Cabin crew reveals the pilot knows this about passengers – even if they never see them

Flight attendants are one of the most recognisable features of a flight, on hand to offer service with a smile and look after the wellbeing of every passenger onboard. Meanwhile, pilots are often hidden away in the flight deck, manning the flight’s operations and getting everyone from A to B safely and efficiently.

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Though you may only catch a glimpse of the pilot at the beginning and the end of the flight, it turns out they know a lot more about every passenger onboard, even if they never see you.

This is largely thanks to the crew, as one anonymous flight attendant revealed in a Reddit forum.

They explained: “I don’t think a lot of people realise how much we keep the flight deck in the loop on everything that’s going on.”

This is particularly true in instances where passengers begin to behave badly.

“If you drink too much and we cut you off when you ask for your fourth double vodka tonic in an hour, don’t try and pull the wool over our eyes and ask someone else,” they continue.

“We know about you, the onboard manager will know about you and the Captain will know about you.

“As soon as I cut someone off, I let the crew working with me know that I’ve stopped giving 28B alcohol.

“When the manager calls us (every half an hour at my airline) we let them know that 28B has been cut off, and in turn they’ll let the Captain know.”

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Even when bad behaviour is not involved, pilots have a lot of information about who is onboard in order to ensure the safety of everyone.

This includes a full list of the number and names of passengers and crew onboard.

Prior to take-off they are then updated with an up-to-date weather report and passenger count ahead of departure.

Although the pilots aren’t the ones dealing with the passengers head-on, it is often up to them to make the final decision on whether a member of the public is removed from a flight.

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As this can result in a diversion in a worst-case-scenario or the headache of restraining a dangerous or disruptive passenger for the crew, it is a decision they do not take lightly.

Petter Hornfeldt, a training captain and owner of the YouTube channel MenTour Pilot, has revealed the protocol a pilot must follow when alerted to a disruptive passenger.

Mr Hornfeldt explained: “Disruptive passengers are divided into many different categories. Most of the time when we’re talking about really disruptive passengers, it is people who have psychological problems or who are under the influence of some type of drug or alcohol.”

He added: “Those tend to be the most common types of disruptive passengers.”

Cabin crew are highly trained to deal with disruptive passengers and have a series of steps they will follow to try and calm a passenger down.

However, they also work in unison with the flight deck to ensure all staff onboard are aware of any potentially dangerous situations unfolding.

Firstly, the flight attendant will outline any onboard instructions to the passenger in a calm manner.

Mr Hornfeldt explained: “If the cabin crew sees someone who is doing this [smoking, drinking own alcohol or being aggressive], the cabin crew will nicely, in a calm manner, inform the passenger that they’re not allowed to do that.”

If this does not work, they will then warn the passenger of the consequences that may come as the result of not following certain rules.

One of the most serious consequences is “offloading”, and the police may be called in this instance.

If neither of these steps pacify the disruptive party, the pilot will then contact the police.

If the plane is still on the ground and the cabin crew wishes to offload the passenger, the pilot will ask for the local police at whatever airport the plane is using, to escort the passenger off the flight.

Mr Hornfeldt explained he must then fill out a passenger offload form stating the reason for the offload.

This must be a tangible reason. Mr Hornfeldt continued: “It cannot be something like, ‘I didn’t feel safe with this person’ or ‘I didn’t like the look of that person’, it has to be something that they have actually done.”

Passengers who cause a plane to be delayed or diverted as the result of police intervention can even face a fine covering some or all of the costs incurred.

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Cruises: When will cruises start again?

The global cruise industry is taking an unprecedented break from operations as travel restrictions due to coronavirus take hold around the world, including advice against all non-essential travel from the UK Government, which is still in place despite other lifted restrictions.

The Foreign Office currently warns: “British nationals aged 70 and over, and those with underlying health conditions like chronic diseases and diabetes, are advised not to travel on cruise ships.”

For years the cruise holiday industry has steadily expanded, with almost every cabin on almost every vessel filled.

New cruising passengers continually take up the space vacated by old cruisers who have taken their final voyage, and before coronavirus the industry showed no signs of slowing down.

