Travel latest news: Slovenia and Guadeloupe removed from quarantine-free list

Arrivals from Slovenia must now self-isolate for 14 days
Arrivals from Slovenia must now self-isolate for 14 days Credit: Getty

Two more countries have been removed from the UK’s dwindling quarantine-free travel list following the Government’s weekly review of the policy. 

Britons currently on holiday in Slovenia or the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe have until 4am on Saturday to return to the UK or face two weeks of self-isolation. The Department for Transport (DfT) said there has been "a significant change in both the level and pace of confirmed cases of coronavirus in both destinations". Denmark, which has a higher seven-day case rate than Slovenia, has been spared, as has Ireland. 

Two countries, Thailand and Singapore, have been added to the list of travel corridors. However, neither of these two nations are currently welcoming UK tourists.   

It means that Britons now have just 12 destinations they can visit without any restrictions, including Italy, Sweden and Germany, along with a further 12 relatively feasible holiday options, such as Barbados, which requires arrivals to present evidence of a negative Covid test.  

The Government is under pressure to replace its existing policy with airport testing for arrivals from high-risk countries that could reduce the quarantine period to as little as five days. 

See below for the latest updates.

That's a wrap

Here's a recap of the big stories from today:

  • Slovenia and Guadeloupe have been removed from the travel corridors list, but Denmark and Ireland survive
  • Singapore and Thailand have been added, but neither are welcoming UK tourists
  • P&O Cruises has cancelled all sailings until at least January 2021
  • South Africa has announced plans to reopen to tourism
  • A WHO representative has urged countries to be wary of reducing quarantine periods from 14 days

We'll do it all again tomorrow. 

Can I visit Thailand or Singapore?

In a word, no. 

Despite being added to the travel corridors list, the Foreign Office says:

  • Short-term visitors from anywhere in the world are not able to enter Singapore. Long-term pass holders and dependants need approval before entering Singapore. Everyone granted permission to enter Singapore will be issued with a 14-day Stay at Home Notice (SHN)
  • At present only certain categories of foreign nationals are permitted to enter or transit Thailand.If you’re eligible to enter, you will be subject to a 14-day state quarantine at a Thai government-designated facility at your own expense.

Where can I go on holiday now?

The loss of Slovenia means there are just 12 destinations that Britons can visit without any restrictions, plus a further 12 relatively feasible options:

Open for business

1. Denmark

2. Germany

3. Gibraltar

Travellers must report to the authorities if they have been in a “relevant area” in the 14 days before their arrival in Gibraltar. Failure to do so constitutes an offence punishable with a fine of up to £1,000. A relevant area means a country, area or territory outside the European Union but does not include the United Kingdom, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man.

4. Greece (Partially open)

Travellers returning to Scotland from the whole of Greece must self-isolate. 

For England and Northern Ireland, those returning from Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos must quarantine; for Wales, the exclusions are Mykonos, Zakynthos (Zante), Lesvos, Paros and Antiparos, Crete, Santorini, Serifos and Tinos. 

You must complete an online Passenger Locator Form (PLF) at least 24 hours before your arrival in Greece. Failure to do so in advance may result in your carrier not allowing you to travel, a fine on arrival, or the Greek authorities not allowing you to enter the country.

5. Greenland

All passengers are required to follow provisions related to testing and quarantine and to fill out a “Sumut” form. The latest guidance on entry requirements for travel to Greenland can be found here.

6. Italy (including Vatican City)

You should download and complete a self-declaration from the Interior Ministry before you travel. 

7. Liechtenstein

While Liechtenstein is on travel corridors list, it has no airport and its only land borders are with Austria and Switzerland – both of which are not. To reach it without needing to self-isolate on your return to Britain you will need to fly to a travel corridor country (such as Germany) and drive to Liechtenstein without leaving your vehicle to mix with anyone in a “red list” country. 

8. Poland

9. San Marino

You must travel through Italy to reach San Marino. See “Italy”, above. 

10. Slovakia

11. Sweden

12. Turkey

All arrivals into Turkey will be subject to a medical evaluation for symptoms of coronavirus, including temperature checks. Any passengers showing symptoms will be required to undergo a PCR test.

Feasible options

13. Azores: Test on arrival

Before you arrive you must complete and submit a traveller questionnaire between 12 and 48 hours before departure. If you have one, upload proof of a negative Covid-19 test, carried out 72 hours before departure.

