This week in travel
During the months of nationwide isolation, the question on Britons all over the country minds has been what would happen to their summer plans. It seems as though the government is moving away from the previously announced 14 day quarantine rule, as communication with other countries grows.
The government is hoping to open “air bridges”, which would allow holidaymakers to travel to countries without quarantining, with people from those countries having reciprocal benefits when traveling to the UK.
The government will have had some negotiations on air bridges with countries with lower Coronavirus rates by around the 28th of June, according to MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown. Additionally, The Prime Minister is to meet with President Macron, raising hopes of a French/British air bridge. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has stated there will be discussions with other European governments on more air bridges in the near future.
While talks of opening summer favorites such as Spain, Greece and France are ongoing, many destinations opening up currently under new Covid-oriented precautions such as health declaration paperwork, temperature screening upon arrival and face masks in public spaces. Such countries include Antigua, Jamaica, Iceland, Croatia and Portugal.
The pandemic has had an enormous effect on national and international travel, with airlines such as Emirates, TAP, and Etihad operating to select locations at a lesser frequency. However EasyJet, British Airways and Ryanair bosses have all expressed their intention to resume flights in early July, which is when the government is aiming to start lifting travel restrictions.
Flights will be operating on reduced food and beverage services, and encouraging passengers to use contactless payment. The International Air Transport Association has suggested passengers to limit contact with others e.g. through automated bag drops, printing out boarding passes and luggage tags at home and providing health information prior to travel.
Airlines have also started to administer new safety measures with the use of HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters, an air filter that is said to kill 99.97% of airborne viruses. While this technology aids in stifling the spread of disease in the air, extra precautions such as distancing where possible, heeding instruction of cabin crew and being responsible for personal hygiene onboard should be followed.