- Air bridges plan shelved as 75 destinations added to "safe" list
- Super Saturday rules explained: what you can and can't do from July 4
- What will driving conditions be like as UK gears up for "Super Saturday"?
- Key dates: When will destinations reopen to British tourists?
- Sign up to the Telegraph Travel newsletter
- 'I'm going to Greece no matter what' – Telegraph readers on travelling abroad
The Government has been accused of misleading the public and the beleaguered travel industry over its faltering air bridge negotiations.
Plans for bilateral agreements with selected countries to allow the resumption of summer holidays were due to be announced last weekend, but there are now concerns details will not emerge until tomorrow at the earliest. The travel industry has reacted with fury over the delay.
Paul Charles, CEO of travel consultancy, The PC Agency, and spokesperson for the Quash Quarantine group, said: “It’s time the Government levelled with the British people on its travel policy, instead of going round and round in circles before making any decision. Each day that goes by without confirmation means fewer bookings and more job losses.”
Holiday firms have been thrown into disarray due to the Government’s mixed messages on air bridges, with tour operators unable to plan and customers reluctant to book.
Noel Josephides, a former chairman of Abta, and chairman of tour operator, Sunvil, said the Government’s treatment of the industry was “unconscionable”.
He told Telegraph Travel: “With every day that goes by the uncertainty amongst our clients increases unnecessarily. We are having to fight to keep existing bookings and new bookings are still a trickle.”
Follow all the latest travel news below.
Today's biggest stories
Tomorrow the UK Government is expected to confirm which countries Britons will be able to visit this summer without facing quarantine on their return.
Here are the key developments from today:
- CAA criticises airlines refund policies
- Ryanair sees June traffic fall 97 per cent year-on-year
- Welsh pubs, restaurants and cafes can reopen outdoor areas from July 13
- UK Government blames Scotland over air bridges fiasco
- Tokyo records highest number of Covid-19 cases in two months
Comment: Turning the iconic Hagia Sophia into a mosque would be a tragedy for travellers
Changing the status of Istanbul’s iconic Hagia Sophia from museum to mosque may well be a vote winner for Turkey’s ruling AKP (Truth and Justice Party) but is likely to be a tragedy for the millions of tourists who visit it each year, writes Terry Richardson.
A decision on the future of this Unesco World Heritage Site, which as the Hagia Sophia or ‘Church of the Holy Wisdom’ was the spiritual heart of the Byzantine Empire for around 1,000 years, is soon to be made by Turkey’s Council of State.
Should the body rule in favour of a change long championed by the more zealous Muslim and nationalist elements of Turkey’s population, the Hagia Sophia, converted into mosque following the Ottoman Turkish conquest of Istanbul in 1453, the visiting experience for culture lovers will be much diminished. For whilst non-Muslims will still be free to enter the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya in Turkish), just as they are the wonderful array of imperial Ottoman-era mosques that help make Istanbul such an incredible place to visit, viewing this magnificent building will become much more difficult.
Strict quarantine measures hit Middle Eastern travel industry
Quarantine restrictions in Africa and the Middle East are preventing the travel industry from resuming service, according to the International Air Transport Association.
Strict lockdown measures were imposed across the Middle East to curb the spread of the coronavirus, grounding flights and closing airports.
"Government-imposed quarantine measures in 36 countries across Africa and the Middle East account for 40 percent of all quarantine measures globally," IATA vice president for Africa and the Middle East, Muhammad Albakri, said in a press conference.
"With over 80 percent of travellers unwilling to travel when quarantine is required, the impact of these measures is that countries remain in lockdown even if their borders are open," Albakri said.
IATA said that Middle East airlines are estimated to lose some 56 percent of their revenue and 55 percent of passengers this year compared to 2019.
Soho streets pedestrianised for summer evenings
Starting July 4, a number of streets in Soho, London will close to traffic after 5pm to create alfresco dining areas.
Restaurants and bars in the district will use the extra outdoor space to reopen safely and enable social distancing among customers.
The City of Westminster council's decision to shut some streets to traffic each evening follows a campaign by Save our Soho.
The council has released a map of the street closures, which will be from 5pm-11pm each evening.
'Super Saturday': the dos and dont's as domestic tourism resumes
Lockdown restrictions are set to ease this weekend in England, allowing pubs, restaurants and accommodation to reopen.
