Here’s when holidays to Spain, Italy and France could be allowed as air bridges are planned with 10 European countries

Thursday, 25th June 2020, 12:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th June 2020, 12:41 pm
The UK government is expected to introduce ‘air bridges’ with a number of European destinations (Photo: Shutterstock)

Restrictions on shops, visiting family and going to the pub are now slowly beginning to ease across the UK, as the country gradually returns to normality.

While several changes to current rules have been announced, the prospect of travelling abroad is still something of a question mark.

Will air bridges be introduced?

The UK government is expected to introduce ‘air bridges’ with a number of European destinations from next week.

This will allow people in the UK to travel to select countries in Europe that have a low infection rate and where coronavirus is under control.

Such routes would allow tourists to travel freely between a number of approved countries, without being forced into mandatory quarantine on either end of their journey.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to approve foreign holidays on Monday (29 June), with air bridges in ten countries in Europe due to be announced.

Travel to France, Italy, Spain, Greece and Turkey are among those understood to be confirmed, without the need for a 14-day quarantine.

Other European destinations including Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Gibraltar and Bermuda are also believed to be included in the list of destinations considered to be safe by the government.

It was also expected that Portugal would be included on the list, but it is now uncertain after a recent spike of coronavirus cases in the capital, with Lisbon being forced to restore an 8pm curfew.

Will more destinations be added?

Plans for air bridges will reportedly expand over time, with the government planning to add more destinations when it is safe to do so.

Travel to countries including Canada, the Caribbean and Morocco are expected to be safe to visit from August, while other medium-haul locations will be added from late August and September. These could include Vietnam, Hong Kong and Dubai.

An air bridge with Australia is also understood to be in progress, but on the condition connecting flights only come from low-risk countries.

As for holidays to the United States, Mexico and South America, it is not expected travel to these countries will be allowed until at least December.

When will plans be announced?

Finalised plans for air bridges are expected to be signed off by the UK government on Thursday (25 June), in a meeting with officials from Downing Street, the Department for Transport (Dft) and the Home and Foreign Offices.

Following the meeting, airlines and airports are to be briefed on the new arrangements, with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirming that an official announcement on air bridges plans will take place on Monday (29 June).

Mr Shapps added that getting air bridges in place with other countries is a “massive priority” for the government, as part of efforts to get the tourism and travel sector back up and running.

He said: “I understand entirely the pain that aviation is going through.

“I know both for airports, for airlines and actually for ground handlers as well, this coronavirus has been a complete disaster.”