Latest news updates: England to bring forward more relaxed testing rules for international travel


The UK government aims to relax the testing requirements for international travellers coming to England before schools’ midterm break, which will boost the travel industry reeling from the spread of Covid-19, the transport secretary has said.

The rules will be updated before schools are due to have a week’s half-term holiday from October 26, with an announcement expected in the coming days. The government had said it will change the rules at the end of this month.

“The travel industry, which has been into this crisis first [and] out last, in many ways has suffered hugely — that’s a lot of jobs on the line,” Grant Shapps told Sky News on Friday.

“We are still requiring a test [but] we’re going to move that down from being a PCR test, the expensive ones that you have to send away to a lab, to a lateral flow test,” he added.

Concern has been raised that the removal of PCR tests, which enable genomic sequencing, may make it harder to track the spread of variant strains of Covid-19.

However, Shapps said the rules were supplemented by additional requirements.

“Reassuringly, if you come back from somewhere, you do a lateral flow, you get a positive, then you’ll be able to get a free NHS PCR test in the normal way,” he said.

The transport secretary also welcomed the relaxation of restrictions on travel from the UK to the US, while the US is yet to reopen to British visitors.

“The big one we’re waiting for in November . . . the US has said that they’ll reopen to British visitors,” said Shapps. However, he was unable to provide a specific date for the rule change.



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England eases travel rules, lifts quarantine mandate for 47 countries


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LONDON — The British government said Thursday that it is to relax travel rules further next week, a move that will open up many long-distance holiday destinations to travelers for the first time since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic a year and half ago.

As well as dramatically whittling down the number of places from which travelers will be required to quarantine in a hotel, the government said it would recognize the vaccination programs of dozens more countries.

In its most dramatic move, it said it will be lifting the hotel quarantine requirement for arrivals to England from 47 countries, including South Africa, Mexico and Thailand. Though the announcement only relates to England, the other nations of the U.K. – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – have generally followed suit.

► Travel to UK: England set to drop pre-departure testing requirement for vaccinated travelers from US

After the change comes into effect on Monday, there will only be seven countries — Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela — on the so-called “red list,” which requires all passengers to enter hotel quarantine for 11 nights at a cost of 2,285 pounds ($3,100) for individual travelers.

The changes mean that anyone arriving from the 47 countries removed from the red list will be spared that requirement.

However, they will still need to take a series of coronavirus tests before and after their arrival, and go into self-isolation for ten days unless the British government recognizes a country’s vaccination status certificates and the vaccines used. It recognizes the vaccines of AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, as well as their formulations such as AstraZeneca Covishield.

Another 37 countries and territories will be added to that list from Monday, reducing entry requirements from countries like Brazil, Ghana, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey.

► UK travel: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland reopen to vaccinated Americans

The decision means eligible fully vaccinated adults and those under 18 entering England from these locations will in effect be treated like fully vaccinated British nationals. They will no longer have to take a pre-departure test, nor a test on the eighth day after arrival and will be spared the period of self-isolation.

With the nights drawing in earlier ahead of the school half-term break later this month, and winter fast-approaching, the changes may well give a boost to the travel industry that’s suffered perhaps more than other during the pandemic.

“With half-term and winter sun around the corner, we’re making it easier for families and loved ones to reunite, by significantly cutting the number of destinations on the red list, thanks in part to the increased vaccination efforts around the globe,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said.

► ‘Give us a date’: International travelers want to know what ‘early November’ means for US border reopening

The government also restated its ambition to allow eligible fully-vaccinated arrivals to use a lateral flow test, rather than the more expensive gold standard PCR test, by the end of the month. Travelers, it said, will be able to verify they have completed a lateral flow test by sending a photograph.

British Airways announced it will resume services and increase frequencies to a number of winter destinations removed from the red list, such as Cape Town and Johannesburg, Mexico City, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires.

“It finally feels like we are seeing light at the end of a very long tunnel,” its chief executive Sean Doyle said. “Britain will benefit from this significant reduction in red list countries and now it’s time to turn our attention to eradicating testing for fully-vaccinated travelers to ensure we don’t lose our place on the global stage.”





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Going To England? The UK’s Rules for International Travelers Are About To Change


Beginning on October 4, the United Kingdom’s (U.K.) rules regarding international travel will shift to a new system in an effort to make entry requirements for foreign nationals simpler and more straightforward.

The red, amber and green travel light system that has been in place since England’s reopening this past May has been widely criticized for being too confusing and eroding consumer confidence. The British government has therefore taken steps to simplify it by placing high-risk countries on a red list and assigning the rest of the world the same set of entry requirements.

