As it currently stands, most travellers arriving in the UK from countries abroad must quarantine for 14 days under strict measures, which were introduced on June 8. However, this rule has been heavily criticised for further alienating the UK from the international travel industry, and further hindering the recovery of aviation firms. In response to this, the Government has been considering the use of air bridges with other countries around the world in an effort to curb the 14-day quarantine rule.
Air bridges, also known as ‘travel corridors’, are an agreement between two countries in which they are allowed to scrap the mandatory quarantine when travelling in between each other.
For example, an air bridge between the UK and France would enable anyone in the UK to travel to France without self-isolating for two weeks on arrival, and vice versa.
The Government has said that Britain will only consider setting up an air bridge with countries that have a low R rate, the measure of infection rate of coronavirus.
On June 25, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps revealed that air bridges can only be established with countries who have a test and trace system in place at the same standard as the UK.
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What time is the announcement on air bridges?
Speaking during a recent Downing Street briefing, Mr Johnson said that the measures would be reviewed today, June 29, including quarantine rules and air bridges.
The Prime Minister said: “The current advice is still that people should avoid non-essential travel.
“We will be reviewing the situation on the 29th, we will be looking at the quarantine rules and what we can do to create air bridges.”
Express.co.uk has contacted Downing Street to find out what time the announcement will be made today – this article will be updated when more information is available.
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The Prime Minister is reportedly under increasing pressure within his own party to form the bridges with nations that have the virus under control.
The Government has also announced a new traffic light system that will be used to assess the coronavirus risk of other countries.
People travelling to Green or Amber countries will soon no longer have to quarantine for 14 days on their return to the country.
Which countries are considering air bridges?
Spain, France and Italy are expected to be among the first to have air bridge agreements in place with the UK.
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It is expected to be implemented today, June 29, joining a string of other nations including Germany, Gibraltar, Austria and Bermuda.
Brits could also visit Portugal eventually, as both countries have agreed to potentially allow access to British families without the need to quarantine.
Portugal’s foreign minister confirmed that his country is in talks with Britain about air bridges.
Augusto Santos Silva told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that “quarantine is an enemy of tourism”.
Mr Silva added: “Our diplomats will wrk together to guarantee that British tourists coming to Portugal would not be subjected on their return to England to any kind of quarantine.”
Portugal, if accepted, would be only the first step. British overseas territories like the Cayman Islands, will begin to form travel corridors in July.
The Caribbean, Canada and Dubai are expected to begin allowing holidays from August.
However, for those looking a bit further for a trip to Mexico or the USA, travellers could have to wait until December this year.
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