¡¡¡¡Travelling this summer is a daunting prospect, with new Brexit rules and Covid restrictions in force.
¡¡¡¡Test your knowledge with our quiz.
¡¡¡¡Matt Hancock has said that international travel will be conducted in a safe way but the government is using the traffic light system approach for now.
¡¡¡¡The Health Secretary, speaking at this evening’s Downing Street press briefing, saidÂ people can travel from a green list country “whether you have been vaccinated or not” and there are more stringent rules for the amber and red list countries for holidays.
¡¡¡¡He added that “we do want to make sure there is a route for safe travel in the future”, and that ministers are currently working on this.
¡¡¡¡He says ministers are working on this.
¡¡¡¡From green-listed islands to vaccination calculations, Nick TrendÂ looks at how this summer might play out.
¡¡¡¡We have been riding an emotional seesaw for a year now and are getting used to false dawns and malfunctioning traffic lights. Last summer we hardly knew from one week to the next which destination was going to stay open and which would suddenly close. Then the hoped-for celebrations on May 17, when we were finally â€œfreeâ€?to travel again, immediately turned into a damp squib when only one significant destination,Â
¡¡¡¡Portugal, was given a green light. Since then every possible obstacle has been put in the way of travelling to theÂ amber zone.So, should we just reconcile ourselves to another summer of deep frustration and uncertainty, or are we just experiencing the inevitable bumps in the road back to travel normality? And when will the millions who have already booked holidays to the Med know if they can go?
¡¡¡¡Find out what our consumer champion things here.Â
¡¡¡¡Matt HancockÂ has said it is too early to say whether or not the country can fully reopen on June 21 amid claims the Indian variant is now the dominant strain in Britain.Â
¡¡¡¡The Health Secretary was responding to Jeremy Hunt in the House of Commons after Professor Neil Ferguson told the BBC the Indian variant had gone from “being a small minority a month ago to the majority variant now”.
¡¡¡¡Mr Hancock said: “It is true that the Indian variant is spreading across the country, and estimates vary as to what proportion of the new cases each day.”
¡¡¡¡He added: “It is too early now to say, yet, whether we can take the full step four on Jun 21. I desperately want us to, but we will only do that if it’s safe.”
¡¡¡¡Almost 70Â years after the successful summit attempt,Â Kancha SherpaÂ recalls his incredible experiences.
¡¡¡¡”My first impression of Edmund Hillary was that he was always smiling. He was also very tall with white eyes. I thought he might be from a beautiful place as he had good clothes on,â€?Kancha Sherpa says.
¡¡¡¡The bright-eyed 88-year-old is the last survivor from the 1953 British expedition to Mount Everest during which Edmund Hillary (later Sir) and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first humans to stand on the highest point on the Earth at 8,848m (29,031 ft).
¡¡¡¡Kancha, who was 20 years old at the time, was one of 20 Sherpas selected for the trip.
¡¡¡¡Talking through his grandson Tschering from his colourful lodge in the Nepalese town of Namche Bazaar, nicknamed the â€˜Sherpa Capitalâ€? Kancha says he can remember the pioneering expedition like it was yesterday.
¡¡¡¡â€œThere were 400 porters and 60 yaks. We were loaded up with supplies. We took food, kerosene, tents, sleeping bags, oxygen masks and bottles,â€?the octogenarian says.
¡¡¡¡Kancha Sherpa was a member of the 1953 expedition to reach Mount Everest’s summit for the first time
¡¡¡¡Kanchha Sherpa Foundation
¡¡¡¡Read more:Â The mountaineers ready and waiting to climb Everest, despite the dangers Â
¡¡¡¡Qantas Airways has said it is considering a plan to reward customers who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19
¡¡¡¡The incentives could include frequent flyer points or flight vouchers to help boost vaccination rates in Australia.Â
¡¡¡¡Qantas is currently selling tickets to destinations like the United States, Britain and Japan from late December though that could be further postponed as the Australian government has said borders may remain closed until mid-2022.
¡¡¡¡Australia’s flag carrier has said it will require all passengers to be vaccinated when it restarts international flights beyond New Zealand, in a policy that has been criticised by the World Travel and Tourism Council as discriminatory.
¡¡¡¡Stephanie Tully, the airline’s chief customer officer, said: “As a large company that relies on travel to put our people and planes back to work, we’re obviously motivated to help with the national vaccine effort.”
¡¡¡¡Read more:Â Can I visit Australia? Latest travel advice as country makes ‘green list’
¡¡¡¡There has been 3,542 new cases of Covid and a further 10 deaths in the UK.
¡¡¡¡Cases of coronavirus in the UK in the past seven days have risen by 3,305 Â â€“Â Â or 20.5Â Â â€“Â Â from the previous week. In total there were 19,412 positive tests recorded in the week up to 27 May, government figures show.
