A SINGLE-SHOT Covid jab that could save foreign holidays for youngsters was last night hailed as “a game changer” by travel bosses.
Boris Johnson also raised hopes by unveiling a mass testing blitz in which two a week will be offered to everyone in England.
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Visitors flocked to Durdle Door in Dorset for Easter Sunday[/caption]
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.
People will be able to collect or order batches of their free Covid tests whether they have symptoms or not.
As part of the PM’s plan to get the nation back to normal, he will rapidly expand testing — with results in minutes — to everyone in the country.
Meanwhile, Covid vaccine passports could be used soon for holidays abroad. So far the rapid kits have been mainly aimed at office staff and those who have to leave their homes to work, alongside the NHS and schools.
The public will be able to order kits at home, get them through their workplaces, at schools, or via the network of testing centres which has been set up across the country.
Vaccine passports could be used soon for holidays abroad[/caption]
A pharmacy collect service will also be launched. The kits will be available from Friday onwards with a fresh marketing campaign urging people to take part.
Mr Johnson will vow at tonight’s press conference that the plan will help the country unlock and give people the confidence to get out and about again.
He promised the kits would “stop outbreaks in their tracks, so we can get back to seeing the people we love and doing the things we enjoy”.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said last night: “The British public have shown over the last year that they quickly adapt and always do what is right in the interest of public health.
“And I know they will do their bit by getting tested regularly in the months ahead.”
Extra test and trace rules will also be rolled out next week to crack down on potential outbreaks as the nation unlocks further.
Boris is set to tell sunseekers not to book just yet[/caption]
Crowds gathered on Primrose Hill in London to make the most of the Easter Sunday sunshine[/caption]
The NHS Covid-19 app will be updated with everyone in a group required to check into venues or provide their details.
People who test positive will be able to share the cafes and pubs they have been to so they can alert them of a possible outbreak.
Customers will also be alerted, and advised to book tests, if they have been at a venue on the same day as others who get the virus.
It emerged Brits could be using Covid vaccine passports to jet abroad as soon as July. But Boris is set to tell sunseekers not to book just yet.
He will leave the door open to restarting international travel, possibly even as early as next month, by putting several countries on a “green list” — scrapping ten days of quarantine.
There would be a traffic light red, yellow and green system of varying restrictions for countries.
Government sources raised the possibility that foreign travel may resume on May 17 but indicated it was still too early to put a firm date on it.
However, former Brexit Secretary David Davis believes the Government is “overcompensating” for errors earlier in the pandemic by moving towards Covid certificates.
He also told Times Radio the NHS was too “incompetent” at IT to handle Covid vaccine passport data.
Only ten Covid deaths were recorded yesterday. And as Brits flocked to parks to make the most of more sunny weather, the PM said that this year “the arrival of Easter brings with it new hope” and “the promise of brighter days ahead for all of us”.
Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said of the tests news: “We’ve long called for mass testing for those with and without symptoms as a key element in tackling the spread of the virus.
“But to break transmission chains and suppress infections, testing must go hand-in-hand with community public health-led contact tracing to find cases and must be backed up by decent financial support so sick people can isolate.”
News will give hope
By Lisa Minot, Travel Editor
GET set for a summer of sun, sea and swabs as the rollout of vaccines and a testing blitz finally put a summer holiday back on the table.
After months of warning Brits not to plan trips abroad, the news will offer hope to millions desperate to get away.
It may involve multiple tests and some form of digital green passport but for those with the will there is finally a way to plan for a break abroad.
This is just what millions of us and a desperate travel industry have been waiting for.
Most read in Health News
Meanwhile, the PM is set to confirm that pubs, restaurants, gyms and shops can open as planned next week.
Ahead of step two of the plans to lift lockdown next Monday, he was taking a final look at the data today.
He will then be able to confirm whether thanks to vaccine data and cases being slashed, England will start to get back to normal as promised.