European hotels 'turning away' UK bookings as distrust grows over traffic lights

·27-min read
mallorca - AFP
mallorca - AFP

Ongoing confusion and chaos over the UK's traffic lights system is causing European holiday operators to reject British travellers, according to one industry chief.

“Hoteliers are turning away bookings from the UK in August because they don’t trust us – and European travellers are taking our beds and availability,” Noel Josephides, director of Aito, the Specialist Travel Association, and chairman of tour operator Sunvil, confirmed to Telegraph Travel.

“There is no confidence; why should people trust us when we have the sword of Damocles constantly hanging over us and things could change and result in cancellations at any moment?”

It comes as Boris Johnson delivered a lifeline to summer holidays last night when he blocked the creation of a controversial new "amber watchlist" for foreign countries. This would have put the likes of Spain, Greece and France at risk of turning red imminently, for millions of British travellers regardless of their vaccination status.

There are today fresh calls from senior Tory MPs and industry leaders for Mr Johnson to go further and ditch the green-amber-red system entirely, replacing it with a single red list.

04:54 PM

What happened today?

A re-cap of today's stories.

  • Morocco to introduce new curbs as cases rise

  • Traveller ‘finds rats’ in £1,750 quarantine hotel room

  • NYC to require proof of vaccination for indoor activities

  • Scotland will move beyond Level 0 from Monday

  • Germans flood back to Spain while Britons are kept at home

  • 'European hoteliers lack confidence in UK market' – Director of Aito

Join us tomorrow for more live travel stories.

04:45 PM

These lesser-known isles could be the answer for a summer holiday in Greece this year

If you’re seeking tranquility, Greece’s smaller – or lesser-known – islands could deliver in 2021. We lay out the numbers, sourced from covid19.gov.gr/covid-map-en/, and suggest six isles to consider (It should also be noted that immediate trips may be inadvisable given the fire risks resulting in parts of Europe, including on some Greek islands, due to a heatwave: check the latest advice and warnings before you book).

Karpathos is the untouched heart of the Greek islands - Istock
Karpathos is the untouched heart of the Greek islands - Istock

They include: Kasos for sleepy villages and Byzantine churches; Tilos, where the entire island is a nature reserve; Ithaca for scenic hikes; Anafi for an off-the-beaten track break and Karpathos for pretty beaches.

Read more, here.

04:19 PM

Morocco to introduce new curbs as cases rise

Morocco is rolling out new lockdown restrictions, including a night curfew, amid rising cases.

The curfew will be in place from 9pm until 5am. All travel to and from Marrakech, Casablanca and Agadir will also be banned, except for those with a vaccine passport certificate.

Marrakech night market - Getty
Marrakech night market - Getty

Morocco is among a number of countries across North Africa seeing an alarming rise in Covid-19 infections, primarily from the Delta variant.

03:53 PM

Traveller ‘finds rats’ in £1,750 quarantine hotel room

Ministers have been urged to shut down a rat-infested quarantine hotel where travellers say they have been forced to move rooms to escape the rodents.

MPs have accused the Government of ripping off travellers who paid £1,750 to stay in the Mercure London Heathrow hotel in west London.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Rachael Maskell MP said she had been contacted by a constituent who says they had been forced to move rooms twice after being plagued by rats during his stay.

Read the full report, here.

03:39 PM

Meanwhile, in London...

... A climber who was jailed for scaling the Shard with no ropes has made it to the top of a 36-storey London tower undetected by the building's security.

George King used nothing but his bare hands to climb the residential block in Stratford on Tuesday morning  - Yui Mok/PA
George King used nothing but his bare hands to climb the residential block in Stratford on Tuesday morning - Yui Mok/PA

Read more here.

03:24 PM

Florida hits record high Covid hospitalisation rate

The number of people hospitalised with Covid-19 in Florida has hit a record high, with 11,515 patients admitted in one day, according to data from the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The data is used by the Florida Hospital Association to track admissions and staffing shortages. The figures also show 2,400 of those patients are in ICU beds.