¡¡¡¡And also in the past week, there have been 57 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test. That’s up by seven from the previous week, a rise of 14 per cent.
¡¡¡¡Coronavirus UK Spotlight Chart – deaths default
¡¡¡¡SandalsÂ is working on aÂ $230 millionÂ project, which will include three new resorts in the Caribbean country.Â
¡¡¡¡There will be two new Sandals Resorts â€?Sandals Dunnâ€™s River (which was owned by the brand in the 1990s) and Sandals Royal Dunnâ€™s River next door, followed by Beached Runaway Bay (theÂ launch date for this hotel is yet to be confirmed).
¡¡¡¡Sandals Dunn’s River should be completed by theÂ fourth quarter of 2022, while Sandals Royal Dunnâ€™s River is expected in 2023.
¡¡¡¡The formerÂ will have a total of 260 rooms, including 48 signature “SkyPool Suites” thatÂ will eachÂ feature a private cantilevered, solar-heated plunge pool. Dunn’s River will also featureÂ 12 “Swim-up RondovalÂ Suites”.
¡¡¡¡A rendering of Sandals Dunn’s River Rondoval Suites
¡¡¡¡From Disney fun to spa therapy, Teresa Machan suggestsÂ voyages to suit cruisers old and new, including:Â
¡¡¡¡Fun for all the family
¡¡¡¡Disney Magic will sail short cruises from four UK portsÂ
¡¡¡¡A Princess Promenade, Toy Story Encounters and a chance meeting with Frozenâ€™s Anna, Elsa and Olaf can mean only one thing: Disney is coming to town. Disney Magic will be sailing on short cruises from Tilbury, ÂNewcastle, Liverpool and ÂSouthampton this summer. But itâ€™s not all about the kids. For a little â€œmeâ€?time, the ship also has an adult-only pool along with exclusive bars and lounges, and a fine-dining restaurant (two nights from Â£703pp departing from Tilbury on September 24 2021; iglucruise.com).Â
¡¡¡¡See the other domestic voyages on offer this year.
¡¡¡¡A European monitoring authority said on Thursday that Norway had gone too far in its movement restrictions to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.
¡¡¡¡While the Nordic country is not a member of the EU, it is part of the European Economic Area (EEA), which includes the EU and the member states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) – except Switzerland – and in which the free movement of people is the general rule. The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA), which monitors compliance among EEA members, said Thursday it believed the movement restrictions adopted by Norway in response to the pandemic had been excessive.
¡¡¡¡”EEA States are permitted to restrict the movement of EEA nationals in their efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic,” the ESA said in a statement. “But such restrictions must not go beyond what is necessary, must be consistent, and must not be discriminatory,” it added.
¡¡¡¡On January 29, Norway closed its borders to most travellers, with rare exceptions. The rules have since been relaxed, but up until last week foreigners who were legal residents in the country were blocked from entry unless they were on a national registry
¡¡¡¡Airbus is ramping up production rates of its jets in a bold prediction that the coronavirus-ravaged aviation industry will return to close pre-pandemic levels within a few years.
¡¡¡¡The company – which makes the wings for all its airliners at its giant manufacturing base in Broughton, North Wales -Â slashed output by about a third last summer as Covid-19 saw demand plummet.
¡¡¡¡It alsoÂ cut more than 10pc of its staff – 15,000 jobs – as it adjusted to the new environment.Â
¡¡¡¡But on Thursday Airbus boss Guillaume Faury said he expected air travel to soon get back on its feet, announcing the speed at which the company builds jets will be raised and warning the supply chain to gear up for this.
¡¡¡¡Read the full story.
¡¡¡¡We’ve rounded up 20 of Britain’s greatest. They include:Â
¡¡¡¡Watergate Bay, Newquay
¡¡¡¡Learn to surf at Watergate Bay in Cornwall
¡¡¡¡John Harper/Moment RF
¡¡¡¡Two miles of golden sand backed by cliffs and caves, where the Atlantic swells produce reliable surf and peregrine falcons, gulls and fulmars wheel overhead. Spot strawberry anemones and crabs among the rock pools, walk along the clifftop, or book a surfing or kitesurfing lesson with the excellent Extreme Academy on the beach (extremeacademy.co.uk).
¡¡¡¡See the full list.
¡¡¡¡Finally the weather is catching up with the season, and Britons are basking in the bright spots.Â
¡¡¡¡Brighton beach, back in the sunbathing business
¡¡¡¡Â AFP via Getty Images
¡¡¡¡Build us up, buttercups. A field of gold in Runnymede, Surrey
¡¡¡¡High in the sky: residents make use of the Embassy Gardens Sky Pool in London
¡¡¡¡Cyprus announced on Thursday thatÂ it will ease restrictions to stem the spread of coronavirus on June 10, including lifting a seven-month long curfew and opening nightclubs.
