Travel news latest: Italy to welcome tourists from mid-May

An extra bank holiday should be added at the end of September to make up for the poor weather of the May day weekend, tourism bosses have said. 

“Hospitality and tourism has missed out on almost all bank holidays last year and the start of this,” wrote Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality on Twitter. “An extra bank holiday would be a boost to business, the economy, jobs and investment.”

Ms Nicholls was responding to calls from the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (Alva), which tweeted: “Due to largely terrible, unseasonably wet & cold weather #UKtourism really isn’t benefitting from this Bank Holiday, only the 2nd most tourism businesses have been open [for] 14 months (indoor attractions still aren’t open). We need an extra Bank Holiday at the end of September.”

Bernard Donoghue, director of Alva, told The Independent: “It was only the second bank holiday most tourism businesses have been open for in the last 14 months – and indoor attractions still aren’t open, except in Scotland.”

The loss of domestic tourism and foreign visitors has cost the British economy £80 billion over the last 12 months, according to Visit Britain. May 17 is the date at which indoor attractions can reopen in England.

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No test required for holiday to Gibraltar

Britons planning a holiday in Gibraltar will not need to take a Covid test on or before arrival, its chief minister Fabian Picardo told Sky News.

He said that no test is required for people travelling from Spain to Gibraltar by land, so it would not make sense to test people from the UK, given that Britain has a lower rate of infections. 

British holidaymakers will be subject to rules for return though, including a requirement to take a test before arriving back in the UK.

gibraltar

Trips to Gibraltar could be on from May 17

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Holidaymakers could need paper Covid vaccine certificates

Holidaymakers may have to use paper Covid certificates to prove they have been vaccinated when the foreign travel ban is lifted from May 17, it emerged on Tuesday.

Downing Street admitted that the NHS app may not be ready for use as a vaccine passport in time and the Government is preparing for “another approach” for holidaymakers travelling abroad in the interim.

At least 20 countries have already indicated that they will accept vaccination certificates as an alternative to PCR tests for holidaymakers to prove their Covid status. Only Greece, however, has so far explicitly said that it will take paper certificates, despite concerns that they are more easily forged.

Rita Marques, Portugal’s tourism minister, has said her country would accept only a digital pass because of the risk of fakes. Spain, due to trial its app at more than 40 airports, has said it is in talks with the UK Government over the need for a “mutually recognisable” app.

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What happened yesterday?

The main headlines from Tuesday: 

  • Spain’s Balearic isles ‘very optimistic’ for summer restart
  • Airlines praise EU for ‘game-changing’ approach to travel bans
  • Portugal: ‘We’re pushing for Brits to holiday here this summer’
  • Only 13% of Britons prepared to go abroad this year 
  • NHS app may not be ready for use in international travel
  • Austria to offer free coronavirus tests to tourists 

Now onto today’s news.