From what you can do at the pub to where you can take a staycation, Luke Mintz has delved into the rules and guidelines for Super Saturday.
Amazon's fire season could be catastrophic for Brazil's Covid-19 response
Every year fires roar across the Amazon, but with the added burden of Covid-19, experts now worry that Brazil’s already floundering healthcare system may not be able to cope, reports Jordan Kelly-Linden.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has warned that a surge in incidents of respiratory problems triggered by thick clouds of ash and smoke may soon overwhelm hospitals in northwestern states, many of which are already struggling with the coronavirus pandemic.
The total number of cases in Brazil has now exceeded 1.5 million with more than 60,000 people thought to have died. The country of 209.5 million is now at the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in South America and second only to the United States as the worst hit region of the world.
Luxury London hotel manager calls for clarity on international travel
Sholto Smith, general manager at the Great Scotland Yard hotel, is concerned about the future of his hotel and others if the UK doesn't confirm its list of countries exempt from quarantine soon.
Great Scotland Yard is one of several London hotels that have chosen not to open bedrooms on the July 4 as they will struggle to fill occupancy without guests from other countries - in their case, particularly guests from the US.
He told Telegraph Travel:
Obviously I am very pro these [quarantine exemptions] as quite clearly the UK/London needs inbound travel or it will not restart. Walking the streets of late - the footpaths are bereft of people, the shops are eerily quiet and what is blindingly obvious is that London will require tourists to help restore her to her former glory.
I am very much a supporter of the staycation industry, but the reality of our audience is that we are largely dependent on international tourism and corporate travel. That said, other amenities also need to be available, from theatres to museums, restaurants and bars and of course hotels and timing for this is crucial as all depend on each other.
American Airlines drops long-haul destinations
The US airline will cut 25 per cent of long-haul capacity for 2021 with job losses on the horizon.
It has suspended some routes until winter 2020 and scrapped some routes indefinitely.
The European destinations the airline is exiting include Budapest, Hungary, Dubrovnik and Krakow, Poland.
It will also end five routes from Los Angeles to Asia and South America, which it says are under performing.
Philadelphia will act as American Airline's primary hub for service to Europe
'I'm going to Greece no matter what': Telegraph readers reveal their summer holiday plans
The Government is set to axe air bridge proposals in favour of a quarantine exemption list that will include as many as 75 destinations.
However, just one in 10 Britons want to holiday abroad this year, according to a snap YouGov poll.
We asked Telegraph readers to give their verdict on the Government's travel policies, the decision to ditch the air bridge scheme and whether they will be travelling abroad in the coming weeks.
Views range from " 'I am going to Greece - no matter what" to "In all this chaos you must be mad to fly".
'Ditch quarantine to save jobs'
Justin Wateridge of tour operator Steppes Travel has praised the decision to ease quarantine rules for trips to around 75 countries. He says:
The news of easing quarantine is encouraging and what the travel industry needs. The Job Retention scheme is all very well but is only a sticking plaster and will not live up to its name – save jobs – unless there is an opening up such as easing of quarantine.
I have been really impressed how the travel industry has come together to navigate our way through these uncertain waters and find solutions. Collaboration. Collaboration that I hope we see from our government with the travel industry and importantly from governments across the world – there is little point in the UK easing restrictions with 75 countries if this is not reciprocated.
How much do you miss flying?
Enough to board a fake flight to nowhere?
Welcome to the strange world of post-Covid flying
You will struggle to find an Upper Crust baguette, or an EasyJet plane, in Stansted Airport this summer. But that ain't the half of it, says Chris Leadbeater. Get ready for a very strange new post-Covid flight experience, starring the face-mask hokey-cokey:
You pull your face mask up
Your face mask down
Up down, up down, and move it all around
Take it off at passports or the scanner won’t work
And that’s what it’s all about.
Oh, that man is sneezing
Oh, my nose is itching
Oh, four hours till Luton
Too hot, can’t breath, cough cough cough.
Strange indeed. Read the full story.
A Da Vinci mask-terpiece?
A visitor wears a protective face mask as she admires Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci inside the recently reopened Palace of the Princess Czartoryski Museum in Krakow, Poland.