¡¡¡¡Praising the Mediterranean island’s swift roll out of Covid-19 vaccines, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said that declining rates of recorded infections allowed the government to take “another big step towards normalcy”.
¡¡¡¡Cyprus aims to vaccinate 65 percent of population with at least one dose by the end of June.
¡¡¡¡”With 51 per cent of our fellow citizens vaccinated with the first dose of a vaccine, and 25 per cent of the population fully vaccinated, our country is among the leaders in the European Union,” Mr Ioannou said.
¡¡¡¡From Saturday, the curfew will be relaxed by one hour, from 1:00 am to 5:00 am, and then lifted entirely on June 10. From June 1, home visits will increase to a maximum of 20 people, restaurants can open indoor facilities, while 10 days later, nightclubs can reopenÂ after 15 months of closure.
¡¡¡¡Portuguese police said on Thursday that they were preparing “an operation of great complexity” for the arrival of thousands of fans in Porto for the Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea.
¡¡¡¡A giant trophy of the UCL is displayed ahead of the UEFA Champions League Final between Manchester City and Chelsea at Estadio do Dragao in Porto
¡¡¡¡UEFA via Getty Images
¡¡¡¡”The arrangement will involve many police officers in an operation of great complexity as required for a Champions League final,” Luis Cardoso da Silva, the police commander for the Porto metropolitan area, told a press conference.
¡¡¡¡With the approval of the local authorities, UEFA has issued 16,500 tickets for the game at the Dragon stadium, a third of capacity. Both clubs have been allocated 6,000 tickets, and 1,700 tickets were made available to the general public. The rest will be distributed by UEFA.
¡¡¡¡The police said they could not provide a precise estimate of the number of foreign fans who will travel to Porto this weekend. Portugal reopened its borders to tourists from the UK and the European Union some 10 days ago.
¡¡¡¡Read our guide to visiting Portugal.
¡¡¡¡A third wave of coronavirus infections is dropping off sharply in Sweden, a senior health official said on Thursday.
¡¡¡¡Sweden has been an outlier in the fight against the pandemic and has opted against lockdowns, instead relying on mostly voluntary measures. It has been hit by a severe third wave of the virus and has had among the highest number of registered cases per capita in Europe in the last two months.
¡¡¡¡Sweden registered 1,366 new Covid cases on Thursday and 15 new deaths, taking the total number of deaths to 14,451.Â
¡¡¡¡While the countryÂ has never had a lockdown, since December 2020, venues serving alcohol have had to close at 8.30pmÂ and a ‘rule of four’ at tables, with all restaurants and bars ordered to follow these rules in March.Â It is now expected that previously announced plans to allow bars and restaurants to stay open until 10.30pm will go ahead as promised from June 1.
¡¡¡¡It’s time the Prime Minister’s libertarian spirit was allowed to rule again, writes Annabel Fenwick Elliott.
¡¡¡¡What is the Government not telling us? Once again, I find myself asking the same question of our approach to this pandemic, in lieu of sensible answers. What possible reason could there be, for example, for such strict border controls to still be in place, at such great cost to the economy and peopleâ€™s lives, now that every single vulnerable Briton (who wants to be) is protected from Covid?Â
¡¡¡¡What are we trying to keep out withÂ this traffic light system? The virus? Thatâ€™s the job of the vaccines, and theyâ€™ve proved exemplary in their role. Different strains of the virus? By Public Health Englandâ€™s own admission, the vaccines we use work on those too.Â
¡¡¡¡Am I missing something? After the triumph of our inoculation drive, why are we still forcing vaccinated and Covid-negative people who enter the country to live under house arrest for up to 10 days, at great expense, on the tiny off-chance that theyâ€™ll bring in a pathogen which is no longer capable of harming almost anyone?Â
¡¡¡¡Read the full article here.Â
¡¡¡¡New travel classifications for JerseyÂ â€?applying to journeys from the UK as well as other international tripsÂ â€?/strong>Â will come into effect from tomorrow (May 28).
¡¡¡¡England, Wales, the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Isle of Man will be classified as green, with the exception of 16 areas, where an “emergency brake” has been applied, classifying them as red because of their level of risk. Red areas include Bolton, Leicester and Hounslow.Â
¡¡¡¡Those travelling from a green areaÂ will now be tested on arrivalÂ day and on day 8Â â€“Â Â instead of the previous arrival day, 5 and 10 â€“Â and must isolate until their firstÂ test comes back negative.Â Testing for amber and red arrivals remains unchanged: isolation until negative tests on day 5 (amber) or day 10 (red).
