The Canary Islands, Mykonos and the Maldives are back on the menu for holidaymakers after Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, announced four new travel corridors. Holidaymakers returning from any of these destinations after 4am on Sunday will not be required to quarantine.
Three of the four new additions – Denmark was also handed a travel corridor, but is not permitting UK residents to enter unless they have a “worthy” reason – are now viable options for a half-term holiday or autumn break.
A surge in bookings, particularly for the Canary Islands, where temperatures hover around 25C in October, has been almost immediate, with Thomas Cook reporting that traffic to its website tripled in the aftermath of the announcement on Thursday evening.
The rising demand has pushed up price. On Thursday, there were return flights available for just £34 to Tenerife; they rose to £51 within half an hour of the announcement, and by Friday morning the cheapest options were £183. Flights to Lanzarote have jumped from £100 to £179 in less than 24 hours, with few direct options left.
This comes as little surprise as a recent poll by flight comparison site Skyscanner revealed that the Canary and Balearic Islands were the most wanted restriction-free travel corridors. Prices should come down in the coming weeks as airlines including Jet2 and EasyJet add more departures.
Scroll down for the latest updates.
That's a wrap
Here's what we learnt today:
Holiday bookings have soared after the Canary Islands were moved to the quarantine green list
The Maldives and Mykonos are also back on the menu for travellers
Cyprus and Greece have made face masks mandatory outdoors
Italy's Campania region has announced plans for a full lockdown
Australia's travel ban is inspiring city-dwellers to explore the Outback, with deadly consequences
Wales is about to begin its (minimum) 17-day second lockdown, with all non-essential travel banned
We'll be back tomorrow. Enjoy your Friday night.
Escape lockdown: 10 last-minute holidays to quiet corners of the UK
We'll leave you with this, from Abigail Blasi – a collection of idyllic cottages, watchtowers and treehouses still available for next week, where you can forget that 2020 ever rained on your parade.
A last-gasp holiday in Wales
Telegraph Travel's Hazel Plush, having spent a couple of days in the Brecon Beacons, has just
jumped on the last helicopter out of Saigon started her car journey home. The pubs she visited were already deserted – it seems that people stopped going out on Monday as soon as the lockdown, which comes into force at 6pm today, was announced.
We’re driving out of Wales, mindful of the 6pm deadline – keen to get back across the border before it ‘closes’ behind us. We’ve been in Brecon for two days, a snatched getaway while we still could. I was convinced there would be a rush of people doing the same: seizing the pic.twitter.com/aEZWNmILja
— Hazel Plush (@hazelplush) October 23, 2020
The destinations that deserve a travel corridor
A number of African and Latin America countries with consistently low levels of Covid-19 still don't have a travel corridor, says Emma Featherstone. She takes a look at the places that are most deserving of being added to our travel green list, with low case rates, open borders and relatively mild restrictions on visitors from the UK.
Quick, efficient, uncomfortable – a blow-by-blow account of a pre-holiday Covid test
A number of countries ask holidaymakers to present a negative Covid result to enter, so Greg Dickinson opened wide and tested it out. He writes:
Back in the day, the idea of a holiday “starting early” might have involved a cocktail the night before flying, once your bags were packed and your out of office was switched on.
These days, the holiday starts even earlier, only it involves inserting a swab into the darkest crevasses of your nose and throat.
As it stands, our options for international holidays are as follows. There are the four destinations that let us in without any quarantine or testing restrictions – these are Gibraltar, Greece, the Canary Islands and Sweden.
There are many that won’t let holidaymakers in at all (the USA, India, Thailand) and a number which you can feasibly get to, but which will require a quarantine either on arrival or on your return (mainland Spain, Italy, Turkey).
Then, there is a gaggle of green-listed destinations which will test you on arrival, like the Faroes, Jersey, and Cuba, and another handful that will let you in so long as you can present a negative Covid-19 PCR result on arrival, like the Maldives, Cyprus, Barbados and a number of Caribbean countries.
Will visitors to the Canary Islands soon need to take a test?
