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UK Media & Consumer Market Update — August 19, 2020

UK Media & Consumer Market Update — August 19, 2020
20 August 2020 Zac van Manen

Accurate as of: 19 August 2020

UK Media & Consumer Market Update  

Current UK status:

Visit for all official information.

  • As of 6pm on 18 August 2020, a total of 14,825,051 people have been tested for coronavirus (COVID-19), of which 320,286 were confirmed positive.
  • 41,381 patients in the UK who tested positive for COVID-19 have died.
  • The self-isolation period has been extended from 7 days to 10 days for those who have COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result.
  • Local lockdowns continue in the North of England and Leicester.
  • It has been announced that mass testing across the UK population may begin to help ease restrictions.

UK travel restrictions:

Visit for all official information.

  • As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel.
  • A 14-day mandatory quarantine for all UK arrivals except for those announced as exempt. See here for the full list of exempt countries. Countries can be added or removed from this list at any time. For example, in addition to Spain, Belgium, The Bahamas, Andorra, and Luxembourg, additional countries France, Netherlands and Malta have this week been removed from the list.
  • 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:

  • France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos Islands and Aruba have been removed from the UK travel corridors list (GOV)
  • Croatia looks to be one of the next countries to be removed from the list (iNews)
  • Travel industry representatives met Department for Transport officials this week to thrash out alternatives to growing travel restrictions after Foreign Office advice against travel was extended to France, the Netherlands and Malta (Travel Weekly)
  • After 35,000 Brittany Ferries passengers cancelled or delayed travel plans at the weekend, due to the reimposition of quarantine from France, the firm has announced deep cuts to its network (iNews)
  • Brits trying to return to the UK from Europe can avoid the quarantine rules if travelling through France by using the Eurotunnel and not getting out of their cars, which enables a loophole in the system (The Sun)
  • 50% of UK travellers cite exposure to Covid-19 at airports or while in flight as their biggest travel concern, according to new data collected by Air Doctor. The survey aims to examine the UK’s attitude to international travel in the wake of the pandemic (Travel Daily Media)
  • Heathrow Airport has installed a Covid-19 testing facility ahead of a potential change in government policy on quarantine. Developed by Collinson and Swissport, the service enables arriving passengers to be tested for Covid-19 upon landing and know the result hours later (Breaking Travel News)
  • In Spain, beaches in Marbella have closed, and face masks are now compulsory on the beach in Canary Islands (Express)
  • Amid a number of countries being removed from the travel corridors list, Ryanair, Jet2, TUI, easyJet and British Airways have provided an update on their latest travel advice (Express)
  • Wizz Air will launch four new leisure routes from Gatwick Airport in October, flying to Greece, Italy, Spain and Malta (TTG)
  • easyJet has confirmed it will close three of its UK airports on 1 September: Stansted, Southend and Newcastle. Job losses are expected to come with the closures (Mirror)
  • easyJet Holidays has begun selling its packages through independent travel agents or the first time (Travel Weekly)
  • Operators are seeking to capitalise on booming demand for post-pandemic solo travel with new incentives and revamped solo offering. Wendy Wu Tours’ global sales director, John Warr, revealed that nearly 50% of all the operator’s sales since April have been for solo travel (TTG)
  • Britain is planning to bring in population-wide mass testing for coronavirus to help control the pandemic, announced today (Reuters)
  • The health secretary has confirmed Public Health England (PHE) is to be scrapped and replaced with a new National Institute for Health Protection (Guardian)
  • It has been revealed that more than £37bn worth of property sales were agreed in July, the busiest month for home buying for more than a decade, according to property website Rightmove (Business Leader)
  • The UK retail industry could be up for a longer period of recovery than expected after a new poll suggested that consumer confidence and spending intentions remain low due to the coronavirus pandemic. 24% of respondents said they would spend less than usual over the next month compared with 11% who said they would spend more, while 61% said they intended to spend the same (Retail Gazette)

Social media:

  • T-minus one month until TikTok’s apparently banned in the US. Enterprise software service provider Oracle has crept out of the woodwork to enter discussions with the social platform though Microsoft and Twitter remain in contention. Microsoft is still the favourite to purchase the app given its $30 billion valuation but there does seem to be a consortium of investment firms looking to support businesses to take it over — which seems to be the case with Oracle as prominent VC corps like Sequoia get involved.
  • TikTok’s also launched a new information centre to shoot down inaccuracies about the app
  • Given that Facebook’s self-serve ad platform’s key strength is in its hypertargeting, it might seem ironic that they’re cutting over 1,000 ad targeting options — but, they are. It’s not the first time and they’re largely to streamline the process. It’s highly likely you won’t even notice but worth flagging as the system changes.
  • Speaking of Facebook ads — if you want to make sure the ads you’re served are closer to your actual interests, jump back into your ad preferences hub for some more control over what’s sold to you.
  • To emulate some of TikTok’s core growth hacking functionality, Snapchat’s looking to expand off-platform sharing options. This new functionality will look and feel pretty similar to YouTube or Facebook video embeds.
  • Pinterest has opened their skin tone search qualifier to territories outside the US — incl. the UK — and expanded their new AR try-on tool. Check out an example through here of a lipstick preview.
  • How’re you feeling about Instagram Reels? Some creators are reporting lower organic reach as Reels encroach on the space regular posts might have had in the Feed — are you noticing that too? We’re not seeing a ton of it across our clients but we’ll keep you posted.

Confused about how best to communicate with your customers during this period? Get in touch.