Germany at risk of losing travel corridor as infections spike

Emma Featherstone
·29-min read
berlin - Getty
berlin - Getty

Germany could be removed from the UK’s quarantine-free green list this week following a sharp rise in Covid-19 infections. 

The country reported 5,986 new positive tests on Wednesday, well down on the 13,161 seen on Tuesday, but its seven-day infection rate has now reached 99.5 per 100,000 – up from around 50 a week ago.

It is thought that the Government’s new threshold for quarantine restrictions is 100 per 100,000, putting Germany right on the brink ahead of tomorrow’s weekly review of the travel corridors list. 

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said the Government is “very likely” to remove Germany on Thursday, adding: “It’s had a very sudden increase. In the last two weeks its infection rate has gone up by nearly 200 per cent. 

"Furthermore, on the measure of testing positivity it’s gone above four per cent, so that indicates widespread community transmission, which is not something the Government likes to see in their decision-making. Its numbers on every criteria are heading in the wrong direction.”

However, given that the UK’s infection rate is far higher – 233.2 per 100,000 – it might be argued that there is no point putting Germany on the red list.

Germany recently imposed its own restrictions on UK arrivals, meaning Britons visiting the country must present evidence of a negative test, or take a test on arrivals, to avoid a quarantine on German soil.

Other countries at risk of losing their travel corridors this week include Denmark (99.9 per 100,000), Sweden (92.4) and Cyprus (88.2). 

Scroll down for the latest travel updates.

05:05 PM

What happened today?

Here are the main headlines from today: 

  • Cut quarantine to five days with new testing regime, Boris Johnson told

  • Flying can present lower Covid risk than food shopping, study suggests

  • Heathrow loses spot as Europe's busiest airport

  • Royal Caribbean to test new Covid-19 protocols on ‘cruises to nowhere’ 

  • Criticism of PCR test sees Costa Rica scrap them for visitors

  • France poised to go into lockdown; Germany plans partial lockdown

​Catch-up with the rest below.

04:56 PM

The beguiling world of Neruda's Patagonia

Sara Wheeler follows the path of Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda through Chile and explores his love of ‘the thin country’. 

In Chacabuco valley a flock of upland geese rose in unison, hovering over the steppe like washing on a line. Behind them, the gap-toothed Andes rippled in a late mist blown off the ocean. I drove high and east in that crepuscular light, the road a slender precipice. A solitary condor described circles above swathes of southern beech. Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda wrote of these southern trees, “He who does not know the Chilean forests, does not know the planet.”

Neruda (1904-1973) is the best-known poet to emerge from  South America. He believed poetry was not an elite pursuit: his verses were statements of solidarity addressed to fellow Chileans. When he died, shortly after Pinochet’s military coup, his disciples like to say it was of a broken heart, but Neruda did have prostate cancer at the time.

He was a communist, a diplomat, a bon viveur and a committed collector: at three of his long-term homes the visitor can inspect troves of coloured glass and golden-haired figureheads culled from shipyards. Isla Negra is the most famous of the residences, squatting on a rocky outcrop a couple of hours’ drive from Santiago, the capital. Despite a heterogeneously glorious treasury of stuff, a unifying theme emerges, and it is Neruda’s love for what he called “the thin country”.

Read the full story.

04:46 PM

Bristol implementing 'Tier 1 Plus' measures, mayor announces

Bristol is implementing a series of measures it describes as 'Tier 1 plus' to reduce the spread of coronavirus, the city's mayor has said.

Marvin Rees described the situation in Bristol as "challenging", with 1,579 cases reported over the past seven days and a rate of 340.7 cases per 100,000 people in the city.

Mr Rees told a press conference that the area's rate had historically been below the England average, which is currently 222.8 cases per 100,000 people.

He said the city was taking a "Tier 1 plus" approach, which meant remaining in Tier 1 , the medium Covid-19 alert level, but taking targeted actions to "stem the spread" of coronavirus. As part of this, eight Covid marshals will be introduced and deeper analytic work will take place to identify "rising tides of cases", Mr Rees said.