As it stands, Britons can fly to Tenerife or Lanzarote and are only subject to the following three requirements:
Provide the Spanish Ministry of Health with mandatory contact information and any history of exposure to Covid-19 48 hours prior to travel
Undergo a visual health assessment
However, the Spanish government recently said it was considering new protocols for travel to both the Canary Islands and the Balearics. Under the proposed rules, tourists entering the islands from a country with a seven-day case rate of more than 50 per 100,000 inhabitants (the figure for the UK is currently 205.8) would need to test negative for Covid 48 hours prior to their departure. Such a move would make trips more of a chore, and could nip any tourism boom in the bud.
Four more feasible European holidays
Along with Sweden, Greece, Gibraltar and the Canary Islands, these are your other European options:
1. Cyprus: Test before departure
Cyprus has placed the UK in Category B: this means that tourists are permitted to travel, but they need to provide a negative Covid-19 test result on arrival, obtained no more than 72 hours before travel. Test results can be in the form of an email or SMS, but the result itself and/or appointment letter must include the date and time when the test was taken. Children under 12 years old do not require to be tested in order to travel to Cyprus. Please see the Republic of Cyprus Information Office website for further information. All travellers to Cyprus must complete a Cyprus Flight Pass before travelling, available on the Cyprus Flight Pass website. You will be responsible for ensuring your PCR test result is uploaded to Cyprus Flight Pass within 24 hours of your departure. More details here.
2. Germany: Test on arrival
Germany has added the whole of the UK to its list of high-risk destinations. Arrivals from high-risk countries must take a test on arrival, something offered by most major German airports. If they test negative they are free to continue their holiday. Otherwise they can present evidence of a negative test no older than 48 hours.
3. Jersey: Test on arrival
Jersey requires UK arrivals to show evidence of a negative Covid test or take a test on arrival if they want to avoid a 14-day quarantine.
4. Madeira: Test before departure
Before you arrive you must complete and submit a traveller questionnaire between 12 and 48 hours before departure. If you have one, upload proof of a negative Covid-19 test, carried out 72 hours before departure.
On arrival, you will be subject to a health screening. If you have not uploaded your Covid-19 test result, you will be asked to show it at the airport. If you do not have proof of a test, you will be able to take one at the airport and self-isolate at your accommodation until the results are known. This will take about 12 hours.
One of London's most iconic restaurants is keen to remind folk that business lunches from different households are acceptable.
We are all finding the Tier Two rules bewildering and whilst social occasions need to be from a single household, BUSINESS MEETINGS ARE ACCEPTABLE within the rules. So, we wanted to let you know, we are proceeding with business bookings from different households. pic.twitter.com/tsVOX2Laii
— The Wolseley (@TheWolseley) October 20, 2020
The next country for quarantine?
The old 20 per 100,000 threshold is no more, with the Government apparently showing far more leniency when it comes to quarantine measures. Sweden and Germany remained on the green list, while Denmark was reinstated despite a seven-day infection rate of 64.7 per 100,000.
How to get travel insurance should you choose to ignore Foreign Office advice
Determined to ignore the quarantine and visit France, Italy or mainland Spain? Contrary to popular belief, you can visit a country to which the Foreign Office (FCO) advises against travel without invalidating your insurance – you just need to contact one of the few providers willing to offer cover. What’s more, it shouldn’t cost much more than an ordinary policy. Here’s how.
There's always Blighty
Our UK correspondent Sophie Campbell has been tracking down some lovely autumn colours.
Take that, New England... pic.twitter.com/bmvdoy2FUt
— Sophie Campbell (@aguidetolondon) October 23, 2020
The only four restriction-free holidays left
How did it come to this?
1. Canary Islands
On arrival, travellers entering Spain from the UK are notrequired to self-isolate. However, you will be subject to the following three requirements:
Provide the Spanish Ministry of Health with mandatory contact information and any history of exposure to Covid-19 48 hours prior to travel
Undergo a visual health assessment
Travellers must report to the authorities if they have been in a “relevant area” in the 14 days before their arrival in Gibraltar. Failure to do so constitutes an offence punishable with a fine of up to £1,000. A relevant area means a country, area or territory outside the European Union but does not include the United Kingdom, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man.
