Millions of Britons will today find out whether they will be able to travel from next week under the renewed three-tier system of local restrictions, which the Prime Minister is due to announce later today.
The current ban on foreign travel is set to end on December 2, when the second national lockdown also ends – Britons will be allowed to fly abroad provided they abide by quarantine rules and the travel corridor system.
But not everybody will have the same freedoms under the tough new rules, which are expected to stay in place until spring next year.
Those living under Tier 3 – the highest level of alert – will be advised not to travel outside their areas except for work, education and other exceptional circumstances, while hotels, B&Bs and campsites in those areas be required to close.
Meanwhile, people living in Tiers 1 and 2 will also be advised against travelling to top-tier areas.
The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, is also due to give his weekly travel corridors update later today, with South Africa, Kenya and Mexico all favourites for the quarantine-free list.
Earlier this week, Mr Shapps also announced that a new testing programme to reduce quarantine time from 14 days to five will be rolled out from December 15 – travellers will be able to take a single test on the fifth day, with a negative result confirming their release from self-isolation.
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Which tier could my area be in? Use our Covid postcode search for latest infection rates
With lockdown due to end on December 2, a three-tier system of local restrictions will again take its place, albeit with tougher limits than before.
As was the case previously, Tier 1 (‘medium risk’) will be the lowest category, Tier 2 (‘high risk’) the middle category, and Tier 3 (‘very high risk’) the top category – it will be announced later today which areas go into which tiers, although these decisions will be reviewed every two weeks.
The Government will decide which tier each region is placed in after Dec 2 based on “the number of cases” in each area, but particularly the numbers of people aged over 60 testing positive for the virus, according to the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
Currently, the tiers are suspended as a national lockdown is in place. Use our postcode search for the latest on infection rates in your area. This data will update as the Government feeds through the latest numbers.
Accor and Ennismore combine to create “world’s largest” lifestyle hotel brand
Accor, the biggest hotel operator in Europe, is set to merge with Gleneagles owner Ennismore to create the “world’s largest” brand of lifestyle hotels.
The standalone business will start out with 73 hotels split between 12 brands, including well-known names such as Hoxton Hotels, Mama Shelter and Mondrian.
Retaining the name Ennismore, the company will operate out of London from early 2021, subject to regulatory approval.
Sharan Pasricha, Ennismore’s founder, said: “This exciting autonomous entity with Accor – one with culture and brand purpose at its heart – allows us to come together to build on our combined portfolio of unique lifestyle brands, accelerate our growth and explore new markets.”
MSC Cruises eyes UK-exclusive sailings in 2021
A new cruise terminal in Southampton will allow for a greater focus on UK and Ireland sailings in 2021 and beyond, says MSC Cruises.
The Swiss-Italian line will be able to offer exclusive cruises for domestic customers, as well as Saturday depatures for the first time, Antonio Paradiso, the company’s managing director for UK & Ireland, told Travel Weekly.
“We will have more ships serving the UK market and visiting the UK as a destination,” he said. “2021 will be officially the first time in our history where Southampton will be the homeport. So it will be the only port of embarkation on those itineraries.
“I’m excited because we’re not sharing the ship with any other countries, so it will be a ship fully committed to the UK and Ireland.”
The new terminal – the fifth in Southampton – is expected to open in time for the 2021 season, and will be ready and equipped to receive the next generation of 6,000-passenger ships.
Americans ignore coronavirus warnings as millions travel home for Thanksgiving
Millions of Americans took to the skies and the highways ahead of Thanksgiving at the risk of pouring gasoline on the coronavirus fire, disregarding increasingly dire warnings that they stay home and limit their holiday gatherings to members of their own household.
Those who are flying witnessed a distinctly 2020 landscape at the nation’s airports: plexiglass barriers in front of the ID stations, rapid virus testing sites inside terminals, masks in check-in areas and on board planes, and paperwork asking passengers to quarantine on arrival at their destination.
While the number of Americans travelling by air over the past several days was down dramatically from the same time last year, many pressed ahead with their holiday plans amid skyrocketing deaths, hospitalisations and confirmed infections across the US.
Some were tired of more than eight months of social distancing and determined to spend time with loved ones.
It’s travel corridor day… again
It’s everybody’s favourite time of the week. Grant Shapps will give his regular update to the quarantine list at 5pm today, announcing the winners and losers of the often impenetrable travel corridor scheme.
As above, South Africa, Mexico and Kenya are leading contenders for a spot on the ‘green list’. But is any country at risk of being kicked off it?
It seems unlikely when considering the current trend: eight countries were added last week, and none removed; another eight were added the week before that, although most of Greece was placed back on the quarantine list.
The UAE, the Maldives and Chile would appear to be the leading candidates based on cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days, but since these are all recent additions, and none has seen their caseload rise dramatically in the meantime, all three look safe for now.
Here are yesterday’s top stories to start with:
- Cruises given green light if companies agree to pay for repatriations
- Test for Release benefits holidaymakers returning on December 10
Reopening of French ski resorts ‘impossible’ before Christmas
Christmas rules likely to be tightened in Scotland
Package holidays ‘as much as £400 cheaper’ than DIY trips
Source: The Telegraph Travels