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Home » Travel news: Quarantine reimposed for three countries and Sunak hints more could be added

Travel news: Quarantine reimposed for three countries and Sunak hints more could be added

Belgium, Andorra and the Bahamas have been added to the UK’s travel “red list”, meaning people travelling from these countries will have to quarantine for 14 days.

Rising infections rates prompted the decision, which will come into effect from 4am on Saturday (and immediately for travel to Wales). The Foreign Office is also advising against all non-essential travel to the three countries. 

And Britain will not hesitate to add more countries to its quarantine list, according to Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

“If we need to take action as you’ve seen overnight we will of course not hesitate to do that,” Mr Sunak told Sky News.

There are fears that France could be the next on the red list due to a spike in infections; it recorded 1,604 cases on Thursday, marking the first time since April that it saw more than 1,600 new infections on two consecutive days. It is thought around 450,000 Britons are holidaying in France, largely in the south and the Loire Valley.

Spain and Serbia had already lost their travel corridors with the UK; there are now only 26 countries Britons can travel to without restriction. The government has stressed there is no imminent decision on quarantine for travellers from France.

Scroll down for the latest travel updates.

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Britons called French holidays ‘a while back,’ says travel boss

 Lee Hunt, managing director of travel agent Deben Travel, said that he had no bookings to France on his books.

“They all cancelled a while back,” he said.  “This week we have booked just three holidays, all for 2021.

“What we could call the ‘lates market’ is non-existent, people just do not want to take the risk it seems.

“To put those three bookings into context, we would usually this time of year have six staff members booking at least 10 holidays per day.”

Hunt said consumer confidence needs to return before travellers will book trips again. “We need the Foreign Office advice against ocean cruising lifted as soon as possible and more air corridors.”


Comment: UK holidaymakers enjoy one EU perk above all others — we must protect it

At present, British holidaymakers enjoy the benefits of the reciprocal health – or EHIC – ­arr­angement, which entitles UK citizens to medical care using the public health system in all EU countries, plus a few other non-EU members such as Switzerland and Norway. 

Telegraph Travel’s consumer editor, Nick Trend, had hoped that we could hold onto this agreement after Brexit, but the latest signs could suggest otherwise. 

It’s an excellent and sensible scheme, and it especially benefits older travellers and those who are at higher risk of needing ­urgent medical care. I have warned that we may lose it as a result of Brexit but have clung on to the hope that it will be included as part of the final trade deal.

The latest signals from Government are not encouraging, however. It is seeming more and more likely that we will end the transition period on Dec 31 without such a deal. A clue lies in a public briefing ­document published recently ( that warns about the likely changes for travellers in several different areas. 

Read the full story.


A view from the beach

The south of England has entered a three-day heat wave with temperatures expected to reach 37-38C in some parts on the country. Beachgoers in the south of England are making the most of the sun.

The RNLI has urged people to avoid the busiest parts of the coast this weekend.











Spain imposes local lockdown on town of 32,000

Spanish authorities have ordered about 32,000 people into lockdown in the central riverside town of Aranda de Duero in a effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Aranda de Duero residents’ will be banned from entering or leaving the town, which is 90 miles north of Madrid. The move comes just six weeks after a nationwide easing of such measures.

Spain has registered 310,000 registered Covid-19 infections and 28,500 deaths as was taken off the UK travel “green list” on July 25.


Mandatory hotel quarantine begins for New South Wales arrivals from Victoria

People who arrive in the Australian state of New South Wales from neighbouring Victoria will have to go into mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine from today.

The new measures have been introduced in answer to a rise in coronavirus infections in Victoria.

All returning New South Wales residents, unless they live within the state’s border regions, will only be allowed to return via Sydney Airport.


Face coverings to be mandatory in libraries, museums and places of worship in Scotland

The First Minister has announced that the Government is expanding the list of indoor venues in which people must wear a face covering. 

From tomorrow, the list will include libraries, museums and places of worship, she said.

The Scottish Government is also updated its guidance on face visors.

