Downing Street has poured cold water on hopes of an ‘air bridge’ to allow British holiday-makers to avoid quarantine on returning from popular European destinations this summer.

In a slapdown for transport secretary Grant Shapps, the prime minister’s official spokesman said the idea was not government policy.

The government is due to announced shortly a 14-day quarantine for anyone arriving in the UK from overseas, with the threat of fines between £1,000 and £10,000 for anyone failing to remain at their designated self-isolation address for the entire period.

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But Mr Shapps raised hopes that Britons would still be able to enjoy a summer getaway abroad by telling the House of Commons on Monday that bilateral “air bridge” agreements might allow passengers from countries with low levels of coronavirus infections to skip quarantine.

At a virtual Westminster media briefing today, Boris Johnson’s spokesman said the idea - which is backed by Heathrow - was “an option under consideration but not agreed government policy”.

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