You must complete an online Passenger Locator Form (PLF) at least 24 hours before your arrival in Greece. Failure to do so in advance may result in your carrier not allowing you to travel, a fine on arrival, or the Greek authorities not allowing you to enter the country.
No restrictions (or masks).
Mask rules around Europe
Despite limited evidence of their efficacy outside of a clinical environment, face coverings are now mandatory in most European countries. Greece and Cyprus have even joined the likes of Spain and Italy in requiring them to be worn outdoors. The likes of Sweden, Norway, Belarus and Estonia are the outliers.
Read more: A dose of the old normal in mask-free Sweden
Italy's Campania region set for lockdown
Italy's Campania region plans to impose a new lockdown in an attempt to suppress a rise in Covid-19 infections.
Daily PCR positives have risen six-fold across Italy since the start of the month, hitting a record 16,079 on Thursday.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has said he wants to avoid the sort of rigid, nationwide lockdown introduced in March when the disease first flared. He is largely leaving it up to regional leaders and mayors to decide how best to respond.
Vincenzo De Luca, the outspoken head of Campania, has set the pace and has already shut schools and announced a nighttime curfew. On Friday, he said much tougher curbs were on the way.
"Current data on the contagion make any kind of partial measure ineffective. It is necessary to close everything, except for those businesses that produce and transport essential goods," De Luca wrote on Facebook.
"Campania will move in this direction very soon," he added. He did not fix a precise date, but said the measures would involve a ban on travel into and out of the region, as well as restrictions on movement within local areas.
20 great reasons to return to the Canary Islands
Britons can once again visit the Canary Islands without needing to quarantine when they get home. Here are 20 good reasons why they should.
With a (minimum) 17-day lockdown coming into force at 6pm, VisitWales has rebranded itself VisitWalesLater.
From 23 October to 9 November 2020, there are restrictions in place to help keep Wales safe.
In the meantime, we’re here to provide inspiration for the future while you plan to #VisitWalesLater. https://t.co/SNwcluRUXq pic.twitter.com/0Ya6nSOPqd
— Visit Wales 🏴 (@visitwales) October 23, 2020
'I'm not a bad person for wanting to travel during a pandemic'
Juliet Kinsman writes:
I recognise that having the option even to consider immersing myself in a different country or to step outside my postcode is a privilege many don’t have. But dammit, is nourishing my own mind, body and soul in the hope it girds me for a long lonely winter in London such an unreasonable indulgence?
I didn’t have access to long summer Vitamin D-soaked days in the garden. Seasonal affective disorder looms. I believe in tackling the cause of problems before symptoms develop — in my case, this is me investing in my mental health. Unless you’ve personally suffered depression, I won’t expect you to relate to this rationale. It’s a state of mind I’ve battled since my mother died suddenly when I was aged 13.
Most of the time I can manage or hide it; I don’t ask for sympathy but I also would hope for understanding around why sometimes I can’t. I’ve survived lockdown in a basement flat thanks to viral comedy moments. But I can see the bottom line clearly: sadly, no meme or TikTok video, however funny, can do the job of a four-night wellness retreat in the Peloponnese.
Mapped: The second wave of lockdowns around the world
The website hello-safe.co.uk has shared this map, which shows how a new wave of lockdowns is beginning to take hold. The countries in red have reintroduced restrictions; those in dark green never had a first lockdown.
Half-term travel in Tier 3: Everything you need to know about lockdown holidays
Those living in ‘very high risk’ areas are advised not to travel unless it is for the purpose of ‘work, education, accessing youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if they are in transit’.
Holidays should be avoided, therefore, even if you’re planning to travel to another Tier 3 area. However, the advice is guidance rather than law and you will not be fined for going ahead with your holiday (so long as you remain in your bubble).
More than 100 hotels across the UK sign up to #SleepOverToHelpTurnover campaign
More than 100 three, four, and five-star UK hotels have signed up to the #SleepOverToHelpTurnover campaign, which looks to generate public support for the hospitality industry during the ongoing pandemic – with hotels offering rewards and appreciative gestures to guests.
