A travel industry lobby group fed up at the UK's quarantine policy is pushing the alternative of travel corridors. However, the latter comes with plenty of baggage of its own.
Travel corridors allowing unrestricted movement between Britain and some other countries will open from June 29, a UK tourism lobby group said on Tuesday, citing assurances it said it received from senior government sources.
Britain introduced a 14-day quarantine for international arrivals on Monday despite warnings from airlines, airports and others that this could lead to more job losses just when they were hoping to launch a recovery from COVID-19.
Quash Quarantine, representing 500 travel and hospitality companies, said in a statement on Tuesday it had been told privately that travel corridors, a means of allowing quarantine-free trips, would be in place later this month.
Government ministers have publicly said they are considering travel corridors, or so-called “air bridges” with countries with low infection rates, but there have not been any formal deals so far.
Airlines want the quarantine rule scrapped altogether.
British Airways has teamed up with low-cost rivals Ryanair and easyJet with a plan to launch legal action to try to overturn it, and legal papers could be filed on Tuesday.
Quash Quarantine said it had not ruled out pursuing legal action itself.
“We are still considering our options regarding legal action, including whether to join BA’s claim or launch our own action, but would prefer that 29th June is confirmed as soon as possible for the start of travel corridors,” Quash Quarantine’s spokesman Paul Charles said.
Popular holiday destinations for British tourists include Portugal, Spain, France, Greece and Italy.
(Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Kate Holton)
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Photo credit: Passengers wearing protective face masks disembark a British Airways aircraft at Terminal 5 in Heathrow Airport. Hannah McKay / Reuters