British Airways has suffered monumentally through the decline in international travel as nations across the world locked down in response to the coronavirus crisis. Since the beginning of the crisis, the national carrier has been operating out of its base at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, opting to suspend its operations from Gatwick.
Many a locked-down Brit has been dying to know if their summer holiday plans can go ahead amid the chaos of coronavirus.
Overseas holidays are expected to be able to recommence from July 6, with so-called air bridges being created with partner countries.
The list of air bridges is yet to be announced.
Meanwhile, Greece has announced it has extended its ban on travellers coming from the UK until July 15 at the earliest.
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When will British Airways resume flights?
Express.co.uk understand British Airways has resumed some flights but is not yet flying out of Gatwick airport.
Short-haul flights that would usually fly from Gatwick are running from Heathrow instead.
According to thepointsguy.co.uk, British Airways will be restarting some of its long haul flights as of mid-July.
It reports “a small number of long-haul services from Gatwick in mid-July”, however, it didn’t make clear exactly which routes those will be.
According to the British Airways website, it is currently taking bookings from Gatwick to four Caribbean destinations as of July.
Bermuda (BDA) — twice weekly from 17 July
Barbados (BGI) — twice weekly from 18 July
Kingston, Jamaica (KIN) — twice weekly from 20 July
St Lucia (UVF) — once weekly from 25 July
Passengers can expect a significantly reduced onboard experience, with food being served to passengers in snack-boxes, including those in First Class.
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All flights in and out of the UK were grounded in March after the country went into lockdown following a sharp rise in coronavirus cases in Europe.
On July 6, many will resume again, though the Foreign Commonwealth Office says you should still only travel where absolutely necessary.
The air bridges announcement was due on Tuesday, July 1.
The first tranche of air bridges will be with European short-haul destinations, with some of the most popular summer holiday destinations included in the list.
Ministers are examining at least one long-haul air bridge to Australia, although there are difficulties over transiting in stop-over countries which could bring a risk of spreading coronavirus.
Ministers are also looking create bridges with “low-risk” British territories including Gibraltar, Bermuda, Montserrat and the Falklands Islands as soon as possible. Even though the number of flights and demand is low, they are regarded as special cases.
The Government will introduce a traffic light system that will classify countries depending on their coronavirus cases.
“Green” will mean they are safer than the UK, “amber” meaning less safe, and “red” will mean arrivals will still need to self isolate on return from that country.
At the same time, the current Foreign Office travel warning against all but essential international travel will be lifted for countries deemed safe.
The list of permitted destinations will remain in flux if necessary, with what is described as a “strict handbrake mechanism”, meaning any sudden outbreak of coronavirus in certain countries – or in particular parts of a country – could require travellers to quarantine for two weeks upon returning to the UK.
The initial list of safe countries has been drawn up by the Government’s Joint Biosecurity Centre, working with Public Health England, with nations assessed on the risk from COVID-19, the trajectory of the virus’s spread, and an assessment of the reliability of data.
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