Traffic light system would deliver ‘clarity’ to holidaymakers



a group of people standing in a parking lot: heathrow arrivals - Getty


© Getty
heathrow arrivals – Getty

British holidaymakers could travel overseas quarantine-free this summer under a traffic-light style system to “green list” countries, a proposal that has been welcomed by industry bosses. 

“The traffic lights system would bring clarity as countries would be categorised by criteria including vaccine rollout, infection rates and hospital infrastructure. It would be designed to give visibility to those going away on how a country is performing,” said Paul Charles, chief executive of the travel consultancy The PC Agency. “Consumers are ready to accept sun, sand, sea and swab this summer if it means a safe overseas trip,” he added.

Travellers returning to the UK from “amber” countries would likely face pre-departure testing and quarantine for at least five days under the proposed system, while the ban on travel from “red list” countries is likely to continue.

Airlines UK, the trade body for UK registered airlines also welcomed the plan: “We know that universal, restriction-free travel is unlikely from 17 May but under a tiered system, based on risk, international travel can meaningfully restart and build up, with minimal restrictions in time,” said chief executive Tim Alderslade.

The details of the plan for the resumption of international travel are due to be revealed by the Global Travel Taskforce on April 12. However, Government ministers have cautioned consumers against booking holidays against the backdrop of rising infection rates in Europe. 

“It just feels premature to be booking international holidays at the moment,” Helen Whately, Minister of State for Social Care, told BBC Breakfast on Monday, echoing statements made by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace on Sunday.

Scroll down for the latest travel updates.

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05:21 PM

That’s all for today

Before we go, here’s a reminder of today’s main headlines:

  • Traffic light system would deliver ‘clarity’ to holidaymakers
  • Ban on travelling overseas without a ‘reasonable excuse’ comes into force on March 29
  • Cruise agent sees bookings surge with launch of P&O’s UK cruises
  • Germany set to carry virus curbs into April as cases surge 
  • Everything you need to know about holiday travel vouchers

We’ll be back tomorrow for more live travel coverage.

05:15 PM

If the vaccine isn’t enough to let us leave the country, what is?

Many of us travelled last summer, when no vaccine existed. How can it be that we might travel less in the summer of 2021, queries Chris Leadbeater.

We have not even reached the end of the first step on the Government’s much-vaunted “road map” back to some sort of normality – March 29, with its wan token of two households being able to meet outdoors. And yet the crucial third step that so many of us have had our eyes on – May 17, with its tantalising possibility of international travel resuming – is already being diminished. Nobody reading this article will be unaware of the many caveats attached to the “road map” – the cover-all get-out clause of “no earlier than” appended to every date; no-one is unaware that the route out of the Covid mess is one roughly surfaced and flanked by quicksand. But to have the biggest and shiniest signpost covered with a tarpaulin two months before we are due to arrive at it, park the car underneath and get out to check whether the way ahead is passable – never mind drive past it with swift abandon – is galling. Where there had been hope, again we have despair.

Read the full article.

05:03 PM

Spring has arrived

The Spring Equinox started yesterday, and with it comes warmer temperatures, longer days and cherry blossom. Below, a ring necked parakeet (Psittacula Krameri) feeds on cherry blossom in Saint James’s Park.



a parrot sitting on a branch: The cherry blossom has arrived in London - Amer Ghazzal/Alamy Live News


© Amer Ghazzal/Alamy Live News
The cherry blossom has arrived in London – Amer Ghazzal/Alamy Live News


 

04:43 PM

12 cute cottages you can rent out in the grounds of hotels

Some of our smartest hotels are sprucing up their smaller outhouses for the benefit of guests who want a mixture of grandeur and privacy, writes Mary Lussiana and Rachel Cranshaw.

Church Lodge, Heckfield Place, Hampshire

An 18th-century Georgian house which sits in the middle of a 400-acre estate in the Hampshire countryside, Heckfield Place is a project which is far more than the hotel at the centre of it, echoing the importance of the Manor House in days of old. The organic Home Farm, run on biodynamic principles, provides much of what the kitchen, under culinary ­director Skye Gyngell, delivers to the table; from roast farm vegetables with warm yogurt and fermented red chilli to slow-cooked lamb with viola artichokes, peas and preserved lemon dressing. Monthly markets selling produce are open to the locals, as is the sleek, underground, screening room complete with Ferrari leather-clad chairs.



a house with bushes in front of a building: Church Lodge at Heckfield Place was once the original gatehouse – it's since been done over with the same attention to detail as the main hotel


© Provided by The Telegraph
Church Lodge at Heckfield Place was once the original gatehouse – it’s since been done over with the same attention to detail as the main hotel

The Pavilion, Gidleigh Park, Devon

The Pavilion at Gidleigh Park is a thatched cottage that sits within woodland in the hotel’s 107-acre estate. The cottage sleeps up to four, with two bedrooms and bathrooms, an open-plan panelled sitting room with kitchen diner and a private veranda overlooking the croquet lawns. Facilities at the Tudor-style hotel include a tennis court, bowling green and 18-hole putting course.

