BRITS have been given hope for summer holidays today after Grant Shapps confirmed ministers are looking at “travel bridges” between countries with low Covid infections.
The Transport Secretary said today that the Government were looking at allowing people to fly between countries where the spread of the virus is low.
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Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Shapps said it the plan of only allowing travel between Covid-safe areas was just one thing being looked at, alongside the plan to quarantine all arrivals for 14 day.
Everyone who comes into the UK will have to isolate for a fortnight under Government plans, which are set to begin in June.
Mr Shapps said today in the House of Commons: “The final details of the quarantine scheme will be released soon, coming in early next month.”
And he added: “It is the case that we would indeed consider further improvements for example, things like air bridges, enabling people from other areas and countries who have themselves achieved lower levels of growth virus infection, to come into the country.
“So those are the active discussions, but will go beyond what will initially be a blanket situation.”
As it stands, only lorry drivers and key workers are expected to be exempt from the new quarantine rules, then they come in – dashing hopes of a summer holiday for many.
But the idea of travel bridges to areas of low infection will give Brits a boost that if our rate of infections continues to fall, Brits may be able tto jet off on a getaway in the coming months.
The idea is being discussed by the DoT after airline bosses slammed the strict quarantine requirements, warning it would kill the industry.
Travel corridors already been implemented between Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye previously told Sky News that holidays needed to resume sooner rather than later, and warned against the 14-day quarantine plans.
He told Sky News yesterday: “We need to start planning ahead for how we start to reopen our borders so we can start to get the economy back on its feet.”
If there were two countries with a low risk of transmission in each country, “there should be a free flow on passenger between those countries”, he suggested.
“That is the kind of thing we could be thinking about for the next phase in a month or so’s time, as we see the infection rates coming down in this country, and we want to start opening up the economy again,” he added.
Which countries this could apply to is yet to be revealed, but it is thought that high risk countries such as Spain and states in the US such as New York would not be included – both with high cases of coronavirus.
Similar agreements are also being considered between Australia and New Zealand, while the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Croatia are also considering limited travel between each other.
Other countries have also introduced new restrictions for Brits, with Spain banning UK tourists until June 15, while claims that the quarantine rules between the UK and France would not be implemented were quickly quashed.
Earlier today Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary slammed the government’s plans for a 14-day quarantine, calling them “idiotic and unimplementable.”
The budget airline CEO has predicted that the rules forcing anyone coming into the country – even if they have returned from holiday – to self-isolate for two weeks will be over by June.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It’s idiotic and it’s unimplementable.
“You don’t have enough police in the UK to implement a two-week lockdown.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock previously told This Morning that summer holidays would likely be “cancelled”, adding: “I think it’s unlikely that big lavish international holidays are going to be possible for this summer.”
The tourism industry has suffered since lockdown was enforced, with 90 per cent of flights grounded and airlines begging for government bailout.
The UK, which has recorded more than 243,000 cases of coronavirus, still advises against all non-essential travel.
People can go on a day trip within England, but not in Wales, or Scotland.
Over the weekend, Italy announced plans to scrap its own 14-day quarantine for international visitors, reopening its borders to EU tourists from June 3.
Spain aims to reopen borders to tourists by the end of June – and end the 14-day quarantine restrictions.
We’ve answered all of your travel questions from getting refunds to when you can expect your next holiday.
However, some fear that a UK staycation may be the safest option for a trip this year, with caravan parks hoping to open by July.
Here are the most beautiful caravan sites in the UK you can visit when they reopen.
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