04:41 PM

Comment: The more Covid rules there are, the more French jobsworths exult in their enforcement

Reasonable people are finally becoming really irritated by the coronavirus, writes Anthony Peregrine

Paris is already under a curfew - Getty
Paris is already under a curfew - Getty

What’s exasperating me right now are the incidentals.  Lockdown and its aftermath have apparently liberated folk to unleash the minutiae. The good Lord preserve me, for instance, from people – and they are legion – who detail their lockdown baking and sexual habits, box set consumption or, worse yet, drink intake. They are relentless.

They should know I have no interest in the fact that, though they formerly started drinking at 7.45pm twice a week, they’re now pouring merlot at 5.15pm every day. Nor do I care how many glasses they drink or if they’ve stopped entirely, can now put on their pyjamas unaided and positively glow at breakfast. On a scale of one to 10, this information comes below the name of their favourite newsreader, and alongside their position on courgettes.

Read Anthony's article in full.

04:32 PM

Club Med to open new resort in Morocco

The all-inclusive operator is planning to launch a new €90 million property in the Moroccan coastal resort of Essaouira.

Before the pandemic, it had seen a 13 per cent in increase in visitors to its three existing resorts in Morocco since 2017.

The Club Med Essaouira resort is expected to open in 2024 with 350 rooms.

It will be an "eco resort for families and active couples", according to Club Med and will offer a range of water sports.

04:10 PM

Machu Picchu to reopen at 30 per cent capacity

Peru's best-known Inca ruin is reopening on November 1 after seven months of closure as a result of the pandemic.

This is only the second time it has shut down since it opened to tourists in 1948– the first time was in 2010 when torrential and prolonged rains forced it to close.

The stone complex built in the 15th century will receive 675 visitors a day (30 per cent admission capacity) starting on Sunday, the director of Machu Picchu archaeological park, Jose Bastante, said.

03:53 PM

A fragile life at the frozen edge of Europe

A new exhibition salutes the resilience of the ice-dwelling people of Greenland – Sarah Marshall sees how Greenlanders have adapted to their surrounds.

Colorfull houses at sunset in the capital of Greenland - iStock
Colorfull houses at sunset in the capital of Greenland - iStock

03:33 PM

Switzerland imposes fresh restrictions

Switzerland will tighten nationwide restrictions to contain the country's rising wave of Covid-19 cases, ordering dance clubs to be closed from Thursday, halting in-person university classes starting early next month, and placing new limits on sporting and leisure activities.

The duration of the new measures, which include the requirement to wear masks in all offices and secondary schools as well as outdoors where social distancing is difficult, is indefinite, the government in Bern said.

The seven-day infection rate in Switzerland is now 479.9 per 100,000 people (for comparison, the UK's case load is 233 per 100,000).

Coronavirus Switzerland Spotlight Chart - cases default
Coronavirus Switzerland Spotlight Chart - cases default

03:28 PM

Turner and the art of travel

JMW Turner was one of the first modern tourists and his journeys around Britain and Europe inspired many to follow in his footsteps, writes Nick Trend.

Turner was partly responsible for popularising among travellers places such as Lake Lucerne 
Turner was partly responsible for popularising among travellers places such as Lake Lucerne

I won’t milk the irony, but next year marks the bicentenary of the first cross-Channel ferry service between Britain and France. I was reminded of this while walking round a new exhibition of JMW Turner’s paintings at Tate Britain this week. In the middle ground of his view of the white cliffs of Dover, I noticed a paddle steamer ploughing through the choppy waves.

Painted in 1825, the little watercolour, which was made for a series of prints, is a romanticised prospect, not a documentary one. Dover Castle towers above the cliffs in exaggerated, picturesque fashion and the steamer, its decks crowded with passengers, seems impossibly fragile among the choppy surf outside the harbour entrance.

