Boris Johnson 'personally involved' in plan to set up air bridges to save summer holidays

10 June 2020, 08:48

File photo: The Prime Minister is hoping to have EU-wide routes ready to go by June 29
File photo: The Prime Minister is hoping to have EU-wide routes ready to go by June 29. Picture: PA

By Megan White

Boris Johnson is “looking at all the options personally” to set up air bridges between the UK and Europe so Brits can have their summer holidays.

According to The Sun, the Prime Minister is hoping to have EU-wide routes ready to go when the 14-day quarantine policy is reviewed on June 29.

He is also hoping to allow long-haul flights to destinations including Dubai, Singapore and Sydney.

But a deal with the US is not expected as a travel ban remains in place.

Currently, all UK arrivals bar a handful of exemptions must fill out an online locator form giving their contact and travel details, as well as the address of where they will isolate.

The policy, which came into force on Monday, is part of Government measures to guard against a second wave of coronavirus.

The regulations must be reviewed every three weeks, with the first taking place by the end of the month.

People who fail to comply with the rules could be fined £1,000 in England, and police are allowed to use "reasonable force" to make sure they follow them.

Border Force officers are carrying out checks on arrivals and may refuse entry to a non-resident foreign national who refuses to comply with the regulations.

Failure to complete the locator form is punishable by a £100 fixed penalty notice.

Travel and hospitality firms campaigning against the UK's quarantine policy said on Tuesday they have received "private assurances" that air bridges will be introduced by the end of the month.

The group of more than 500 businesses urged ministers to confirm the measure, which would enable travellers arriving from countries where the risk of being infected by coronavirus is deemed to be low to avoid having to self-isolate for 14 days.

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They include travel firms Inghams and Travel Republic, and London hotels the Ritz and the Dorchester.

Paul Charles, spokesman for the Quash Quarantine coalition, said it has "received private assurances from senior Government sources that travel corridors will be in place from 29th June".

He went on: "We urge the Government to signal to the travel industry publicly and urgently that this is the case, as well as amend FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) advice on non-essential travel."

The group is considering whether to take its own legal action against the measures or join proceedings launched by British Airways, but would prefer that air bridges are "confirmed as soon as possible", Mr Charles added.

"The industry needs urgent visibility on a timetable for travel to begin again."