‘Air bridges’ plan is set to involve fewer than 10 countries including Spain, Greece and France


Fewer than 10 countries will have an ‘air bridge’ to the UK and travelers arriving from elsewhere could have to pay for a COVID-19 test to avoid 14-day quarantine

  • Officials are examining both the coronavirus risk and destination’s popularity 
  • At the moment, any traveller arriving in the UK must quarantine for 14 days
  • ‘Air bridge’ rules would come into play on July 4 and to be announced on June 29
  • Trial for coronavirus tests on landing is set to take place at UK airport next month
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The ‘air bridges’ plan is set to involve less than ten countries, giving tourists the ability to travel between them and the UK this summer with no mandatory 14-day quarantine.

A total of 12 countries – including Greece, Spain, Portugal and France – are being considered with officials examining both the risk of travellers bringing Covid-19 back and the popularity of the destination.

At the moment, any traveller arriving in the UK – whether from Britain or a tourist – must quarantine for 14 days and provide their phone number and an address for self-isolation. 

The 'air bridges' plan is set to involve less than ten countries, giving tourists the ability to travel between them and the UK this summer with no mandatory 14-day quarantine. Pictured: Gatwick Airport this week

The ‘air bridges’ plan is set to involve less than ten countries, giving tourists the ability to travel between them and the UK this summer with no mandatory 14-day quarantine. Pictured: Gatwick Airport this week

A total of 12 countries - including Greece, Spain, Portugal and France - are being considered with officials examining both the risk of travellers bringing Covid-19 back and the popularity of the destination. Pictured: Gatwick Airport

A total of 12 countries – including Greece, Spain, Portugal and France – are being considered with officials examining both the risk of travellers bringing Covid-19 back and the popularity of the destination. Pictured: Gatwick Airport

Searches for Spain and Greece doubled on Travelsupermarket after the nations declared they were open for business. Pictured: Heathrow Airport

Searches for Spain and Greece doubled on Travelsupermarket after the nations declared they were open for business. Pictured: Heathrow Airport

There has been an 18 per cent increase in people looking for Spain package holidays in just one week, the travel comparison website said. Pictured: Heathrow Airport

There has been an 18 per cent increase in people looking for Spain package holidays in just one week, the travel comparison website said. Pictured: Heathrow Airport

London City Airport will reopen this weekend after being closed for nearly three months

London City Airport reopens on Sunday after being closed to commercial flights for nearly three months.

The airport has introduced a series of new safety and hygiene measures, including enhanced cleaning, limiting terminal access to those with a ticket and mandatory face coverings.

Its first flight following the restart will be operated by Loganair on behalf of BA CityFlyer from the Isle of Man and is due to land shortly after 6pm.

Initial routes will mainly be restricted to those within the UK and Ireland, with services to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dublin expected to return next month.

New routes to Teesside and Dundee will be launched on July 6 while flights to sunshine destinations such as Ibiza, Florence, Malaga and Palma are likely to resume in the coming weeks.

London City’s runway was closed to commercial and private flights on March 25 due to the collapse in demand and travel restrictions resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

The airport has been available to Government agencies and the military during the crisis. 

The ‘air bridge’ rules would come into play on July 4 and will likely be announced on June 29. But it will only go ahead if the chief medical officer provides advice on each nation and the Foreign Office lifts its non-essential travel ban to the countries in question. 

An aviation source told The Daily Telegraph: ‘It is work in progress – risk first, and how you measure that risk, followed by the popularity of the destination.’

A second plan, which could reduce the need for quarantine and kick-start the travel sector post-lockdown, is the possibility of coronavirus tests for arrivals in UK airports, The Times reports.

A trial is set to take place at a UK airport next month and will be run by Swissconsent port and the Collinson Group.

Nurses will administer free and optional nose swabs on those willing to take part. Saliva tests will also be trialled at the airport – which has not yet been named.

Results will be provided between seven and 24 hours later.

Greece has already introduced mandatory Covid-19 testing for arrivals from countries deemed high-risk, such as the UK.

Anyone landing from these countries must also quarantine on arrival.  

Any plans depend on reducing the risk of a second wave meaning quarantine could stay in place for the next few months. 

This hasn’t stopped Britons eagerly looking into potential holidays, however, as searches for Spain and Greece doubled on Travelsupermarket after the nations declared they were open for business.

There has been an 18 per cent increase in people looking for Spain package holidays in just one week, the travel comparison website said. 

On week beginning June 7 , there was a 34 per cent increase in people looking for return flights from Britain on Skyscanner compared to a month ago.

Greece has mandatory Covid-19 testing for arrivals from countries deemed high-risk, such as the UK. Pictured: Athens airport

Greece has mandatory Covid-19 testing for arrivals from countries deemed high-risk, such as the UK. Pictured: Athens airport

In other developments to Britain’s coronavirus crisis on Friday:

  • The Government was accused of underplaying the coronavirus death toll after it emerged more than 1,000 people died every day in the UK for 22 consecutive days;
  • Schools in England face waiting a fortnight to find out how the government expects to bring every child back to school in September;
  • This comes as plans in Northern Ireland suggest teachers will have to move between classrooms and school bags could be banned; 
  • A Whitehall source said ministers were considering relaxing the rules even further by allowing two families to go into one another’s’ houses in ‘support bubbles’;
  • A 12-year-old child is among the youngest people in Britain to die from coronavirus, after passing away in hospital earlier this week. 
Anyone arriving from these high-risk countries must also quarantine upon arriving in Greece

Anyone arriving from these high-risk countries must also quarantine upon arriving in Greece

At the moment, any traveller arriving in the UK - whether from Britain or a tourist - must quarantine for 14 days and provide their phone number and an address for self-isolation. Pictured: Cleaning staff in Gatwick airport this week

At the moment, any traveller arriving in the UK – whether from Britain or a tourist – must quarantine for 14 days and provide their phone number and an address for self-isolation. Pictured: Cleaning staff in Gatwick airport this week

The 'air bridge' rules would come into play on July 4 and will likely be announced on June 29. Pictured: Cleaning staff in Gatwick airport this week

The ‘air bridge’ rules would come into play on July 4 and will likely be announced on June 29. Pictured: Cleaning staff in Gatwick airport this week

Any plans depend on reducing the risk of a second wave meaning quarantine could stay in place for the next few months. Pictured: Staff in Gatwick Airport

Any plans depend on reducing the risk of a second wave meaning quarantine could stay in place for the next few months. Pictured: Staff in Gatwick Airport

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