//‘Air bridges’ plan announced

‘Air bridges’ plan announced

ABTA welcomes announcement but urges clarity of countries involved.

The government has announced plans to form ‘air bridges’ with a number of European countries, giving Britons the green light to holiday abroad from July.

The reciprocal agreements mean travellers from approved nations can enter the UK without having to quarantine for 14 days, proving a boost to in bound tourism.

The full list of countries is yet to be confirmed, amid repots of the travel industry being kept in the dark over plans, but is expected to involve France, Greece, Spain and Portugal.

Last week, the Spanish government announced that British visitors would not need to quarantine on arrival – and asked the UK government to show reciprocity.

Portugal’s ambassador to the UK also said the country was keen to come to an agreement that would allow British tourists to visit this summer.

“We think the situation is under control and we would be happy to receive, as before, as many British as possible,” Manuel Lobo Antunes, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

It comes after Tui outlined its plans to restart holidays from the UK from July 11. The travel giant will begin flying to eight destinations in Greece, the Balearics and the Canaries from three UK airports, Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham.

In a statement it said that up to 8,300 holidaymakers could travel on up to 44 flights per week to Ibiza, Palma, Corfu, Crete, Kos, Rhodes, Lanzarote and Tenerife.

Data from Cirium, a travel data and analytics company, has found Spain, Greece, Italy, France and Turkey are the top destinations for flights scheduled from the UK in July.

An ABTA spokesperson said: “It is encouraging that the government has concluded its first review of its Public Health Measures at the border, and that passengers arriving from certain destinations will not be required to quarantine.

“Confirmation of the list of countries is eagerly anticipated by the travel industry, and should encourage customers to book. The blanket Foreign Office advice against all but essential travel is still a major impediment to travel, however, and we look forward to the government adopting a similar risk-based approach to that advice.”

Meanwhile, ABTA has published a Post Pandemic Recovery guide to assist destinations and the travel industry in the transition to restarting travel.

Post Pandemic Recovery: A Guide has been produced to support travel providers, suppliers and destination governments to identify areas that should be considered when making modifications to operations as a result of the global crisis.