What is an air bridge and which countries could be linked to the UK?

BRITISH holidaymakers will soon be able travel abroad again without the need to quarantine once they arrive.

Ministers are currently working to set up "air bridges", intended to reopen travel opportunities to countries such as France, Spain and Italy.

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What are air bridges?

Also called "travel corridors", air bridges will allow tourists to travel between two countries without the need to quarantine.

Air-bridge agreements between countries, particularly those with low cases of coronavirus, would allow two-way travel without restrictions.

On June 25, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps revealed air bridges will only be agreed with countries which have a coronavirus test and trace system at the same standard as the UK as well as a low rate of the virus.

The safe travel corridors will be set up after the quarantine review on June 29.

The government has also announced a new traffic-light system that will be used to rate other countries' coronavirus risk.

People travelling to Green or Amber countries will soon no be longer required to quarantine for 14 days on their return to the UK.

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 in July, before the Caribbean, Canada and Dubai allow for holidays in August.

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

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.

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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