- Which countries will the UK announce an air bridge with?
- Should I book a holiday now, or wait?
- Key dates: When will destinations reopen to British tourists?
- Listen to our brand new travel podcast
The European Union has excluded the United States from its initial "safe list" of countries from which the bloc will allow non-essential travel from Wednesday.
大发体育网站The 27-member bloc gave approval on Tuesday to leisure or business trips from 14 countries beyond its borders: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.
China has also been provisionally approved, but only if Chinese authorities also allow in EU visitors. Reciprocity is a condition of being on the list.
With the UK’s long-awaited ‘air bridge’ announcement, outlining which countries Britons can visit without the need to self-isolate on their return, expected soon, the EU’s list is likely to create problems. For example, if the UK includes France on its own list but leaves off Uruguay, Britons could simply fly to the South American country via Paris and bypass the rules.
大发体育网站An announcement was expected on Monday but has been postponed.
大发体育网站Follow all the day's news below.
That's a wrap
H大发体育网站ere's what we learnt today:
- Air bridges. When? Where? How? We still don't know for sure. But we will find out tomorrow. Maybe.
- Meanwhile, the EU has thrown a spanner in the works with its own list of safe countries
- London's cultural attractions have finally confirmed plans to reopen, starting with the National Gallery on July 8
- Some Scots don't want English tourists this summer; others are desperate for us to come
- Airlines are ditching first class cabin (good news) and booze (bad news)
- EasyJet is pulling out of Southend, Stansted and Newcastle airports
We'll do it all again tomorrow. Good evening.
No more G&Ts at 35,000 feet
Tom Mulvihill reports that Covid fears are forcing airlines to replace booze and hot food with all-in-one snack bags. As if things could not get any worse. He writes:
大发体育网站As countries around the world open their borders and flights resume after months of lockdown, one hot issue (well, maybe lukewarm issue) is the future of the in-flight meal.
大发体育网站With many airlines now adopting stringent new health and hygiene precautions, including pre-flight checks and the compulsory use of face masks, will coronavirus also consign plane food to the waste disposal unit of history?
By and large the answer appears to be no, but that isn’t to say big changes aren’t afoot in the way we eat when flying. Different airlines are taking different approaches to the challenge of keeping passengers fed and watered, many with stop-gap solutions while they wait for cleared guidance from regulators.
Pakistan International Airlines banned from EU
A大发体育网站ny hopes of a quick post-pandemic recovery for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) have been scuppered after the European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) today handed it a six-month ban, effective from tomorrow.
It comes after a third of the airline's pilots were grounded大发体育网站 on suspicion that they hold “dubious” licences and flying certificates.
Will Covid-19 kill first class cabins?
Annabel Fenwick Elliott reports:
大发体育网站Qantas, Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa are among the carriers to have temporarily scratched their most luxurious cabins – and for good reason.
Not only is virtually all long-haul travel either on hold or drastically reduced, those who are flying in premium classes are having to do with a very pared-back service. Some airlines, Virgin Atlantic included, won’t serve alcohol in Upper Class currently, and many carriers aren’t even providing hot meals.
The best beaches in the UK for social distancing
At least 78,000 people can fit on Bournemouth beach while comfortably obeying social distancing guidelines, according to new research.
大发体育网站Those who flocked to the Dorset beach last week were criticised in some quarters, with experts warning that a spike in infections could be the result. However, the town's ample beach, at 1,089,463 square metres, has space for 78,628 sunseekers spaced four metres apart, mapping analyst Esri UK has revealed.
Airbus set to slash thousands of jobs
Alan Tovey reports that Airbus is set to announce thousands of job cuts as the plane-maker slashes staff numbers to match the collapse in demand for new aircraft.
Workers are braced for bad news after weeks of speculation about when and where the 10,000-plus redundancies will fall.
'Our third holiday cancelled' – anguish as trips ruined by Greece's flight ban
D大发体育网站isappointment is high, reports Emma Cooke, after Greece shut the door on holidays until at least July 15.
Lewis Bailey, a police officer from Bournemouth, which has seen enormous crowds descend during the recent heatwave, described how he and his wife had booked a holiday off the back of the air bridge news.
“I have worked through the lockdown, and we have had two holidays planned for the lockdown period both cancelled, so my partner and I have been desperate to get away – especially now our six-year-old is back at school.”
Bailey said he had been waiting for news on air bridges and that with the announcement last week things seemed clear. “We assumed Greece would be included, as all the news reports seemed to hint it was almost a certainty," he explained.
“We finally booked Sunday morning in the hope that Greece would be confirmed early this week, and were so excited.” Adding that worries over prices going up also played a factor, their holiday was booked for July 12. The following morning the family woke up to the news of Greece’s ban.
