A HOLIDAY abroad for Brits has been put back into consideration this year thanks to discussions of “air bridges” between the UK and popular destinations in Europe.
We explain exactly what they are and how they would work.
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What are air bridges?
Also called “travel corridors”, air bridges would allow tourists between two countries to visit without needing to quarantine.
Transport Minister Grant Shapps said in the House of Commons earlier this week: “The final details of the quarantine scheme will be released soon, coming in early next month.”
“It is the case that we would indeed consider further improvements for example, things like air bridges, enabling people from other areas and countries who have themselves achieved lower levels of growth virus infection, to come into the country.
Currently, countries in Europe are requiring visitors to quarantine for 14-days on arrival, something which the UK is also going to enforce in June.
However, agreements between countries, particularly those with low cases of coronavirus, could agree to waive the two-week period to allow tourists to travel without restrictions.
Which countries are considering air bridges?
UK tourists could eventually visit Greece and Portugal, as both countries have agreed to potentially allow access to the country for British families without quarantining.
Both countries also have low cases of coronavirus, meaning there is a much lower risk for Brits travelling there.
Air bridges between the UK and the US could also be implemented – Visit Britain chief executive Patricia Yates told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee: “Our American regional director is telling us sort of America is ready to go, American business is ready to go. So, possibly, an air bridge between the UK and America might be one that would be valuable to us.”
However, with US coronavirus the highest in the world, this is unlikely to happen any time soon.
Other countries are offering similar travel bridges as well – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are allowing free travel between one another, while Australia and New Zealand are also considering similar measures.
Are air bridges already in place?
Unfortunately, they are not definite, and are only being considered by the government.
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.”
As it stands, only lorry drivers and key workers are expected to be exempt from the new quarantine rules, then they come in – dashing hopes of a summer holiday for many.
But the idea of travel bridges to areas of low infection will give Brits a boost that if our rate of infections continues to fall, Brits may be able tto jet off on a getaway in the coming months.
The idea is being discussed by the DoT after airline bosses slammed the strict quarantine requirements, warning it would kill the industry.
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