Everything You Need to Know About the UK’s Air Bridges/Travel Corridors
LAST UPDATED : 10 DECEMBER
The self-isolation period for people returning from countries not on the travel corridor has been cut from 14 days to 10 days. This can be cut further as part of the test to release scheme. Under the scheme you can choose to pay for a private COVID-19 test. The earliest you can take the test is 5 full days after you left a destination not on the travel corridor list. If the result is negative, you can stop self-isolating.
Since 10 July, Brits have been able to travel abroad without quarantining to a number of countries that have a low coronavirus infection rate and have a test-and-trace system in place.
Can I Travel Abroad This Year?
If, like us, you’re desperate to feel some foreign sunshine on your face this year, you’ll be pleased to know that YES, you are able to travel to some destinations without quarantining.
We’re here to comb through the latest advice and answer some of your most frequently asked questions.
WHAT IS AN AIR BRIDGE?
An air bridge, also known as a travel corridor, is an agreement between two countries that allows travellers to move freely between the two. Right now, it means that UK tourists can visit approved countries without having to worry about quarantine.
The UK government has said that air bridges will be set up with countries that:
a. have a low coronavirus infection rate, and
b. have a test-and-trace system in place of a similar standard
The air bridges will be introduced using a traffic light system, classifying countries as green, amber or red depending on the number of new cases of coronavirus there and how that could change in the near future. If you’re visiting a ‘green’ or ‘amber’ country for your summer holidays, you won’t have to quarantine upon your return to the UK, but if you have visited a ‘red’ country, you will.
WHICH COUNTRIES CURRENTLY HAVE AN AIR BRIDGE WITH THE UK?
The ‘green’ and ‘amber’ countries are as follows:
- Akrotiri and Dhekelia
- Antigua and Barbuda
- The Azores
- British Antarctic Territory
- British Indian Ocean Territory
- British Virgin Islands
- The Canary Islands
- Cayman Islands
- The Channel Islands
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- Hong Kong
- The Isle of Man
- Macao (Macau)
- New Caledonia
- New Zealand
- Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
- South Korea
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- St Barthélemy
- St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Pierre and Miquelon
- St Vincent and the Grenadines
WHAT ABOUT OTHER COUNTRIES NOT ON THE LIST?
If you are planning to travel to a country not on the list, it’s important that you factor in the time you’ll need to spend in quarantine.
As for countries with a skyrocketing infection rate at the moment, such as the USA, Brazil and Mexico? It is unlikely that these destinations will open up to tourists in 2020 - but we’ve learnt to never say never!
WILL I BE ABLE TO ABLE TO GET TRAVEL INSURANCE?
One of the big worries currently is that travel insurance is void if the Foreign Office is advising against all but essential international travel, which has been the blanket status since lockdown was first announced on 23 March. Unfortunately, the FCDO travel advice hasn’t changed yet on that front.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I GET COVID-19 WHILE ON HOLIDAY?
Although usually a holiday is the time to loosen up, it’s important that any travellers this summer continue to “stay alert” (to quote Boris Johnson). This means social distancing, hand washing and practising good hygiene - now is the time to stock up on all those hand luggage-size bottles of hand steriliser for the beach. Make sure that you’re up to date with the specific guidelines for the country you’re visiting. Their policies may include extra measures such as face coverings or temperature checks.
If you do develop symptoms while you’re away, you know the drill by now: quarantine yourself and your family immediately. If you’re staying in a hotel, alert the staff so that they can implement any procedures they may need to keep everyone else safe. It’s really important that you quarantine indoors for the appropriate amount of time and don’t travel home if you’re still infectious.
If things take a turn for the worse and you need medical assistance, get in touch with your medical provider and/or travel insurance. Even if your insurance doesn’t cover you, bear in mind that your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) is still valid until the end of 2020, so you should be able to get emergency medical assistance as you could before Brexit.
SHOULD I START PACKING MY SUITCASE?
The relaxation of quarantine rules is welcome news for many wannabe holidaymakers seeking some rest and recuperation - let’s face it, 2020 hasn’t exactly been a picnic, has it?
Ultimately the decision to travel in 2020 rests with you: if you are aware of the risks and the rules and decide to book a holiday, we’ll be right there with you to help you make the best choice.
We're removing the fees that we normally charge should you want to amend or cancel your booking up to seven days prior to departure - meaning you can take a while longer to consider your travel options. It's worth noting that some of the suppliers and airlines may need to pass on a few charges to you as per their own booking conditions (these are unfortunately out of our control), however our team of Teletextperts will advise you of this when you contact us.