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Those traveling to England from countries and territories that aren’t on the red list will now be subject to certain conditions based on their vaccination status. To be considered fully vaccinated, persons will need to have received all doses of a vaccine-type that’s been approved by programs in the U.K., Europe or the U.S., and have completed the course at least 14 days prior to arrival in England.

The government is making progress in vaccine recognition and will recognize different formulations of the four listed vaccines (AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johns/Janssen). For those courses that require two doses, it’ll also be acceptable to have mixed two different vaccine types or have received each inoculation under different approved national programs.

If you ARE fully vaccinated, you must:

—Provide proof that you’ve been fully immunized using digital or hard-copy documentation (i.e., CDC card for Americans or E.U. DCC for Europeans).

—Pay for and book an appointment for a COVID-19 test to be taken by Day Two, following arrival in England.

—Complete a passenger locator form within the 48-hour window prior to your arrival.

What you WON’T have to do under the new rules is take a pre-departure test, test again on Day Eight of your stay or quarantine for 10 days upon arrival.


COVID-19 Vaccine travel
COVID-19 vaccines are leading to a surge in travel planning. (photo via gesrey / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

If you are NOT fully vaccinated, you must:

—Take a pre-departure COVID-19 test within 72 hours of travel to England.

—Pay for and book COVID-19 tests to be taken on Day Two and Day Eight of your stay.

—Complete a passenger locator form within the 48-hour window prior to your arrival.

—Quarantine for the first 10 days, either at home or in your accommodations. It’s possible to exit quarantine early if you pay for a private COVID-19 test through the ‘Test to Release’ scheme.

If you’re traveling to England from ‘red list’ countries, the same rules will apply to you, whether you’re fully, partially or unvaccinated. If you’re been in a red list country or territory within the previous 10 days, you’ll only be permitted to enter if you are a British or Irish nationals, or you have residence rights in the U.K.

If you’re coming from a red list country, you must:

—Take a pre-departure COVID-19 test within 72 hours of travel.

—Book a ‘quarantine hotel’ package, including two post-arrival COVID-19 tests.

—Complete a passenger locator form within the 48-hour window prior to your arrival.

According to the U.K. government website, the red list is set to be reviewed every three weeks or, “whenever concerning evidence means we may need to act faster to protect public health.”

For the latest info on travel around the world, check out this interactive guide below:

[SHERPA





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UPDATE 1-Britain mulls easing COVID-19 travel rules for England


(Adds background, details)

LONDON, Sept 17 (Reuters) – Britain will on Friday consider easing England’s COVID-19 rules for international travel after the travel industry complained that a myriad of onerous rules and red tape were hobbling airlines, holiday and tourism companies.

In a bid to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, Britain has a maze of different rules requiring expensive private testing and quarantine and a so-called traffic light system which ranks destinations as green, amber and red.

“The COVID sub-committee of cabinet that decides these things will be considering that probably later today,” Agriculture Secretary George Eustice told Sky News.

The British travel industry has called on the government to ease travel restrictions, force companies to offer cheaper testing and allow those who are double vaccinated more freedom.

Tourists and ministers have complained about the price travellers are being charged for obligatory private COVID-19 tests – which are listed as costing around 50 pounds but which can cost up to 399 pounds, according to current listings.

Ministers will cut the number of “red list” countries – currently 62 – by removing the “amber list” and those who are double vaccinated will no longer have to pay for costly polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, The Times newspaper reported.

For those returning from red-list countries, quarantine hotels are expected to remain in place, the newspaper said.

($1 = 0.7247 pounds) (Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Sarah Young)



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11 Best Fall Foliage Getaways In New England


By day, leaf-peeping down winding backcountry roads over gentle hills and craggy mountains is the hallmark of foliage season in New England. In the evening, relaxing in cozy accommodations, chasing away the chilly night air by a crackling fire, and sipping a comforting hot beverage is the perfect end to a quintessential fall foliage escape. A classic fall New England getaway is best enjoyed by staying at a charming local Inn where you can absorb the historic essence of these historic small towns.

New Hampshire’s rugged White Mountains, the peaceful backwoods of Maine, the vibrant Green Mountains in Vermont, the rolling hills of Massachusetts’s Berkshires, vibrant coastal Rhode Island, and the picturesque Connecticut rivers and valleys showcase some of their best panoramic vistas in autumn. New England’s changing seasonal wonders offer Mother Nature’s precious gifts for our exploration and enjoyment. From late September through the end of October, gorgeous autumnal colors can be found along backcountry roads and big city parks.