The industry is most popular with the older generation, with cruise holiday’s designed to be as catered for as possible.

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It also appeals to the older generation because of the amount of time a cruise takes – some cruises can take months to complete, so not best designed for those still in work.

But, cruises made the headlines earlier in the coronavirus crisis as 100s of cases were reported onboard cruise ships, leading to holiday-goers being confined to quarantine in their rooms.

Since the Diamond Princess was quarantined in Yokohama on February 4, cases of COVID-19 were been reported aboard dozens of vessels, and tragically a number of passengers have died onboard cruise ships.

The first cruise operator to announce it was suspending its river and ocean cruises for the lockdown was Viking on March 11, closely followed by Princess Cruises.

Practically all other major cruise lines then made similar announcements since then.

Some 30 million people embark on a cruise every year, and cruises provide a crash course in seeing some of the world’s most beautiful sights.

According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which represents the owners of nearly 300 big cruise ships, the industry also sustains 1.2 million jobs.

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Which cruise lines have announced reopening?

There is no industry-wide ban on cruising, however, the companies have been forced to shut down in the face of international travel restrictions.

A handful of cruise lines have announced dates and time frames in which they hope to be back on the oceans.

Among those opening earlier, Riveria Travel will resume services on June 1.

Amadeus River Cruises, ATP Cruises, Saga Cruises, Star Cruises and Marella Cruises have a proposed resumption date of July 1.

P&O Cruises, AmaWaterways and Royal Caribbean Cruises have both proposed a restart date on August 1.

Princess Cruises have not outlined a date but hope to be active again in the autumn.

However, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office currently has a travel advisory out against travelling anywhere in the world outside of the UK.

Cruises are still available to book at heavily discounted prices, although travel restrictions apply worldwide.

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Winter sun: Where to catch some Sun this winter

That well-earned holiday may be cancelled this summer, but you might be able to take a trip away by the end of 2020. Express.co.uk chatted to Nicky Kelvin The Points Guy UK to find out the hot holiday destinations for October, November, and December.

October holidays

Slovenia

Looking for something affordable but still spectacular? Try Slovenia, if travel restrictions are lifted.

Nicky said: “This burgeoning tourist destination nestled amid Italy, Croatia, Hungary and Austria is one of Europe’s most affordable destinations, especially during the shoulder season.

“It offers an underrated wine region, skiing (the country borders the Alps) and a stunning network of caves to explore. For nature lovers, about half of Slovenia is covered in forests.

“In October you can visit one of the most popular attractions, Lake Bled, and admire the iconic castle framed by gorgeous fall foliage and the clear-as-glass lake without battling other tourists for the view.

“If Lake Bled is too mainstream, Lake Bohinj, a 30-minute drive away, sits a little more off the beaten path amid alpine scenery.”

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New York City

Always fancied a trip to the Big Apple? October is the perfect time of year to go if all is well.

Nicky said: “October still has pleasant fall weather without the humidity and blistering heat of summer.

“Beat the snow and freezing temperatures with a weekend in New York City, strolling around Central Park in an oversize wool sweater, sipping a fragrant pumpkin spice latte and admiring the brilliant foliage.”

Tanzania

Never been to Africa? Why not head to Tanzania in October, if Government advice allows you to.

Nicky explained: “October marks the dry season in most of Tanzania, which practically guarantees you’ll be able to spot animals congregated around watering holes.

“It’s the very end of the season before the rains hit, meaning you’ll likely get better lodge and safari deals too.

“Travellers wanting to catch the wildebeest migration should head to the very north of the Serengeti in the Lobo area close to the Kenyan border or the Mara River area near Lake Victoria.

“It’s also a great time to see elephants cooling off.”

November

Tuscon, Arizona

In the second last month of the year, you will see clear skies in Tuscon, Arizona.

Nicky said: “This desert enclave is a dream for travellers of all stripes — foodies, hikers and anyone wanting a warm, sunshine-filled November holiday with virtually no chance of rain.

“Though Scottsdale is the more popular choice for a luxury resort escape, Tucson has a quirky, small-town vibe with Native American and Chicano cultural influences.

