- Test4Travel: The Telegraph's campaign for airport testing
- Which country will be removed from the 'green list' next?
- How to get travel insurance should you choose to ignore Foreign Office advice
- The 16 countries you can visit right now, without any quarantine
- Has the world gone mad? More bizarre Covid rules (all in the name of science)
Thousands of British holidaymakers have until 4am on Saturday to return to the UK – or face a two-week quarantine – after the Government removed four more countries from its list of approved destinations.
The biggest casualty is Portugal. Having only been added to the "green" list a few weeks ago, it was removed after a steady rise in cases. However, the Portuguese islands of Madeira and the Azores are exempt.
Hungary – which has been closed to UK residents all summer – French Polynesia, and Reunion, are the other destinations that have lost their "travel corridors".
One country has been added to the "safe" list, however: lockdown-free Sweden. Its seven-day case rate has tumbled, to 11.6 per 100,000 people, in recent weeks.
Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, announced the changes on Twitter as part of the Government's weekly review of its controversial quarantine policy. Earlier on Thursday dozens of MPs joined calls for the introduction of airport testing to replace it.
Scroll down for more updates.
That's all folks
Thanks for joining us. Here's a reminder of today's key developments:
- Mainland Portugal has been dumped from the quarantine-free list. Britons there have until 4am on Saturday to return home or face a two-week quarantine. The Azores and Madeira are exempt
- Hungary, French Polynesia and Reunion have also lost their "travel corridors"
- Sweden, however, is now on the "safe" list
- MPs have joined calls for airport testing to replace the quarantine policy
- The Seychelles to reopen to British holidaymakers (with provisos)
Have a lovely evening all.
You can visit the Azores, but only on a direct flight
Julia Hartley-Brewer has raised a good point:
So does quarantine apply if you fly back from the Azores via Lisbon or Porto? Or does it have to be a direct flight? https://t.co/uNwVou89Wp— Julia Hartley-Brewer (@JuliaHB1) September 10, 2020
The answer is yes. "You will need to self-isolate if you visited or made a transit stop in a country or territory that is not on the travel corridor list in the 14 days before you arrive in England. This applies to all travel to England, by train, ferry, coach, air or any other route."
Need a flight back to Britain? That will cost you £185
Faro to London on Friday? Here are your options:
- 2155, Wizz Air to Luton: £185
- 1615, Ryanair to Luton: £200
- 0915, Jet2 to Stansted: £245
- 2050, Ryanair to Stansted: £269
- 1210, BA to Heathrow: £379
- 1620, BA to Heathrow: £404
Not everyone in Portugal is rushing to return to Britain:
Sad to see the inevitable has happened. Well, I’m still here for a little while longer so until I go home it’s 😎🍻🍺🌞🕺#Portugal— L P Collings (@baracca47) September 10, 2020
Others due to travel are already looking for alternative destinations:
Happy I know I can’t go Portugal tomorrow now instead of landing there and finding out 🤣 backup plan needed— zofia 🧚🏻♂️ (@zofiatamzinx) September 10, 2020
@TUIUK We due to fly to Portugal next week, when can we change our holiday as all flights are filling fast for turkey and Greece! So want to get it changed asap— Rachael Townsend (@racha3l1990) September 10, 2020
The European countries you can visit – without major restrictions or a quarantine
Here's your new list of short-haul holiday options:
- Faroe Islands (Visitors required to take Covid-19 test at airport on arrival)
- Greece (Not including Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos)
- Iceland (Open to tourists, but all arrivals must pay to be tested twice for coronavirus or self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. Children born in 2005 or later are exempt)
- Portugal (Only the Azores and Madeira. Visitors must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test, carried out no more than 72 hours before arrival, or take a test on arrival and await the results within 12 hours at their accommodation)
- San Marino
- Vatican City
Start planning your holiday in Sweden
Big lakes, treehouse hotels and time travel – here are 15 reasons to visit Sweden. BA and SAS are offering flights.
How Portugal's case rate has risen
Portugal's seven-day case rate currently stands at 25.8 per 100,000, slightly above the UK rate of 23.1.
