Majority of Britons are predicted to choose a staycation this summer rather than fly to one of the government's limited 'green list' destinations. Of those selecting a UK-based break, over 62% stated uncertainty around vaccine passport timelines as a factor in their decision.
The 22% of the population still intending to travel abroad this summer are holding their breath as they wait to see if government vaccine passport roll out does begin from 17 May. 84% of international travel hopefuls were happy to use any NHS-assured app to verify their vaccination status.
Edward Frampton-Fell Managing Director of SPL Villas comments: "With both the UK travel industry and UK consumers hoping for the restart of international travel on 17 May, we welcome any tool that will help travellers achieve their goal of getting away on an overseas holiday this summer. As a new and innovative villa specialist that launched this year ourselves, we are firm supporters of any form of positive innovation that has been developed during this global crisis. This is the time when travel and technology need to come together to allow the world to re-open and any approved technology that is ready and available to use from 17 May to allow this to happen will be unreservedly welcomed by the whole travel industry."
Despite the delay in the confirmation of development timelines of the Government's solution for vaccine verification, the technological innovation needed for vaccine verification is already available via the NHS-assured myGP app – available to 97% of the population.
Speaking of international travel and covid certification, Hillary Cannon, Director of the myGP TICKet commented "We are incredibly proud to have been first-to-market with our vaccine verification feature, the myGP TICKet. We developed this capability and released it to the people of England as a completely free service, in an effort to help our NHS colleagues, to encourage the people of England to take up the vaccine, and to support the British economy in its recovery.
The refusal of government to acknowledge our existence or the existence of other NHS-assured apps – many of whom are much further along than the NHS app in developing vaccine verification technology – is incredibly frustrating. We hope that the government – who was instrumental in allowing health tech providers to earn the ability to provide the people of England access to their medical data – will realise that the ability to get things moving again already exists. And that forcing the public and industry to wat for the NHS option is both needless and costly, in many many ways."
Safest UK Staycations
A new consideration for many holidaymakers for 2021 will be the security of knowing there has already been strong vaccine uptake in their selected destination, with almost half of all staycationers (49%) looking into local vaccine uptake before deciding a destination. As the hospitality sector gets ready to reopen its doors, myGP has found the top five regions with the highest vaccine uptake – making them hot-spots for those planning to 'staycate' after they vaccinate.
• North West – St Helens
- North East and Yorkshire – Bassetlaw
- South West – Gloucestershire
- South – Portsmouth
- South East – Oxfordshire While government guidelines should still be observed, these areas will offer additional peace of mind for those returning to as-yet-unvaccinated family members or households after their staycation. Whether it's a day trip, road trip, or well overdue week-long break, these areas have plenty to offer beyond increased protection from COVID-19.
Although, as yet, domestic covid-certification has not been confirmed, vaccination status can be readily shown from within the myGP app on both Apple and Android phones and serves as a peace of mind to those anxious about the return to normal
Speaking of the news that Portsmouth was listed as one of the safest staycation destinations, Sally Tyrrell, Head of Development at Portsmouth's The Mary Rose comments: 'Nowhere else in the world can you get as close to Tudor England than at the Mary Rose. The favourite ship of King Henry VIII, which sank on 19 July 1545. the museum in Portsmouth tells the stories of the ship and her crew through an amazing display of personal belongings and professional tools. You can even meet the ship's dog!'
Helen O'Kane, Managing Director at Gloucestershire's Puzzlewood explains why this outdoor spot is set to be another popular option for summer staycations: 'Puzzlewood is an enchanted world, located in Gloucestershire's gorgeous and historic Forest of Dean. From aliens to ancient Scowles and wizards to wildlife this unique and atmospheric ancient woodland is a natural stage that's more than a home to history and nature, it's an inspiration for authors and storytellers, where Stormtroopers and Time Lords have rubbed shoulders with dragons and unicorns.'
The myGP TICKet feature, accessed within the myGP app, displays whether a patient is sufficiently protected from COVID-19 by applying a simple green tick around a user photo 12 days following the second vaccine dose. This feature acts as a clinically assured means of proving an individual's vaccination status, displayed in real-time, and generated directly from a patient's medical record. myGP has partnered with V-Health Passports to evolve the myGP TICKet into a more comprehensive solution, including test results with vaccination status, in the coming weeks.
NHS patients can learn more about the myGP TICKet feature technology here: www.myGP.com/ticket. Businesses owners interested in using the new feature to get back to capacity can email email@example.com for free advice and information.