After reviewing scientific evidence, Sturgeon said they are not convinced that face visors provide “sufficient protection” to the wearer of others, so they must be worn with another type of face covering.


Holidaymakers will travel anyway if refunds aren’t available, says Which? editor

Britons who’ve booked a holiday to a travel corridor country face much uncertainty as to whether their destination could be added to quarantine list.

Spain, Serbia, Belgium, Luxembourg and Andorra are now among the countries to see quarantine reimposed for travel to the UK.

However, flights and train services to Europe continue in spite of changes to FCO advice, says Rory Boland, travel editor at the consumer association, Which?


Comment: ‘I was one of the tourists denied boarding on a BA flight to Greece amid chaotic scenes at Heathrow’

We have previously reported on tourists being refused entry to Greece due to tracking code delays, now Telegraph Travel’s Annabel Fenwick Elliott has been caught up in the chaos. 

I should be in Greece by now. Instead I was turned away at the British Airways check-in desk at Heathrow yesterday.

Why? Because the ‘track and trace’ QR code one now needs to enter the country had not arrived in time, despite my having an email confirmation from the Greek authorities that said (or seemed to say) that I would be permitted to board.

I wasn’t the only one. An uneasy queue was assembling at the supervisor’s desk of the airline at around 8am in the morning when I arrived to check in for my 10.10 flight to Santorini. Children were crying. Parents were pacing, phones were ringing, sheets of paper clutched in fists. 

Read the full story.


Scotland to announce further hospitality measures

Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that hospitality businesses will now be required to collect and hold customer details, with the rule coming into effect from next Friday.

It was previously in the guidelines for businesses to do this, however it will now be on a “statutory footing”.

The new statutory guidance relating to indoor hospitality will be set out in more detail next week, she said.

People should also book tables in advance, there should be no queuing and there should be seating with table service, she added. There should also be no background music or television so that customers don’t need to shout and risk spreading the virus. 


Face masks to be mandatory outdoors in parts of Marseille

Wearing face masks will be made compulsory outdoors from August 8 to August 30 in parts of Marseille, France’s second-largest city, in an effort contain the spread of the coronavirus, local authorities said today.

France has seen a surge in new COVID-19 cases over the past 10 days and Paris is expected to announce similar measures in coming days.


96 per cent of adults wore face coverings in the last week

In the past seven days, almost all adults (96 per cent) who had left their homes said they had worn a face covering to slow the spread of the coronavirus – up from 84 per cent last week and 71 per cent the week before.

ONS figures show that the proportion of people wearing face coverings outside of their homes varies between England, Scotland and Wales, although all three countries have seen an increase in the reporting of face coverings being worn over the past five weeks.


Comment: Forget floating hotels, these ships are made for people who hate cruises

The cruise industry has been hit hard by the coronaviurs pandemic with cruise holidays still banned across many countries – the UK Foreign Office maintains a ban on all cruises, with the exemption of river sailings.  However, demand for cruises on smaller ships is on the up, writes Benjamin Parker.

Edwina Lonsdale, managing director of Mundy Cruising, told The Telegraph that in the past month, 90 per cent of ocean-going bookings had been for ships carrying fewer than 1,000 passengers, and demand is high for European river cruises on ships carrying no more than 160.

But this isn’t a knee-jerk reaction to coronavirus; what we are seeing is a long-term pivot of future patterns.

The resurrection of Swan Hellenic exemplifies this shift. The original line ceased trading in 2017, but its return in late 2021 was announced last month. While its ships only ever carried a few hundred passengers, its new vessels will take around 150 on voyages.

Read the full story.


Italian valley evacuated as glacier slips

A melting glacier is at risk of breaking apart due to a heatwave, forcing the evacuation of part of an Italian alpine valley, reports Reuters.

The alarm was raised on Wednesday when experts in helicopters realised that the Planpincieux glacier, at an altitude of about 2,800 metres in the Ferret Valley in the Mont Blanc massif, was slipping dangerously.

