- Coronavirus latest news: Police and Health Sec have conflicting takes on Super Saturday revelry
- Key dates: When will destinations around the world reopen to British tourists?
- The 59 countries exempt from England's travel quarantine - full list
- Portugal hits back over its exclusion from quarantine-free list
English hotels today served breakfast to their first guests in nearly four months as the tourism industry awakens once more.
Telegraph Travel's roving reporters have been documenting their experiences from across the country, describing the scenes in usually busy spots such as Cornwall and the Lake District as being surprisingly serene, perhaps in part due to the drizzly weather yesterday.
Despite various reports from police on pockets of drunken revelry, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the vast majority of people who went out on 'Super Saturday' were "doing the right thing" and following social distancing,
Today we've had first look reports from inside England's hotels, tourist sites and theme parks; including the likes of Thorpe Park, Legoland, Stonehenge, Brighton and the New Forest, as the industry settles in to the new normal.
Meanwhile, with news that from July 10, Britons will be permitted to visit a list of 59 countries without the need to quarantine upon their return, we've published the best deals for you to book your getaway.
Some experts are predicting that holiday prices will soar this week, as the industry braces for a huge surge in demand for summer getaways.
And we've got one expert already stationed in Magaluf, which is still looking like a ghost town.
Follow all the latest updates below.
Today's top stories
- England's grand hospitality reopening wasn't as chaotic as expected. Good!
- Theme parks are arguably better with social distancing
- Spain reimposes second regional lockdown
- Cyprus aims to open its borders to British tourists on August 1
- Ireland extends travel restrictions to July 20
Thank you for joining us. We'll see you in the morning for more news as it happens tomorrow.
The new hotel buffet system is having teething problems
Some hotels are doing away with the buffet entirely. In Magaluf, they're adapting the offering. Lottie Gross says it's chaos...
A little note about dinner... My hotel is doing buffets but it's not help yourself. Screens protect the food from human breath and a server dishes up for you.— Lottie Gross (@lottiecgross) July 5, 2020
They're struggling though. Not enough servers, no queueing system & no timed entry makes it chaos at best. #GreatEscape pic.twitter.com/xHsGUNtlNM
Coronavirus surges on Colombia's Caribbean coast
Coronavirus cases and deaths are surging along Colombia's Caribbean coast as the region becomes the epicentre of the pandemic in the Andean country.
Colombia - Latin America's third-most populous nation - has officially reported over 113,000 cases of coronavirus and just under 4,000 deaths among its 50 million inhabitants.
The climbing figures pale in comparison with some neighbouring countries, with regional giant Brazil exceeding 64,200 deaths on Saturday.
Colombia's Caribbean region accounts for close to 40 per cent of the country's reported cases and just over half its deaths, according to an analysis of government data by the World Health Organization (WHO).
There is no definitive hypothesis about why there has been higher mortality in the coast region, but officials and doctors say flouting of social distancing rules and a higher incidence of certain other diseases may play a role.
Let's do a poll - what are your summer intentions?
Some of us are still reluctant to leave our lockdown cocoons. Others will be on the first convenient flight out of here. How about you?
Where are you planning your summer holiday – the UK, or abroad?— Telegraph Travel (@TelegraphTravel) July 5, 2020
Barcelona without the tourists
Delightful. Our destination expert Sally Davies is lucky enough to be in the Spanish city of Barcelona enjoying the lack of crowds:
The view from Magaluf
Pretty dandy, according to Lottie Gross. There's plenty of space and beachgoers seem to be behaving. Not long now until the masses descend...
Sunday scenes in Magaluf:— Lottie Gross (@lottiecgross) July 5, 2020
☀️ Busier than yesterday but still relatively quiet for this time of year
☀️Plenty of loungers available
☀️ Social distancing easy
☀️ Lots of fancy yachts skulking in the bay#GreatEscape pic.twitter.com/TZs46kr9KC
10 of Britain's coolest campsites
A cheer resounded around the House of Commons last week when the Prime Minister announced that campsites in England could reopen from July 4 – proof, presumably, that our esteemed MPs are avid campers.
It’s a cheer that would be echoed across the country as campsite owners celebrated the news enthusiastically.
In light of all the cheering, Jonathan Knight has picked 10 great tent locations for you to consider booking.
Spain reimposes second regional lockdown
As pubs in England clean up after yesterday's revelries, Spain has ordered its second local lockdown in as many days after several coronavirus outbreaks were traced back to reopened bars.