Florida has seen a rise in cases of the Delta variant - Getty
Florida has seen a rise in cases of the Delta variant - Getty

The previous day, the data showed there were 10,389 Covid hospitalisations throughout the state; last year, Florida hit its previous high on July 23, with 10,170 hospitalisations.

03:15 PM

Comment: The traffic light system has been an unmitigated disaster.

It's time to take a leaf out of America's book, says Robert Taylor.

"We are inching (no more than that) towards some sort of common sense. The prime minister has personally intervened – or was it the Chancellor? – to block the “amber watchlist”, which would have put countries like Spain, France and Greece under threat of imminently turning red, forcing even the fully vaccinated into hotel quarantine.

"Thank goodness for small mercies. But it doesn’t go nearly far enough. We’re still left with green, amber, amber plus and red. It’s still a game for mathematicians and mugs, with the threat of countries being moved, without notice and seemingly at random, forcing quarantined passengers into some godawful Hounslow hotel at the drop of a sunhat. Most of us have decided to stay home and brave the rain."

Read his full comment piece here.

03:01 PM

NYC to require proof of vaccination for indoor activities

New York City will require proof of vaccination against Covid-19 in order to gain access to indoor dining and entertainment venues and gyms, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced.

It becomes the first big city in the US to impose such restrictions, with the new requirement set to come into effect on August 16.

De Blasio announced last week that city employees would be required to get vaccinated by mid-September or submit to weekly testing, and he has offered a $100 incentive for city residents who get inoculated.

About 66 per cent of adults in New York City are fully-vaccinated, according to official data, while 70 per cent of American adults have received at least one vaccine dose.

02:44 PM

Feature: The Cotswolds hotel that turned our toddler break into a dream

The family-friendly facilities and extras at Woolley Grange helped Hugh Morris and his wife to relax on an overnight stay with their daughter. He writes:

It was our – my wife and I – first holiday away with our daughter, born two days before the world shut up shop, and we had finally made it to Woolley Grange Hotel, three lockdown-induced postponements and nine months later than intended.

Ebbi being our first child, we had nothing for comparison, but I believe the Covid crisis has not altogether enhanced the parenting experience. So a trip to a real life hotel with her felt significant, like the first indulgence of normality, but also one of normality’s first challenges. Woolley Grange being not only family focussed, but baby focussed, was ideal to ease us into pretending to be functioning parents.

Find out how it went, here.

morris dancer
morris dancer

02:31 PM

At a glance: the situation in Spain

How are things looking in Britain's favourite holiday destination?

The case rate is high, at 344 per 100,000 citizens in the last seven days (ours is 275 per 100K), but that's down 10% on last week.

Deaths, however, have tripled over seven days, with 375 recorded in the last week...

02:15 PM

Sturgeon: Covid passports for 'higher-risk venues' being considered

Nicola Sturgeon said that Covid certification is being considered for "higher-risk venues" but the Scottish government remind mindful of the "ethical, equity and human rights' issues" associated with certification.

The First Minister also said that large-scale events will have to continue to apply for permission to go ahead, with processes staying in place for outdoor events of up to 5,000 people and indoor events of up to 2,000 people, so the government and local authorities can assess risks associated with the event.

02:00 PM

Cost of testing remains barrier to travel, says insurance provider

Despite easing of travel restrictions the cost of testing is prohibitive for many people, according to travel insurance firm Battleface.

While fully-jabbed arrivals from the US and most of Europe can enter the UK since Monday without needing to self-isolate, travellers will still need to meet the UK’s testing requirements, which include a pre-departure Covid test and a PCR test taken on or before the second day after they arrive.

Likewise, for Brits looking to go abroad, many destinations are also stipulating a negative COVID test as part of their entry requirements.

Heathrow Airport - Peter Nicholls/Reuters
Heathrow Airport - Peter Nicholls/Reuters

Testing for a family of four can cost as much as £1,000, according to MoneySavingExpert, with Battleface's latest consumer poll showing that on average people are willing to pay around £61 per person on testing before trips.