A heatwave has created a layer of water under the glacier, which is roughly the size of the Milan cathedral, making it more prone to a break.

About 75 residents and tourists in homes or hotels in hamlets in the threatened part of the valley were evacuated and police threw up roadblocks to prevent others from entering.


Flights to resume between London City airport and Vilnius 

The route between London City airport and Vilnius will resume on August 31, with flights co-funded by the Lithuanian government.

Flights between Vilnius and London City were launched in May 2019 but had to be suspended as the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

The route will start with 12 flights a week.


Drivers passing through Belgium could face quarantine, DfT confirms

The Department for Transport has released a statement on the quarantine rules for Belgium, offering some clarity for motorists. It says:

If you travelled from Germany or the Netherlands through Belgium, unless all passengers remained in the car and no-one got out or in for the entire time while transiting through Belgium, you need to self-isolate.

Those arriving in the UK on a rail journeys that includes a stop in Belgium will also need to self-isolate unless no new passengers boarded the train.

As such, Eurostar passengers travelling from Amsterdam to London will need to self-isolate because the journey as includes a change in Brussels.


Pakistan to reopen restaurants, cafes, cinemas and beauty parlors 

The Pakistani authorities will permit the re-opening of restaurants, cafes, cinemas, beauty parlors and public parks on Monday, facilities which have been shut since March 16.

International travel will also return to normal, with social distancing rules implemented.

The National Coordination Committee has taken the decision to relax restrictions after the number of new daily cases has plummeted from a peak of over 6,800 in June to fewer than 1,000 in August.


Pandemic enables regional airline to secure first Heathrow slot

British regional airline Eastern Airways is set to launch a brand-new route from Teesside Airport in the North East to Heathrow, reports The Points Guy.

The route, which will be operated by 76-seater Embraer 170, has its inaugural flight scheduled for 14 September.

The flight is scheduled to arrive into and depart from Heathrow Terminal 2, however, this could change when Heathrow terminals 3 and 4 reopen.

From September 14, the airline will operate four flights a week, building this up gradually until the week of  5 October when there will be a once-daily flight.


Holiday quarantine: Which country will be next?

Britons hoping to book a last minute overseas holiday could do well to take a look at where infection are rising across Europe. 

Belgium has one of the highest rates in Europe at 49.2 per 100,000 people (in the UK it is 14.3 per 100,000). In France, for comparison, the number is 23.4 per 100,000. 


Beachgoers urged to avoid busy spots in south west England this weekend

People travelling to south west England are being asked to avoid busy beaches over the weekend. Crowds are expected to flock to the coast as temperatures are forecast to rise to 37C in some areas of the country.

The RNLI has called on beachgoers to follow water safety advice and adhere to social distancing. 

Kitty Norman, water safety delivery support at the RNLI, said: “The beaches across the whole of the South West are extremely busy at the moment with both locals who are holidaying at home this year and an influx of visitors to the region. The sheer volume of people making social distancing tricky is one thing to be conscious of before planning your trip to the beach.”

The charity carried out 30 rescues in one day on a single beach in Cornwall last week. These mostly involved swimmers and body boarders caught in rip currents, going out of their depth and being cut off by the incoming tide.


Matt Hancock to give local lockdown update for Leicester and Preston

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is to give an update on whether further steps need to be taken to stamp out rising cases in parts of the country. 

It follows the news that Preston council has told its residents to start following the same restrictions that Greater Manchester and parts of West Yorkshire are following, after official figures showed a spike in cases. 

Preston City Council chief executive Adrian Phillips told the BBC: “We are not waiting for some Government announcement.

Follow the coronavirus live blog for more.


Britons who drive through Belgium may need to self-isolate

The BBC’s Jessica Parker reports that if you travelled from Germany or the Netherlands through Belgium you need to self-isolate unless all passengers remained in the car and no one got in or out for the entire journey through Belgium. 

You also need to self-isolate if new passengers got in the car.