Find all 12 cottages here.

04:28 PM

Ban on travelling overseas without a ‘reasonable excuse’ comes into force on March 29

A ban on leaving the United Kingdom without a reasonable excuse is included in new coronavirus laws coming into force next week, reports PA.

The legislation for restrictions over the coming months, as the Government sets out its road map for coming out of lockdown, was published on Monday. Entitled the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021, the laws come into force on March 29. According to the legal document: “The Regulations also impose restrictions on leaving the United Kingdom without a reasonable excuse (regulation 8).”

The law says no-one may “leave England to travel to a destination outside the United Kingdom, or travel to, or be present at, an embarkation point for the purpose of travelling from there to a destination outside the United Kingdom” without a reasonable excuse. The need for the restrictions must be reviewed by April 12, and at least once every 35 days thereafter, the legal papers say. The laws expire on June 30, unless they are scrapped or amended in the meantime.

Read our guide to the new declaration form.

04:17 PM

Hikers flock to watch Fagradalsfjall volcano

Weekend hikers near took the opportunity on Sunday to see the aftermath of Fagradalsfjall’s eruption on March 16. 

It is some 25 miles from the capital of Reykjavik. A red cloud lit up the night sky and a no-fly zone was established in the area.



a group of people sitting on top of a mountain: fagradalsfjall volcano - AFP via Getty Images


© AFP via Getty Images
fagradalsfjall volcano – AFP via Getty Images



a group of people standing in front of a mountain: fagradalsfjall volcano - AFP via Getty Images


© Provided by The Telegraph
fagradalsfjall volcano – AFP via Getty Images

04:10 PM

Britons hoard foreign cash stash of over £3.5 billion

British holidaymakers have squirrelled away £3.5 billion worth of euros, US dollars and other currencies from past holidays abroad, according to research from Post Office Travel Money.

The research found that over four-in-five (82 per cent) of 2,080 adults surveyed had taken overseas holidays in the past but only 22 per cent of them changed leftover foreign currency back into sterling when they returned home. 

Instead over half of holidaymakers (51 per cent) kept hold of their leftover currency, worth an average of almost £155 each. Men stashed away far more currency than women from their travels abroad – an average of £188 each compared with £117 for women. 

Nick Boden, of Post Office Travel Money, said:

Our research shows that there are billions of pounds worth of foreign cash hidden away at home so now might be the time to check how much you have.  If it turns out to be currency for Australia, New Zealand, Norway or Sweden and you are not planning to travel to these countries in the forseeable future, now might be the time to change it back into sterling. These have risen in value against sterling, and you will get more cash back.

04:00 PM

Why Wales offers a better holiday than New Zealand

You can experience almost everything the ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’ has to offer without travelling across the planet, writes Kerry Walker.



ziplining


© Provided by The Telegraph
ziplining

In many ways, Wales is a shrink-wrapped version of New Zealand, with the same rolling green, drizzle-drenched hills. There are dark, foreboding mountains with more than a dash of Middle Earth and dragon lore about them. Plus both countries have the same narrow, winding roads that involve plenty of gear crunching and sweary, ranty reversing.

The cultural connections between the two countries run deeper than rugby, too. Both are defined by the water, their cities gazing wistfully out to sea. Both love a fish and chip supper and roast lamb for Sunday lunch. Both have unwieldy, impossible-to-pronounce place names. And both were forged by their mining heritage – gold in New Zealand, slate and coal in Wales. 

In both nations, post-industrial mining towns have been given their mojo back as adventure sports centres, with Snowdonia holding its own against the likes of Queenstown, offering almost every extreme pursuit, from caving to rock climbing, kayaking to ziplining.

Read the full story.

03:47 PM

The best islands in Britain to visit in 2021

Fancy visiting a new part of our shores this summer. UK holiday provider Island Cottage Holidays has compiled research on the top 10 British islands to visit. This was based on a number of factors, including the number of beaches and restaurants per km2, the number of Instagram hashtags for the location, the Google review score and the population per km2:



lindisfarne northumberland - Getty


© Getty
lindisfarne northumberland – Getty

1. St Agnes, Isles of Scilly

2. St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly

3. St Martin’s, Isles of Scilly

4. Herm, Channel Islands

5. Sanday, Orkney Islands

6. Lindisfarne, Northumberland

7. Colonsay, Inner Hebrides

8. Sark, Channel Islands

9. Guernsey, Channel Islands

10. Bryher, Isles of Scilly 

03:26 PM

On the Beach calls for end to Refund Credit Notes

Refund Credit Notes (RCNs) should be brought to an end, according to online travel agent On the Beach. 

RCNs have been criticised since they were approved last year for travel firms to issue instead of cash refunds. 