Katie Crowe from Battleface said:

Last week I travelled to Spain from the UK so that I could reunite my two children with their father and the cost of testing for the three for us came to just under £600 on top of the travel costs which was a huge financial burden.

With quarantine now scrapped for double vaccinated travellers coming from most European countries, and the US, the focus now should be on reducing the cost of testing to enable more families to be reunited and to ensure that travel is not just reserved for the financially privileged. Our data shows that the current costs are a big barrier for the recovery of both inbound and outbound travel.

01:50 PM

Home Office denies high Border Force staff absences

Since the weekend there have been numerous reports of long queues at Heathrow Airport due to Border Fore staffed having to self-isolate.

A spokesman for the Immigration Services Union said that a quarter of the workforce was absent over the weekend, up from a normal rate of 10 per cent.

However, a Home Office spokesperson described this figure as "completely false".

They added: "Border Force works hard to ensure it has the right level of resources to check that passengers are compliant with our border health measures and to maintain border security as travel continues to open. All border staff strictly adhere to health measure regulations and we continue to review and refine any processes to ensure optimal staffing levels to carry out the vital function of border security.

"The rollout of upgrades to our e-gates over the summer to automate checks for health requirements is ongoing, with many e-gates already in operation and more to be added over the coming months to increase automated checks on passengers at airports."

01:36 PM

The ultimate guide to cruise holidays in Europe

Staying with cruise, Sara Macefield has a bumper guide to the European holidays at sea you can still book for this year – since yesterday the ban on international ocean-going cruises has been lifted for Britons.

Highlights include:

  • A series of voyages around the Greek islands

  • Cruising the Douro, Portugal’s River of Gold

  • The Mediterranean on MSC Cruises’ newest behemoth, MSC Seashore

  • Sailing the cobalt embrace of the Aegean Sea

Find your dream 2021 cruise in Europe right here.

Viking Cruises is operating a series of circumnavigations to the Land of Fire and Ice - Viking/Rottet Studio
Viking Cruises is operating a series of circumnavigations to the Land of Fire and Ice - Viking/Rottet Studio

01:22 PM

Passenger kicked off cruise ship following 'disturbance'

Remember: best behaviour on board – or else, as one cruise passenger found out.

Police were called to Greenock's Ocean Terminal following reports of a confrontation between two men on MSC Virtuosa, which docked in Inverclyde before officers came aboard.

A spokesman for Police Scotland confirmed that no one was injured but that "a 37-year-old was issued with a Recorded Police Warning and was required to leave the ship."

01:13 PM

Scotland will move beyond Level 0 from Monday

Scotland - Andrew Milligan/PA
Scotland - Andrew Milligan/PA

Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that Scotland will move beyond Level 0 restrictions from Monday, meaning that most legal restrictions on physical distancing and social gatherings will end – and from August 9 no venues will legally be required to close.

The First Minister said the success of the vaccination rollout had allowed them to take a step forward in ropening, with close to 100 per cent of over-60s being fully-vaccinated, while 72 per cent of over-18s have received both doses.

Ms Sturgeon said Scotland was considering booster shots in the autumn and was awaiting further advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) regarding that.

01:00 PM

At a glance: the situation in France

There's plenty of attention this week on France, and whether it will be removed from the 'amber plus' list – with many hoping that it will.

Cases, however, are on the rise. The current seven-day infection rate per 100,000 citizens is 240, up 22% on last week. Deaths have risen too, with 256 registered in the past seven days...

12:39 PM

Germans flood back to Spain while Britons are kept at home

Four times as many Germans than Britons visited Spain in June as the UK maintained crippling travel restrictions despite the success of the vaccine programme.

Tight travel restrictions have crushed British tourism in Spain after a near-90% slump in visitors this year - the biggest fall in numbers of any economy - with just 273,000 visitors in the first six months of 2021, according to Spanish figures.