But even if he chose not to depict it literally, Turner surely intended the steamer to represent the earliest cross-Channel ferry, an 80ft steam packet named the Rob Roy. She had started the first regular service between England and France just four years earlier and her schedule had transformed connections for travellers to the continent, turning an unpredictable day’s sail into a regular three-hour crossing. 

Read the full story.

03:17 PM

Angela Merkel agrees to partial lockdown from Monday

Germany chancellor Angela Merkel and German state leaders have come to an agreement on a partial lockdown with bars and restaurants closing from November 2, Reuters reports.

Under new rules, shops will be able to remain open on condition of allowing only one customer per 10 square metres of space.

The closure of bars and restaurants will apply until November 30, according to the report.

02:55 PM

Flying can present lower Covid risk than food shopping, study suggests

Air travel can pose a lower risk of catching coronavirus than shopping or dining out, according to a new study from Harvard University. 

"[A] layered approach, with ventilation gate-to-gate, reduces the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission onboard aircraft below that of other routine activities during the pandemic, such as grocery shopping or eating out," the study concludes.

Reducing risk on board also required passengers to wash their hands frequently and to wear face masks, and for airlines to clean and sanitize planes thoroughly, the researchers said. 

The report was funded by Airlines for America, a trade group that a number of US airlines, and a consortium of aircraft and equipment manufacturers and airport operators. 

It follows on from Office for National Statistics data released on Tuesday, which revealed that the infection rate among those who travelled abroad in the past 30 days is roughly the same as that for people who stayed in the UK.

Earlier this month, a study by the International Air Travel Association found that just 44 cases of potential coronavirus infections had been traced back to flights since the start of 2020, a tiny proportion of the 1.2 billion people who have travelled by air in the same time period.

02:42 PM

Criticism of PCR test sees Costa Rica scrap requirement for visitors to prove they're Covid-free

Costa Rica, which has gradually been opening up its tourism sector since August, has now removed the requirement for foreign visitors to present a negative RT-PCR (Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) test on arrival, writes Chris Moss.

sloth
sloth

On October 22, Costa Rica’s tourism minister, Gustavo J. Segura, announced the removal of entry restrictions based on residence and citizenship for all countries, starting November 1. This means visitors from all states in the USA – by far the most significant market for Costa Rica’s ecotourism offering – will be welcome.

He also announced that, starting on Monday, October 26, no travellers flying to Costa Rica will need a negative Covid test to enter the country.

The Central American country – famous for its “pura vida” lifestyle and national parks – is putting into practice the findings of a report published by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) on October 5 and reissued on October 9. 

Read the full story.

02:27 PM

Restrictions on travel and contact could remain after Wales' firebreak, chief legal adviser says

Wales' counsel general Jeremy Miles has said discussions are ongoing about whether contact with people and travel will be restricted when the country's firebreak lockdown expires on November 9.

 The chief legal adviser  said First Minister Mark Drakeford would announce a "clearer picture of what lies ahead" in the "coming days".

Mr Miles told a press conference in Cardiff: "The sorts of measures which are under review are measures in relation to contact with other people, of course, measures around travel, and the sorts of restrictions we've been facing so far.

"It's important that as those ideas are being discussed that we're also able to speak to our stakeholders and other partners in different aspects of government and other sectors in Wales, so that we can discuss whether those ideas are the right ideas for Wales, and that process is under way at the moment."

02:13 PM

Valencia bids to go carbon-neutral by 2025

The Spanish city has claimed to be the first worldwide to verify and certify its carbon footprint from tourist activity.

Valencia's skyline - Getty
Valencia's skyline - Getty

A new "sustainable tourism strategy 2030" has been adopted by Valencia after research revealed the impact of tourists on the local environment.

The findings are being used to contribute a commitment to become carbon-neutral by 2025. 

A study for the Visit Valencia Foundation found that all tourism activity produced 1.3 million tonnes of CO2 last year, of which 81 per cent related to tourists’ transport to the city ,but only 0.92 per cent to the use of transport within the city.

