The government signalled the restart of domestic tourism today by allowing hotels, restaurants and pubs to reopen from July 4, but the prime minister gave no hint of a relaxation of restrictions on outbound travel.
Boris Johnson was asked repeatedly by MPs when air bridges or travel corridors might allow a resumption of overseas travel after he confirmed a relaxation of social distancing rules and reopening of hospitality venues
Johnson told Parliament: “Every serious country that has got this disease under control has brought in quarantine for people coming into their country.
“We have a sensible policy. We do not want to see our country re-infected by travellers coming in from abroad.”
He added: “It’s very sensible for the country to have measures in place to protect people from disease vectors coming into this country.”
The government is expected to announce the opening of travel corridors to up to 10 EU countries.
The announcement is expected by June 29, with quarantine-less travel to these countries due to begin also from July 4.
Johnson gave no details, but insisted any decision on air bridges would be based entirely on scientific advice and not on commercial considerations.
He said: “Our plans on air bridges will be based entirely on public health. We will not be led by any excessive desire to open the economy too fast.”
At the final daily coronavirus briefing on Tuesday evening, Johnson was also asked if his announcement on allowing domestic breaks meant he was giving the green light to overseas travel, providing holidaymakers adhere to the 14-day quarantine rules.
He responded: “The current advice is that people should still avoid non-essential travel but we will be reviewing the situation on June 29. We will be looking at the quarantine rules and what we can do to create air bridges.
“I acutely understand people’s desire and need to know. We will get on with it as fast as we can.
“It is very important for every country that has really successfully cracked down on this that we do have arrangements to stop the virus being reimported to the country and that’s why it’s necessary to have quarantine arrangements.
“I’d also say to people, ‘this is a fantastic country to go on holiday in’. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend staycations as well.”
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