Britons left with just eight restriction-free travel options

·25-min read
Mainland Greece is still on the cards for holidaymakers from England and Wales
Mainland Greece is still on the cards for holidaymakers from England and Wales

British holidaymakers can now visit just eight countries without restrictions, as Liechtenstein begins its ban on travellers from the UK.

Of the UK’s green-listed countries, only Germany, Poland, Italy, Sweden, Turkey, mainland Greece, Gibraltar and San Marino are welcoming British people without the need to take a Covid-19 test or go into quarantine on arrival.

In recent weeks the UK’s travel corridor list has shrunk. Last Thursday, Transport Minister Grant Shapps announced that anyone arriving into the UK from Denmark, Iceland, Slovakia and the island of Curacao would have to go into a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Holiday favourites including Spain, France, mainland Portugal and a number of Greek islands are red-listed, as Covid-19 cases at the destinations exceed the threshold of cases per 100,000 over a seven-day average. In Scotland, the whole of Greece is red-listed.

Shapps will make another announcement this Thursday. As it stands, Sweden (24.7 cases per 100,000) risks losing its travel corridor, as does Poland which has just crept past the Government's quarantine threshold (20.1 cases per 100,000). 

04:02 PM

What did we learn today?

A recap of today's top stories.

  • Government ponders plans for a 'Neighbour Day' bank holiday 

  • Qatar Airways posts record loss 

  • EasyJet 'hanging by a thread'

  • India passes six million cases 

  • Cunard to launch 'scenic cruises' around British Isles

  • Madrid says no to new lockdown

Join us tomorrow for more travel news.

03:45 PM

New Zealand / Australia travel bubble is on the cards

New Zealand's Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has said travel between New Zealand and Australia could be possible before the end of the year if Covid cases continue to decline.

New Zealand has only 59 active cases and 1,477 confirmed cases in total, while Australia has reported over 27,000 cases and 872 deaths.

Plans for a "travel bubble" between the two countries has been mooted in the past, but were disrupted after a resurgence of Covid in Melbourne in recent months.

Now, Ardern has said a bubble by the end of the year is "possible".

"What we would need to be assured of is that when Australia is saying 'okay we've got a hotspot over here', that the border around that hotspot means that people aren't able to travel into the states where we are engaging with trans-Tasman travel," she said.

03:17 PM

Dubai announces new restrictions on nightlife

All bars and restaurants in Dubai will stop serving and halt "entertainment activities" at 1am. Hotels will be restricted to offer room service only after 3am.

Authorities have threatened "consequential procedures," including shutdowns and huge fines, if establishments are caught flouting the rules.

Dubai has introduced new restrictions on nightlife
Dubai has introduced new restrictions on nightlife

The UAE has recorded more than 90,000 infections of Covid-19 since March, with over 400 deaths. New infections are rising to levels not seen since May.

03:02 PM

In numbers: How 2020 became the worst year for tourism in modern history

Sunday was World Tourism Day, typically a time to celebrate the positive impact that overseas holidays can have on economies around the globe and to look at those countries where international travel is booming. 

This year has been rather different. The emergence of Covid-19, and the world’s unprecedented reaction to it, means 2020 will go down as the year tourism was, if not killed, then certainly beaten to within an inch of its life. 

A few weeks ago the first comprehensive statistics emerged showing just how severely the global shutdown obliterated the holiday industry. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), international arrivals fell 65 per cent during the first half of the year. Looking only at the period April-June the damage is even more remarkable, with overseas trips across the planet down 95.2 per cent. 

Read the full report from Oliver Smith, here.

02:57 PM

"My husband wants to move to Australia. I don't, so what now?"

In our Marriage Diaries column, people share snapshots of their relationships, seen now through the lens of the coronavirus pandemic

Today, the suggestion of a move Down Under is threatening to tear apart a relationship.

Read the piece here.

02:41 PM

Japan to reopen borders this week – but not to tourists

Japan is taking tentative steps towards reopening its borders, with plans to start relaxing entry requirements from October 1, Danielle Demetriou reports.

