Travel UK update live: Majority of Brits find it ‘difficult’ to follow travel restrictions


Ahead of an expected update to the UK’s red list, new data shows that the majority of British travellers arriving into the country found it difficult (47 per cent) or very difficult (32 per cent) to follow overseas restrictions.

The data comes from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) International Passenger Survey, which interviewed more than 26,000 passengers from March to August.

Other findings included that 67 per cent of overseas residents said that they were “not at all confident” accessing information about the UK’s Covid restrictions.

It follows the government’s streamlining of the traffic light system into two classifications: the red list and Rest of World (ROW) list.

Arrivals from red list countries are still required to pay for 10 days of hotel quarantine.

The next review of the red list is anticipated today, tomorrow or Friday 8 October.

Industry figures have been making their predictions for countries that could come off the red list – with data analysts favouring Argentina, Chile, South Africa and possibly Mexico as movers.

Follow the latest travel news below:

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Foreign holidays prices down 4.2 per cent

Holiday prices have dropped by 4.3 per cent on average since UK travel restrictions started to ease, according to research by hotel booking platform hoo.

Back in May of this year, when global travel rules were still very stringent, hoo’s research shows that the average price for a foreign holiday was just over £101 per night per person.

The latest data shows that after the easing of restrictions, the average price of a holiday has fallen to £96.87, a decline of 4.2 per cent.

However, some destinations have seen prices hikes, including Paris, Madrid and Rome.

Dubai has seen one of the largest increases in the cost of a holiday: in May, the average nightly price for a holiday to Dubai was just over £77 but this has since increased by 18 per cent to over £91 per night.

Helen Coffey6 October 2021 10:11

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E-gate chaos at Heathrow airport

Passengers arriving at Heathrow are being forced to wait in long queues or are being held on planes due to a problem with self-service passport gates.

The airport wrote on Twitter: “We’re aware of an issue impacting the e-gates, which are staffed and operated by Border Force.

“We apologise for the impact this is having on your journey.

“Our teams are working closely with Border Force to resolve this as quickly as possible.”

Helen Coffey6 October 2021 09:16

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Holiday prices up 15% for 2022 and bookings returning to normal, says Tui

Europe’s biggest holiday company says average selling prices for summer 2022 are up 15 per cent compared with the same season in 2019. In a market update, Tui also said that it expects the number of holidays sold next summer to be close to pre-pandemic levels.

The Anglo-German firm reported it had sold 5.2 million holidays for the summer 2021 season. Half of them were taken during July and August, representing twice as many sold as in the summer of 2020.

Sales of late summer holidays in Germany and the Netherlands are reported to be “well ahead of summer 19 levels in recent weeks”.

Simon Calder6 October 2021 08:27

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Good morning, and welcome to the travel liveblog, bringing you all the latest updates throughout the day.

Helen Coffey6 October 2021 08:17

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Australia to remain closed to international tourists until 2022

International tourists will not be welcomed back to Australia until next year, with the return of skilled migrants and students given higher priority, the prime minister said.

The prime minister told Seven: “The next priorities are skilled migrants that are very important for the country and who are double vaccinated, as well as students who are coming and returning to Australia for their studies.

“We will get to international visitors as well, I believe next year.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia was expected to reach the benchmark of 80 per cent of the population aged 16 and older having a second dose.

Last week, he outlined plans to allow vaccinated citizens and permanent residents to fly overseas from November for the first time since an extraordinarily tough travel ban took effect in March last year.

Helen Coffey5 October 2021 13:31

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Calls for the VAT rate to be slashed for tourism sector

With less than a month before the UK government’s autumn budget (27 October), leaders in the hospitality and tourism industry are calling on the government to reduce the VAT rate for this sector permanently and to call off the return to 20 per cent VAT from April 2022.

Sue Rathmell, partner at accountancy network MHA, said: “The UK tourism and hospitality sector is screaming for help and the Chancellor needs to not only listen, but more importantly act to support businesses recover from the pandemic.