¡¡¡¡International travel classifications will be based on the UK Joint Biosecurity Centre traffic light system, except for where Jersey has direct connectivity with a country, such as Majorca and Germany. These will be assessed based on the Government of Jerseyâ€™s own ratings.
¡¡¡¡Â A fishing boat passes Elizabeth Castle as it returns to La Collette Marina in St Helier, Jersey
¡¡¡¡Chris J Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
¡¡¡¡Over on Twitter, Telegraph cruise writer Dave Monk is reporting on Douro developments.
¡¡¡¡Cruising has returned to the Douro with the first voyage this year coming to an end on Saturday. The seven-day trip on the 88-passenger Andorinha for German lines Globalis and Viva Cruises was operated by Swiss river cruise operator Scylla. pic.twitter.com/ECK1cI16GP
¡¡¡¡¡ª Dave Monk (@shipmonk) May 27, 2021
¡¡¡¡Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that “IÂ don’t see anything currently in the data” to divert from the June 21 target for the next stage of exiting lockdown but “we may need to wait” for more data.
¡¡¡¡He told reporters: “As I have said many times I don’t see anything currently in the data to suggest that we have to deviate from the road map.
¡¡¡¡”But we may need to wait.
¡¡¡¡”Don’t forget the important point about the intervals between the steps of the road map, we put that five weeks between those steps to give us time to see what effect the unlockings are having.”
¡¡¡¡Regional carrier Loganair has upped its number of week day flights between Teesside and Heathrow from two to three times a day.
¡¡¡¡The service will be increased from July 12. Flights are 1hr 15 minutes. ServicesÂ will depart Teesside at 14:50 in addition to the existing 06.50 and 17.55.Â A new return journey from Heathrow departs at 16.40, in addition to the existing 08.50 and 19.50 flights.
¡¡¡¡These domestic flightsÂ are designed to connect people in the Tees Valley area to Heathrow, so they can join international routesÂ from the UKâ€™s largest airport.
¡¡¡¡As the first of Generation Y turn 40, Anna Hart is proud to be one of them â€?especially on holiday
¡¡¡¡Geriatric millennial” Anna on holiday at the Madonna Inn motel in CaliforniaÂ
¡¡¡¡Taunting millennials is something of a national sport, mocking our attachment to avocado on toast, our grandiose career expectations or our obsession with self-improvement podcasts. And now, as the oldest millennials tip 40, the term â€œgeriatric millennialâ€?has landed squarely in the national consciousness, referring to millennials born before 1985. Although the word â€œgeriatricâ€?is possibly more aggravating than â€œsnowflakeâ€? â€œvirtue signallerâ€?and all the other words tossed at us, this is a subset I am relatively proud to inhabit […]
¡¡¡¡Abroad, you can spot a geriatric millennial a mile off. Youâ€™ll first identify us by our Hydro Flask water bottles and recycled Finisterre waterproofs; we were the first generation to bang on about the environment en masse, and to nag hotels about community impact. This is a legacy from our Friends of the Earth or Greenpeace pencil cases, an ideology we carved out on our homework diaries, when we scrawled â€œSave the Worldâ€?and â€œMeat is Murderâ€?Â
¡¡¡¡Read Anna’s article in full.
¡¡¡¡The Department for Transport (DfT) plans to consult on boostingÂ travel consumersâ€?rights by the end of 2021.
¡¡¡¡Sofia Stayte, DfT head of aviation consumer policy, told an industry seminarÂ that the consultation could include new rules as well new powers of enforcement for the CAA, Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and Trading Standards. She said:
¡¡¡¡We plan to publish a consultation on consumer rights later in the year to ensure these are [effective].
¡¡¡¡It might include civil sanctions, not just for the CAA [as the government has already announced] but for other authorities such as the CMA. Weâ€™ll probably consider both enforcement and new rights.
¡¡¡¡Ms Stayte was responsible for the governmentâ€™s Covid-19 Passenger Charter published last week. She said:
¡¡¡¡We wanted to provide clarity and objective information [as] weâ€™re not able to introduce new legislation.We emphasise people may not have a right to a refund but providers should be offering flexibility. There is need for both the provider and consumer to keep an open mind about changes.
¡¡¡¡A review of the traffic light categories for travel is due byÂ June 7. Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, confirmed on Wednesday that it would be delivered on or around this date.
¡¡¡¡Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy the PC Agency, offers his prediction of when the green list will be updated.
¡¡¡¡The next green list review is due by Thursday 3rd June with implementation from Monday 7th June. Several criteria determine a countryâ€™s colour but two are key: 14-day infection rate and ability to do regular genomic sequencing, to check for variants. @ThePCAgency
¡¡¡¡¡ª Paul Charles ðŸš¦ðŸš¦ðŸš¦ (@PPaulCharles) May 27, 2021
¡¡¡¡AirbnbÂ is to extend a ban on parties in homes listed on theÂ platform until at least the end of summer.
