Ministers have mooted plans to allow quarantine-free travel to amber-list countries for people in England who have been fully vaccinated.
The health secretary, Matt Hancock, confirmed earlier that ministers were considering how to scrap the requirement for people to isolate for ten-days on return from a country on the list.
He explained he was “in favour of moving forward in this area”.
Asked if these plans could be in place as soon as August, Hancock said: “We’ll get there when it’s safe to do so.”
He added: “This hasn’t been clinically advised yet – we’re working on it,” explaining that the government wanted to allow “the vaccine to bring back some of the freedoms that have had to be restricted to keep people safe”.
Hancock also said the government was “on track” for the easing of restrictions next month but acknowledged that opening up travel abroad was “more difficult”.
“Thankfully, because of the vaccination programme, we have been able to free up a huge number of the restrictions here at home,” he said.
”We are on track to deliver the step four, the further openings, on July 19th, which is good.”
Rory Boland, Which? Travel editor, welcomed the news.
He said: “Steps to make international travel easier when the public health situation allows will be welcomed by travellers, but it’s vital that if daily testing is to be introduced as an alternative to isolating, that the current serious problems with the government’s testing for travel system are addressed before further requirements are introduced.
“The government must urgently take steps to ensure its testing system is robust, accurate, and that all results are delivered on time, every time – not only to ensure travellers aren’t left out of pocket by a flawed testing system, but to protect the health of the country.”
The news comes as the travel sector stages a day of action to demand a wider reopening.