The plunge - as visitors faced quarantine on their return to the UK even after holidays became legal again from mid-May - contrasts with a 12% fall in German visitor numbers after Berlin removed Mallorca from its restricted list in March.

More than 1.1m Germans have visited the Mediterranean hotspot this year.

Russell Lynch and Tim Wallace have the story.

12:24 PM

In pictures: tourists around the world

india -  FAROOQ KHAN/EPA-EFE
india - FAROOQ KHAN/EPA-EFE
india - FAROOQ KHAN/EPA-EFE
india - FAROOQ KHAN/EPA-EFE
china -  Mark Schiefelbein/AP
china - Mark Schiefelbein/AP
thailand - Bloomberg
thailand - Bloomberg

12:03 PM

£50,000 grants for people willing to relocate to remote Scottish islands

The Scottish government is to spend £5 million on a scheme to address depopulation in remote communities over next five years, Daniel Sanderson reports.

It is hoped the initiative will address concerns that a lack of jobs and opportunities on many of Scotland's 93 inhabited islands – where populations range from more than 20,000 to just one – are forcing younger locals to the mainland.

Meanwhile, in some of the more accessible and popular islands, such as Skye, there are fears that rich people buying holiday or retirement homes are pricing young locals out of the housing market.

Under plans unveiled in a consultation, the SNP government also wants to set up an "advisory service" for successful applicants to smooth the transition to island life. This would help address "potential tensions" with current inhabitants and offer advice about their new home's culture, history and social etiquette.

Read the full report here.

skye - Getty
skye - Getty

11:47 AM

Shopping: Can you buy your summer holiday wardrobe at the supermarket?

This summer the supermarkets have come up trumps with sun-ready collections to suit holidays both at home or abroad, writes Frankie Graddon.

However, before delving in, there are a few rules of thumb to consider to ensure your purchases look luxe.

Read the guide here.

11:31 AM

Acropolis in Greece closes in the afternoon due to heatwave

Authorities in Greece closed the Acropolis and other ancient sites during afternoon hours starting Tuesday as a heat wave scorching the eastern Mediterranean worsened, AP reports.

Temperatures reached 42C in parts of the Greek capital, as the extreme weather fueled deadly wildfires in Turkey and blazes in Greece, Italy and across the region. Greek authorities have described the heat wave as the most intense in more than 30 years.

The Acropolis, which is normally open in the summer from 8am-8pm will have reduced hours through Friday, closing from midday to 5pm.

The Greek Fire Service maintained an alert for most of the country Tuesday, while public and some private services shifted operating hours to allow for afternoon closures.

acropolis - AFP
acropolis - AFP

11:18 AM

Poll: More than 80% of Britons don't have the confidence to book a holiday abroad this summer

According to a poll conducted yesterday by expert Paul Charles of the PC Agency, Britons continue to have very little fail in the current traffic lights system...

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

11:04 AM

Comment: The rest of the world has shamed Britain’s blasé rejection of liberty

Freedom is losing the battle in Britain, argues Sherelle Jacobs, in her latest column:

No 10 remains gripped by siege mentality, as travel rules remain stubbornly in force. Among the public, an almost puritanical devotion to caution has prevailed over the seductions of liberty. While restaurants inconsolably report that they are only slightly more busy, large events are still underselling their tickets and face night after night of cancellations as the anxious shun crowds. In this strained atmosphere, variants are becoming a source of paranoid fixation. The latest to do the rounds is the “realistic possibility”, according to Sage, of a mutation that might kill one in three.

Read on here.

10:51 AM

Five incredible under-the-radar places to have a holiday in Ireland

The Emerald Isle has opened up to double-jabbed Britons, writes Rachel Everett – now's the time to explore the country's wildest reaches.

Here’s where to go, and where you should stay, if you’re looking for an incredible Irish escape.

