while cases are the lowest they've been since last August
  • British clubbers will hit the dance floor as part of a new trial next week
  • A plan for vaccine passports in pub has been ditched by the PM in a huge boost for the industry

And asked what the most likely destinations will be when foreign travel resumes, he said: "Cyprus has come out and been very positive, Greece and Turkey has come out and been very positive, and Spain again.

"So I think all these European countries."

He admitted many are "struggling with their rates at the moment", but said: "We are still a significant period away from the summer season properly opening up.

"We are probably 11 weeks away.

"The world has been changing on a weekly basis, never mind an 11-weekly basis.

"So we are still positive about those destinations.

"We are also positive that the Caribbean and some of those destinations will open up."

His predictions will come as good news to millions of Brits desperate to make it away on holiday this year.

It's understood that countries including the Maldives, Gibraltar, Malta and Israel will be on the UK's travel 'green list', which will be announced in May.

Under the plans, countries with low Covid rates and strong vaccine roll-outs will be listed as 'green'.

Bahrain, with its rapid vaccine rollout, as well as Dubai and the US could top destination wish lists.

Caribbean islands including Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda and Barbados, which already have advanced vaccination programmes, are also being tipped as among the first to reopen.

People heading away to a medium-risk 'amber' country will have to quarantine for ten days and take a series of Covid tests upon their return.

That rule could be waived if they've had both doses of the vaccine, and instead they'd simply have to take one test, according to reports.

Many of the countries currently struggling with sluggish vaccination programmes include British holiday favourites including France and Italy.

France recently went back into lockdown after doctors said they're being forced to choose between who lives and who dies as cases spiral.

Travel traffic light system

GREEN: Anyone returning from these countries must take a pre-flight lateral flow test at their own cost, then take a “sequencing test” within days of landing to check for new strains;

AMBER: Like green but those entering the UK must isolate at home for ten days after arrival. They can get out after five days with a negative test paid for privately;

RED: Arrivals must isolate on their return in an authorised hotel at their own cost — as they do currently.

Meanwhile, it was last night announced that a single-shot Covid jab could save summer breaks for youngsters, while a mass testing blitz has been unveiled.

The one-dose Janssen jab is set to be available by July for 18 to 30-year-olds — so they could be off to party islands like Ibiza within months.

And everyone in England will be offered two tests a week as the roadmap out of lockdown continues apace.

Travel chiefs are also looking at the possibility of 'Covid passports' to confirm vaccination, antibodies or a negative test in a bid to free up breaks abroad.

Mr Flintham told the BBC: "We will obviously take our lead from the Government in terms of the travel regulations or the travel certification.

"Our position is we want it to be as wide as possible, so the idea of a vaccine passport is great, but it's only one way of getting to be able to travel.

"So free – ideally free – or cheap testing that is freely available is another major way of getting people moving and also being able to certify that people have actually had the disease and have recovered, therefore they have created these antibodies."

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