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Coronavirus: Europe in vaccine race to save summer

Europe could be on the brink of a roaring twenties-style summer to remember, with budget airline flights packed and beachside bars brim-full of happy tourists.

Or, it faces another gloomy holiday season of travel restrictions, quarantine rules and a locked-down leisure industry.

In a few weeks from now we will know which it is to be – but the policy decisions which will shape the outcome are already being taken.

One big question is whether EU member states will be content to leave decision-making to the European Commission in Brussels – which has bungled the vaccine-buying programme – or simply take matters into their own hands.

Greece, for example, has already struck a deal to welcome tourists from Israel if they have a vaccine passport.

And Cyprus has said it will welcome British tourists from 1 May, as long as they have had two doses of any vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The Director-General of the Cyprus Hotels Association, Philokypros Roussonides, told the BBC: “We are really delighted with this development. It’s going to be really effective and very good for airlines to schedule their flights. Cyprus is traditionally a very popular destination for British tourists.”

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