What you need to know about Air Bridges

Isabel Ellis details what we need to know about Air Bridges and what it means for UK travel.

Isabel Ellis
17th June 2020
Image Credit: George Hodan (publicdomainpictures.net)
A phrase that has been thrown around the news in recent weeks is Air Bridges. Air Bridges, also coined under the term “travel corridors”, would allow passengers traveling from the UK to specific, pre-organised destinations to not self-isolate for 14 days after arriving back in the UK. Essentially, it is travel between two countries that have the COVID-19 outbreak under control.

Air Bridges are put in place to help boost the depleting travel industry by encouraging UK residents to not feel employment repercussions after travelling and overall aid the economy. Yet, there has been grave skepticism towards Britain striking up Air Bridges with other countries due to its high infection rate.

Patricia Yates, Visit Britain’s chief executive has noted however, that countries such as Germany, France, Italy and the US are likely allies in the scheme.

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In fact, airlines in Britain have sent ministers a list of 45 proposed countries they believe should be exempt from the 14-day quarantine restrictions. These include British summer hotspots such as Cyprus, Turkey, and Malta just to name a few. Even countries further afield have been included as Barbados, Canada, and Hong Kong also feature.

Yet, there are exemptions from this list, notably Russia, South Africa and China, where R rates are still relatively high.

For all travellers wishing to make their Mamma Mia dreams a reality in the coming weeks, they will have to wait an ounce longer.  Greece has announced that although they are opening their borders from June 15, visitors from Britain are discouraged. However, Greece’s foreign minister Augusto Santos Silva does have hopes of an agreement between the two countries coming into fruition by the end of June.

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If plans of ‘Air Bridges’ do go ahead, there will still be strict social distancing measures put in place as soon as you land. Passengers must provide information in relation to their contact details and travel plans to ensure that if an infection does arise, it can be traced. Such plans could also involve random checks from public health authorities in attempts to take extra precautions.

So, I hear you all ask, does this mean I can reignite my fantasy of sipping a cocktail in a foreign land at some point this summer? To that I say, probably not. Although recent travel news is looking extremely promising compared to that of a couple of months ago, UK foreign travel advice is to still only travel when essential. Meaning that unfortunately, lounging on a sunbed in 30° heat does not constitute as essential.

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