Our list of beautiful accommodations will enhance your leaf-peeping experience by immersing you in backcountry charm and grace. The following options of wonderful spots to see fall burst forth in glorious colors are presented state by state but in no particular order.

Richardson's Tavern Dining Woodstock Inn & Resort
Woodstock Inn & Resort

1. Woodstock, Vermont

Woodstock Inn & Resort is a beautiful, classic New England manor with gracious rooms appointed with fine antique decor. The Inn is perfectly located on the Main Street Green in timeless Woodstock, Vermont. Elegantly adorned rooms surround you in luxuriousness where you will encounter sweet dreams filled with Mother Nature’s scenic beauty.

After your day of exploring the Green Mountains dressed in their best autumn colors, dine in relaxed elegance at the Inn’s Richardson’s Tavern. Expertly crafted, upscale comfort food is the perfect ending to a glorious fall getaway day.

Pro Tip: If you are planning on spending a weekend in this lovely Vermont town, we have assembled The Best Things to Do In Woodstock, Vermont to get your planning started.

Fall foliage as seen from the Gondola Skyride in Stowe, Vermont
SNEHIT PHOTO / Shutterstock.com

2. Stowe, Vermont

Stowe, known best as a thriving ski resort area, is a lovely spot to visit during foliage season. The Gondola Skyride will transport you to the top of Mt. Mansfield while you sit back and enjoy an amazing panoramic view of the scenic foliage-covered mountain at Stowe.

The Stone Hill Inn is a romantic stop on your Stowe, Vermont, foliage escape. Beautifully decorated rooms offer guests lovely views of the gardens and surrounding woodlands. Peaceful and charming, this quaint inn is the perfect respite after a day of exploring colorful fall mountain top views.

Pro Tip: Beautiful hiking trails for all levels criss-cross the Stowe area.

Inn Victoria
Inn Victoria (Photo Credit: Sandi Barrett)

3. Chester, Vermont

The charming Inn Victoria in Chester wraps guests in cozy, Vermont luxury. The lovingly decorated living spaces and guest rooms embody Victorian opulence. Embark on a leisurely stroll through the village to discover quaint shops and a beautiful historic Stone Village that speaks to Chester’s Scottish immigrant history.  With a backdrop of vibrant Green Mountain fall colors, you will fall in love with this adorable town.

A fun way to explore the area any time of year, but particularly in the fall, is by hiking. Local innkeepers have joined together to create an in-the-woods hiking getaway where each night you hike to a cozy inn for a sumptuous dinner and a soft bed. While the innkeepers manage the luggage logistics, you are free to explore the countryside as you set off through the towns and mountains to your next accommodations. You can read more about the experience in Vermont Inn-To-Inn Experience: Why I Hiked 44 Miles In Four Days.

Pro Tip: For a true taste of Chester’s Scottish heritage, visit MacLaomainn’s Scottish Pub for dinner. Start with the Haggis Taster, just because everyone should try it at least once! Delicious classic entrees include tattie barkers, fish pie, and bangers and mash.

White Mountain National Forest fall foliage on Kancamagus Highway aerial view near Sugar Hill Scenic Vista, Town of Lincoln, New Hampshire NH, USA.
Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock.com

4. Sugar Hill, New Hampshire

The Sugar Hill Inn is nestled in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains. The beautiful 1789 farmhouse is a picture-perfect New England bed and breakfast inn. The fine dining, prix fixe menu highlights seasonal local produce while offering diners stunning mountain views. A getaway at the Sugar Hill Inn is a relaxing fall foliage escape.

Day hikes on the mountain trails, boating or fishing on the numerous lakes and rivers, and camping under the stars are just a few of the ways to explore this nature lover’s paradise. Take a classic fall foliage drive up the Kancamagus Scenic Byway to explore breathtaking views. The 34.5 Kancamagus  Scenic Byway is a favorite spot for day-trippers and weekenders during the mid-October peak foliage.

Pro Tip: Nearby Franconia Notch State Park offers some of the most breathtaking fall foliage viewing in the world.

Omni Mount Washington Resort
Omni Mount Washington Resort

5. Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

The Omni Mount Washington Resort is the quintessential New England four-season luxury resort. Plan a fall foliage stay where you will be wrapped in the White Mountains red, orange, and yellow canvas. Along with elegantly appointed accommodations and exceptional dining options, the resort offers a number of outdoor activities where you can experience the best White Mountain vistas.

The Omni’s Donald Ross-designed course offers golfers spectacular mountain views that are particularly gorgeous during the fall foliage display. A stay-and-play autumn golf getaway is a perfect way to view the foliage while enjoying some end-of-the-season rounds.

