Taken from our guide to those countries set to miss out on the ‘green’ list today (most of Europe), we touch on the timeline for the EU’s reopening to British travellers:
Will the EU open all at once?
Yes, but not necessarily to Britons.
The European Union has agreed to reopen “by the start of June” to vaccinated travellers from countries with a “good health situation”, likely with the use of the bloc’s Digital Green Certificate (DGC), a vaccine passport. The app, which will have a paper option, is still in development but has been agreed by EU members as the best way to kickstart the continent’s tourism industry.
While the UK is likely to be on the EU’s “green” list, such is our vaccine progress and low case rate, it does not mean all EU countries will make our green list. Sweden and Croatia, for example, have case rates more than 13 times the UK; given the Government’s caution it would not open the doors without closer scrutiny to such a situation.
Editorial: What to know as you consider travel plans today Gold Country Media
Domestic holidays in England resume today as the UK hits the first major date in the roadmap out of lockdown.
Self-catering accommodation (including camping and glamping) can reopen in England. Wales has already allowed self-catering accommodation to reopen, but it also lifts rules against non-essential travel to and from other parts of the UK today, allowing English holidaymakers to also take holidays in Wales.
Only those within the same household, linked household or support bubble will be allowed to stay within the same accommodation until May 17 at the earliest, when inter-household mixing indoors will be permitted. This is also when hotels in England will be able to reopen, though many are able to reopen facilities today including restaurants (with outdoor space) and spas.
Hotels in Wales should be able to reopen before the spring bank holiday at the end of May, while hospitality in Scotland, including both self-catering accommodation and hotels, should reopen from April 26, though no date has yet been set for restarting cross-border travel.
To mark the beginning of domestic holidays in the UK, Telegraph Travel has a team of journalists on the road, covering the #GreatUnlock. From glamping in Suffolk to a campervan trip in the Cotswolds, via a self-catering getaway in Devon.
Follow all the latest today on our live blog (scroll down for updates).
And finally, here it is, the insane writing on the wall. Those in charge of tourism in Greece, are also in charge of who lives and who dies of COVID-19 in the country. A new Guardian story reveals Greek officials promising 69 Aegean islands complete immunization, while residents all over the country perish scared, alone, and nearly forgotten exepct by caregivers and family.
This is the toughest report I have ever written, and I have written over 100,000 in the last twenty years. In my previous criticisms of the Greek vaccination policy, I have outlined how the government incorrectly prioritized this pandemic response after an initial proactive success to COVID-19. I’ve brought to light the undue influence of TUI and other corporations on officials and stakeholders.
I’ve revealed a sideways view of the effects of reopening tourism too soon, and how the public was made vulnerable because of the unseemly and unwise reopening of tourism last summer. I’ve shown time and again the other side of marketing and PR campaigning which has created a kind of perfect storm, a situation where catastrophe looms darker because of overconfidence, undue optimism, and advertising that is unrealistic and even dangerous. They’ve even codenamed the vaccination program “Freedom” as if NATO forces were conducting some anti-ISIS mission.
So, today I feel ghastly hopelessness in reporting these same influences guaranteeing safe islands, while at the same time condemning perhaps hundreds to death for the sake of tourism euros. This statement from Marios Themistocleous of the health ministry reveals the insanity, the obtuseness, and the flipside of caring:
“We have so many smaller isles. Precisely because they’re so difficult to get supplies to, we decided to vaccinate entire populations in one go with the aim that when they begin receiving tourists, permanent residents are fully vaccinated and protected.”
The story calls the initiative “one of the biggest operational challenges of modern times.” Or, making more grandiose a scheme by authorities who have vowed at least 69 islands will be fully vaccinated by the end of April.” I feel it necessary to take note, that Greece is far behind even some less developed countries in immunizing her population. Currently, Morocco has fully immunized seven times more residents than Greece. Serbia, Argentina, Poland, and a host of other nations are ahead as well. And most of these countries have nowhere near as much tourism PR going on.