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has now it is in talks with the Government to extend the deadline for issuing RCNs beyond March 31 and extending the expiry date for new RCNs beyond September 30.

Simon Cooper, chief executive of On the Beach, said:

Extending the refund credit note deadline only kicks the can down the road. From travel companies increasing their prices to rebook the same holiday and leaving consumers with no option to shop around, to lack of clarity on the terms and conditions, and the likelihood of some people forgetting to redeem them altogether – these vouchers are not in the best interests of consumers.

It’s not fair that consumers have their money locked up in these vouchers. Travel companies are using the money their customers have paid for future holidays as cash flow. Should any of these companies enter financial difficulty, it would take many months and administrative burden for consumers to get their money back from ATOL.

More needs to be done to improve consumer awareness of their right to a cash refund and it’s in the the public interest for the CAA to report on the volume of vouchers in the market right now. There needs to be a change in regulation to protect customer monies, following our model of using Trust Accounts to ring-fence our customers’ money until they travel.

03:12 PM

Dominica launches ‘Work in Nature’ extended stay visa 

The latest Caribbean country to launch a remote working visa, Dominica is offering foreign visitors the chance to stay on the island for up to 18 months. 



a body of water with a mountain in the background: dominica - Getty


© Getty
dominica – Getty

Applications can be accessed online via windominica.gov.dm: it costs US$100 (£72) to apply. Responses will be provided within seven days and confirmed applicants will have a three-month grace period to relocate to Dominica.

Fees for the Visa are US$ 800 (£578) for individuals and US $1200 (£867) for families.

02:58 PM

Cruise agent sees bookings surge with launch of P&O’s UK cruises

Telegraph Travel cruise writer Dave Monk points to the spike in bookings following the launch of P&O’s domestic sailings today. P&O cruises are one of several lines offering UK itineraries this summer.

02:47 PM

EasyJet CEO: path to travel recovery expected to be bumpy

EasyJet’s chief executive said that he always expected there to be bumps along the way to a travel recovery and denied that a third wave of COVID-19 infections in Europe put it at risk, reports Reuters.

“I never thought that this was going to be a straight line,” he said, when asked about whether he was concerned about the third wave of infections,” said Johan Lundgren.

Asked if there was light at the end of the tunnel, he said: “Oh absolutely there is.”

02:31 PM

Three of the world’s most vaccinated countries remain on the travel ‘red list’

There were suggestions over the weekend that holidays to Europe should be delayed until countries on the Continent have caught up, vaccine-wise, with the UK. But it seems that a high rate of vaccinations isn’t convincing the Government to lift travel restrictions to other countries.

The UAE, Seychelles and Chile are amongst the speediest jabbers, but each remains on the travel red list, meaning direct flights and visitors are banned and returning Britons must spend 10 days in a quarantine hotel. 

02:16 PM

For the price of a week in Ibiza, my friends and I have bought a boat for life

Buying a 35-year-old boat with eight nautically inept friends was a risk worth taking, says Greg Dickinson.

Like all good love stories, this one was born against the odds. Before I saw Ripple, I knew nothing about boats and had zero desire to own one. Boats were for rich yachting types, or for canal people with dreadlocks who showered in cold, brown water. But after I saw this little vessel on Regent’s Canal two summers ago, with a scribbled “For Sale” sign in the window, everything changed.

Read the full story.



a boat parked on the side of a building: Greg and friends knew nothing about boats before buying Ripple - Geoff Pugh


© Geoff Pugh
Greg and friends knew nothing about boats before buying Ripple – Geoff Pugh


 

02:02 PM

12 cottages you can rent out in the grounds of hotels

Some of our smartest hotels are sprucing up their smaller outhouses for the benefit of guests who want a mixture of grandeur and privacy.  They include: 



a small boat in a body of water: ballyfin


© Provided by The Telegraph
ballyfin

The Gardener’s Cottage, Ballyfin, County Laois, Ireland

Ballyfin has long been admired as one of the most distinguished late Georgian houses in Ireland, and since its launch in 2011 one of the country’s most impressive hotels with lavish period interiors. Last year they opened The Gardener’s Cottage, which had been just that, set in a corner of the walled garden with views over the parkland and lake on one side and the vegetable garden and flower borders on the other.

See the full list.

01:45 PM

‘Why is it OK for every Tom, Dick and Harry to advise on booking holidays?’

Marcelle Hoff, the joint Managing Director of Expressions Holidays, has a few choice words for  anyone advising against booking international holidays:

First of all, unelected scientific or academic advisors should not make public pronouncements about issues that they are not responsible for and which have a serious economic impact on an industry. These academic advisors may share their views (data only, preferably) with the government bodies they advise but they are not qualified to make decisions about whether the public should or should not book a holiday.