Comment: Life is getting back to normal in Belgium – regardless of what the British think and do

Little Belgium is a quarter the size of England and has one-fifth of the population, but it has the unenviable record of the world’s highest Covid-related death toll per capita, writes Telegraph Travel’s Belgium expert Antony Mason.

Belgium’s was already marked, you might say, but it was really the uptick in new cases since mid-July that has led Britain (second in that death-toll-per-million league table, by the way) to strike Belgium off the “green list” of countries exempt from 14-day quarantine rule for travellers coming into the UK. 

This is a blow to the Belgians, but not altogether a surprise. Faced with rising figures, their government recently reversed some of the “deconfinement rules”, for instance reducing from ten to five the number of people from outside one’s family social bubble that each person is allowed to meet per week.

Belgium went into lockdown at about the same time as the UK, on March 17, with somewhat stricter measures. In these early days, news footage showing uniformed police confronting lone people sitting in the spring sunshine in public places had the air of Tintin-esque absurdity. Now the Belgians are relieved that in general the lockdown has been considerably eased: life seems to be getting back to normal – regardless of what the British think and do.

Read the full story. 


Poland rules out second nationwide lockdown despite cases rising

Poland has ruled out a new nationwide lockdown after it reported 809 new coronavirus infections today, the sixth record daily rise in two weeks.

According to the health ministry’s Twitter account, most of the cases were in and around big cities including the capital Warsaw, Katowice and Krakow.

The conservative nationalist government has imposed stricter sanitary rules on a number of Polish counties, which include compulsory wearing of protective face masks outside the home.

It has banned conferences, sport events and concerts, closed cinemas and gyms, and imposed a 50-person limit on the number of people taking part in weddings though churches and hotels remain open.


Mexico resort pulls controversial ‘anything goes’ tourism ad 

The Mexican coastal city of Acapulco has pulled two controversial video adverts that touted the faded resort’s reputation as an “anything goes” tourism destination as they weren’t appropriate during the coronavirus pandemic.

The governor of the Pacific coast state of Guerrero quickly criticized the adverts, in which tourists are shown going to parties, pools and nightclubs without face masks or social distancing.

“We have stopped being a postcard from the past, today we have changed the rules,” says a voice-over narration in one of the videos.

“In fact, there are no rules,” says another voice, as people can be seen eating meals and going out to nightclubs. 


Watch: Quarantine list ‘kept under constant review’ as Rishi Sunak warns more countries could be added 

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Seven safer destinations for a last-minute summer holiday

As three more countries are added to the UK’s quarantine list, which destinations are your best bet for a last-minute summer holiday? 

Malta is believed to be in the Government’s crosshairs, with its 14-day cumulative number of Covid-19 cases per 100,000 residents currently reading 33 (it is 14.3 for the UK). Visitors to France (23.4), The Netherlands (24) and the Czech Republic (27.8) may be wary, while Sweden (29.7) and Portugal (26.3) are still being snubbed by the FCO. 

Nevertheless, there is a clutch of countries with far fewer cases should you fancy a last-minute holiday: 

  • Italy: 14-day cumulative number of cases per 100,000 residents: 6.2
  • Greece: 14-day cumulative number of cases per 100,000 residents: 8.4
  • Denmark: 14-day cumulative number of cases per 100,000 residents: 14.4
  • Norway: 14-day cumulative number of cases per 100,000 residents: 5.8
  • Slovakia: 14-day cumulative number of cases per 100,000 residents: 6.6
  • Estonia: 14-day cumulative number of cases per 100,000 residents: 6.6
  • Latvia: 14-day cumulative number of cases per 100,000 residents: 3.1

We suggest where to stay in each country.


Thousands of British Airways staff learn their fate in jobs crisis

British Airways has begun telling thousands of staff whether they will lose their jobs as the airline presses on with painful restructuring of operations in response to coronavirus.

Cabin and ground crew will be asked to sign up to steep pay cuts, while others will be told that they have been made redundant.

A third group will keep their jobs on pre-Covid terms and conditions.

