Weekly UK Media, Travel, Consumer & Social Update — 12 August, 2021

Weekly UK Media, Travel, Consumer & Social Update — 12 August, 2021
12th August 2021 James Brooke

Weekly UK Media, Travel, Consumer & Social Update — 12 August, 2021

Accurate as of: 12 August 2021 

Current UK status

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

  • As of 4pm on 10 August 2021, a total of 248,298,687 coronavirus (COVID-19) tests have been conducted in the UK. 6,117,540 people have tested positive.
  • 47,129,400 people have had their first dose of the vaccination, while 39,839,709 have been fully vaccinated.
  • 154,202 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:

  • A competition watchdog has pledged to complete its investigation into the price of COVID travel tests within the next month after acknowledging it is a ‘very live issue’. In a letter to Health Secretary Sajid Javid, Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) boss Andrea Coscelli vowed to make the probe a priority. (Travel Gossip)
  • The travel trade has reported a spike in last-minute sales for August following the latest traffic light update and growing optimism across the sector. Retailers said bookings steadily increased in recent weeks but surged immediately after the government’s international travel announcement on 4 August. (Travel Weekly)
  • Heathrow has warned that the UK is “falling behind” the EU in its recovery from Covid-19 due to current travel restrictions and testing requirements. (TTG)
  • A new study by Saga has revealed that more than a third of Britons (36%) have been unable to book a break in the UK this summer. (TTG)
  • The Government “had months to act” to avoid testing chaos this summer, a travel industry watchdog has said. New images emerged this week showing test drop boxes overflowing with unsorted PCR tests, many from people travelling back from green or amber list countries. (Telegraph)
  • Only six tour operators remain on Which? Travel’s red list of companies to avoid after its initial verdicts sparked outrage. It means 15 firms which appeared on the original red list have been moved to either green or amber, or removed altogether. (Travel Gossip)
  • A new report from consulting firm Belvera Partners finds: “Sustainability overall has had a poor take-up in the B2B travel space.” This report finds only 43% of the companies analysed mention sustainability – or similar terms such as environment or CSR – on their websites. Many fewer (24%) have sustainability policies on their sites and still fewer (17%) have any sort of “sustainability report.” (PhocusWire)
  • As organizations start to embrace distributed work and virtual meetings, the corporate travel and meetings sectors are preparing for change. The unexpected element in this solution are cruises. With bad press during the pandemic, they’re trying to reposition themselves for the remote working boom, testing waters with good connection and designating some of its itineraries as extra suitable for remote work. (Skift)
  • The most popular destinations for employee relocation in 2021 include Luxembourg and Amsterdam, according to data from corporate housing startup AltoVita. Other key cities for 2021 include Dublin and Paris, but London and Madrid, among the top destinations for 2019, fell down the list for 2021. (Skift)

Social media:

  • WhatsApp users will finally be able to move their entire chat history between mobile operating systems- something that’s been one of users’ biggest requests to date. The company today introduced a feature that will soon become available to users of both iOS and Android devices. (Tech Crunch)
  • Facebook has removed hundreds of accounts which it says were involved in anti-vax disinformation campaigns operated from Russia. The company said the network of accounts targeted India, Latin America and the US. (BBC)
  • Instagram is rolling out a set of new features aimed at helping people protect their accounts from abuse, including offensive and unwanted comments and messages. The company will introduce tools for filtering abusive direct message (DM) requests. (Tech Crunch)
  • Twitter claims identity verification wouldn’t have prevented the torrent of racist abuse against Black players on England’s football team, which followed the team’s loss in the Euro 2020 championship game last month. According to an update posted by Twitter UK, the majority of the accounts suspended for abusive content during the tournament were not anonymous. (The Verge)
  • TikTok was the world’s most downloaded app in 2020 as it took the top spot from Facebook Messenger, according to digital analytics company App Annie. (BBC)
  • Former Love Island star Dr Alex George has revealed he has deleted his Twitter account to protect his mental health. The star, who rose to fame on the 2018 series of the ITV2 reality show, explained he was not leaving because of trolling, though admitted much of what he saw on the platform was “negative and demotivating.” (Digital Spy)

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