British tourists are warned air bridges could collapse at short notice leaving them facing 14-day quarantine on return to UK
- Holidaymakers can travel to 74 locations without having to quarantine in the UK
- The government will start putting places on a ‘red list’ at possible short notice
- It means you could go abroad to a country for your holiday but the government could place it on the ‘red’ list, meaning you would have to quarantine upon return
British tourists have been warned that a new travel system means air bridges could collapse at short notice leaving them facing a 14-day quarantine on return to the UK.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office earlier this month set out exemptions for a number of countries from its ‘all but essential’ travel guidance.
It means that currently holidaymakers can travel to 74 locations without having to quarantine for 14 days upon their return to the UK.
However Britain currently reviews all the countries on the ‘safe list’ every three weeks. But the government is expected to unveil a new rolling review list that means places could be on a ‘red list’ at very short notice, as reported by The Telegraph.
This means you could go abroad to a country on the ‘safe’ list for your holiday, but while away a spike in coronavirus cases could mean the government could place it on the ‘red’ list, meaning you would have to quarantine for 14-days upon your return.
It comes as Spain is set to remain on the safe list, despite a spike in Covid-19 cases that has left many people cancelling holidays.
Elizabeth Keegan, director of tourism in Lloret de Mar, said: ‘We are getting cancellations from Britain, France and Belgium.
Women wearing face masks walk along La Misericordia Beach in Malaga on July 22
‘The 120 hotels here are about 65 per cent full and they are normally 100 per cent full at this time of year.’
It comes amid discussion that ‘regional’ air bridges could be set up to allow people to travel to specific areas of countries where there are lower rates of coronavirus infections.
The ‘regional’ air bridges plan could see low risk areas identified in high risk countries which travellers would be able visit without then being subject to 14-day quarantine rules upon their return.
Such a move would mean the end of outright travel bans on entire countries and represent a further easing of quarantine rules.
It is thought the air bridge plan is being looked at as part of a review of current travel restrictions, with changes due to be announced by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps on Monday.
People sunbathe at the La Misericordia Beach in Malaga this week as tourists begin to return
The introduction of ‘regional’ air bridges could open up travel to tourist hotspots like The Algarve and Madeira in Portugal while keeping a ban on going to areas like Lisbon where coronavirus is more prevalent.
It could also allow for the return of some travel to the US amid fears the national scale of its outbreak could result in a long term ban.
A source told The Telegraph: ‘Regional air bridges are an option for countries with localised outbreaks.
‘The US is a major issue. If you judge it nationally, the absence of travel could go on for months, which is where individual testing of arrivals could work.’
Gloria Guevara, president of the World Travel and Tourism Council, told The Times: ‘The establishment of air corridors between financial centres where infection levels are low, such as between London and New York, would provide a vital boost to business travel and aid the economic recovery.’
Meanwhile, ministers are also believed to be looking at introducing coronavirus tests before or on arrival at UK airports in a further measure which could reopen travel to the US.
Mr Shapps will set out on Monday any changes to the current travel rules and announce whether any countries will be added to the 74 which are already exempt from the 14-day quarantine requirement.