May 22, 2020 / 5:40 PM / 7 days ago

Air bridges not for now but should not rule out in future -UK interior minister

Britain's Home Secretary Priti Patel holds a daily news conference with Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance (not pictured) and Border Force Director General Paul Lincoln (not pictured) on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain May 22, 2020. Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street/Handout via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain should not rule out the idea of so-called air bridges with countries who have low infection rates of COVID-19 in the future, interior minister Priti Patel said on Friday.

The British government said it would bring in a 14-day quarantine period for almost all international arrivals from June 8.

Asked during the government’s daily news conference about the prospect of Britons being able to go on a summer holiday abroad this year and whether air bridges could be part of the solution, Patel said: “The foreign office advice is very clear, nothing but essential travel.”

“When it comes to air bridges ... we should be absolutely open to all ideas, this is not for today but this doesn’t mean we should rule this out in the future,” she said.

Reporting by Estelle Shirbon and Alistair Smout, Writing by Kylie MacLellan

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