The campaign launched on October 1 and is spearheaded by HOSPA, the Hospitality Professionals Association.
Some of the rewards that hotels are offering include up to 30% off the booking price, as well as complimentary upgrades, discounted meals, free drinks, free parking and more.
Jane Pendlebury, CEO of HOSPA, said: “Despite the very positive move from the Chancellor yesterday announcing the expansion of the job support scheme, which serves to help hotels under coronavirus restrictions, those that are open are still very much in need of continued custom if they’re to carry on trading. This is what #SleepOverToHelpTurnover is all about - encouraging people to carry on engaging with hotels, while offering rewards and appreciative gestures in return.”
Friendship Travel announces new solo holidays to Fuerteventura
Now that holidaymakers can visit Fuerteventura quarantine-free, Friendship Travel has added a package deal to the island for solo travellers.
Departure dates from Stansted include November 4, 7, 11, and 14 of November and guests will stay in a four-star all-inclusive hotel on the white sand beach of Sotavento on the Costa Calma.
The ATOL-bonded package starts from £1253 for seven nights, and includes sole occupancy of a double room at the H10 Tindaya Hotel with no single supplement to pay, all meals and drinks, the support of a Friendship Travel Host throughout, transfers and a generous hold baggage allowance. Other airports are available.
British Airways Holidays launch Canaries offer
Holidaymakers planning a trip to the Canary Islands can save £100 when booking a package with British Airways Holidays by midnight on October 27.
Please note, savings apply to new holiday package bookings only where a minimum spend, qualifying destination and cabin is met. Eligible holiday package bookings with a total cost of £1,500 per booking save £100 per booking made between 18:00 Thursday 22 October and 23:59 on Tuesday 27 October 2020. Find the full terms and conditions here.
Australia's travel ban is inspiring city-dwellers to explore the Outback, with deadly consequences
Australia’s ongoing international border closure has sparked an unprecedented domestic tourism boom to remote, dangerous destinations including a giant monolith which has claimed three lives in six weeks, reports Ronan O'Connell.
It is twice as big as Ayers Rock, is one of the country’s most spectacular natural attractions, and is key to Indigenous mythology yet, before this tourism rush, Mount Augustus in Western Australia (WA) received few visitors.
However, because West Australians can’t travel overseas or even interstate due to Australia’s harsh coronavirus laws, locals who normally would holiday in Bali or Europe are exploring the farthest corners of their State.
Travellers swarming the 2,345ft peak, which is six hours’ drive from the nearest hospital, have been caught unaware by the extreme heat and rugged terrain, with three people dying while hiking there last month.
Atol announces extension of protection for refund credit notes
Originally, the Atol scheme announced that consumers who accepted refund credit notes for cancelled Atol-protected holidays would be covered by the Atol scheme from March 10, 2020 to September 30, 2020.
An extension of the scheme has now been announced to cover any refund credit notes issued between October 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
Paul Smith, Consumer Director at the UK Civil Aviation Authority said:
In light of the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic on travel, the decision to extend ATOL protection for refund credit notes will strengthen consumer confidence and allow for ATOL holders to continue to offer them in good faith to their customers.
While consumers may choose to accept a refund credit note if one is offered, they are entitled to a cash refund and must be offered this at the same time.
Club Med reveals that the Maldives is the most searched-for destination in past 24 hours
Luxury all-inclusive travel brand, Club Med has seen a huge increase in website traffic for the Indian Ocean destination since yesterday afternoon’s announcement of an air bridge.
Within 24 hours of the Maldives being listed as a UK travel corridor country, ‘Maldives’ was the top searched word on clubmed.co.uk.
Kani in the North Male Atoll was the most visited resort page within the same 24-hour period.
WTTC responds to the opening of ‘air corridors’ to island holiday hotspots
Gloria Guevara, The World Travel & Tourism Council President & CEO, said:
The opening of ‘air corridors’ between the UK and the Canary Islands, the Greek island of Mykonos and the Maldives is great news for British holidaymakers and a boost for the hard-pressed Travel & Tourism sector.