More than 6,000 staff have applied for voluntary redundancy, the airline said.

Read the full report.


Philippines Now Has Worst Covid Outbreak in Southeast Asia

Despite imposing the longest, strictest lockdown in Southeast Asia, coronavirus cases in the Philippines have now surged to almost 120,000, eclipsing Indonesia to become the region’s biggest outbreak.

The country imposed a second lockdown on Manila and nearby areas to curb the spread of infections.

After enduring a strict lockdown from mid-March to the end of May, the Philippines re-opened its capital although new cases were still growing by up to a thousand every day.

As people returned to offices and families gathered again, infections surged 500 per cent in over two months of easing before the government re-imposed a lockdown this week.


Britain set for temperatures of 37C over the weekend

The mercury is rising in the UK with temperatures set to reach 37C in some parts of the country this weekend.

According to the Met office, the heatwave could last until Sunday. This would mean that parts of Britain could pass the threshold for an ‘official heatwave’, which requires three days of temperatures over 25C (77F) in different parts of the country.

While it may be ideal staycation weather, not everyone finds it easy to cope with such heat. Alice Hall offers eight ways to cope in high temperatures.


A couple claimed an early spot on the beach in Margate this morning



India’s coronavirus cases surpass 2 million

India has seen another large jump in new cases, registering a record daily jump of 62,538 coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours.

The rise takes the country’s total to 2.03 million, the health ministry said.

The country became the third nation to record more than 2 million cases of the virus, behind the United States and Brazil, as infections spread further to smaller towns and rural areas.


US issues do not travel advisory for Mexico due to Covid-19 rates

The US State department has issued an advisory to citizens to not travel to Mexico, noting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for the country.

On Thursday, the US lifted a global Level 4 health advisory, which had been in place since March 19, that guided US citizens to avoid all international travel.


Portugal launches new optional travel insurance for international visitors 

Portugal has launched its own brand of coronavirus travel insurance designed to attract British holidaymakers to a country still deemed unsafe by the UK Government.

Portugal Travel Insurance, a joint venture by the national tourist board and RNA Assistance Insurance, covers “medical, surgical, pharmaceutical and hospital expenses associated with Covid-19″.

It also extends to the cost of cancellation, interruption or extension of travel due to the pandemic. “The goal is to ensure all visitors to Portugal that they can travel around the country safely and with confidence,” Turismo de Portugal said in a statement.  Starting from €37.20 (£33.50), the insurance offers “complete coverage for unforeseen situations”.

Portugal has twice been excluded from the UK’s ‘safe’ list, due to its high rate of coronavirus infections, but the country maintains that its numbers are both low and superior to those of the UK. 

Any travel to Portugal currently would invalidate most travel insurance policies and requie a two-week quarantine on return to the UK.


Hong Kong to offer free Covid testing to residents

Hong Kong is to offer free Covid-19 testing for residents, leader Carrie Lam said today.

The plan will enable citywide testing for the first time and is likely to be implemented in a fortnight at the earliest, Lam said.

The Chinese territory saw a surge in locally-transmitted coronavirus cases at the start of July and introduced a raft of tightening measures, including restricting gatherings to two people and making wearing face masks mandatory in all outdoor public spaces.


Britain will not hesitate to add more countries to its quarantine list, says Rishi Sunak

Britain will not hesitate to add more countries to its quarantine list, finance minister Rishi Sunak said today when asked about whether France could join Spain on the list.

“If we need to take action as you’ve seen overnight we will of course not hesitate to do that,” Sunak told Sky News.

He added: “We are doing that to protect people’s health but in the meantime people should just continue to look at the guidance and make a decision and take everything into account themselves and make a decision that they think is best.” 


Tourist posing for photo breaks 19th Century Antonio Canova sculpture

A tourist has broken the toes off a 200-year-old Italian sculpture. 

The man, now identified as Austrian, was posing for a photograph on the statue when the accident happened.

The 19th century sculpture by artist Antonio Canova is a plaster cast model, with the marble statue version in Rome.