For the adventure seekers, book a Bretton Woods Canopy Tour where you can literally immerse yourself in the gorgeous autumn foliage. The three-hour tour takes you on a guided ziplining experience you won’t soon forget. 

A weekend spa getaway at the Omni’s Bretton Woods Spa is a wonderful way to enjoy the foliage and relax with some much-needed pampering.

Pro Tip:  New Hampshire’s fall foliage tracker will give you the most up-to-date information on where and when the scenic peak foliage is across the state.

Kennebunkport Captains Collection - Nathaniel Lord Mansion
Nathaniel Lord Mansion (Photo Credit: Read McKendree)

6. Kennebunkport, Maine

Kennebunkport Captains Collection is a historic grouping of four homes offering guests luxurious accommodations steeped in a seafaring past. The collection includes the Nathaniel Lord Mansion, the William Jefferds House, the James Fairfield House, and the Acton Patterson House. These homes come together harmoniously in a resort village in beautiful coastal Kennebunkport.

Kayaking, standup paddleboards (SUP), and canoeing offer a unique perspective of the coastal autumn scenery as you glide along the waterways. Kayak Excursions has kayak and SUP rentals and tours for Kennebunkport on-the-water exploration adventures.

The Smith Preserve is a lovely spot for exploring on foot. The preserve has over 10 miles of manicured walking trails where you can stroll through the forests immersing yourself in the colors of fall.

Wolf Cove Inn with Tripp Lake in the Background
Wolf Cove Inn (Photo Credit: Roy Forsberg)

7. Poland, Maine

Deep in the heart of Maine, in the center of fall foliage bliss sits the Wolf Cove Inn. Lakefront views in nature’s loveliest setting, surrounded by swaths of fall color. It is the perfect spot to enjoy Maine leaf-peeping. Your blood pressure will drop and your spirit will soar as you explore the backcountry setting that is quintessentially Maine. Gaze upon gorgeous sunsets over the water as you roast marshmallows above a blazing fire pit; the most relaxing place on earth.

Pro Tip: Planning perfect timing for prime leaf-peeping can be tricky. Maine Foliage offers suggestions on the optimal time to visit Maine during autumn for the best views.

Berkshire Vista
Berkshire Vista (Photo Credit: Ogden Gigli Photography)

8. Stockbridge, Massachusetts

White clapboards, dark shutters, and a gravel drive speak to the easy Berkshire elegance of the 1906 Georgian mansion The Inn At Stockbridge. Whether you stay in the main house, cottage house, or barn, you will be treated to serene, cozy decor and a fur baby-friendly environment. Stockbridge is one of the best towns in Massachusetts for a fall-focused getaway weekend.

There is so much to see and do in western Massachusetts, your guide to the most up-to-date information can be found at the Berkshires.

Pro Tip: When planning your visit to the area, you will find some great ideas in How To Spend A Beautiful Weekend In The Berkshires.

9. Lee, Massachusetts

Another beautiful fall foliage destination in the Berkshires is the Devonfield Inn. The early 1800s English country manor house is set in the rolling hills that typify the area.

Driving along winding country backroads offers visitors colorful vistas showcasing the Berkshires’ autumn foliage.

Pro Tip: For explorers looking to discover more of Massachusetts’s wonderful foliage, a good place to start planning your journey is The Best Fall Foliage Road Trip In Massachusetts.

10. Wallingford, Connecticut

The southern New England states offer beautiful foliage viewing getaways too. Unique view opportunities like a ride through the sky on one of CT Ballooning‘s hot air balloon rides will take you high above the trees. As you sail across Connecticut’s rivers and valleys, experience sunrise foliage vistas that can only be seen from above. A bucket list item for every adventure seeker.

The Wallingford Victorian Inn is a charming boutique bed and breakfast offering guests graceful Victorian charm and warm hospitality. This Painted Lady is beautifully maintained and is a landmark in downtown Wallingford. You will love your stay at this special home.

Pro Tip: You can plan your Connecticut autumn getaway through the interactive fall foliage report map.

Hydrangea House Inn
Discover Newport

11. Newport, Rhode Island

Newport is home to gilded mansions, world-renowned sailing races, and amazing restaurants. The meticulously maintained historic mansions and gardens offer visitors not only a peek into the lifestyle of the rich and famous, but also beautiful autumn horticultural displays. 

Newport’s Hydrangea House Inn exudes the elegance and sophistication of Newport’s high society.  At Hydrangea House, the classically decorated and well-appointed suites and cozy rooms will make your stay in Newport memorable. Perfectly located, you can wander down to the harbor or stroll the streets of the former summer playground of the rich and famous.

