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Travel: Air Bridges to be announced


Brits will be able to travel to some popular European countries from next week as the first 'air bridges' are set to be announced by the government with a series of holiday spots including Italy, France and Spain, expected to be declared safe for travellers. A quarantine review is planned for June 29 and the Foreign Office will then change its travel advice from "against all but essential international travel" to allow travel to nations considered safe.



Yesterday (Wednesday), Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the so-called air bridges will only be agreed with countries which have a low rate of coronavirus infections as well as a test and trace system similar to the UK one. France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Greece, Belgium, Netherlands, Gibraltar, Bermuda and possibly Portugal will all be announced in the first batch of "safe nations", The Sun reports. Currently, most travellers arriving in the UK must quarantine for 14 days under strict measures introduced this month. Passengers must fill out a form giving an address where they will stay and can face fines if they are caught flouting the rules.


The new policy has caused chaos in the travel industry which is struggling to restart after the Covid-19 lockdown. Air bridges would enable travellers arriving from countries where the risk of being infected by Covid-19 is deemed to be low to avoid going into quarantine after they have landed. Medium haul destinations, such as Dubai and Turkey, are expected to be included towards August. Long haul flights, including Vietnam, Singapore and Hong Kong, are set to be added to the list from mid to late summer. The US, Mexico and South American countries are not expected to be deemed safe until the end of the year because of their high rates of coronavirus infections, according to The Sun.


Face masks are still a requirement when travelling (Heathrow Airport Ltd)


Paul Charles, spokesman for pressure group Quash Quarantine, said the timetable to open air bridges will be followed provided there are no further Covid-19 outbreaks. He told The Sun: "The first phase will be Euro