Europeans do not want British tourists to visit the Continent this summer, according to a new survey.
Spaniards are most opposed to the arrival of UK holidaymakers, with nearly two thirds (61 per cent), keen on Britons to stay away this year, 15 percentage points more than any other European nationality. A majority of French, German and Italian Car Accident Lawyer in West Palm Beach residents also want British travellers to stay home, according to polling by YouGov.
In France, Spain, Germany and Italy, only residents from the US and China are less welcome, the research showed.
The UK Government’s ‘travel corridors’, allowing for the return of overseas holidays, come into force tomorrow, but YouGov said that only 21 per cent of Britons are considering holidays to Spain or France this summer; fewer are planning trips to Germany (18 per cent), Italy (17 per cent) and the US (7 per cent).
The research shows how a nation’s handling of the coronavirus crisis is feeding into fear over international travel.
The British are also opposed to the arrivals of foreign holidaymakers, with 76 per cent keen to keep Americans from UK shores; 53 per cent do not want Chinese tourists this summer, only just ahead of Swedish arrivals (51 per cent) and Italian (48 per cent).
Follow the latest updates below.
Today’s top stories:
- The FCO has updated its guidance to advise all Britons against travelling on cruise ships
- Some Spanish holiday hotspots have made face masks mandatory in all public places, with €100 fines for those without one
- Health experts have expressed doubts over the science used by the UK to justify Portugal’s air bridge snub
- Wales has agreed to the same quarantine exemptions as those applied in England
- Government cuts to VAT for hospitality businesses are “not nearly enough”, says Abta, and more must be done to protect the struggling aviation and outbound sectors.
You can catch up with the rest of today’s developments below.
Spas can reopen on Monday
Mere hours after Charlotte Johnstone wrote that “it doesn’t make sense” for the Government not to reopen spas, the Culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, has announced that the Government is reopening spas.
Well done, Charlotte.
Along with salons and tattoo parlours, they have been given the green light to welcome customers back on Monday 13 July.
Cruise lines stressing their safety in light of FCO advice change
There’s been a measured response from the cruise industry following the FCO’s decision to advise against all holidays at sea.
Peter Deer, Managing Director at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “We are very clear on our position that we will not resume sailing until it is safe for us to do so. We chose to voluntarily pause our operations back in March as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and since then have been working tirelessly to prepare our ships, crew and staff for what a return to the water will involve.
“We have been working very closely with the other UK cruise lines and CLIA to consider what the future of cruising will look like, including our procedures for embarkation, onboard and ashore.
“When we return to cruising, it will be better, safer and stronger than ever, and we will not do so until we and our guests are confident that it is safe, and that the world is ready to welcome us again.”
What does a post-lockdown stay look like at a Lake District hotel?
With many hospitality businesses in England now reopened after the excitement of Super Saturday, Helen Pickles checked in to The Gilpin Hotel & Lake House near Windermere to see what has changed and what has stayed the same for a post-lockdown Lakeland holiday.
“There’s a buzz in the air, guests josh with the waiters and, despite a subtle but clear social distancing, it feels pretty much like normal.”
Delay to spa reopenings ‘doesn’t make sense’
Boris needs to reopen gyms and spas for the health of the nation, says Charlotte Johnstone.
There are more than 900 spa and wellness businesses in the UK, which generate £2.1 billion and employ 45,000 people. According to the UKSA, a third of spas and spa hotels face closure unless they are allowed to reopen this month.
Wales relaxes quarantine rules for international travellers
The Welsh Government will lift quarantine restrictions from tomorrow for select countries with similar or lower cases of coronavirus.
This applies to the same 73 countries and territories also exempted from England’s quarantine rules.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “The Welsh Government has, throughout this process, aimed to be constructive in enabling the UK Government achieve its policy objective. The UK Government has shared its methodology with us and this has been reviewed by the Chief Medical Officer.”
From tomorrow, passengers arriving in Wales from some overseas countries with similar or lower cases of coronavirus, will no longer need to quarantine for 14 days.
— Mark Drakeford (@fmwales) July 9, 2020
Hopes dashed for Viking cruises this summer
So much for Britons having a summer cruise holiday. Viking Cruises have announced they won’t be sailing passengers again until at least October 1, reports Benjamin Parker. The line had originally planned to be back in action after August 31 but in a video message the Viking chairman, Torstein Hagen, said:
“In Europe, countries are beginning to open up, but the process will continue to be slow and cautious. Like you, I look forward to travelling again and I am encouraged by the scientific advancements being made around the world to overcome Covid-19.
He added: “We were the first cruise line to announce a temporary suspension of operations and have continued to evaluate the situation, responding accordingly. While restrictions related to Covid-19 are beginning to ease in some countries, travel remains complicated. Therefore, we have made the decision to extend our temporary suspension of operations through September 30, 2020.”