Hard working British families can enjoy relaxing in the late Autumn sunshine at these island holiday hotspots while hotels, bars and restaurants will all benefit from the influx of tourists. “It will also bring much needed welcome news and a glimmer of hope to travel agents and tour operators up and down the UK, desperate to secure whatever business they can after a dismal summer.
This demonstrates that travel can resume when, through cooperation and coordination, the correct measures and protocols are in place to ensure hygienic and Safe Travels. “However, we are disappointed that more destinations have gone back on the government’s quarantine list as this will once again have a damaging impact not only to travellers, but the entire Travel & Tourism sector.
The current approach with last minute quarantines must change. As COVID-19 has adapted, so must we. We need to learn to live with the virus and replace ineffective and costly quarantines with a global standard testing regime upon departure.
The Telegraph's campaign Test4Travel haas been urging the government to roll out affordable Covid-19 testing at UK airports for nearly two months now. Read about it here.
Passengers use ‘fake tests’ to board flights to Pakistan
The Lancashire Telegraph has reported that some travellers are using fake negative Covid-19 test results in order to board flights to Pakistan. The paper also has evidence of how people are able to doctor the name on negative test emails before printing them out to hand to check-in staff.
One Blackburn man told The Lancashire Telegraph that he was handed a negative test by a friend and then changed the name to his and printed it out. He was able to travel to Pakistan.
Many countries now require a negative Covid-19 test for entry; they can cost up to £150.
Once Matt Hancock's guiding light, Belgium now has one of the world's highest case rates
Last month, Health Secretary Matt Hancock pointed to Belgium as an example of a country that had managed to use restrictions on socialising to keep a lid on Covid. Now it has one of the highest case rates in the world.
'Eye-watering' drop in tourist spending in London expected
Tourist spending in central London is set to fall by £10.9 billion this year due to the pandemic, according to an analysis published by mayor Sadiq Khan.
The figure represents a far lower total than the amount of spending lost due to the large decrease in commuters traveling into the city, the study says.
Mr Khan said the data showed new bail-outs announced by the Prime Minister and Chancellor on Thursday are only "a sticking plaster solution", with the collapse of London tourism to leave many hospitality, retail and leisure business without hope of returning to normal for "many months to come".
He called on the Government to enact a "functioning" Test and Trace system to help the economy reopen safely.
City Hall analysis of forecasts by Visit Britain showed goods and services revenue from foreign tourists in the city would drop £7.4 billion through the year, while domestic tourists would spend £3.5 billion less.
"This analysis shows the eye-watering drop in the money spent by visitors in the economic and cultural heart of the capital - which is far greater than even the impact of fewer commuters travelling into the centre of the city each day," Mr Khan said in a statement.
Can I travel between tiers? The latest rules for local holidays
Local lockdowns with differing restrictions and contrasting regulations in the home nations have made a mockery of calls for a clear, consistent message over Covid-19.
For those planning holidays the situation has become more and more complex.
More tour operators report immediate surge in bookings to Canaries
John Bevan, CEO – dnata Travel Group (Travel Republic, Travelbag, Netflights, Sunmaster said:
Yesterday’s travel corridors announcements from the Transport Secretary were the best news we have had in a long time. We started receiving enquiries and taking bookings from customers within minutes – which proves that there is a huge amount of pent-up demand out there.
Indeed, Travel Republic doubled its previous full day’s revenue in hours with demand for its Canaries deals instantly spiking. We have to hope that this is the start of a more proactive approach to travel, grounded in common sense, and that these gains aren’t reversed in the coming weeks. We can see that Brits are desperate to get away, and if this can continue, we have a chance to salvage something from the approaching winter season from which to build in 2021.
We’ll be working hard in the coming days to maximise the opportunities that have opened up, across all our brands. Consumers wanting to book with travel agents in particular should be taking note of the amazing deals that are currently available through the trade for the Maldives, to which our brands collectively send more customers than anyone else.
TUI launches deals to top Canary Island destinations
TUI has announced a series of packages to Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Tenerife.