01:56 PM

Italians flock to mountain enclave where restaurants are still allowed to serve supper

Food-loving Italians are flocking to a mountainous region in the north which remains the only part of the country not to have ordered the closure of restaurants at 6pm, reports Nick Squires.

The German-speaking South Tyrol and the neighbouring province of Trento have a high degree of autonomy and their local governments have decided to exempt trattorias from the laws that were applied to the rest of the country on Sunday.

That has lured Italians from neighbouring regions, with some driving several hours to sample the delights of regional specialities such as canederli bread dumplings, goulash, apple strudel and bottles of crisp Muller Thurgau white wine.

Local restaurant owners say they are grateful to be allowed to remain open until 10pm.

Read the full story.

01:47 PM

Watch: Celebrations as four-month lockdown ends in Melbourne

Here's a snapshot of the Melbourne emerging from months of lockdown on Wednesday. 

01:32 PM

Views from around the world

Let's take a look at what's happening around the globe:

A man harvests marigolds in Atlixco, Mexico, ahead of the Day of the Dead festivities - Getty
A man harvests marigolds in Atlixco, Mexico, ahead of the Day of the Dead festivities - Getty
Italian chefs join the protests against lockdown restrictions in Rome's Pantheon Square - Getty
Italian chefs join the protests against lockdown restrictions in Rome's Pantheon Square - Getty
Shinto priests mark 100 years since the founding of Meiji shrine in Tokyo, Japan - Getty
Shinto priests mark 100 years since the founding of Meiji shrine in Tokyo, Japan - Getty
Tributes to former President of Argentina Nestor Kirchner are laid in Buenos Aires, on the tenth anniversary of his death - Getty
Tributes to former President of Argentina Nestor Kirchner are laid in Buenos Aires, on the tenth anniversary of his death - Getty

01:14 PM

Britons are flocking back to Tenerife, but much of the island still feels like a ghost town

When it comes to guaranteed sun, not many places trump Tenerife - FABA-PHOTOGRAHPY
When it comes to guaranteed sun, not many places trump Tenerife - FABA-PHOTOGRAHPY

Travel writer Richard Franks joined the British tourists returning to Tenerife, where winter sun is now quarantine-free:

My hotel’s safety measures are much like what you’d expect for an accommodation of this category, with paper menus replaced with QR codes among other new protocols. To both assure and entice during the pandemic, especially since the UK lost its air bridges in July, they’ve had to offer discounts on stays. 

While it’s tempting to lounge by the pool or take advantage of the jacuzzi on my balcony, I’m keen to see how other parts of the coast are coping. Just a 10-minute drive from Alcalá is the hillside resort town of Los Gigantes. Famed for its dramatic cliff formations, black sandy beaches and dolphin-dappled coastline, this popular holiday resort is normally humming with foreign activity… but not today.

As I descend through the town, many bars are closed, tour operator offices are empty and passers-by are scarce.

This may be ideal if you’re after a safe, quiet holiday, but it’s damning for the local travel industry. 

Read the full report.

01:00 PM

Boeing to cut 7,000 more jobs

Plane manufacturer Boeing is to cull around 7,000 more roles by the end of 2021, it announced on Wednesday.

Following this cut, its total number of staff will be around 130,000, down from 160,000 in January 2020.

The company reported a third-quarter loss of $449 million (£347 million) and a revenue drop of 29 per cent.

A sharp drop in commercial plane travel has led airlines to cancel plane orders or defer deliveries, dampening Boeing's revenues.

The company's finances have been under further pressure due to the grounding since March 2019 of the Boeing 737 MAX, which is awaiting regulatory approval to resume service.

12:51 PM

21 amazing cruises for 2021

There are plenty of new itineraries and classic voyages to choose from next year, writes Teresa Machan.

