British holidaymakers could enjoy overseas breaks from July 4 under plans being drawn up by the government.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce on June 29 that agreements have been made for so-called air bridges with a “small number” of countries with low levels of coronavirus.
This would allow families to take foreign holidays without having to self-isolate on their return to the UK.
People could only travel with members of their household or ‘support bubble’, however, unless rules on social distancing are eased before July.
They would also have to abide by the rules on social distancing in their destination, meaning that countries with similar restrictions to the UK are likely to be first in the queue.
Ministers want to set up air bridges to countries that are “most advantageous” to the UK economy, which are likely to include popular destinations such as France, Spain, Greece and Portugal, according to Government sources.
One source told the Telegraph: “The plan is to announce a small number of air bridges on June 29th, though it won’t come into force until July 4. Obviously it will depend on factors such as the scientific advice and the level of coronavirus infections at the time.
“The Foreign Office will also have to change its travel advice before then because that remains a block on people going abroad for holidays.”
The Foreign Office continues to advise against “all but essential” travel making it all but impossible for holidaymakers to secure travel insurance until the advice is changed.
Follow the latest updates below
How the super rich are jumping the spa queue
For most of us, lockdown has meant zero cutting, colouring, manicures/pedicures or massages. The super rich, however, have been paying for sneaky fixes, writes Rosie Green.
There’s the wealthy heiress, isolating in the shires, who sent her chauffeur to pick up her favourite brow groomer from London. She paid the therapist in cash, and invited her friends to come for a session (after telling them to park their cars in a leafy area of her capacious grounds so no staff could see, of course).
Then there’s the illicit botox parties (with a hefty Covid surcharge being paid to the injector), and clients bypassing the salon and contacting their hairstylists through Instagram, offering three times their usual fee to pay a home visit. (And in one case a holiday home in the South Of France for a week.).
Read the full story.
Tempted by the Great British seaside?
A day by the sea could be in order this weekend (weather permitting) for the tenants of these beach huts.
On Swanpool Beach in Falmouth, Cornwall, the beach hut manager has been checking the maintenance needs of the huts, which were put in place today – with social distancing spacing between them – for the first time since September 2019. There have been huts on Swanpool beach since the 1950s.
US travel spending set to plunge in 2020
The US is expected to see international travel spending plummet by 74 per cent this year, compared to 2019, according to new research. Domestic travel spending could suffer a 40 per cent decline.
Spending by US residents will drop to $583 billion this year from $972 billion last year, the report, commissioned by the US Travel Association, found.
Total travel spending, including domestic and international visitors, is projected to fall 45 percent to $622 billion, according to research by Tourism Economics, a division of Oxford Economics.
The association labeled the downturn “The Great Travel Depression,” and said 8.1 million travel jobs have been lost. The group is urging the US Congress to provide additional support for the travel industry.
On June 14, Dr Anthony Fauci, a leading member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, told the Telegraph that the US travel ban on British holidaymakers could last beyond the summer.
Read our latest advice on travel to the US.
Why you’re wrong about Germany
If you were raised on comics like Warlord and war films like Where Eagles Dare, you were bound to be intrigued by Germany – but, unless you were a bit odd, you were unlikely to consider it as a holiday destination, writes William Cook.
And yet, he explains, the country has become ever more popular with British tourists. Before the coronavirus crisis, visitor numbers had been on the increase for a decade – and the United Kingdom has been one of the biggest drivers of this upward trend.
For the unconvinced, it’s time to set the record straight about Germany.
Read the full story.
‘We do want to open up UK to travel’, says Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab
Marella Cruises scraps all sailings until end of August
In another blow to those hoping to get back out to sea, Marella Cruises has extended its sailing suspension – axing the entire summer season for one of its ships, reports Benjamin Parker.
All cruises until August 27 have been scrapped, and all Marella Discovery’s voyages from Palma, planned for July 31 to October 31, have been dropped entirely – it won’t take passengers again until February 2021.
Marella Explorer 2 Electric Sunsets – 90s vs 00s trip, meant to depart Newcastle at the start of September, has also been cancelled.
This is the fourth time Marella Cruises has pushed back its restart, with the previous resumption due to happen on July 30.
A full list of cruise line restarts can be found here.
A Whole New World: First look inside a surreal post-lockdown Disneyland
Hong Kong Disneyland resumed business on June 18 after a five-month closure. Telegraph Travel writer and Hong Kong resident Lee Cobaj went along for the grand reopening.
Everyone entering the park, myself included, has already bought a ticket, reserved our spot online, and completed a health declaration form. A temperature screening tent is the final barrier between us and the Magic Kingdom.
Among the many enhanced health and safety procedures, social distancing markers have been laid along the red brick roads, outside of rides, and inside of restaurants. Human reminders cheerfully advise people to keep apart and wear their masks.
Read the full story.
Cumbria campaigns for support for tourism industry
Local enterprises have lost over half their annual income, says Cumbria’s tourism board as it launches a petition for financial assistance.