“This has become urgent as the lower 5 per cent VAT rate, which the sector had been benefiting from since mid-July 2020, increased to 12.5 per cent from 1 October and will return to 20 per cent from April 2022. What Rishi Sunak should do is call off this increase and instead implement a permanent VAT rate reduction – something which the sector has been pleading for for years.

“Lower VAT costs encourage people to holiday in their own country instead of going abroad, boosting income in the whole country. This is why retaining a lower VAT rate is vital to the industry. If the government were to maintain the 12.5 per cent VAT rate indefinitely after 1 April 2022 instead of returning to the standard rate, the reinvigoration of the UK’s tourist centres, beach towns, tourist attractions, hotels and restaurants could continue.”

Helen Coffey5 October 2021 12:49

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Direct Line and Churchill ease some pandemic travel insurance restrictions

Direct Line and Churchill have removed some restrictions to travel cancellation cover which were put in place last year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The move will mean broader cover where claims relate to disruption caused by Covid-19 – and give customers greater confidence to travel if they wish to – according to UK Insurance Limited, which owns the brands.

From Tuesday, should Direct Line or Churchill customers’ travel plans be affected by a change in FCDO advice, they will have the option of either submitting a cancellation claim or continuing with their trip in the knowledge that they will continue to receive full protection from their policy if they choose to travel, it said.

Lucy Thackray5 October 2021 12:04

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Airline pandemic losses predicted to surpass $200bn next year

IATA revised its estimates of global losses last year from $126 billion to $137.7 billion and this year from $47.7 billion to $51.8 billion as members assembled for their annual general meeting in Boston.

It also forecast a loss of $11.6 billion for 2022, which would take its estimate of airlines’ total pandemic losses to $201 billion.

The organisation’s director general Willie Walsh said that airlines “have dramatically cut costs and adapted to whatever opportunities were available”, saying the industry was “well past the deepest point of the crisis.”

He urged governments to do “everything in their power to ensure vaccines are available to anybody who wants them.”

“The scale of this crisis needs solutions only governments can provide,” added Walsh.

Lucy Thackray5 October 2021 11:16

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Travel experts predict this week’s red list moves

As we await an update to the UK’s red list this Wednesday or Thursday, travel industry bosses and data analysts have been making their predictions about which countries may leave or stay on the red list.

Expectations are high that South Africa could finally make the leap from red to ROW after the British High Commission in Pretoria tweeted a statement made jointly by UK diplomats and the South African government that said recent findings “will feed into the next review of UK border measures”.

But what about the other contenders that could potentially get an upgrade in the next announcement?

Data analyst Tim White, who reports on the global Covid statistics each week, told The Independent: “The main criteria now in keeping (or adding) countries on the red list is the risk of variants of coronavirus; case numbers should not really coming in to the equation unless there is an extremely high infection rate. So in effect I hope the Joint Biosecurity team has started with a blank sheet and only added those countries with variants.”

White, along with our travel correspondent Simon Calder, believes that South Africa has a good chance of coming off the red list.

“I imagine quite a lot of effort is being expended to find justifications for keeping the likes of South Africa on the red list for much of the year,” says Simon Calder.

“At the last round of changes, when the red list was reduced to ‘only’ 54 countries, most of the eight were crowd-pleasers including Egypt and Turkey. If the government wishes to generate more positive coverage, then you can expect to see Thailand, the Dominican Republic and South Africa all taken out of the mandatory hotel quarantine category.”

Meanwhile, analyst Donal Kane believes that Thailand, Indonesia and Namibia could all come off the red list this week.

Lucy Thackray5 October 2021 10:55

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Cheeky Ryanair tweet responds to customer wifi moan

Ryanair has quote-tweeted a customer who complained about its lack of onboard wifi, joking “Absolutely mind-blown to find out that water is in fact wet”.

The low-cost carrier was responding to a passenger who had tweeted: “Absolutely mind blown to find out there’s no wifi on Ryanair flights, absolute madness”.