Luxury for less
W大发体育网站ith the Maldives reopening to tourists on July 15, it would seem resorts are doing everything in their power to woo holidaymakers. Both and , for example, are offering 40% off and free villa upgrades. Whether Britons can visit without needing to self-isolate on their return to the UK remains to be seen. We still await news of air bridges...
Scottish islanders start petition to keep tourists away
Scotland earns £4bn each year thanks to tourism, and the industry supports 200,000 livelihoods. Nevertheless, some folk north of the border would rather travellers stayed away. Mark Rowe reports:
On the Outer Hebrides, owners of several self-catering properties and lodges have decided they will not open up until the autumn at the earliest, citing both fear of spreading infection and the long-term financial impacts. “If a person were to fall ill, we have to keep them here self-isolating,” one owner on the Uists said. “We would not expect them to pay for either their original booking or the additional time they had to isolate in the cottage. But that leaves us as a small business looking at bankruptcy. There is no clear indication that we would be compensated for loss of earnings or how we would compensate the people who do the Saturday changeovers.”
EasyJet could dismiss 727 pilots and close three bases
British low-cost airline easyJet has said that 727 of its UK-based pilots are at risk of redundancy, equivalent to about one-third of its pilots in the country.
大发体育网站Union BALPA said in a statement that the airline is proposing to close bases at London's Stansted and Southend airports and at Newcastle in north-east England, adding that it was shocked by the scale of the job cuts.
EasyJet said in May it needed to cut 4,500 jobs to stay competitive after the coronavirus pandemic caused a travel market slump.
Welcome back to the National Gallery – now a radically different place
Our art critic Alastair Sooke joined director Gabriele Finaldi for a sneak preview of the National Gallery ahead of its reopening next month. He writes:
Everything is still, dark, save for the lights that come on automatically as we glide from one gallery to the next, filling me with boyish enthusiasm, like Tom Hanks in the famous scene featuring a gigantic illuminated keyboard from the movie Big. Guided by glow-in-the-dark arrows stuck carefully onto the floors, we briskly try out three new “art routes” devised by Finaldi and his team to ensure one-way visitor circulation.
Cruise line scraps all holidays until March 2021
In the latest blow for the beleaguered industry, Celestyal Cruises, specialists in Greek and Turkish ports, have dropped their entire 2020 travel plans and will not restart operations until March 2021; they had originally planned to sail again from July 30.
Leslie Peden, the operator’s chief commercial officer, cited “prevailing uncertainty regarding travel restrictions” for the “prudent” decision. He added:
大发体育网站We will now shift our full attention to developing both 2021 and 2022 business where we are seeing encouraging signs of pent-up demand and be well prepared to implement all enhanced health protocols that will ultimately be established by the EU and the countries where we operate.
See our full list of when cruise lines will sail again for more information, including refunds and rebooking.
Life in Lisbon
P大发体育网站eople wearing face masks wait at a bus stop in Loures, on the outskirts of Lisbon. Portugal reimposed restrictions in and around the capital to check fresh coronavirus outbreaks, prompting fears the summer tourist season will take a major hit. Early indications suggest it may not be included on the first list of UK air bridges.
Belize to reopen border on August 15
A大发体育网站 magnet for divers, Belize will reopen to tourism from August 15. Visitors will be required to book their accommodation in advance, downing a tracking app and take a test on arrival.
“In the circumstances and with the experts confirming that there is no end to this sea of corona trouble is in sight, it seemed to us futile to hope that waiting any longer would provide a more favourable launching pad for our tourism restart. So, we fixed on our August 15 date. We decided that any further delay would likely gain us nothing for safety standards,” Prime Minister Dean Barrowexplained.
Foreign Office poised to lift advice against travel
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said the Government will be updating its travel advice and "exempting certain countries and certain territories" shortly.
When quizzed by Tory MP Mark Harper in the House of Commons, Mr Raab said: "We have had advice from the Joint Biosecurity Centre that relates to both the review of quarantine and the potential exemptions but also it has helped inform the approach on travel advice."
He added: "We are considering, I can tell (Mr Harper), exempting certain countries and certain territories and we will be updating our travel advice shortly.
"And indeed I believe he'll find there's a written ministerial statement by the Transport Secretary today which will give further updates on that."
EU's 'safe travel' list hits a snag
T大发体育网站he EU's issued a list of 14 "safe" countries today, whose citizens can now visit the bloc. However, the inclusion of Morocco appears to have caused irritation in Spain, which has said it will only open its borders if there is a reciprocal agreement to let people travelling via Spain enter the North African country.