¡¡¡¡This comes as increasing vaccination rates and easing travel restrictions in some parts of the world are expected to boost demand in the summer months. In August of last year, the short-term home rental company placed a global ban on parties at its properties, which it said proved to be popular with its host community.
¡¡¡¡”We will not tolerate behavior that disrupts neighborhoods or violates the trust of our Host community,” said Airbnb in a statement.
¡¡¡¡San Francisco-based Airbnb said the event-friendly search filter will remain inaccessible during this period and it expects to provide an update on the policy at the end of summer.
¡¡¡¡… You could be in for a treat. Simon Parker shares some more enticing views.
¡¡¡¡Taking the high road through the South Downs and giving Brighton a miss. Too hectic for me. Just me and the cows up here. #BritainByBike @TelegraphTravel pic.twitter.com/s8LFOw5h3l
¡¡¡¡¡ª Simon Parker (@SimonWIParker) May 27, 2021
¡¡¡¡Thanks to theÂ new quarantine rule, France is effectively off limits to British holidaymakers for the foreseeable future.Â
¡¡¡¡So what can we do to find a taste of France without leaving our shores?
¡¡¡¡Nick Trend has some winning suggestions, from wine to art.
¡¡¡¡Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, told the Commons’ transport committee on Wednesday that there would be an update to the green list on or around June 7 and that he had discussed the “islands policy” with the government’s Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC).Â
¡¡¡¡Mr Shapps said: “You can have an island that looks very good [in terms of Covid cases] but if you are not sequencing the genome, you donâ€™t know whether variants are part of what might otherwise look okay. Iâ€™ve asked the JBC to consider islands within their criteria and where possible, look to include them if the facts stacked up.”
¡¡¡¡My colleague Hugh Morris has crunched the numbers to determine which European islands could make the green list in the next review.
¡¡¡¡See his findings.
¡¡¡¡With direct air links to the UK, could Sardinia be a surprise addition to the green list?
¡¡¡¡BelarusianÂ flag carrier Belavia said on Thursday it had been forced to cancel flights to eight countries from May 27 to October 30 due to European flight bans.
¡¡¡¡The European Union has urged its airlines to avoid Belarus and its airspace amid outrage over Sunday’s forced landing in Minsk of a Ryanair jet en route to Lithuania from Greece and the arrest of a dissident journalist on board.
¡¡¡¡As a result, Belavia said it was cancelling its flights to Warsaw, Milan, Rome, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, Hanover, Vienna, Brussels, Barcelona, and Kaliningrad until OctoberÂ 30.
¡¡¡¡”We regret that our passengers have to face this situation for reasons beyond the airline’s control and we promise to do all we can to resolve it,” Belavia said in a statement.
¡¡¡¡Belavia has previously said it has been banned from flying to Lithuania, Latvia, France, Sweden, Britain, Finland, the Czech Republic and Ukraine.
¡¡¡¡AnÂ update last nightÂ from aviation analyst Alex Macheras on airlines avoiding Belarus airspace:
¡¡¡¡Breaking: Russia refused to allow todayâ€™s Air France flight from Paris to Moscow to fly into Russian airspace because the flight would have avoided Belarus airspace (â€?a new escalation in an aviation political war between Europe and Belarus. #Belarus) pic.twitter.com/VQPQxYAjPN
¡¡¡¡¡ª Alex Macheras (@AlexInAir) May 26, 2021
¡¡¡¡The EU and Japan said on Thursday they backed the holding of a “safe and secure” Olympic Games despite calls for the event to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
¡¡¡¡”We support the holding of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 in a safe and secure manner this summer as a symbol of global unity in defeating COVID-19,” the two sides said in a statement following a video summit between EU chiefs Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel and Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
¡¡¡¡Several parts of Japan are under a state of emergency because of a surge in infections, and the Japanese public is largely opposed to holding the Games this summer.
¡¡¡¡Switzerland is to reopen indoor restaurants and to lift the requirement to work from home, the country’s Government announced on Wednesday.
¡¡¡¡”The Federal Council is going further than proposed,”Â the Government said in a statement. “In so doing, it is responding to the improved epidemiological situation,” it added.
¡¡¡¡As of Monday, restaurants will once again be able to serve customersÂ indoors. Up to four people will be allowed at a table, though contact details will have to be recorded. Masks will have to be worn when moving around inside.
¡¡¡¡TheÂ 11pm curfew is also being lifted.
¡¡¡¡Coronavirus Switzerland Spotlight Chart – cases default
¡¡¡¡Budget carrier Wizz Air has resumed flights fromÂ Doncaster Sheffield Airport today, with one-way fares starting from Â£12.99.