On arrival, you will be subject to a health screening. If you have not uploaded your Covid-19 test result, you will be asked to show it at the airport. If you do not have proof of a test, you will be able to take one at the airport and self-isolate at your accommodation until the results are known. This will take about 12 hours.

14. Cyprus: Test before departure

Cyprus has placed the UK in Category B: this means that tourists are permitted to travel, but they need to provide a negative Covid-19 test result on arrival, obtained no more than 72 hours before travel. Test results can be in the form of an email or SMS, but the result itself and/or appointment letter must include the date and time when the test was taken. Children under 12 years old do not require to be tested in order to travel to Cyprus. Please see the Republic of Cyprus Information Office website for further information. All travellers to Cyprus must complete a Cyprus Flight Pass before travelling, available on the Cyprus Flight Pass website. You will be responsible for ensuring your PCR test result is uploaded to Cyprus Flight Pass within 24 hours of your departure. More details here.

15. Faroe Islands: Test on arrival

All travellers to the Faroe Islands must be tested for Covid-19 on arrival until 31 October. A follow up test on the sixth day of the visit is strongly recommended. Children younger than 12 do not need to be tested. Testing is free of charge up to and including 30 September. From 1 October travellers will have to pay for the test.

16. Iceland: Test on arrival

All passengers arriving in Iceland can choose to either self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival or pay to take two Covid-19 tests, one on arrival and another five to six days later. Children born in 2005 or later are exempt from both testing and self-isolation.

Those opting to test instead of the 14-day self-isolation period must follow quarantine measures until the result of the second test is known. This self-isolation can be completed at a hotel or self-catering property but it significantly affects what you can and cannot do on arrival.

17. Jersey: Test of arrival

Jersey requires UK arrivals to show evidence of a negative Covid test or take a test on arrival if they want to avoid a 14-day quarantine. 

18. Madeira

Before you arrive you must complete and submit a traveller questionnaire between 12 and 48 hours before departure. If you have one, upload proof of a negative Covid-19 test, carried out 72 hours before departure.

On arrival, you will be subject to a health screening. If you have not uploaded your Covid-19 test result, you will be asked to show it at the airport. If you do not have proof of a test, you will be able to take one at the airport and self-isolate at your accommodation until the results are known. This will take about 12 hours.

19. Anguilla: Test before departure

It may be open, but visitors to Anguilla have to jump through lots of hoops during their holiday. 

Applications to enter, made via ivisitanguilla.com, must be updated with a negative PCR test taken three to five days before arrival. Thereafter all arrivals are tested upon arrival, and again, after ten days. During the first ten days holidaymakers are required to remain at their chosen accommodation, which can be either a private villa, hotel, or resort. Only after a second negative test can they move freely around Anguilla. 

This process, however, doesn’t come cheap. Not only will visitors be required to provide an insurance policy covering medical expenses related to Covid-19, they’re also charged $1,000 (£770) per individual for a stay of less than three months. The fee covers testing, additional health staff required during your visit, and surveillance and security for the ports and accommodation. A family up to four will be charged $1,500 (£1,155) in total. 

20. Antigua and Barbuda: Test before departure

All passengers 12 years and older arriving by air in Antigua and Barbuda, including those transiting the country, must provide evidence of a negative PCR test taken no more than seven days before arrival. Further health screening is in place at VC Bird International Airport and a further test on arrival may be required. 

21. Barbados: Test before departure

All visitors must present evidence of a negative Covid test taken no more than 72 before arrival. All arrivals from the UK are subject to daily monitoring for seven days, including interviews with and calls by public health professionals. You are required to take a second test five to seven days after arrival. If this second test proves negative, no further monitoring will be required. 

22. Bermuda: Test before departure

All visitors from the UK will need to apply for Travel Authorisation and are required to have a pre-departure test. 

23. St Lucia: Test before departure

Visitors must provide a negative test result taken no more than seven days previously. All arriving passengers will be screened, including temperature checks, at the airport. Any symptomatic passengers will be isolated and tested. Visitors must stay in an approved resort. 

