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UK News Fewer than 10 countries will have an 'air bridge' to the UK and travelers arriving from elsewhere could have to pay for a COVID-19 test to avoid 14-day quarantine

15:40  20 june  2020
15:40  20 june  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Fewer than 10 countries will have an ' air bridge ' to the UK and travelers arriving from elsewhere could have to pay for a COVID - 19 test to avoid 14 - day quarantine . Officials are examining both the coronavirus risk and destination's popularity. At the moment, any traveller arriving in the UK must

the UK and travelers arriving from elsewhere could have to pay for a COVID - 19 test to avoid At the moment, any traveller arriving in the UK must quarantine for 14 days Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid - 19

  Fewer than 10 countries will have an 'air bridge' to the UK and travelers arriving from elsewhere could have to pay for a COVID-19 test to avoid 14-day quarantine © Getty Britain's 'air bridges' plan is set to involve less than ten countries, giving tourists the ability to travel between them and the UK this summer with no mandatory 14-day quarantine.

A total of 12 countries - including Greece, Spain, Portugal and France - are being considered with officials examining both the risk of travellers bringing Covid-19 back and the popularity of the destination. 

At the moment, any traveller arriving in the UK - whether from Britain or a tourist - must quarantine for 14 days and provide their phone number and an address for self-isolation. 

a group of people with luggage at an airport: The 'air bridges' plan is set to involve less than ten countries, giving tourists the ability to travel between them and the UK this summer with no mandatory 14-day quarantine. Pictured: Gatwick Airport this week © Provided by Daily Mail The 'air bridges' plan is set to involve less than ten countries, giving tourists the ability to travel between them and the UK this summer with no mandatory 14-day quarantine. Pictured: Gatwick Airport this week

The 'air bridge' rules would come into play on July 4 and will likely be announced on June 29. But it will only go ahead if the chief medical officer provides advice on each nation and the Foreign Office lifts its non-essential travel ban to the countries in question. 

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  Airlines launch legal action against UK quarantine policy LONDON (AP) — Three major airlines have launched legal action against the British government, describing the country’s plan to quarantine most incoming travelers as “flawed.’’ British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair said in a statement Friday that the quarantine will have a “devastating effect,’’ on tourism and the wider economy. The airlines want the government to re-adopt its previous policy, where quarantine is limited to passengers from “high risk” countries.Quarantine measures imposed this week stipulate that all passengers — bar a handful of exceptions like truckers or medical workers — must fill in a form detailing where they will self-isolate for two weeks.

Travellers arriving from almost all other countries must self-isolate on entry to the UK . People arriving in England from a non-exempt country can cut their quarantine period if they pay for a Those who test positive will have to quarantine for a further 10 days from the day they took the test .

Cyprus and Lithuania have been removed from the Government's list of travel corridors, meaning travellers arriving in the UK from those places after 4am on Sunday must self-isolate for 14 days , Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said.

An aviation source told The Daily Telegraph: 'It is work in progress – risk first, and how you measure that risk, followed by the popularity of the destination.' 

Travel company Tui has told its customers that it will only fly them to countries that have air bridges in place.

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More on coronavirus:

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The company has pledged to provide 'quarantine-free holidays' to all its customers, meaning they don't have to isolate on landing or upon arriving back home in Britain. 

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Testing travellers a week after their arrival in the UK could catch 94% of coronavirus cases and halve quarantine times The UK government advised against all non-essential travel to Spain on Saturday and, with just a few hours’ warning, imposed a 14 - day quarantine for those arriving from the

Order effective from Monday after highly infectious variant prompted many countries to shut borders to UK passengers. Earlier, United Airlines and Delta Airlines said they were requiring all passengers on flights from the UK to the US to present a negative Covid - 19 test taken less than 72 hours before

But this could spell disaster for holidays that are already booked should the air bridge measures not be established in time, The Sun reports.

A second plan, which could reduce the need for quarantine and kick-start the travel sector post-lockdown, is the possibility of coronavirus tests for arrivals in UK airports, The Times reports.

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A trial is set to take place at a UK airport next month and will be run by Swissport and Collinson.

Nurses will administer free and optional nose swabs on those willing to take part. Saliva tests will also be trialled at the airport - which has not yet been named.

Results will be provided between seven and 24 hours later.

Greece has already introduced mandatory Covid-19 testing for arrivals from countries deemed high-risk, such as the UK. 

Anyone landing from these countries must also quarantine on arrival. 

However, these tough measures only apply to those arriving from 'higher risk' airports.

Those considered 'lower risk' include Bristol, Southend and Edinburgh and arrivals from these are only be subject to random testing.

Any plans depend on reducing the risk of a second wave meaning quarantine could stay in place for the next few months. 

This hasn't stopped Britons eagerly looking into potential holidays, however, as searches for Spain and Greece doubled on Travelsupermarket after the nations declared they were open for business.

