UK considers travel corridors and canceling the quarantine for some countries

Fewer than 10 countries will have an 'air bridge' to the UK and travellers arriving from elsewhere could have to pay for a COVID-19 test to avoid 14-day quarantine, British media reported, citing official sources. At the moment, any traveller arriving in the UK must quarantine for 14 days.  'Air bridge' rules would come into play on 4 July and will likely be announced by PM Boris Johnson on 29 June.

A total of 12 countries, including Greece, Spain, Portugal and France, are being considered with officials examining both the risk of travellers bringing Covid-19 back and the popularity of the destination. A Spanish foreign ministry source confirmed on Friday that the London is in talks with Madrid about a deal that would allow both countries not to quarantine travellers.

According to the Telegraph, the government is also considering brokering "air bridge" deals with Australia, Gibraltar, Bermuda, Montserrat and the Falkland Islands.

The potential travel corridors are only expected to be given the green light to come into effect on the advice of the chief medical officer, and if the Foreign Office agrees to lift its ban on non-essential travel.

A second plan, which could reduce the need for quarantine and kick-start the travel sector post-lockdown, is the possibility of coronavirus tests for arrivals in UK airports, The Times reports. A trial is set to take place at a UK airport next month. People will have to pay around £140 for a test booked online before travel, BBC reported on Saturday. Under the proposed scheme, which could see testing carried out on up to 500 people a day, passengers would visit an airport clinic after clearing immigration checks to take a test. After testing, the person would be required to self-isolate until they received the result.  A negative result could take as little as five hours, but the aim will be to notify every participant in the scheme of their test result within 24 hours. A negative result will allow people early release from the mandatory 14-day quarantine regime.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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