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The possibility of an airlift between London and New York is being discussed “at a very high level”, according to reports.
Ministers are considering plans for regional airlifts that would allow travelers to come to the UK from “low risk” areas like New York to countries like the United States, the Telegraph reports.
The United States is ‘on the red list’ due to its high overall coronavirus rates, which means people arriving in the UK from the country must be quarantined for 14 days upon arrival, but New York reduced its seven-day infection rate to just 7.2 cases per 100,000.
A source told The Telegraph: “Discussions are going on at a very high level around the opening of London and New York.
“They are at a very early stage, but it is vital to start business with a major trading partner, especially as we approach Brexit. “
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Transport told the newspaper that “conversations between governments of other countries on a whole range of issues take place regularly.”
“Public health remains the UK’s top priority and we are committed to tackling this virus while enabling a sustainable and responsible return to international travel,” he said.
“We keep the data of all countries and territories under constant control and will not add countries to our list of travel corridors unless it is safe. “
Meanwhile, thousands of other holidaymakers returning to the UK from the Czech Republic may have to self-isolate as new figures show coronavirus cases increase in the country.
A seven-day rate of 20 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people is the threshold above which the UK government plans to trigger quarantine conditions.
The Czech Republic currently has a seven-day rate of 19.4 cases per 100,000 people, up from 16 a week ago.
The capital Prague is a popular city destination for British travelers and a common place for stag parties.
Switzerland also broke the threshold, with a seven-day rate of 21.2.
Last week, Scotland removed Switzerland from its list of countries where people don’t need to self-isolate on arrival. The rest of the UK could follow later this week.
Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said Switzerland was “unfortunately likely to be added” to the list of countries from which people must self-isolate for 14 days.
“He has been above the government’s own criteria for several days now,” he said.
“The Czech Republic and Jamaica will both be closely watched and potentially added.
“During public holidays a lot more Brits travel and Prague is a popular weekend destination, so if they are added to the list it will affect several thousand people. ”
Two countries that seem likely to stay on the list for now are Greece and Italy.
Although the rate has increased in both countries, neither is near the threshold.