Visitors from 159 countries are currently unable to enter Japan after the government imposed stringent controls earlier this year. However, revised rules starting this week will allow entry to non-Japanese visitors who have permission to stay for three months or longer.

The revision will still not allow those on a tourist visa to visit Japan, but will permit in phases different types of longer-stay visitors, initially including those working in medical, cultural or sports-related activities.

Daily entry numbers are also likely to be limited to 1,000 and visitors must test negative for coronavirus before arrival and self-isolate for 14 days in Japan, with assurances that they will not use public transport during this period.

Read the full report here.

02:24 PM

Is your holiday illegal?

Across the UK, there are increased restrictions on hospitality and groups gatherings. In some places, the rule of six applies; in others, there is a blanket ban on socialising. It's confusing, yes, but it's also vital to be clued-up before you travel – especially as hefty fines have also been threatened for those ignoring orders. 

But what does this mean for your staycation? And who exactly will police your holiday, if it is now illegal? 

Hazel Plush explains how the new rules will affect your holidays.

02:16 PM

What's the situation in Italy?

Yesterday, Italy recorded 1,766 new cases of Covid-19 and 17 deaths.

As it stands, Italy is reporting 19.1 cases per 100,000 over seven days. The threshold for a UK quarantine is 20 cases per 100,000, meaning – if cases continue to rise – Italy is at risk of losing its travel corridor in Grant Shapps' next announcement on Thursday.

Coronavirus Italy Spotlight Chart - cases default
Coronavirus Italy Spotlight Chart - cases default

02:00 PM

Radical plans could lead to Norwegian Air nationalisation

Norwegian could be nationalised under radical plans being considered by government officials in Oslo.

Norwegian landed a £250m government bailout in March that wiped out shareholders
Norwegian landed a £250m government bailout in March that wiped out shareholders

Oliver Gill reports:

Political leaders in Norway’s ruling coalition have indicated that they favour bailing out the struggling budget carrier rather than the older flag carrier SAS.Airline bosses have held talks with the government last week, local media reported.Jon Gunnes, transport policy spokesman for the Liberal Party, said supporting Norwegian was “very important”.Before the pandemic struck Norwegian was one of the biggest airlines operating from Gatwick airport behind easyJet and British Airways.It had been offering cut-price flights to several cities in North America as well as more distant destinations including Rio and Buenos Aires.

Read more: Norwegian could be nationalised

01:40 PM

Now, for some escapism

Fantasise for a moment. The world is normal. There is no pandemic and no quarantine.

Which city would you jet off to? Have your say in this week's Twitter poll.

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01:22 PM

Remembering Trump Shuttle, the airline that offered faux marble at 35,000ft

Donald Trump’s tax returns have revealed that his businesses are far less successful than he’d have you believe, writes Oliver Smith.

The US president paid no federal income tax in 10 of the last 15 years, according to The New York Times. This was largely because he declared substantial losses on his businesses which he said outweighed his income. Furthermore, his three golf courses reported $63.6 million in losses between 2010 and 2018. 

All of which will come as little surprise to anyone who has taken even the most cursory glance at Trump’s entrepreneurial back catalogue – he is certainly no stranger to a failed enterprise. Over the years he’s launched a string of dubious businesses, including (but not limited to) GoTrump.com (a travel search engine), Trump Ice (spring water), Trump Steaks and Trump Vodka. There’s even Trump: The Game, his answer to Monopoly.

He also tried his hand at aviation. Back in the Eighties both Pan Am and Eastern Air Lines ran profitable no-frills “air shuttle” services up and down the US East Coast. However, when Eastern Air Lines ran into financial difficulty at the tail-end of the decade, and sought to offload some of the routes, Trump sensed an opportunity. 

Read all about the tale of Trump Shuttle.

01:01 PM

This classic English beach hasn't changed in 40 years – but is being swept away

Nigel Richardson used to visit Climping Beach, West Sussex, with his parents while on leave from boarding school. Forty years on, the coast has been eroded by the winds of change – but much remains the same.

