No10 has poured cold water on hopes of Brits using ‘air bridges’ to go on holiday, saying they won’t  be introduced any time soon, according to reports.

Hopes for holidays abroad were given a boost this week, after Grant Shapps confirmed that ministers were looking at “air bridges” between countries with low rates of coronavirus.

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Plans for air bridges that would allow travellers arriving from certain countries to skip the UK's upcoming quarantine rules are not yet policy, according to the government

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Plans for air bridges that would allow travellers arriving from certain countries to skip the UK’s upcoming quarantine rules are not yet policy, according to the governmentCredit: © David Dyson – The Sun

But the government warned that plans revealed by the Transport Secretary to allow people to fly between countries where the spread of the virus is low, are not going to be put into practice anytime soon.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said yesterday: “It’s an option under consideration but not agreed Government policy.”

A Whitehall source told The Daily Mail: “The quarantine rules will be reviewed every three weeks but I think people would be unwise to book a foreign holiday in the expectation that an ‘air bridge’ will open up in time for the summer holidays.

“It’s the sort of idea you might look at as you exit a quarantine system. But we are just getting started.”

It is now expected that the 14-day quarantine rule on all travellers coming into the UK, with a handful of exemptions on groups like hauliers, will apply to all countries apart from the Common Travel Area.

More details will be revealed on the system this week, but it is expected to be introduced at the beginning of next month.

Everyone who comes into the UK will have to isolate for a fortnight and travellers face fines of up to £10,000 if they break the rules, say reports.

More details will be revealed on the 14-day quarantine system this week, but it is expected to be introduced at the beginning of next month

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More details will be revealed on the 14-day quarantine system this week, but it is expected to be introduced at the beginning of next monthCredit: © David Dyson – The Sun

The new government revelation that there were no concrete plans for air bridges just yet will be particularly disappointing to Brits after both Greece and the Portugal’s Algarve region expressed interest in pacts with the UK.

Greek tourism minister Harry Theoharis called for the UK to stop the two-week quarantine for Greek tourists, and said they would reciprocate the favour for Brits entering Greece in turn.

He told the BBC: “We feel that this is a time for us to start lifting restrictions and we urge other countries, the UK included, that as soon as we do that we would welcome reciprocity.”

Joao Fernandes, head of the Algarve Tourism Board, also welcomed the idea for British tourists coming over via and air bridge agreement.

Greece has already expressed interest in an air bridge pact with the UK

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Greece has already expressed interest in an air bridge pact with the UKCredit: Alamy

He said: “It looks good to us having a balanced decision that secures the health of the visitor and the return to normality should attend different levels of risk.”

There are still some hopes for a UK summer holiday in July though, with camping holidays across the country possibly back on the menu for the summer.

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey told Sky:  “Having come from Suffolk down to London, I know there are a lot of campsites that are very keen for people to come. 

“Some of this is being carefully considered, recognising that we have a reduced outdoor transmission risk, that things like camping may well become suitable.”

She added that it as a decision for “later this year, potentially in July” as infection rates need to stay down first.

English caravan sites are hoping to reopen this summer, with preliminary dates in July – but they are lobbying to open as early as June, in line with plans put forward for sites in neighbouring Wales.

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