Brit holidays to Europe ‘could be delayed for months’ over EU vaccine rollout

Brits will have to wait for months to find out if they will be able to take a holiday to Europe this summer, it has been reported.

It had previously been hoped that people would be able to travel to the continent if issued with a coronavirus vaccination certificate.

Ministers have also been considering whether "vaccine passports" could be used in Britain to reopen nightclubs and other venues.

And following a virtual EU summit on Thursday, February 25, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said digital vaccination certificates enabling people to travel in Europe despite the coronavirus pandemic will probably be available before the summer.

"Everyone agreed that we need a digital vaccination certificate," Merkel told a press conference on Thursday, adding the EU Commission would need around three months to create the technical basis for such documents.

This means Brits will have to make do with holidaying on home soil for a while yet.

Mrs Merkel said "it must actually be clearly resolved that vaccinated people are no longer infectious" before vaccination certificates can be introduced.

She had earlier said: "As long as the number of those who have been vaccinated is still so much smaller than the number who are waiting for vaccination, the state should not treat the two groups differently.

"Until the so-called herd immunity is achieved in a few months through the vaccinations, it is my goal to proceed in such a way that we don't keep opening and then closing again.

"For this we need a lot of patience and strength."

Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez has previously said his country will be "better prepared" to welcome tourists back once 70% of people are jabbed.

Britain has jabbed 18.9m people, 28.3% of the population, while the EU has vaccinated 28.9m people, which is 6.5% of its population.

Hopes of any imminent trips abroad were further scuppered by President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen's warning that the British variant is still present in 26 of the EU's 27 countries, the South African variant in 14 and the Brazilian in seven.

"There is growing Covid fatigue among our citizens," she said. "But we should not let up now. Not only does the situation remain serious in many parts of Europe but we must also watch for the new variants that are spreading."

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