Some of the best deals include:
Seven-night holidays at Corralejo in Fuerteventura, staying at the 4T Playa Park Zensation on an all-inclusive board basis. Prices from £657 per person when booked online. Price is based on two adults and two children sharing, flights departing from London Gatwick airport on 24th October 2020 and transfers.
Seven-night holidays to Playa Blanca in Lanzarote staying at the 4T Elba Lanzarote Royal Village Resort on a half-board basis. Prices from £567 per person when booked online. Price is based on two adults and two children sharing, flights departing from Birmingham airport on 25th October 2020 and transfers.
Seven-night holidays to Playa Paraiso in Tenerife, staying at the 4T Riu Buenavista on an all-inclusive basis. Prices from £617 per person when booked online. Price is based on two adults sharing and includes flights departing from Birmingham airport on 1st November 2020 and transfers.
48 hours in Mykonos – an insider guide to Greece's most glamorous party island
Mykonos is back on the cards, and Lauara Millar has all the answers as to where you should eat, drink and stay.
Flights to and from the Maldives must be direct in order to avoid quarantine
Paul Charles, CEO of the travel consultancy, The PC Agency, makes a very good point for holidaymakers planning a trip to the Maldives: fly direct or you'll still need to quarantine.
Note that if you transit from #Maldives to the #UK via a hub such as #Dubai #Doha or #AbuDhabi then you would still need to quarantine for 14 days on entering the #UK. So a direct flight (@British_Airways) is the answer. https://t.co/Td1SrmApmQ
— Paul Charles (@PPaulCharles) October 22, 2020
'Travel is easier than you think – we just have to get out of our lockdown-induced comfort zone'
One writer reflects on her recent trip to Turkey, and wishes she had got back on a plane sooner. She writes:
After a year’s hiatus from flying, a hastily grabbed trip to Turkey recently showed me how exciting travel could be – and how easy it is. Why hadn’t I done it sooner?
On the train to the airport, I had the carriage to myself; on the travelator, I slid along like Benjamin Braddock through a half-empty airport filled with the sound of silence. As the plane broke through the dark clouds into brilliant sunshine, I was reminded that there’s nothing like flying to get a fresh perspective on the world.
After months of being grounded, travel had begun to feel like an impossible dream. Lockdown stuttered to an end, but many of us remained mired in our comfort zones, rooted to the spot, literally and psychologically.
Tour operator welcomes return of quarantine-free trips to the Maldives
Mags Longstaff, programme director for the Indian Ocean at Tropical Sky Holidays, commented: “Demand for the Maldives has never stopped, right through lockdown, with customers booking and postponing then re-booking as the travel ban went on and on. Enabling travel to this fantastic destination is long overdue but a very welcome addition to the travel corridor list – there will be a lot of happy customers planning their dream getaway this weekend.”
Tropical Sky are offering savings up to £900 per person, plus free upgrades to all-inclusive on seven night stays at the five-star Centara Ras Fushi Resort and Spa for bookings made before October 31. Prices start from £1,679 per person, based on two sharing, including flights and speedboat transfers.
'The glum Czechs always knew they'd end up at the bottom of the Covid league table'
Will Tizard shares a snapshot of life in the Czech Republic, which has the worst infection rate in Europe barring Andorra:
Czechs are famously glum in the face of even the sunniest of life events. It’s a flawlessly logical world view, really – go through life expecting the worst and you’ll never be disappointed. Statistically speaking, you’re even bound to be pleasantly surprised sooner or later.
This disposition makes the nation uniquely prepared – mentally – for something like a pandemic, you might surmise. As long as most of us survive – or, more importantly, your local stays in business – it’s all turned out better than we had ever hoped.
How airport testing works in Germany
The whole of the United Kingdom was added to Germany’s Covid at-risk list this week, obliging British arrivals (including children in some states) to prove that they’re not importing the virus.
As a general rule, and at the time of writing (see below for expected new regulations from November 8), anyone who has spent time in a risk area up to 14 days before arrival in Germany is obliged to self-isolate for a period of 14 days or take a test. However, since Germany is divided into 16 federal states, with each responsible for their own rules and regulations, it’s important to check before you travel to see what the situation is in your respective destination.
