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Weekly UK Media, Travel, Consumer & Social Update — 7 January, 2021

Weekly UK Media, Travel, Consumer & Social Update — 7 January, 2021
7 January 2021 Zac van Manen

Accurate as of: 7 January 2021

Current UK status:

Visit for all official information.

  • As of 4pm on 6 January 2021, a total of 54,808,079 people have been tested for coronavirus (COVID-19), of which 2,836,801 were confirmed positive.
  • 77,346 patients in the UK who tested positive for COVID-19 have died.
  • As of 5 January, the whole UK has re-entered national lockdown.
  • Guidance for the current lockdown rules in England can be found

UK travel restrictions:

Visit for all official information.

  • UK residents can only travel internationally – or within the UK – where they first have a legally permitted reason to leave home. In addition, they should consider the public health advice in the country they are visiting.
  • UK residents cannot leave their home or the place where they are living for holidays or overnight stays unless they have a reasonable excuse for doing so. This means that holidays in the UK and abroad are not allowed.
  • The UK government is set to announce rules that demand a negative Covid-19 test for arrivals in the UK 72 hours before travel – further details are to be expected over the next 48 hours.

Latest updates:

  • US lawmakers have certified Joe Biden’s election victory, hours after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an attack that saw four people die. (BBC)
  • The UK government confirms that the number of patients currently in UK hospitals with Covid is now above 30,000 – for the first time during the pandemic (BBC)
  • Covid restrictions could last until end of March and will not be eased in a ‘big bang’. This is not expected to be a full-scale, national lockdown until March, but a gradual scale down of restrictions. (Telegraph)
  • Anyone coming to the UK will need to take a test no more than 72 hours before they travel and provide negative status. It is expected that this will come into effect as of next week. (Telegraph)
  • A summer holiday shortage looming as British breaks book up months in advance (Telegraph)
  • The Tui Group is “fundamentally sound” and will resume “profitable operations” as soon as travel restrictions are lifted, chief executive Fritz Joussen has told shareholders (Travel Weekly)
  • Australian carrier Qantas is selling seats on flights to the UK and US from July 2021. It had been thought that American and British routes would not start until least October 2021 because of the Covid crisis. (Travel Weekly)
  • The Business Travel Association (BTA) has said the government’s indecision on a testing regime for UK arrivals is causing “wholly avoidable stress and uncertainty” for the travel sector, on a matter many other countries implemented months ago. (TTG)
  • Cathay Pacific will resume Heathrow-Hong Kong services on 12 January, the carrier has confirmed. However, flights from the UK to Hong Kong will not resume until 25 January following entry restrictions imposed by the Hong Kong government. (TTG)
  • The NHS department that administers health insurance cards for overseas travel has been overwhelmed since the end of the Brexit transition phase. The government has promised a UK Global Health Insurance Card (Ghic) for UK citizens, providing free or reduced-rate medical treatment abroad and also obtainable free from the NHS in Newcastle. But the volume of enquiries and applications to NHS Overseas Healthcare Services in Newcastle has reached overwhelming levels and could be a warning sign to further issues with travel insurance later in the year, when Brits begin to travel once more. (Independent)

Social media:

  • Headline news are the iOS 14 ad tracking changes. Basically, Facebook’s strength as an advertising platform is the aggregation of billions of data points across the web courtesy of the Facebook pixel, a piece of code that — like Google Analytics before it — tracks user activity so the company can understand how you browse the web so it can advertise to you more effectively. iOS14 threatens to undermine that capability by opting you out of ad tracking on your iPhone by default. Facebook’s been fighting back as a new report suggests that Facebook and Snapchat will be the most affected platforms.
  • There are rumours that the above is the result of Apple continuing to build out an ad business of its own but we’ll see how it rolls out. The details get pretty technical but we’ll let you know if you should expect ad performance hits.
  • We’ll write some more about what iOS 14 updates mean for your ad campaigns soon so keep an eye out.
  • For everything else this week, everyone at everywhere other than Facebook is still on holiday so it’s all FB news…
  • Facebook Page likes are officially dead (soon). They’ve been a vanity metric for a long time now but The Social Network is finally rolling them into followers, basically standardising social. Not sure what this means for Page Like campaigns in Ads Manager but, to be honest, they’re not really that useful for anything other than incremental growth. Long story short, stay a Classic Page if you want Likes but if you’re making a new Page you’ll be playing with followers instead.
  • That change from Likes to Followers is part of the new Pages experience which overhauls the ways that page admins and editors can use their Facebook Pages. Highlights are that Pages New Feeds are more prominent which means that community management’s a lot easier — especially now that you can join Groups with Pages.
  • Classic Page roles, like moderators and editors, are now gone and you can give different levels of access to new Pages.
  • And it looks like Creator Studio has finally fully arrived, with Page posts now having be created, scheduled, etc. through Facebook’s flagship content production tool. Creator Studio’s great so if you’re not already using it migrate over ASAP.

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