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Air bridges could be set up by July allowing thousands to travel abroad

The UK Foreign Office has banned all non-essential travel outside of the UK in mid-March but the rule is expected to be lifted in the coming weeks. Negotiations will take place between the UK Government and foreign countries to establish the so-called “air-bridges”, allowing Britons to book holidays to specific destinations.

The Times said Portugal, Greece and Spain are among the countries that the Government could reach agreements with soon individually, without having to discuss it with the European Union.

Travel to UK territories such as the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda and Gibraltar could also be allowed.

Meanwhile, other European countries including France and the Netherlands still have a mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon arrival.

Spanish foreign minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya has said the country is considering the option of air bridges.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed he will debate the move with French President Emmanuel Macron tomorrow.

He said in the Downing Street press conference on Tuesday: “Obviously I will be talking to Emmanuel Macron about all sorts of ways in which we can bring our countries together, making sure that eventually we will be able to travel freely to and from each other’s countries.

“The same goes obviously for Spain, as soon as we can.

“The reason for having the quarantine system is very simple – we don’t want to re-import the disease just at the moment when we’ve really got it under control in this country.

READ MORE: New law introduced to stop mass gatherings in London during COVID-19

Some of the companies outraged by the move include easyJet, British Airways and Ryanair.

The Commons Transport Select Committee, which includes of a number of cross-party MPs, urged for the Government to lift the ban last week.

It has been estimated that the 14-day mandatory self-isolation in Britain costs around £650million.

However the air bridges policy has yet to be outlined ahead of the upcoming review of the lockdown measures at the end of June.

Number 10 has not clarified exactly which countries are being considered.

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