24. St Vincent and the Grenadines: Test before departure

All travellers must complete a pre-arrival questionnaire found at www.health.gov.vc. If you’re travelling from the UK, you must arrive with a negative result of a test done no more than five days before arrival. You will be retested on arrival in SVG and must quarantine for up to 72 hours at a government-approved hotel to await clearance.

Ireland and Denmark are spared for now

Despite having a seven-day case rate of 38.4 per 100,000 (higher than Slovenia's 31), Denmark has kept its travel corridor. So too has Ireland, where the figure is 30.3. 

Thailand and Singapore are in

It's a shame both of these are closed to UK tourists. 

Slovenia and Guadeloupe are out

Slovenia was expected. Guadeloupe? Didn't see that one coming. 

Which countries are at risk?

A reminder: Denmark, Ireland and Slovenia look like the nations most at risk of losing their travel corridors. Their seven-day case rates have all exceeded 30 per 100,000. 

15 minutes until Grant Shapps sends his tweet

Every Thursday at 5pm, Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport, tells us all, via Twitter, which countries will be removed (if any) from the quarantine-free travel list. 

Britons in those countries then have until 4am on Saturday to get home or face quarantine. We're not convinced it is the best system. 

October half-term holiday tracker: The best options for a family escape in 2020

Missed out on a family holiday this year? You couldn’t make the most of the lockdown sunshine; your summer trip to the Med was cancelled; your staycation break was blown away by the August gales. Now schools are back, so you have one last chance for a rewarding trip for all – the autumn half term. 

The autumn half term is a matter of weeks away Credit: GETTY

Consumer Expert Nick Trend's number one tip is to book late, but that doesn't mean you can't start planning early.

Here, we assess all the likely options, weighing up the risk and the reward.

The unheralded delights of Northamptonshire, England's most underrated county

Graeme Green goes on a visit to Northamptonshire and finds plenty to love.

He writes:

Many locals argue that Northampton could go toe-to-toe with the Cotswolds. “Certainly, if you want handsome stone-built villages and quiet pubs, the 1920s take on the Cotswolds, we’ve got that in plentitude,” says James Miller, Chairman of the Surprise Northamptonshire Project. “We also have an extraordinary number of historic houses and their art collections.” Northamptonshire’s strongest selling point, though, is the peaceful countryside. Destination Nene Valley are working to get more people exploring the River Nene. Here you can find everything from bird habitats to medieval villages, with possibilities for cycling, walking, canoeing and paddle-boarding. The vast majority of the Jurassic Way walking route from Banbury to Stamford is also in Northamptonshire and many of the county’s walks and bike rides link up with great country pubs. 

Read more here.

Ireland tightens Covid-19 travel restrictions, and airlines are not happy about it

Two of Ireland's largest airlines, Ryanair and Aer Lingus, are frustrated with the country's government for imposing quarantines on travellers from key holiday destinations including Italy and Greece.

According to a report by Reuters, Aer Lingus said it was concerned by the fact the government had repeatedly indicated in recent weeks it planned to adopt a more liberal European Commission proposal, but instead cut back the number of countries exempt from quarantine.

The report also shared that Ryanair, which is taking a case to the Irish High Court challenging the legality of the quarantine rules, said the aviation and tourism sectors “cannot afford any further delays or indecision.”

Ireland, Denmark and Slovenia continue to await quarantine fate

Rising case rates in Ireland, Denmark and Slovenia could see the three countries removed from the UK's quarantine-free travel list today.

The Government reviews its controversial policy every Thursday, with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announcing any changes to the list of approved travel corridors at 5pm on Twitter.

Denmark, where the seven-day Covid case rate has reached 38.4 per 100,000 residents (higher than the UK figure of 32.6), appears most at risk, but holidaymakers in Slovenia, where the rate is 31, should also be on high alert. Ireland, where it is 30.3, could also be removed, although it is already forcing any UK arrivals to self-isolate for two weeks so few British holidaymakers are likely to be in the country right now. 

When a nation is removed from the travel corridors list, Britons are given until 4am the following Saturday to return to UK soil or face a 14-day quarantine. 

As a rule of thumb, the Government gets nervous when a country's seven-day case rate exceeds 20 per 100,000. However, with the UK rate rising above that in recent weeks, it appears to be showing a little more leniency. 

Italy is one of the few key holiday destinations to have held onto its quarantine-free status. Its rate is currently 16.3, so it looks safe for another week. 