Cumbria Tourism has teamed up with Tim Farron, former Liberal Democrat leader and MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, in a campaign for more support for the area’s tourism and hospitality sector.
Gill Haigh, managing director of Cumbria Tourism said: “Businesses have already lost more than half the year’s income.
“It is absolutely crucial that a clear package of financial support for the sector through the winter is not just forthcoming but confirmed as soon as possible to give the reassurance and confidence that is desperately needed and to safeguard jobs for such a major part of the county’s economy.”
Boom in all-inclusive ski holidays as skiers seek security
The coronavirus has thrown the entire world’s travel plans into turmoil. Yet while some operators struggle to stay afloat others are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel, writes Lucy Aspden.
Luxury all-inclusive ski holidays is one boom area as skiers look towards the hope of returning to the slopes next winter.
The boss of all-inclusive specialist Club Med has revealed its sales are up, compared to the same period last year, providing a lifeline to the company that, like many, lost a huge proportion of business when the pandemic suspended all global travel, including the cancellation of thousands of ski holidays.
Hotels in the Cotswolds and Cornwall set reopening dates – hot tubs, yoga and in-room dining await
More UK hotels have announced reopening dates this week, including many aiming for July 4, the earliest possible date outlined by the government, reports Rachel Cranshaw .
The planned reopenings include Slaughters Manor in the Cotswolds, and Chapel House, Carbis Bay and The Scarlet in Cornwall. The Scarlet is reopening with most of its spa features in action: the two-log fired hot tubs on the clifftop and the indoor and reed-filtered swimming pools will all be open, with rigorous cleaning procedures in place. Treatments, however, will not yet be available. Other measures will include contactless check-in and in-room dining, plus there’ll be yoga and meditation classes.
For more UK hotel reopenings see our calendar.
Welsh tourism secures tentative restart date
While those living in England have been enjoying a little extra freedom these last few weeks, their neighbours in Wales still must not venture more than five miles from their homes. But this is finally about to change, reports Penny Walker.
Speaking to BBC Radio Wales, the First Minister Mark Drakeford revealed that some areas of the hospitality industry will be able to “start taking bookings for after July 13.”
Following multiple calls from the Welsh Association of Visitor Attractions (WAVA) to announce a reopening roadmap or risk the collapse of the domestic tourism industry, the move looks to open up the country to visitors nine days after the correlating date in England of July 4.
Read the full story.
Street art and a ‘naked’ cowboy: New York gears up for reopenings
The city will enter phase two of its plan out of lockdown on Monday and New Yokers are readying for the next stage.
Restaurants and bars can offer outdoor dining under the new phase from June 22. Professional services, real estate businesses and shops will also be allowed to reopen.
Japan lifts curbs on domestic tourism
Restrictions on domestic travel have been eased in Japan following the end of the country’s state of emergency last month.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has encouraged citizens to go sightseeing or attend concerts in an effort to boost the economy.
Hotels, resorts and tourist areas will benefit from an end to official advice for people to stay in infected prefectures or avoid travelling to them.
“I would like people, while observing social distancing, to go out on sightseeing trips. We would like you to make an effort to engage in social and economic activity,” said Shinzo Abe said in an address to the country on Thursday.
Spain expects decision today on travel corridor for Britons
The Spanish government is awaiting a decision about an ‘air bridge’ between Spain and the UK in the coming hours.
It is in talks with Britain over a possible travel corridor that would circumvent quarantine measures imposed on travellers.
A Spanish foreign ministry source told Reuters: “Spain is willing to be open to the United Kingdom, we are in talks with them about their quarantine. We are in a position to open without a quarantine.”
Spain is due to open its borders to tourists from most European countries on Sunday.
Your lunchtime read: No queues, no checks – how I dashed to the south of France for a blissful taste of normality
Emma Howard-Smith had planned to take a couple of months away from her job and travel the world. Then came the lockdown. In the early weeks, Emma accepted that she’d be stuck in the UK for the forseeable future.
However, as Europe’s borders began to open, she became increasingly restless in her corner of London. June 15, when France welcomed back Britons (albeit with voluntary quarantine), presented an opportunity.
Read the full story.
A tiny, award-winning beach restaurant awaits its reopening in South Africa
Wolfgat restaurant on the beach in Paternoster, South Africa was voted the world’s best eating house at the inaugural World Restaurant Awards last year.
Selected for its back-to-basics cooking, using ingredients such as seaweed, succulents and berries, it has been struggling amid a national lockdown.
Half of its customers are foreign tourists and its remote location means that it’s not on the takeaway map – last month South Africa allowed restaurants to reopen for takeaways.
In a bid to stay afloat, Wolfgat started selling boxes with an assortment of snacks for deliveries to Cape Town, which was difficult logistically and they charged half the regular price.