As I watch families making their carefully spaced beach nests, scenes from early childhood come back to me. Caravan holidays by the sea in Lulworth Cove and Abersoch. My dad with an actual handkerchief on his balding head. The pleasures are timeless, and the soundtrack of breaking waves and squealing children hasn’t changed. However, appearances can be deceptive. The coastline itself is changing with each tide...

Take a trip down memory lane.

12:55 PM

Airline to offer 'drive-through' testing for all passengers

In a bid to boost domestic tourism in the US, Hawaiian Airlines will launch Covid-19 testing centres near Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO) airports – enabling holidaymakers to bypass the islands’ quarantine rules if they have a negative result. 

Currently, all visitors must self-isolate for 14 days on arrival in Hawaii. The ‘drive-through’ PCR service will give results in 36 hours ($US$90) or on the same day (US$150).

12:43 PM

Global Covid-19 deaths surpass one million

As of 11am GMT this morning, 1,002,036 people have died with Covid-19, according to an AFP tally collected from official sources.

The United States has the highest death toll with more than 204,762 fatalities, followed by Brazil (141,741), India (95,542), Mexico (76,430) and Britain (41,988).

12:40 PM

A record-breaking summer for canal boat holidays

Canal boat holidays have never been more popular, says waterways specialist Black Prince Holidays. This summer, the company saw a surge in bookings from Britain-bound holidaymakers – with trips now sold out until October. 

Leighton Jones, operations director at Black Prince says: "When lockdown was lifted we had an idea that people would be ready to travel, but we have been amazed at how interest in canal holidays has grown.

Interest in canal boat holidays is on the rise - Getty
Interest in canal boat holidays is on the rise - Getty

"Many of our customers have been trying a narrowboat break for the first time. They’ve been drawn to the waterways by the sense of adventure, the remoteness and the ease of social distancing. Even the rule of six change has failed to dampen interest."

Tempted? Set your sights on Britain’s best waterways

12:29 PM

Better late than never: Five last-minute holidays to book right now

A fly-and-flop week in sunny Rhodes from £635? Yes please...  - Getty
A fly-and-flop week in sunny Rhodes from £635? Yes please... - Getty

Looking for a last blast of sun or cultural city break? These five destinations have no quarantine restrictions for Britons – and we've even tracked down some juicy latest offers, too. Emma Beaumont has the details.

12:12 PM

Asia’s elephants are the hidden victims of the pandemic

Save The Asian Elephants (STAE) urges new UK law to ban the advertising, promotion and sale of ‘elephant tourism’ venues - Getty
Save The Asian Elephants (STAE) urges new UK law to ban the advertising, promotion and sale of ‘elephant tourism’ venues - Getty

The sickening rise of exploitative elephant tourism, combined with the risk of Covid-19, has become a 'perfect storm of dangers' warns Duncan McNair

'Tourism' elephants in South-East Asia, held in fetid close confinement and denied any exercise (in the wild they typically walk 60km a day), are highly effective transmitters of deadly airborne viruses like TB, SARS and Ebola. As scientific enquiry advances, the risk they shed Covid-19, too, is obvious.

The people of India, home to two thirds of surviving Asian elephants and desperately struggling with Covid, are at further risk from this reckless promotion of unscrupulous venues – a perfect storm of dangers when restrictions ease.  

Read the full article.

11:59 AM

Madrid says no to new lockdown

The President of Spain's capital has refused to place the city into a second lockdown, despite a surging number of Covid-19 cases, Annabel Fenwick-Elliott reports.

Isabel Diaz Ayuso stated "the solution is not a total confinement" and "people get run over every day but that doesn't mean we ban cars".

Madrid is currently grappling with Spain's highest infection rate; in the past week alone it accumulated nearly 18,000 cases. Its rate of 722 per 100,000 citizens over 14 days is far higher than Spain's average of 282. Forty per cent of the city's intensive care beds are now occupied.

Spain's Health Minister Salvador Illa on Saturday warned that Madrid's restrictions didn't go far enough and advised a total lockdown.

Ayuso rejected this proposal but did announce more restrictions on movement to another eight districts, affecting about a million people. A total of 45 districts are now under partial lockdown.

From today, residents will only be able to leave their zone to go to work, school or to seek medical care. Social gatherings have been limited to six, public parks are shut and businesses face a 10pm curfew.