The Greek armed forces will assist, in delivering, and I quote, “thousands of vaccines to far-flung isles.” Reading this, and having been criticized by tourism executives for my negativity, I wonder if I am the only one who understands what this means? Thousands of old people and people at risk, are still at risk, in difference to people on islands the coronavirus might never reach, if hoteliers and cruise ship operators did not need money fast! Meanwhile, in the last 24 hours 3,228 more people came down with COVID-19, and 73 more people died. Those 73, could have been given the COVID-19 vaccines that went to remote islanders, and without the help of the Greek military helicopters and ships. Just to make my point clear.
Somebody is dying right now. Let me say this again. Somebody is dying right now, and because some obtuse, soulless, bean-counting nincompoop in Athens caved in to this draconian plan to reboot tourism before saving the lives of the defenseless. I cannot be wrong in this. This is how we were all taught as children. Unless our parents were Hitlers or Hollywood supervillains. Thousands of people will be immunized in places that are already safe because of their remoteness. And thousands will not be vaccinated where COVID is rampaging unchecked. How can this even be considered sane?
What a sad state of affairs. I am worried for the future, as I never was before. And that’s all the travel news from Greece today.
THE Easter bank holiday is in full flow, bringing with it four days to enjoy hot cross buns, egg hunts and the first easing of lockdown restrictions.
Londoners looking to travel across the city to see friends, though, may encounter some disruption to their journey due to planned closures across the public transport network.
Will trains be running over the Easter weekend?
Transport for London (TfL) announced that some train lines will see closures and disruption between Good Friday and Easter Monday.
Some sections of the Overground will not have service, MyLondon reported.
TfL rail services in East and West London would also be disrupted – including trains from Hackney Wick to Stratford, and Romford to Upminster.
There would be no service between Hayes & Harlington to Heathrow Terminal 5 on Sunday, April 4.
There will be a reduced service between Paddington and Hayes & Harlington/Reading on the same day and trains will not stop at Acton Main Line, Hanwell and West Ealing.
On the TfL rail west, there would be no service between Hayes and Harlington to Heathrow Terminal 5 on Sunday.
There would also be a reduced service between Paddington and Hayes & Harlington/Reading on the same day and trains will not stop at Acton Main Line, Hanwell and West Ealing.
Will the tube be running over the weekend?
While most tube services would continue running over the weekend, others would stop over Easter, and commence on Tuesday 6.
Planned closures only affected the Northern Line and the Piccadilly Line.
No service between Charing Cross/Euston (via Bank) and Stockwell from Friday, April 2 and Monday, April 5.
No service between Wood Green to Cockfosters from Friday, April 2 and Monday, April 5.
No service between Rayners Lane to Uxbridge from Friday, April 2 and Monday, April 5.
There is currently no service on the Circle Line today, April 3, due to “train cancellations”. Tickets will be accepted on London buses.
Waterloo & City Line
There is no service “until further notice”.
Will busses be running over the weekend?
London’s buses operated a Saturday service on Good Friday and a Sunday service will run on Easter Monday.
Some non-TfL related road closures will be taking place in London over the long weekend including around London Bridge, Camden Road, Catford and Shoreditch.
These closures will mean some buses may be diverted
New York’s once-mandatory two-week quarantine for anyone traveling into the region from other states is being lifted as of today.
While no longer required, the NYS Department of Health still recommends quarantine after domestic travel as an added precaution.
Mandatory quarantine remains in effect for international travelers.
All travelers must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form. Individuals should continue strict adherence to all safety guidelines to stop the spread – wearing masks, socially distancing, and avoiding gatherings.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has criticized Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision to lift the mandatory quarantine, saying the introduction of the virus from the outside has been the biggest x-factor in this crisis.
“I don’t know if that’s the state’s idea of an April Fool’s joke but it is absolutely the wrong thing to do. It’s reckless it doesn’t help us with our recovery,” the mayor said last month, adding that the city was not consulted about the change.
Still, one of the mayor’s advisors said Wednesday, “We can be completely out of this within six to eight weeks of very aggressive vaccination.”
But that’s only if people “double down” on the precautions and not let up now, Dr. Jay Varma said.
“Unfortunately we are not seeing the declines we want to see, so we remain very concerned,” Varma cautioned.
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