After a year with little travel, 2021 could be the chance for the most memorable holiday yet  - Getty
After a year with little travel, 2021 could be the chance for the most memorable holiday yet - Getty

Over the past five months, the cruise industry has been working on a detailed plan for the safe resumption of cruise holidays. 

And now, whether it's a pampered pootle along Italy's Po river, an expedition cruise to the Aleutian Islands or a jaunt around our beauteous British Isles, there are plenty of new sailings to try in 2021.

Here are 21 options for next year.

12:35 PM

Lufthansa is grounding more planes for winter

German airline Lufthansa is to park up a further 125 aircraft for the winter season, which will bring its active fleet down to levels not seen since the 1970s.

Last week, the carrier said it would operate just 25 per cent of its pre-Covid schedule. This latest update came from chief executive Carsten Spohr in an internal email to airline staff. 

"Winter will be an even bigger challenge," Sphor told employees in the email, which was first seen by Reuters on Sunday.

"We managed to reduce cash burn from 1 million euros every hour when the pandemic started to ‘only’ 1 million euros every two hours now. Still, that hasn’t changed the drama of the situation," he continued.

12:27 PM

The party hasn't stopped in Ibiza – it's just gone underground

In a 'silver lining' to these extraordinary times, local artists are slipping into the spotlight of the world’s biggest party capital, writes Anu Shukla.

Artist Elia Alquimia, pictured in the ruins of Ibiza Festival Club - ANU SHUKLA
Artist Elia Alquimia, pictured in the ruins of Ibiza Festival Club - ANU SHUKLA

On Friday, Ibiza's closing times changed from 10pm to 1am, permitting six people per table. But this changed again on Sunday when authorities announced a ‘state of alarm’ curfew, banning anyone from venturing out between 11pm and 6am.

Punters breaking rules can be charged with fines of €100 (£90) to €60,000 (£54,200), while venues and private organisers could also find themselves slapped with up to €600,000 (£542,800) if seen hosting anything resembling a party.

But according to Julian Heathcote, editor-in-chief of Ibiza Spotlight, the new rules simply mean that venues will open for longer during the day. “Daytime suits us fine because it gets humid and darker in the winter months,” he told me.

Read the full report.

12:18 PM

Scottish pubs to reopen, but alcohol is banned

Nicola Sturgeon has been warned she risks confusing Scotland after unveiling complicated details of her new lockdown blueprint that will see pubs and restaurants in the Central Belt reopen next week but not serve alcohol.

The First Minister said licensed premises in level 3 of her five-tier system - likely to cover much of central Scotland - can reopen from Monday but are barred from serving alcoholic beverages and must shut by 6pm.

Pubs and restaurants in level 2 areas, covering much of the rest of the country, will be permitted to serve alcohol indoors with a meal until 8pm.

Ms Sturgeon also told MSPs that Scotland's islands, the Highlands and Moray may be placed in level 1 thanks to their lower coronavirus levels, allowing their pubs to open until 10.30pm and serve drinks without meals.

Read the full story.

12:00 PM

Another Italian town sells €1 homes

Salemi, Sicily, is the latest in a slew of abandoned towns and villages in Italy to offer up properties for as little as €1.

It will be selling around 30 houses for renovation – many buildings in Salemi were left empty following an earthquake in 1968. 

Salemi's mayor Domenico Venuti told CNN Travel: "All buildings belong to the city council, which speeds up the sale and reduces red tape. 

"Before launching the scheme we first had to recover the old parts of Salemi where the houses are located, upgrading infrastructures and services from roads to electric grids and sewage pipes. Now the town is ready for the next step."

11:44 AM

Will we be in lockdown for Christmas? What celebrations will look like during Covid-19

Whilst we're all hoping to celebrate Christmas traditions as normal this year, the 2020 festive season is bound to look very different in wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said on Wednesday, "we want people to be able to celebrate Christmas as normal as possible, but it is too early to say exactly what situation will be come Christmas, and to say what different parts of the country will or will not be able to do."