11:50 AM

Monday update on the UK quarantine list

The UK's threshold for a travel quarantine is 20 cases per 100,000, over seven days. Here are the countries that risk losing their travel corridors in Grant Shapps' Thursday announcement.

Past the threshold

  • Sweden (24.7)

  • Poland (21.3)

In the 'amber zone'

  • Italy (19.4)

  • Germany (15.7)

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11:36 AM

Crew members on first cruise ship to dock in Greece since lockdown test positive

In Greece, a dozen crew members on the first cruise ship to dock after the coronavirus lockdown have tested positive, the coastguard said today.

The Maltese-flagged Mein Schiff 6 operated by German travel giant TUI, with 922 passengers on board, is currently moored off the Aegean island of Milos, a coastguard spokeswoman told AFP.

The positive results surfaced after tests on 150 among the crew’s 666 crew members, she said.

“They are assistant staff,” the spokeswoman said. “They have been isolated on board, and we are awaiting instructions from the public health agency on where the ship is to sail.”

The TUI ship was the first to return to Greek waters after lockdown measures imposed in March, local operators said, docking at Iraklio in mid-September.

11:30 AM

Exclusive: Cunard to launch 'scenic cruises' around British Isles for first time in its 180-year history

Iconic British cruise line Cunard will launch “scenic cruising” around the UK for the first time in its 180-year history, The Telegraph can exclusively reveal.

The sailings on Queen Elizabeth will mark a year without passengers due to the coronavirus pandemic. The cruise industry voluntarily stopped sailing in March as the world began to lock down.

There will be seven British Isles sailings in total, a mixture of three- and four-night voyages, with the first due to depart from Southampton on March 26, 2021.

Cruise ships have been moored up since the beginning of the pandemic
Cruise ships have been moored up since the beginning of the pandemic

Simon Palenthrope, the president of Cunard, told Telegraph Travel that the line was “proud that Queen Elizabeth's scheduled first sailings on return from a long pause will be exploring the British isles.”

"We can often under appreciate how stunning the British Isles are, and when we do have the opportunity to take in the scenery of our coastline, it's most often from a car or walking. There is arguably no better way to take in some of the most famed coastlines of the UK, than on board a luxury ship as it sails leisurely by."

Benjamin Parker has the report.

11:01 AM

Wizz Air reveals new flight routes...

... to, er, Iași and Craiova.

The low-cost airline announced the new connections between Birmingham Airport and the Romanian cities, beginning on October 24.

In a statement, Wizz said "now is the perfect time for UK customers to book an exciting city break away", despite the fact that anyone visiting Romania will need to go into a 14-day quarantine on their return to the UK, and their travel insurance will likely be invalidated as the Foreign Office warns against all but essential travel to the country.

10:45 AM

The curfews you're already following without even realising

The government's 10pm restriction may feel like a shock to the system but there are plenty of our own that we stick to, writes Shane Watson.

Any of these self-imposed curfews ring a bell?

10:29 AM

Why you really should consider taking a gap year in Britain

Let’s face it, a gap year abroad in the midst of a pandemic isn’t particularly advisable, writes Gavin Haines. But while coronavirus has rained on the campfires of thousands of would-be backpackers, all is not lost.  

True, the rite of passage has narrowed, but those eager to take time out before entering employment or higher education can embark on a number of CV-enhancing programmes on home soil and online, which have the added benefit of being cheaper than schlepping halfway around the world. 

From learning to be a deckhand to helping vulnerable people through the pandemic, here are some of the things gappers can do to advance themselves and society while the world waits to reopen.

10:14 AM

Jersey boasts one of Europe's highest testing rates

Jersey has one of the highest testing rates in Europe, and has tested more than 72,000 inbound travellers since the beginning of the pandemic.

Amanda Burns, Chief Executive Officer of Visit Jersey said:

“Protecting everyone on the island is the priority, which is why we have implemented our unique and comprehensive fast-track border testing system to keep people safe whilst also optimising the traveller experience. Since reopening our borders in July, we have tested over 72,000 inbound travellers and have the highest level of testing in Europe, with one of the lowest rates of positive tests.