The airline, which has fares from as low as £9.99 one way, is one of Europe’s most prominent no-frills carriers.

“You don’t get a hot towel either #shocking” responded fellow Twitter user @EarthPig89.

Lucy Thackray5 October 2021 10:05



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Travel update: Where we can go? Which countries have banned Brits? | Travel News | Travel


Last week the Government announced fully vaccinated travellers from the EU and US would no longer have to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival into the UK. This has encouraged the struggling travel industry that more restrictions could be lifted soon.

The UK might be keen to put pandemic restrictions behind it but other countries don’t seem so keen to ditch their travel restrictions.

Freedom Day marked the lifting of all legal restrictions in England as the country moved to the fourth and final stage of the Government’s road map.

The Government is facing mounting pressure from the travel sector to loosen rules around international travel too.

As the UK starts to open its doors to international travellers, which countries continue to ban Brits from entering?

READ MORE: Passenger Locator Form error could stop passengers from flying

According to Kayak, most people from the UK won’t be able to travel to 95 countries.

More than 126 countries have allowed Britons to enter with restrictions, such as being fully vaccinated or need to quarantine upon arrival.

The following 20 spots are among the 95 countries Brits won’t be able to jet off to:

DON’T MISS: 

For the full lists of where we can and cannot go, head HERE.

Before you rush to book your holiday to any country on the UK’s green or amber lists, it’s essential to also check the restrictions around travel imposed by the country you intend to visit.

For example, although Columbia has opened its borders to Brits it remains on the UK’s red list so you should not travel there.
Likewise, Bulgaria is on the UK’s green list but they have placed the UK on their red list, so they will not allow Brits to enter their borders at the moment.

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Travel update: Where we can go? Which countries have banned Brits? | Travel News | Travel


Last week the Government announced fully vaccinated travellers from the EU and US would no longer have to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival into the UK. This has encouraged the struggling travel industry that more restrictions could be lifted soon.

The UK might be keen to put pandemic restrictions behind it but other countries don’t seem so keen to ditch their travel restrictions.

Freedom Day marked the lifting of all legal restrictions in England as the country moved to the fourth and final stage of the Government’s road map.

The Government is facing mounting pressure from the travel sector to loosen rules around international travel too.

As the UK starts to open its doors to international travellers, which countries continue to ban Brits from entering?

READ MORE: Passenger Locator Form error could stop passengers from flying

According to Kayak, most people from the UK won’t be able to travel to 95 countries.

More than 126 countries have allowed Britons to enter with restrictions, such as being fully vaccinated or need to quarantine upon arrival.

The following 20 spots are among the 95 countries Brits won’t be able to jet off to:

DON’T MISS: 

For the full lists of where we can and cannot go, head HERE.

Before you rush to book your holiday to any country on the UK’s green or amber lists, it’s essential to also check the restrictions around travel imposed by the country you intend to visit.

For example, although Columbia has opened its borders to Brits it remains on the UK’s red list so you should not travel there.
Likewise, Bulgaria is on the UK’s green list but they have placed the UK on their red list, so they will not allow Brits to enter their borders at the moment.





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Croatia to require Covid-19 test for fully vaccinated Brits | News


Croatia has reintroduced a number of measures to slow the spread of Covid-19 as cases rise in a trio of source markets.

Arrivals from the United Kingdom, Cyprus and the Russian Federation will now need to show a negative SARS-CoV-2 test performed in their home country on arrival.

That is regardless of the vaccination status or recovery from Covid-19 disease of the passenger.

Officials in Croatia said the move was due to the worsening of epidemiological situation in the destinations.

Travellers can opt for either an antigen test, not more than 48 hours before arrival, or a PCR test taken not more than 72 hours before arrival.

An antigen test needs to be from one of the list of EU mutually recognised tests.

This decision comes into effect on Monday.

Travellers from the UK are required to also fill out a form  form and have proof of a paid accommodation booking.

Children under the age of 12 are exempt from having to test if they are travelling with a parent/guardian who has proof of a negative test.





