Leading tour operators and airlines are backing demands for the country’s vaccine drive to play a bigger role in opening up international travel.
A UK government spokeswoman confirmed work has begun to “consider the role of vaccinations” for inbound travel with the boss of Jet2 stating the UK had missed out on the benefits of the jab rollout.
Ministers are re-assessing quarantine and coronavirus vaccine rules for travellers returning to the UK – after Ryanair headed a legal challenge to the traffic light-based travel system.
Several major UK airlines will support the action, in which Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will be named as the defendants.
There are no major viable tourist destinations on the quarantine-free green list, with the most popular countries in the amber tier.
People returning to the UK from an amber country must self-isolate at home for 10 days, take a pre-departure test and two post-arrival tests.
Steve Heapy, chief executive of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said the hint that double-jabbed passengers may be exempt from quarantine was a major step forward.
He said: “This is very welcome news and should represent a meaningful restart to international travel in the very near future.
“The vaccination programme was designed to protect people from coronavirus so that they can enjoy their freedoms once again.
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“If people have received two doses of the vaccine and are still not allowed to travel overseas to enjoy their holidays, what is the purpose of the vaccination programme?
“The rollout has been a huge success, so it is time for us all to enjoy the benefits of that.
“As well as vaccination rates, the government has said it is making decisions about international travel based on infection rates too. If this data is driving these decisions, then we believe that destinations such as Malta, the Balearic Islands and many islands in Greece should be open to holidaymakers from the UK.”
He added: “At present, the UK remains largely grounded and our customers are left to look on with envy whilst the rest of Europe opens up. We look forward to flying again soon and will continue to work with the government to achieve that.”