“This means you can relax to an outdoor country-music concert in a public square or spend the afternoon exploring the colonial Spanish San Xavier del Bac Mission on the grounds of the San Xavier Indian Reservation in the Tohono O’odham Nation.”

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Thailand is a popular destinations for Brits seeking the sun, and it is just as gorgeous in November.

Nicky said: “Though the area will definitely be crowded and hotel rates likely higher during the busy lantern festival time.

“Seeing thousands of lanterns set into the sky and floating down the river under a full moon, complete with traditional ceremonies, dance and song, is an unforgettable way to experience Thai culture.”

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Tbilisi, Georgia

If you to learn all about the history of Georgia while indulging in some delicious delicacies, you will love this holiday.

Nicky explained: “This former stop along the Silk Road is one of the world’s oldest cities, dating back to 4000 B.C.

“Affordable, rich in history and home to thermal baths, ancient caves, street markets and an array of architectural styles, Tbilisi offers plenty to do and see during a visit — if you can take a break from eating and sipping the wine, that is.

“Make sure to try khachapuri (savoury pie made of melted cheese and eggs) and khinkali, or hearty meat dumplings, with a glass of Akhasheni or Kvanchkara — both semisweet red wines.”

December

Miami, Florida

Miami is the perfect holiday for those who love chilling out on the beach in the day and experiencing an exciting nightlife in the evening.

Nicky said: “Miami in December is a dream, with abundant sunshine and average daytime temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius.

“And while an afternoon of sandy beach bliss is a given, lately, Miami’s intrigue lies beyond the typical too-trendy South Beach haunts.

“Consider exploring some of the more up-and-coming neighbourhoods like the Miami Design District and Little Havana, both seeing an uptick in new hotels and buzzy restaurants like Cafe La Trova alongside revered relics like Máximo Gómez Park and Versailles.”

Andorra

Interested in a Ski trip? Andorra is the place for you.

Nicky said: “This tiny nation is nestled between France and Spain — and has some of the best skiing in the Pyrenees. Resorts like Vallnord, Arinsal and Grandvalira are some of the most popular.”

Western Australia

Australia is a long way to travel, but totally worth it to get away from the dreary British winter.

Nicky said: “Beach bums will love Western Australia in December.

“This is the region’s summer season, with warm temperatures, light breezes and very little rain.

“Beautiful sandy shores are within easy reach, starting with the crystalline waters of Mettams Pool, just a 20-minute drive north to the tranquil coves of nearby Rottnest Island, an easy ferry ride away from the mainland.”

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Survey Shows Travelers Want Environmentally Friendly Air Options

As the airline industry begins its recovery in the wake of the coronavirus, it would be well served to pay heed to travelers ever-increasing concerns about sustainability issues.

In January and February – just prior to the COVID-19 crisis becoming a global pandemic – OAG, a global data provider, surveyed more than 2,000 travelers on sustainability issues.

According to the survey, 56 percent of all travelers and 50 percent of business travelers would consider switching their preferred airline if there were “more environmentally friendly options available.” Interestingly, that number was even higher for millennials (68 percent).

Similarly, 54 percent of all travelers – and 69 percent of millennials –would be more likely to “use a travel site to plan and book travel if they received sustainability-related information to help inform purchases.”

Many respondents said they would be willing to “explore new options to reduce their own carbon footprint.” Sixty-six percent said they would be willing to accept fewer daily flights with larger aircraft if it resulted in fewer carbon emissions, and 50 percent said they be willing to change to a “greener mode of transportation, even it if took longer than the typical flight.”

Fifty percent said they would be willing to increase their travel time by 50 percent for a greener mode of transportation, and 59 percent said they would be willing to increase their total travel time by two hours or more. Forty-four percent of business travelers said they would willing to increase their total travel time by two hours or more.

On the subject of airfare, 36 percent of respondents said they would be willing to pay up to 10 percent more for “flights that had a smaller impact than other similar flight options.” Eight percent said they would pay up to 25 percent more; two percent said they’d pay up to 50 percent more; 54 percent said they would not be willing to pay more.

Travelers’ sustainability concerns go beyond the airline industry. “Consumers expect the entire travel ecosystem – especially OTAs and travel search engines – to be more transparent about the sustainability impact of various travel options,” the survey stated.