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Ireland to open to vaccinated Brits from Monday | News


Ireland is to become the first country in Europe that fully-jabbed British citizens can visit without the need for any Covid-19 tests into or out of the country.

There will also be no requirement to self-isolate if fully-vaccinated from Monday.

Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “We are pleased to confirm this change in arrangements to welcome British visitors to Ireland from July 19th.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has been tough on everyone, and these changes will afford many people an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends in a way that hasn’t been possible for a long time.

“Ireland’s tourism industry has adopted a safety charter to ensure the wellbeing of both our guests and hospitality workers. We wish all our British friends a safe and enjoyable visit to Ireland.” 

Before arriving in Ireland, British visitors will need to complete an online Passenger Locator Form which will be checked by their air or sea carrier before departure.

Passengers may also be asked for proof of vaccination.

On arrival in Ireland, British visitors will need to have proof of full vaccination, for example showing their NHS App Covid Pass, a vaccination status letter or their NHS vaccine paper card.

Passengers without proof of vaccination will require evidence of a negative RT-PCR test result within 72 hours prior to arrival in Ireland and will have to quarantine for 14 days or a minimum of five days if they prove negative with a second PCR test provided by the Health Service Executive in Ireland on day five.

From Monday, children under the age of 12 will not need to take a PCR test prior to travelling to Ireland.

However, children aged 12 to 17, who are not fully-vaccinated, will need to show a negative RT-PCR test result on arrival in Ireland, even when travelling with fully vaccinated adults.

It is anticipated that indoor hospitality will recommence on July 26th in Ireland.

Indoor hospitality will only be available to those who are fully vaccinated or with proof of recovery from Covid-19 in the past six months.

Those staying in hotels will be able to avail of the indoor hospitality options within the hotel from Monday.





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Merkel Expects Double-Vaccinated Brits to Be Able to Travel to Germany Soon | World News


LONDON (Reuters) – Britons who have had two COVID-19 vaccinations should soon be able to travel to Germany without going into quarantine on arrival, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday.

“I assume that in the foreseeable future those who have been vaccinated twice will be able to travel again without going into quarantine,” she told a joint news conference with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

(Reporting by Paul Carrel, editing by Thomas Escritt)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.



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Malta and Portugal tighten rules for arriving Brits | News


Officials in Malta have confirmed the destination will only be open to vaccinated British travellers from Wednesday.

All travellers must have had two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, at least two weeks prior to arrival.

Accepted proof of vaccine include the Maltese vaccination certificate, the NHS Covid-19 Pass vaccination certificate and the EU digital Covid-19 vaccine certificate.

Children aged five-11 can travel if they accompany vaccinated adults with proof of a negative PCR test carried out within 72 hours from arrival in Malta. 

Children under five do not need a test. 

Those aged 12 and over will need proof of vaccination. 

A negative PCR test for children aged 12-17 will not be accepted from June 30th.

Johann Buttigieg, chief executive of the Malta Tourism Authority, commented: “Malta is a very popular destination for British holidaymakers and the people of Malta are looking forward to tourists returning who have loved our sunshine, culture, food and warm spirit year in year out.”

Portugal

At the same time, Portugal will require people arriving from the UK to quarantine for 14 days, unless they can prove they have been fully inoculated against Covid-19 at least two weeks previously with a vaccine authorised by the EU.

The changes come into effect today.

In legislation published in the state gazette last night and which took effect at midnight, the government added the UK to the list of countries travellers from which must quarantine “at home or a place indicated by the health authorities”.

Brazil, South Africa, India and Nepal were already on the list, but the exception made for people who are inoculated against Covid-19 only applies to the UK.

Travellers from the UK are deemed to be fully inoculated if they have received one dose of a single-dose vaccine, two doses of vaccine against Covid-19, or just one dose of a two-dose vaccine schedule for people deemed to have recovered from the disease, if their vaccination certificate indicates the schedule is complete after just one dose.

For all countries on the list, an exception is also made for participants in specified sporting competitions being held in June and July.