You will find all the current happenings and visitor information for the Newport area at Discover Newport.

Pro Tip: When visiting beautiful Rhode Island, there are so many charming historic cities to explore. Two of our favorites are How To Spend A Perfect Weekend In Beautiful Newport, Rhode Island, and the 12 Best Things To Do In Charming Bristol, Rhode Island.



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Sports Digest: Saco Little League wins first game of New England region tournament


BASEBALL

Brennan Tabor broke a scoreless tie with a two-run double in the top of the fifth inning, Noah Fullerton allowed one hit over 5-plus innings and Saco/Dayton advanced with a 5-0 win over North Manchester-Hooksett, New Hampshire in the Little League New England Regional Tournament in Bristol, Connecticut.

After Ryan Gagnon and Quinn Cook reached on consecutive walks with two outs, Tabor doubled to right-center for a 2-0 lead. Saco/Dayton added three more in the sixth on a single by Brody Hadiaris, a ground out by Owen Thompson and a double by Gagnon.

Fullerton struck out 12 and walked none before being relieved by Tabor with one out in the sixth. Tabor walked two batters before getting the second out on a fielder’s choice and striking out the final batter.

Fullerton allowed a baserunner on an error after two strikeouts in the second, but struck out the final batter of the inning. He also struck out the side in third and fifth innings.

Tristan Lucier got the lone hit with one out in the fourth, but was doubled-up following a fly out to Tripp in left field.

Saco/Dayton will play Peabody, Massachusetts Monday at 7 p.m. New Hampshire will play in an elimination game Tuesday at 7 p.m.

MINOR LEAGUES: Jose Butto pitched six scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, as the Binghamton Rumble Ponies beat the Portland Sea Dogs 5-0 on Sunday in Binghamton, New Hampshire.

Butto held the Sea Dogs hitless for 5 1/3 innings before Grant Williams broke it up with a single. Butto, who finished with eight strikeouts and didn’t walk a batter, retired the final two batters of the inning before giving way to the bullpen.

Carlos Rincon hit a solo home run to give Binghamton a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth. The Rumble Ponies added three runs in the sixth on an RBI groundout by Jake Mangum, a bases loaded walk by Yoel Romero and an RBI single by David Rodriguez. Romero added an RBI double in the eight.

Portland starter Brayan Bello allowed four runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out 11 and walked three.

The Sea Dogs, who lost six of seven games in the series to Binghamton, travel to Somerset for a six-game series starting Tuesday.

SOCCER

MLS: Matt Polster scored his first goal of the season, Gustavo Bou also scored and the New England Revolution beat the Philadelphia Union 2-1 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

Bou, whose 11 goals this season are tied with Seattle’s Raúl Ruidíaz for most in MLS this season, had his penalty shot stopped but slammed home the rebound into an open net to cap the scoring in the 39th minute.

Polster’s goal gave New England (12-3-4) a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute before Paxten Aaronson tied the score in the 31st. It was the 17-year-old Aaronson’s first MLS goal in his first career start.

Philadelphia (7-5-7) is winless in seven straight away matches (D4 L2). The Union haven’t had a longer winless run on the road since a 16-game drought from May 2017 to May 2018 (D4 L12).

FRENCH LEAGUE: Defending champion Lille needed an equalizer in the last seconds of stoppage time to secure a 3-3 draw at Metz in a thrilling French league game.

Veteran Turkey striker Burak Yilmaz collected the ball in Lille’s counterattack, broke down the left, cut inside a defender and saw his low shot clip the goalkeeper’s leg and loop over the line in the sixth minute of added time.

Yilmaz scored several crucial goals in Lille’s title run last season and celebrated wildly in front of the visiting Lille fans, who saw their side lead 1-0 and then trail 3-1.

• Rennes drew 1-1 at home to Lens, and Galtier’s first game in charge of Nice ended in a disappointing 0-0 home draw with Reims.

GERMAN CUP: Two coaches had debuts to forget in Germany with Oliver Glasner watching Eintracht Frankfurt lose to a third-tier team, and Mark van Bommel winning with Wolfsburg despite making one more substitution than allowed.

Frankfurt was knocked out in the first round of the German Cup by Waldhof Mannheim. Wolfsburg, Glasner’s former team, needed extra time to beat fourth-division side Preußen Münster 3-1.

Two goals early in the second half gave Waldhof a 2-0 win over Frankfurt, which had defender Martin Hinteregger sent off for a second yellow card with just under half an hour to play.

BASKETBALL

NBA: Opening day for the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas was disrupted by the postponement of the Washington-Indiana game because the Wizards didn’t have enough players available due to COVID-19 protocols.