It is possible to offer proof that you are not infected in advance, which requires a medical certificate showing a negative result from a test conducted no more than 48 hours prior to entry. The test must have been carried out in a European Union member state, or a state with comparable standards.
Masks to become compulsory in outdoor settings in Greece
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has announced that masks must be worn in all indoor and outdoor spaces around the country from this Saturday at 6am.
Night-time curfews will also come into place in areas that have been highly impacted by the virus, including the likes of Zakynthos, Mykonos and Heraklion. The curfew will run from 12.30am to 5am, which is actually later than most other European destinations that have imposed a curfew.
Skiing is on the cards this half term (albeit on home turf)
This morning Mancunians have woken up to their first day in Tier 3 lockdown. But as pubs, bars, casinos and soft play areas have been forced to pull down their shutters, Chill Factore, home to the UK’s longest indoor ski slope, has announced it will not be closing, reports Lucy Aspden.
The centre, which is classified in the same category as a gym so can therefore remain open, was awarded Visit England’s ‘We’re Good To Go’ accreditation when it reopened in August. With new safety protocols in place, including compulsory masks on the slope, the family-friendly attraction hopes to see a busy half term, as skiers and snowboarders look for thrills on home soil this winter.
“We have enormous sympathy with other local businesses being forced to close under the new restrictions, and know it’s a really worrying time for everyone in the North West and beyond. However, we’re pleased to be able to stay open, along with gyms and other fitness activities. Sports and fitness are vital in supporting good mental health, which is more important than ever at this uncertain time,” said Morwenna Angove, CEO of Chill Factore.
“We’re not at capacity yet so want to continue to encourage snow fans to return to our 180m slope, especially as we’re safely increasing the activities we have on offer, including new junior terrain challenge, Erik’s Trail, for this coming half term.”
Spain-Holiday.com has seen a 41.3% increase in searches
Spain-Holiday.com, the third largest holiday rental site in Spain, has seen a 41.3% increase in searches to their Canary Island holiday homes.
Peter Jarvis, Head of International Brands at Spain-Holiday.com, commented:
Here at Spain-Holiday.com we are delighted to see the UK Government has decided to add Canary Islands to their list of safe travel destinations and we have already seen a 41.3% increase in searches to Canary Island holiday homes since the announcement was made.
It is true that the cities of central Spain less frequented in this season are having a tricky time like the rest of Europe. That said, 1,200 miles away, the tropical islands of the Canary Islands are a different thing altogether. The region has worked hard to keep COVID-19 levels under control.
Scots to face five levels of lockdown
Nicola Sturgeon will today announce a five-tier plan of measures for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic in Scotland.
The new set of restrictions has been anticipated since a similar three-tiered system was introduced in England by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
If approved at Holyrood next week, the new measures will come into force in Scotland on Monday November 2.
The Scottish First Minister will discuss the tiered system at her daily coronavirus briefing on Friday afternoon as well as plans to increase testing capacity north of the border.
Cyprus to enforce masks outdoors
The Health Minister of Cyprus, Constantinos Ioannou, has announced that masks will be obligatory in all areas, including open-air spaces in all districts, from today until November 9 at the earliest. The only exception is when exercising.
He also announced an 11pm curfew in the Limassol and Paphos districts. Restaurants, bars and more (including those in hotels) will have to close by 10.30pm. Deliveries can continue after this time.
The number of people that can sit together at a table in a restaurant has been reduced to six.
‘Light at the end of the tunnel’
ABTA, the travel association, has welcomed the addition of four destinations to the travel corridors list, but called for more support from the Government to protect the thousands of UK tourism businesses on the brink.
"After a terrible summer season, the removal of the need to quarantine when returning to the UK from the Canary Islands, the Maldives, Denmark and Mykonos is a bit of light at the end of a very dark tunnel for the travel industry,” said a spokesperson.
“We have been highlighting the need to move to a regional approach to quarantine, citing the Canary Islands as a specific example, so it is good to see the Government take action on this today.
