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British holidaymakers await the publication of the Government’s long-anticipated list of ‘air bridge’ countries, eight weeks after Boris Johnson announced a quarantine on all arrivals in the UK.
Air bridges will effectively mean people can travel abroad again; quarantine will be lifted for anyone arriving back into the UK from air bridge destinations, and the FCO travel ban will change – it has advised against all but essential travel since March.
The government is expected to introduce a traffic light system that will classify countries depending on the prevalence of coronavirus. ‘Green’ will mean they are safer than the UK, ‘amber’ meaning less safe, and ‘red’ will mean arrivals will still need to self isolate on return from that country.
The Telegraph has learnt that a number of popular holiday destinations, including France, Spain and Italy, will feature as ‘green’ on the list. However, travel countries such as Portugal and Sweden, which have seen rising rates of Covid-19 in recent weeks, could be banned for a further period – something Portugal fought back against over the weekend.
It was initially thought the air bridge announcement would be made over the weekend, although Priti Patel yesterday said the deals would be published “in the next few days”.
The absence of a formal announcement hasn’t stopped British holidaymakers from booking. Holiday companies have reported a huge surge in interest; Tui said bookings were up 50 per cent week-on-week, while Hays Travel, which bought Thomas Cook after the operator collapsed last year, said the phones “had not stopped ringing”.
TravelSupermarket said it had seen its busiest weekend since lockdown, with searches doubling and bookings up 50 per cent.
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