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Weekly UK Media, Travel, Consumer & Social Update — 28 January, 2021

Weekly UK Media, Travel, Consumer & Social Update — 28 January, 2021
28 January 2021 Zac van Manen

Accurate as of: 28 January 2021

Current UK status:

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  • As of 4pm on 27 January 2021, a total of 67,040,373 coronavirus (COVID-19) tests have been conducted in the UK. 3,715,054 people have tested positive.
  • 7,164,387 people have had their first dose of the vaccination, while 474,156 have been fully vaccinated.
  • 101,887 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:

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  • 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.
  • In order to enter the UK, a negative Covid-19 test must be completed 72 hours before travel and presented to staff on planes, trains and ferries in order to board.
  • People entering the UK from high-risk countries, or “red” countries, will have to quarantine in a hotel at their own expense for 10 days.

Latest updates:

  • The government has announced hotel quarantine plans for Britons returning from 30 high-risk or “red list” countries to stop new coronavirus variants entering the UK. Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously stated the measures would apply to 22 nations, but Home Secretary Priti Patel has since revealed the “red list”, which is comprised of the same 30 countries that currently have a UK travel ban. (Independent)
  • The Prime Minister has said that lockdown restrictions will not begin to lift and schools in England will not be able to reopen to all pupils after the February half-term but could do so from 8 March. (BBC)
  • The government will publish a plan to lead the country out of its current Covid lockdown on 22 February, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed. Johnson said progress towards normality would depend on the government and NHS meeting its 15 February target to vaccinate everyone in the four groups most vulnerable to Covid. (TTG)
  • The leaking of information about hotel quarantines without a timescale or a road map out of the new restrictions will be destabilising consumer confidence, according to TravelSupermarket. The situation is leading to “sensationalism and speculation” around whether people can take summer holidays, which are five months away. (Travel Weekly)
  • Home Secretary, Priti Patel has outlined new measures to restrict international travel. A declaration of why you are travelling, a stricter list of essential travel exemptions. and greater police checks and fines are among “enhanced” measures announced by government to curb international travel from the UK. (TTG)
  • Travel and aviation leaders are demanding an urgent response from the government to requests for financial aid and a pathway to relax border restrictions, accusing ministers of “laying blow after blow” on the industry. The heads of the Airport Operators Association (AOA), Airlines UK, Business Travel Association (BTA) and other industry bodies hit out after the government confirmed the imposition of compulsory hotel quarantine on arrivals from 30 destinations. (Travel Weekly)
  • The government’s Global Travel Taskforce is now no longer active. It attracted criticism from the sector when it emerged it would not include any representatives from the travel industry. TTG learnt today that the taskforce is no longer active, having made recommendations to government that are currently being implemented. This included recommendations on test to release and pre-departure testing. (TTG)
  • A range of UK short breaks has been introduced by youth brand Contiki following the launch of its Detour brand of ‘mini adventures’. The expanded range of domestic breaks follows a survey of its UK clients which showed 71% of respondents are planning to travel around the UK this year. Of these, 38% named Scotland as their destination choice and almost 15% wanted to experience English national parks. (Travel Weekly)
  • Hays Travel is to close 89 shops as it consolidates its retail estate amid the continued pressures of Covid-19. The UK’s largest travel agency said it is offering options for alternative work to 388 staff affected. The company said it had deferred reviewing the performance of the former Thomas Cook shops it acquired in October 2019 to see if business returned in 2021. (Travel Weekly)
  • The Biden administration has renewed the country’s Covid-19 travel bans on non-US visitors, including the UK and Ireland. Donald Trump had ordered the bans to end on 26 January, but White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the decision to continue the restrictions on foreign travellers 25 January. (TTG)
  • After the news that British residents arriving in England from Covid hotspots will have to quarantine in hotels, many would-be holidaymakers are thinking of opting for UK destinations this summer. Sarah and Steve Jarvis, who run the Independent Cottages website listing more than 1,800 properties, say inquiries during the current lockdown in England are 300% up on the first lockdown in March to July 2020. (BBC)
  • Boeing’s 737 Max has been cleared to return to service in the UK and Europe, 22 months after the aircraft was grounded following two fatal crashes. (TTG)

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