The government made it clear weeks ago that the first review for travel would be April 12 with a possible opening of borders for travel from May 17, and failing that from June 21. Let’s wait and see. May 17 is still two months away and the ‘summer’ of July is still four months away. If the public want to book holidays then they are able to book holidays. Perhaps for travel in July, perhaps for travel in October, perhaps for travel in January 2022. All monies they pay to tour operators are protected and all tour operators have built in flexibility for making changes. An unelected government advisor should advise government. Full stop. 

Hoff also has short shrift for any ‘traffic light’ system:

It should not be called a traffic light system – more jargon we’re all sick of now. What we need is a sensible, sustainable opening of borders to countries that want to accept visitors from the UK, based on their own levels of risk and the risk posed by UK visitors, and which are deemed to be acceptable in terms of risk for UK citizens to return from. There is no reason why UK traffic to the Caribbean, the Maldives and the Seychelles can’t start again. There is no reason why the US isn’t a possible destination and Europe needs to be assessed in a month or two, once they sort out their own infection/vaccination situation. There will be countries where it works.

What we don’t want is a stop start traffic light system. The problem with traffic lights is that they change colour! We want something that is sustainable and a policy that includes vaccination proof, and/or  a negative test, and as a last resort quarantine depending on the destination.

01:25 PM

Where will countries fall on the UK’s holiday traffic light system?

A holiday ‘traffic light system’ is set to be unveiled – which countries could be given the green light?



a large waterfall over a body of water with a mountain in the background: iceland - Getty


© Provided by The Telegraph
iceland – Getty

Greg Dickinson has crunched the numbers, weighed the factors and drawn up a list that includes the Caribbean and Iceland.

01:15 PM

‘We cannot shut ourselves away forever’

Huw Merriman, chair of the Transport Select Committee and MP for Bexhill and Battle, is among those urging for the restart to travel to avoid any further delays. He tweeted:

UK vaccination programme is going well; we must continue with 12 April international travel plan for 17 May unlock. We cannot shut ourselves away forever or doom our travel industry and workforce. 

01:08 PM

US plane passengers top 1.5 million for first time since March 2020

The number of US air passengers screened reached 1.5 million on Sunday for the first time since March 2020, as air travel continues to rebound from a pandemic-related drop, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said Monday.

US airline passengers were down 60 per cent in 2020, but with a growing number of Americans getting vaccinated, demand and advanced bookings have started to rise in recent weeks.

The TSA said it screened 1.54 million people Sunday, the highest single day since March 13, 2020 and the 11th consecutive day screening volume exceeding 1 million per day.

12:59 PM

Post-lockdown travel rules must be ‘affordable’

A spokesperson for the Manchester Airports Group (MAG), which owns Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands Airports, said of plans for a traffic light system to restart international travel:

This is a critical period for our industry as the Government’s Global Travel Taskforce prepares to submit a report on 12th April on how international travel can safely resume from 17th May.

The Taskforce still has three weeks of hard work and careful consideration ahead and it’s important to give it time to consider all the factors for developing a risk-based approach to reopening travel.

We are playing an active role in those discussions and will continue to make the case for a system that is risk-based, affordable, easy for consumers to understand and puts our industry on a path to sustained and consistent recovery. This, in turn, will protect the hundreds of thousands of jobs that rely on our world-leading aviation sector getting back on its feet at the earliest opportunity.

12:48 PM

10 hotels in Britain that take you around the world

You might be confined to our closed-off island for now, but bunking down in these great British boltholes (when restrictions allow, from May 17) will at least provide a reminder of the wonders that will await when we can again explore the whole wide world.

They include: 

Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Oxfordshire



a group of people in a garden: Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons Hotel


© Provided by The Telegraph
Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons Hotel

As “maitre de maison”, French chef Raymond Blanc’s “passion permeates through our hotel” says Belmond. In practice, that means French flair and flourishes are found everywhere, from France-inspired bedrooms that resemble a decadent boudoir, grand chateau or provincial retreat, to an orchard housing 600 heritage fruit trees from Blanc’s home region of Franche-Comte. If you can ignore the food and excellent French wines for a moment, note the art in dining room La Bourgogne too. The original works by Margaret Loxton depict traditional scenes of life in Burgundy.

See the full list.

12:37 PM

Germany set to carry virus curbs into April as cases surge 

Germany is poised to prolong and tighten a partial lockdown into April as new virus cases soar, according to a draft document seen by AFP ahead of a strategy meeting on Monday.

Europe’s biggest economy had begun easing restrictions, first reopening schools in late February, before allowing hairdressers and some shops to resume business in March.

The meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel and the leaders of Germany’s 16 states was originally scheduled to discuss a further relaxation, but a third wave of the virus driven by new variants has changed the agenda dramatically.

Lifting restrictions on dining, cultural and leisure facilities will now have to be delayed and instead, worst-hit areas may from Monday have to reimpose measures and order shops and some schools to close again.