Confirmed: Lockdown-free Sweden added to travel 'safe' list
This week, SWEDEN has been ADDED to the Travel Corridors list. If you arrive In England from Sweden, you will NOT need to self-isolate for 14 days.— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) September 10, 2020
Confirmed: Mainland Portugal removed from quarantine-free list
Data shows we need to remove PORTUGAL (minus the AZORES and MADEIRA), HUNGARY, FRENCH POLYNESIA and REUNION from the Travel Corridor list to keep everyone safe. If you arrive in England from these destinations after 4am Saturday, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days.— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) September 10, 2020
The Seychelles to reopen to British holidaymakers
Some good news. The Seychelles has finally agreed to allow Britons to visit its idyllic isles from October 1, along with holidaymakers from six other countries: France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and the United Arab Emirates.
The Indian Ocean archipelago, located off East Africa and a popular year-round destination, is already on the UK's travel corridor list, meaning you won't have to quarantine upon return. Confusingly, however, the Foreign Office still advises against all but essential travel there, making it harder, but not impossible, to get insurance.
Until now, the UK, as well as the other aforementioned countries, have all been deemed too "high risk" by the Seychelles government to permit entry since it opened its borders to "low risk" nations on June 1.
Under the new conditions, visitors from these seven "key market" countries will be required to jump through the following hoops:
- Visitors will have to submit a negative PCR test certificate from an accredited laboratory done no more than 48 hours before they depart.
- They will be expected to have valid travel insurance with full medical coverage for the duration of their stay.
- Designated hotels and other forms of accommodations with the right facilities and amenities will be permitted to accommodate these visitors for the first five days of their visit. Throughout that period, they will have to stay on the premises of the hotel.
- On the fifth day, visitors will be subjected to another Covid-19 PCR test. Provided their test is negative, the visitor will be allowed to continue to enjoy their holiday as they would normally have.
- If the test results are positive, the visitor in question will be required to stay in a designated stay-safe hotel until cleared by the Seychelles Public Health Authority.
Singapore Airlines to shed 4,300 jobs
Another week, another massive round of airline redundancies. AFP reports that Singapore Airlines is cutting about 4,300 jobs – around 20 percent of its workforce – due to the coronavirus crisis, and warned any recovery would be "long and fraught with uncertainty".
The city-state's flag carrier said about 1,900 positions had already been eliminated in recent months due to a recruitment freeze, natural attrition and voluntary departures, reducing further expected job cuts to around 2,400.
Positions are being cut across full-service Singapore Airlines, regional carrier Silk Air and budget airline Scoot in Singapore and overseas.
"The future remains extremely challenging," said Singapore Airlines chief executive Goh Choon Phong.
Speaking of the Grand Tour...
For a little light relief, see what 18th-century tourists thought of Europe's great cities, including Paris, "the ugliest town in the universe".
A Grand Tour of Britain – which are the UK's most unmissable sights?
While we wait for the 5pm bulletin, join the debate. We're asking which places you would include on a Grand Tour of Britain.
Grant Shapps has tweeted
Not about Portugal, however. It's about the fine work of the Sparks Community Cafe in Hatfield. Clearly he's using the anticipation regarding his quarantine announcement to promote worthy causes. The best idea he's had since March.
The fantastic Sparks Cafe, which helps to support the great work of @ResolveCharity, is reopening on Saturday 12th September from 9.30am. If you can, please do visit and help this important community hub https://t.co/dynEQNsG6C— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) September 10, 2020
'Flying is safer than going to a supermarket'
The chorus of calls for airport testing instead of quarantine grows louder.
József Váradi, CEO of Wizz Air, says:
Freedom of movement is a basic human right, which governments should take every step to protect. Instead, the UK’s unsophisticated approach of a blanket quarantine is restricting it. Flying is safe, given aircraft design, technology and the use of HEPA filters – certainly much safer than going to a supermarket. Quarantine destroys connectivity, it jeopardizes economic recovery and so will adversely affect lives. Hundreds of thousands of jobs in the aviation industry are at risk. Next to hand sanitization, mask wearing and social distancing, testing might be a sensible enhancement of health and safety procedures. And if it is right for aviation, then the Government would need to consider how to roll testing out across the whole transport sector and other segments of life like shopping, mass entertainment and events.
This week the airline launched three new routes from the UK: from Liverpool John Lennon Airport to Chisinau (Moldova) and Cluj-Napoca (Romania) and from London Luton to Catania (Italy).