"People should feel safe and reassured when they visit the island, so they can make the most of our pristine beaches, uninterrupted coastal paths and unique hospitality during their stay. We will continue to follow the government guidelines to ensure Jersey continues to be an ideal destination for domestic travellers.”

09:59 AM

Carrie Symonds praises Boris Johnson's 'brilliant' rewilding plans

Boris Johnson has promised to restore to nature 30 per cent of Britain by 2030 as he signs a biodiversity pledge with other UN leaders.

The Prime Minister will today unfurl plans to secure an area of land the size of the Lake District and South Downs national parks combined to make sure almost a third of the country is wild.

Existing National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and other protected areas already comprise approximately 26 percent of land in England. 

The move, which you can read more of here, has got the support of at least one environmental campaigner... 

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09:47 AM

Meanwhile, in Melbourne...

Things are returning to normal in Melbourne, which is entering its second step on the roadmap to reopening. Up to five people from two households can now meet outdoors, and the nighttime curfew has been lifted.

Melbourne - Getty
Melbourne - Getty
Melbourne - Getty
Melbourne - Getty
Melbourne - Getty
Melbourne - Getty

09:30 AM

What's the situation in Barbados?

Barbados now lists the UK as a 'high-risk' destination. This means that Britons visiting must:

  • Take a PCR test 72 hours before arriving, and upload your negative result on a designated website

  • Take another PCR test 4–5 days after the initial test (so 2–3 days max after arriving in Barbados)

  • Self-isolate in a designated hotel or villa until a second negative result comes through (some are permitting access to pools)

  • Check in with the Barbados health team by logging temperature results for first 7 days after arrival

“It is our commitment that our visitors, many of whom are like family to us, are able to enjoy a reprieve from the challenges in their own countries by being safe in Barbados. At the same time, Barbadians are known for our hospitality so we want to ensure that our citizens welcome all our guests to the island with a high level of confidence because we have put measures in place at the border for all our visitors,” said Senator Lisa Cummins, minister of Tourism of the island.

Barbados is the latest country to put restrictions on holidaymakers travelling from the UK
Barbados is the latest country to put restrictions on holidaymakers travelling from the UK

“When you get here, testing services are easily accessible, our health care professionals are here to help take great care of you, even if you become unwell, our hotel sector completely transformed their amazing properties to ensure that our guests enjoy their time with us even though there is a public health consideration, our hospitality sector, including restaurants and attractions are rolling out the red carpet because they are just so happy to have our guests back."

09:19 AM

India passes six million cases

India has reported its coronavirus cases have passed six million.

The country is on course to pass the United States in the coming weeks as the country with the most cases.

It has also recorded close to 100,000 deaths.

India has been adding 80,000 to 90,000 fresh infections each day since it started reporting the world's highest daily rises from late August.

Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister, on Sunday called on people to keep wearing face coverings when they venture outside of their homes.

09:10 AM

American faces two years in prison for posting unflattering TripAdvisor review of Thailand island resort

An American could face up to two years in prison after leaving a negative review for a hotel in Thailand on TripAdvisor, Verity Bowman reports.

The Sea View Resort on Koh Chang island claims Wesley Barnes launched a barrage of complaints against them after his stay, forcing them to take legal action.

Thailand has notorious anti-defamation laws that have faced condemnation from human rights organisations in the past
Thailand has notorious anti-defamation laws that have faced condemnation from human rights organisations in the past

"The Sea View Resort owner filed a complaint that the defendant had posted unfair reviews on his hotel on the Tripadvisor website," Colonel Thanapon Taemsara of Koh Chang police told AFP.

Mr Barnes is accused of causing "damage to the reputation of the hotel", as well as arguing with them during his stay about a corkage fee for alcohol brought to the hotel.

He was arrested by immigration police and returned to Koh Chang for a brief detention, but is now out on bail.  

Read the full report here.

09:04 AM

EasyJet 'hanging by a thread'

Martin Entwisle, an EasyJet captain and union rep, has said he believes low-cost airline easyJet is "hanging by a thread".

