The UK May See the Introduction of Air Bridges at First Review of Quarantine Measures

Lago Nambino in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy
Lago Nambino in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy Credit: Valery Collins

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the UK, has revived the hopes of British holidaymakers for a holiday abroad this summer. He has announced the possible introduction of air bridges at the first review of the quarantine measures on 29 June.  This is good news for those hoping to benefit from the sale of cheap flights starting on 29 May.

Quarantine for all Arrivals to the UK

From 8 June all passengers arriving in the UK, foreigners and residents, will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.  A requirement to be enforced by spot checks and financial penalties.  But, there are exceptions.  The establishment of a Common Travel Area allows people to travel between Ireland, the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey without the need to quarantine.  The creation of travel bridges will set up similar systems through agreements with other countries.

How are Travel Bridges Created?

More than two months ago the British Foreign Office advised Britons they should not travel abroad unless it is essential because of the Covid-19 pandemic.  After 8 June anyone who does decide to go overseas may face compulsory self-isolation on arrival and also on their return.   These measures have effectively destroyed any hopes of foreign summer holidays this year.

The Island of Corfu, Greece
The Island of Corfu, Greece Credit: Valery Collins

Some European Union countries, for example, Portugal, Italy and Greece, have already announced opening dates for their borders.  These announcements have raised hopes that travel between these countries and the UK may become a possibility this summer.  But not while arrivals in the UK from these countries have to quarantine.  There are reports that the UK government is considering building a bridge between some of these countries.  These bridges allow free travel without having to self-isolate on arrival at the destination and then again on the return home.

When and Where the First Air Bridges May Be Introduced

The earliest date for the introduction of the first air bridges will be 29 June.  The first three-week review of quarantine measures in the UK.  It will be dependent on the UK continuing to drive down the rate of infection of the virus in the UK.  Also, the other countries concerned will have to demonstrate their control of the virus has been at least as successful, or better than the UK.

Lisbon in Portugal
Lisbon, Capital of Portugal Credit: Valery Collins

According to The Times talks between Portugal and the UK have already begun.  Air bridges with Greece and Italy are also possible.

A sale of cheap flights begins today, 29 May.  The Prime Minister’s announcement will no doubt generate a lot of enthusiasm for this sale.  Some airlines offer penalty-free cancellation and re-booking to boost their sales.  So, it seems, there is a light at the end of the lockdown tunnel.

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