Portugal out and Sweden in?
A reminder of the state of play. Portugal faces being removed from the 'green' list, but the islands of Madeira and the Azores could be granted exemption. Denmark is also at risk.
On the other hand, quarantine-free trips to Sweden could be given the go-ahead as its case rate has fallen sharply.
What will happen at 5pm?
If it's anything like the last few Thursdays, Grant Shapps will make an announcement regarding the UK quarantine-free list on Twitter at around 5pm.
Here's how he did it last week, when there were no changes:
We continue to keep the Travel Corridor list under constant review & won't hesitate to remove countries if needed. However, there are no English additions or removals today.— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) September 3, 2020
Nonetheless, holidaymakers are reminded - 14-day quarantine countries can & do change at very short notice
Here's how he did it the week before, when three countries were removed:
Data shows we need to remove the Czech Republic, Jamaica and Switzerland from our list of #Coronavirus Travel Corridors to keep infection rates DOWN. If you arrive in the UK after 0400 Saturday from these destinations, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days.— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) August 27, 2020
Aviation minister stands by air corridors
Robert Courts, the recently appointed minister for shipping and aviation, brushed off criticism of the air corridor scheme as MPs called for Covid-19 testing to be trialled at UK airports.
“The government is clear that aviation will recover and will play a key role in pushing our economy forward,” he told the House of Commons earlier today.
“We introduced the air corridors scheme while other countries kept their borders closed. The government does understand the scale of adjustment the aviation sector has been forced to make.”
But Mr Courts refused to address the growing alarm among politicians and travel industry leaders that, without an end to the quarantine policy, a significant number of tourism businesses face ruin.
Meet the man who skied down the world's scariest mountain
Back in 2018, when the word coronavirus hadn’t even entered the stratosphere, Polish ski-mountaineers Andrzej Bargiel accomplished something spectacular when he became the first person to ever ski down the world’s second highest mountain K2.
Lucy Aspden speaks to the athlete whose superhuman mission, which saw him climb alone, without supplementary oxygen and ski from the 8,611m summit to base without removing his skis, changed the world of mountaineering forever.
'Learn from Italy airport and introduce pre-departure tests', says former transport minister
Speaking in the tourism debate now taking place in the House of Commons, former transport minister Paul Maynard suggested that the UK should "learn from Italy", where a negative coronavirus test is obligatory before boarding a flight.
Mr Maynard told MPs:
"They have now obligatory pre-departure testing. There is no environment more conducive to transmitting the virus than onboard an aircraft.
"We have a chance to test people before they board. We should oblige all UK-registered airlines to do just that.
"Passengers check in half an hour early as they do in Italy at the moment, if they test positive, they're not allowed to board.
"That stops the importation of the virus into the UK. To me, it stands for reason."
Meanwhile, Tory chairman of the Transport Select Committee Huw Merriman called on the Government to introduce a set of measures tailored for the industry.
"I would like to see an extension of furlough for aviation. I would like to see a cut completely of air passenger duty for a period of time – easyJet say that would allow 60 per cent of national flights to continue if there was such a cut.
"And I would like to see the business rate cessation in the same way that the Scottish Government has brought forward."
Beautiful ferry journeys around the British Isles – the perfect alternative to a cruise
"Unfortunately for cruise lovers in the UK, Covid-19 has put holidays at sea on hold," writes Kaye Holland.
"However for those of us who are longing to take to the water and have an adventure on the high seas, there is another option: ferry. You’ll be able to breathe in that salty sea air, enjoy some fantastic views, and maybe even watch pods of dolphins playing off the coast."
After five-month lockdown and 48 Covid deaths, Uganda is finally reopening its borders
Uganda has announced plans to reopen its sole international airport to commercial flights on October 1, more than five months after its closure, reports Oliver Smith.
The move is the latest in a series of steps by the government of President Yoweri Museveni to gradually lift one of Africa's tightest lockdowns and rejuvenate the economy, badly hurt by the shutdown.
"We're preparing to open for resumption of flights on October 1," spokesman for the country's state-run Civil Aviation Authority, Vianney Lugya, said of Entebbe International Airport.
Once open, arriving passengers will be required to have a coronavirus-free certificate from their countries of origin obtained 72 hours before travel.