When asked what information, “if made available,” would influence their booking decisions, 32 percent of all travelers and 42 percent of millennial travelers said data on a flight’s environmental impact/carbon emissions. Thirty-nine percent of all travelers and 55 percent of millennials said data on an airline’s environmental impact/carbon emissions, and 26 percent of all travelers and 35 percent of millennials said data on an airport’s environmental impact.

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Benidorm bars given two hour drinking extension to combat tourism black hole

Bar and restaurant owners can already open 50 percent of their terraces for business under phase one of the de-escalation plan and customers would have been allowed inside with effect from Monday as part of the second stage. But the Valencia Generalitat, of which Benidorm is part, has decided not to ask the Spanish government for progression to stage two for the time being because of a slight rise in COVID-19 infections.

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The regional government says there has not been a major outbreak but they are conscious of doing the right thing in difficult times for the good of everyone and to make sure all possible health and security checks are in place.

It was also decided to encompass all areas within the decision rather than allowing specific towns to progress to stage two.

Benidorm’s Mayor, Toni Pérez said he couldn’t understand the thinking behind the decision and has asked for a full explanation.

He said pubs, bars and restaurants had been making plans to use their interiors rather than just the terraces so he would now waiver the earlier closing time rule of 11pm to 1am instead.

The decision was taken in consultation with the business associations Abreca-Cobrec and follows the “good behaviour” of the 1,100 businesses involved.

The Mayor said they had no idea why Benidorm was being penalised and not going forward yet to phase two as they had not seen any official figures to support the decision.

Lamenting “the lack of transparency”, he said: “We want to think that there are data and indicators that support this decision but whoever has the information is the Generalitat Valenciana and the Ministry of Health, not the municipalities.

“At least in the case of Benidorm, we lack that information because the council does not share it but there is no doubt that we would like to know what the health situation of our city is, as it is an issue that affects our residents and it would undoubtedly contribute to better manage and take action in case there is something to correct.”

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But he added: “We will continue to observe and promote compliance with the regulations and working , as we have done from minute one and every day, to prepare for the next phase with all the security guarantees, both in the public and private spheres.”

The Spanish government had already indicated that different parts of the country would enter the various phases at different stages until the “new norm” was reached by the end of June.

Ibiza is also facing struggles as they antcipate the summer 2020 season will be ruined unless a Covid-19 vaccine is found.

Manager of the Ibiza Leisure Association, José Luis Benítez said it would be “impossible” to enforce social distancing in discos as required by the Spanish government, unlike in cinemas, bars and restaurants.

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And he warned: “The future of clubs in Ibiza is no longer at stake, it’s the entire island.”

Speaking on the chat programme Televisió d’Eivissa i Formentera, Mr. Benitez said the clubbing scene could take illegally to private villas and hidden spots in the mountains which would hit hard as it would take away huge income and produce “not a euro” for Ibiza.

Even so, clubs weren’t prepared to throw in the towel and if a solution could be found, they could get ready to open within a period of ten days.

Mr. Benitez told presenter, Toni Ruiz: “If there is no vaccine against the coronavirus, the clubs will not be able to open. We haven’t thrown in the towel with the season but it will be difficult to open up because we cannot keep our distances like in the cinema or in other bars or cafes.”

“If the situation changed or there were government guidelines that would be more favourable to us, the large nightclubs are prepared to open with all security measures within a maximum period of ten days.”

He ruled out imitating or importing systems from other countries which are using strict control measures, including the wearing of mask.

“There are those who speak of doing as in China but the Spanish are very different and it would not be feasible to think about what is being done, for example, in Greece because there they do not have large nightclubs or tourism like ours.”

One option would be the opening in winter to reduce losses if flights were available from different parts of Europe.

“It is something that could be in the study phase as long as administrations and airlines commit to streamline flights from outside our borders because eighty percent of our customers and consumers are foreigners,” he told the BNP programme. “The other option is to open in April of next year, bringing forward the opening parties, and making it a wonderful Easter for everyone.”

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Dubai holidays: UK government updates travel advice as UAE entry requirements relax

Dubai holidays have not been possible for several months due to the coronavirus crisis. The UAE entered a very strict lockdown in March, shutting down its borders completely. The country is now starting to ease its tough measures.

