What are air bridges and which holiday destinations could be linked to the UK?

BRITS will soon be able to go on holidays abroad without the need to quarantine.

Currently, any travellers returning to the UK face going into self-isolation for 14 days – but air bridges with other countries including France, Spain and Italy will put an end to this.

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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 told the House of Commons that air bridges "enable people from other areas and countries who have themselves achieved lower levels of growth virus infection to come into the country."

Some countries in Europe are requiring visitors to quarantine for 14 days on arrival, which the UK has also enforced this since June 8.

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.

The government is currently debating so-called “air bridges” with countries experiencing low numbers of COVID-19 infections – which would mean travellers both ways would be exempt from quarantine. 

It could see Brits travelling freely across Europe from July without having to quarantine on their return.

Which countries are considering air bridges?

Spain, France and Italy are set to be among the first to have air bridge agreements with the UK.

It is expected to be in place on June 29, joining a host of other nations including Germany, Bermuda, Gibraltar and Austria.

UK tourists could eventually visit Portugal too, as both countries have agreed to potentially allow access to the country for British families without quarantining.

Portugal's foreign minister confirmed his country is talking to UK counterparts about air bridges so tourists can avoid being quarantined.

Augusto Santos Silva told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that "quarantine is an enemy of tourism".

He added: "Our diplomats will work together to guarantee that British tourists coming to Portugal would not be subjected on their return to England to any kind of quarantine."

And these would only be in the first step with British Overseas Territories like Cayman Islands to form travel corridors next month, before the Caribbean, Canada and Dubai allow for holidays in August.

However, for those eyeing up a trip to USA or Mexico, you could have to wait until December.

Most international arrivals into the UK are required to go into self-isolation for 14 days, while in France, a two-week quarantine is currently in place for UK visitors – although this is unenforced.

Are air bridges already in place?

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

However, overnight stays are not currently allowed, so a holiday is off the cards.

With the islands borders remaining closed, this is likely to remain the case until further lockdown measures are eased.

Airlines are ready with flights when travel is allowed again, with easyJet and BA offering domestic routes next month.

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