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UK Media & Consumer Market Update — July 8, 2020

UK Media & Consumer Market Update — July 8, 2020
9 July 2020 Zac van Manen

Accurate as of: 8 July 2020

Current UK status:

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  • As of 9am on 8 July 2020, a total of 11,041,203 people have been tested for coronavirus (COVID-19), of which 286,979 were confirmed positive.
  • 44,517 patients in the UK who tested positive for COVID-19 have died.
  • The UK is now considered the worst affected country in Europe, exceeding the death toll of Italy and Spain. The US remains the worst affected country in the world (over 3.1 million cases), followed by Brazil (1.6 million cases), India (760,000) and Russia (700,000 cases).
  • The UK lockdown continues to ease, with restaurants and pubs now open, alongside shops. Domestic travel and campsite / hotel stays are now permitted, and the UK Government has provided a list of countries that do not require the 14-day quarantine upon return. FCO advice on travel continues to be updated.

UK travel restrictions:

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  • As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice. However, this advise is beginning to change for certain countries.
  • A 14-day mandatory quarantine for all UK arrivals except for those announced as exempt. See here for the full list of exempt countries. This exemptions apply from 10 July.
  • FCO travel advice includes information on any health measures in place for visitors to a country or territory. These can include a requirement to self-isolate, quarantine or undergo testing for coronavirus, or even restrictions on entry.

Latest updates:

  • From 4 July, people returning for a number of countries will be exempt from the England 14-day quarantine period. Countries include Spain, Greece, France, Ireland, St. Kitts & Nevis, Australia, and Taiwan. The US is not included in the list (BBC)
  • The Scottish Government has announced its list of countries from which arrivals will not need to quarantine also, and this does not include Spain (TTG).
  • The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a six-month cut in VAT on tourism and hospitality from 20% to 5% as part of package of measures to stimulate the economy and protect jobs (Travel Weekly).
  • UK holidaymakers outside of London risk having their flight options cut after new research showed some of Britain’s regional airports could lose routes due to the pandemic (Telegraph).
  • Travel firms and airlines ranked best and worst by consumers based on their record in handling refunds for cancelled trips during the Covid-19 pandemic have been listed by Alpharooms came bottom with a net score of -99%, followed by Jetline (-97%) and Teletext Holidays (-96%). Ryanair came near the bottom of the survey with a net negative score of -89%, and was joined by Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Holidays (both -88%) and Love Holidays (-81%) (Travel Weekly).
  • Half the UK respondents to a luxury travel survey believe the premium market will bounce back within 12 months; a survey of more than 1,000 travel planners and agencies worldwide by organisers of International Luxury Travel Market found 51% of UK advisors said the premium market would return in a year and 40% within two years (TTG).
  • Media are seeking UK and European destination/product news and openings, health & safety measure updates, data/trend stories and travel story ideas. Staycation content remains popular, as does content about the countries that are exempt from the 14-day quarantine period.
  • Media are seeking expert comment from travel companies regarding their new safety measures, trend predictions, sales and booking data, etc. Strong booking data is getting good cut-through at the moment.
  • Travel teams are still very small, with most publications putting a large percentage of their staff on furlough, and some beginning to make redundancies.

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