Update: The UK has indeed created 59 travel corridors where a 14 day quarantine will not apply, and 67 countries where leisure travel is once again permitted. Read up on the latest here.
It’ll be just over a week before any joys are felt, but news out of the UK Government means summer travel hopes are on, again. Promises of much needed travel corridors between the UK and European countries, where visitors won’t need to quarantine on either side, are being delivered; and rumor has it much of Europe will be included. There’s even talk of Australia down the line.
UK Travel Corridors Without 14 Day Quarantine
In a wildly unpopular move, against advice from travel, scientific and business communities, the UK Government initiated a 14 day quarantine for everyone arriving in the UK on June 8th, 2020, including for returning residents.
When the 14 day UK quarantine officially came into effect, silver linings were found in the notion of governmental review of the plans every three weeks, with hopes of creating travel corridors between the UK and select countries with equal or lower rates of infection.
Basically, there would be countries where the quarantine wouldn’t be necessary on both ends. Like Greece, where Brits could arrive in Greece without quarantine, and return to the UK without the need to quarantine. Few travellers could spare the 14 days of isolation on the return, and news that many destinations won’t need to is just what the travel industry needed to perhaps salvage summer.
The BBC reports a list of quite a few Western European countries where quarantine needs would be quashed in both directions. Via these air bridges, you can go for a weekend break, come back and get back to life as normal.
Initial reports suggest: Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Turkey will be announced as the first select countries where 14 day quarantines will not be required.
The move would take effect for travel July 4th, 2020 onward, subject to change. If the government then changes foreign travel advice, travel insurance could once again be valid, which would represent a key confidence move for countless travellers. Notably, plans are said not to include Portugal, which is currently staving off a fresh wave of infection.
If true, exclusion for Portugal would represent a brutal blow to the emerging, tourist driven economy. With destinations like Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve, Portugal has been a perennial favourite for Brits abroad, but quarantine restriction on the return creates too many hurdles.
Air Bridge Between UK And Australia
Though a timeline is unlikely for anything before the end of 2020, and far more likely for 2021, sources confirm that talks are underway between the UK and Australia to examine potential links between the two countries. This is a crucial move to rejoin links between key trading and business partners, and also one of the most desirable destinations on the planet.
Australia is currently finalizing an air bridge corridor with New Zealand, and plans are underway to create similar options between Australia and Asia Pacific areas experiencing low, minimal rates of covid-19 infection.
News of travel corridors is music to the ears of many, including airlines haemorrhaging cash at unprecedented rates. Initial 14 day quarantine plans absolutely crushed demand for summer travel with the uncertainty around when the quarantine may drop, but the news today that better times are on the way is sure to prop up bookings.