Deals for air bridges with a “small number” of countries with low Covid-19 levels are expected to be announced on June 29.
The move would mean tourists being able to go abroad on holiday from July 4 without having to spend 14 days in quarantine on their return.
Foreign travellers would also be able to enter the UK without having to self-isolate for two weeks on arrival.
Groups would be restricted to those living in the same household – which can now include one other person who lives alone – unless the government relaxes rules on social distancing before then, according to The Telegraph.
Tourists would have to abide by the rules on social distancing in the country they travel to, meaning that destinations with similar restrictions to the UK are likely to be favoured.
The first travel corridors are likely to be to countries described as being “most advantageous” to the UK economy – likely to include France, Spain, Greece and Portugal.
The controversial quarantine restrictions are due for a review on June 29 after being in place for three weeks.
A government source was quoted as saying: “The plan is to announce a small number of air bridges on June 29th, though it won’t come into force until July 4.
“Obviously it will depend on factors such as the scientific advice and the level of coronavirus infections at the time.
“The Foreign Office will also have to change its travel advice before then because that remains a block on people going abroad for holidays.”
The Foreign Office is currently advising against “all but essential international travel” making it all but impossible for holidaymakers to obtain travel insurance until the advice is changed.
Conservative backbencher MPs have put huge pressure on prime minsiter Boris Johnson to scrap the quarantine policy, which applies to all travellers arriving in the UK apart from a small number of exemptions including hauliers and those arriving from Ireland.
The government as also faced intense industry lobbying spearheaded by the Quash Quarantine collective of travel and hospitality businesses.
Treasurer of the 1922 Committee and Conservative MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown told BBC’s Today programme yesterday: “By June 28 or thereabouts we will have had some negotiations on air corridors with countries that have lower rates than ours.”
He went on to say it does not make a lot of “rational sense” to quarantine countries with lower infection rates than the UK at this late stage of the pandemic.
“If we are going to do it, we should’ve done it much earlier. But there we are. We’ve got it. But I think it will be eased from June 28 or thereabouts,” he said.
But foreign secretary Dominic Raab warned of potential ‘legal challenges’ if the UK introduces air bridges allowing travel to specific countries.
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