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Air bridges to be abandoned in favour of wider travel freedoms

02 July 2020 by

The concept of air bridges to a select number of low-Covid-risk countries appears to have been abandoned by government in favour of wider international travel freedoms.

As many as 75 countries are believed to be included in the first quarantine exemption list for British travellers.

The prospect of an easing of quarantine restrictions on a ‘Covid travel list' of countries, including most of Europe, was disclosed in this week's edition of Travel Weekly.

The Foreign Office ban on non-essential travel imposed in March is now due to be lifted to allow access to nearly all EU destinations, British territories including Bermuda and Gibraltar, plus Turkey, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand.

They have been judged sufficiently low-risk destinations for holidaymakers based on the prevalence of Covid-19, that their infection rate is in decline, and that their data on the state of the disease can be trusted, according to The Telegraph.

Travellers to the 75 countries will no longer have to quarantine for 14 days on their return to the UK from Monday, although some like Australia and New Zealand are expected to retain border controls and quarantine for the rest of the year.

The government's traffic light system is expected to include Greece as a low-risk ‘green' country despite it suspending flights from the UK until 15 July.

The ban on non-essential travel will continue to countries such as the US, Russia and Brazil, on the ‘red' list.

A senior government source told The Telegraph that creating a specific list of countries exempt from quarantine posed a diplomatic nightmare and could be open to legal challenge.

They suggested that to avoid such a fall-out, officials were instead pushing for a more informal system that would merely see the FCO's travel advice section amended to include a list of high-risk countries to which Britons should refrain from travelling.

By Travel Weekly reporters

Photo: Shutterstock

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