An “air bridge” between the Big Apple and Big Ben is being discussed by the US and UK as a possible means for travelers to sidestep quarantine rules amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report.
Officials are studying plans for regional “air bridges” that would allow visitors from “low-risk” areas such as New York City to cross the pond to Britain, The Telegraph reported.
New York has brought its seven-day infection rate down to just 7.2 cases per 100,000, which is below the UK’s 11.3, but remains “red listed” — forcing American visitors to quarantine for 14 days, according to the outlet.
“There are discussions going on at a very senior level around opening up London and New York. They are at a very early stage but it is vital to get business going with a major trading partner especially as we near Brexit,” a source told The Telegraph.
British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps last week confirmed that ministers were studying the possibility of “regional travel corridors” to allow quarantine-free flights from “low-risk” areas within countries with high infection rates.
“Conversations between governments in other countries on a whole range of issues take place regularly, a UK transportation official told the news outlet when asked about talks with Washington.
“Public health remains the UK’s top priority and we are committed to tackling this virus while enabling a sustainable and responsible return to international travel,” the spokesman said.
“We keep the data for all countries and territories under constant review and will not add a country to our travel corridor list unless safe to do so.”
German aviation industry group BDL is already planning a joint pilot project with the US to link airports in Newark, Chicago, Boston and Los Angeles with Frankfurt and Munich, The Telegraph reported.
It would rely on coronavirus testing already in place in Boston and German airports.
“New York is the financial center of the most powerful economic force in the world so we need to be able to fly there,” an airport industry source told the outlet.
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