The coronavirus pandemic has prompted a worldwide lockdown, with all non-essential international travel grinding to a halt. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has advised against all non-essential travel while the UK has been in lockdown. However, with lockdown measures beginning to be eased in recent weeks, many Brits are wondering when they may be able to travel abroad again.
The Government has recently brought in stricter measures regarding international travel.
From this week, anyone arriving to the UK will be required to self-isolate for two weeks.
Under the new rules, spot checks and fines may be carried out to ensure people are adhering to the rules.
The Government’s decision to ask arrivals to the UK to quarantine has been met with some criticism.
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However, according to reports, air bridges could allow people to travel to other low-risk countries in due course.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the Prime Minister is “personally in favour” of the idea.
If such measures were implemented, it would be possible for Brits to travel to some approved countries on holiday.
A source told The Times the Government was looking at this option “very seriously; as things stand they will happen, likely on June 29.”
Housing minister Simon Clarke told Sky News’ Kay Burley @ Breakfast show he would not “speculate” on future Government policy on this issue.
He said: “We all want to be able to get foreign holidays back on the table as soon as it’s safe to do so, but I can’t speculate on policy questions of that nature.
“The policy is clear: a two-week quarantine effective as of Monday 8 June.”
Mr Clarke added: “We’ve got case numbers coming down substantially now in the UK and we don’t want to import new risk, new cases from abroad at this very sensitive and delicate stage.”
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Which countries could be linked to the UK with air bridges?
Currently, there has been no confirmation from the Government that air bridges will be introduced any time soon.
However, the notion of an air bridge was discussed by Transport Minister Grant Shapps in the Commons in mid-May.
He said: “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.”
If air bridges are adopted as policy by the Government, they will likely start with countries which have also reduced the number of coronavirus cases.
According to The Times, there are some preliminary talks on a potential air bridge between the UK and Portugal.
Greece has also signalled it would allow British citizens to travel to the country without quarantining.
It is not yet known whether Brits would continue to be required to isolate for two weeks upon their return from another country.
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