Restrictions have been reimposed in La Marina, a community of around 70,000 in the northwestern region of Galicia, and nobody is allowed to enter or leave the area unless required to do so for work.
Bars and restaurants have all been told to limit customers to 50 per cent capacity, and all residents must wear face masks when out and about, even at the beach and park.
Yesterday, Spain's northeastern Catalonia region locked down an area with around 200,000 residents near the town of Lerida following a surge in Covid-19 cases.
“Social distancing and lockdown measures were the key to flattening the curve. Now they are needed again to stop the outbreaks,” said Spain’s Health Minister Salvador Illa.
Our first weekend at the seaside in rainy post-lockdown Britain
The weather wasn't playing ball so the crowds were smaller than expected in Brighton, but nothing could dampen the general spirit this weekend. Ashwin Bhardwaj reports:
I was surprised to see that many of Brighton’s pubs and bars remained closed, and it felt more like a busy Wednesday night than the New Year’s Eve vibe we’d expected. We were even able to get a table at The White Rabbit (one of my favourite pubs in The Lanes) without booking in advance, and a waitress explained how to register our contact details as part of the track-and-trace system.
As we walked back to the seafront via the Pavilion Gardens, the mood was festive, even as revellers started to head home. Despite the weather, the Great Escape had been a great success.
One English hotel has got around the gym ban
... sort of. By moving spin classes outside. This sounds terrible to me, but Lizzie Frainier, reporting from Chewton Glen, is made of different stuff. She goes so far as to describe her workout as 'so good'...
Did my first spin class in months this morning and it felt so good! @chewtonglen have moved the studio outside and there are only 5 bikes, each with plenty of space in between. It was instructor Martin Miller's first time back too. He was brilliant🎉 #GreatEscape @TelegraphTravel pic.twitter.com/3OxIj4RHcy— Lizzie Frainier (@lizziefrainier) July 5, 2020
What we now know about UK summer holidays – and the unanswered questions
Unless you've been under a rock, you'll know by now that hotels, campsites and other parts of our hospitality sector are now able to open, and plenty have been happily welcoming guests for the first time since lockdown was announced back in March.
But there are still, as ever, unanswered questions. Penny Walker has addressed them.
Rollercoasters are better with social distancing.
That's the conclusion Hazel Plush has drawn from spending all yesterday riding them. Thorpe Park, she reckons, is better now than ever:
With the park at a fifth of its regular capacity, the wait for Stealth, the UK's fastest rollercoaster, was a mere five minutes – unheard of! – and even the new cleaning routine, a disinfectant wipe-down every four or five runs, didn’t hold things up.
That’s now standard practice throughout the park: each ride is cleaned every few minutes, using sprays and cloths. And passengers are seated with their ‘bubble’ – with empty rows or seats between groups, according to each cab’s layout.
My god, it felt great to yell from the rafters – to squeal and laugh and let go for a few precious moments. Utter catharsis. The New Normal, it turns out, has made rollercoasters even better than before.
Turns out, social distancing actually makes rollercoasters BETTER?!? No queues, lots of room, and everything super clean 👏 On a regular Saturday, @THORPEPARK would have over 10,000 guests - today it’s just 2,000. Feels like having a queue-jump ticket and we’re loving it pic.twitter.com/kPY06HVZbE— Hazel Plush (@hazelplush) July 4, 2020
Folk are out on the canals despite the gales
Strong winds in parts of the country today, but it's not stopping people getting back on the canals down in Wiltshire, Paul Miles reports.
Deals: relax in the Lakes
The Lake District is set to be very busy but fret not, there are still some places with availability. One Off Places is currently offering Holmewell House, one of two lakeside cottages on Graythwaite estate. Sleeps 10 and seven nights cost £6,685 in July and August. Or else stay in John Ruskin’s lake house on the Brantwood Estate, sleeping 5 for seven nights at £1915. For those looking at trips in September, National Trust has availability.
Contact: 01865 600425; oneoffplaces.co.uk
0344 249 1895; Nationaltrust.org.uk
Madagascar re-imposes lockdown amid surge in virus cases
Madagascar has placed its capital Antananarivo under a fresh lockdown following a new surge in coronavirus infections, two months after the restrictions were eased, the presidency announced Sunday.
"The Analamanga region (under which the capital is situated) is returning to full lockdown," the presidency said in a statement. No traffic will be allowed in or out of the region starting Monday until July 20. And a strict curfew will be imposed on street movement by people, Jordan Kelly-Linden reports.