¡¡¡¡The airline is offering a travel insurance package thatÂ includes Covid-19 cover and WIZZ Flex.Â WIZZ Flex allowsÂ passengers toÂ cancel their flight up to three hours before departure without incurring any fee and to receive 100 per centÂ of the fare immediately reimbursed in airline credit.
¡¡¡¡Owain Jones, Managing Director of Wizz Air UK, said:
¡¡¡¡We are delighted to be restarting operations from our Doncaster Sheffield base, bringing back connections to the region, and offering our customers great value travel options for their post lockdown getaway.
¡¡¡¡With 25 routes on offer from Doncaster Sheffield, including seven Spanish sunshine destinations, we are ensuring customers in Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire can fly from their local airport to popular holiday hotspots this summer.
¡¡¡¡We look forward to welcoming passengers back on board our young, modern and sustainable aircraft, where they can rely on our stringent health and hygiene measures and excellent service as they head on their long-awaited summer holiday.
¡¡¡¡Unpredictable weather, country lanes clogged up with cars â€?itâ€™s a matter of urgency that we get more overseas holiday options, writes Mary Novakovich.
¡¡¡¡The clouds look menacing on Studland beachÂ
¡¡¡¡Ah, the joys of camping. Cooking outdoors, lazing in the sun, sitting around a fire pit as the moon rises and wood smoke scents the air. The last time my tent saw action, it was gaily decked out in fairy lights in a Sussex field last summer, as we drank wine after spending our days hiking through the sunny South Downs and along the coast. Blissful. Idyllic, even.
¡¡¡¡Letâ€™s do it again, we said to each other. Itâ€™ll be such fun. This holidaying in Britain lark is wonderful, isnâ€™t it?
¡¡¡¡Cue late May 2021, and the weather gods that were so benevolent last year turned vindictive and downright nasty. You want dry weather during a pandemic again? Dream on, mate. And be prepared for a bit of a nightmare.
¡¡¡¡Read the full story.
¡¡¡¡London Southend Airport has reopened to travellersÂ todayÂ following several false starts due to lockdown.
¡¡¡¡Today marks theÂ airport’s first passenger flight in 2021. Glyn Jones, chief executive of London Southend Airport, said:
¡¡¡¡The team have worked extremely hard preparing for a safe restart, delivering confidence to our colleagues and customers. As Londonâ€™s most modern airport, the terminal design and space supports social distancing, there are no transfer buses, parking is a short walk and queuing kept to a minimum, we are also working to ensure that passenger crossover from flights is prevented.
¡¡¡¡Whilst passenger flights were temporarily on hold, cargo operations and training flights continued supporting recency training. A reduced schedule is available initially, including twice weekly flights to Faro building to ten movements each week. At this time latest flight information is available via airlines directly.
¡¡¡¡We anticipate a steady start, with Portugal the only real option under the green list currently, pent up demand is still being held until more routes open up. We have some amber destinations operated under Government travel guidance and hope to see more destinations becoming green soon.
¡¡¡¡Travel writer Simon Parker is touring Britain by bike for Telegraph Travel.
¡¡¡¡The May washout may have come to an end, finally ….
¡¡¡¡Southampton. St Maryâ€™s Stadium to the left. #BritainByBike â˜€ï¸?ðŸ¥µ pic.twitter.com/OpBeUtiSeW
¡¡¡¡¡ª Simon Parker (@SimonWIParker) May 27, 2021
¡¡¡¡Thousands of English football fans are heading to the Portuguese cityÂ of Porto for Saturday’s Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea.
¡¡¡¡NH Collection Hotel staff are seen working as Portugal’s northern city of Porto prepares to host the Champions League’s final match
¡¡¡¡VIOLETA SANTOS MOURA/Reuters
¡¡¡¡Hotels and bars are hoping the tourism boost will be a prelude to their emergence from a collapse brought on by the pandemic.
¡¡¡¡â€œIt is definitely a boost for most hotels,â€?hotel general manager Francisco Brito told Reuters as a couple checked in behind him. â€œNo one ever thought we could experience such a brutal hit … it is a huge satisfaction to be back in business.â€?/p>
¡¡¡¡Portugalâ€™s once-booming tourism sector suffered its worst results since the mid-1980s last year as Covid-19 grounded flights and kept visitors away. Tourism businesses were offered a lifeline this month UEFA moved the final from Istanbul to Portoâ€™s Dragao Stadium after Turkey was added to the British governmentâ€™s coronavirus travel-ban â€œred listâ€?
¡¡¡¡Blenheim Palaceâ€™sÂ Marlborough Maze, which covers more than 1.8 acres and features 3,000 individual yew trees, is reopening to visitors.
¡¡¡¡Malborough Maze is made up of 3,000 yew trees
¡¡¡¡The maze marks its 30thÂ anniversary this year. It was designed by Adrian Fisher and Randoll Coate of Minotaur Design to celebrate the First Duke of Marlboroughâ€™s military victories.