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Switzerland to reopen borders to Brits this weekend | News


As of Saturday, guests from the UK will be allowed to enter Switzerland without having to quarantine if they can show proof of being fully vaccinated.

The same rule applies to the United States and many other important source markets for the Swiss tourism industry.

For travel within the EU/Schengen there will be no more restrictions.

The desire to travel is increasing at a steady pace and many are now planning their trips for the summer and autumn.

The Swiss government stated that it is adhering to the opening strategy of the EU/Schengen area, and will open the borders to vaccinated travellers from June 26th, just in time for summer and autumn holidays.

UK residents who have been fully vaccinated, or have recovered from Covid-19, will be allowed to enter without quarantine.

This will make Switzerland easily accessible to British guests and should make it again a popular destination this summer.

Over the last 12 months, rigorous safety concepts have proven extremely efficient and ensured that there was no outbreak at any tourist destination in Switzerland, despite the fact that most hotels, hotel restaurants and mountain resorts were open.





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Travel news: Brits warned the UK unlikely to ease travel rules before start of August | UK | News


UK ambassadors said the UK is unlikely to see any changes in travel guidelines in July. Their warning follows the Prime Minister’s announcement regarding the easing of all lockdown rules on June 21.

Boris Johnson addressed the nation on Monday to announce that step four of the UK Government’s lockdown roadmap will not go ahead next week.

Toni Mayor, the head of the Hosbec association of Valencia region hoteliers, said after speaking with UK ambassador Hugh Elliott, the reopening of international travel could suffer a delay, the Telegraph reports.

Turkish tourist bosses have purportedly been given a similar prospect by UK Foreign Office officials.

They are understood to not be expecting any changes in the travel advice before the beginning of August.

Meanwhile, the UK’s largest tour operator TUI has cancelled most foreign holidays until July 11 due to “ongoing uncertainty”.

Instead, it offered holidaymakers a range of new UK domestic trips programmes.

It explained it had to “unfortunately had to cancel all holidays” amid “ongoing uncertainty”.

The firm also adjourned all trips with non-TUI flights to Indonesia, Maldives, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand and UAE up to and including July 11.

TUI said: “We want to offer our customers flexibility and choice this summer, so where borders are open and FCDO advice allows travel, we will operate to those destinations as planned.

“We are constantly reviewing our holiday programme and cancellations in line with the Government updates every three weeks, with the next update expected on 24 June.

“All customers will be contacted as soon as possible if there is any change to their booking.”

It added: “All customers impacted by these cancellations will be contacted directly and will be able to request a full cash refund.

“Or they can change to a later date or alternative holiday and receive a booking incentive.”





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Travel news: Furious Brits pack onto flights as Portugal placed on amber list | UK | News


Britons are piling onto planes from Portugal in order to get back to the UK before 4.00am on Tuesday morning as the country is dropped down to the amber list for travel. From tomorrow morning all revellers arriving from the country will be forced to self-isolate for 10 days and take two PCR tests. But the airports are crawling with Brits desperate to get home while holidaymakers are saying it is becoming increasingly difficult to get pre-departure Covid tests with one passenger describing it as a “nightmare” situation.

He added: “We immediately scrambled to get flights then as we were booking on the app, the price of EasyJet flights are going up and up by the second!”

While another passenger said: “It was just crazy.

“There were loads of people who missed their flight just because of the passenger locator form.

“It could be easier – I’m not sure why it so complicated like that.”

READ MORE Portugal travel fury: Holidaymakers rage at testing farce -‘making my life misery’

Portugal was plunged onto the amber list of countries last Thursday as the government U-turned on its decision to put the country on the un-restricted green list.

From 04:00am on Tuesday Portugal will be dropped from the green list meaning holiday makers will be forced to self-isolate for 10 days and take two PCR tests.

It comes as the Department for Transport reported double the number of positive Covid cases in Portugal in the last three weeks.

Dozens of flights are expected to jet in from Protugal as Britons dash to get home to avoid isolating.





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