Uganda has seen just 4,291 confirmed cases, and 48 Covid-related deaths.
More MPs speak out as Parliament debates airport testing
Tory MP Henry Smith, whose Crawley constituency contains Gatwick Airport, told the Commons:
"Testing is essential. Over 30 countries test for Covid-19 for arrivals there.
"That is important, not just confidence for people travelling again but it's important for public health confidence as well, and we are at a competitive disadvantage with countries in Europe like France, Germany, Italy, Austria, who do test."
Labour MP Emma Lewell-Buck (South Shields) said a British Airways employee in her constituency spoke of "toxic bullying and mental anguish" she felt after being offered a worse contract by the airline.
"My constituent tells me that some of her colleagues have actually taken their own lives and some have suffered heart attacks.
"The Government is not powerless here. They could put a stop to these awful fire and rehire practices before they spread through other industries."
'Absolutely no reason why trial testing could not be introduced,' says Grayling
Former transport secretary Chris Grayling has suggested that airport coronavirus testing should be trialled for popular travel routes.
Discussing testing, Tory Mr Grayling said:
"This has to be the way forward. It is vitally important for this industry not just that we get short-haul flights moving again, but actually that we open up transatlantic routes that are so fundamentally important to the industry.
"And we can only do that through testing. I cannot understand why we are not at the very least trialling testing on a number of routes to demonstrate where the issues are.
"And my message to the minister and through him to all of those on the Treasury bench and in Number 10, and in the Treasury and elsewhere in Government: We have got to do this and we have got to do it now.
"There is absolutely no reason why a regime of trial testing could not be introduced in a few days in this country, why the results could not be carefully monitored on selected routes to give us a blue-print to take things forwards.
"We must do this, we must do it now."
'Last chance' to save airline industry, warn aviation bosses
Airline chiefs have written to the Prime Minister today, warning him that this is his "last chance" to save the air travel industry from collapsing.
The CEOs of British Airways, easyJet, Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic, among others, urged the Government to find an alternative to quarantine by the end of the month, or risk "economic ruin" for vast swathes of the travel sector.
"You must grasp this last chance to save the aviation industry, and with it so much prosperity across the UK," they wrote.
Former Prime Minister joins calls for airport testing
Theresa May has suggested that travellers to the UK could be tested for the virus upon arrival and also a few days later in order to reduce the quarantine period.
She told the Commons:
"Japan's been testing since April. Germany, France, Austria, Iceland, they all have testing. This variously reduces the quarantine period or means people can abandon the quarantine period and in all, I think, 30 countries have testing facilities at their airports.
"And British companies, with their ingenuity, have been developing new rapid tests, like TravelSafe Systems who demonstrated one to me in a GP surgery in my constituency very recently. So the infrastructure is there, the testing capability is there and being advanced as we speak."
"Trials would crucially provide data. At the moment, decisions are taken on the basis of modelling – modelling has not proved itself to be infallible during this pandemic.
"Real data would be a much better basis for making decisions but at the moment the Government's position appears to be that if you test and there's a risk that one person has a false negative then you can't test anybody. That is a counsel of perfection and it is wrong.
"We have to see testing introduced in our airports and they're not talking about a single test to abandon all quarantine, but possibly a test on arrival, a test a few days later to reduce the quarantine period."
Will Sweden be placed on the quarantine-free list?
While the UK's seven-day case rate has risen to 23.1 per 100,000, Sweden's is a lowly 11.6.
Telegraph Travel's Oliver Smith writes:
"One can only deduce that Sweden’s snubbing is political. Perhaps admitting that a country which didn’t put its people under house arrest, isn’t imposing quarantine on holidaymakers returning from the Med, isn’t making its citizens cover their faces, and isn’t continuing to tell us how and where we can see our friends and family, is a safer place right now than those countries that did, and are, is a pill the UK Government isn’t ready to swallow."
Where to go for a Christmas escape, with no quarantine and plenty of winter sun
Christmas is cancelled in England – or at least this is what we have been led to deduce, from the new 'rule of six' law, which the Government has warned could be with us for month.
But all is not lost. There are countries around the world that offer the holy trinity of winter sun, no quarantine on arrival (or return), and no draconian restrictions on group sizes if you choose to travel with friends or another family.
