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Weekly UK Media, Travel, Consumer & Social Update — 20 Oct, 2021

Weekly UK Media, Travel, Consumer & Social Update — 20 Oct, 2021
21 October 2021 James Brooke

Accurate as of: 20 October 2021 

Current UK status

Visit for all official information.

  • As of 4pm on 20 October 2021, a total of 318,239,077 coronavirus (COVID-19) tests have been conducted in the UK. 8,589,737 people have tested positive.
  • 49,505,327 people have had their first dose of the vaccination, while 45,433,757 have been fully vaccinated.
  • 162,620 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.

  • From 4 October, the green, red & amber lists have been abolished. Now there is only a red list, from which people will have to quarantine in a hotel at their own expense for 10 days. Fully vaccinated people travelling from ‘rest of the world’ countries (not on the red list) are able to travel to the UK without the need for self-isolation; all that is required is a day 2 PCR test upon arriving in the UK. This test is set to be replaced with a cheaper lateral flow test from end of October.

Latest updates:

  • Mask wearing, working from home and a ban on indoor gatherings must return, an NHS leader has warned. Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, has warned ministers must immediately enforce “Plan B” coronavirus restrictions or “risk stumbling into a winter crisis”. (The Telegraph)
  • Morocco has banned all flights from the UK from midnight tonight over concerns about escalating Covid rates. It comes as UK Covid rates in the last seven days reached 40,000 per day. (TTG)
  • The White House announced on 15 October that it will lift COVID-19 travel restrictions for fully vaccinated international visitors starting 8 November, ending historic restrictions that had barred much of the world from entering the United States for as long as 21 months. (Reuters)
  • Winter demand is returning to pre-pandemic levels, according to and Jet2holidays, which has responded by hiking winter 2021/22 capacity for Turkey and the Canary Islands from nine of its 10 UK bases. (TTG)
  • EasyJet will open its first airport lounge, at London Gatwick’s North Terminal, on 21 October following the return of business travel. The lounge will be open to both business and leisure travellers, including children. (Travel Gossip)
  • Tui is launching an advertising campaign across Europe that will “run for years”, showcasing the operator’s “breadth of offer”, in a bid to reposition its brand. The ‘Live Happy’ campaign in the UK begins with a 60-second video that will premiere during an episode of Coronation Street on ITV. It will also appear on video on demand, online video, radio, social media, print media, out of home and retail windows. (Travel Weekly)
  • Driven by fast‐growing interest from start-ups, aerospace companies and venture capital, electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft are set to significantly disrupt urban mobility over the next few years. In the near future, fleets of these sustainable and low-emission aircrafts will act as “air taxis”, able to get passengers and goods across cities, bypassing road traffic with travel times that will seem unimaginable to today’s commuters. (PhocusWire)
  • Easyjet has launched a competition inviting children to design a zero-emission aircraft. The airline has partnered with Airbus, zero-emission technology start-up Wright Electric, and designer Frank Stephenson, known for his recent work on designs for electric flying taxis, to launch the Aircraft of the Future competition, open to 7–16 year olds in the UK. (BusinessTraveller)
  • EasyJet flights from Gatwick to Glasgow during the COP26 Climate Change Conference will be powered by a 30% Sustainable Aviation Fuel. The SAF being supplied is produced from 100% renewable and sustainable waste and residue raw materials, such as used cooking oil and animal fat waste. (Travel Weekly)

Social media:

  • Instagram has added a new option to schedule upcoming IG Live broadcasts in the app, with users then able to tap through to get a reminder notification on the day of the broadcast. Broadcasters will now be able to schedule an upcoming stream up to 90 days in advance. (Social Media Today)
  • As part of its broader effort to maximise inclusion, and ensure optimal freedom of representation on its platform, Twitter has announced a new #TwitterPrism initiative, which is designed to help marketing partners integrate more inclusive approaches into their outreach efforts. The program aims to help marketers develop more inclusive strategies, while also encouraging more media spend among ‘historically excluded communities’. (Social Media Today)
  • Facebook already allows users to cross-post their Instagram Stories and Reels to Facebook. Now it’s testing a new feature that would see posts flowing in the other direction, too. The company recently rolled out an option that allows users to cross-post their Facebook updates that include photos or videos over to their Instagram. For people who are active on both platforms, the feature could save you from having to upload the same media twice in two different apps. (Tech Crunch)
  • WhatsApp has announced that it’s expanding its joinable call feature to group chats. Joinable calls, which were first introduced in July, allow users to join an ongoing group call after it has begun. With the latest expansion, users can now call a WhatsApp group and join the call directly from a group chat window. (Tech Crunch)
  • Pinterest says that total travel searches across its platform are up 19% in 2021, compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019, while at the same time, searches for specific destinations are down 14% over the same period. (Social Media Today)

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