Boris Johnson speaking on Monday. | POOL

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Boris Johnson said on Monday that he was "hopeful" that people will be able to travel abroad from May 17. But he didn't wish to give any "hostages to fortune" by making promises, the government's latest document advising people not to book summer holidays abroad "until the picture is clearer".

The prime minister was very cautious in dealing with questions regarding foreign travel. In essence, no decision has yet been taken, although as and when travel is permitted, there will be a system of traffic lights to classify destinations and therefore what requirements may be necessary on return.

Covid-status certificates are under consideration for foreign travel and these could include proof of vaccination, a recent negative test result or immunity.

The precise wording of the government's review document is that "we are not yet in a position to confirm that non-essential international travel can resume from that point (May 17)." The Global Travel Taskforce will be convening next week, and there may be greater clarity then. For now however, in Boris Johnson's words, "we are not there yet".