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Consequently, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated its travel advice for the UAE.

In the newest update from yesterday, the FCO detailed the range of financial support from the government that Britons can access while they are unable to return due to coronavirus restrictions.

“If you’re in the UAE, and have exhausted all other options to cover essential living costs while you wait to return home, you could apply for an emergency loan for your living costs from the UK government,” said the FCO.

“You can only apply if you normally live in the UK and you cannot return home.

“This last-resort option is for those most in need, and you would need to repay the loan when you are back in the UK.”

Last week it was announced that some foreign residents, including British Nationals, are being allowed to return to the UAE.

This will be based on criteria set by the UAE authorities.

“British residents who wish to return to the UAE will have to get approval from the UAE authorities and should continue to apply online on the UAE Entry Permission Service website,” explained the FCO.

“Applications will be assessed by the UAE authorities based on their own criteria and, if approved, you will be issued with a unique reference number.

“You will need this reference number to book one of the limited flights being operated with effect from 9 May from London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi and Dubai by Etihad and Emirates airlines.

“There are also details about additional restrictions for passengers before and during flights and information about what you can expect on arrival in the UAE.

“These flights are sold and operated by Etihad and Emirates airlines so you do not need to contact the British Embassy for any further travel permissions or documentation.

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“Please note that the availability of flights may change at short notice.”

The UAE has very strict measures for those entering the country in a bit to limit the spread of the virus.

The FCO clarified: “Stringent entry restrictions remain in place upon arrival in the UAE which may include, but are not be limited to, a mandatory Health Authority test on arrival, mandatory quarantine for at least 14 days and follow up testing before you can be released from quarantine.

“Once released from quarantine you must continue to comply with all measures put in place by the UAE authorities to prevent the spread of coronavirus.”

Tourist and cultural sites have been closed temporarily in Dubai and the UAE.

Pharmacies and supermarkets remain open while Dubai shopping malls, markets and commercial outlets will be open for restricted hours.

Social distancing and other measures continue to apply.

For now, though, Britons are unable to travel abroad unless for essential” purposes.

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Covid 19 coronavirus: ‘It feels like we got the city back for ourselves’

Travel restrictions have turned 11 overtouristed destinations into quiet, almost unrecognisable places, even for those who live there. It’s a bittersweet experience for the people we talked to.

For the past two months, many of the world’s most popular destinations have been shuttered to visitors, leaving monuments, museums, shops, restaurants, bars and streets almost empty.

As the world reopens and residents step out, they are faced with the reality that life today is different from what it was before Covid-19, and will likely remain this way for some time. One of the most significant differences — a bittersweet realisation for most — is that there are currently no tourists to attend to or crowds to shuffle through.

We asked people in 11 of the most overtouristed places around the world what it’s like. In the Galápagos, it feels like time has rewound to a previous era. In Prague, it has been a relief to admire a bridge that in recent years has become a popular spot for selfie-stick-wielding Instagrammers. In Venice, a city that has long been overwhelmed by tourists, Venetians, for once, aren’t outnumbered by visitors. In Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, as in Bali, fear of the loss of tourism has given way to a focus on family.

Although tourism is the lifeblood of the economies of these destinations, and the need for travel to resume may be dire, this moment of pause has allowed locals to experience something that only recently seemed impossible: having their homes to themselves.

— Tariro Mzezewa

The following interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.

ROME

Gianluca Boscolo, 30, is a web developer from the northern Italian town of Chioggia. He has lived in Rome for three years.

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A complete travel guide to visiting Mt Victoria

The township of Mount Victoria is a Blue Mountains’s gems, oozing with old world charm — even the railways station is a jewel from a more elegant time.

Now that NSW residents will soon be able to resume holidaying in the state, this incredible spot is keen to welcome visitors back to its enchanting shops, cafes and historic inns.

The westernmost town in the Blue Mountains, Mt Victoria is still just a two-hour drive from the Sydney CBD, or 2.5 hours by train from Central station — but it feels like a world away.