However, the President Cyril Ramaphosa announced this week that restaurants will soon be able to welcome sit-down customers. Here, one of the restaurant’s chefs works on a dish of freshly cooked mussels.
The new rules of flying, from face masks to booze bans
Airlines have brought in a host of new measures in a bid to manage the spread of Covid-19, from British Airways banning the serving of alcohol on short haul flights, to Turkish Airlines’ recent introduction of onboard ‘hygiene experts’.
Emma Cooke has looked at the biggest changes you can expect next time you fly, including which European airlines require you to wear a face mask while on board and why the Government is advising against hand luggage.
Read the full story
‘So that’s it – I’m doomed to a holiday with my housemate and my mum?’
Foreign holidays may resume from July 4 but, as it stands, you will only be travel with a restricted group of people. Greg Dickinson considers what that means for his summer plans:
I’m destined to a holiday with my housemate and my mum. For, so long as social distancing measures remain in place, a Government source has told the Telegraph you will only be allowed to travel with members of your household and your “support bubble”.
For me, that’s all I have to work with when planning my July getaway. So this means a holiday with Jamie (housemate) and Fee (mum). My “travel bubble”.
Woop-de-blooming-doo. After months of reheated coffees, throwing a ball at a kerb in Brixton for entertainment, listening to each others’ conference calls, Jamie and I can finally get that much-needed “us time” we’ve been yearning.
And my lucky old mum. Rather than travelling with me and my brothers, as we usually would, she gets to travel with just me and my old school friend who she used to drive to band practice, instead.
Read the full story.
Travel bosses react to suggestion of July 4 holidays
Paul Charles, spokesperson for Quash Quarantine (a group of 400 travel and hospitality businesses opposing quarantine), told Telegraph Travel:
The major issue is that the government is choosing to leak out bits of information about quarantine possibly changing – but we need to see firm details announced to help the sector. Government by leak doesn’t boost bookings or stem job losses.
Other countries have proved they are far more adept at setting out a clear roadmap for openings, enabling businesses and consumers to plan effectively.
We would still like to see a pan-Europe travel corridor open up, as someone could simply drive from Spain to Holland or ferry from Italy to Malta for example. We urge the Government to try and get a European consensus, open up short-haul routes from 29th June and then phase-in long-haul from early July as coronavirus case numbers fall even further.
St Barths reopens to tourism on Monday
The French-speaking Caribbean island will reopen to visitors from all countries on June 22. Saint-Barthélemy has been under lockdown since mid-March and has recorded a handful of confirmed coronavirus cases.
President Bruno Magras said in his announcement about the reopening that “life on the island has returned to normal”. Beaches, restaurants and shops are open as usual without restrictions in place.
International visitors will be asked to bring a negative Covid-19 test, taken within three days prior to departure, and present a physical or digital copy of the test at passport control.
Those unable to present a test will be tested at a drive through centre in Gustavia within 24 hours of their arrival on St Barths. They will then be required to self-isolate in their accommodation until the test result is known.
The view from Singapore
Lockdown measures were further relaxed in Singapore today after two months of strict curbs to socialising. The changes allow gatherings up to five people and the reopening of shops, food outlets, beaches and parks.
When will we be able to go on a cruise holiday again?
The cruise industry has been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting global quarantine.
But as lockdowns lift and countries ease – or plan to ease – coronavirus travel restrictions, cruise lines are drawing up dates for the resumption of sailings.
River cruises began to return to Europe on June 1 and the first post-lockdown ocean cruise set sail on June 16.
See the full list of planned restart dates
Flybe could return to service
Hopes have been raised that the low-cost airline, which collapsed in March after failing to secure government rescue support, could resume service.
An advisor to one of the investors that took over the airline told an Australia newspaper that the UK regional carrier could fly again.
Cyrus Capital was among the investors in the Connect Airways consortium which took over Flybe in 2019. It had planned to rebrand Europe’s largest regional airline this year as Virgin Connect in a strategy to concentrate on feeding Virgin Atlantic’s hubs at Heathrow and Manchester.
Jonathan Peachey, a Cyrus Capital advisor who played a key role in creating Connect Airways to acquire Flybe, told The Australian: “It’s definitely not the case that we have abandoned Flybe,”
He added: “Cyrus is doing everything it can, along with the other consortium members, to ensure that a business emerges that can re-hire the many thousands of employees who were dependent on it.”
Flybe handled eight million passengers annually but was hard hit when travel screeched to a halt as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Thousands of flights were grounded as a result of lockdowns and travel restrictions. Many carriers are now resuming service, with flights planned from July 1.
See our full list of airlines that have announced the resumption of flights.
The biggest stories from yesterday
London City will resume flights on June 21
Cuba and the Dominican Republic will welcome tourists from July 1
Malta will reopen to British holidaymakers on July 15
Florida’s tourism businesses fear second shutdown after new spike
Cornwall tourism suffers £630m lockdown loss
Italy will pay its citizens €500 to go on holiday