"Only one person per household is allowed to go out into the street between 6:00 am and 12:00 pm," said the statement.
Used to registering dozens of coronavirus cases a day, Madagascar has in recent days seen an exponential rise in daily numbers, jumping to a record 216 cases on Saturday.
By Sunday the country had a cumulative 2,728 cases, including 29 deaths since the virus was first detected on the Indian ocean island on March 20.
Ireland to ease foreign travel restrictions from July 20
Ireland is to ease quarantine restrictions on people travelling from abroad on July 20, with people from a "green list" of countries with low Covid-19 rates to be exempt from isolating themselves for 14 days, transport minister Eamon Ryan said.
Former prime minister Leo Varadkar in June said that the restrictions would be eased from July 9.
"A so-called green list... will be published on July 20," Ryan said in an interview with Newstalk radio station. "The green list will be operating after that." Follow our coronavirus live blog for more.
Turkey is going to great lengths to ensure a Covid-free holiday
With tourism contributing a whopping 12 per cent to Turkey’s GDP it is hardly surprising that the country’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism has gone into overdrive to restart an industry decimated by the Covid-19 crisis, introducing a whole raft of measures to address holidaymakers’ concerns about visiting this most hospitable of nations in these unprecedented times, writes Terry Richardson.
First up you’ll pass through a thermal scanner at your arrival airport prior to passport control. Should your temperature be above 37.8C expect to be taken aside and tested for Covid-19. Results take around two hours. Test negative and you’re free to go, positive and you’ll be whisked off to a hospital for treatment.
Should this unwelcome event occur, you can opt to be transferred to your hotel and isolate there – with a promise that even if your quarantine period exceeds the length of your stay you will not be charged for the extra days.
Bali gears up for tourists again
More than a thousand people gathered at a Hindu prayer ceremony in Bali to give thanks and seek blessings for the 'new normal' as the island prepares to welcome tourists back.
Domestic visitors will be allowed to return to the Indonesian province on July 31, although it's unlikely that international travellers will permitted until September.
Bali has recorded 1,849 cases of Covid-19 throughout the pandemic, with 20 residents known to have died from the virus.
- France is likely to be a popular option and Abercrombie & Kent offers this villa with 10 bedrooms from August 22 - August 29 for £10, 796. It also has this villa in Corsica with availability from August 1 for £13,550 and it sleeps 14. However, book August 29 and get it for £8,106. (01242 547 705; akvillas.com)
- For those looking for a very peaceful stay, Sawday’s has this cottage in Lorigne as a good option, priced at £595 per week. Sleeps 7 and there’s decent availability in July and August. Or live the Provencal dream in a house for 10, complete with a pool, from £3,360 per week. (0117 204 7810; sawdays.co.uk
- If you’d rather a more active holiday or just want to continue the cycling you picked up during lockdown in a different landscape, take a trip to the Loire. Cycling for Softies is offering a trip where you can take in chateaux with the family, including hotel stays and luggage transfer. Costs from £795pp or £3,180 for a family of four – tour-only, based on 2 adults and 2 children for 4 nights, half-board. (0207 471 7760; cycling-for-softies.co.uk).
Travel curbs in Tokyo as infections rise
Residents of the Japanese capital have been urged not to travel outside Tokyo as new Covid-19 infections topped 100 for a third day, public broadcaster NHK reported.
Cases in the city have risen to a two-month high, driven by the spread of the virus in the capital’s night spots. Of Saturday’s 131 tally, 100 were people in their 20s and 30s, Kyodo news agency said.
However, the country's chief cabinet secretary said there was no need to reintroduce the state of emergency, and Japan currently remains on the EU's list of "safe travel destinations".
Post-lockdown, Magaluf is almost unrecognisable
Having flown to Mallorca yesterday with Ryanair (and very civilised it was too), Lottie Gross is now stationed there for a week so as to avoid quarantine in the UK upon her return.
She's finding a lot of shops, restaurants and bars still closed. Compared to how the party resort usually is in July, it's a ghost town...
BIG NIGHT OUT VIBES 🤨— Lottie Gross (@lottiecgross) July 4, 2020
Or not. Magaluf is q u i e t tonight pic.twitter.com/i9qZhs8TI1
As Scotland eases out of lockdown, albeit behind England, unsurprisingly bookings have soared. Tempted?
- One Off Places has some cottages with availability for those keen to soak up Scotland’s wild natural beauty. Eagles Craig near Barbeck in the Highlands sleeps eight and if you book by the end of August, you’ll also get a free 4x4 tour of the reserve. Seven nights are from £2,990; sleeps eight. There’s also good availability in September if you intend to push summer further into the year.