Poland is open to European tourists, including Britons, and is likely to be included on the UK quarantine exemption list to be announced tomorrow.
Sorry about that joke.
Welcome to the 'Wales of South America'
Uruguay’s selection as the only Latin American nation to be named on the EU’s safe countries (a decision likely to influence whether Britons can visit or not) is bound to rankle with Argentines, who pride themselves on being the “most European”, most sophisticated, and most well-connected South Americans.
The decision is based purely on scientific evidence. Only 936 Covid-19 cases have been reported in Uruguay, and 27 deaths. A lockdown, initiated on March 13 with the cessation of university classes and quickly expanded to cover schools, shopping centres and the Argentine border, has been a triumph.
All of which could mean it becomes a left-field option for a first post-lockdown long-haul holiday, says Chris Moss.
Inside Turkey's most iconic attraction
A tourist poses for a photograph at the entrance doors of Istanbul's famous Hagia Sophia. Turkey's Council of State will begin a review today of the building's status and the possibility of changing it from a museum, back into a mosque upon the request of nationalist and religious groups.
Britons postpone holidays amid ongoing confusion
The ongoing shambles is hitting the travel industry hard. Chris Leadbeater reports:
British tourists are either postponing their holidays until 2021 or putting them off until the autumn amid ongoing confusion as to what sort of travel will be possible this summer.
These are the key revelations in statistics released by UK tour operator Destinology – which has seen a large proportion of its customers opt to avoid the core months of 2020 entirely, as worries about the safety of travel, quarantine requirements and a lack of clarity as to which countries will be open cast a lingering shadow across July and August.
Today has brought renewed uncertainty, with the Government appearing to be ready to abandon its plan for air-bridges with selected destinations – an idea that has been widely discussed in the last fortnight – in favour of a broader approach, with travel likely to be possible to as many as 75 countries that are deemed to be low-risk in terms of Covid-19.
However, full details have yet to be revealed – and after weeks without proper guidance, the inconsistency is starting to be reflected in would-be holidaymakers’ buying instincts.
MPs criticise prime minister's father for flying to Greece
Boris Johnson's 79-year-old father, Stanley, arrived in Athens on Wednesday and posted a video on Instagram of his plane landing in the capital.
He has been criticised by MPs for flying to Greece when the British Government is advising against all non-essential travel.
Mr Johnson flew to Athens via Bulgaria, according to the Daily Mail, as Greece has banned direct flights from the UK until July 15.
He told the Mail he was visiting the country on "essential business trying to Covid-proof my property in view of the upcoming letting season".
The govt still - officially - advises UK nationals against all but essential international travels. The restrictions are in place to avoid a second wave. When the PM asks people to keep making sacrifices, he should know how this will look in light of his own father's "exemption". pic.twitter.com/fPXKHPOXk9— Alistair Carmichael (@amcarmichaelMP) July 2, 2020
Most people have been following the guidelines and socially distancing - not everyone will get a holiday this year.— Dr Rosena Allin-Khan (@DrRosena) July 2, 2020
Those closest to the Prime Minister have different rules though. pic.twitter.com/qxMQLOvq6t
UK's first post-Covid music festival announced
Many of the UK's iconic festivals have been cancelled or postponed to 2021, leading to widespread disappointment for punters and artists.
Hope for the future of the post-Covid festival is in sight, however, with the news that the first ‘socially-distant’ festival will be launching in the UK this summer.
Taking place from July 11 to August 30 2020, the new Gisburne Park Pop Up will happen in Lancashire, on the Gisburne Park Estate: a historic Grade I-listed, 1,000-acre private estate within the Ribble Valley. Festival-goers will be able to purchase day passes or multi-day glamping tickets.
Just one in ten Britons planning to holiday abroad this year
A snap YouGov poll has revealed that only 11 per cent of Britons intend to holiday abroad this year, reports Emma Beaumont.
The gloomy survey results come despite the fact that the Government is due to announce quarantine exemptions for as many as 75 countries, which should pave the way for British holidaymakers to start travelling overseas again.
More than three quarters of those asked ruled out travelling abroad, while a further 12 per cent said they weren’t sure.
The poll showed a regional divide, with 19 per cent of Londoners planning on a foreign holiday, but only eight per cent of Scots. When sliced by age, the results revealed that 15 per cent of those aged 18-24 want to travel overseas this year, with this figure just eight per cent for those aged over 65.
