Weekly UK Media, Travel, Consumer & Social Update — 05 August, 2021

Weekly UK Media, Travel, Consumer & Social Update — 05 August, 2021
5th August 2021 James Brooke

Weekly UK Media, Travel, Consumer & Social Update — 05 August, 2021

Accurate as of: 05 August 2021 

Current UK status

Visit https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/ for all official information.

  • As of 4pm on 4 August 2021, a total of 243,512,311 coronavirus (COVID-19) tests have been conducted in the UK. 5,952,756 people have tested positive.
  • 46,928,033 people have had their first dose of the vaccination, while 38,733,334 have been fully vaccinated.
  • 153,734 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.

  • The UK government has amended its travelling abroad policy, so that travellers no longer need a ‘valid reason’ to travel abroad, opening up international trips to holidaymakers.
  • In order to enter the UK from a green list country (or an amber list country for fully vaccinated Brits), 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 test must be completed at the travellers’ expense before day two of their return.
  • In order to enter the UK from an amber list country, 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. For unvaccinated travellers, a further two tests must be completed at the travellers’ expense on days two and eight, and they must self-isolate for 10 days. Fully vaccinated travellers do not have to self-isolate, and simply need to take a day two test upon return.
  • 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 UK government has accepted advice from the JCVI that all healthy 16 and 17-year-olds should be offered a Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine. (BBC)
  • An update to the UK traffic light system happened on Thursday, and moving from amber to green is: Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway; moving from red to amber: India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE; moving from amber to red: Georgia, Mexico, La Reunion and Mayotte; and moving from amber-plus to amber: France. (BBC)
  • Australia will reopen its borders and end lockdowns when 80 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said. (Telegraph)
  • Ongoing confusion over the UK’s traffic lights system is causing European holiday operators to reject British travellers, according to one industry chief. “Hoteliers are turning away bookings from the UK in August because they don’t trust us – and European travellers are taking our beds and availability,” said Noel Josephides, Director of AITO, the Specialist Travel Association, and chairman of tour operator Sunvil. (Telegraph)
  • Brits will have to pay £6 to travel to Europe from 2023 under new rules drawn up by the European Commission. The long-planned European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will finally come into force in 18 months’ time, the EU said in an update. Under
    the scheme, British travellers – and anyone else outside the EU – will have to apply for a travel pass online before boarding their flight. The visa will be valid for three years and can be used for multiple trips. (Travel Gossip)
  • AITO has called on Which? to retract a new “red list” of package holiday providers based on their Covid refund policies, branding it “misleading and incorrect”. (TTG)
  • Both Ryanair and Wizz Air’s July passenger carryings have more than doubled year-on-year. Ryanair carried 9.3 million passengers in July, up from 4.4 million in July 2020. Wizz, meanwhile, saw its carryings increase 62% year-on-year in July from 1.82 million passengers to 2.97 million. (TTG)
  • The UK has dropped down the list of top tourist source markets for Spain in the latest figures, for June 2021. Germany sent the most (500,010) followed by France (438,560) and the Netherlands (147,312). The UK, which typically sends more holidaymakers to Spain than Germany, accounted for 142,507 visits in June. (Travel Weekly)
  • Ireland’s government is spending $300,000 in Galway to set up high-speed internet across the region as it aims to draw remote workers away from its cities. Experts within the corporate travel industry predict its rebound a lot quicker than expected based on this initiative (Skift).
  • Deloitte has warned business travel is set for a slow take-off, based on the findings of its new report — a message which is in stark contrast to many recent airline statements. Travel managers predict a slower recovery compared to bullish outlooks from the aviation sector. Only a third of companies expect to reach or surpass 50 percent of 2019 travel spend levels by the end of 2021. And just over half (54 percent) of respondents expect their companies to reach 2019 levels by the fourth quarter of 2022. (Skift)

Social media:

  • YouTube earlier this year announced its plans to significantly invest in original creator content for its TikTok competitor, YouTube shorts, with the introduction of a $100 million YouTube. The fund will reward creators for their most engaging and most viewed short-form videos over the course of 2021 to 2022. (Tech Crunch)
  • There has been a serious and systemic failure to tackle antisemitism across the five biggest social media platforms, resulting in a “safe space for racists” according to a report. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok failed to act on 84% of posts spreading anti-Jewish hatred and propaganda reported via the platforms’ official complaints system. (Guardian).
  • After a fittingly fleeting time in the wild, Twitter is banishing its ephemeral stories feature known as Fleets, which debuted in November 2020. But, just, after eight months live, Twitter is killing the feature. (Tech Crunch)
  • Facebook messenger and WhatsApp users have been issued an urgent warning over safety fears. The apps, which are used by millions across the world, could fall prey to hackers who could read private messages to friends, family, partners and colleagues. (Daily Record)
  • Olympic athlete Elaine Thompson-Herah has had her Instagram account blocked after she attempted to post videos of her triumphant 100 metre and 200 metre finals from the Toyko 2020 Olympics as she did not own the rights to do so. (Express)
  • WhatsApp said that it would soon let users send disappearing photos and videos and this week the feature will be rolling out to everybody. Anyone using the Facebook-owned messaging app can share a photo or video in “view once” mode, allowing a single viewing before the media in question goes poof. (Tech Crunch)

Need help navigating the UK’s changing reopening? Get in touch.