Planning your escape? Greg Dickinson has the inside scoop on the destinations to book for a Christmas free of Covid-19 misery.
The Prime Minister's plan to ‘liberate’ travel with airport testing
In yesterday's Downing Street briefing, Boris Johnson revealed that 'liberating' holidaymakers to travel freely is a priority for the Government.
While describing plans to implement mass Covid-19 testing by next spring, the Prime Minister added: "We want to get people flying as fast and efficiently as we can.
"We are going to look at all the ways we possibly can with new technology and better testing to liberate people to fly in the way that they want to. That’s an absolute priority for the government."
The Telegraph, along with travel bosses, MPs and senior health officials, has been calling for a testing programme to replace the UK’s ever-changing quarantine rules through its Test4Travel campaign, arguing that the continuous disruption to travellers’ holiday plans risks catastrophe for the travel industry.
For now, however, the Prime Minister will double down on travel restrictions, and he has tasked his ministers with enforcing quarantine for travellers returning from 'red list' countries.
How to get a Covid test before your holiday?
An increasing number of destinations, including Cyprus and Barbados, are demanding UK tourists present evidence of a recent negative coronavirus test. Without it, you won't be allowed into the country. However, free NHS tests are only available to those with symptoms of the virus – so how to prove that you're Covid-free before your holiday?
Emma Beaumont has the latest on where to get a test, how long the results take, and how much it'll cost you.
Benidorm seeks travel corridor with the UK
Britons could soon be allowed back in Benidorm after the city's mayor revealed ongoing talks with the UK government.
Mayor Toni Perez claims to have been in discussions with UK officials, exploring the possibility of creating an 'air bridge' to Alicante-Elche airport.
"Through Visit Benidorm, the steps are being taken to get, together with the private initiative and a tour operator, the green light from the Spanish and British governments," he said.
"Benidorm has proven to be a safe destination and both the city council and the sector have implemented effective measures to minimise the impact and risks of Covid."
Reports emerged earlier today that Spain is seeking to remove restrictions for travel between the UK and the Balearic and Canary islands, now that the UK is using targetted data to establish regional travel corridors.
However, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has previously stated that while the "enhanced data" allows the UK to judge infection rates on islands, it does not provide a clear enough picture for mainland areas, potentially blitzing Benidorm's hopes for Britons' return.
Plane food restaurant takes off in Bangkok
A restaurant specialising in plane food has become a roaring success in Bangkok.
Thai Airways launched the pop-up at its headquarters last week in hope of recouping some of the revenue lost during lockdown.
The restaurant is now serving 2,000 meals a day as diners fill the void left by months without in-flight meals.
Covid tracking will be ‘better enforced’ at UK border – but is it obsolete?
British holidaymakers will be required to fill out a “simplified” passenger locator form before departing the UK, reports Emma Featherstone.
Under current rules, passengers are directed by the Gov.uk website to fill in a passenger locator – or Covid tracking – form 48 hours before arriving in the UK.
However, the Telegraph revealed last month that fewer than a third of UK arrivals were having their forms checked.
The latest figures from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) showed that over the previous month police in England and Wales had issued just three fines to people who had failed to self-isolate.
Such statistics raise the question whether, in fact, the passenger locator form is actually obsolete.
What do the new rules on gatherings mean for your staycation?
The UK has taken a step back into lockdown, with England outlawing gatherings of more than six people – from up to six different households – from Monday.
But what does that mean for your staycation? And who will police your holiday if it is now illegal?
Tokyo drops 'red alert' status as Covid cases fall
Tokyo has been taken off Covid-19 'red alert' for the first time since July, sparking hopes that the city could soon reopen to travellers.
The Japanese capital has spent much of the summer under strict lockdown, hitting a peak of 472 daily new infections in early August. Cases have now dropped down to 276 today, and just 127 on Wednesday.
Governor Yuriko Koike said: "Regarding the infection situation, we have lowered one level down to orange from the highest level of red. But we need to be cautious about increases again."
The national government is now considering whether to include Tokyo in its controversial campaign for subsidised domestic tourism, 'Go To Travel', which was launched in July at a time when the number of infections in the country was starting to spike.
In lighter news...
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards are back for another year, and the finalists have now been released.