Sweden sees Covid-19 cases surpass 70,000
Sweden’s number of confirmed Covid-19 has passed 70,000 today, while deaths rose by 41 to 5,411, health agency statistics showed.
Sweden has recorded 947 new cases, putting the total at 70,639.
The country has expanded its testing efforts, which has seen daily numbers soar over the past month.
Sweden's approach to fighting the virus was softer than most European countries. Its decision to avoid a hard lockdown put its pandemic strategy in the international spotlight.
Under the UK Government's traffic light system for the resumption of international travel, Sweden is expected to be marked as red.
Britons can visit Croatia without proof of accommodation
British holidaymakers can enter Croatia without proving the purpose of their entry (such as proof of an accommodation booking) as of July 1.
The changes came into force yesterday for visitors from the UK and the EU, arrivals from countries outside the EU are still required to provide the purpose of their entry at border crossings.
Britons can now freely enter Croatia although they are required to fill in a form to announce their visit and to help speed up the process at the border.
Government blames Scotland for holiday chaos
Scotland is threatening to scupper the UK’s air bridge negotiations by boycotting the scheme and refusing entry to travellers from a planned list of 75 “safe” countries.
The Government has been due this week to announce measures to relax quarantine and allow for the resumption of overseas holidays, but it is believed this has been delayed due to emergency talks between Holyrood and Westminster.
Ministers are keen to push ahead with plans to create “air bridges” from next week, but Nicola Sturgeon has suggested Scotland would not sign up to the deal, excluding key airports Glasgow and Edinburgh from the agreements and adding complexity to freedom of movement within the UK.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has appeared to blame the devolved administrations for the lack of an announcement on air bridges.
SNP transport spokesman Gavin Newlands raised concerns about aviation workers being "fired and rehired on slashed terms and conditions", to which Mr Shapps responded that "fair play" needs to be guaranteed for employees.
Mr Shapps said in the commons: "I'd appreciate his help in ensuring that air bridges can get going as quickly as possible. I'm very keen to get the devolved administrations, including the Scottish Government, on board so we can get this thing announced."
British Airways to resume more routes throughout July
The airline will return to more short-haul destinations by the end of this month, including:
- Czech Republic
Domestic flights will resume between London and Belfast, Inverness, Jersey, Manchester, Newcastle and Newquay and the airline will move to double daily services to Edinburgh and Glasgow.
BA will also return to a small number of its usual long-haul routes. Flights to the following destinations will resume in July:
- Haneda, Japan
Russia extends ban on international flights
Russia plans to extend its ban on international flights until August 1, Reuters reports.
The country grounded all international flights in March, aside from those needed to repatriate Russians or take foreign visitors home.
A partial reopening of Russia's borders was announced last month. The country said it would allow those who needed to work, study, get medical treatment or look after relatives to travel abroad.
'Travel bubbles' could enable 757m travellers in Europe
'Travel bubble' agreements are the most efficient way to kickstart the travelling economy, an aviation expert has told Telegraph Travel.
Joshua Ng, director at Alton Aviation Consultancy, said such agreements can increase the number of passengers able to travel by 1.3 billion, citing potential deals between Australia and New Zealand.
He said: "To kickstart the recovery of the airline industry, our analysis found that ‘travel bubble’ agreements between neighbouring countries could result in a 44 per cent increase in passenger demand globally.
"In Europe, the adoption of travel corridors could provide an even more significant boost, with a 238 per cent potential uplift in international seat capacity, meaning 757 million additional passengers could travel.”
The UK has been poised to announce air bridge agreements for several weeks now.
Scotland to reduce two-metre rule for some sectors
The two-metre rule will be reduced to one metre-plus in Scotland, but only for certain sectors.
Meanwhile, face coverings will be mandatory in Scottish shops from July 9 when the country enters the next phase of its routemap out of lockdown.
First minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the changes in her daily coronavirus briefing.
Comment: If you really love Cornwall you'll stay away this summer
Tourists are vital to Cornwall's economy, but the county is not equipped for a surge in visitors during a pandemic, writes Julia Buckley.