The three-tier system the Government announced on October 12, which categorises local areas dependent on the rates of Covid infections, means Christmas this year will be unlike any other.

Yolanthe Fawehinmi explains what each tier will mean for festive celebrations.

11:41 AM

On the trail of the man who invented Scottish tourism

Fancy a little late morning escapism? Read Sarah Baxter's account of following in footsteps of Sir Walter Scott – who inspired early tourists.

The once tumultuous Scottish Borders are now a place of peace and tranquility - Getty
The once tumultuous Scottish Borders are now a place of peace and tranquility - Getty

It was, it is said, a beautiful day when Sir Walter Scott passed away at Abbotsford in September 1832. Every window was flung wide open, and the gentle murmur of the River Tweed – “the sound most delicious to his ear” – wafted in, singing Scott to his final sleep. 

Maybe like today, I thought, looking out from the Scottish baronial mansion, autumn sunshine striking the auburn trees and the broad, peat-black river. Borders country – long hard-fought and fractious – now calmed to a burble.

“He started tourism,” our guide Hamish explained as I browsed the spines in Scott’s vast library – the pre-Wiki research engine that fed his historical works. “People wanted to see the places he wrote about.”

Read the full story.

11:24 AM

UK's inbound tourism industry facing mass redundancies

Some 72 per cent of tour operators and destination management companies will need to make redundancies without additional government support, according to research from UKinbound, which represents the UK's inbound tourism industry.

When the Chancellor announced details of the new Job Support Scheme (JSS) in September, three in four inbound tourism businesses were planning to start making redundancies, according to UKinbound, This figure dropped to under 50 per cent when the more targeted JSS closed option, for businesses required to shut due to local lockdowns, was announced on October 9. 

However, because of the nature of their businesses, 72 per cent of tour operators and destination management companies (DMC) will have to make redundancies, according to UKinbound

The organisation is urging the Government to:

  • Create a ‘Tourism Resilience’ Fund to help businesses reliant on international visitors to survive

  • For rate relief and grants should be amended to include tour operators and DMCs

  • Brig in testing on arrival/ regional corridors to restore consumer confidence in travelling to the UK

  • Extend the enhanced JSS for lockdown areas to tour operators and DMCs

11:10 AM

Comment: Heathrow's slump is testament to our government's inept travel strategy

The aviation industry has been rocked by global travel restrictions in the last nine months, with billions of dollars wiped from airline balance sheets and no expectation of a return to pre-Covid demand before 2024 at the earliest. 

John Grant, a senior analyst at IAG, writes of the news Heathrow has lost its crown as Europe's busiest airport: 

Today’s announcement reflects the continuing lack of clarity about the UK’s Covid-19 requirements that have in turn damaged the confidence of airlines and travellers in what is normally one of Europe’s largest markets. In the last few months airports such as Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Rome have taken advantage of the ineptitude of the UK’s approach to aviation and closed the gap on both Heathrow and, to a lesser degree, Gatwick.

From a competitive perspective Heathrow and indeed all the other major UK airports will recover once we are able to clearly articulate what the Covid-19 travel requirements are and don’t change them at a few hour’s notice – that is the most destructive part of the UK policy. Initiatives such as testing at airports are beginning to rebuild confidence, but they need to be cost-effective and widely available. 

Read his comment article in full. 

10:57 AM

International luxury hotel group heads to little island of Murano

The Langham Hospitality Group has revealed exclusively to Telegraph Travel that it will open a new luxury hotel in Venice in 2023, reports Emma Beaumont.

A rendering of The Langham, Venice, which will open in 2023
A rendering of The Langham, Venice, which will open in 2023

The lagoon-front Langham, Venice will be set on the island of Murano and marks the Hong Kong-based group’s first hotel in Italy and third in Europe, following a recent opening in Munich and its long-standing London ‘grande dame’.

Described as an ‘urban resort’, the Langham will be the first true luxury option in Murano, the little island known for its glass-making tradition stretching back to the 13th century. The hotel’s winning waterfront location on the island’s south-east shore puts it within easy reach of the Museo del Vetro (glass museum) and centuries-old foundries that continue to turn out artisanal pieces. 