"I think the easiest way to put it is that the company is hanging by a thread. The situation is dire.

"If we don't have a good summer next summer and make a considerable amount of money, we really are going to be out of a job."

The airline has taken drastic measures since the beginning of the pandemic. It placed around 80 per cent of its pilots on the Government's furlough scheme, secured a £600m loan from the Treasury's Covid-19 fund, and in May announced plans to lay off 4,500 staff across Europe.

08:48 AM

'No standing, dancing or singing' – Après-ski is off the menu as Austrian government clamps down

Après-ski in Austria is set to be drastically different this winter as the Government outlines new rules to rein in the country’s popular off-the-slope parties, Lucy Aspden reports.

Gone are the days of dancing on tables in crowded bars. Instead après-ski venues, such as those in popular party destinations St Anton, Iscghl and Sölden, will have to adhere to new capacity restrictions and skiers must be seated at tables, both in and outdoors.

“There will be no après-ski as we know it from earlier times,” Tourism Minister Elisabeth Koestinger told a news conference this week.

Read the full report here.

08:40 AM

Qatar Airways posts record loss

Qatar Airways yesterday reported a $1.92 billion (£1.5bn) loss for the last financial year, in what the carrier describes as "the most challenging period in global aviation’s history." The previous year, Qatar's loss was $639 million (£501m).

The company blames the pandemic, along with its liquidation of shares in Air Italy and the ongoing boycott of Doha, its base, by four Arab nations on political grounds; Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Qatar has reported a record loss
Qatar has reported a record loss

The drop in demand following the Covid-19 outbreak led Qatar to shed thousands of staff members and ground its Airbus A380s. “It is not commercially or environmentally justifiable to operate such a large aircraft in the current market,” the airline said in a statement.

08:26 AM

Government ponders plans for a 'Neighbour Day' bank holiday

Plans for an annual 'Neighbour Day' bank holiday to celebrate the work of volunteers are being studied by Boris Johnson as part of a blueprint to strengthen community cohesion.

A report commissioned by the Prime Minister suggests residents should be given automatic permission to close off roads for street parties on one day each year so they can get to know each other better.

The idea is copied from the French Fete des Voisons, which translates as “neighbour party”, in which residents get together outdoors or simply invite a neighbour for a meal.

Danny Kruger, the Tory MP for Devizes and Mr Johnson’s political secretary, has submitted a 52-page report to Downing Street titled Levelling Up Our Communities, after being asked to find ways of building on the altruism shown by millions during the coronavirus lockdown.

Read the full report here.

08:17 AM

Can I go on holiday if I’m in a local lockdown area?

Yes, but it depends which part of the UK you live in.

The Government's advice reads: “If you live inside an area with local restrictions, you can go on holiday outside that area but you should only socialise indoors with members of your own household or support bubble.”

They add: “You can only stay in a private home - which includes self-catered accommodation such as holiday cottages, apartments or boats - with members of your own household or support bubble.”

On hotels, the Government advises: “You can stay in a hotel or similar accommodation (for example, a hostel or bed and breakfast) with another household but should avoid sharing rooms with people you do not live with or otherwise socialising indoors, for example in each other's rooms, in reception areas, or in restaurants and bars.”

The Government advises against sharing a caravan with another household, and they say you should not share private vehicles to travel to your holiday destination.

However, holidaymakers in Wales are being advised that they cannot go on holiday if their area is in a local lockdown. The advice for Cardiff Council reads: "We know this will be disappointing but travelling out of the Cardiff Council area for a holiday is not one of the permitted reasons under the regulations. The regulations are in place to protect you and your loved ones from coronavirus and to prevent the onward spread of the virus to other areas of Wales, the UK and other countries."

07:59 AM

What happened yesterday?

A recap of yesterday's main stories:

  • Demand for holidays in Turkey soars as travel map shrinks for Britons

  • Poland and Sweden enter 'red zone' as cases surge

  • Study on Brazil's Amazon suggests immunity to Covid-19 doesn't last

  • Après-ski is off the menu as Austrian government clamps down

  • Netherlands coronavirus cases reach new record high

Now, on with today's news.

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