12:33 PM

Where to book (and avoid) for crowd-free camping

The bottom five UK counties for camping bookings in 2021, according to Pitchup.com, are: 

  1. Rutland
  2. Hebrides
  3. Dunbartonshire
  4. Fife
  5. Clackmannanshire



a bridge over a body of water: rutland water - Getty


© Getty
rutland water – Getty

The top five for 2021 bookings are: 

  1. Cornwall
  2. Devon
  3. North Yorkshire
  4. Cumbria
  5. Dorset

12:27 PM

Struggling to book a UK camping spot this summer? Head inland

Camping enjoyed a resurgence last summer as Britons snapped up socially distanced spots and made the most of heatwave weeks. With a staycation boom predicted again this year, keen campers might be weighing up their options. Outdoor accommodation booking platform Pitchup.com suggests the best options can be found away from the coast. 

Dan Yates, founder of Pitchup.com, said:

Predictably, the south-west leads the way this year in terms of popularity as it did last year. What’s helpful to know though is that coastal sites tend to book up first so if you’re still keen to head to Cornwall (9% of all 2020 UK bookings), Devon (8.4%), Dorset (7%) or Somerset (4.8%), choosing an inland site could easily open up your options.

In fact, head as far inland as you can, to the Midlands and you’ll definitely be spoiled for choice – 317 sites currently bookable, including 239 with availability for the last week of July. Last year just 0.3% of bookings were for Leicestershire – the Heart of Rural England – while Warwickshire attracted 1% and Shropshire 1.8%.

12:15 PM

How to explore the wonders of Europe without leaving British soil

We retain hope at Telegraph Travel that travel to Europe will be possible this winter – after all, millions of us went there last summer, when the vaccine was just a glint in Matt Hancock’s eye. However, there are dark forces at play that would use the hypothetical threat of vaccine-busting variants to keep you from that hard-earned and thoroughly deserved week in the Med. Therefore, a British back-up plan might be wise. 

Fortunately, our islands offer a few fine alternatives to Europe’s holiday wonders. They include: 

Surrey



a sunset over a grass field: surrey - Getty


© Getty
surrey – Getty

The famous lavender fields of Provence become a gorgeous tangle of purple from mid-June right through until August.

However, you can still indulge in some heady lilac delight – after all, inhaling lavender is a natural sedative – with a trip to Mayfield Lavender farm, which reopens in June. The 25-acre farm in Banstead, Surrey, grows three types of organic lavender and you can explore the fields either on foot or by tractor ride.

You can’t picnic on the farm (nothing to do with lockdown), but the café has plenty of choice, not least the farm’s unique lavender cider. Vive la difference.

Read the full story.

12:04 PM

Unemployment spikes in tourism-dependent Portugal

The number of people registered as unemployed in Portugal jumped nearly 37 per cent in February from a year ago to reach a level not seen since mid-2017, when the country was slowly recovering from a severe debt and economic crisis.



a group of people on a beach: algarve - Getty


© Getty
algarve – Getty

The total of those officially without a job rose to 431,843 people, meaning more than 116,000 jobs have been lost since February 2020, a month before the pandemic hit, data from the Institute for Employment and Vocational Training showed on Monday. In May 2017, around 432,000 people were registered as unemployed as the numbers fell from a 2013 peak. It had significantly dropped since then, but the pandemic reversed the trend, wiping out thousands of jobs.

The data showed that a new lockdown imposed on Jan. 15 to tackle what was then the world’s worst coronavirus surge had an impact on jobs across the tourism-dependent nation, with some of the most affected being women and those without university degrees.

In the southern Algarve, famous for its beaches and golf courses but now nearly deserted, the number of registered jobless spiked 74 per cent to 33,458 last month from a year ago, making it the most affected region followed by Lisbon. The tourism industry, which was booming before the Covid-19 outbreak, played a crucial role in the recovery from the 2010 economic and debt crisis. The sector suffered its worst results since the mid-1980s last year.

11:52 AM

Travel rules should remain as consistent as possible, says Which?

Consumer group Which? has warned holidaymakers to hold off booking overseas trips, adding that any changes or confusion around future travel rules will leave individuals footing the bill.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said:

Government warnings about future international travel are a reminder that it’s still too early to book a flight or holiday. Some airlines and holiday providers claim it’s safe to book now thanks to flexible booking policies, but while the best policies can reduce the financial risk from disruption, they can’t remove it completely.

Whether you have already booked or want to book, you should wait until the government’s travel taskforce reports on next steps before deciding what to do about your travel plans. The government must also make safety, affordable tests, vaccine passports and clarity about refunds when travel is disrupted a top priority.

So far as it is possible, rules and requirements for travel should remain consistent, as confusion and changes will leave travellers footing the bill again and further risk undermining consumers’ confidence in booking travel.

11:39 AM

Everything you need to know about holiday travel vouchers

British holidaymakers face a repeat of last year’s refund crisis as uncertainty grows over the prospect of overseas travel this summer, writes Hugh Morris.