Last month, Viking caused a ripple of excitement among eager cruisers when they teased plans to operate round-Britain cruises this summer. But by pushing back their restart date – and with today’s devastating blow from updated FCO cruise ship advice – it appears they are unlikely to go ahead.
A postcard from Mallorca from one of the first Britons to visit this summer
It’s (almost) business as usual on the Balearic isle, and while things are still a little quiet, the locals are optimistic that their tourism-dependent economy can be saved.
That said, some places are coping better than others. Visitors are starting to return to the capital, Palma, but it’s a long road to recovery for hedonistic Magaluf.
The eerie effect of Covid-19 on Thailand’s holiday hotspots
With travel to and from the island of Koh Samui now ground to a halt by the pandemic, some of Thailand’s most enduringly popular tourist hubs are now something akin to ghost towns, says Tom Vater.
Hotels, restaurants and bars are boarded up and abandoned, and it is expected that many will never reopen. Jet skis and kayaks lie abandoned, and the beaches are littered with debris.
Now, the local and national governments are attempting to breathe some life back into this ailing holiday destination.
Britons “100 per cent welcome” says Portuguese tourism chief
The president of Turismo de Portugal has provided an update on the country’s travel situation, assuring British holidaymakers they are “100 per cent welcome” and that they will not need to quarantine upon arrival.
Luis Araujo, who heads up the national tourism authority, announced that airports on the Portuguese mainland are now equipped with UV equipment for disinfection, contactless checkout facilities and walk through camera systems for temperature scanning. There is no required testing but there will be a simple landing card for visitors to complete upon arrival at the airport.
For visitors to Madeira and the Azores, both of which had their travel advisories downgraded by the FCO last week, proof of a negative test completed within the past 72 hours is all that is required.
But those travelling back to the UK must still go into self-isolation for 14 days after it was revealed that Portugal, including its outlying islands, is excluded from a list of 59 countries exempt from quarantine rules, a decision that Mr Araujo described as ‘bewildering’.
“Several Portuguese officials have been vocal in sharing their disappointment and rationale behind why we felt this decision was not a true reflection on the situation here in Portugal. Now we must respect the privacy of the ongoing discussions between the UK and Portuguese government to come to a revised decision upon review,” he said.
Spanish campsite to offer ‘paradise’ zone where social distancing isn’t enforced
A coastal campsite in northern Spain has created a so-called “safe” area, where guests do not have to follow strict social distancing measures if they test negative for Covid-19.
To gain access to the special section of the camp, guests at Trillas Platja Tamarit in Tarragona must take a test upon arrival and wait six hours in a holding area for the result to be confirmed. The holiday park has said it will subsidise the fast-track test, but guests must still contribute 100 euros per person if they wish to take it.
Those who are found to be free of Covid-19 can then head to the “paradise” zone, where there are no social distancing rules, no face masks, and guests are free to mingle. The space has a communal sports area, swimming pool and restaurant, which will all be able to operate as normal.
VAT cuts for hospitality and tourism ‘not nearly enough’, says Abta
The Chancellor’s ‘summer statement’ yesterday falls far short of promising the UK travel industry the help it so desperately needs, according to Abta.
The trade association’s chief executive, Mark Tanzer, wrote: “The Statement showed that the Government is willing and able to give tailored support to sectors in particular need, which is what ABTA has been calling for, and yet there was no acknowledgement of the difficulties faced by the aviation and outbound tourism sectors, which are not only businesses and employers in their own right, but essential parts of extended supply chains across the country.”
Rishi Sunak announced a surprise VAT cut for domestic tourism and hospitality businesses, which is due to come into effect next Monday.
Mr Tanzer has promised to continue campaigning for “urgent and meaningful intervention” from the Government on behalf of travel businesses facing an uncertain future without state support.
Seats swapped for cargo on world’s largest passenger plane
In a sign of the struggles faced by airlines as the coronavirus pandemic rolls on, an Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft, has had its seats stripped out so that it can be used to transport goods instead.
Hi Fly, the Portuguese leasing company that owns it, doesn’t believe it can fill all 525 seats on the double-decker plane, so has removed them to make way for up to 60 tonnes of cargo in a bid to make ends meet.
Breaking: Huge blow for cruise industry as Foreign Office advises against all holidays at sea
The UK Government has updated its guidance for cruise ships, advising all British people to avoid travelling on them.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said the new information was “due to the ongoing pandemic and is based on medical advice from Public Health England” and that they would “continue to review its cruise ship travel advice”.
Previous advice from the FCO stated that British nationals aged 70 and above – and those with underlying health conditions – should not to travel on cruise ships.
The news is a major setback for an industry that appeared to be tentatively getting back to business, especially in Europe.
Telegraph Travel cruise writer Dave Monk said: “It seems curious when pubs, restaurants and resorts are opening and new protocols are being introduced on cruise ships to ensure they are as clean and safe – if not much more so – than land-based alternatives.”
