Weekly UK Media, Travel, Consumer & Social Update — 04 June, 2021
Accurate as of June 3rd
Current UK status
Visit https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/ for all official information.
- As of 4pm on 3 June 2021, a total of 181,720,658 coronavirus (COVID-19) tests have been conducted in the UK. 4,499, 878 people have tested positive.
- 39,758,428 people have had their first dose of the vaccination, while 26,422,303 have been fully vaccinated.
- 152,183 patients in the UK who tested positive for COVID-19 have died.
- Guidance for the current lockdown rules in England can be found here.
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 21 June.
- 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.
- Portugal will be added to the amber travel list as Transport Secretary Grant Shapps raised concerns of a new coronavirus mutation and rising cases. Sri Lanka, Egypt and five other countries will also be added to the red list requiring isolation in a government-approved hotel, it was announced on Thursday afternoon. (Evening Standard)
- Ministers have moved to tighten Britain’s borders as new data suggests the Delta Coronavirus variant (Nepal variant) is much more likely to cause serious illness and is circulating more rapidly within schools. Data from Public Health England released on Thursday evening showed that the Delta variant, first detected in India, is dominant in the accounting for 75% of infections. (Guardian)
- No more countries will be added to the green list. The government said that Portugal had seen a doubling of infection rates since the previous travel review. Critics have warned off a loss of jobs and confidence, whilst EasyJet said the government had torn up its own rules. (BBC)
- Ireland is “not in a position” to restore the Common Travel Area with the UK amid “real concerns” about the presence of the variant originating in in India in Britain. At the moment, anyone travelling from the UK to Ireland must have a negative PCR test and must quarantine until they have another negative PCR test five days after their arrival. (Independent.ie)
- European Union governments agreed on Wednesday to add Japan to their small list of countries from which they will allow non-essential travel, while holding off until at least mid-June for British Tourists. Individual EU countries can still opt to demand a negative COVID-19 test or a period of quarantine. (Euronews)
- Heathrow airport has opened a dedicated red list arrivals facility at Terminal 3. The aim is to create more capacity for arrivals when the government expands its green list of countries which do not require quarantine on return to the UK under the traffic light system. The dedicated facility opened on Tuesday 1st (Travel Weekly)
- VisitBritain predicts ‘a slow recovery’ for domestic tourism spending, estimated to reach £51.4 billion this year, just over half of the £91.6 billion in 2019. Last year saw about two-thirds of the value wiped off the domestic tourism industry amid the pandemic, representing a £58 billion loss to the economy. Its forecast for inbound tourism spending in the UK this year is £6.2 billion, less than a quarter of the £28.4 billion in 2019. (Travel Weekly)
- According to a poll conducted by Good Morning Britain, more than a third of Brits who are planning travel to amber list countries say they won’t quarantine on the return to the UK. (Manchester Evening News)
- A YouGov survey of many of the world’s major travel markets suggests overwhelming support for travel vaccination certificates or ‘vaccine passports’. Online research firm YouGov surveyed customers aged 18 and above in 17 countries in the second half of April. Asking whether they agreed international travellers should be required to have vaccination ‘passports’. (Travel Weekly)
- Every so often, social platforms finally get their product roadmap up to date, get everything coded, and then get everything out all at once. Facebook did it a few weeks ago and this week it’s Twitter’s turn.
- After @wongmjane called it last week, Twitter has launched Twitter Blue. The subscription service is available in Canada and Australia for now and features among its highlights the ability to undo tweets before they publish to your followers, create bookmark folders so you can sort all of the tweets you’ve saved for later into helpful categories, and to read Twitter threads more easily with a new Reader Mode.
- Twitter Blue is only available for iOS users in Australia and Canada for now so don’t be surprised when you log on to twitter.com or Twitter for Android and your threads aren’t seamless or your tweets won’t undo.
- Just a week after opening verification requests to the public, Twitter closed them back down to handle the influx. While they’re back live now, this is an interesting experiment in Twitter’s internal quality control. Anecdotally, we haven’t noticed more verified users than usual this though this could change over time.
- As Twitter continues to explore every option for monetising, they’ve announced a new Fleets ads test. You’ve seen Story ads so you know what a Fleet ad is. Videos can run up to 30 seconds, which is longer than the single video panel Story placement (though you can pair three videos in a carousel for a 45-second ad) however the Fleets placement will only be visible to a limited group of businesses in the US on iOS and Android.
- Managing a big campaign with a lot of brands across Instagram? New Branded Content tools promise to make that easier, with the ability to tag up to two brands in a single pieced of Branded Content. Part of this rollout includes Instagram allowing creators to post branded content before brand approval, though the brand name won’t appear on the post until after it’s approved.
- Just like iOS14.5’s tracking changes, Google has rolled out updates to let users opt out of ad tracking on Android. As part of that initiative, they’re looking to add extra security to cover use cases that advertisers continued to exploit to generate first-party data. We’ve mentioned before about Google’s quest for the post-cookie Internet but we’re still a while away.
- At this week’s annual F8 Developer conference, Facebook announced its Messenger API is opening up to let businesses plug their Instagram DMs into their CRM so you can manage your customer service all in one place. You can already do this through your Facebook Page if your Facebook Page and Instagram profile are connected but now you can do this on, for example, Hootsuite instead of Facebook itself.
- After launching them in partnership with select brands last month, Instagram is expanding its Reels ads partnerships across the UK, the US, Canada, and France. Knix Wear, Louis Vuitton, Nespresso, Netflix, and Swiggy are all involved. Stay tuned for a wider, public release.
- After Instagram chief Adam Mosseri’s recent stance against just sharing Feed posts to Stories (claiming he wants to see more original Story content), the app has reversed its quiet penalties to Story reach. That means that full-screen, Story-first Stories will get the same weight as a Feed post shared to a Story. The Israel vs. Palestine conflict over the last few weeks sparked a fresh wave of IG activism that embraced the text-post-as-image > Story pipeline heavily and creators and celebrities considered this Reach penalisation to be censorship so Instagram’s rolling it back… for now, probably.
- One of YouTube’s most useful features comes to Facebook — the ability to embed a video that starts from a specified timecode in the embed. If you’re familiar with HTML you could already do this yourself but anything that makes life easier online is good, especially as Facebook continues to embrace longer form video.
- With Twitter Spaces hot on its heels, Clubhouse continues to look for ways to make itself invaluable to the people who do (now slowly) install the app. Last week, they announced their ‘Inaugural Class’ of Creator First grants recipients. This week, they’ve hired Kelly Stoetzel, TED’s former speaker curator, Justin Uberti, a former Google engineer across their audio/video products to expand the quality of speakers on the platform and to streamline the way the app works.
- Meanwhile, Twitter add Spaces access to the web.