Weekly UK Media, Travel, Consumer & Social Update — 13 May, 2021
Accurate as of: 13 May 2021
UK Media & Consumer Market Update
Current UK status
Visit https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/ for all official information.
- As of 4pm on 12 May 2021, a total of 164,129,675 coronavirus (COVID-19) tests have been conducted in the UK. 4,441,975 people have tested positive.
- 35,722,461 people have had their first dose of the vaccination, while 18,438,532 have been fully vaccinated.
- 151,765 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 17 May and 21 June.
- Currently, UK residents can only travel internationally 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.
- 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.
- The government has announced its initial travel green list, including just Portugal and Iceland in Europe. (Telegraph)
- Just four of the destinations included on the “green list”, Portugal, Madeira, Azores and Gibraltar, will allow Brits into the country without quarantining. Iceland is only accepting fully vaccinated Brits. (The Sun)
- Online travel agent On The Beach has stopped selling all holidays for this summer due to Covid uncertainty. The pause in sales until September includes “green list” countries such as Portugal. (BBC)
- England’s NHS app will be available to use as a vaccine passport from Monday, the government has said – but only for those who have had both doses of the jab. A paper version will also be available – by calling 119 but not through a GP. (BBC)
- Though Israel is on the UK’s green travel list, renewed conflict with Palestine has reached the worst levels in years and hundreds have been injured or killed in severe clashes in the streets. (BBC)
- British Airways is to run a trial of an ultra-rapid Covid-19 antigen test that display results within 25 seconds. (Travel Weekly)
- Jet2holidays is “working on” a deal to offer discounted PCR tests for its customers but wants to guarantee results will be ready before departure “100% of the time” first. (Travel Weekly)
- Travel companies have been warned they must be ready to refund consumers if foreign holidays are cancelled by the coronavirus pandemic this summer. The Competition and Markets Authority said it had reminded package holiday firms of their legal obligations. (BBC)
- Tui Group has seen UK bookings for Portugal leap 182% following the government’s “green list” announcement last week. (TTG)
- Spain could lift its pre-travel test requirement for Brits travelling to the country and its islands next week. Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto confirmed the current test requirement for entry into Spain for UK travellers would be removed from 20 May if rates of Covid infection fall below around 50 per 100,000. (TTG)
- Greece is in talks with the UK to get its islands added to the green list after pledging to vaccinate all residents on its islands by the end of June to attract tourists this summer. It comes as Heathrow airport chief John Holland-Kaye also called for the US to be added to the green list. (iNews)
- With Clubhouse now finally available on Android, and its downloads dwindling after enjoying a period of hype through the northern hemisphere winter during lockdown, Facebook is launching their new Live Audio Rooms with public figures and creators in Taiwan. In stark contrast to Clubhouse’s relative dearth of monetisation options, Live Audio Room hosts can monetise their Rooms from the get-go.
- We mentioned it above but Clubhouse is finally available on Android. Well, not everywhere. They’re starting with the US and then expanding to other English-speaking countries and then the rest of the world and, even then, there are technical limitations like even being able to update your name or username in-app on Android, but it’s here. But is it too little too late? Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all adding audio social tools and Clubhouse’s overall downloads were down 72% in March after its 9.6 million download peak in February.
- After debuting on a select handful of channels, YouTube is expanding its ‘Clips’ tool to over “10x more channels” over the next few weeks. The biggest use case seems to be sharing specific parts of a video to social — like highlights from a long discussion — but they are accessible on the video’s watch page on YouTube as well.
- In our most recurring segment — “American Platform Does Exactly What TikTok Did A Few Weeks Ago” — YouTube is this week offering $100 million top Shorts creators to get them to, well, make Shorts. It’s perhaps unfair to say this is directly a TikTok rip-off because it’s also straight from Snapchat’s recent playbook. As with Snapchat, the money won’t just be for established users and will instead benefit any Shorts that break out. The fund will pay out over 2021-22.
- As part of their ongoing ecommerce push, TikTok is quietly negotiating with major UK retailers like Hype to test new direct product listing options. The app aims to generate $185 billion in ecommerce revenue by 2022 and this is part of that ongoing drive internally.
- Speaks for itself — Instagram is adding a new pronouns option to profiles so users can display how they’d like to be identified in conversations. There are a long list of options and LinkedIn’s recently done the same. It’s been a big part of identity politics on other platforms for a while and, as Instagram looks to crack down on bullying, is a natural next step for the lifestyle app.
- After fines, lawsuits, and general consternation, TikTok has launched Safety Center updates to “make it easy for parents to understand how TikTok works and the tools they can use to create the best experience for their family.” The app’s had a lot of data security trouble in the past — and lest we also forget that its parent company is Chinese — and with one-third of its users under 14 it’s vital that TikTok protects its young users’ both in terms of identity security and content security.
- In a soft theme for this week, Facebook continues to push ahead with controversial new implementations — in this case, Instagram For Kids. Instagram chief Adam Mosseri believes it to be the right way forward and Facebook may have more relevant data than the general public’s gut feeling. After all, as Social Media Today notes, Messenger for Kids has 7 million monthly active users and hasn’t made headlines so that must be working.