Fears that 'Super Saturday' could overwhelm A&E units
Health chiefs are urging drinkers to take it easy when pubs open on “Super Saturday” - amid fears Accident & Emergency units could end up overwhelmed, Laura Donnelly and Martin Evans report.
Pubs, restaurants and bars will be allowed to re-open for business this weekend following a four-month closure, but medics fear that hospitals could be deluged by those who overdo the celebrations.
大发体育网站They warned that A&E units, which have been largely free of drunk and disorderly patients during lockdown, can now only cope with about half their usual capacity.
Read the full exclusive story here.
Scotland's 'catastrophic' plan to quarantine English visitors
Emma Beaumont大发体育网站 reports that Scottish tourism businesses are furious after a key government advisor suggested the country should explore a quarantine period for visitors from England.
Tourism in Scotland is responsible for around 200,000 jobs and brings in around £4 billion each year. Although holiday letting companies will be allowed to operate from July 3 and other hospitality businesses from July 15, the industry has already suffered seismic losses. Stopping the English from visiting would be "catastrophic", according to one hotelier.
The unexpected turn of events in Greece heralds a summer of uncertainty
Our consumer expert, Nick Trend大发体育网站, responds to the news that Greece has extended its ban on direct UK flights until July 15.
大发体育网站"The unexpected turn of events in Greece - which has happened even before the first overseas holidays have restarted - has emphasised what a fragile situation would-be travellers are in.
It looks as though it will be a summer of uncertainty for all of us, with the risk of last-minute changes and cancellations caused by spikes in infection rates either in the UK or abroad. An upsurge of cases in Portugal, the local lockdown in Leicester and the suggestion that people visiting Scotland from England might have to quarantine on arrival, are more clear-cut examples of the sort of complications we face"
Travel agents refuse to take summer bookings over air bridge confusion
T大发体育网站ravel agents have stopped selling summer holidays for July and August due to the lack of clarity over the Government’s air bridge plans.
It was thought the green light would be given on Monday for Britons to visit up to 50 countries, including Greece, Spain, France and Italy, without the need to quarantine on their return. But the announcement was delayed and yesterday Greece said flights from the UK could not resume until at least July 15.
Lee Hunt, managing director or Deben Travel, said he was reluctant to accept bookings given the uncertainty.
“If someone wants to book, and they are asking me questions that I can't give a knowledgeable and truthful answer to, then that doesn't sit right with us a business,” he said.
大发体育网站“It's going to lead to complaints, bad publicity and yet more refund requirements. Customers are asking us questions that we quite simply don't have the answers to or, indeed, give guarantees or assurances.”
Thailand to lift ban on international flights
Thailand will lift its ban on international flights tomorrow (July 1), its aviation regulator announced on Monday.
Wondering which countries are opening up to British holidaymakers? Emma Cooke explains it all.
When will P&O cruise again?
Hot on the tail of news that the Saga Cruises ship, Spirit of Adventure, would be setting sail on her maiden voyage this November, Benjamin Parker大发体育网站 reports that P&O Cruises won't take delivery of their latest vessel until at least August.
Iona has been due to embark on her inaugural itinerary in May, and the German shipyard constructing it has already missed two two delivery dates this year, blaming the coronavirus pandemic. The outbreak has also seen the cancellation of Ionafest, July's festival-style experience onboard the ship.
P&O Cruises had previously extended their pause in operations until the middle of October. You can find out when each cruise line is sailing again, as well as how to claim a refund, in our comprehensive guide here.
Get ready for gridlock Saturday...
Tourists have been warned to expect heavy traffic on the first weekend of lockdown easing with roads set to be the busiest they have been this year, according to the RAC.
A rush of domestic travel is expected on Saturday as restrictions on staying away from home overnight are lifted for the first time in three months.
大发体育网站Tourism bosses urged visitors to be responsible and avoid crowded visitor attractions amid warnings that a second spike of the virus could be “disastrous” for the industry.
New Saga Cruises ship will sail first voyage in November
The maiden voyage of Saga Cruises' new ship will take place at the start of November 2020, the operator has confirmed.
Spirit of Adventure will set sail from the England’s southern coast for a 17-day itinerary from November 5, heading to the Mediterranean before returning home to the UK.
Benjamin Parker has the full report.
Holiday fears as Peak District could face lockdown extension
A大发体育网站 sudden spike in coronavirus cases in the Peak District could see its hotels, pubs and restaurants remain closed until further notice.
Two local authorities containing sections of the national park have seen significant rises in cases of Covid-19 in recent weeks, leading to speculation that the start of the summer tourist season could be further delayed.
Texas sees fastest growth of Covid-19 cases
"My adopted home state of Texas has lost a little of its infamous swagger this week," writes Sarah Ivens.
