The Sun : What is an air bridge and which holiday destination countries could be linked to the UK?

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THE possibility of a holiday abroad for Brits this year is back on the cards – thanks to discussions about having "air bridges" between the UK and popular destinations in Europe.

We explain exactly what they are and how they would work if put into place.

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Air bridges are being considered to allow Brits to travel abroad this summer, but what are they and how do they work?[/caption]

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 set 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.

Only countries with low coronavirus cases would be considered for air bridge agreements

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.

They also have low cases of coronavirus, meaning there is a much lower risk for Brits travelling there.

But it will not be the same for those coming into the UK from any country after Priti Patel revealed all arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days.

The Home Secretary announced in the coronavirus press briefing on Friday, May 22 that arrivals will have to give an address where they will be quarantining.

Anyone caught flouting these rules could be slapped with a fine of up to £1000 – but there are exceptions for those travelling from Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey.

This has put air bridges between the UK and the US in doubt – despite Visit Britain chief executive Patricia Yates telling 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."

This was already in doubt due to USA having the highest death toll in the world for coronavirus.

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.

Represented by ZUMA Press, Inc.
Greece is one country which may allow Brits into the country without 14-day quarantines[/caption]

Are air bridges already in place?

Travel between Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey is allowed without the need to quarantine as part of the Common Travel Area.

Yet, any agreement with other nations would only be one-way for now following Ms Patel's announcement in the press conference where all arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days.

However, with no mention of departures, Brits could still be allowed to go abroad without the need of self-isolating.

Many holidays have been cancelled due to the coronavirus, while summer plans have been put in doubt due to the ongoing lockdown rules.

Yet, the idea of air bridges is being discussed by the Department for Transport after airline bosses slammed the strict quarantine requirements, warning it would kill the industry.


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