Travel air bridges and European travel

To maintain its efforts to limit infection routes for the COVID-19 virus, the British government has imposed international quarantine rules affecting overseas travel, which came into effect on 8th June. But for those of us who either must travel beyond national borders for work purposes or who simply need a vacation in sunnier climes, there’s a welcome zone of freedom amid the restrictions: air bridges.


What are air bridges?

With some exceptions for countries considered ‘virally safe’, all people who arrive in the UK from overseas destinations were required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Britain. The aim of this is to prevent COVID-19 from being transferred into the country from elsewhere.

But so-called ‘air bridges’ (also referred to as “travel corridors”) provide a means of avoiding such self-quarantine. These are travel connections between Britain and specific overseas destinations that have been designated by the Joint Biosecurity Centre as being relatively low-risk for viral transmission. Therefore, no self-isolation will be required for anyone arriving in the UK from those countries. Air bridges are already operational in the designated European countries, making travel between them and Britain far simpler.

The government has now lifted the self-quarantine requirement for 59 approved overseas destinations. These apply to England, Northern Ireland and Wales, with Scotland opting for its own list of 57 destinations. These are the same as for the rest of the UK, except for Spain and Serbia.


If you are travelling, remember your essentials

Even with all the special health and safety measures in place, somethings don’t change, and you’ll still have to pack sensibly. On the travel adaptor front, if you’re planning to visit any of the countries listed above, you will need a UK to Euro travel adaptor. In most European countries (with the exception of Ireland), any UK device you bring with you will require a UK to European converter adaptor. That’s not merely to allow you to plug your device’s three-pin power connector into the mains but to ensure that it functions properly.

The reason for this is that – again, except for Ireland – the mains voltage and current which is standard for most European countries is much lower than the UK standard. To protect your electrical device and allow it to function correctly, the voltage and current need to be converted from the European mains power standard to the UK one.

The range of UK to Europe travel adaptors supplied by Euronetwork will give you peace of mind that you’ll be able to use all your devices smoothly and safely upon arrival at your European destination, and they’re also inexpensive. That means you can readily afford to take a few spares with you to allow multiple devices to be used at any one time (and to spare you any hassle if you mislay an adaptor).

The good news for travellers is that, as many European countries are progressively lifting earlier lockdown restrictions, many normal aspects of foreign travel will be reopened. Venice, for example, has opened a raft of ‘non-essential” attractions favoured by tourists, including the infamous Doge’s Palace and most of its cafes, restaurants and souvenir shops.

As matters stand, overseas visitors to Italy may now visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which reopened at the beginning of June, while travellers to France can visit the Palace at Versailles and those visiting Spain may tour the reopened Guggenheim in Bilbao. However, social distancing measures are still in place in many destinations, so advance online bookings are usually required.


Don’t forget …

If you’re planning to use an air corridor to visit a low-risk country, make sure you take a few UK-to-Europe travel adaptors with you. There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to power up your laptop, recharge your smartphone or take a shave with your electric razor when you arrive.

Thankfully, Euronetwork has an excellent range of thoroughly tested and safe holiday plugs of this kind which are compatible throughout Europe. You can choose from our range of travel plug offerings here.

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