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The government will talk to other countries about opening up “travel corridors” to allow British holidaymakers to travel abroad without the need to quarantine when they return home, the transport secretary has said.
Speaking at Friday’s Downing Street press conference, Grant Shapps said he was “actively working” on the plan but said nothing would change until June 29.
Most international arrivals into the UK have been required to enter a 14-day quarantine since Monday.
It means that anyone traveling abroad for a holiday would then have to isolate for two weeks once they land back in the UK.
Home secretary Priti Patel has insisted the policy can “help stop a devastating second wave” of coronavirus.
Shapps said today the idea of allowing easier travel between the UK and some specific countries was “something we are actively working on”.
He said the government “will talk to other countries about it” as well as airlines.
“The idea of quarantine is the right thing to be doing,” he said. “We have always said it would come in as a blanket thing initially.
“And that we would look at whether it would be safe to open up what you call air-bridges, might better be described as travel corridors.”
But Shapps said people would “need to wait” until the first review of the current rules on June 29. “There will be more on this before very long,” he added.
Under the current rules all passengers – bar a handful of exemptions – have to fill out an online locator form giving their contact and travel details, as well as the address of where they will isolate.
People who fail to comply can be fined £1,000 in England, and police are allowed to use “reasonable force” to make sure they follow the rules.
Failure to complete the locator form is punishable by a £100 fixed penalty notice.
In addition to complaints from the travel industry, the scheme has been met with strong criticism from opposition parties and some Conservative MPs.