Travel stocks tick higher amid reports of vaccine passport plans

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Shares in multiple travel firms were higher in London on Friday morning following reports that the UK government is drawing up plans to issue ‘vaccine passports’ that may allow tourists to bypass travel quarantine rules provided they can prove they have received an inoculation against the coronavirus (COVID-19).

According to a report in The Times, the Foreign Office, the Department for Transport and the Department of Health & Social Care are working to prepare some form of certification system as well as options for travellers to countries that may demand such vaccination proof as a condition of entry.

Greece is already planning to set up such a system by allowing British tourists into the country from May if they can provide proof of inoculation against COVID-19 and produce a negative test 72 hours before arrival, seemingly hoping that the UK’s blitzkrieg vaccination effort will allow the country to save its lucrative summer tourist season.

Meanwhile, the European Union is also planning to re-open its borders to non-member states, with new guidelines stating that bans on non-essential travel to the union should be lifted when a country has had no more than 25 new cases per 100,000 people in the last 14 days.

News that the long period of border closures and travel restrictions may finally be ending provided a boost to travel stocks in late-morning trading, with shares in budget airline easyJet PLC rising 2.8% to 818.8p while peer Wizz Air Holdings PLC (LON:WIZZ) rose 1.1% to 4,814p.

Meanwhile, package holiday group TUI AG also climbed 0.6% to 339.5p while On The Beach Group PLC (LON:OTB) was up 0.6% to 357p and Jet2 PLC (LON:JET2) rose 1.2% to 1,474p.

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