Speaking to BBC News, Lyn Hughes, Editor-in-chief at Wanderlust, warned Britons their travel insurance may be invalid if the FCO does not change its travel advice even after the Government announces a list of countries it intends to set up coronavirus air bridges with. She said: “We’re all very excited about air bridges, we will be told on Monday which are the first air bridges which have been agreed. Now Turkey is definitely one of the countries that the Government has been talking to.
“And so, if it doesn’t happen you know in time from Monday, we’re all expecting it to happen very very soon.
“You know, Turkey, wants the British back. The British want to go back to Turkey.
“So, September absolutely fine, I would say. So, yeah, so we will know on Monday or another day soon after.”
She added: “As far as FCO advice goes, so at the moment to remind ourselves the FCO advisory is against all travel that’s non-essential. However, what’s expected, is that once the averages are announced that the FCO will change its travel advice for those destinations.”
But asked about whether people could run into travel insurance problems, she said: “That is the big point of it. So the FCO advisory is advice, it’s not telling you that you’re banned from travel.
“It’s just advice but what that means is that your insurance is invalid.
“And so, it’s so important and we shouldn’t really risk, of course, and particularly these days and times we shouldn’t really risk going away without travel insurance.
“And so that’s why it’s so key, but it would seem strange if the Government has negotiated these averages and the FCO advice has changed for those countries.
“So we’re expecting another announcement as well from the FCO on Monday.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce on Friday the Government’s plans for air bridges, which will allow Britons to go on holiday to certain destinations without needing to quarantine for 14 days on their return, the Telegraph reported.
The first of these air bridges will allow holidaymakers to travel to “low-risk” European destinations, including France, Italy, Spain, Greece and Germany, from July 4.
Henry Smith, Conservative chairman of the all-party Future of Aviation group, said the plan was a “welcome first step” but urged the Prime Minister to widen the bridges to the whole of the EU.
He told the Telegraph: “EU countries have had a similar, if not better, coronavirus experience than us. I think that is the most straightforward and eloquent way to approach it.”
But Dr David Nabarro, a World Health Organisation (WHO) COVID-19 special envoy, urged the Government to “be careful” in setting up air bridges between countries to restart international travel.
He told the BBC’s Today programme: “We’re right at this delicate phase where we can actually push this virus right down, suppress it, and get on with life and have a good life.
“But if we are just a little bit careless and we get one of these major what we call ‘spreader events’ where a lot of people get ill and then suddenly our health services get overwhelmed again, in the coming months or two we’re going to look at each other and feel really frustrated.
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“So please when it comes to restarting international travel be careful.
“Make sure that these air bridge are between places with just about the same risk profile. Then it makes sense.
“But don’t be pushed into establishing air bridges that might then raise the risk of one or other country having a much higher level of disease.
“We would be very cross in two or three months’ time with ourselves if we don’t get this right.”
Commenting on reports of crowded beaches across the UK on Thursday, the hottest day so far this year, Dr Nabarro said he was not “really concerned” by images of crowds on beaches, but feared what was going on “out of sight”.
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