A SUMMER holiday abroad WILL go ahead, according to the boss of TUI, thanks to the continued success of the vaccine rollout.

Friedrich Joussen, who runs TUI, says the firm is "optimistic about the summer" and that Brits can avoid another holiday washout.

He told the BBC: "We are still confident that we will have a decent summer."

TUI – which owns a fleet of aircraft, cruise ships and a chain of travel agencies – says bookings in March alone hit 2.8 million.

As a result, it expects to operate up to 75 per cent of its normal schedule for the summer season.

Mr Joussen cited the vaccine programme not just in the UK but in Europe and the US as providing hope that trips could go ahead this year.

The UK has given 47 per cent of adults the first jab – countries in Europe are lagging behind with Spain, Greece and Italy under 18 per cent, although many of them hope to be fully vaccinated by the summer.

The US is close behind the UK with 37 per cent given the first jab, which has led to hopes of the borders opening for the first time since March 2020.

Holidays abroad have not yet been given the official go-ahead by the UK government but it is hoped that they could resume from May 17 to certain low-risk countries.

A traffic light system will put countries on green, amber and red lists depending on their Covid situation and vaccine rollout – with "green" countries able to avoid quarantine measures when returning to the UK.

Countries which are to be on the green list are to be revealed in the next few weeks although could include EU destinations such as Malta, Gibraltar and Portugal, along with the US.

EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren predicts that all of the EU ccountries willl be on it, however, due to the testing regime.

He said earlier this week: "We would expect that, if the Government continues with the approach on the testing regime that they have said, I would expect almost all major European countries, that by the time it comes to travel reopening, that most countries in Europe should be in that category."

He added: "If the PCR test and the lateral flow test will need to be in place for 'green' countries, I couldn't see that there would be many countries in Europe that wouldn't be in the 'green' category."

Countries on the "green" list won't face quarantine but will need a negative test before returning to the UK, as well as a second one on day two.

Countries on the "amber" and "red" list will face mandatory quarantine restrictions when returning to the UK, either at home or at the quarantine hotels, costing £1,750 per person.

Greece has already said they will welcome back fully vaccinated Brits from next week, while Portugal has lifted the UK flight ban.

Malta is even offering to pay tourists to visit this summer, with £173 per person to book local hotels.

However, it is feared that expensive Covid tests could price out holidaymakers with them costing as much as £120 per person.

Here are the airlines and tour operators offering discounted PCR tests for travellers.

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