UK Media & Consumer Market Update — 23 December, 2020
Accurate as of: 22 December 2020
Current UK status:
Visit https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/ for all official information.
- As of 4pm on 22 December 2020, a total of 48,469,931 people have been tested for coronavirus (COVID-19), of which 2,110,314 were confirmed positive.
- 68,307 patients in the UK who tested positive for COVID-19 have died.
- As of 2 December, England has come out of national lockdown and has returned to a regional, tiered lockdown approach, based on the latest data.
- Guidance for the current tiered approach in England can be found
UK travel restrictions:
Visit www.gov.uk/government/organisations/foreign-commonwealth-office for all official information.
- The tiered lockdown approach means that international travel is permitted on a country by country basis, depending on whether there is an open travel corridor.
- As of 2 December, mandatory quarantine upon returning to the UK following travel has been reduced to 5 days, upon receipt of a negative test on day 5.
- As of 20 December 2020, London and much of the South West has entered Tier 4, which includes rules similar to the UK’s full lockdown.
- Following identification of a new variant of the virus, international travel from the UK has become increasingly restricted because of international travel bans. Different rules to international travel where borders remain open apply in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. For example, those in Tier 4 areas in England will not be permitted to travel abroad apart from limited exceptions, such as work purposes.
- A tougher fourth tier of coronavirus restrictions for London and much of south-east England is now in place, after a mutated strain of COVID-19 has been found spreading at an unprecedented rate. Meanwhile, the whole of Wales has entered another lockdown. Mainland Scotland and Northern Ireland start new lockdowns on Boxing Day. (BBC)
- More than 1,500 lorries are stuck in Kent waiting to leave the UK as politicians thrash out a plan to reopen France’s border to trade and travel. France shut its UK border for 48 hours on Sunday amid fears of a new coronavirus variant. (BBC)
- The European Union’s 27 member states will try to co-ordinate restrictions on links to the UK, after dozens of countries suspended travel amid alarm over a new coronavirus variant. (BBC)
- Problems have increased in the bid to get a trade deal between the European Union and the United Kingdom on the rails before a Brexit transition period ends on New Year’s Day, with the EU legislature insisting ever more it will not have time to vet and approve an agreement. (Independent)
- Virgin Atlantic has announced it will introduce pre-departure Covid-19 testing for all customers travelling from London to the United States from Thursday 24 December. The airline said all travellers must present evidence of a negative Lamp or PCR test taken up to 72 hours prior to departure, including on-site at the airport. (TTG)
- Meanwhile, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Delta will require negative Covid-19 tests from passengers when flying from the UK to New York. The airlines have all agreed to the request made by New York governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday 21 December in efforts to stop the spread of the new variant of coronavirus believed to be up to 70% more transmissible. (TTG)
- The availability of Covid-19 vaccines is “no magic bullet” and it will take more to restore consumers’ confidence to travel, according to a leading health and safety expert. Callum Irvine, health safety and environment practice lead at Deloitte, said global standards to tackle the coronavirus remain crucial to restoring travel demand. (Travel Weekly)
- Ski resorts in Switzerland and Austria remain open for Christmas, although some ski resorts in Switzerland have begun to close, the most notable for Brits being Andermatt. From Tuesday 21 December, Switzerland will enter a ‘light’ lockdown, with restaurants, sports and recreation centres ordered to close for a month, as the country attempts to curb rising cases of the virus. (The Telegraph)
Social media news:
- Facebook continues to struggle with what small business advertisers are describing as ‘arbitrary or incorrect’ account suspensions, despite a new Help Center emerging courtesy of resident code deep diver Jane Manchun Wong’s tireless curiosity. If you’ve had your ad accounts banned for what feels like no reason lately, you’re not alone.
- Twitter’s also shared the handover process for the @POTUS and @WhiteHouse accounts come Inauguration Day. Basically, the current accounts will be archived under different handles and current followers will be notified the accounts are changing hands. You can also just regularly retweet again after Twitter forced Quote Tweets to slow down the spread of misinformation.
- After MP Dr. Luke Evans proposed a new law back in September which would force social platforms to add labels to ‘altered or enhanced’ or images, Snapchat’s come back to play tentative ball. The yellow app’s UK chief policy officer spoke to The Sun, commenting the policy, “is something that has merit and should be carefully though through.” Meanwhile, Facebook’s UK Public Policy Manager, Richard Earley, said, “The research I have seen says it is not actually an effective way of addressing body image concerns.”
- You might have noticed a new banner in Messenger and Instagram Direct lately, with Facebook paring the service back to essentials to accommodate Europe’s Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive. Expec to see the services you can’t use turned back on after the social network’s decided it plays ball with the expanded scope of the directive.
- Snapchat’s also shared new insights into the latest consumption trends of its users. It’s got some hefty claims about millennials as a demographic (they’re big, sure, but do they really make one-third of purchases? And are they sizable purchases or just, like, £4 coffees at a time?) but it’s a good resource for selling clients on the platform if you’re more keen than they are.
- After a tumultuous year, TikTok remains on track to reach a billion users in 2021. Given their increasing scope and scale, the Chinese app has launched a new Small Business Resource Center with a range of case studies, creative tools, and tips and tricks to help SMBs figure out how to tell a tik from a tok (sorry).
- Pinterest remains excellent at brand resources, which we keep talking about, and they’ve just published new marketing guides for two very different industries impacted in different ways by the pandemic — restaurants and entertainment streaming services. They’re both full of tips for how to use Pinterest properly so worth a read even if you’re outside those niches.
- And Twitter’s reopening public applications for verifications next month. It’s the first time they’ve been available since 2017. The staged rollout will begin in January (just over a week away, eek!) and, where verification felt previously a bit random this time around you’ll have to meet certain criteria that are a bit more objective. Find out more here.
- TikTok, as with its major competitors, is diving deeper into ecommerce with a new shoppable live stream experience. It will debut during a Walmart livestream as part of a new deal with the huge retailer after their intention to invest was rebuffed. Keep an eye out for more in-app shopping opportunities to roll out across short form video platforms as traditional advertising in those UIs is famously difficult.
- As the vaccine rollout across the globe picks up speed, the ongoing surge of cases seems to be slowing the impact of that vital work. To contribute in their own way, Instagram has added new prompts to help slow the resurgence of the virus. In places where cases are still climbing, people will see a prompt at the top of the Feed to connect them with relevant health authorities like the NHS, WHO, or the CDC. And anyone who goes looking for terms related to vaccines or COVID-19 will be directed to info from those health authorities. Perhaps a little too late but better late than never.
- And adieu to Periscope, the livestreaming app that will only be part of Twitter until next year.