Boris Johnson has given hope to millions of Brits desperate to book a summer holiday abroad but worried about the UK’s quarantine’s rules.
The Prime Minister suggested that “air bridges” could allow people to return to the UK from some countries from the end of next month without needing to quarantine.
Air bridges would allow Brits to travel freely to other countries, without having to quarantine either when they arrive at their destination, or when they get back home.
But Mr Johnson said this would be dependant on the UK continuing to keep driving the R down “as fast as we can” and the situation of other countries that we would ‘build a bridge’ with.
Responding to MPs in the Commons Liaison Committee, Mr Johnson said he wanted to keep “flows as generous as we can”.
Tory chairman of the transport select committee Huw Merriman asked: “Many people have commented that a sensible regime would look at the countries and their R rate and if it’s below ours, then there should be no need for quarantine.
“Whilst that may not be possible for June 8, will that be possible for the next three week period which is June 29, to allow those buying cheaper flights for their summer holidays, which have gone on sale today, to be removed from the threat of quarantine?”
Mr Johnson replied: “Yes, absolutely – we want to make sure we use the three-week reviews to be sensible – we want to drive the R down as fast as we can in this country and to have as sensible a quarantine scheme as possible and to keep flows as generous as we can.
Asked what would have to change between now and June 29 for “air bridges” to be accepted, Mr Johnson said: “We will have to agree them with the other countries concerned but we will also have to make progress in tackling the disease, and we will have to have evidence that the other countries are in at least as good a position as we are.”
Millions of Brits face having to go into quarantine when they return to the UK from abroad from June 8.
All passengers arriving in the UK must provide their contact and travel details.
During their 14-day isolation they “could be contacted regularly to ensure compliance”, the Home Office said. The rules state: “People should not leave their accommodation for 14 days.
Those who break the rules could get a £1,000 fixed-penalty notice in England. Repeat offenders risk prosecution and an unlimited fine.