The league made the announcement Sunday, about six hours before the game was scheduled to tip off. The NBA said the player shortage was because of ongoing contact tracing within the team.

The schedule opened with Atlanta facing Boston. Other games on opening day were Toronto-New York, Portland-Charlotte, Houston-Cleveland, Oklahoma City-Detroit, Denver-Miami and the Los Angeles Lakers against Phoenix.

GOLF

PGA TOUR: Abraham Ancer of Mexico won the FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis, Tennessee, for his first PGA Tour title, beating Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama and Sam Burns with a 6-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole of a playoff.

Ancer won the World Golf Championships event at TPC Southland after Burns’ 5 1/2-foot putt – on the same line as Ancer – lipped out.

Harris English, the leader after each of the first three rounds, faltered on the back nine to give Ancer, Burns and Matsuyama a chance.

Ancer closed with a 2-under 68 to match Matsuyama and Burns at 16-under 264. Matsuyama shot a 63, and Burns had a 64. English, the 2013 champion at TPC Southwind, was a stroke back after a 73.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Scotland’s Grant Forrest held off a brilliant challenge from England’s James Morrison to win his first European Tour title by one stroke at the Hero Open in St. Andrews, Scotland.

Forrest birdied the last two holes at Fairmont St Andrews for a 6-under-par 66 in the final round. His 24-under 264 total put him a shot ahead of Morrison, who had set the clubhouse target following a superb 63.

WOMEN’S AMATEUR: Kentucky junior Jensen Castle won the U.S. Women’s Amateur in Harrison, New York, beating Arizona junior Hou Yu-chiang of Taiwan 2 and 1 in the 36-hole final at Westchester Cuntry Club.

Castle, from West Columbia, South Carolina, won after surviving a 12-for-2 playoff late Tuesday to get into the 64-player field for match play. She’s the third No. 63 seed to win a USGA title, following Clay Ogden in the 2005 U.S. Amateur Public Links and Steven Fox in the 2012 U.S. Amateur.


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Industry offers broad support to England reopening plans | News


The hospitality sector has given warm support to a loosening of travel restrictions announced by the government.

From Monday, travellers from the European Union and United States will be able to avoid quarantine when arriving in England.

The cruise sector has also been given the go ahead to relaunch international sailings.

In response to the news, Virginia Messina, acting chief executive of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), said: “The sector – and the UK economy – will get a huge boost following news that fully-vaccinated US and EU visitors will at last be able to travel quarantine-free to England.

“The cruise industry will breathe a sigh of relief that the crucial relaunch of international cruise departures from England has been given the green light, giving hope to a sector which has struggled to stay afloat.

“It also throws a vital lifeline to airlines and businesses throughout the sector, by helping to restore much-need transatlantic travel and essential links to the EU.

“However, unless it is reciprocal and the US responds with a similar move, we won’t see the full benefit.”

WTTC research shows US visitors to the UK contributed more than more than £4 billion to the economy in 2019, underlining the importance of transatlantic travel.

“We urgently need internationally coordinated action to reopen borders to safe international travel for all visitors who are fully vaccinated or can show proof of a negative Covid-19 test,” added Messina.

An ABTA spokesperson welcomed the move, but said it was merely the start of a longer journey.

A statement explained: “The industry is not out of the woods and there is more that needs to be done to support travel businesses through to recovery.

“We know the sector is facing a more gradual relaxation of restrictions than the domestic economy, and we need to see a tailored package of support measures to recognise that, including ongoing furlough and income support schemes, full business rates relief, and consideration of tailored grants schemes.

“We also need to see the government make further progress on making testing more affordable and proportionate, and we need to see more destinations added to the green list at the next review.

“We are still seeing other countries reopen more quickly than the UK and we need to capitalise on the success of the vaccine rollout by getting our international travel industry moving again.”

With regard to the cruise sector, Nick Stace, chief executive of Saga Travel, said the reopening would allow for the market to rebound.

He said: “We are pleased that the government has confirmed that restrictions will lift on international cruising.

“The entire cruise industry has been working closely with government to reach this point and it is a huge boost to receive the news that we will once again be able to welcome guests on non-domestic voyages.

“Ensuring the safety of our guests and crew is our number one priority and we’ve worked tirelessly to create the safest possible environment on-board our ships.

“Our customers have been eagerly awaiting certainty from government so they can plan their cruises beyond UK shores and this news will give them the clarity they need to do that.” 

In terms of aviation, Stewart Wingate, chief executive of Gatwick Airport, said the cost of testing would remain prohibitive for many.

