Travellers arriving in Britain will on Monday have to self-isolate for 14 days under a quarantine regime described as “useless” by airlines, although there are signs Boris Johnson wants to ease restrictions swiftly.
Priti Patel, home secretary, said: “We all want to return to normal as quickly as possible” but claimed the quarantine, backed up by fines of £1,000, was justified by the science.
But Mr Johnson, facing widespread Conservative unease and the threat of legal action by airlines, is looking to negotiate quarantine-free “air bridges” with other European countries.
Turkey, Spain, Greece and Portugal are among the popular holiday destinations that have indicated a willingness to strike such a deal, even though the UK continues to have relatively high Covid-19 infection rates.
Rishi Sunak, chancellor, Alok Sharma, business secretary, and Grant Shapps, transport secretary, are pushing for an early end to the quarantine, which they say is hitting the