Some vouchers issued to travellers last year may be approaching their expiry date, while the financially protected Refund Credit Notes will cease to be issued after the end of this month. Under current guidance, Britons will have until the end of September to rebook.

But with doubt growing over the feasibility of international travel this year, due to high coronavirus rates on the Continent, many will have to make difficult decisions about their bookings. 

Here, we answer the major questions on vouchers.

11:30 AM

Jersey to relax border rules with its own traffic light system

Jersey will relax its border restrictions from April with the Channel Island planning a ‘Safer Travel Policy’. 



an island in the middle of a body of water: jersey - Getty


© Getty
jersey – Getty

Under the first stage of this plan the island would reinstate red, amber and green rules for the UK and other Crown Dependencies (the Isle of Man and Guernsey) from April 26. 

This approach to tiered restrictions will resume for travel to Jersey from May 17, at the earliest. 

A Jersey government statement said: “The thresholds for the classifications will remain the same as they were before Jersey classified all areas as red, and the UK will continue to be broken down by local regions. All other countries, including Ireland and mainland Europe, will remain under the red 10-day isolation regime.

“From 26 April, anyone arriving in Jersey from the UK or the other Crown Dependencies, will have to provide their travel history in advance, through the online portal, and undertake PCR tests on arrival and on days 5 and 10 after arriving.”

11:23 AM

Traffic light system ‘could enable summer holidays’

Professor Andrew Hayward, from University College London and a member of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), suggested holidays abroad could be possible with the right structures in place.

Prof Hayward told Radio 4’s Today programme: “I suspect what we may end up with is some sort of traffic light system with some countries that are no-go areas, for example likely to be South Africa and South America; other areas where there will be more severe restrictions, there will be some combination of vaccine certificates, testing and maybe quarantine, and maybe there will be some low-risk countries that you can go.”

11:20 AM

Should I book a holiday now, or wait?

Don’t assume that foreign holidays are definitely dead in the water this year, says our consumer editor, Nick Trend:

From the consumer’s point of view the weekend news stories may not have been optimistic, but they don’t represent the whole picture and we shouldn’t assume that foreign holidays are definitely dead in the water this year. There is no doubt that concern about variants are an important part of the Taskforce’s remit, but the situation remains extremely fluid. There are still three weeks to go before the report is due and eight weeks before May 17. A huge amount can change in that time.  

Read the full story.

11:07 AM

Passengers report airlines cancelling summer flights

A number of Twitter users have reported that airlines have cancelled their flight bookings for July and August. 

One passenger suggested it was a sign the Government will not follow its own roadmap out of lockdown. “I don’t think they have any intention of sticking to it,” he tweeted.

Has your airline cancelled an international flight that you booked for this summer? Let us know on Twitter @TelegraphTravel or in the comments below this page. 

10:57 AM

Guernsey ends second lockdown

Guernsey has removed most of its Covid-19 restrictions as its second lockdown has come to an end.

The island’s first coronavirus lockdown lasted for 88 days, starting March 24, 2020. The second began on 23 January and lasting 57 days.

Businesses in Guernsey and Herm can return to normal, without no social distancing or mask wearing rules in place. However, all arrivals are still required to self-isolate for at least two weeks.

10:50 AM

Holiday bookings feel to ‘almost zero’ following Gov. comments

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Government adviser Dr Mike Tildesley are among those to issue recent warnings about foreign holidays this summer.

Mr Wallace said it was too “premature” to book, while Dr Tildesley said summer trips will be “unlikely” due to the risk of bringing variants back to the UK. AITO, the specialist travel association, has written to Dr Tildesley explaining that “reservations fell to almost zero” following his comments.

Chris Rowles, chairman of AITO, said: 

We’ve had MPs from both sides of the House, the Defence Minister, and an academic from Warwick University all expressing their views before the important Global Task Force assesses the situation fully and makes its considered announcement on 12 April. They are all jumping the gun.

The travel industry deserves better, quite honestly.  We’ve fought now for 13 months, without respite, to keep our heads above water, refunding our clients often from our own pockets, without any sector-specific support, despite the Government’s Office of National Statistics declaring travel to be the worst-affected sector of all. 

It seems to have been overlooked that 17 May, the earliest date for international travel to restart, is more than two months away. Destinations are working hard to ensure that visitors and locals alike will be safe when travel recommences. All we ask is for some common sense to be used.  Let’s wait until the Global Task Force has assessed the situation fully and properly, in three weeks’ time.

10:31 AM

Spain hopes foreign arrivals will rebound in 2021

The number of foreign tourists coming to Spain could rebound this year to half pre-pandemic level, Spanish tourism minister Reyes Maroto said on Monday.



a group of people on a beach near a body of water: beach in galicia - Europa Press via Getty Images


© Europa Press via Getty Images
beach in galicia – Europa Press via Getty Images

“Maybe the ideal goal is … to get half of the tourists we had in 2019. This, for the industry, would be an achievement,” she said in an event held by Europa Press news agency.

