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THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE

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Some US-UK Travel Could Be Quarantine Free by Christmas

Talks are taking place to create an ‘Air Bridge’ between New York and London

Published on August 27, 2020

Statue of Liberty Could The Statue of Liberty be welcoming more visitors to New York by the end of 2020?

Talks are currently underway between the UK and US to create a Transatlantic air bridge between New York and London, in a move that would allow travelers in both countries to cross the Atlantic between the two cities without the need for quarantining it has been reported in The Telegraph and The Times newspapers. A spokesperson for the US Embassy in London said: “There are multiple bi-lateral and multi-lateral discussions taking place as the world looks for a safe way to resume air travel.”

Since March, Transatlantic travel has been substantially reduced due to the coronavirus pandemic. When the pandemic began to take hold, the US banned entry to the States for UK citizens, whilst the UK currently requires all inbound passengers from the States to quarantine for two weeks. The American heard from one Transatlantic traveler recently who noted that even as lockdown is being eased in the UK, the number of passengers on an August flight from the US to UK was noticably low.

The UK currently advises against "all but essential travel" to the United States, whilst the State Department in America lists the UK at level 3, recommending Americans to "reconsider travel to the United Kingdom due to Covid-19".

However, reports have emerged which suggest discussions are underway between the two country's Transportation Departments in a bid to create an air bridge between New York and London in time for the Holidays. The move could be especially useful for cross-Atlantic families who haven't been able to see each other since the coronavirus pandemic began. New York City and London have been cited as strong candidates for an air bridge as they're seen as 'low risk' areas. However, with Americans and Brits already seeking loopholes in existing regulations to reduce international travel, this arrangement could be a difficult one to monitor, and it could prove unpopular as it continues to create travel barriers for Brits and Americans from other parts of each country.

There are no indications as to whether a potential air bridge could be introduced in time for Thanksgiving, and with the unpredictable nature of Covid-19, it's best advised not to plan for Holiday travel on the basis of these reports, but it could be an important step in re-opening access between the US and UK by the end of 2020.

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