Speaking on BBC News, travel expert Simon Calder warned he calculated that 1.5millions of British passport have expired since the beginning of coronavirus lockdown measures in the UK. He urged people to check the expiry date on their passports before booking their summer holidays now that the Government is expected to announce a list of countries in the EU Britons will safely be able to travel to from July 6.
He said: “I absolutely want to remind people before they book, anything to get their passport, check the expiry date, because 1.5 million passports, I calculated, have run out since the start of lockdown
“The passport office isn’t operating a normal service at the moment, and it would mean just awful to spend hundreds or thousands of pounds, only to find that you couldn’t actually travel.
“So please check your passport. And don’t forget anything.
“If you’re not sure that you’re going to be able to leave the country legally.”
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Home Secretary Priti Patel said the UK’s borders could be reopened in the coming days now international and domestic coronavirus transmission rates were continuing to fall.
Ministers are expected to confirm which countries will no longer have a 14 day quarantine requirement imposed on travellers returning from them to the UK.
A traffic light system will see the blanket quarantine rule lifted, with nations instead sorted into green, amber and red categories according to their prevalence of coronavirus.
The list of quarantine-free countries is due to be published on Wednesday, with restrictions lifted as soon as July 6.
As it currently stands, most travellers arriving in the UK from countries abroad must quarantine for 14 days under strict measures, which were introduced on June 8.
However, this rule has been heavily criticised for further alienating the UK from the international travel industry, and further hindering the recovery of aviation firms.
In response to this, the Government has been considering the use of air bridges with other countries around the world in an effort to curb the 14-day quarantine rule.
Air bridges, also known as ‘travel corridors’, are an agreement between two countries in which they are allowed to scrap the mandatory quarantine when travelling in between each other.
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For example, an air bridge between the UK and France would enable anyone in the UK to travel to France without self-isolating for two weeks on arrival, and vice versa.
The Government has said that Britain will only consider setting up an air bridge with countries that have a low R rate, the measure of infection rate of coronavirus.
On June 25, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps revealed that air bridges can only be established with countries who have a test and trace system in place at the same standard as the UK.
Speaking during a recent Downing Street briefing, Mr Johnson said that the measures would be reviewed today, June 29, including quarantine rules and air bridges.
The Prime Minister said: “The current advice is still that people should avoid non-essential travel.
“We will be reviewing the situation on the 29th, we will be looking at the quarantine rules and what we can do to create air bridges.”