BRitual vacationers await the release of the long-awaited list of governments from the “airlift” countries, eight weeks after Boris Johnson announced quarantine on all arrivals to the United Kingdom.
Air bridges will effectively mean that people will be able to travel abroad again; the quarantine will be lifted for anyone returning to the UK from airlift destinations, and the FCO travel ban will change – it has advised against all but essential travel since March.
The government should introduce a traffic light system that will classify countries based on the prevalence of coronaviruses. “Green” means they are safer than the United Kingdom, “amber” means less safe and “red” means that arrivals will always have to be isolated when they return from that country.
The Telegraph has learned that a number of popular vacation destinations, including France, Spain and Italy, will be listed as “green”. However, countries like Portugal and Sweden, which have experienced higher Covid-19 rates in recent weeks, could be banned for a further period – which Portugal fought over the weekend.
It was initially thought that the airlift announcement would be made this weekend, although Priti Patel said yesterday that the agreements would be published “in the coming days”.
The absence of an official announcement did not prevent British holidaymakers from booking. Vacation companies have reported a huge surge of interest; Tui said bookings were up 50% week-on-week, while Hays Travel, which bought Thomas Cook after the operator collapsed last year, said phones “n ‘hadn’t stopped ringing “.
TravelSupermarket said it had its busiest weekend since the lockdown, with searches doubling and bookings up 50%.
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