Also close by is the Basilica dei Santa Maria e San Donato, one of Venice’s most impressive churches. The city itself is only a short vaporetto ride away, but guests will likely relish the peace that descends on Murano after the daytrippers leave. 

Read the full story.

10:40 AM

Almost 200 European airports facing insolvency in coming months

An estimated 193 airports face insolvency in the coming months if passenger traffic does not start to recover by the end of 2020, according to the Airports Council International Europe (ACI). 

The data released by the council shows: 

  • A year-on-year decrease of 73 per cent in passenger traffic at Europe’s airports in September

  • The loss of an additional 172.5 million passengers in September (this brings the total volume of lost passengers since January 2020 to 1.29 billion)   

  • As of mid-October, passenger traffic stood at 75 per cent down from the same period last year

The continuation of travel restrictions into the winter season has considerably worsened the traffic outlook, according to ACI Europe's forecast.

10:28 AM

Shut bars and restaurants, urges Angela Merkel

The German Chancellor wants state premiers to agree to close all restaurants and bars from November 4 in a bid to curb coronavirus infections but keep schools and nurseries open, according to a draft resolution.

Coronavirus Germany Spotlight Chart - cases default
Coronavirus Germany Spotlight Chart - cases default

Under the new restrictions people would only be able to go out in public with members of their own household and one other household. The resolution said people would be punished if they broke the rule, but did not give further details.

It said an exponential increase in infections in almost all regions of Germany meant that many local health authorities could not track and trace all infections so it was necessary to significantly reduce contact between people now in the hope that extensive restrictions are not required over Christmas.

If the leaders of Germany's 16 states agree to the draft during a telephone conference on Oct 28, fitness studios, discos and cinemas will close along with theatres, opera houses and concert venues. Shops would be allowed to remain open if they implement hygiene measures and limit customer numbers, while restaurants would only be allowed to offer takeaways.

10:10 AM

Princess Cruises extends cancellations until June 2021

Princess Cruises, one of the world's major operators, has announced that it won't be departing from Australia and New Zealand until at least June 2021.

The cruise line has made this decision "due to the uncertainty about when international travel restrictions might be lifted". It has paused its voyages across the globe until at least December 15, 2020.

Those who have booked will receive a future cruise credit (FCC) equivalent to 100 per cent of the cruise fare paid, plus an additional bonus FCC equal to 25 per cent of the cruise fare paid.

Alternatively, customers can request a refund for all money paid.

  • When will cruise ships start sailing again?

10:00 AM

Melbourne eases coronavirus restrictions

Melbourne came out of nearly four months of a second lockdown, the strictest Australia had seen, on Wednesday morning.

As the city eased restrictions in the early hours, people were able to visit bars, restaurants and shops again.

melbourne cafe - AP
melbourne cafe - AP
St Kilda beach, Melbourne - AP
St Kilda beach, Melbourne - AP
melbourne - Getty
melbourne - Getty
shopping arcade, melbourne - Shutterstock
shopping arcade, melbourne - Shutterstock

09:45 AM

No recovery in transatlantic flights for five years

Demand for transatlantic flights will not recover until at least 2026, leaving the likes of British Airways and Virgin Atlantic particularly exposed, experts have warned. 

Services from Europe to North America will be the last to recover, according to consultancy Bain.

Flights within Asia will rebound the fastest, returning to pre-pandemic levels in little more than a year.

Flying passengers between the UK and North America has been particularly profitable for BA in recent years, with the flag carrier holding a dominant position on a number of key routes. 

Read the full report.

09:30 AM

France considers month-long national lockdown

The French government is considering a month-long national lockdown to combat a rise in coronavirus infections which could take effect from midnight on Thursday.

