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Published on Monday, June 15, 2020

Air bridges could be announced in 10 days

The aviation industry is becoming increasingly hopeful that the Government will make an announcement on travel corridors before the quarantine is due to be reviewed on June 29.

The Telegraph has cited sources saying the Department of Transport had 'intimated' to airlines that air bridges could be announced on June 25 or 26, allowing travel from select destinations without the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

This would give airlines and travel companies a bit more time to restart their operations and salvage some business for the peak months of July and August.

A House of Commons report on the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the aviation industry, published on Saturday, has called for the UK quarantine to be abandoned.

The report, by the cross-party Transport Select Committee, says the quarantine will 'damage the recovery of the sector and the wider economy'.

It said: "We support a more targeted and nuanced border control policy that would allow people travelling from countries where the infection rate of Covid-19 is relatively low to enter the UK on a less restrictive basis."

MPs also called for the UK Government to publish the scientific evidence that is backing the quarantine, which is yet to be seen.

Ryanair said it welcomed the report's call to end the damaging measure and added: "Thousands of UK families are ignoring this useless quarantine and booking their well-deserved family holidays in July and August."

Meanwhile the pilots union BALPA said it was pleased the Transport Select Committee report highlights the lack of evidence for the 'botched' quarantine policy.

General secretary Brian Strutton said unless it was reversed very soon, it will be 'hugely damaging' for the long-term health of the industry.

Ryanair, British Airways and easyJet have begun legal action against the Government over the quarantine.

The quarantine came into force on June 8 and, according to reports, there have not yet been any fines issued.

Meanwhile France opened up its borders today, no longer requiring visitors from the UK and other European countries to demonstrate their travel to the country is essential. UK visitors are still being asked to quarantine for 14 days on arriving in France but this will not be policed.

Spain is to allow free travel for visitors from the UK and EU countries from June 21, although its border with Portugal will remain shut until July 1 on request of the Portuguese Government.

Spain is also allowing some German holidaymakers to visits its Balearic islands from today as part of a pilot scheme.


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