The contest, currently in its sixth year, aims to boost wildlife conservation efforts. The winners are set to be announced next month.
British Airways owner to cut more flights
IAG, the giant that owns BA, Aer Lingus and Iberia, is cutting more flights in the face of sluggish demand for air travel, writes Annabel Fenwick-Elliott.
Ever changing quarantine restrictions continue to create uncertainty, and the group said that capacity this autumn will be 60 per cent lower than last year. Previously it had predicted that number to be 46 per cent.
Furthermore, this "delayed recovery" means that IAG does not expect normal 2019 levels of flying to return until 2023.
It said that following an "almost complete cessation" of bookings in April and May, there was an improvement in June when borders reopened but a tailing off again in July, as quarantines have been reimposed across Europe.
On Tuesday, easyJet said it had flown “slightly less” than the 40 per cent of pre-coronavirus pandemic capacity it previously expected between July and September.
Princess Cruises to increase UK sailings, despite more European cancellations
Princess Cruises will up the number of cruises leaving from UK shores in 2021 as it looks to reshape plans following a year of coronavirus disruption, reports Benjamin Parker. The move will see new ship Sky Princess sail from Southampton, taking over 10 itineraries around the British Isles that had been planned for Crown Princess.
A number of European sailings have also been cancelled or moved to other ships, although Princess is yet to confirm every affected voyage. Among them will be the Western Europe Passage in October 2021, which will now not be sailed on Crown Princess but by the larger Regal Princess.
Two other cruises on Grand Princess have been cancelled, with the ship due to be sailing from America's west coast.
The line has confirmed that those booked on affected trips will be contacted to discuss their options.
How to get a Covid test for your holiday
For those heading abroad this summer, there are certainly a few hurdles to overcome before you reach the beach, writes Emma Beaumont. Whether it's your holiday destination being struck off the 'safe' list overnight, cancelled flights or turning up to find a closed hotel, there’s no doubt that booking a trip overseas remains a risk.
An increasing number of countries, including Cyprus and Barbados, are also demanding arrivals present evidence of a recent negative coronavirus test, leaving holidaymakers scrambling to get a test and certificate declaring them Covid-free.
However, with so many companies selling online PCR tests, choosing a reliable and reasonably priced one can be a minefield.
'Urgent rescue plan needed for UK air travel' – IATA voices support for airport testing
The UK is heading for an 'imminent unemployment catastrophe' unless the Government takes immediate steps to save the aviation industry, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has warned.
The airline trade association has released a four-point rescue plan, which it says will avert further crisis for struggling airlines and airports:
- A testing regime, to unlock travel from high-risk countries
- A review of the infection threshold for quarantine that is fully transparent and aligned with international partners
- A suspension of Air Passenger Duty to kick-start demand
- Extending the furlough scheme for the air transport sector until border restrictions are lifted and the industry has a chance to recover
IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, said: “The stop-start-stop closing of the UK to the world is not a successful survival tactic for Covid-19. Without a rescue plan, 820,000 jobs will be vaporized by quarantine and they may never come back. The answer is a Covid-19 testing regime that manages the risk to keep people safe from the virus. And it will avoid apocalyptic unemployment that is sure to devastate society and the economy.”
Travel companies must offer refunds for 'rule of six' cancellations, warns consumer watchdog
UK travel firms have been warned they must issue refunds if bookings are affected by the Government's new 'rule of six'.
Social gatherings of more than six people will be banned in England from Monday, scuppering holiday plans for many who had hoped to go away with family or friends.
But consumer watchdog Which? Travel has cautioned that those affected are entitled to refunds if their bookings cannot go ahead due to lockdown rules.
Which? Travel Editor Rory Boland said: "The government's new 'rule of six' for social gatherings, while understandable as a measure to protect public health, will likely disrupt many holidays in England that have already been paid for, leaving people with questions over whether they will be able to get their money back.
"Holiday providers should refund any affected customers to prevent anyone being left out of pocket for obeying the law, and the regulator must be ready to come down strongly on any accommodation providers failing to do so."
Airline calls on Australia to open state borders
Qantas has launched a petition calling on Australian state governments to open their borders as the carrier continues to struggle amidst domestic travel restrictions.
