BRITS will be able to fly to safe vacation spots next week as the government announces the first round of “airlift” to destinations.
The Sun can reveal the road map of world destinations which will be revealed as safe in the weeks and months to come.
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A series of “intensive telephone calls” are still underway to finalize the bilateral agreements, which will begin next week when a series of European holiday destinations, including France, Italy and Spain, are declared secure by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said today that “air bridges” will only be agreed with countries that have a coronavirus testing and tracing system at the same level as the United Kingdom and a low virus rate.
Safe travel lanes will be put in place after the quarantine review on June 29 and the Department of Foreign Affairs will change its travel advice from “against everything except essential international travel” to allow travel to these safe countries.
France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Greece, Belgium, the Netherlands, Gibraltar, Bermuda and perhaps Portugal will all be announced in the first batch of “nations sure ”.
There will also be a “slow trickle” of updated destinations from there, with medium-haul destinations like Turkey and Dubai added around August.
Long-haul flights will be back on the cards in the middle of the summer, with trips to Vietnam, Singapore and Hong Kong due to the deal.
Authorities are also working on an ambitious plan to allow travel from Australia without having to quarantine, provided the flights have not been in transit to high-risk countries.
But the United States, Mexico and the countries of South America will be banned until the end of the year.
Paul Charles of the Quash Quarantine lobby group has received government assurances on the schedule, subject to further massive outbreaks of seizures.
He told the Sun, “I am waiting for an announcement by the end of the week.
“Work is still underway on finalizing the travel lanes, and I am aware that a lot of intensive telephone is taking place among people across Europe.
“Although Portugal has had a question mark because of the recent epidemic, it will finally get there.
“The first phase will be Europe, and the second phase from August will be longer, with the Caribbean, Dubai and Morocco included. ”
However, those who hope to travel to the United States or Mexico as well as the countries of South America are likely to be subject to quarantine for some time to come.
He added: “South America and Latin America will likely be exempt from the end of the year.
“There is no way the restrictions can be lifted there anytime soon, as they are currently at the epicenter of the pandemic.
“And it is unlikely that America will open before the November elections, partly because President Trump will not open it, but also because the number of cases there is very high.
“America does not meet Chris Whitty’s criteria for being a safe country, but something like three million Britons visit the United States each year and they will not. ”
Downing Street is said to be willing to abandon politics without being accused of turning around.
Instead, the measures will “sink” over the summer.
Mr. Charles added, “I am relieved that Downing Street now understands the pain the quarantine has caused the travel industry and we look forward to the new announcements. ”
The airline group, Airlines UK, which represents the major airlines based in Britain, welcomed the news.
A spokesperson said: “This is good news and clearly much better than a general quarantine.
“This will allow families to escape this summer and the airlines will respond to this demand by increasing their capacity.
“We still have to see the complete removal of the quarantine, but as every day the British economy is increasingly affected, and there are other ways to achieve the same goal, such as passenger testing and compliance with previously published aviation health guidelines. .
“The economic recovery will not start in earnest if the countries with which we export and with which we do business are not on the list. So there’s still a long way to go, but it’s welcome progress. ”
Yesterday before the Select Committee on Transport, Mr. Shapps said he would talk about the hallways “June 29 or before.”
Asked about the “key considerations” in the negotiations, Shapps said that a country’s ability to alert people if they had been in contact with someone with coronavirus is one of the factors.
Describing the questions posed by UK officials, he said, “Do they have anything equivalent to our NHS test and trace system? The test and trace system is huge here now. We have the capacity to test much more than is immediately required, but this would allow uplift anywhere.
“Does the country we’re talking about have this kind of capacity?” ”
He said another problem being considered is the level and trajectory of the disease in a destination.
Shapps added that the introduction of airlifts is a “huge priority”, saying: “I fully understand the pain that aviation is going through. I know both for airports, for airlines and indeed for ground handling services, this coronavirus has been a disaster.
“The only thing that will be worse is that the country is not continuing the work it is doing to get by.
“This is why quarantine was introduced at a time when we were taking it.”
Since June 8, all passengers – with the exception of a handful of exemptions – have been required to isolate themselves for 14 days upon arrival in the UK.
People who fail to comply can be fined £ 1,000 in England, and the police are allowed to use “reasonable force” to make sure they follow the rules.
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Shadow Labor Minister Jim McMahon has called for a plan to revitalize the aviation industry.
In a letter to Mr. Shapps, he said, “As we move forward,” airlift / corridor / bubble “is the right place to start, but it cannot be the only intervention. While it makes sense that countries with lower rates of reproduction of infections pose a lower risk, it is a fact that countries are not carriers of the virus; individuals do.
“It is therefore vital that in the published plan, the approach is multi-layered. This could include the implementation of measures such as pre-flight control, temperature scanning at airports, isolation areas, use of protective equipment, rapid test on arrival in the Kingdom – United and a solid contact search system. ”
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