The standard NHS app will be used by holidaymakers in England to prove their coronavirus status to destination countries, UK transport secretary, Grant Shapps, announced today.

The Welsh Government will make its own decision about the use of the app; a  Government spokesperson told The National:

“We are in discussions with the other UK governments about plans for allowing the safe return of international travel. Details will be confirmed in due course.”

The UK transport secretary said the app – currently used to book appointments and order repeat prescriptions – will display evidence that someone has been vaccinated or recently tested.

Shapps told Sky News: “In terms of vaccine certification, I can confirm we are working on an NHS application; actually it will be the NHS app that is used for people when they book appointments with the NHS and so on, to be able to show you’ve had a vaccine or you’ve had testing.

“I’m working internationally with partners across the world to make sure that system can be internationally recognised, as that’s the way forward.

Shapps will chair a meeting next week of the G7 secretaries of state for transport, his equivalents from America and Canada and all the G7 countries, to discuss common agreements over the app.

The European Union has previously set out plans for coronavirus vaccine certificates that could be used by UK holidaymakers this summer.

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Digital Green Certificates will be accepted as evidence that a person has had a Covid-19 jab, received a negative test result or recovered from the virus, according to the European Commission’s proposal.

Spain’s tourism minister, Fernando Valdes Verelst, told an international summit held by the World Travel & Tourism Council in Mexico that the country will welcome back tourists – including those from the UK – in June.

He said: “Spain is going to be ready in June to use this digital certificate. We are doing a pilot programme in May, in all our 46 airports.

“We are going to give all these travellers that certainty. Spain is going to be ready in June to tell all travellers worldwide that you can visit us.”

Manuel Lobo Antunes, Portugal’s ambassador to the UK, said UK holidaymakers could be able to visit the country next month.

He told Sky News the country is “hopeful” that “from the middle of May, regular mobility between the UK and Portugal and vice versa can be established”.

Asked if Britons who have not been vaccinated can travel to Portugal, he added: “Yes, that’s the idea, that’s what we wanted, to as much as possible go back to the regime that existed before the pandemic.

“It’s in that direction we are working and that is possible.”

Overseas leisure travel could resume for people in England on May 17 under Boris Johnson’s road map for easing restrictions, though in Wales, first minister Mark Drakeford has advised caution over the plan.

Mr Shapps told Sky News: “I have to say that so far the data does continue to look good from a UK perspective, notwithstanding those concerns about where people might be travelling to and making sure we’re protected from the disease being reimported.”

He added that he will set out which countries fall into the “green”, “amber” and “red” categories under the new risk-based traffic light system “towards the beginning of May”.

That will determine what testing and quarantine requirements travellers will face when they return from various destinations.