Coronavirus live news: Hong Kong to vaccinate over-12s; Bulgaria to share doses with Balkan neighbours | World news

One of things we are expecting today is for the UK government to announce if they are making any changes to the green, amber and red list...


One of things we are expecting today is for the UK government to announce if they are making any changes to the green, amber and red lists for international travel. A lot of people with hopes of a holiday or visiting loved ones abroad will have their eye closely on the situation – we might get that news around 11am this morning.

Getting there may prove more of a headache than usual, as AFP report. A year after the coronavirus pandemic emptied airports, air travel associations fear chaos during Europe’s summer holiday season as travellers could wait hours before boarding planes due to health checks.

Strict controls are still in place at most European airports even though vaccination campaigns are making progress and infection rates are falling.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported last week that on average, people travelling at peak times now stay twice as long at airports – three hours – compared with 2019.

That time is generally spent checking in, passing security and immigration controls, picking up checked bags and making it through customs. And there’s the new reality: Airlines having to check passengers’ Covid tests, temperature and other health documents.

The wait time has increased even though the volume of traffic is “only about 30 percent of pre-Covid-19 levels”, an IATA statement said.

The sector lobby group warned that time spent in airports could swell to five hours and 30 minutes if traffic rebounds to 75 percent of its pre-pandemic level, and even longer “without process improvements”.

The EU Digital Covid Certificate – showing whether a traveller was vaccinated, has immunity from a previous infection or passed a coronavirus test – will be rolled out on 1 July in an effort to make travel smoother within the 27-nation bloc.

“The level of both uncertainty and complexity in planning for the restart is just mind blowing for now,” said the director general of the European branch of Airports Control International, Olivier Jankovec. His association represents 500 airports on the continent.

“With each passing day, the prospect of travellers enduring widespread chaos at airports this summer is becoming more real.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Coronavirus live news: Hong Kong to vaccinate over-12s; Bulgaria to share doses with Balkan neighbours | World news
Coronavirus live news: Hong Kong to vaccinate over-12s; Bulgaria to share doses with Balkan neighbours | World news
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