Weekly UK Media, Travel, Consumer & Social Update — 19 August, 2021

Weekly UK Media, Travel, Consumer & Social Update — 19 August, 2021
19th August 2021 James Brooke

Weekly UK Media, Travel, Consumer & Social Update — 19 August, 2021

Accurate as of: 19 August 2021 

Current UK status

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

  • As of 4pm on 17 August 2021, a total of 253,802,828 coronavirus (COVID-19) tests have been conducted in the UK. 6,322,241 people have tested positive.
  • 47,379,418 people have had their first dose of the vaccination, while 40,841,971 have been fully vaccinated.
  • 154,811 patients in the UK who tested positive for COVID-19 have died.

UK travel restrictions:

Visit the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office website 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:

  • Chaotic conditions have been reported outside Kabul airport as European governments rush to bring home their citizens as well as Afghan colleagues. French, Dutch, German, Spanish, Czech and Polish planes have all departed as of 18 August. (BBC)
  • Austria has become the second country to set an expiry date for Covid-19 vaccine passports, causing further confusion for travellers. On Tuesday the country announced that it is stamping a maximum validity period of 270 days – around nine months – on proof of vaccination, which is currently needed to visit the country. (Independent)
  • WTM London has unveiled plans for “robust” safety measures for the physical part of the show taking place in November. All attendees visiting the show at ExCeL will have to provide proof of either vaccination, a negative Covid-19 test or that they have natural immunity. (TTG)
  • Researchers have developed a new Covid-19 test that is designed to provide results in less than 10 minutes, a breakthrough that could transform the current testing process for international travel. A team from the University of Birmingham has found that the test, called RTF-EXPAR, is “just as sensitive” in detecting the virus as PCR tests, and detects low levels of Covid-19 – which lateral flow or antigen tests cannot. (Telegraph)
  • Holidaymakers are reportedly wasting money on private PCR tests with as many as 150,000 results a week not being passed on to track variants. Travellers are spending more than £11 million on these PCR tests, at a cost of £75 each on average. (Travel Weekly)
  • Europe’s airlines have largely avoided bankruptcy and consolidation through the Covid crisis due to government support and the availability of capital, but “the sector may be at a tipping point”. That is according to management consultancy FTI Consulting which warns “bold moves” may be required for the aviation industry “to weather the upcoming storm”. (Travel Weekly)
  • Tourism recovery in Greece could be at risk due to devastating wildfires in parts of the country. Efforts to extend the Greek summer season into October with a 15% rise in airline capacity over 2019 levels and a reduction in hotel rates could be jeopardised, according to data analyst firm Mabrian. (Travel Weekly)
  • As many as 95% of travellers from small firms are willing to restart business travel again within the next year and 63% are actively willing to do so. Travellers from small businesses see their companies facing severe consequences if they do not increase travel soon, according to research by travel, expense and invoice management solution firm SAP Concur. (Travel Weekly)
  • According to McKinsey, the world experienced three to four years of digital transformation in the past year. For the travel industry, this means being hit with a wave of new consumer expectations. A recent survey by SuperOffice discovered that 45.9% of business professionals said that customer experience is going to be the main one. (PhocusWire)
  • Capgemini and Cognizant, two global consultancies are about to pare down their business travel to an absolute minimum for the post-pandemic future. They outlined programs that will make employee travel extremely difficult to justify, having successfully ran their businesses virtually for the past 18 months. It is predicted that airlines and hotels will lose about $900 million usually devoted to both companies’ travel budgets. (Skift)

Social media:

  • Twitter introduced a new test feature that allows users to report misinformation they run into on the platform, flagging it to the company as “misleading.” The test roll out will start to most users in the U.S, Australia and South Korea. (Tech Crunch)
  • Social networks struggle to crack down on ‘incel’ movement. Despite years of strict moderation from the main social networks, the “incel” community remains as influential as it was in 2014, when an English 22-year-old killed seven people on the streets of Isla Vista, California, motivated by his hatred of women. (Guardian)
  • YouTube has announced two feature updates to make it easier for people to find the content they’re looking for on the platform. This includes visual search features and easier discovery of foreign language videos that have captions in the user’s local language. (Tech Crunch)

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