¡¡¡¡AÂ series of events and attractions at the Palace are now open to the public. Visitors can also go inside the Butterfly House,Â home to a range of exotic and colourful butterfly species. There is also a new Pony Trail for younger visitors to follow and Blenheimâ€™s Miniature Railway, which runs from the Palace to the Walled Garden, is running again.
¡¡¡¡Plus, there are two new exhibitions on Churchillâ€™s association with Blenheim and the Stables, which highlights the role horses have played in the estateâ€™s history.
¡¡¡¡This week ministers backtracked over travel advice for eight UK areas worst hit by the Indian coronavirus variant.
¡¡¡¡Residents in thoseÂ eight areasÂ â€“Â Â Bolton, Blackburn, Kirklees, Bedford, Burnley, Leicester, Hounslow and North Tyneside â€“Â had initially been asked to avoid non-essential travel altogether. They’ve now been advisedÂ to minimise travel in and out of those areas.
¡¡¡¡Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick saidÂ the advice “could have been better communicated”.
¡¡¡¡The measures were added to the government’s website on Friday, but local leaders said they had not been told of the changes.
¡¡¡¡Jenrick toldÂ BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think the guidance that was put out to local councils could have been better communicated. But we are going through a period now where we’re moving away from a legalistic approach, where regulations are set out in law, it’s black and white, and we’re moving into a phase where we’re asking people to show personal responsibility. And so that does mean that we’re going to have to think carefully about how we communicate that to the public.”
¡¡¡¡Bolton was among the areas issued with new guidance on travel
¡¡¡¡”Airports won’t function” if governments don’t agree on international standards for digital Covid-19 vaccination and test certification, according to the International Air Transport Association (Iata).
¡¡¡¡It calculates the time spent by passengers at airports could double from an average 1.5 hours per journey pre-pandemic to three hours at peak times due to new health checks, even with traffic at just 30 per centÂ of pre-pandemic levels. Without the digitisation of checks, the average time spent in airport processing could reach 5.5 hours per trip at 75 per centÂ of pre-Covid traffic levels and eight hours when traffic recovers 100 per cent.
¡¡¡¡Iata director general Willie Walsh said: “Clearly, that canâ€™t happen because airports wonâ€™t function. We need a digital solution to take volumes of activity away from airports or weâ€™ll have chaos on departure and chaos on arrival.”
¡¡¡¡He added: “Nobody will tolerate waiting hours at check-in or for border formalities. We must automate the checking of vaccine and test certificates before traffic ramps-up. The technical solutions exist. Governments must agree digital certificate standards and align processes to accept them, and they must act fast. We canâ€™t go back to a paper system.â€?/p>
¡¡¡¡Professor Neil Ferguson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the June 21 road map date for England hangs in the balance.
¡¡¡¡He said experts were still concerned about issues including the transmissibility of the Indian variant and “Step 4 (of the road map) is rather in the balance, the data collected in the next two to three weeks will be critical”.
¡¡¡¡The key issue as to whether we can go forward is: will the surge caused by the Indian variant – and we do think there will be a surge – be more than has been already planned in to the relaxation measures?
¡¡¡¡So it was always expected that relaxation would lead to a surge in infections and to some extent a small third wave of transmission – that’s inevitable if you allow contact rates in population to go up, even despite immunity – (but) we can’t cope with that being too large. In the next two or three weeks we will be able to come to a firm assessment of whether it’s possible to go forward.
¡¡¡¡Royal Caribbean Group, one of the world’s biggest cruise brands, has been given the go-ahead to resume holidays at sea in US waters.
¡¡¡¡Chairman and chief executive Richard Fain welcomed the news, saying that “cruising from the US is back”. The first sailing will be on June 26, with Celebrity Edge departing Port Everglades, Florida.
¡¡¡¡The Royal Caribbean Group is made up a number of cruise lines:Â Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises.
¡¡¡¡A spokesman for the brand said: â€œThe inaugural sailing from Fort Lauderdale sets the stage for Royal Caribbean Group to announce additional itineraries, reviving local US port economies and kick-starting the rebound in cruise tourism around the world.â€?/p>
¡¡¡¡Finland is currently on the amber list â€?but based on its case rates and vaccination figures, it shouldnâ€™t be long before that changes, writes Hazel Plush.
¡¡¡¡Tervajarvi lake, one of 188,000 in Finland
¡¡¡¡To date, 41.8 per cent of Finns have received their first jab: far above the UKâ€™s reported green list â€˜thresholdâ€?of 30 per cent. Portugalâ€™s uptake is currently 35.4 per cent, while Australiaâ€™s is a mere 12.8.