Spain welcomed more than 80 million visitors in 2019 and this dropped by 80 per cent to 19 million in 2020.

Read our advice on travel to Spain.

10:21 AM

‘Traffic light’ plan must avoid confusion caused by travel corridors

Summer-Autmn 2020 brought a few precious months of overseas trips without quarantine. However, the on-off nature of the travel corridors list caused confusion for holidaymakers.

Should a “traffic light” system be part of foreign travel this year it must help consumers make informed choices, said Julia Lo Bue-Said, chief executive of Advantage Travel Partnership, the independent travel agent group. She told Telegraph Travel:

The speculation over the weekend with regards to summer holidays not being possible this summer, is damaging to the travel industry and consumer confidence, and serves no purpose until we see what is announced in the Global Travel Taskforce Report. As we’ve already seen throughout the pandemic, a lot can happen in the space of a few months. While a ‘traffic-light system’ may work in terms of highlighting which countries are safe to travel to, what we don’t want is countries coming on and off the list like last year.

This causes confusion for travellers, dents consumer confidence for those who have booked trips and throws up huge operational challenges for travel agents and the travel industry. What we need in this Global Travel Taskforce report is clarity from the government to provide a criteria for countries that can be visited either based on vaccination numbers and/or transmission rates, so the industry and consumers can make informed decisions about their holiday choices.

We also need any vaccine certification system to work hand in hand with testing for those who have not been vaccinated, and we would urge the government to take a lead on reducing the cost of testing so that future holidays are still affordable, especially for families.

10:13 AM

Miami Beach declares state of emergency after weekend disorder

The mayor of Miami Beach has declared a state of emergency as the police struggled to control the crowds who descended on the city for the annual spring break, reports David Millward.



a group of people walking down the street: ocean drive miami beach - Getty


© Getty
ocean drive miami beach – Getty

Dan Gelber imposed an 8 pm curfew after warning that the numbers of revellers are “more than we can handle”.

The city took draconian measures fearing that the crowds, who were neither wearing masks nor observing social distancing, would trigger another coronavirus surge. On Sunday the City Commission voted to extend the 8 pm curfew for another three weeks.

More than 32,000 Floridians have died from Covid-19, with Miami-Dade County proving one of the centres of the pandemic.

Despite health experts’ fears, Florida has eased many of the lockdown restrictions with the state governor, Ron DeSantis boasting that the area was booming – unlike Los Angeles and New York City.

Read the full story.

10:04 AM

Thomas Cook: Reasonable to expect foreign holidays this summer

Online-only travel agent Thomas Cook is putting confidence in the UK’s vaccine programme for the resumption of overseas breaks. A spokesperson for the company said:

We’re looking forward to the government’s plan for opening up international travel and given the success of the vaccination rollout we’re confident that we will be able to have summer holidays this year.

It feels like a combination of proof of vaccination or a negative test will play a part in enabling us to get those precious weeks in the sun in Europe and elsewhere. After months of lockdown, it’s reasonable to expect that the government will allow people to take holidays overseas if they are protected or virus-free.

09:57 AM

The countries that are open to UK tourists

If lockdown was lifted tomorrow, where could we actually go?



a group of people on a beach near a body of water: maldives - Getty


© Getty
maldives – Getty

Should foreign holidays get the green light from May 17, not all of the world will be open to us. Many countries are still blocking UK arrivals over the new Kent variant (as well as South Africans over the South African variant, and Brazilians over the Brazilian variant), which is believed to be more infectious but won’t dodge the vaccines. 

We’ve rounded up the countries that are already rolling out the red carpet, including Barbados, the Maldives and the Seychelles.

09:46 AM

Pent up holiday demand ‘must not be suppressed by onerous costs’

There’s much uncertainty surrounding the restart of foreign holidays this summer and, as it stands, substantial testing costs and potential quarantine could impede travel for many Britons. One airport boss highlights these concerns.

Glyn Jones, chief executive of London Southend Airport, said:

London Southend Airport has put in place measures to enable Covid-safe travel and is ready to welcome passengers when the time is right. However, there is much confusion when that time may be.

We look forward to appropriate co-ordination on the conditions of travel across Europe ensuring, for example that, a single, mandatory test does not cost three times an airline ticket or vaccine passport arrangements raise concerns around demonstrating evidence, risk of asymptomatic spread and discrimination.

Very substantial pent up demand for travel is evident. It must not be suppressed by onerous costs or conditions.

09:39 AM

Governments will ‘insist’ on vaccines for travel, says Qantas boss

Australian airline Qantas was among the travel companies to suggest vaccinations would become mandatory for travel.

Alan Joyce, chief executive of Qantas, told the BBC he expects vaccination to become a requirement from Governments for overseas travel, saying many are taking about inoculation against Covid-19 as a condition of entry. 

