Britain Edges Toward Easing Quarantine Rule With Air-Bridge Plan

Britain could relax quarantine requirements for incoming passengers as early as next week after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the government is moving toward the adoption of so-called air bridges.

The travel corridors allowing unfettered movement between countries that have struck bilateral agreements are a “massive priority” for the government and are likely to feature in an announcement on Monday, Shapps told the House of Commons transport committee Wednesday.

“We do think it’s part of the solution,” he said. “We’ll be setting out in full a clarification and explanation about how it will operate on the 29th.”

Britain introduced a 14-day self-quarantine rule for incoming travelers on June 8 as it sought to limit the spread of the coronavirus with lockdowns easing. U.K. airlines, hoteliers and package holiday firms have said the move will put people off visiting or leaving the country just as carriers begin restoring flights in order to rescue what remains of the vital summer vacation season.

The Sun reported Wednesday that air bridges might be announced by the end of this week and are likely to open up travel between Britain and France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Belgium, Germany and Austria. Portugal and the U.K. territory of Gibraltar may be omitted amid concern about recent infection rates, it said.

Criteria used to decide whether a country is a suitable partner will include whether it has social distancing plans in place and whether it can effectively trace outbreaks, Shapps said, adding that the proposals will cover not only air travel but also rail and ferry journeys from France and other countries.

Source: Read Full Article