“Air bridges” are the new concept giving people hope of a socially-distanced summer holiday.
Also known as “travel corridors”, air bridges would allow people to travel freely between the UK and certain other countries, despite the coronavirus still being in circulation.
Since early June the UK has forced anyone entering the country from overseas – with the exception of Ireland – to go into a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival. Many countries around the world share similar policies.
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Air bridges would allow people to avoid this quarantine, and the UK is currently in discussion with other governments to form deals to make them happen.
Will France be included on the UK’s air bridge list?
The UK Government is yet to announce which countries will be granted air bridges.
However, the early signs suggest France will be included, as will other popular holiday destinations such as Spain, Italy, Germany, Greece and Turkey.
Ministers are thought to have been establishing corridors with nations based on a green, amber and red traffic light system, with exemptions granted more readily for nations that have responded effectively to Covid-19.
France has seen around 165,000 coronavirus cases since the outbreak, with around 30,000 deaths – both fewer than the UK.
Flights are currently going ahead between the UK and France, but people have to self-isolate for 14 days at the end of their journey.
When will air bridges come into force?
It is expected that air bridges will be confirmed later this week, with Wednesday and Thursday touted as potential dates for the official announcement.
These agreements will reportedly then come into effect a few days later, possibly to coincide with a raft of other lockdown measures easing on Saturday 4 July, or on Monday 6 July.
However, quarantine measures are likely to remain unchanged for countries in Central and South America, while the US, which currently has its own ban on British and European travellers, is set to be classed as high risk.
A senior Government source told i‘s Hugo Gye last week: “We’re going to establish a policy where we determine which countries are high, medium or low risk based on incidence of infections and some other factors.
“The lowest risk are the small countries where there’s basically no Covid, some of the most popular destinations are probably medium risk.”
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