IMMUNITY passports could play an “important role” in the country’s reopening from the pandemic and unlocking international travel, a UK Government paper has confirmed.

The Government’s task force review published tonight did not give further details on when international travel could resume, however confirmed that a ‘traffic-light’ system would be needed when it does.

This will see countries being designated green, amber or red, with travellers to amber or red countries having to isolate on return to the UK, while green-list countries will require no isolation.

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Despite initially setting a date of May 17 for travel abroad to resume, the Prime Minister said it is still too early to say if this will be possible and the public has been advised not to book summer holidays at this stage.

The review, led by Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove, explained: “When non-essential international travel does return it will do so with a risk-based “traffic light” system.

“This will add to our current system a new green category with no isolation requirement on return to the UK - although pre-departure and post-arrival tests would still be needed.

“This new category will accommodate countries where we judge the risk to be lower, based for instance on vaccinations, infection rates, the prevalence of variants of concern, and their genomic sequencing capacity (or access to genomic sequencing).”

The Prime Minister said today during a coronavirus briefing that he did not want to be a “hostage to fortune” but added: “We will be setting out well before May 17 what we think is reasonable.

“I know people will want to know exactly what they can do from May 17 but we’re not there yet.”

Further details on the traffic light system is to be published later this week by the Global Travel Taskforce.

The review added: “It is too early to say which countries will be on the green list when non-essential international travel resumes.

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“These decisions will be driven by the data and evidence nearer the time, which we cannot predict now. In advance of the resumption of non-essential international travel, we will set out our initial assessment of which countries will fall into which category.

“Thereafter countries will move between the red, amber and green lists depending on the data. For the moment, the Government advises people not to book summer holidays abroad until the picture is clearer.”

Along with the plans for international travel, the review sets out the UK Government’s thinking around the introduction of controversial immunity passports, which have gathered criticism from across the political spectrum.

Last week, more than 70 MPs and peers signed a letter opposing the introduction of such certificates, saying it impinges on people’s civil liberties and privacy.

The review states that “Covid-status certification could have an important role to play both domestically and internationally, as a temporary measure.”

It adds: “Certification has already become a feature of international travel, with the UK and many other countries requiring evidence of a negative test predeparture as part of their border regimes.

“The Government expects such requirements to continue and is exploring ways of making certification of testing more digital and integrated - as well as considering the implications of vaccines and what certification may be required around them.”

Along with those who have been vaccinated, people who have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past six months could potentially be considered to have natural immunity, the paper confirmed.

The Prime Minister said that so-called passports would not be needed to go to the pub, or a hairdresser, and explained: "On Covid status certification, as we prefer to call it, the most important thing to say to everybody listening and watching is there’s absolutely no question of people being asked to produce certification or a Covid status report when they go to the shops or to the pub garden or to their hairdressers or whatever."

Mr Johnson said that there were no plans to introduce such measures when England has its next stage of unlocking, planned for May 17, which is expected to allow indoor hospitality venues to reopen.

He said: “We are not planning for anything of that kind at that stage.”

Asked what the future will look like after June 21, when the UK Government plans to have all services in England open and running again, Mr Johnson said: "I think a great deal depends on the continuing success of the vaccine rollout and us continuing to satisfy the four tests.

“If things continue to go well, I do think for many people in many ways, life will begin to get back to at least some semblance of normality.”

He added: “A world in which we continue to have testing is not going to be too onerous.”