BRITS desperate to book a summer holiday are eagerly awaiting the publication of the official list of “air bridge” countries.
In a written statement Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed the Government will “shortly begin to ease the health measures at the UK border” which will allow holiday makers to be “exempted from self isolation requirements.”
But Home Secretary Priti Patel has urged people not to rush into booking holidays and wait for the government to finalise agreements.
The Government will set out guidelines later this week with countries safe to visit, meaning people won’t have to stay home for 14 days when they arrive in the UK.
The rules will apply to anyone coming in via plane, rail or boat.
My Statement to Parliament on exempting passengers from self-isolation requirements in certain circumstances (i.e. International Travel Corridors or Air Corridors) on arrival in the UK. pic.twitter.com/ef6fgewfGO
Air bridges will mean that people can travel abroad again, eight weeks after Boris Johnson announced a quarantine on all arrivals to the UK.
Initially, it was thought that the announcement would be made on the weekend of June 27/28, but Ms Patel said that deals would be published “in the next few days”.
No10 is due to announce the first list of destinations it has struck deals with including France, Spain and Greece.
It had been hoped that Brits would then be able to jet off as early as July 6.
But sunseekers hunting the web for a cheap deal have been warned to put the brakes on until the plans are announced.
Ms Patel told Sky News: “These measures won’t come in overnight. They will take time because some of this will be down to negotiation [and] discussion with certain countries.”
Brits have crashed holiday websites – with some firms experiencing their busiest Saturday ever on June 27 as families scrambled for a budget break.
Spain-holiday.com, the third biggest holiday rental site in Spain, said it had seen a 42 per cent surge in bookings making it 24 per cent higher than any previous Saturday.
“Green” and “amber” traffic light destinations cover every European nation — allowing sunseekers to fly off to favourite hotspots Spain, Greece and France without having to isolate when they return.
Only those flying to “red” countries — Covid hotspots such as the US, Brazil and India — will have to self-isolate on return.
The Foreign Office will continue to advise against all non-essential travel to the red-light nations.
For all three lights, every passenger arriving in the UK will still have to fill out the “passenger locator form” to track any potential virus outbreaks.
Until air bridges are established the Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises British nationals against all but essential international travel.