Passengers traveling between the UK and some countries will no longer have to be quarantined in accordance with the government’s air bridge scheme.
Most people entering the UK now have to quarantine two weeks, but new rules will make travel easier.
A list of countries will be announced later this week and will take effect soon.
What are air bridges?
Air bridges will allow smoother movement between two countries with a relatively low level of coronavirus.
They work in both directions, so people can travel between them without having to quarantine them upon arrival.
Air bridges are also known as “tourist corridors” when they include international land and sea flights.
The government seems to be going to introduce them using a traffic light system.
This will allow countries to be classified as green, amber or red, depending on the number of new cases of coronavirus and possible changes in the near future.
Travelers entering the UK from a country that is classified as green or amber are not required to be quarantined. Those traveling from countries in the red category will be.
It is assumed that all arriving passengers will still have to fill out a contact form, indicating their personal details and the address where they will live.
These classifications will not be fully described – if cases of coronavirus increase in the UK or a partner country, it will be possible to either decide to close the air bridge and introduce restrictions.
Equally, more air bridges could be installed if the incidence rate in the UK declines worldwide.
Why are air bridges being introduced?
Since March 17, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has opposed all but important international trips, but is currently reviewing its recommendations on this issue. The guidance is expected to be discontinued for countries assigned to green or amber.
This will allow the British to go abroad on vacation or visit relatives. This can help the UK get an economic boost from tourists.
However, the Scottish government says it has not decided whether restrictions should be relaxed. While border controls are controlled by the UK government, health measures, such as quarantine requirements, are determined by each country of residence separately.
Which countries are listed?
An initial list of countries that have agreed on air bridges with the UK will be announced later this week.
It is believed that the list contains more than 15 countries, including France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Norway and Finland.
But there are still question marks around Portugal, which was the first country to offer an air bridge to the UK, but recently there has been an increase in new cases around Lisbon.
Sweden, which has not applied strict localization measures and has a higher infection rate than the UK, is also unlikely to be on this list.
Greece is also likely to be missing from the list. A country with less than 200 coronavirus deaths has said it will not accept direct flights from the UK until at least mid-July.