There has been an 18 per cent increase in people looking for Spain package holidays in just one week, the travel comparison website said. 

On week beginning June 7 , there was a 34 per cent increase in people looking for return flights from Britain on Skyscanner compared to a month ago.

a person standing next to a dog: Anyone arriving from these high-risk countries must also quarantine upon arriving in Greece © Provided by Daily Mail Anyone arriving from these high-risk countries must also quarantine upon arriving in Greece

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Tui will ONLY fly to countries that have 'air bridges' with the UK

Travel company Tui has told its customers that it will only fly them to countries that have 'air bridges' in place.

'Air bridges' give tourists the ability to travel between a foreign country and the UK this summer with no mandatory 14-day quarantine upon landing back home - or arriving there. 

The company has pledged to provide 'quarantine-free holidays' to all its customers, meaning they won't face any coronavirus measures which could impede their trip. 

But this could spell disaster for holidays that are already booked should the 'air bridges' not be established in time, The Sun reports.

Tui told its customers in an email: 'We promise we'll only take you on quarantine-free holidays.

'This means we won't travel to places where we know that you'll need to self-isolate when you arrive or when you return home.'

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Britons could be seeing a more 'normal' summer following the announcement that the UK's 'Covid-alert' level was downgraded from level four to level three following a dramatic reduction in new infections, hospital admissions and deaths. 

Scientists confirmed that the epidemic is shrinking by 4 per cent every day and the crucial reproduction 'R' rate is still below the dreaded level of one.

a screenshot of a cell phone: The measures come after Britain's 'Covid-alert' level was downgraded from level four to level three following a dramatic reduction in new infections, hospital admissions and deaths © Provided by Daily Mail The measures come after Britain's 'Covid-alert' level was downgraded from level four to level three following a dramatic reduction in new infections, hospital admissions and deaths

Number 10's scientific advisory panel SAGE revealed the R - the average number of people each Covid-19 patient infects - has stayed between 0.7 and 0.9 for weeks, meaning the coronavirus is firmly on the fall after terrorizing Britain for months. It must stay below one or Britain will face another crisis. 

Following the news, a raft of new lockdown-easing measures to be announced by Boris Johnson over the next fortnight were revealed. 

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Infections down by 4% each day 

The coronavirus outbreak is shrinking by up to 4 per cent each day, according to Government figures.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies yesterday revealed the epidemic's growth rate – how quickly the number of cases is changing day by day.

The outbreak is overall getting smaller as the growth rate is shrinking by 2 to 4 per cent per day.

But this figure may be growing in London and the Midlands. 

The R value, the measure of how many people an infected person passes the disease on to, is between 0.7 and 0.9. 

A value below one means the disease will eventually peter out. 

While the growth rate shows the size and speed of change, the R value only reveals the direction of change.

Professor Keith Neal from the University of Nottingham said: 'It is good that the growth rate is negative. As the number of cases falls everybody's risk falls.' 

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Beer gardens will be patrolled by staff to enforce social distancing rules and pubs automatically entitled to serve alcohol for people to drink on the pavement in the street.

The Government's scientific advisers have also green-lit plans to ditch the two-metre social distancing rule so that pubs, restaurants and hotels can reopen early next month following a dramatic lowering of the coronavirus alert level.

Pubs will be asked to strictly monitor their beer gardens to ensure social distancing and customers will be encouraged to order their drinks via a phone app. In restaurants, staff will not be able to set tables in advance while hotel staff are being asked to place room service on door steps in a bid to minimise contact between staff and guests. 

There will also be a ban on self-service buffets while napkins and cutlery must be brought out only with food, under the new guidelines seen by the Times. The guidance also states that all menus must be disposable and discarded after every use.

Any hotel guests who fall ill will be forced to self-isolate either at home or in their hotel rooms which will be cordoned off for 72 hours after they check out. Gyms will also be asked to enforce social distances between their machines - though they are not expected to reopen until later this year.

Clubbers may have to wait a while before they can hit the dancefloor however, as they pose difficulties for social distancing. Temperature checks and hand sanitiser at the door could become part of the British night out when clubs finally do reopen.

a close up of a map: Number 10's scientific advisory panel SAGE revealed the reproduction rate - the average number of people each Covid-19 patient infects - is still between 0.7 and 0.9, meaning the coronavirus is firmly in retreat after terrorizing Britain for months. It must stay below one or Britain will face another crisis © Provided by Daily Mail Number 10's scientific advisory panel SAGE revealed the reproduction rate - the average number of people each Covid-19 patient infects - is still between 0.7 and 0.9, meaning the coronavirus is firmly in retreat after terrorizing Britain for months. It must stay below one or Britain will face another crisis

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So how WILL schools reopen under plans to double the size of classroom bubbles? 

Schools in England face waiting a fortnight to find out how the government expects to bring every child back to school in September with unions and teachers baffled over how a bubble of 30 children per class will work.

