UK tourism chief backs call for ‘air bridges

Police patrol almost empty Trafalgar Square in south London, Britain. EPA-EFE/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA

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The head of the UK’s national tourism agency has thrown her weight behind setting up so-called air bridges with countries with low coronavirus rates.

Visit Britain chief executive Patricia Yates told MPs it was an “interesting” idea and indicated the US could be open to agreeing a deal.

Air bridges would allow visitors from low-risk countries into the UK without having to quarantine for 14 days.

A government spokesperson said air bridges were “not an agreed policy.”

He said: “Work on this is continuing… ultimately we will be guided by the science and the health of the public must come first.”

Transport secretary Grant Shapps suggested on Monday that the government’s plan to quarantine people arriving in the UK for two weeks could include exceptions.

He said: “We should indeed consider further improvements, for example, things like air bridges enabling people from other countries who have themselves achieved lower levels of coronavirus infection to come to the country,”

Ms Yates told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee that the US may be interested in reopening travel links with the UK.

She added that other valuable markets for mutual arrangements also include France, Germany and Italy.

Read more via BBC


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