¡¡¡¡Throughout the pandemic, amber-listed Finland has kept its infection rates low, though restrictions have been relatively relaxed (when compared with other EU countries, at least). Legislation tightened in March, when Prime Minister Sanna Marin declared a state of emergency due to rising numbers â€?but even at its highest, the daily case rate only just tipped 700. By contrast, the UKâ€™s own daily case rate is currently 2,422 â€?though our population totals 66.65 million, compared with Finlandâ€™s diminutive 5.518 million.
¡¡¡¡A more accurate measure is the case rates per 100,000 population, with a rolling seven-day average â€?but these stats still favour Finland. Its current total is 24.29 â€?below the UKâ€™s (26.9), as well as green-listed Portugal (30.14) and Iceland (26.1).
¡¡¡¡Read the full story.
¡¡¡¡Tui, Jet2 and easyJet, among others, have joined forces to demand that moreÂ destinations be addedÂ to the green list in the next review after writing to the Prime Minister on Wednesday.
¡¡¡¡EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said: â€?strong>All the data supports the fact that much of Europe could be opened up to safe travel. It is counter intuitive, given the success of the vaccination programme, that the UK has the most-restrictive system. The UK is falling behind. Spain has opened up for travel with no restrictions. The UK proposes expensive testing even on green list countries. Weâ€™re saying â€˜Expand the green list, get rid of this confusion over amber and make good on the promise to drive down the cost of testing.â€?/p>
¡¡¡¡Steve Heapy, chief executive of Jet2 and Jet2Holidays, agreed saying: â€œIf you look at the data for a large number of countries they could be on the green list. The government is being over cautious and the green list could be increased with very little risk [given] 60% of the UK population have had one dose of vaccine and 35% two doses. The government also needs to look at the people who have had the vaccine. At the moment there is no benefit from that. The government approach is ultra-cautious [and] we are being left behind.â€?/p>
¡¡¡¡Andrew Flintham, Tui northern region managing director, suggested: â€œOther European countries are looking at us with incredulity. Some islands like the Balearics and Canaries could move to the green list.â€?/p>
¡¡¡¡The new quarantine restriction for UK travellers arriving in France, which comes into effect on May 31,Â are another example of fast-changing travel rules, according to Rory Boland, the editor of Which? Travel:
¡¡¡¡Franceâ€™s decision to quarantine UK travellers in response to the Indian variant is a stark reminder of the unpredictability of international travel this year.
¡¡¡¡People would have already been confused about what travel is safe and permitted due to the countryâ€™s status on the UKâ€™s amber list, and this announcement will cause even more stress for those with an upcoming booking. Many will be surprised to find that changing entry requirements and mandatory quarantine at your destination won’t always trigger a refund, especially for flights.
¡¡¡¡This demonstrates just how important it is for anyone thinking about booking a trip in the next few months to do so with a holiday company that has the most flexible booking policies available, so they are protected against significant disruption to travel plans that can often occur at short notice.
¡¡¡¡The upcoming Bank Holiday weekend is “essential” for Scotland’s hospitality industry and the “wee jolt in the arm” the sector needs, according to one bar and restaurant owner.
¡¡¡¡Colin Clydesdale is the co-owner of establishments including Ubiquitous Chip, Stravaigin and Hanoi Bike Shop with those among the many in Glasgow he says have “effectively shut since October”.
¡¡¡¡Late in the afternoon of Friday May 14 it was announced Glasgow would remain in Level 3 of Scotland’s coronavirus restrictions while most of the country would drop to Level 2 the following Monday.
¡¡¡¡That move brought widespread relaxations over rules in hospitality and entertainment, including venues being able to serve alcohol indoors.
¡¡¡¡With a Bank Holiday Monday approaching this week, Mr Clydesdale is pleading for more notice this time around on what the decision would be – even if it means hearing the restrictions will continue.
¡¡¡¡The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been in Scotland this week
¡¡¡¡The Australian state of Victoria is preparing to startÂ a one-week lockdown due to a riseÂ in Covid-19 infections.Â The number of cases reportedÂ increased to 34 after 12 new cases overnight.
¡¡¡¡From 11.59pm on Thursday local time until 3 June, the state’s seven million residents will be told to stay at home except for essential work, healthcare, grocery shopping and exercise.
¡¡¡¡Here’s a recap of the main headlines from Wednesday:Â
¡¡¡¡France to impose mandatory quarantine on UK arrivals
¡¡¡¡Canary, Balearic and Greek islands in running for green list
¡¡¡¡Use common sense on travel if you’re in a Covid hotspot, minister says
¡¡¡¡Cummings: Boris Johnson resisted border controls, stating ‘travel industry will be destroyed’
¡¡¡¡UK airlines: ‘The science shows clearly the green list can be expanded safely now’
¡¡¡¡Now onto today’s news.