Vacation set to start this summer as Boris Johnson reflects on free Covid test kits to help families escape

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Boris Johnson is 'confident' overseas travel will be allowed from May 17 but will make the last call next month


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SUNSHINE breaks could be back this summer – bolstered by measures to lower the cost of testing to help families get away from it all.
Boris Johnson is “confident” that overseas travel will be allowed from May 17, although he will make the last call next month.

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The holidays could be back this summer, bolstered by measures to lower the cost of testing to help families escapeCredit: Alamy
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Boris Johnson is “confident” that overseas travel will be allowed from May 17 but will make the last call next monthCredit: AFP

But Downing Street is considering free Covid testing with Britons allowed to take NHS side flow kits abroad to use before returning home.

The plans to be released today will also see officials slash the price of testing in safe countries by two-thirds.

This means that newcomers will have to take a single standard PCR test two days after returning home.

But travelers still have to wait until early May to find out which countries have been placed in the traffic light system.

Countries will be labeled green for safe, orange for certain concerns, and red for unsafe.

Only one PCR test will always be required from Green Nations to detect any potential variant of vaccine control.

Ministers also want to cut spending on private testing, which can amount to £ 150, to keep holidays affordable.

But The Sun understands that only a handful of destinations will be considered safe.

And a new watchlist will flag countries that were considered safe to visit but where Covid rates are on the rise, so families can plan better.

Ministers want to avoid a repeat of last summer when Spain was dropped from a list of travel lanes with just 24 hours’ notice.

But the travel industry has blasted the need for a PCR test upon returning from green countries.

Paul Charles, travel consultants The PC Agency, said: “It is vital that the tests required from a green country are side-streams, otherwise families could face additional costs of almost £ 500.”

Only one PCR test will always be needed from Green Nations to detect any potential vaccine-fighting variant.3
Only one PCR test will always be needed from Green Nations to detect any potential vaccine-fighting variant.Credit: Medinow

Tim Alderslade, managing director of Airlines UK, said: “This does not represent a reopening of travel as promised by ministers, and the insistence on costly and unnecessary PCR testing rather than rapid testing – even for countries with low risk – will pose an unsustainable load problem for passengers, making travel unsustainable and unaffordable for many people.

“It is also a further setback for an industry on its knees and the UK’s broader economic recovery, with many companies and exporters reliant on our national and international connectivity and a thriving aviation sector. “

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Boris Johnson says he hasn’t given up on overseas vacations from May 17, but adds ‘we just have to be careful’

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