2020欧洲杯网站Air bridges for UK holidaymakers could be opened to Greece, Germany, France and Italy, their Governments indicated, as ministers were urged to rethink their “confusing” quarantine plans.
2020欧洲杯网站Senior ministers or officials from the four countries revealed moves to lift travel restrictions including for tourists from the UK in the next month following Transport Secretary Grant Shapps’ proposal for “air bridges” with other nations that have low rates of coronavirus.
It came as senior Tory MPs including former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith questioned why the Government was proposing a 14-day quarantine now when it had not done so at the height of the domestic lockdown and when other countries were starting to relax border controls.
Mr Duncan Smith said the Government’s policy was “confusing,” adding: “The Government needs to rethink this quickly and not go into quarantine. If they got their testing level up, then anyone coming in would be tested and put on the tracking app.”
2020欧洲杯网站The Government is proposing quarantine from early June for nearly all international arrivals apart from freight drivers. Travellers will have to provide UK Border Force with an address where they will self-isolate for 14 days.
2020欧洲杯网站The quarantine will be reviewed every three weeks and Mr Shapps suggested air bridges could be negotiated then with other countries - although Downing Street said such air corridors were an option and not yet Government policy.
2020欧洲杯网站Haris Theoharis, Greece’s tourist minister, said it was willing to agree a deal with the UK to enable each nation’s tourists avoid quarantine on both arrival and departure. Greece plans to lift travel restrictions by July 1 and, if possible, earlier in mid-June.
2020欧洲杯网站“We feel that this is a time for us to start thinking about lifting those restrictions and try to remove as many barriers as possible. We urge other countries - the UK included - that as soon as we do that, we would welcome reciprocity,” he said.
2020欧洲杯网站Luigi di Maio, Italy’s foreign minister, said Italy would open travel for tourists from the EU and UK from June 3, without quarantine.
"We will (open the borders) and we expect reciprocity," he said, urging other EU countries to lift travel bans to Italy.
2020欧洲杯网站Italy’s Corriere della Sera, one of its biggest dailies, mocked the UK for closing its borders as others opened theirs. “Until now the UK was the only European state to keep its borders open during the pandemic. But now it is preparing to turn itself into a closed fortress,” it said.
Germany yesterday said all travellers from EU countries including the UK can enter from this week without quarantine - subject to federal governments rubber stamping it. It will reimpose restrictions for travellers from countries where new infections rise above 50 per 100,000 inhabitants.
2020欧洲杯网站Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French foreign minister, indicated border restrictions and quarantine for EU and UK arrivals would be eased from mid-June although they would be “gradually lightened..in a reciprocal way” with other neighbouring countries.
2020欧洲杯网站Spain does not expect to lift internal travel restrictions until early July and no date has been set for ending its international quarantine.
Cyprus is considering opening to Greek, Israeli and some central European and Nordic travellers but says it needs more time to assess Britain.
2020欧洲杯网站Conservative MP Steve Baker, former chair of the European Research Group, said: “I am at a loss to understand why they are talking about quarantine now. We should be taking every possible measure to open up society and the economy and get things going, otherwise the economic and clinical cost is going to be far too high.
“What we have learned about the virus means that we can shield the vulnerable and respect people’s individual choices to behave appropriately so we can open up society as quickly as possible.”
Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said airlines were scheduling almost as many flights for July as in 2019 - it was down by just six per cent year on year.
“The UK will be vastly out of step with the rest of Europe in June with these quarantine measures. We will have quarantine in the UK but quarantines in other European countries that people want to fly to having been relaxed,” he said.
2020欧洲杯网站Ministers have defended the decision to delay quarantine, saying that they have been following the scientific advice that it would have had a 'negligible' effect to restrict access to the UK during the peak of the pandemic.
2020欧洲杯网站Keeping borders open also allowed Britons to the return at a time when the amount of air travel had been slashed by more than 90 per cent.
They say the new restrictions are justified to prevent further infection when Britain has reduced transmission rates and allowing in foreign visitors could have a disproportionate impact.