A train passes through picturesque Mount Victoria. Picture: Destination NSWSource:Supplied

It’s packed with incredible historic buildings, from its beautiful, 150-year-old sandstone railway station to the incredible Gatekeepers Cottage, which dates back to a time when passing horse-drawn coaches had to pay a toll. Unfortunately another major landmark, the old Imperial Hotel, said to be the first tourist hotel in Australia, is currently closed but there are redevelopment plans.

The historic Imperial Hotel. Picture: AAP/Carmela RocheSource:News Corp Australia

The Mount Victoria Historical Museum is a great way to take in the fascinating local history.

There are lots of local drives and walks to explore the natural terrain and take in the amazing views. One of the best, Victoria Falls Lookout, has been reopened since the bushfires.

And there’s heaps to do in town, too. The Blue Mountains’ most iconic cinema, Mount Vic Flicks, screens art house movies along with homemade snacks — including warming bowls of soup in the winter months. The cinema is currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions but is keen to reopen soon.

Mount Vic Flicks is a Blue Mountains institution. Picture: AAP/Carmela RocheSource:News Corp Australia

For shopping, there great spots like Cobweb Collectables, which is full of interesting treasures, and Mount Vic and Me, an art studio that also sells funky souvenirs.

Hungry? Tucker into some modern Australian dishes using seasonal ingredients at Ambermere Inn, along with a glass of wine or craft beer, when it’s back up and running.

Mount Victoria is the hidden gem of the Blue Mountains.Source:istock

If you’re after sometime sweet, there are great scones with jam and cream at Petalura Eatery. Even the local Caltex service station is famous for its old-style Aussie hamburgers.

There are lots of places to stay locally including the historic Victoria and Albert Guesthouse, which sadly had all its bookings cancelled due to the bushfires.

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Could an ‘air bridge’ salvage your summer holiday?

As the government prepares to reveal the long-awaited details of its quarantine policy for travellers arriving in the UK, leading Conservative MPs have called for the introduction of “air bridges”.

Mandatory 14-day self-isolation for inbound passengers is set to start in June. As there is no fixed end date, some holidaymakers and travel firms fear that “summer is essentially cancelled” – as the health secretary, Matt Hancock, has indicated.

But airlines and holiday companies were desperately hoping to start up operations at scale in July, to try to resurrect something from the wreckage of one of Britain’s leading industries.

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The “air bridge” concept would limit some of the damage to travel firms and allow prospective holidaymakers to make something of the summer.

Define an “air bridge”?

In this context, it is not the moveable corridor between the departure lounge in the airport terminal and the aircraft, but a bilateral travel link between two countries. It would allow the free flow of travellers and provide “quarantine immunity”.

The idea was floated in the Commons by Huw Merriman, the Tory MP who chairs the Transport Select Committee.

He proposed a scheme in which travellers entering the UK from countries where the infection rate (the R-number) is below one would not be subject to quarantine.

“This would boost confidence in aviation travel and target safety where it is most needed,” he suggested.

Why is this being discussed now?

The government’s plan to impose quarantine on all arriving travellers to the UK has been widely leaked for weeks.

On Sunday 10 May the prime minister announced that travellers arriving in the UK by air will be required to self-isolate for two weeks, in a bid to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Later that evening, No 10 said that quarantine would not apply to travellers arriving from France due to a special agreement between Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron – an early version of an “air bridge”, dubbed an entente touristique.

The following day the government clarified the planned quarantine, saying that sea and rail arrivals would be affected too.

By the end of the week, No 10 said arrivals from France would not get quarantine immunity – the exemption was mainly aimed at truck drivers.

The Cabinet is believed to be split over the plan for two weeks of mandatory self-isolation, with Michael Gove and Matt Hancock strongly in favour but transport secretary Grant Shapps against because of the shutdown of travel that it would trigger.

Air bridge agreements with leading nations could present a somewhat messy compromise to solve the political deadlock.

The transport secretary said: “We should indeed consider further improvements—for example, air bridges enabling people from other countries that have achieved lower levels of coronavirus infection to come to the country.”

Who would team up with the UK?