Most states and territories within Australia have put border restrictions in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus within the country, while Victoria and New South Wales are both ramping up lockdown measures following separate spikes in new infections.
Chief executive Alan Joyce said: "Nobody's had an issue with the borders to Victoria being closed. But it's very clear that we don't have clear guidelines for when the borders will open, when they will close."
Destinology closes after sale sabotaged by pandemic
Luxury holiday brand Destinology has been closed after an attempt to sell by its owner, Saga, fell through.
Talks with a potential buyer were reportedly well under way, but the deal for Destinology, which Saga aquired in 2014, collapsed due to uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and quarantine rules.
Saga today posted a loss of more than £55.5m for the first half of 2020, and has now launched on a bid to raise £150m in capital.
Will Portugal be placed back on the quarantine list?
Having been snubbed for several weeks, Portugal was given a travel corridor on August 20. However, Scotland and Wales have since added Portugal to their travel "red lists"; England has yet to do so, although the number of new infections is now past the threshold of 20 per 100,000, at which the Government has said it will introduce restrictions.
Its seven-day case rate fell to 12.1 per 100,000 ahead of August 20, and Britons rushed to book last-minute holidays in the Algarve. It has since creeped back up to 24.3, however. The Government has shown very little tolerance when it comes to increases, so it seems likely that Portugal will be added to the quarantine list when it is updated later today, meaning all travellers returning after a yet-unspecified cut-off point would be required to self-isolate for two weeks.
Singapore orders airlines to set up 'quarantine zones' on flights
Airlines flying in and out of Singapore have been told they must set up 'isolation areas' on their planes in case any passengers or crew who start to feel unwell while in transit.
Singapore's Civil Aviation Authority (CAAS) hopes that the safety measures will help minimise the risk of Covid-19 being transmitted on flights, with nobody allowed into the blocked-off areas unless they are ill or wearing safety equipment.
"To minimise the risk of exposure to Covid-19 during their journeys, safe travel measures have been put in place for all flights operating into and out of Singapore," said Alan Foo, acting senior director of the CAAS safety regulation group.
United States airports will stop screening arrivals for coronavirus
US airports are set to cease screening foreign arrivals for symptoms of Covid-19.
The screenings began back in January, and at first were limited to passengers arriving from Wuhan in China – where the virus was first reported.
The programme was extended to all arrivals from 'high-risk' countries, although out of 675,000 passengers screened at 15 airports, fewer than 15 were found to be carrying the virus, according to CNN.
In numbers: The arbitrary deadlines unfairly penalising travellers
British holidaymakers are well aware that travelling overseas now comes with the risk of quarantine on return, even for trips to "green-listed" countries. Several weeks of last-minute Government announcements have made this clear, writes Emma Featherstone.
Yet those who’ve been caught out when their chosen destination was struck from the travel “green list” may well feel there is little common sense in, or explanation for, the deadlines imposed.
Most recently, Britons staying on seven Greek islands were given a mere 34 hours to find a spot on a flight back to the UK or face 14 days of self-isolation on their return home. This update came after the Government had breached its own seven-day 20 cases per 100,000 residents quarantine threshold (and during which time it continues to encourage us to return to the workplace).
Spain wants Britons back in Balearic and Canary islands
Spain is seeking to renegotiate travel corridors for the Balearics and Canary Islands, now that Covid-19 tracking data is able to account for regional differences.
The Spanish islands have all experienced far lower infection rates than the mainland, and local tourism chiefs reacted with fury when the whole of Spain was placed back on the UK's quarantine list after cases spiked in Barcelona and on the Costa del Sol.
Now, following the UK government's decision to issue partial quarantine restrictions against seven Greek islands, will remaining open to the rest of Greece, the Spanish foreign minister, Arancha González Laya, is seeking to open talks that could lead to Britons returning to the popular holiday destinations in the near future.
What happened yesterday
Good morning. Before we start, here's a quick recap of yesterday's main travel headlines:
- Wales adds three more Greek islands to its 'red list'
- Covid airport test could be rolled out in UK by end of the month
- Taj Mahal to reopen after more than six months
- EasyJet apologises for 'forcing' passenger to wear a mask
- Lufthansa expands Covid-19 test centre at Frankfurt Airport following record number of tests
- Scots refused refunds for holidays to Portugal as differing quarantine policies create confusion