Health expert warns over air bridge plan to restart foreign holidays

A World Health Organisation Covid-19 special envoy has urged the Government to “be careful” in setting up air bridges between countries to restart international travel.

Air bridges are mutual agreements between countries allowing for travel without quarantine or other Covid-19 restrictions.

The Government is reported to be set to announced travel corridors this weekend, allowing people to start taking foreign holidays in some countries from next week.

Dr David Nabarro 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.

“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.”

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