If sunbathing on your own lawn for the last three months is starting to test your patience, there may be light at the end of the tunnel.
For a whole host of destinations – 45 to be precise – look set to be deemed safe to travel to as holiday hotspots as early as June 29.
Plans are now in motion to create ‘air bridges’ between the UK and certain countries, which would allow people to travel without needing to quarantine on arrival or return.
If you’re itching to know where you might be able to top up your tan and take snaps for The Gram, the list of locations varies from the Bahamas to Cyprus to Spain.
The full list is as follows: Antigua, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Bulgaria, Canada, Cape Verde, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Spain, St Lucia, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, and last but not least, the USA.
Currently, the Foreign Office are advising against all but essential travel. While those arriving back into the UK at the moment must go into a compulsory 14-day quarantine or face being fined £1,000.
Airlines – including British Airways, Easyjet and Virgin Atlantic – are pushing for the changes to take place at the latest by the end of this month.
Speaking at the Commons Liaison Committee last night, Huw Merriman aka the Conservative chair of the transport select committee, said: “Many people have commented that a sensible regime would look at the countries and their R rate and if it’s below ours, then there should be no need for quarantine.”
While Boris Johnson agreed, the Prime Minister added that the UK will have to make progress in reducing COVID-19 infections before any air bridges could be approved.
June 1st marked a symbolic day for a shift in social distancing measures.
Primary schools, although only pupils in Year one and six, are returning to classes. Meanwhile, groups of up to six people can meet socially if outdoors at 2m apart.
Official lockdown began back on March 23, meaning the public have been quarantined for ten weeks.
However, John Edmunds – professor of infectious disease modelling at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine – is concerned the UK are rushing as there are still 8,000 new infections every day in England (excluding hospitals and care homes).
He said: “The issue is, clearly there’s a need to try and get the economy restarted and people back to their jobs and so on, and also there’s a social and a mental health need to allow people to meet with their friends and families.
“I think many of us would prefer to see the incidence driven down to lower levels because that then means that we have fewer cases occurring before we relax the measures.
“I think at the moment, with relatively high incidence and relaxing the measures and also with an untested track and trace system, I think we are taking some risk here.”
Stay safe, folks.