Brits ‘can holiday in France, Italy and Spain from next week as air bridges open’

air bridges
The prime minister will reportedly give the green light to foreign holidays next Monday (Picture: Corbis via Getty Images/Solarpix)

 

People living in the UK will reportedly be able to holiday in a number of European destinations from next week – but travel to the US and South America will not be permitted until at least December.

Boris Johnson will allegedly give the go-ahead for foreign holidays next Monday, with air bridges to ten countries in Europe set to be announced.

Trips to France, Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey without the need for a 14-day quarantine have been ‘all but confirmed’, MailOnline claims.

Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Gibraltar and Bermuda are also said to be included in the list of destinations the government will deem ‘safe’.

There are mixed reports on whether Portugal is involved in initial plans, with Lisbon recently restoring an 8pm curfew after a spike in coronavirus cases.

The government’s air bridge plans will reportedly expand over time, with trips to Canada, Morocco and the Caribbean expected to be available from August.

Other medium-haul locations including Vietnam, Hong Kong and Dubai will reportedly be open to people from the UK from late August or September.

Britian's Air Bridges Opening
The government will gradually expand the air bridges scheme, it is believed

 

ROME, ITALY - JUNE 19: People take selfies in front of Trevi Fountain on June 19, 2020 in Rome, Italy. Italy has reopened its major tourist attractions and loosened travel restrictions, after months of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, in a bid to reboot the tourism industry that accounts for around 13% of the national GDP. (Photo by Simona Granati - Corbis/Getty Images)
People living in the UK will be able to travel to Italy from next week, it is claimed (Picture: Corbis via Getty Images)

 

A deal with Australia is also reportedly in the works, as long as flights connect to low-risk countries.

However, holidays to the US, Mexico and South American countries will not be allowed until at least December, The Sun claims.

‘Intensive’ phone conversations are said to be currently ongoing to finalise plans in Europe before next week.

Paul Charles from pressure group Quash Quarantine said: ‘There is no way restrictions [on South America and Latin America] will be lifted there any time soon as they are at the epicentre of the pandemic at the moment.

‘And it is unlikely that America will open up before the November election, partly because President Trump won’t open it up, but also because the number of cases there is very high.’

It’s believed the plans will be finalised and signed off today in a meeting with officials from Downing Street, the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Home and Foreign offices.

Airlines and airports will reportedly be briefed on the new arrangements after the meeting.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed yesterday to the Commons Transport Select Committee that an announcement on air bridges will take place on Monday.

People sunbathe on Playa de Palma beach in Mallorca, as Spain officially reopens the borders amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Palma de Mallorca, Spain June 21, 2020. REUTERS/Enrique Calvo
People sunbathe on Playa de Palma beach in Mallorca, as Spain officially reopens the borders amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak (Picture: REUTERS)

 

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps attending a remote press conference
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed an announcement will take place on Monday (Picture: AFP)

 

He said one of the ‘key considerations’ was whether the country had ‘something equivalent to our NHS Test and Trace system’.

Mr Shapps said: ‘The Test and Trace system is enormous here now. We’ve got the capacity to test far more than is immediately required but that would allow for any uplift anywhere.

‘Does the country we’re talking to have that kind of capability?’

He added that the level and trajectory of the disease was being studied in each destination.

The transport minister said introducing air bridges is a ‘massive priority’, adding: ‘I understand entirely the pain that aviation is going through. I know both for airports, for airlines and actually for ground handlers as well, this coronavirus has been a complete disaster.’

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