What is it like on a post-lockdown ski holiday?
Quieter slopes and face mask rules that are only half-heartedly enforced, reports Catherine Cooper from the slopes Les Deux Alpes in France.
In other words, skiers aren’t going to notice a great deal of difference.
Remote working in paradise
Barbados is offering a 12-month remote working incentive to entice foreigners to temporarily live and work on the island.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has proposed the “Barbados Welcome Stamp” scheme, which would give visitors the option to work remotely in the country for a year at a time.
With the island economy largely reliant on tourism, it is hoped that the scheme will help plug the hole left by a four-month lack of visitor dollars.
Do the French really want Britons to stay away?
Anthony Peregrine pooh-poohs the idea that British holidaymakers shouldn’t expect a warm welcome in France. On the contrary, he insists the 62 million or so French people who didn’t take part in YouGov’s survey (see above) are simply “dying to see us.”
In light of that, he argues that you really should consider taking a holiday there – and Languedoc in particular – this summer.
Maldives to reopen its borders next week
As the UK Government weighs up the possibility of a ‘travel corridor’ with the Maldives, the latter has announced that visitors can return on July 15.
Travel to the Indian Ocean archipelago has been all but impossible since its borders were closed in late March, but now tourists are to be admitted once more without the need to go into self-isolation.
However, all arrivals will have their temperatures checked at the airport, and any displaying symptoms of Covid-19 will be placed in quarantine for 14 days.
Britons are rushing to buy up Greek island villas
British demand for holiday homes and property in Greece has rocketed by more than 200 per cent following the British Government’s relaxation of travel restrictions, according to local and international real estate officials.
Greece ranked as the hottest search destination in Europe, next to Spain, France, Portugal and Italy, according to data released this week from the UK’s biggest property marketplace, Rightmove.
“Greece is really bouncing back,” Piers Williams, of estate agent Chestertons Ionian, told Telegraph Travel. “Interest has surged by some 200 per cent and it is increasing significantly as the dust continues to settle from the [Covid-19] pandemic.”
Screams banned at Japanese theme parks
Japanese theme parks have been given the green light to reopen, but excited thrillseekers have been banned from screaming on the rollercoasters.
In an effort to prevent virus-infected water droplets from spreading Covid-19 , Fuji-Q Highland, a park near Tokyo, has started the #KeepASeriousFace challenge, encouraging riders to remain deadpan and “scream inside your heart” instead.
A postcard from Covid-free Perth
Tough measures have allowed Western Australia to go an extraordinary 89 days without a community-based Covid-19 infection, and the locals in Perth are flocking back to cinemas, cricket grounds, spas and gyms.
Doubts raised about the science behind Portugal’s air bridge snub
Portugal’s exclusion from UK tourist corridors lacks “technical and scientific rigour and transparency”, according to an analysis by two doctors who have been closely studying the pandemic for months.
Portuguese public health researchers Vasco Ricoca Peixoto and Professor Alexandre Abrantes found the UK failed to properly consider the location of cases, death rates, testing, hospital admissions and other important factors.
“Lack of such approach led the UK to adopt an inadequate Covid-19 related travel policy that, without contributing in a relevant way to prevent transmission, has had a significantly negative impact at the socio-economic, political and diplomatic levels,” they wrote.
UK to announce ‘air bridges’ with Cuba and the Maldives?
The Maldives, Cuba and Cape Verde could be included on a second list of ‘air bridge’ countries as the Government considers permitting UK travellers to visit more destinations without needing to self-isolate on their return to Britain.
Following the introduction of ‘travel corridors’ with 59 countries, where quarantine rules no longer apply from tomorrow, the FCO has updated the advice pages of more than a dozen countries with an amendment reading “Editorial review to remove ‘Return to the UK’ section and improve ‘Coronavirus’ section” – the same note that was added to each of the countries included in the first batch of exemption.
Other destinations that could be soon be exempted include Russia, Armenia, Ukraine, Ivory Coast, Myanmar, Azerbaijan, Sudan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova and the Pitcairn Islands.
Peru to halve the number of visitors allowed at Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu will reopen to the public in the near future, but daily visitor numbers will be cut down by half, the Peruvian government has announced.
But the restrictions aren’t so much to do with social distancing. By cutting down to just 2,244 admissions a day (down from an average of 5,000 in peak season), the authorities are hoping to better preserve the historic Inca citadel from irreparable damage.
The site was scheduled to reopen on July 1, but this has been pushed back indefinitely while Peru battles one of the worst coronavirus infection rates in South America.
Spain to fine tourists who leave the hotel without wearing a face mask
Tourists in several Spanish holiday hotspots must wear face masks this summer, or risk being hit with hefty fines.