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Pandemic derails Japan’s plan to revive regions with tourism  

It’s peak holiday season in Kyoto and scores of international tourists would usually be flocking to its famous temples and filling the city’s hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops.

Yet streets are empty, shops are closed and hotels are struggling to survive as the pandemic shuts out visitors and ravages the economy. 

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had sought to revive local economies with an influx of foreign tourists as part of his “Abenomics” stimulus policy. The target was to lure 40 million overseas visitors per year and since the launch of Abenomics in late 2012, the number of overseas visitors rose steadily to exceed 30 million last year, triple the level in 2013.

Over 2.7 million visited Japan in January but as the country closed its borders to contain the virus, the flow trickled to a meagre 2,600 in June.


British Museum set to welcome visitors on August 27

The British Museum is set to reopen its doors to visitors on August 27.

The London venue will have been shut for 163 days by the time it welcomes back visitors, which is the longest peacetime closure in its 261-year history.

Visits to the museum will need to be pre-booked and a one-way route will be installed around some of its galleries.


Dutch PM urges tourists to avoid busy parts of Amsterdam

The Dutch Prime Minister has asked tourists to avoid busy parts of Amsterdam, following a sharp rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the Netherlands.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte cut short his summer vacation after the National Institute for Health (RIVM) reported 601 new cases on Thursday, from 426 a day earlier, following weeks of gradual increases.

“Very specifically for the city of Amsterdam, I say to tourists foreign and domestic, and partly on behalf of the mayor: avoid the busy parts of the city,” Rutte told reporters in The Hague.

Amsterdam’s mayor Femke Halsema began mandating masks in popular areas of the city on Wednesday.


Mapped: The 26 countries you can visit right now

With Belgium, Andorra and the Bahamas off the green list, the holiday map is shrinking. These are the countries that Britons can currently travel to without restriction. 

  • Austria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark 
  • Estonia 
  • Faroe Islands (Visitors required to take Covid-19 test at airport on arrival)
  • France
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece 
  • Iceland (Open to tourists, but all arrivals must choose to pay to be tested for coronavirus or self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. Children born in 2005 or later are exempt)
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Malta 
  • Monaco 
  • Netherlands 
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • San Marino
  • Slovakia 
  • Slovenia 
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Vatican City

Mapped: The 26 countries you can actually visit right now


US lifts global health coronavirus travel advisory

The US announced last night that it is lifting a global health advisory imposed in March that advised American citizens to avoid all international travel because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“With health and safety conditions improving in some countries and potentially deteriorating in others, the department is returning to our previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice,” the State Department said in a statement.

Parts of Europe, Africa and Asia are now listed at Level 3, for “reconsider travel,” while New Zealand, which has essentially eradicated the virus, is listed at Level 2, for “exercise increased caution.” China, which has largely brought the virus under control, is still listed as Level 4 — for “‘do not travel — because of “travel and quarantine restrictions,” according to the State Department website.


French quarantine weighed up by ministers after infection rate overtakes Portugal

France’s weekly rate has overtaken that of Portugal, which has reduced its coronavirus cases to the extent that ministers are considering lifting the travel ban on it next week and allowing flights to the country and its islands of the Azores and Madeira.

Government sources stressed there was no imminent decision on France as it recorded its highest daily number of new Covid-19 cases in two months, with 1,695 positive tests, slightly fewer than the 1,772 seen in Spain.

Read the full story.


What happened yesterday? 

Before we turn to the latest news, here were the biggest travel stories yesterday:

  • France records two-month high in new cases Switzerland, Norway and Finland expand quarantine list
  • Canary Islands will cover costs if you catch Covid on holiday
  • Holiday prices plummet for trips to Italy and Greece
  • Ryanair faces ban from Italy over ‘failure to follow Covid rules’
  • Eurostar relaunches direct service to Disneyland Paris 
  • New York City announces quarantine checkpoints

Take a look at yesterday’s blog the full details

​Now onto to today.


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