Either way, Mr Joyce believes the airline should enforce its own policy: that would justify changing the terms and conditions on which tickets are booked, and passengers would be willing to accept the change, he said.

“The vast majority of our customers think this is a great idea – 90 per cent of people that we’ve surveyed think it should be a requirement for people to be vaccinated to travel internationally,” Mr Joyce added.

09:27 AM

Which countries are on the travel ‘red list’?

The travel “red list” looks set to continue when overseas holidays restart. There are no European nations currently on the list. Four countries – Oman, Qatar, Somalia and Ethiopia – were added from 4am on Friday, while Portugal and Mauritius were removed. Under current restrictions, direct flights from the red-listed nations are banned: Britons currently in these countries must fly home via a third nation. 

Hotel quarantine rules apply to all British citizens who have been in or transited through red list countries in the previous 10 days. Any non-Britons who have been in a red list country within the past 10 days will simply be denied entry to the country.

  1. Angola
  2. Argentina
  3. Bolivia
  4. Botswana
  5. Brazil
  6. Burundi
  7. Cape Verde
  8. Chile
  9. Colombia
  10. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  11. Ecuador
  12. Eswatini
  13. Ethiopia
  14. French Guiana
  15. Guyana
  16. Lesotho
  17. Malawi
  18. Mozambique
  19. Namibia
  20. Oman
  21. Panama
  22. Paraguay
  23. Peru
  24. Qatar
  25. Rwanda
  26. Seychelles
  27. Somalia
  28. South Africa
  29. Suriname
  30. Tanzania
  31. United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  32. Uruguay
  33. Venezuela
  34. Zambia
  35. Zimbabwe

09:16 AM

Illegal street party causes anger in Marseille

More than 6,000 mostly unmasked people took part in an illegal street party in the southern French city of Marseille at the weekend, leading to condemnation of an “unaccceptable” breach of Covid-19 rules.

The carnival-type gathering in the port city drew mostly young people, many of whom expressed frustration at restrictions on gatherings and the closure of bars and nightclubs during the pandemic.

Marseille was not among the 16 different regions which entered a fresh lockdown on Saturday, with its current caseload lower than national hotspots such as nearby city Nice along the Mediterranean coast or the capital region.

“It’s completely unacceptable at a time when all of us are making efforts, are adapting and organising ourselves to respect the different rules in order to fight against the pandemic,” interior ministry spokeswoman Camille Chaize told Franceinfo radio on Monday.

09:04 AM

New Zealand drafts plans for Australia travel bubble

New Zealand is finalising a long-awaited travel bubble with neighbouring Australia and will reveal next month when trans-Tasman trips can resume, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday.



a person standing in front of a store: auckland - Getty


© Getty
auckland – Getty

Speaking almost exactly a year after New Zealand closed its borders as Covid-19 swept across the globe, Ardern acknowledged many Kiwis were impatient for quarantine-free travel to and from Australia. But she said the government would exercise the cautious approach that has seen New Zealand largely contain the virus, with just 26 deaths in a population of five million.

“Many New Zealanders are nervous, they don’t want to put everything we’ve fought so hard for at risk,” she said during a press conference.

Before the pandemic, Australia was New Zealand’s largest source of overseas visitors and many Kiwis have relatives living across the Tasman. All overseas arrivals to New Zealand must currently undergo two weeks quarantine, but Ardern said she would make an announcement on April 6 about when the requirement will be waived for arrivals from Australia.

08:59 AM

Have your say on when foreign holidays should resume

Vote in our Twitter poll.

08:55 AM

Will holidays return on May 17? 

There are four key factors behind whether holidays, writes Nick Trend. The first hurdle to overcome will be whether or not the Government’s Travel Taskforce manages to report on time. 

The domestic and global epidemiological picture and the prevalence and location of any “variants of concern” are among the other major considerations. 

Read his analysis.

08:47 AM

‘Premature comments on holidays damage [consumer] confidence’

Britons who have booked, or who were planning, a foreign holiday this summer will have been disheartened by comments from Government ministers in recent days. 

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said on Sunday that it is “premature” to book a foreign summer holiday, a comment echoed by Helen Whately, Minister of State for Social Care this morning. 

The travel industry is quick to point out that May 17 is still eight weeks away and the Global Travel Taskforce is yet to report on its recommendations for the resumption of overseas holidays.

08:41 AM

European holidays may be off until vaccine rates catch up with UK

Summer holidays in Europe could be off until vaccination rates on the continent catch up with the UK, under plans being considered by a Government taskforce, reports Charles Hymas.

The group, led by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, is due to publish a report in three weeks’ time on how to restart foreign tourism. 

It is expected to propose a traffic light-style system that could allow British holidaymakers quarantine-free travel to “green list” low-risk countries.

However, a third wave of Covid-19 sweeping Europe amid disarray over its vaccination programme risks it being a “traffic light system with no countries on the green list” when foreign travel is scheduled to resume on May 17, according to a taskforce insider.

Read the full story.