South Africa Tourism responds to news that the country will reopen to international travel

Kgomotso Ramothea, Acting Hub Head UK & Ireland, South African Tourism, said in a statement in response to the news:

We are very encouraged by President Ramaphosa’s announcement that South Africa will open its borders for international flights on 1st October. This is an extremely positive step in the right direction for tourism in South Africa. Whilst there is more detail to come in the next few days, this progress sends a really positive message to the world, that South Africa is on the road to tourism recovery. The UK is our number one international travel market – many of these are repeat visitors, who have an emotional connection to South Africa and we look forward to welcoming them back to experience our beautiful country once again, as well as first time travellers who have always had South Africa on their bucket list and who we hope will seize the opportunity to visit after a difficult year. With the announcement today that Virgin Atlantic plans to resume flights to the country from 18 October it demonstrates that consumer confidence is returning. We’re home to incredible natural landscapes, diverse vibrant culture, wide open spaces, an abundance of nature and wildlife, and warm, welcoming people who cannot wait to welcome visitors to South Africa once again.

Find the latest information on travel to and from South Africa here.

G Adventures adds four new tours to its Travel with Confidence Plus collection

Following positive feedback from travellers and encouraging booking numbers for departures in 2020 and 2021, G Adventures has introduced four new itineraries to its new Travel with Confidence Plus Collection, which provides travellers with increased physical distancing measures while on tour.

Experience local homestays and salsa lessons in Cuba on a smaller group tour with G Adventures Credit:  G Adventures Inc

Launched in June 2020 in response to coronavirus, the collection features smaller group sizes (maximum of 12), cheaper solo rooming options, ensuite bathrooms and private transportation, as well as increased sanitisation and hygiene protocols as part of G Adventures’ Travel with Confidence policy.

The new destinations include Cuba, Madagascar, Australia and New Zealand.  G Adventures has also extended its Book with Confidence policy, which offers flexible rebooking for all bookings made up to 31 December 2020. Ask for details when booking.

The unexpected allure of a seaside holiday in Northern Ireland

Telegraph Travel's Emma Cooke finds no crowds and a warm welcome in Northern Ireland. 

She writes:

“We had English friends over to stay a little while ago”, said Sharon, one of the owners of Shola’s Coach House, a beautiful B&B just outside the centre of Portrush. “We warned them things get busy here on the beaches. Come evening, they turned to us and said, ‘so, when does it get busy?’ They didn’t realise this is busy for us.” Myself and my partner, Alex, were midway through a tour of Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast, and midway through a welcome drink in the property’s plush living room. Rather than the hesitant formality of being presented a fruit cocktail or glass of champagne abroad, chat over hot tea and whisky-infused fruit cakes at Shola’s quickly felt more like a catch up with an old friend. Sharing where we’d been – “Oh, The French Rooms in Bushmills, yes the owner there is lovely” – and where we were going, Sharon gave us recommendations for places to eat and what to see. In the same way that Londoners frequently profess to having never stepped foot on the London Eye, it’s to my shame that I’ve never done a proper tour of the north coast, despite having grown up between Britain and Northern Ireland. And it is a shame – Antrim is Northern Ireland’s most visited county, and holds the majority of the region’s most recognisable sights, including the Giant’s Causeway and a glut of Game of Thrones sights. 

Read more.

New York Magazine's Jerry Saltz thinks the rules don't apply to him

A senior art critic at New York Magazine has tweeted his frustration at not being able to enter a New York museum without pre-booking.

P&O cancels all cruises until 2021

P&O cruises has cancelled all sailings until early next year, the line’s president Paul Ludlow confirmed today.

Caribbean cruises are on hold until the end of January 2021 and all cruises to and from Southampton are cancelled until the end of February 2021 – world cruises on Arcadia and Aurora had previously been cancelled until the end of Spring 2021.

“With evolving restrictions on travel from the UK, unfortunately it is necessary to cancel these itineraries,” said Mr Ludlow.

He added: “These further cancellations vary according to ship as well as complexity and length of itineraries, advice and guidance regarding ports of call and current air availability for fly/cruises."

P&O customers booked onto a cancelled cruise will be notified and will receive 125 per cent credit for a future cruise or can opt for a full refund by filling out an online form on the cruise line's website.

Emma Featherstone has the full story here.