Boris Johnson and Gavin Williamson said on Friday they intend to speed up pupils' return to the classroom, with the Education Secretary saying the government was looking at expanding bubbles of 15 'to include the whole class'.

The Department for Education has offered no guidance on how schools can plan their return to the new academic year, but it will likely involve cutting the gap between pupils to one metre and following similar guidance from elsewhere.

Unions are up in arms over the lack of clarity, but a 53-page document from Northern Ireland's Department of Education could offer a glimpse inside daily life for schools come September, it involves:

Stay in one classroom:

Secondary school pupils could be asked to stay in one classroom throughout the day, with teachers moving between lessons. There's a possibility meals could be delivered to classrooms to save space and stop 'bubbles' from spreading germs. It's not clear what will happen to art, science and technology equipment, such as canvases and Bunsen burners. Primary schools have followed similar measures, with pupils heading out for staggered, supervised breaks that are often more organised than normal playtime.

Don't bring anything to or from home:

Pupils will be encouraged not to bring bags into school and will also be told not take anything room from the classroom. Equipment that is hard to clean could be placed in storage, which has been done with toys in younger years classes in England. It's not clear what will happen for children bringing books to school or doing homework.

Lessons in dining halls:

To ensure schools have enough room to teach classes, the DoE says dining halls and assembly halls can be temporarily converted to make room for multiple classes. Where there still isn't enough space, schools are being encouraged to make remote learning a possibility. There have been calls, including from Labour leader Keir Starmer, to use empty libraries and leisure centres as makeshift schools to create extra space.

No need for PPE:

The guidance says children should not wear PPE in school and staff should only wear it in very limited circumstances, such as giving medication to a pupil.

Pupils to stay one metre apart:

Pupils to stay one metre apart in classrooms. In Northern Ireland, some principals have said a one-metre social distancing requirement would prevent them from accommodating all pupils at the same time. Scientists have told Boris Johnson to relax the two-metre rule.

Schools should be ready to exclude pupils who do not follow new Covid-19 rules.

The Department of Education warned schools should 'make provision to be able to sanction, up to and including exclusion, pupils who wilfully refuse to adhere to arrangements of social distancing and deliberately cough or spit at pupils or staff, putting them at risk.'

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School 'bubbles' - which currently only allow 15 pupils in a classroom at once - will also be doubled to allow all children to return to school in September and get lessons back up and running. 

And NHS bosses will write to more than 2 million vulnerable patients in England who have been shielding since March to assure them it's safe to go to the shops and get exercise outdoors. 

Ministers will next week publish legislation to push an 'al fresco revolution' across the nation's hospitality industry.

Outdoor eating and drinking will be actively encouraged as customers are far less likely to contract coronavirus in the fresh air.

However there are concerns that long queues outside could be an attractive target for terror. The advice says queues should be directed around bollards and other barriers that protect pedestrians.

But some pubs have vowed to carry on regardless. Jack Stein, Chef Director at his father Rick Stein's restaurant chain, told the Telegraph: 'It is not just about business, we are British and everyone just wants to go to the pub.

When we can serve that first piece of turbot and first pint in our pub it will be fantastic and the whole industry will breathe a sigh of relief.' 

A Government source last night revealed that scientific advisers were now 'totally comfortable' with reducing the restriction – provided other precautions are in place.

These could include making sure buildings are properly ventilated, greater use of masks or the installation of screens where people might be too close together.

The remarks by the senior source are the biggest indication so far that scientists will not resist if Boris Johnson chooses to relax the two-metre rule. Yesterday, the Prime Minister told the public to 'watch this space' when asked whether the rule would be eased in schools. 

Mr Johnson has already announced a review into the controversial guidance in the face of mounting pressure from pub, hotel and restaurant chains and his own backbench MPs.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock hailed the shift in alert level as 'a big moment for the country'. Yesterday Mr Johnson urged the public to 'start thinking of a world where we are less apprehensive of this disease'.

He said the Government would switch from a 'one-size fits all' national lockdown to local restrictions to contain smaller outbreaks. 

After weeks in which the alert was maintained despite Number 10 starting to ease lockdown, the Joint Biosecurity Centre concluded that transmission is no longer 'high or rising exponentially'.

The move was approved by the chief medical officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - and it was hailed by Health Secretary Matt Hancock as a 'big moment' that showed the 'government's plan is working'. 

Mr Johnson faced a backlash at the end of last month when he announced tweaks to lockdown, before it emerged that the alert had not been changed from level four - which according to the government's own definition requires 'current social distancing measures and restrictions' to stay in place.

England's chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, was rumoured to have stood in the way of the move, although there is also thought to have been resistance from his counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It comes as Government scientists published growth rate data for the first time on Friday. Until now, SAGE had only provided details on the R rate - the average number of people an infected person is likely to pass the virus on to. 

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Stay at home as much as possible to stop coronavirus spreading - here is the latest government guidance. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland, anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.

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