THE government is set to sign off ‘air bridges’ at a crunch meeting between ministers today allowing Brits to jet off on holiday safely soon.
Boris Johnson will meet with First Secretary Dominic Raab and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to iron out the final plans to allow Brits to go on holiday quarantine free.
Industry sources expect Brits will be able to start flying abroad from July 4 and the list is expected to include up to 50 nations.
But those returning will still have to fill out a quarantine ‘landing card’ even though there will be no requirement to self isolate from countries deemed safe.
The details will be kept for test and trace purposes, in case of an outbreak on a flight, ferry or train journey from the continent.
It’s understood they will sign off on agreements holiday favourites including France, Italy and Spain, as well as other European nations.
The aviation industry has been fiercely critical of the quarantine measures introduced on June 8 and has welcomed the air bridge plans.
But the travel industry body Abta urged the Government to set out its plans “as soon as possible” to allow businesses and customers to plan ahead.
An Abta spokesman said: “The process of sending people on holiday is not like turning on a tap.
“As much advance notice as possible from the Government is required for travel companies to restart operations.”
Greek tourism minister Haris Theoharis said the country wanted British tourists to return when it opens to other European holidaymakers on July 1.
He said: “The final decision, from the UK and our point of view, will be in place in the next few days and I’m hoping the announcement will be positive from both sides.”
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme there was no need for those returning to the UK from Greece to be quarantined and added: “The point is that Greece is a safe country – we have proven that during this crisis and we will continue proving this in the exit stages of the health situation.”
The safe travel corridors will be set up after the quarantine review on June 29 and the Foreign Office will change their travel advice from “against all but essential international travel” to allow travel to these safe nations.
France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Greece, Belgium, Netherlands, Gibraltar, Bermuda, and possibly Portugal will all be announced in the first batch of ‘safe nations.’
There will also be a “slow trickle” of updated destinations from then, with medium haul destinations, like Turkey and Dubai added towards August.
Long haul flights will be back on the cards from mid to late summer, with trips to Vietnam, Singapore, and Hong Kong given the ok.
Officials are also working on an ambitious plan to allow travel from Australia without having to quarantine providing flights have not been in transit in high risk countries.
But the USA, Mexico and South American countries are set to be off limits until the end of the year.