“But we must remember that the pandemic brought foreign travel to a standstill and for most companies there has been little or no chance to start a recovery. The Chancellor’s update to the Job Support Scheme today, while an improvement, still leaves many travel companies facing difficult decisions around jobs in the weeks ahead. The Government needs to look at introducing tailored support for the industry to help companies through the winter. It is also vital that the Government seeks to fully regionalise travel corridors and transition away from the current global advisory against all but essential travel by moving back to country specific foreign travel advice.”
Call for action from UK travel taskforce
Gary Lewis, CEO of The Travel Network Group, the UK’s largest independent travel membership organisation, said:
We have more than 1,000 travel agent tour operator members across the UK and they are crying out for government support. Today’s news on the Job Support Scheme was desperately needed and we also welcome the Canary Islands being placed back onto the travel corridor list.
The Global Travel Taskforce announced with great fanfare two weeks ago will help but they need to be quick and decisive and we need to be rolling out the testing initiatives through airports and then safely shorten quarantine times – this will restore consumer confidence in overseas travel.
Tour operators return to the Canaries
Following the news that the Canary Islands have been removed from the quarantine list, Jet2.com has announced that it will recommence flights and holidays to the winter sun hot-spots from October 30, while easyJet holidays is planning its first departures from November 2, with packages available from £289 per person. The relaunched Thomas Cook has also once again started selling holidays to the islands and reported that traffic to its website tripled in the aftermath of Grant Shapps's announcement on Thursday evening.
Matt Callaghan, easyJet holidays Customer Director, said: “With each day getting colder we know just how much people are longing for some sun so we’ve welcomed today’s announcement and we can’t wait to start taking our customers back to the Canary Islands, which are a perfect year-round destination and a firm favourite.”
A spokesperson for Thomas Cook, which has committed to providing refunds within 14 days of a holiday being cancelled, said: “This will be a real ray of sunshine for families looking to take flight to the Canary Islands, especially with the half term break upon us. Thomas Cook customers can head to the Canaries to soak up some much-needed sun and top up the tan, safe in the knowledge that they won’t have to quarantine when they get home.”
Tui, Europe's largest tour operator, has unveiled a range of holiday packages to the Atlantic archipelago, including a seven-night break in Lanzarote – departing on Sunday – from £567pp, including flights, and a one-week trip to Tenerife – departing on October 30 – from £753pp.
Your final options for a last-minute half-term holiday, without quarantine
Missed out on a family holiday this year? You couldn’t make the most of the lockdown sunshine; your summer trip to the Med was cancelled; your staycation break was blown away by the August gales.
Now schools are back, so you have one last chance for a rewarding trip for all – the autumn half term. And it is finally here.
Which of the new options is welcoming UK travellers?
However, all tourists and short term visitors must present a negative PCR test for Covid-19 on arrival. The test and negative PCR certificate must be issued no more than 96 hours prior to departure.
Canary Islands: YES
On arrival, travellers entering Spain from the UK will not be required to self-isolate. However, you will be subject to the following three requirements:
Provide the Spanish Ministry of Health with mandatory contact information and any history of exposure to COVID-19 48 hours prior to travel
Undergo a visual health assessment
If you travel to Greece, you will need to complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) at least 24 hours before travel. This is currently the only requirement for UK arrivals.
Rules on entry to Denmark depends on whether you are arriving from an ‘open’ country or a ‘banned’ country. The UK is a ‘banned’ country. You must have a ‘worthy’ purpose to enter if you are arriving into Denmark from the UK (this, sadly, does not include a holiday).
Price hikes to be expected for new travel corridors
Prospective holidaymakers were warned to anticipate price hikes if, as expected, there is a surge in demand.
Bookings for holidays to Crete surged by 40 per cent when its travel ban was lifted, while those for Portugal rose 15-fold on the day its UK quarantine was lifted.
What happened yesterday?
It was a busy day, with some good news for half-term hopefuls.
Four destinations have been added to the green list, including the Canary Islands
Liechtenstein has been removed Cyprus, Sweden and Germany survive
Cases are rising across Europe, prompting many countries to increase restrictions
Airport testing could catch six in 10 Covid carriers, research suggests, not the seven per cent suggested by the Government
Follow along for live updates.