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UK News Britons to be allowed to take holidays as air bridges plan takes form

10:40  25 june  2020
10:40  25 june  2020 Source:   msn.com

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British holidaymakers could be allowed to fly to countries with low coronavirus infection rates via “ air bridges ” that negate Spain and Italy have announced plans to reopen to international tourists in the coming weeks, raising hopes that Britons might still enjoy Breakfast allowed to be taken anywhere.

Air bridges will be available from next week to allow Britons to take holidays in other countries without quarantining for 14 days, it has been reported.

The Government will finalise agreements in coming days to allow people to travel from the UK to a small number of countries including Spain, France and Greece, according to reporting by The Times, The Sun and The Daily Telegraph.

The news follows Transport Secretary Grant Shapps indicating air bridges would only be agreed with countries which have a coronavirus test and trace system at the same standard as that used in Britain.

Mr Shapps told the Commons Transport Select Committee there would be an announcement about air bridges on Monday, but the Telegraph reported the unveiling would take place at the weekend.

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Instead of the quarantine rules, “ air bridges ” have been proposed which would see an agreement between two countries to allow quarantine-free DON'T MISS Spain holiday : Canary Islands bans Britons as Germans allowed to visit [INSIGHT] Travel blogger reveals what it's like when holidays

Air bridges between UK and low-risk countries could be introduced at end of June. PA Media. Bosses of the travel and hospitality industry have been privately assured by the Government that “ air bridges ” will be introduced for foreign summer holidays from June 29 to replace blanket quarantine.

Asked what “key considerations” formed the negotiations, Mr Shapps said the ability of a country to alert people if they have been in contact with a person who has coronavirus is one of the factors.

Outlining the questions being asked by UK officials, he said: “Do they have something equivalent to our NHS Test and Trace system? The Test and Trace system is enormous here now. We’ve got the capacity to test far more than is immediately required but that would allow for any uplift anywhere.

“Does the country we’re talking to have that kind of capability?”

He said another issue being considered is the level and trajectory of the disease in a destination.

Mr Shapps added that introducing air bridges is a “massive priority”, saying: “I understand entirely the pain that aviation is going through. I know both for airports, for airlines and actually for ground handlers as well, this coronavirus has been a complete disaster.”

There were mixed reports on Thursday over whether Portugal would be included in the UK’s plans after a spike in coronavirus cases in the country.

Since June 8, all passengers – bar a handful of exemptions – have been required to go into self-isolation for 14 days when they arrive in the UK.

People who fail to comply can be fined £1,000 in England, and police are allowed to use “reasonable force” to make sure they follow the rules.

Nicola Sturgeon: UK Government’s decision-making on air bridges shambolic .
She said she will need to study the list of countries exempt from quarantine in England before deciding whether to align with the policy.The First Minister said she wants to “maximise alignment” with the rest of the UK so travellers do not have to quarantine, but added she needs time to study the British Government’s proposals – saying they have regularly changed like “shifting sands”.

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