Failure to slow the spread of Covid-19 as quickly as other EU countries means travelers with UK passports may not be welcome in destinations such as France, Spain, Greece and Italy.
MEPs learned today that the collapse of air transport means that the third runway at Heathrow may no longer be needed for 10 to 15 years.
With flights down 95%, airport manager John Holland-Kaye told the Select Committee that the progress of the project would depend on “the way things go over the next few years”.
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The future of Gatwick Airport also looks uncertain as Virgin Atlantic and British Airways have announced plans to cut their operations.
Ministers encourage stays, but it is unclear whether trips to areas like the Lake District, Cornwall or Devon will be allowed by July and August.
Cumbria’s director of public health, Colin Cox, said there was a risk of a second wave of infections as the containment in the lakes “frayed”.
Hotels, caravan parks and guesthouses are still closed, and at a recent press conference in Downing Street, a business owner in Cornwall asked Boris Johnson how tourism would be managed.
He said, “We have to revive your business, to revive tourism.
“But we cannot allow an influx of tourists as large as creating a second peak, a second wave of the disease. “
Cabinet Minister Michael Gove told members that “for the time being and for a while”, people should not travel to visit popular resorts.
Some UK hotels could stay closed for a year if they cannot open during the summer. Patricia Yates of Visit Britain warned that for many hotels it was not worth opening if they were limited to less than 30% of their capacity due to social distancing.
She said, “The normal pattern is that companies earn their money in July and August and then make do for the rest of the year. Many companies say that if they miss summer, they will stay closed. “
It has emerged that other countries have concluded informal agreements so that their citizens can travel during school holidays. Both Germany and Italy have announced that their citizens should be able to take summer holidays abroad.
An alliance has been created between Australia, Austria, Israel, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece and New Zealand to facilitate travel between them.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said: “Our nations reacted early and forcefully, and now we are in a better place. “
In Spain, the Minister of Tourism of the Balearic Islands, Iago Negueruela, distinguished Great Britain for its response to the virus, suggesting that it had reduced chances of vacation in Ibiza, Majorca or Menorca. He said: “There are countries like the United Kingdom that have taken too long to adopt containment measures.
“It puts us in a different situation with them.”
The President of the Balearics, Francina Armengol, asked the EU to set up a “homogeneous framework across the continent to guarantee the safe resumption of aviation activity”.
German Tourism Commissioner Thomas Bareiss said citizens should be able to travel to neighboring “car accessible” countries like Holland, Austria, France, Poland and Belgium.
He said: “I would not write other parts of Europe yet, like the Balearic Islands or the Greek Islands.
“Hopefully, given the good numbers, we can ease the restrictions in four to eight weeks.”
Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will open their borders to their respective citizens from May 15. Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernlis said: “The three Baltic states have successfully controlled the spread of the coronavirus, and we have confidence in their health systems. “
Travel between Britain and France by ferry or Eurotunnel works, but people must prove that they have a family or work reason to cross the Channel or that they live permanently in France to continue the journey from there. ‘other side.
This should continue for some time after President Emmanuel Macron warned his citizens that it was “too early to say if we can take a vacation.”
He added, “We will limit major international travel, even during the summer. We will remain among Europeans and, depending on the course of the epidemic, we may have to reduce this figure a little further. “
Most EU states have a 14-day quarantine for those arriving at their borders, including their own citizens. The United States does not allow any British or European citizens to enter the country as it struggles to contain the spread of Covid-19.
The advice of the British Foreign Office is still against everything except essential travel.