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Finally quarantine-free air bridges for 59 destinations

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Finally summer holidays have been confirmed as UK ministers today revealed an air-bridges plan for last minute getaways.

Trippers from England will be able to fly to 59 countries and territories including France, Italy and Spain without needing to quarantine if they return from July 10.

Other countries on the list include Japan, Vietnam and Turkey.

The guidance says: “We will keep the conditions in these countries and territories under review.

“If they worsen we will not hesitate to reintroduce self-isolation requirements.

“Travellers should always check the latest FCO travel advice.”

A number of destinations favoured by Brits have been left off the quarantine-free air bridge list today.

The popular hotspots that don’t feature include Portugal, Morocco and Egypt.

Brits also can’t holiday in the US, Mexico, Thailand or Sweden without quarantining when they return home.

Ireland is already exempt as part of the common travel area, as are the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

The Government are also exempting the 14 British Overseas Territories including The Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, and Gibraltar.

It comes as:

Mr Shapps revealed Brits and tourists could be “tested on arrival” at airports under a scheme being considered by ministers.
Gavin Williamson warned schools must open in September or ministers will force them to do so
Boris plans to introduce daily White House-style TV press briefings after millions tuned in for the coronavirus conferences
The Sun revealed three in four DIY swab kits are not being used despite being included in the testing tally.
This morning the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps explained the list of countries was finally ready and the nation could finally plan to get away.

He told Sky News: “There will be a list of 50-plus countries. If you add in the overseas territories (there will be) 60-something-or-other that will be announced later today.

Trippers can stay in Germany, France, Spain and Italy without needing to quarantine

“France, Germany, Italy and Spain will be on that list.

“It is really important that we have done this in a very careful and cautious way. The most important thing is to maintain the gains that we have had.”

British tourists joined the locals and enjoyed the beach in Magaluf

This morning Boris Johnson insisted the plans would keep people safe.

He said: “We cannot have reinfection from abroad.

“There will be large parts of the world, I’m afraid at the moment, where you will have to observe 14 days’ quarantine when you have come in and that is only right.”

Full “air bridge” deals were not negotiated, but instead so-called gentlemen’s agreements were made with popular destinations.

The Sun can reveal the new rules will not apply to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who have decided to assess countries’ safety using different measures.

Even if citizens fly out from England, their devolved administrations will require they quarantine on return.

Today Nicola Sturgeon accused the UK Government of changing the list of countries overnight.

She explained: “Often we have had limited or no notice of the UK’s proposals, and that matters.

“We cannot allow ourselves to be dragged along by another Government’s shambolic decision-making process”

This morning Mr Shapps revealed he still hoped the devolved nations would come around to the plans.

He said: “At the beginning of the week I said this would be announced by the end of the week, I was hoping to be able to do it earlier, but unfortunately we have not been able to get the devolved administrations to sign up to it yet.

“People have been waiting for this list all week, and that’s why we delayed putting the list out there, to see if the devolved nations wanted to announce at the same time.

“It’s not coming in til 10th of July, the end of the quarantine, so there is still time for other parts of the four nations to join.”

Mr Shapps explained all passengers would have to fill out a “passenger locator form”, allowing Government’s to know where each visitor was going and for how long.

All passengers, bar a few exemptions, must still provide contact information on arrival in the UK.

And quarantines will remain for the worst-hit nations such as Brazil, the USA and India.

Travellers could be tested on arrival, with results given within 24 hours.

Mr Shapps has been discussing passenger testing with airport handling firm Swissport who are trialling schemes in the UK.

Swissport wants to offer saliva swab tests to arriving travellers before going home or to a hotel to begin self-isolation.

The test result would be known in no more than 24 hours – if it were positive, the passenger would contact the test-and-trace service and complete the two weeks of self-isolation.

Travellers who test negative, the company hopes, will be free to continue life as normal. The test will cost around £140.

The senior Minister added he was working with Heathrow and other airports to introduce measures and that he would announce them at the next review of the quarantine policy in around three weeks.

It comes as it emerged no one arriving in the UK has later been fined for breaching quarantine rules.

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