While we may still be in lockdown and waiting to hear about the latest tiers, you may be planning a winter getaway, or even planning for your summer holidays already. While the news of the vaccine on the horizon is promising, travel plans are still up in the air. But, if you do have your heart set on traveling, then air bridge countries should be the ones you consider.

What is an air bridge country?

We first heard the term ‘air bridge’ at the beginning of summer. An air bridge or ‘travel corridor’ as they’re sometimes called, will allow tourists to travel between two countries without the need to quarantine.

Airbridge agreements are between countries with low cases of coronavirus and allow two-way to travel without restrictions. We also saw the introduction of the traffic-light system. Under the traffic light system, ‘green’ countries are considered safe for UK travelers, while ‘amber’ is considered less safe but travelers won’t have to quarantine. Countries in the red category are deemed high risk, and if you choose to travel to them you may invalidate your travel insurance.

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Of course, as we saw in the summer, air bridges can change within days. Many British families were forced to cut their summer holidays short or just cancel them this year as countries that were deemed safe, all of a sudden were taken off the list, and a strict 14-day quarantine was put in place.

Rules for current travel

Currently traveling for leisure is prohibited and only those traveling for business or education are exempt. Domestic and international travel will be permitted again post lockdown; however, this is subject to the guidance in each tier.

People in tiers one and two can travel outside their area for any reason, including for holidays, but must only go to tier three locations for essential reasons. We do know that rules on self-isolating will also remain in place, and travelers returning from Covid hotspots will have to continue to quarantine for 14 days or pay up to £120 for a test.

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What to do in case of a sudden lockdown

If you do decide to travel and find yourself stuck in a country that has closed its borders at short notice, there are a few things you should know. If commercial flights are still operating, try to book a flight as soon as possible before travel routes close.

If this is not possible and commercial flights are no longer flying, special charter flights will be arranged to repatriate Britons. However, if the country you are in requires visas, and you’ve outstayed your visa, you may need to speak to an immigration lawyer like Withers to help talk you through your options.

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Synthia Rozario
An editorial staff member at The Eastern Herald. Formerly, correspondent of The Eastern Express, Hong Kong.