“The cost of PCR tests remains prohibitive for many and should be replaced by cheaper, quicker lateral flow tests for those who have been double vaccinated, as many other countries already rely on,” he said.

“Double vaccinated travellers to designated green countries should also not have to take any tests at all.

“The EU and US aviation sectors opened up earlier and are recovering significantly faster, which is why European travel was already at 50 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in June compared to just 16 per cent in the UK, despite our more advanced double vaccination rates. 

“We will continue to lose out on trade, tourism and other economic benefits unless the government removes the remaining unnecessary barriers to travel.”





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CDC mask recommendation, Simone Biles, England travel restrictions, cicadas. It’s Wednesday’s news.


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If you’re vaccinated and frustrated by the CDC’s reversal on masks, you’re not alone. Simone Biles won’t compete in the all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympics. And annual cicadas are emerging from the ground.

👋 It’s Laura, bringing you all the news you need to know for Wednesday!

But first, meteor alert! 💫 Twin meteor showers could produce fireballs in the sky this week. Here’s when to watch.

The Short List is a snappy USA TODAY news roundup. Subscribe to the newsletter here or text messages here.

‘I thought I did everything right’

Like many Americans, Leslie Richin thought she had done her part to combat the pandemic by getting vaccinated so she could finally go without a mask in public. “I thought I did everything right, but now you’re telling me that I have to live in a restricted way again. … I don’t want to go backward,” said Richin, who lives in Brooklyn, New York. She thought the pandemic was fizzling out. But the CDC’s new guidance to wear masks in indoor settings, again, seems to suggest it’s far from over. Many vaccinated people told USA TODAY that they’re relieved the CDC is recommending masks again, but they’re frustrated that it was lifted two months ago, which may have contributed to high transmission rates among the unvaccinated. For the first time in more than three months, cases in the U.S. are now averaging more than 60,000 per day. Deaths are over 2,000 per week and health officials say unvaccinated people make up more than 90% of those deaths.

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Simone Biles withdraws from all-around

Simone Biles will not compete in the Olympic all-around. Jade Carey will replace Biles in the competition on Thursday, USA Gymnastics said. Biles’ withdrawal from the all-around, where she is the defending Olympic gold medalist, comes a day after she pulled out of the team final after one event. USA Gymnastics said Biles would not compete so that she can focus on her mental health, and that Biles would continue to be evaluated to determine whether she would compete in event finals next week. “We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement. “Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.”

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England relaxes travel restrictions for Americans

Starting next week, vaccinated Americans can visit England without quarantining, a long-awaited change for travelers. The lifting of the England quarantine requirement comes just a week after the CDC and the U.S. State Department recommended against travel to the United Kingdom due to rising COVD-19 case counts. U.S. citizens have been allowed to travel to the U.K. during the pandemic but faced travel restrictions, including coronavirus testing requirements and quarantine. Under the relaxed rules for vaccinated Americans and Europeans, visitors will still be subject to testing requirements. 

Pssst: Infrastructure vote could be coming soon

We’ve got a deal. The White House on Wednesday announced it reached a deal with the Senate on a bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure package that has been in the works for weeks and which would represent the most expensive transportation bill in U.S. history. A vote to move the legislation forward could come as early as Wednesday evening. “We have a deal … We’re finishing up some language,” said Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., part of a small group of senators negotiating the bill that would be the single largest measure Congress has considered to improve America’s roads, bridges and railways. The compromise would clear the way for a procedural vote as early as Wednesday evening on a key piece of Biden’s agenda to modernize not just roads and railways but broadband and waterways.

Real quick

Guess who’s back? It’s cicadas!

Buzz, buzz, y’all! A familiar buzz is ringing in the ears of people across the Midwest and East Coast as annual cicadas begin to emerge from the ground. They’re a different breed from our dearly-departed friends, the Brood X cicadas. Annual cicadas emerge every year in the middle of summer, and they live for only about two to three years – more than a decade shorter than Brood X. These cicadas will sing a different tune from their predecessors but come out in smaller numbers, according to cicada expert Gene Kritsky. “Adults can live for about four weeks and we will see them now until September,” he said. The last of the Brood X cicadas died out earlier this summer, most of them in June and early July, after spending about six weeks buzzing around looking for a mate. RIP.

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This is a compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network. Want this news roundup in your inbox every night? Sign up for The Short List newsletter here.





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CDC mask recommendation, Simone Biles, England travel restrictions, cicadas. It’s Wednesday’s news.


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If you’re vaccinated and frustrated by the CDC’s reversal on masks, you’re not alone. Simone Biles won’t compete in the all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympics. And annual cicadas are emerging from the ground.

