The Government is planning to make business travellers and foreign tour groups exempt from quarantine measures by early 2021, according to reports.
The Global Travel Taskforce, headed up by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and Health Secretary Matt Hancock, is considering a policy whereby business travellers visiting the UK for up to three days will be able to forego self-isolation.
However, it is understood that these visitors would be prevented from socialising, or any other “non-business related activity”.
The taskforce is also considering “tour bubbles”, allowing groups of inbound tourists to avoid quarantine so long as they avoid public transport and stay together during the trip, in what could be a major boost for the UK’s tourism sector.
This comes a day after Grant Shapps announced quarantine would be reduced from 14 days to 5, if you take a test on the fifth day after arrival into the UK.
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Tokyo tightens measures after new Covid spike
Tokyo is urging bars and restaurants to operate shorter working hours, and is asking residents to stay indoors as much as possible amid a spike of Covid-19 cases, Tokyo’s governor said today.
The curbs come as Japan sees its highest surge in infections to date, with daily tallies exceeding 500 in Tokyo, where serious cases stood at 51 on Tuesday. This is the highest number since the state of emergency was lifted in May.
Boom for private jet travel
Adam Twidell, CEO of private jet booking service PrivateFly, responded to the news that quarantine will be reduced from 14 days down to 5:
“The increased clarity around the relaxing of quarantine restrictions is welcome news indeed for the whole travel industry. And we are seeing an immediate impact: this news, combined with the end of lockdown; and the anticipation of festive family gatherings, is driving an increase in enquiries and bookings for private jet travel in the second half of December.
“Since the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday, we have seen enquiries for December flights increase by 120%, compared to the previous 24 hours. Clients include those looking to unite with relatives abroad for the festive period, or to bring relatives to the UK.
“Travel confidence is increasing, with other clients now making plans to visit second homes in France or Spain; for ski holidays; or for winter sun in Dubai and the Caribbean. And they are looking for the safest way to get there with their families. We fully expect demand to continue to rise in the coming days. “
Cruises given green light if companies agree to pay for Covid outbreak repatriations
The Government has given cruises the green light to restart once companies agree to pick up the bill if passengers have to be repatriated because of a Covid outbreak, writes Charles Hymas.
The cruise industry has been in suspended animation since July, when the Foreign Office issued blanket advice against all cruise ship travel following a string of Covid outbreaks around the world.
The advice has made it impossible for travellers to get holiday insurance and effectively halted a sector which the industry estimates to be worth almost £10 billion to the UK economy.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, said the cruise sector had worked “very, very hard” to guarantee Covid-secure travel but added that, for the final clearance, the Government wanted reassurance that it would pick up the cost of repatriation.
The Foreign Office had to spend around £6 million flying hundreds of passengers stranded after cruise ships were hit by Covid outbreaks, trapping many in quarantine on the quayside.
Three households can meet for five days at Christmas as Covid restrictions eased
Families will be able to meet with two other households for five days at Christmas under a deal struck by the Government with the devolved nations.
From December 23 to 27, Covid restrictions on household mixing will be lifted in all four home nations, allowing three households to form a Christmas “bubble” together.
Boris Johnson had originally hoped to allow families to get together for a week but had to water down the plan following opposition from leaders in Scotland and Wales, The Telegraph understands.
What the ‘Test for Release’ scheme means for your next holiday
British holidaymakers returning from high-risk countries will see their quarantine period cut by from 14 days to five, following yesterday’s announcement from Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
This opens up a numbers of questions for people hoping to get away this winter. How does the testing process work? What does this mean for family members flying into the UK for Christmas? How do the timings work if you travel before the cut-off date, but arrive after? Can you go on an overseas holiday if you live in ‘Tier Three’?
A re-cap of yesterday’s top stories
What did we learn yesterday?
- Travel bosses welcome testing plan to cut quarantine period to five days
- Wizz Air to offer discounted Covid-19 tests and ‘fit to fly’ certificates
- Qantas will require passengers to be vaccinated for international flights
- Australia opens up more borders, boosting domestic travel
- International trips will not be illegal for people living in Tier 3
Now, on with today’s news.
Source: The Telegraph Travels