Almost anyone, hinted the deputy chief medical officer. While some have suggested Britain is the “sick man of Europe” because of the high level of infection and, tragically, deaths, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam told the Downing Street briefing on 18 May: “We are becoming an area of low incidence of Covid-19.”

The government believes the UK could sign deals with other “areas of low incidence” to allow travellers to move freely without the need to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.

Spain, France and Italy have all be mentioned in government briefings. Portugal is another obvious candidate. The Greek tourism minister has said that a quarantine-free agreement could allow British travellers to visit without having to self-isolate for 14 days.

Is an air bridge the same as a “travel bubble”?

No. While there is no internationally agreed definition of that term, “travel bubble” has been used to describe a group of countries who allow free movement between themselves but put up barriers to everyone else.

Examples include the new “Baltic bubble” involving Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and the proposed Australia-New Zealand combination – which may be extended to some South Pacific islands.

In contrast, there is no suggestion that, say, Greece, would allow travel from the UK but not from, say, Germany. Indeed German holidaymakers may be welcomed more warmly than the British.

The broadcaster Thanasis Gavos told The Independent: “I would be lying if I didn’t say there were still some uncertainty, especially for the UK visitors.

“There is huge concern about how the government here in the UK have been dealing with the epidemic. So we might possibly see Britain as being one of the last that will be permitted in Greece.”

What does all this mean for the traveller?

Who knows? Until the quarantine rules are revealed, travel firms are not able to tell holidaymakers with trips booked whether they will be going away this summer.

Legally, the presumption is currently that trips will go ahead. But the government briefings make that increasingly unlikely.

The transport secretary told the Commons on Monday that the starting date for the 14-day self-isolation had been moved from May to June, saying: “Final details of the quarantine scheme will be released soon and come in early next month.”

Mr Shapps said it would “initially be a blanket situation”.

As the Foreign Office has warned against non-essential travel abroad until further notice, all of this is academic.

No one would rationally book a summer trip until the government publishes its plans, which is causing yet more despair for the hard-pressed UK travel industry.

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Spain holidays: Spain aims to welcome tourists by June & axe quarantine in latest update

Spain holidays are set to be back on the cards. A Spanish minister announced on Monday that the country is aiming to reopen its borders around the end of June. The news comes as Spain relaxes various lockdown measures in the wake of coronavirus. 

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Deaths fell below 100 for the second day in a row yesterday.

Many potential holidaymakers were alarmed last week by Spain’s new quarantine measures.

The country said anyone arriving into Spain from abroad would have to self-isolate for two weeks.

This, combined with the proposed quarantine for those returning to the UK, proved a major blow for British tourists.

However, Spain’s Transport Minister has now offered hope.

Jose Luis Abalos explained that the two-week quarantine was intended to be temporary.

It is set to be phased out in parallel with travel being allowed within Spain, reported Reuters.

“We can’t allow foreigners to travel while the Spanish population is confined,” Abalos told broadcaster TVE.

“From late June, we’ll start tourism activity, I hope… We must make Spain an attractive country from the health point of view.”

Spain relies heavily on tourism highlighting the need to kickstart holidays as soon as possible.

Over 12 percent of Spain’s economic output is thanks to tourism.

Lobby group Exceltur estimates that the industry’s revenues will fall by 93 to 124 billion euros (£83 to £111 billion).

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Spain currently has 231,606 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

However, the country is now easing lockdown. On April 28, the Spanish government announced a four-stage de-escalation plan.

This aims to gradually ease the current confinement and mobility measures over an estimated period of at least eight weeks.

While no specific dates have been attributed to each phase, it is estimated that each one will last for an initial period of two weeks from May 4,” said the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

“As from May 4, Phase 0 of the de-escalation plan will allow for individuals to do exercise outdoors and for members of the same household to take a walk together outside.

“Urban and inter-regional transport services (i.e. coaches and trains) are operating at reduced levels.

“Travel to airports by road or rail to leave Spain is still permitted, but travellers may be asked to provide evidence that they are departing Spain (i.e. plane ticket).”

It’s believed that hotels and other tourist accommodation will re-open (with access restrictions to communal areas) when Phase 1 of the plan is activated.

However, it is known yet when Britons will be able to travel abroad – currently, the government allows only “essential” travel.

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