👋 It’s Laura, bringing you all the news you need to know for Wednesday!

But first, meteor alert! 💫 Twin meteor showers could produce fireballs in the sky this week. Here’s when to watch.

The Short List is a snappy USA TODAY news roundup. Subscribe to the newsletter here or text messages here.

‘I thought I did everything right’

Like many Americans, Leslie Richin thought she had done her part to combat the pandemic by getting vaccinated so she could finally go without a mask in public. “I thought I did everything right, but now you’re telling me that I have to live in a restricted way again. … I don’t want to go backward,” said Richin, who lives in Brooklyn, New York. She thought the pandemic was fizzling out. But the CDC’s new guidance to wear masks in indoor settings, again, seems to suggest it’s far from over. Many vaccinated people told USA TODAY that they’re relieved the CDC is recommending masks again, but they’re frustrated that it was lifted two months ago, which may have contributed to high transmission rates among the unvaccinated. For the first time in more than three months, cases in the U.S. are now averaging more than 60,000 per day. Deaths are over 2,000 per week and health officials say unvaccinated people make up more than 90% of those deaths.

Simone Biles withdraws from all-around

Simone Biles will not compete in the Olympic all-around. Jade Carey will replace Biles in the competition on Thursday, USA Gymnastics said. Biles’ withdrawal from the all-around, where she is the defending Olympic gold medalist, comes a day after she pulled out of the team final after one event. USA Gymnastics said Biles would not compete so that she can focus on her mental health, and that Biles would continue to be evaluated to determine whether she would compete in event finals next week. “We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement. “Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.”

What everyone’s talking about

England relaxes travel restrictions for Americans

Starting next week, vaccinated Americans can visit England without quarantining, a long-awaited change for travelers. The lifting of the England quarantine requirement comes just a week after the CDC and the U.S. State Department recommended against travel to the United Kingdom due to rising COVD-19 case counts. U.S. citizens have been allowed to travel to the U.K. during the pandemic but faced travel restrictions, including coronavirus testing requirements and quarantine. Under the relaxed rules for vaccinated Americans and Europeans, visitors will still be subject to testing requirements. 

Pssst: Infrastructure vote could be coming soon

Key senators hinted they’re closer to a deal on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package that has been in the works for weeks, with a vote to move the legislation forward possibly occurring Wednesday evening. “We have a deal … We’re finishing up some language,” said Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., part of a small group of senators negotiating the bill that would be the single largest measure Congress has considered to improve America’s roads, bridges and railways. The compromise would clear the way for a procedural vote as early as Wednesday evening on a key piece of President Joe Biden’s agenda to modernize not just roads and railways but broadband and waterways.

Real quick

Guess who’s back? It’s cicadas!

Buzz, buzz, y’all! A familiar buzz is ringing in the ears of people across the Midwest and East Coast as annual cicadas begin to emerge from the ground. They’re a different breed from our dearly-departed friends, the Brood X cicadas. Annual cicadas emerge every year in the middle of summer, and they live for only about two to three years – more than a decade shorter than Brood X. These cicadas will sing a different tune from their predecessors but come out in smaller numbers, according to cicada expert Gene Kritsky. “Adults can live for about four weeks and we will see them now until September,” he said. The last of the Brood X cicadas died out earlier this summer, most of them in June and early July, after spending about six weeks buzzing around looking for a mate. RIP.

A break from the news

This is a compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network. Want this news roundup in your inbox every night? Sign up for The Short List newsletter here.





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England Could Scrap Quarantine for Fully Vaccinated Amber-list Travellers



Ministers have mooted plans to allow quarantine-free travel to amber-list countries for people in England who have been fully vaccinated.

Excerpt from Breaking Travel News

Ministers have mooted plans to allow quarantine-free travel to amber-list countries for people in England who have been fully vaccinated.

The health secretary, Matt Hancock, confirmed earlier that ministers were considering how to scrap the requirement for people to isolate for ten-days on return from a country on the list.

He explained he was “in favour of moving forward in this area”.

Asked if these plans could be in place as soon as August, Hancock said: “We’ll get there when it’s safe to do so.”

He added: “This hasn’t been clinically advised yet – we’re working on it,” explaining that the government wanted to allow “the vaccine to bring back some of the freedoms that have had to be restricted to keep people safe”.

Hancock also said the government was “on track” for the easing of restrictions next month but acknowledged that opening up travel abroad was “more difficult”.

“Thankfully, because of the vaccination programme, we have been able to free up a huge number of the restrictions here at home,” he said.

”We are on track to deliver the step four, the further openings, on July 19th, which is good.”

Click here to read complete article at Breaking Travel News.

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