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UK Media & Consumer Market Update — September 16, 2020

UK Media & Consumer Market Update — September 16, 2020
16 September 2020 Zac van Manen

Accurate as of: 16 September 2020

UK Media & Consumer Market Update  

Current UK status:

Visit for all official information.

  • As of 4pm on 15 September 2020, a total of 20,292,025 people have been tested for coronavirus (COVID-19), of which 374,228 were confirmed positive.
  • 41,664 patients in the UK who tested positive for COVID-19 have died.
  • Local lockdowns continue in the North of England, Birmingham, Leicester, Blackburn, Oldham, Pendle and Bolton.
  • The Government’s new rule regarding a maximum of 6 people permitted to meet indoors and outdoors came into force on Monday. This has been met with criticism, but it is the Government’s response to growing case numbers, and is in place in order to prevent a ‘second wave’.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • All travellers entering the UK or returning to the UK must complete a comprehensive passenger locator form, or risk a fine.

Latest updates:

  • Boris Johnson has been warned by the bosses of the UK’s 20 biggest airports he risks “irreparable damage” to the economy unless he moves to replace quarantine with Covid-19 testing in the next week (Telegraph)
  • Rishi Sunak has hinted at a replacement for the Government’s staff furlough scheme, which many travel companies are asking to be extended. Employers’ National Insurance contributions and business rates could both be cut as the chancellor considers “creative” ways to help firms beyond the end of the furlough initiative (Travel Weekly)
  • The end of the furlough scheme, u-turns on travel corridors and ongoing slump in overseas bookings set to see more tourism businesses collapse (Guardian)
  • Hundreds of Emirates staff in the UK have reportedly been warned they could face redundancy (TTG)
  • Aviation recovery is at a halt according to new analysis of pan-European data carried out by the Anker Report (Independent)
  • The Irish Government is expected to announce on Tuesday a new system for deciding quarantine as it ditches the “green” list of countries that it introduced at the start of the pandemic. It is expected to follow a standardised model being pushed by the European Commission under which arrivals from any country with more than 50 Covid cases per 100,000 of the population over the past 14 days and a positive test rate above three per cent could face quarantine (Telegraph)
  • Thomas Cook has been revived as a “Covid-ready” online travel agency, almost a year to the day since the iconic travel brand was feared lost for good. The online-only business will initially focus on flexible, customisable trips to countries on the government’s travel corridor list (TTG)
  • Tui UK customers awaiting refunds for holidays cancelled due to coronavirus will receive them by the end of the month. The UK’s largest operator made the commitment after the competition watchdog started an investigation after receiving thousands of complaints from people that they were not receiving refunds for their cancelled holidays within 14 days under consumer protection law (Travel Weekly)
  • British Airways boss has told Government MPs that the business is still fighting for its own survival, last week flying 187,000 passengers, versus over a million in the same week in 2019 (Independent)
  • Travel recruitment specialist C&M Travel Recruitment has launched an online portal for staff at threat of redundancy or who have recently lost their job (TTG)
  • Virgin Atlantic has repeated its call for a UK-New York travel corridor, as the carrier’s operations chief told TTG he believed the British Government “is listening” to industry pleas on airport testing (TTG)
  • Denmark looks likely to be added to the UK’s ever-expanding quarantine list this week after a rise in positive tests saw its seven-day case rate climb to 34.8 per 100,000 people (Telegraph)
  • Visit Britain has been tracking consumer sentiment on travel since May this year, some key current findings are (Visit Britain):
    • ‘Concerns about catching COVID 19’ is the leading reason cited by people not feeling confident about taking a UK holiday or short break either by September this year or from October onwards.
    • ‘Restrictions imposed on travel by government’ is the second most influential reason across both time periods, with significant proportions feeling that travelling is not ‘the responsible thing to do’ in the current situation.
    • Only 35% of UK holidays have gone ahead as planned since lockdown.
    • The South West of England had the highest share of holiday trips.
    • 20% of the adult population anticipate taking a domestic overnight short break or holiday this ‘autumn’ (during September or October)
    • Almost two thirds (65%) of Autumn travel intenders have yet to actually plan their trip, while 72% have yet to book it.
    • Countryside or village is the leading destination type this autumn (33% intending to visit), followed by ‘traditional coastal / seaside town’ (32%).

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