Inisheer - Atlantide Phototravel
Inisheer - Atlantide Phototravel

10:36 AM

Lufthansa launches new three-seat 'Sleeper Row' option in economy

Germany's flag carrier Lufthansa now allows customers to book several adjacent seats in economy on long-haul flights so that passengers can lie flat, dubbing it a 'Sleeper's Row', for an extra fee starting at 159 euros (£135) each way.

The airline states:

With this new offer, passengers will receive an entire row of seats for themselves, consisting of three to four adjacent seats, for the entire duration of the flight. This offer comes with a comfortable pillow, blanket and mattress topper of Business Class quality, allowing passengers to fully relax while on board before reaching their final destination.

Lufthansa offers the Sleeper's Row on long-haul flights of approximately eleven hours or more, including routes to the Far East, the United States’ west coast, Central and South America, or southern Africa. The surcharge is between 159 and 229 euros per route. A maximum of three Sleeper's Rows are offered per flight.

This is a service Thomas Cook also launched on its airline, incidentally, shortly before it went bust.

lufthansa - Lufthansa
lufthansa - Lufthansa

10:19 AM

'European hoteliers lack confidence in UK market' – Director of Aito

More from Noel Josephides, director of Aito, the Specialist Travel Association, who says that the European hoteliers that typically supply accommodation are currently wary about taking bookings from the UK, and are instead "full from the local market; Eastern Europe, Germany, France and Italy."

Josephides explains:

Hoteliers are justifiably saying to us: " You have cancelled your allocations in April, May, June and most of July. How can we be certain that you will send anyone in August? We need guaranteed bookings as we have to survive too".

10:04 AM

Jet2 launches winter sale

Are you a super organsied forward planner? Jet2.com and Jet2holidays have launched a sale for winter sun destinations in 2022/23 from eight UK bases. Here's hoping travel will be operating normally by then.

The tour operator is advertising lower fares to destinations across Europe, the Mediterranean and Canary Islands on sale from Belfast International, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle and London Stansted Airports., and in the coming weeks from East Midlands and Leeds Bradford Airports.

Destinations thus far include Tenerife, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, and Fuerteventura, as well as Madeira, Turkey (Antalya) and Cyprus (Paphos).

09:48 AM

Traffic light update: Could any countries come off the red list?

Anticipation is mounting ahead of the traffic light update due later this week, with hopes that some countries could be removed from the dreaded red list.

Research from the PC Agency suggests four countries – Bahrain, India, Kenya and Pakistan – have seen their infection rates fall sufficiently to be moved from red to amber. However, hopes aren’t too high as no country has moved off the red list since its introduction, despite falling infection rates.

Many holidaymakers will be keen on an update from popular holiday destinations the Maldives and UAE. Both have had successful vaccine rollouts (61.64% and 70.6% fully vaccinated, respectively) and recently declining cases. The Maldives has a seven-day rate of 147.32 per 100,000 while the UAE rates stand at 108.6 per 100,000 – both significantly lower than the UK.

Find the current red list here.

09:33 AM

Labour demands travel data amid 'U-turns and confusion'

Labour has demanded the data behind the Government's decisions on travel rules, following the "days of confusion" over the amber watchlist.

Shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon said:

Not only have ministers failed to protect our borders, allowing the Delta variant to reach the UK in such force, but time and time again they've refused to be straight with the public and industry to provide them with the information they need to build confidence, with clear information on the direction of travel of infections in each country.

Ministers need to get a grip and set out a proper strategy, provide full data and progress work with global partners on international vaccine passports so travellers and the industry can have the maximum clarity, instead of reckless? U-turns and confusion.

09:15 AM

France travel restrictions could be scrapped amid confusion over traffic lights system

Travel restrictions for France could be ditched, a minister hinted this morning, after the Government was forced into an embarrassing about-turn on its increasingly confusing travel system.

Gillian Keegan, the apprenticeships and skills minister, insisted it was "not a U-turn - we are dealing with a global pandemic, it is evolving".