"Usually so self-assured with its moniker of ‘biggest and best’ place to be in the Union, in the last few days the only list it’s leading is fastest growth of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the US.
大发体育网站"Since the weekend, the country music dance halls have been shuttered, the frozen margaritas are no longer being poured at my local Tex-Mex tavern, and if we want beef brisket, its probably safer to barbecue at home. Hitting at the same time as the usual 100F hot and humid summer days, it’s a pretty tough and tiring place for a pasty Brit to be stuck right now."
Tate to reopen galleries on July 27
The Tate has announced it will reopen all four of its galleries on July 27, almost three weeks after the National Gallery is set to reopen its doors on July 8.
Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives have been closed since the lockdown began in March.
Lionel Barber, Chair of Tate said:
“The role of our national cultural institutions is more vital today than ever before. During the closure Tate’s dedicated staff have found new and creative ways to allow our audiences to enjoy art in the virtual world using our digital platforms. My fellow trustees are delighted that from 27 July the public will once again see Tate’s world-leading collection and exhibitions in person”.
It's the news you've been waiting for...
... Penny Farthing tours will return in London on July 25.
T大发体育网站he Penny Farthing club organises trips for novice riders (Victorian costume rides are also available... as is Penny Farthing Polo), but has been out of action through the pandemic.
More information .
Ras Al Khaimah gets 'safe travels' stamp
T大发体育网站he northernmost Emirate in the UAE has been certified as a 'safe city', according to Bureau Veritas.
The Emirate has been given the Safeguard Assurance Label, guaranteeing heightened safety standards, training and hygiene protocols in place.
Raki Phillips大发体育网站, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said:
大发体育网站“As travel starts to resume, our role as a tourism development authority is to ensure that robust measures are in place to protect the health and safety of our visitors and provide the peace of mind they need for a truly well-deserved holiday.
"Our goal is for Ras Al Khaimah to set the global benchmark for post-pandemic travel safety and to set the standards to which all other destinations will aspire. We are immensely proud to be the first destination in the world to be certified as safe by Bureau Veritas and receive the WTTC safe travels stamp and believe it will go a long way to restore confidence and bring tourists back to Ras Al Khaimah. "
How to get travel insurance should you choose to ignore Foreign Office advice
A handful of hardy travel firms have been sending intrepid Britons to FCO no-go zones for years, Oliver Smith reports.
Wild Frontiers, for example, in business since 2002, has the likes of Algeria, Pakistan, Sudan and the DRC on its route map, and the company’s trips often feature regions the FCO would rather you avoided. So how does it find insurance for its clients?
Jonny Bealby, the firm’s founder, explains:
大发体育网站“We’ve been running trips that contravene FCO advice ever since we started – though not as much as we used to, as lots of countries have become more FCO-friendly is recent years.
“As a general rule of thumb, a standard insurance policy will become entirely invalid the moment you put a fingernail into an FCO red zone – even if you take it out straight away. How they prove it is another matter, but that’s the rules.
“However, we have a specialist, Travel and General, that offers bespoke insurance so we can visit the riskier places. Our policies have three levels: Standard – for when there’s no incursion into FCO dodgy bits, Improved – for when a trip spends a little time in a no-go zone, and Elite – that’s for holidays to Afghanistan and suchlike.
大发体育网站“In terms of price: if the clients are under 65, it’s still pretty reasonable. It then roughly doubles (as most policies do) for over 65s, and doubles again for over 75s.”
When will air bridges be announced?
On Sunday, Priti Patel said the Government would announce the first set of air bridges "in the coming days". So it is likely we will know today or tomorrow.
The first group of air bridges is expected to be a selection of popular destinations with low infection rates – a bid to “re-fire” the Mediterranean tourist economy from July 6, according to government sources.
大发体育网站Once the announcement has been made, families will finally be able to start planning their summer breaks. It is expected that the FCO’s indefinite warning against all-but-essential travel, in place since March, will also be lifted. However, some popular destinations could also miss out, due to the rising rate of Covid-19.
A second, larger set of countries will then be unveiled later in July, including business destinations in Europe and “low-risk” Caribbean islands which Public Health England has identified as having minimal infections. There is also talk of one long-haul “air bridge”, although this comes with complications around transiting in stop-over countries that the UK does not have an air bridge with.
So which countries are set to be announced? Here we take a look.
National Gallery to reopen on July 8
The National Gallery in London will re-open on July 8, with a regime of social distancing and three one-way routes which will – between them – take in most of the key galleries and all the major paintings, Nick Trend reports.
S大发体育网站ome of these have been rehung to make them accessible. Opening hours have been shortened to 11am–4pm and all visits must be . It is the first major UK museum to announce its re-opening since it closed 111 days ago at the beginning of the lockdown.