With the government’s latest announcement on air bridges – and the countries that will form them – just days away, many people will be looking ahead to a possible late summer holiday.
While the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is still advising against all non-essential travel, that advice is likely to shift by Monday (June 29) when the government and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps are set to announce the first nations included in air bridges.
They will allow Britons to go on holiday to certain destinations without needing to quarantine for 14 days on their return to the UK.
The first of these air bridges will allow holidaymakers to travel to “low-risk” European destinations, including France, Italy, Spain, Greece and Germany, from July 4, it has been reported.
It has also been reported that a second batch of air bridges will be announced in the coming weeks and are likely to include other European countries such as Denmark, Norway, Finland and Holland and ‘low-risk’ Caribbean islands.
A third set of air bridges for long-haul flights to destinations such as Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong is not expected before late summer, the Daily Telegraph reported.
With that in mind, this is the current advice on travelling to some of the nations likely to be included on the list of air bridges:
Spain was one of the first countries to welcome back and actively encourage tourists, after the country was hit hard by coronavirus.
The State of Emergency ended on June 21, meaning borders are open to EU and Schengen-area countries, except Portugal.
UK arrivals are not required to self-isolate on arrival, but will be subject to a series of health checks.
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Travellers from the UK need to provide contact information and any history of exposure to coronavirus, undergo a temperature check and a visual health assessment.
It is also worth noting that face masks are obligatory in public spaces and social distancing and other safety precautions must be observed at all times.
If you’re travelling to France then some UK arrivals, along with some other countries, are currently being asked to self-isolate for 14 days, although this is likely to change with the air bridge announcement.
From June 15, arrivals from the UK no longer have to prove their travel is essential, however if you show signs of COVID-19 on arrival you will have to carry out a mandatory 14 day quarantine, either at home or in a dedicated location which will be indicated by French authorities.
Most travellers arriving in Italy are no longer required to self-isolate or report their address to health authorities.
However you will need to isolate if you are arriving in Italy from outside the EU, UK or some other countries, or you have spent less than 14 consecutive days physically located in your country of departure.
When it comes to your return, it’s worth noting that many Italian airports are operating a reduced schedule.
All travellers arriving in Italy must avoid using public transport and must arrange to be collected, take a taxi, or hire a car.
The main issue British travellers will face visiting Greece is the limited travel options available between the UK and Greece, with no direct flights.
Greek authorities have introduced testing and self-isolation requirements for new arrivals into Greece.
Mandatory testing and self-isolation are in place for anyone arriving into Greece from an airport listed by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) – this includes British airports.
Stansted, Gatwick, Heathrow, East Midlands, and Luton are included on the list, along with Birmingham, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool John Lennon, London City, Manchester Airport, Newcastle International, Doncaster Sheffield and Glasgow.
It’s also worth noting that if other passengers on your flight go on to test positive you may be subject to further quarantine requirements.
People entering Germany from outside the EU are required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon entry.
People travelling from EU countries and from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom are not subject to this requirement.
UK nationals remain subject to the standard German rules on entry and immigration in place before the COVID-19 outbreak.
Germany is still subject to nationwide rules restricting movement and limiting activity. For example, only one household can meet another outside.
The EU website says that tourists from EU or Schengen countries can enter the Netherlands, but tourists from Sweden and the United Kingdom should go into quarantine for 14 days. Again, this is set to change with any air bridge deal.
Tourists must reserve their holiday accommodation before they travel to the Netherlands. You may be stopped at the border if you don’t have a valid reservation.
A health declaration is required for travellers from high-risk COVID-19 areas – including the UK.
Airlines have reduced services between Denmark and the UK. However, there are some flights options available.
If you are not a Danish national and/or resident, the rules on entry into Denmark depend on whether you are arriving from an ‘open’ country or a ‘restricted’ country.
The UK is an ‘open’ country, meaning you can enter Denmark without having to go into a two-week quarantine if you are arriving into Denmark from the UK. If you enter as a tourist, you need to show proof a holiday stay for at least six nights. It could be a stay in a rented summerhouse, at a campsite, at a hotel or at a private home or privately-let summerhouse .
Currently, there is no requirement to wear face masks in public in response to COVID-19.
Travel options to and from Norway are limited and there are no direct flights between Oslo and London at present.
Norway began easing some coronavirus-related restrictions from April 20, although social distancing guidance remains in place.
There are restrictions on public events and large parts of the hospitality and service sectors. Pubs and nightclubs are required to close. Establishments serving food are allowed to open but social distancing restrictions apply.76659595577
The Norwegian authorities have issued recommendations that people avoid using public transport unless strictly necessary.
From June 15, internal border controls were lifted for travel between Finland and Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and the UK will likely be added to this list if a deal is struck.
Travel around Finland is still permitted and restaurants, cafes and bars reopened on June 1, subject to some restrictions.