Coronavirus France Spotlight Chart - Cases default
Coronavirus France Spotlight Chart - Cases default

The lockdown under consideration would be "more flexible" than the restrictions imposed in March this year, France's BFM TV reported on Tuesday.

French President Emmanuel Macron is due to make a televised address on Wednesday but his office did not comment on whether he would announce such a measure then.

The French leader has held meetings to review the state of the epidemic in recent days. According to BFM TV, Mr Macron's government is considering a slightly more flexible lockdown than the two-month shutdown that began in mid-March. Schools could remain open even as restrictions on people's movements become more severe.

Read the full story.

09:20 AM

Royal Caribbean to test new Covid-19 protocols on ‘cruises to nowhere’

Cruise giant Royal Caribbean is gearing up for its return to the water with a raft of safety measures that will change the way that passengers enjoy a holiday afloat.

Quantum of the Seas is still among the largest cruise ships in the world
Quantum of the Seas is still among the largest cruise ships in the world

Singaporean residents boarding Quantum of the Seas for three-and four-night ‘Ocean Getaways’ – also known as ‘cruises to nowhere’ – in December will find that many things will be different.

For starters, all passengers booked on Quantum must take a Covid-19 test 48 to 72 hours before boarding, and be able to prove a negative result.

Royal Caribbean will cover the cost of tests for sailings departing on or before January 30, 2021, and this may be extended depending on the Covid-19 situation. In addition to producing a negative test result prior to embarkation, all passengers (as well as crew and port personnel) will have their temperature taken at the terminal.

Read the full story.

09:12 AM

Heathrow falls behind Charles de Gaulle as Europe's busiest airport

Heathrow has been overtaken by Paris Charles de Gaulle as Europe's busiest airport, with the London hub reporting a loss of £1.5 billion in the first nine months of 2020.

Some 19 million passengers travelled through Heathrow in the first nine months of 2020, compared with 19.3 million who used Charles de Gaulle.

Heathrow warned that Amsterdam Schiphol and Frankfurt are "close behind", noting that coronavirus testing regimes have been implemented at all three "continental rivals".

Passenger numbers between July and September were down by more than 84 per cent compared with the same period in 2019.

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said:

Britain is falling behind because we've been too slow to embrace passenger testing.

European leaders acted quicker and now their economies are reaping the benefits.

Paris has overtaken Heathrow as Europe's largest airport for the first time ever, and Frankfurt and Amsterdam are quickly gaining ground. Let's make Britain a winner again.

Bringing in pre-departure Covid tests and partnering with our US allies to open a pilot air bridge to America will kick-start our economic recovery and put the UK back ahead of our European rivals.

08:59 AM

Cut quarantine to five days with new testing regime, Boris Johnson told

Quarantine should be slashed to five days through coronavirus testing that would catch nearly nine in 10 cases, senior Tory MPs have told Boris Johnson in a letter ahead of next week's Government taskforce report to the Prime Minister.

The letter – signed by MPs including Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the influential Tory backbench 1922 Committee, and six former ministers – said the Government's current proposal for testing at seven days is too long, citing evidence that tests on the fifth day could catch at least 88 per cent of cases.

Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, chairing the taskforce with Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, favours testing on the seventh day – releasing those with negative results halfway through the 14-day quarantine – although it is understood that tests at eight and 10 days are also on the table.

In their letter, the 13 MPs – also including David Davis, Caroline Noakes, Paul Maynard, Tim Loughton, Steve Brine and Crispin Blunt – said quarantine should be "as short as possible based on the scientific advice".

Read the full story.

08:56 AM

What happened yesterday?

Here are the main headlines from Tuesday:

  • English tourists ‘escorted’ from Wales by police after crossing border 

  • Italian ski resorts forced to close just 48 hours after reopening

  • New travel corridor could unlock winter breaks to Dubai

  • Jamaica to launch travel insurance programme for visitors

  • Bookings for Gran Canaria holidays rise... by 4,700 per cent

  • International tourism 'dropped by 81 per cent' in August

Now onto today's news.