She then hinted that the amber-plus category - solely applied to France - might also be ditched, telling Sky News:

The Transport Secretary will carry out his review on Thursday, he will set out more about what is happening with amber-plus and with France in particular. We are exploring more options, every option.

Paul Charles, director of The PC Agency consultancy, said "high level" sources had told him the "amber plus" and "green watchlist" categories would also be dropped.

Our politics live blog has more.

09:03 AM

The countries that could go green, amber and red this week

The three-week traffic light update has come around once again and this Thursday (August 5) we are due to learn which countries will turn green and amber or join the red list.

Here's everything you need to know about the impending announcement.

08:47 AM

Campaign: 300 travel companies urge PM to ditch amber list altogether

Industry campaigners at Save Our Summer (SOS) have written a letter to the UK Government recommending that the amber list be scrapped in favour of a two-category system:

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

08:30 AM

Which countries are open to UK travellers? Latest destinations with no quarantine or restrictions

Of the 169 countries on England’s green list and amber lists, the majority aren’t even open to British travellers (the US, Australia, New Zealand, and most of Asia among them), and many aren’t viable holiday destinations anyway (Yemen, North Korea, the South Sandwich Islands, to name a few).

Of the countries that are left, a good number of them are only open to fully vaccinated travellers (nearly half the UK population still don’t qualify) and plenty of them require visitors to quarantine upon arrival (Italy being a notable one, not exactly what most of us are looking for in a holiday).

With that in mind, we’ve broken down all the green and amber-listed holiday destinations into categories; from the easiest options (no quarantine either side, even if you’re not yet fully vaccinated) to the impossible (firmly closed to all British travellers).

Dive on in.

holidays
holidays

08:13 AM

Here's how you do a five-day quarantine in an Italian villa

In Italy, there are fines of up to €3,000 if you don’t self-isolate on arrival – but villa providers are doing all they can to furnish your needs, writes Hazel Plush.

While the FCDO warning makes travel insurance tricky (though not impossible) to secure, many UK holidaymakers are pressing on with their plans – undeterred by the threat of quarantine.

Ravi Sabharwal, co-founder of Oliver’s Travels tells us:

We have over 500 passengers travelling to our villas in Italy in August. Thirty per cent of these bookings are for 14+ days so these groups will still have plenty of time left on their holiday to explore the region post-isolation.

Popular guest requests include grocery deliveries, Covid test bookings, and assistance with everything from car hire to cleaning – and villa owners are generally happy to oblige. Ed Pyke, executive director of Simpson Travel weighs in:

The Italians generally are so impressed and grateful to those determined travellers who are prepared to come despite the extension to the quarantine. Visitors can be sure of a very warm – albeit socially distanced – welcome.

If you are heading to Italy on a villa holiday, here’s what you need to know.

07:54 AM

Wuhan to test its entire 11m population after outbreak

Authorities in Wuhan on Tuesday said they would test its entire population for Covid-19 after the central Chinese city where the coronavirus emerged reported its first local infections in more than a year.

The city of 11 million is "swiftly launching comprehensive nucleic acid testing of all residents", senior Wuhan official Li Tao said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Authorities announced on Monday that seven locally transmitted infections had been found among migrant workers in the city, breaking a year-long streak without domestic cases after it squashed an initial outbreak with an unprecedented lockdown in early 2020.

Wuhan - AFP
Wuhan - AFP

China has confined the residents of entire cities to their homes, cut domestic transport links and rolled out mass testing in recent days as it battles its largest coronavirus outbreak in months.

China reported 61 domestic cases on Tuesday as an outbreak of the fast-spreading Delta variant reached dozens of cities after infections among airport cleaners in Nanjing sparked a chain of cases that have been reported across the country.

Follow our coronavirus live blog for more.

07:42 AM

Watch: Boris Johnson promises a 'simple' overseas travel approach

07:34 AM

Boris Johnson steps in to save holidays on the Continent

Summer holiday plans have received a major boost after Boris Johnson blocked the creation of a controversial new "amber watchlist" for foreign countries, report Ben Riley-Smith and Charles Hymas.