- Or else try a cottage in Balbinny that looks towards the Angus Glens.
- If you want somewhere a little more central, try Brooks Hotel Edinburgh (reopening July 15 due to different government guidelines), with prices starting from £89.
- Contact: 01865 600425; oneoffplaces.co.uk. 0131 2282 323; brooksedinburgh.com.
We're off to the Isles of Scilly!
I'm not, unfortunately, but Penny Walker is, and she's taking us with her via social media. Her air hop over there was cancelled yesterday due to bad weather but today she's made it. Check out her progress below:
Check-in successful with @IOSTravel complete. One-way systems, hand sanitizer and facemasks to be worn at all times. The cafe is open and the only thing that feels really different is assigned seating on the plane. Main learning: facemask + small face + fringe = very hard to see pic.twitter.com/jZEOYcSuO0— Penny Walker (@pennyswalker) July 5, 2020
'The Lake District was nowhere near as busy as we expected'
This sentiment from Lake District National Park volunteer Chris Anderson summed up Lucy Aspden's return to Cumbria yesterday. She writes :
While the fells were wonderfully peaceful by early evening the post-lockdown excitement was visible at the pubs and bars that were open in Bowness, where pavements are now marked with social distancing reminders, police patrolled the streets and the queues were evidence enough of reduced capacity.
Retreating to the sanctuary of the Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa and the new normal of hotels stays began with a bang (of its 200-year-old lakeside canon to be precise) and a rush to check in. While I was initially surprised by the number of people arriving to stay, the introduction of designated dining times for both dinner and breakfast meant it felt extremely quiet and peaceful when we ventured down from our room.
Prince Charles thanks the hospitality industry
The Prince of Wales has released a video expressing his gratitude for the hotels, restaurant and pubs that have struggled through the pandemic as they reopen following an uphill battle.
Watch it below:
“I can only express my warmest appreciation for the resilience and fortitude shown by those in hospitality.”— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) July 4, 2020
As hotels, pubs and restaurants begin to re-open, The Prince has recorded a message in recognition of challenges the hospitality sector has faced in recent months. pic.twitter.com/q3yVYkgBMx
What it's like at the newly reopened Alton Towers
Heavily discounted Cadbury creme eggs and masked screams aplenty. Alton Towers has reopened, operating at a 25 per cent capacity, and Gina Clarke was there for a family day out to see what's changed:
Overall, while large parts of Alton Towers are yet to open, there is still plenty to do, whether you’re a thrill-seeker or a family looking to spend some quality time together. The reduced capacity meant that in all my years of coming to the park, I had never seen it so quiet and of course, it’s very easy to find some space for yourself in the park's 550 acres of landscaped gardens. Just make sure you pack your walking shoes.
Australia battles new coronavirus spike
Australia’s second most-populous state, Victoria, reported its biggest jump in coronavirus cases since late March yesterday, forcing the expansion of stay-at-home orders to more Melbourne suburbs and the complete lockdown of nine public housing towers, Reuters reports.
Having dodged the worst ravages of the pandemic and eased most lockdown restrictions, Australia is now struggling to contain several clusters around its second-biggest city that are delivering dozens of new cases each day.
"Disappointingly however we have had more than 10,000 people who have refused to be tested," health minister Jenny Mikakos said.
How are hotels managing children post-lockdown?
Natalie Paris is at Moonfleet Manor in Dorset to find out. The creche and pools are currently closed, but the playground is open and the hotel still offers a bedtime listening service...
The creche and pools are not currently available @Moonfleetmanor, though the playground's open and there will be activities for older kids next week. The hotel still offers a bedtime listening service though, meaning I get kid-free time to enjoy dinner prepared by an actual chef pic.twitter.com/E4QPOcvbhe— Natalie Paris (@laParis) July 4, 2020
South Africa's daily rise surpasses 10,000
Bad news. For the first time, South Africa is reporting more than 10,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases in a single day.
That brings the country's total confirmed cases to more than 187,977 – by far the most of any country in Africa.
South Africa also has surpassed 3,000 deaths in this outbreak. Cases continue to rise in Gauteng province, home of Johannesburg and the capital, Pretoria, which now has close to one-third of the country's infections.
Officials have said beds in public hospitals are filling up, and nurses have expressed alarm. The African continent overall has nearly 450,000 confirmed cases.
