Weekly UK Media, Travel, Consumer & Social Update — 1 April, 2021
Accurate as of: 1 April 2021
Current UK status:
Visit https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/ for all official information.
- As of 4pm on 31 March 2021, a total of 122,824,208 coronavirus (COVID-19) tests have been conducted in the UK. 4,345,788 people have tested positive.
- 30,905,538 people have had their first dose of the vaccination, while 4,108,536 have been fully vaccinated.
- 126,713 patients in the UK who tested positive for COVID-19 have died.
- Guidance for the current lockdown rules in England can be found
UK travel restrictions:
Visit www.gov.uk/government/organisations/foreign-commonwealth-office for all official information.
- Boris Johnson has laid out a roadmap out of lockdown, with key touchstones to further open up the country on 12 April, 17 May and 21 June.
- Currently, 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. A further two tests must be completed at the travellers’ expense during their quarantine before they can return to day-to-day life.
- 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.
- Groups of up to six people from two different households are now able to socialise outdoors in the latest relaxing of UK lockdown rules.
- Meanwhile, across the Channel, France is entering its third national lockdown, with schools closing for three weeks and non-essential shops shutting. (BBC)
- IATA is to launch a travel pass app in April, which will allow passengers to certify their Covid-19 status. (TTG)
- Research by firm Oxera and consultants Edge Health claims quarantine is unnecessary “if widespread testing is adopted”. The study recommends antigen tests as the favoured option. (TTG)
- Research among 2,000 consumers by travel insurance provider battleface showed 62% of Britons are in favour of more countries adopting vaccination passports. Conversely, 26% of British holidaymakers would be put off visiting a country if they were required to provide proof of a Covid-19 vaccination. (TTG)
- The Save Future Travel Coalition has written to government calling for sector-specific grants for travel agencies in England. The coalition of 15 travel industry trade bodies noted the “disparity” between support for affected members in England and other parts of the UK, as well as other countries. (Travel Weekly)
- The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA), which represents more than 2,000 tourism sites across the country, is calling for an extra day off in September to make up for lost business over Easter and the first May bank holiday, which will fall under lockdown restrictions. (Telegraph)
- An expert predicts some of the “green list” countries for when international travel from the UK is permitted again – Iceland, Portugal, Sri Lanka, and the Caribbean islands. (Express)
- While all eyes are on Europe and its third wave, across the Pond the US is readying itself for the restart of tourism, with some hotels already at 90 per cent occupancy. (The Times)
- Reports are surfacing that Biden will lift the travel ban on the UK in May. (Forbes)
- Universal Studios Hollywood has announced it will reopen to guests from 16 April. (Travel Weekly)
- Brazil’s Central Bank has approved the Facebook company’s payments license which will allow them to start using WhatsApp as a kind of PayPal/Venmo/Cash App/Square. China’s way ahead of us on integration between social and payments but Facebook’s making headway more broadly across the world so expect more updates soon.
- Instagram has rolled out ad placements to IGTV for creators in the UK and Australia as they expand their roster of revenue-sharing tools. In contrast to YouTube, Facebook (as a parent company) has had a lot of trouble more directly sharing cash with the creators that give them the assets around which they place ads. Not every creator is yet eligible but stay tuned.
- Facebook is expanding their ‘Rise’ ad agency training program to new countries in the wake of the advertising industry’s lowest employment numbers since 2014. Designed for advertising professionals who’ve faced redundancy or furlough, Rise is a training program to help digital advertisers get back on their feet. Find out more here however note that the UK isn’t formally part of the scheme.
- Technically offline — well, sort of — Facebook is investing in two new undersea cables to improve Internet connection capacity for expanding Asia Pacific markets. Expanding digital access to a faster Internet has been on the Facebook playbook for a while — Facebook-installed-as-standard-and-undeletable phones aside — so it’s no surprise they’re continuing to make infrastructure investments. After all: Facebook’s just about capitalised on the number of online users already on the platform so, to grow, they need to connect new people to the Internet who don’t already have it.
- Both Instagram and Snapchat are working on their own versions of TikTok’s iconic ‘Duets’ feature, with both seeming to call them ‘Remixes’ for now. Instagram’s Remixes are live now but Snapchat’s are still in testing.
- As Clubhouse continues to remain the gold standard for audio-based social (for now…) Twitter is pushing ahead with Spaces and it will soon be available on desktop web browsers. Find the announcement as tweeted by @magusnn, one of Twitter Spaces’ engineers, here.
- And LinkedIn, late as ever, is working on a Clubhouse rival of their own. LinkedIn and Twitter, for our money, are definitely the two platforms on which this audio capacity makes the most sense — where Facebook’s will likely remain mostly friends and family — as they’re replacing the pub chat given enduring COVID restrictions. We’ll see how these platforms perform once we can all get back to regular, face-to-face, unrestricted life.