The things which attract visitors to Cornwall – the wild open spaces, the unsullied coastline and the cute little towns with high streets intact – are the very things which make this a dangerous place in a pandemic. For a county of 549,000 inhabitants, there is only one A&E and one intensive care unit – with just 15 beds (there are plans to expand to 60 in the event of a second spike).
Now know that in a normal year, Cornwall’s population almost doubles in summer (overall – Newquay’s peak-season population is said to increase tenfold). And that bookings for 2020, according to one group of rental websites, rocketed by 172 per cent in the 12 hours after the July 4 date was announced, with Cornwall the UK’s most popular destination for post-lockdown trips. Around one million people vying for 15 hospital beds is not the kind of odds I want to play.
US sees record high in daily Covid-19 infections
The United States recorded more than 52,000 daily infections on Wednesday, a new high for the country.
A number of states in the south and west are seeing an increase in cases and some have halted or reversed reopening plans.
The US had now had almost 2.7 million confirmed Covid-19 cases and more than 128,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Comment: No more air bridges? What a colossal waste of time and money this has been
The UK's policy on travel has been a disaster for tour operators and holidaymakers alike, writes Nick Trend.
What a colossal and expensive waste of time the whole quarantine arrangement and the Foreign Office’s policy banning overseas holidays have been. As a travel industry which supports hundreds of thousands of jobs has imploded and millions of holidaymakers have been left facing cancelled travel plans and battling for refunds, we have – for weeks – been subjected to a stream of contradictory messages from the Government.
These have been both confusing – are we going to have air bridges, if so, when, and with which countries? And arbitrary – why has the FCO’s advice been applied with such a lack of discrimination, and why has its ban on travel been open-ended, rather than periodically reviewed?
Grant Shapps is misrepresenting Scotland's position on air bridges, says Nicola Sturgeon
Tokyo records highest rise in cases in two months
The Japanese capital has recorded 107 new cases of Covid-19 cases today, the highest in two months, according the Reuters.
However, the country's chief cabinet secretary said there was no need to reintroduce the state of emergency.
Tokyo had initially sought to keep new daily cases at fewer than 20 after the Government lifted the state of emergency on 25 May, only to see its tally consistently exceed 50 over the past week.
Tokyo’s Governor, Yuriko Koike, said about 70 per cent of the new cases were among people in their 20s and 30s.
Japan is currently included on the EU's list of "safe travel destinations".
Private jet company sees surge in enquiries
Enquiries for private jet travel in Europe were up 321 per cent in June 2020 compared to the same period last year, according to private aviation company Air Partner.
A growing number of travellers, including many who have never previously used private jets, are exploring the option of private travel due to safety concerns around commercial flights and airports.
The most enquired about European destinations this June were Nice (France), Ibiza (Spain), Palma (Spain), Faro (Portugal) and Mykonos (Greece).
Ireland to review international travel restrictions on Monday
Ireland's new health minister will offer new recommendations on overseas travel next week amid warnings that resuming non-essential travel could reignite the country's coronavirus crisis.
The outgoing Irish Government has planned to produce a "green list" by July 9 of countries for which a 14-day quarantine would not apply.
However, the new prime minister Micheal Martin and his health minister Stephen Donnelly have said they will take a cautious approach.
“July 9 is a decision that has been taken to publish a list. There may be a recommendation to cabinet that that might change,” Mr Donnelly told Irish broadcaster RTE.
Countdown to Super Saturday
Away from air bridges, breweries are preparing for Super Saturday when pubs around England are due to reopen.
British public to spend up to £3.5bn in first week of hospitality reopening, survey finds
The UK public could inject as much as £3.5 billion into the economy in the first week of hospitality businesses reopening in England, according to new research.
July 4 marks the reopening date for pubs, restaurants, bars, hotels and other accommodation providers in England.
Almost a third of consumers were planning to return to pubs within the first week, according to a survey by Caterer.com. Some 51 per cent of survey respondents were keen for the hospitality sector to get "back to normal".
Melbourne imposes localised lockdown to combat rise in cases of virus
Australia's second largest city has imposed a lockdown in 36 suburbs in an effort to halt a spike in coronavirus cases.
A suburb-specific stay-at-home order was issued for some 320,000 people from midnight on Wednesday.
Residents in the affected suburbs must stay home unless travelling for work, school, healthcare, exercise or food for a period of four weeks.