The extra category in the Government's travel traffic light system would have left popular holiday destinations under threat of imminently turning red, forcing travellers into hotel quarantine on their return even if fully vaccinated.

Mr Johnson's decision – which came as he pledged to keep travel rules "as simple as possible" – allows millions of people planning to get away to Europe to avoid new complications.

Spain, Greece and France had been rumoured to have faced being added to the watchlist, but now travellers heading to those destinations can now do so without the threat of being recategorised as red hanging over them.

Read on, here.

07:19 AM

If you were the Prime Minister's dad, where would you go on holiday?

As foreign travel looks set for another shake up this week, five writers - Stanley Johnson included - share their plans. Here's what the PM's father has to say:

Twenty years ago, my wife and I built a house in Greece, on the wonderful wooded peninsula of Pelion, bounded to the east by the Aegean Sea and to the west by the Pagasetic Gulf.

We will be going there at the beginning of September – though my trip last year, I admit, was a bit fraught. I needed to go out in July to get our house ready for letting in August. But there were two problems. First, there was government guidance to avoid “non-essential” travel. Second, there were no planes to Athens.

I rang a Greek journalist working in London. “It is quite true,” she said, “that the Greek Government has banned direct flights.”

When I put the phone down, I recalled that she had put special emphasis on the word “direct”.

Two days later, Wizz Air whizzed me off to Sofia with a more-or-less connecting flight to Athens, which the Greek Minister of Tourism went on TV to explain was totally legal.

Read the rest here.

07:10 AM

Portugal ‘refusing to recognise Indian-made AstraZeneca vaccine’

Holidaymakers heading to Portugal who were given the Indian-made AstraZeneca vaccine face two weeks in quarantine as the Government failed to secure a rule change.

Portugal is understood to be among 13 European countries that do not recognise the Indian-made version of the jab, which up to five million Britons received without being told.

Under its entry rules, Portugal requires anyone not double jabbed with a recognised vaccine to quarantine for 14 days. Two other countries among the 13, Poland and Romania, also require quarantine for any British visitors who have not been fully vaccinated with recognised jabs.

Charles Hymas has the story.

06:58 AM

Sydney lockdown could be eased if vaccination rate hits 50%

Australia's New South Wales said on Tuesday it could ease a lockdown that demands five million people stay at home until the end of August if 50 per cent of the population is vaccinated, even as new infections linger near a 16-month high.

A lifting of restrictions in New South Wales would be a boost for Prime Minister Scott Morrison, under intense pressure for his government's handling of the vaccine rollout, with the threat of a second economic recession in as many years looming.

New South Wales on Tuesday reported another 199 locally acquired cases in the past 24 hours but state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said curbs could be eased if six million people are vaccinated by the time the lockdown is due to end, stating:

Six million jabs is roughly half the population with at least one or two doses. That gives us additional options as to what life looks like on 29 August.

Ms Berejiklian didn't say exactly how many in New South Wales were fully vaccinated as of Tuesday, but said the state is on course to meet its vaccination target.

06:47 AM

French territory of Guadeloupe to go into new lockdown

France's overseas territory of Guadeloupe will to go into a new lockdown for at least three weeks to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, said the local Guadeloupe authority on its Twitter account, as France battles a fourth wave of the virus.

The authority said the French West Indian island's new lockdown would start on August 4, with the re-introduction of a curfew running from 8pm until 5am the following day, and limitations on people's movements.

France's overseas territories of La Reunion and Martinique have also entered new lockdowns to curb the spread of the virus.

06:13 AM

What happened yesterdaty?

A quick ecap of the top stories:

  • Quarantine scrapped for fully vaccinated US and EU arrivals

  • PM wants travel rules to be as 'user-friendly as possible'

  • Tourists evacuated as wildfires burn in Italy, Spain and Greece

  • British Airways bumps up US flight schedule

  • Foreign Office warns travellers of France's vaccine passport law

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting