Summer holidays: “Air Bridges” and “Travel Corridors” to ease travel with traffic light system

There’s good news for those suffering from lockdown fatigue and desperate to go on holiday. The self-isolation imposed on arrivals into the UK on June 8 is due to be revised.

The government has announced that they are due to announce measures to ease travel. Arrivals into the UK from certain countries will no longer need to self-isolate for 14 days after July 6, thanks to bilateral agreements with some countries to implement air bridges (air travel) and travel corridors (travel by sea and land).

A list will be published next week, and a traffic light system will indicate which countries get the green light based on the prevalence of coronavirus. In effect, the measure based on a risk-based approach. A nation will be COVID-rated Green – go ahead,  Amber – go ahead or Red – no-go.

Countries likely to be included are Spain (who have already removed their quarantine measures for Brits), France, Italy, Germany and Greece, countries with a low R (reproduction of the virus) number and deemed safe to visit. This will be a boon for Mediterranean travel.

Later on, further countries will be added to the list such as Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland and Norway, as well as “low risk” Caribbean islands which Public Health England has identified as having minimal infections.

One long-haul “air bridge” is being considered with Australia, although this comes with complications around transiting in stop-over countries that the UK does not have a reciprocal air bridge arrangement.


There’s talk of some controversial omissions such as Portugal. The country’s capital, Lisbon, has had a spike in Covid-19 incidences and is currently under lockdown. Popular resorts such as the Algarve and Madeira, where there are no incidences of Covid-19. are being tarred with the same brush.

Since March 17 the message from the Foreign Office not to travel unless it is essential and anyone returning to the UK has to go into quarantine for 14 days.

After July 6 this is likely to change to coincide with the easing of travel. However though it’s possible to travel before then, those that do will find that they are invalidating their travel insurance.

Should I go ahead and book my holiday?

 

You could of course book your summer holiday but there are certain risks. It’s worth noting that the government is not u-turn averse and rules could change at any time or an air bridge could be revoked at any time which means countries currently on the Green Light list could be removed.

Conversely, if the UK were to experience a spike in Covid-19 incidences, countries with an air bridge agreement may sever the link.

Foreign Office advice is under constant review and if spikes in the virus appear their advice may change affecting your travel plans and of course invalidating your travel insurance.