Weekly UK Media, Travel, Consumer & Social Update — 22 Sept, 2021

Weekly UK Media, Travel, Consumer & Social Update — 22 Sept, 2021
22nd September 2021 James Brooke

Weekly UK Media, Travel, Consumer & Social Update — 22 Sept, 2021

Accurate as of: 22 September 2021 

Current UK status

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

  • As of 4pm on 22 September 2021, a total of 290,096,084 coronavirus (COVID-19) tests have been conducted in the UK. 7,530,103 people have tested positive.
  • 48,644,692 people have had their first dose of the vaccination, while 44,556,005 have been fully vaccinated.
  • 158,664 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 international trips up to holidaymakers once again.
  • 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:

  • Costly day two PCR tests could be scrapped in time for the half-term break, Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, suggested in the House of Commons. The initial relaxation of the current travel system, as announced on September 17, is due on October 4. The green and amber lists will merge and fully vaccinated UK adults and under-18s will no longer need to take a pre-departure test to return to England. (Telegraph)
  • Officials in the United States have confirmed Covid-19-related travel restrictions will be lifted for travellers from the European Union, United Kingdom and elsewhere from November. From November, foreign travellers will be allowed to fly into the US if they are fully-vaccinated, and undergo testing and contact tracing. (Breaking Travel News)
  • Shapps says he ‘never wants to see’ rapid red list changes again. The transport secretary says he recognises the “crippling” impact of countries being moved to the red list at short notice and hopes the problem is now in the past, thanks to widespread Covid-19 vaccinations. (Travel Weekly)
  • The government of Barbados has extended its national curfew to September 25 “due to the evolving nature of the Covid-19 pandemic”. A bulletin from Visit Barbados said the curfew is in effect from 9pm to 5am on Monday- Saturday, and from 6pm to 5am Sunday. (Travel Weekly)
  • Google is taking action on sustainability issues related to travel with two new initiatives. Hotels that have met sustainability standards from certain independent organisations, such as Green Key or EarthCheck, will have an eco-certified badge next to their name in searches on google.com/travel. The company is also joining Travalyst, a sustainable travel coalition launched in 2019 by Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, in partnership with Booking.com, Skyscanner, Trip.com Group, Tripadvisor and Visa. (PhocusWire)
  • The UK government has announced that it will accept UAE vaccination certificates from October 4, coinciding with the removal of the traffic light system. (Business Traveller)
  • American Express has pledged to achieve net-zero global carbon emissions by 2035, 15 years ahead of the climate neutrality deadline set by the landmark Paris Agreement. (Business Travel News)

Social media:

  • Facebook’s trying out another way to boost positive contributions in groups, with a new feature called ‘Community Awards’ now in live testing. The idea is that by rewarding more engaging, more beneficial interactions, that you can encourage individual users to interact more often, while the award will also highlight to other group members what types of comments you want to see, which could help to improve overall interaction. (Social Media Today)
  • Pinterest has provided a new overview of the key trends gaining traction on its platform, as well as some examples of how brands are using its evolving trend insights to formulate more effective Pin outreach. (Social Media Today)
  • Apple is reportedly working on ways to help detect and diagnose conditions such as depression, anxiety and cognitive decline using an iPhone. Researchers hope that analysis of data such as mobility, sleep patterns and how people type could spot behaviours associated with those conditions. (Tech Crunch)
  • Facebook is taking the next steps in turning WhatsApp into a critical connector for more functions with the addition of a new local business directory in the app. The new option will enable users to tap on ‘Businesses Nearby’ in their WhatsApp contact listing, which will then show them a listing of active local business profiles in the app. (Social Media Today)

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