From today, residents and visitors in Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and the Basque Country must all wear protective face coverings at all times while out in public, with those who flout the rules liable to receive an on-the-spot penalty of €100 (£90).
It is understood that exemptions apply to children under the age of six, those playing sports, and sunbathers.
Gleneagles thanks the NHS with free stays for the next five years
Luxury Scottish hotel Gleneagles is launching a new charitable initiative backed by the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, to thank NHS workers. ‘Our Turn To Care’ will see the hotel donate 365 free room nights to healthcare workers each year, for the next five years.
Gleneagles will work with Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland and NHS Scotland to deliver the scheme. In turn, HIT Scotland will liaise closely with all 14 NHS health boards and partners across Scotland, who will be responsible for distributing the complimentary bed and breakfast stays to staff from September 1.
The hotel, which is set in 850 acres of Perthshire countryside on the edge of the Highlands, is described by Telegraph Travel’s destination expert Linda Macdonald as: “An icon updated in a deft recreation of jazz-age glamour, dripping in luxury with an added measure of fun. With quietly classy bedrooms, masses of country pursuits, championship golf courses, a fabulous spa and two-starred Michelin food, there’s a little bit of (expensive) heaven for everyone.”
‘There is no end in sight for travel disruption’
Not all the travel industry is happy with the budget announcements, with tour operators feeling left out.
Kane Pirie, managing director of Vivid Travel, said such firms have been some of the worst hit by the crisis.
“Covid-19 has created an economic hit of tsunamic proportions,” he said. “Travel is the forgotten, unloved sector it seems the government does want.
“We were one of the first industries to be shut-down, we are refunding prior sales on a scale unequalled and new sales are entangled in a myriad of shifting risks and regulation. The industry has been knocked out.
“The travel industry is losing businesses and jobs already. The industry is fighting hard for survival but support is needed. There is no end to the disruption in sight and realistically it could well be 2021 before confidence returns to the market.”
What if Covid-19 spoils my holiday?
Nick Trend has mulled over all your questions:
- What if there is a resurgence of the pandemic in the destination I have booked?
- What happens if my flight is cancelled at short notice?
- What if I am exposed to Covid-19 while I’m in a destination?
- What if an airline refuses to fly me home?
Pier of the Year winner announced
Away from the coronavirus, it’s the news we have all been waiting for…
Clacton Pier has been named Pier of the Year by the National Piers Society.
The attraction in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, reopened to the public last weekened after three months of closure due to the pandemic. On Thursday it pipped Clevedon Pier, in second place, and third-placed Brighton Palace Pier, to the crown.
The society said the award recognised a decade of improvements made by Clacton Pier’s owners, brothers Billy and Elliot Ball. Billy Ball, director and co-owner of Clacton Pier, said: “We were delighted to come runner-up last year and to go one better this year really is the icing on the cake.”
Book hotels direct, Britons urged
As the industry digests Rishi Sunak’s mini-budget yesterday, some believe it will lead to a “staycation” boom this summer, with Britons chasing discounts thanks to the cut in VAT in hospitality.
Rory Boland, editor of the travel arm of Which?, advised consumers to book their stays direct to get the best rates.
“Time and time again, we’ve found that calling up the hotel or B&B gets you a better price than using accommodation booking sites,” he said. “Even if they can’t knock anything off the price, you’ll usually get a room upgrade or a bottle of fizz thrown in for free.
“Additionally, booking direct means hotels and B&Bs don’t have to pay commission on the booking, meaning more of your money goes towards supporting local businesses.”
Bali takes first step towards reopening
The Indonesian island of Bali will not reopen to international tourists until September, but this week lockdown eased for residents and stranded holidaymakers.
Normally bustling beaches and streets on the idyllic Southeast Asian island emptied in early April except for special patrols to ensure health protocols were observed. Authorities restricted public activities, closed the airport and shuttered all shops, bars, sit-down restaurants, public swimming pools and many other places on the island that’s home to more than 4 million people.
The local government began lifting the limits Thursday, but tourists will face stringent rules in hotels, restaurants and on beaches, Bali Gov. I Wayan Koster said.
Koster told a news conference that the island will gradually reopen shuttered places to locals and stranded foreigners. Bali will open to Indonesians from other parts of the country on July 31 and new foreign arrivals on Sept. 11.
The government established guidelines for reopening tourist spots and may close certain areas again if infections spike, he said.
“The pandemic has hit tourism sector so badly while there is no certainty when it will end,” Koster said. “We have to revive economic activity to prevent Bali from new social problems due to increasing economic pressures.”
What we learnt yesterday
- Ryanair and Virgin rated among worst for Covid-19 refunds
- Portugal and UK resumed discussions on travel corridor
- Chancellor announced temporary VAT cut for hospitality and tourism businesses
- UK regional flight routes risk being cut due to the pandemic
- Eurostar said it will scrap its ski train for winter