Cafes and restaurants have reverted to takeaway only, just weeks after they returned to seated diners amid a wider reopening of the national economy.
The Victorian state government asked that all flights be diverted to other states to prevent the risk of imported cases.
Three quarters of Britons may travel without insurance if Covid-19 cancellations not covered
Some 41 per cent of people are keen to book a holiday in the UK this summer, according to a survey run by Caterer.com.
However, even if you plan a break in Britain, most insurers are unlikely to offer cover for coronavirus-related cancellations, especially if you book a trip while the travel ban is still in place.
This could lead to a spike in people travelling without cover, with three quarters of Brits saying they will not take out a policy if Covid-19 cancellations are not covered, according to comparison group Medical Travel Compared.
We are fighting to keep bookings, warns tour operator
Noel Josephides, former chairman of Abta, the UK travel association, and a current director at Aito, the Specialist Travel Association, has said what the Government is doing to the travel industry is "unconscionable". He is also chairman of tour operator Sunvil.
He told Telegraph Travel: "With every day that goes by the uncertainty amongst our clients increases unnecessarily.
"We are having to fight to keep existing bookings and new bookings are still a trickle. What the Government is doing to our industry is unconscionable."
Travel agents and tour operators have long been desperate for clarity from the Government as to its plan for the resumption of overseas holidays. Some tour operators have warned they could need up to six weeks notice to restart.
Plymouth and Isle of Wight two biggest staycation winners
Plymouth and the Isle of Wight are set to be two of the UK's big winners from the boom in staycations.
New research from Colliers International has revealed that the hotel sector in Plymouth is expected to recover at a faster rate than any other in the UK as holidaymakers flock to the South West.
Traditional tourist spots, such as London, will be hit hard by the lack of visitors from abroad due to travel restrictions.
Colliers' inaugural Covid-19 Recovery Hotels Index also said that a strong rebound in domestic tourism was particularly likely to help the economy of the Isle of Wight.
This Saturday marks a return of domestic tourism in England with self-catering accommodation, campsite and hotels welcoming back guests.
Are you planning to travel abroad this summer?
Will you be travelling abroad after the news about air bridges being axed?
We want to hear from you. Tell us in the comments section below or email firstname.lastname@example.org
'How can the Government say it is not safe to travel to New Zealand?'
The Government has been "painfully slow" to update its Foreign Office ban on all but essential overseas travel.
This is the view of Kane Pire, founder of tour operator Vivid Travel.
While the industry waits on word of the list of 75 safe countries and when it will come into force, Mr Pire said the FCO advice "looks increasingly ridiculous".
"Europe opened up travel on June 15 and has added another long list of non-EU countries effective from July 1 including Australia, Canada and New Zealand," he told Telegraph Travel. "How can our Government possibly say it is not safe to travel to New Zealand? It is COVID-19 free. The FCO advice looks increasingly ridiculous. It is anachronistic.”
"The current blanket ban now reflects political wrangling and indecision rather than genuine safety concerns. More important than 25 or 75 countries is an update today. Jobs depend upon it.”
Havana to start easing lockdown from Friday
Cuba's capital will begin easing its lockdown on Havana on Friday, while most of the rest of the country will move to phase two of a three-stage process of reducing restrictions.
Havana's 2.2 million residents will be able to move around on public and private transport, go to the beach and other recreation centres, and enjoy a seaside drive just in time for the summer break.
They can also dine and have a drink, although social distancing and wearing masks remain mandatory. Optional medical and other services will also resume.
Read our guide on how Cuba is reopening to international tourism.
'It's time the Government levelled with the British people'
Paul Charles, CEO of travel consultancy, The PC Agency, and spokesperson for the Quash Quarantine group has said the Government needs to be upfront with the public over its air bridge plans.
He told Telegraph Travel: "It’s time the government levelled with the British people on its travel policy, instead of going round and round in circles before making any decision.
"Each day that goes by without confirmation means fewer bookings and more job losses."
He said he welcomed the apparent abandonment of travel corridors and introduction of a traffic light system for global travel.
"When confirmed, we will get certainty again in our sector which is badly needed," he said.
Exclusive: Luxury hotel chain announces new five-star opening in Covid-hit Milan
Rocco Forte Hotels has announced a new five-star hotel opening in Milan, The Telegraph can exclusively reveal.
It will be the chain’s first foray in the fashionable Italian city, which quickly became the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe earlier this year.
The new property is set to open at The Carlton Milan in 2023 after a full refurbishment of the prestigious Via della Spiga address, which will see the Rocco Forte’s director of design, Olga Polizzi, collaborate with interior designers Paolo Moschino and Philip Vergeylen.
With 70 rooms and suites, a restaurant and lounge bar, wellness centre, with gym and spa, the hotel will also have a rooftop panoramic bar with views of the Italian city.
Ryanair's June traffic falls 97 per cent year-on-year
The budget airline has seen June passenger numbers drop from 13.6 million in 2019 to 0.4 million in 2020.
Ryanair operated just over 2,800 scheduled flights last month.
The carrier ramped up its schedule yesterday after a three-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Hundreds of aircraft took to the skies carrying 105,000 passengers.
A number of airlines are increasing services this month.
Which? responds to CAA update on airline refunds
The consumer group has responded to the Civil Aviation Authority's update on its review of airlines' refund policies. Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said:
This update from the regulator confirms what we have been highlighting to it for months – that airlines are continuing to disregard the law and withhold huge sums of money from their passengers during a time that has placed incredible stress on people's financial and emotional wellbeing.
"The time for monitoring and performance reviews has long passed. Airlines have been breaking the law on refunds for months, and to delay action for any longer goes against the regulator's claims to be on the side of consumers. We need to see urgent enforcement action to hold airlines to account, set a higher standard for the months ahead, and demonstrate that there are real consequences to breaking the law on refunds.
Ibizia's club scene is reliving its hippy heyday
The coronavirus lockdown has helped the island regain the spirited atmosphere of the 1970s, before it became known as the world's clubbing capital, reports Abigail Lowe.
For an island that usually zooms along at 100mph during the summer months, 2020 is dictating a slower, more peaceful pace on Ibiza. And while it’s doubtless that the pandemic has wreaked havoc on the economy, there are some silver linings. Locals report cleaner beaches, less traffic, and a convivial vibe and, vitally, for an island internationally famed for electronic music, a resurgence of a scene that was long ago sidelined by dominant superclubs peddling a commercial sound. But now, seedlings of positivity are blossoming amid the crisis, with many believing that this summer offers a unique opportunity to rekindle the island’s intoxicating Balearic roots.
UK Civil Aviation Authority criticises airlines over refund policies
In its ongoing review of airline refund policies, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has found that "only a minority group of airlines have been consistently providing consumers with refunds in an acceptable time frame."
The review, which began in May, is considering how airlines are handling refunds for flight-only bookings during the coronavirus pandemic.
The CAA published an update of the review yesterday. Of the 18 airlines it has contacted, it said all were now paying refunds to customers.
The CAA added: "We have noted a marked improvement across most airlines since our review commenced. We expect this direction of travel to be maintained."
Airlines were grouped into three categories based on performance: acceptable performance, requiring transparency improvements and requiring processing time improvements. Those falling under the second category are being given a short period to make improvements before the CAA gives a definite view on their performance, those in the third have been asked to provide commitments to speeding up refunds.
A further update on the review will be published later this month.
Welsh pubs and restaurants can reopen from July 13 – but outdoors only
Pubs, restaurants and bars and cafes in Wales will be able to reopen outdoors from July 13, under new rules from the Welsh Government.
However, indoor hospitality areas will remain closed for now. Wales remains the only part of the UK without a reopening date for indoor hospitality businesses.
“The re-opening of indoor services will be considered later, depending on the success of outdoor opening; the ongoing coronavirus situation in Wales and other measures businesses put in place to reduce the risk of transmission, such as pre-booking, table service only, and even the use of apps," a Welsh Government spokesperson said.
More details on the reopening plans are expected today at a Welsh Government press conference
England's pubs and restaurants will reopen their doors on Saturday.
What happened yesterday?
Here are the key developments from Wednesday:
- Ryanair said first wave of planes two thirds full
- Travel firms bemoaned air bridge confusion
- Thailand reopened borders, but not to tourists
- Canal holiday bookings in UK were up 150 per cent
- Austria warned residents of overseas cases spikes