A night at Chewton Glen
Lizzie Frainier was among the first to stay in the newly opened Chewton Glen in the New Forest. She writes:
The excitement in reception when I arrived at noon was palpable: lots of people were checking in early and the hotel was close to being full. Many (including all staff) were wearing face coverings; automatic hand sanitising stations stood at the ready; and each guest was given a pack with gloves, mask and sanitiser - though you’re not required to wear them.
Greece will reconsider its ban on direct flights from the UK on July 15 – read our latest advice guide here. In the meantime, some booking options:
- GIC The Villa Collection has an offer in north east Corfu that’s great for families - secluded but also near beaches with water sports. Departing July 27, it costs from £1,145 pp, including self-catering accommodation , return flights (London Gatwick), car hire, a welcome pack and the services of a local representative. (020 8232 9780; gicthevillacollection.com)
- Destinology is offering a seven-night stay at the Radisson Blu Beach Resort Milatos. It costs from £1,445pp based on two sharing, all inclusive, return EasyJet flights from London Gatwick and private car transfers. Stay in the northern part of the country in Halkidiki at Eagles Palace Hotel & Villas. (01204 684 872; destinology.co.uk)
- Fish and Pips is easing travel anxieties with a one-day cancellation policy for Daios Cove in Crete. A sea view room costs £458 per room per night July 24 – August 27, based on double occupancy, and includes half board. There is good availability throughout late August into October. (01306 264005; www.fishandpips.co.uk)
Holiday prices to soar as spike in demand predicted for summer getaways
Holiday prices will soar this week, a travel expert said, as the industry is braced for a huge surge in demand for summer getaways.
Prices for flights and packaged holidays in the usual peak month of August are still far below expected levels, but Paul Charles of consultancy the PC Agency said that a spike in demand would push fares upwards, reports Sam Meadows and Charles Hymas
The announcement of a list of countries which are exempt from quarantine rules in England and the changed official advice on overseas travel ended weeks of uncertainty for potential holidaymakers.
Stonehenge without the dreadful crowds
This summer is a golden opportunity to enjoy a quieter version of Stonehenge.
The monument has reopened to the public with visitor number capacity reduced to a fifth of what it is normally, and Fred Mawer was there to witness the occasion, writing:
Mid-morning on the day of opening I counted under 100 people up by the stones – and all tickets available for that morning had been sold.
Apart from the underlying hum of traffic on the nearby A303, it was peaceful, and the atmosphere thoroughly conducive for contemplating the awesome prehistoric site. As a Blue Badge tour guide who regularly visits Stonehenge, I can assure you that is rarely the case on a peak summer's day, when a mass of coaches can be parked up by the visitor centre.
British holidaymakers could be allowed to return to Cyprus this summer, on one condition
Cyprus has agreed to open its borders to British tourists on August 1, but only if the number of coronavirus cases in the UK continues to fall.
Tourism businesses on the Mediterranean island have been calling for the Cypriot government to allow Britons back in, pointing out that UK holidaymakers, their largest customer group, account for 33 per cent of all visitors.
"Data regarding the UK has prompted us to decide that if the same good epidemiological picture continues to be observed, as of August 1 the country will be placed in Category B," said the Health Minister, Constantinos Ioannou.
This would put the UK in the same band as France and Spain, with travellers arriving from these countries required to submit proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken up to 72 hours before departure.
Following the UK government’s announcement on Friday, travellers arriving in the country from Cyprus will no longer have to go into a 14-day quarantine.
Taj Mahal to start welcoming visitors again
The Indian government will open the Taj Mahal to visitors tomorrow for the first time in three months, albeit with strict new rules in place.
Numbers will be severely curtailed, with just 5,000 people permitted to visit the iconic monument each day – down from a daily average of 80,000 visitors in pre-coronavirus times.
All tourists and staff will be required to wear face masks too.
The Ministry of Tourism announced in a tweet: “All centrally protected monuments & sites shall be bound by the protocols like sanitization, social distancing & other health protocols.”
A number of tourist sites throughout India have now reopened, despite the country witnessing a sharp rise in the number of new Covid-19 infections since the beginning of July.
Yesterday: a refresher
What a day it was. As hotels, pubs, restaurants and tourist attractions in England reopened on July 4, we had reports of the country coming back to life from city to coast. And from Europe, a taste of the 'new normal' in Magaluf and more outrage from Portugal over the UK's travel corridor snub.
Our reporters are still out and about today – you can see what sort of mischief they're getting up to using #GreatEscape on Twitter and Instagram.