Is lockdown-free Sweden winning in Scandinavia?

“We’re playing the long game.” That’s what Malmo resident Joanna Le Pluart told Telegraph Travel back in April as Sweden faced a barrage of international criticism for its lockdown-free strategy. 

Back then, the country was seeing more coronavirus cases and Covid-related deaths per capita than most other European countries – and far more than its Scandinavian neighbour Denmark. 

Fast forward five months and Sweden’s “long game” looks to be paying dividends. While Denmark is at risk of being added to the UK’s quarantine naughty step, with a seven-day case rate of 38.4 per 100,000 residents (the figure for the UK is 32.6), Sweden sits pretty on the green list with a rate of just 16.1. 

Sweden’s “long game” looks to be paying dividends Credit: GETTY

Furthermore, where Denmark is responding to a rise in cases with fresh rules, the government in Stockholm is easing the few restrictions it imposed to tackle the pandemic. 

So which of the two nations “won” the Covid battle? It’s still far too early to say. “Judge me in a year,” said Sweden’s state epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, back in July. But having been written off by many, the benefits of Sweden’s laissez-faire policy are becoming increasingly apparent.

Find out more about how the lockdown strategies compare here.

Tourist hotspots press EU for tougher laws on Airbnb rentals

An alliance of 22 European cities urged the EU to enact tougher rules on Airbnb and other short-term holiday rental platforms, accusing them of driving up property prices and squeezing out locals, reports AFP.

Representatives from Amsterdam, Barcelona, Florence and other tourist hotspots met with EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager in Paris today to denounce an "outdated" legal framework that prevents officials from cracking down on the web platforms.

Airbnb, which dominates the home-sharing market, has increasingly clashed with municipalities trying to balance much-wanted tourism revenue against growing resentment from residents.

Several cities have imposed restrictions, in particular to combat illicit rentals that they say are siphoning off homes from the affordable housing market.

Quarantine should remain at 14 days, says WHO

The WHO has reiterated that the 14-day quarantine period for anyone exposed to coronavirus should remain as it is.

The recommendation is based on a scientific understanding of the virus's incubation period and tranmission, the WHO Europe senior emergency officer Catherine Smallwood said today.

Self-isolation periods for people who have been exposed to the virus vary between countries. In France it is seven days'; in Ireland and the UK it is 10. The UK's quarantine period for those arriving from countries not on its travel "green list" remains at two-weeks, however.

Singapore 'should be exempt' from quarantine

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, offers his daily update on infection rates and the travel "green list" ahead of the weekly Government review.

'Flights to nowhere' taking off in Asia and Australia

Qantas Airways said on Thursday it would operate a seven-hour scenic flight over Australia next month, adding to a growing trend in Asia of "flights to nowhere" that take off and land at the same airport.

Tough border restrictions to keep coronavirus under control have led to a 97.5 per cent plunge in international travel in the region, according to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines.

Many frequent flyers miss getting on planes. Airlines including Taiwan's EVA Airways Corp and Japan's ANA Holdings, desperate for revenue and to keep their pilots' licences current, have offered special sightseeing flights.

EVA used one of its iconic Hello Kitty livery planes for a special Father's Day flight last month, while ANA used an Airbus SE A380 that usually flies to Honolulu for a 90-minute flight with a Hawaiian experience on board.

Read the full story.

No further Covid restrictions in London, for now

A law banning gatherings of more than six people was introduced by the UK Government on Monday, while Birmingham, Greater Manchester and Bolton are among the areas under local lockdown. Meanwhile, from tomorrow, in residents in Northumberland, north Tyneside, south Tyneside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham will not be allowed to socialise with other people outside of their household or support bubble

There have been suggestions that London could also face additional restrictions. However, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister said today that there are no plans for further rules in the capital at the moment, when asked whether a curfew might be brought in.

Cruise boss backs testing to save industry from 'impossible situation'

The “start-stop” approach to quarantine and travel restrictions is “completely unacceptable” and testing should be introduced, says the managing director of Fred Olsen Cruise Lines.

After voluntarily pausing all cruising in March as the world was grappling with the spread of coronavirus, the UK-based operator has now been forced to cancel all sailings until at least March 2021, hindered by the UK’s quarantine policy leading to a sputtering recovery of travel and government advice against all sea-going cruise travel.

Peter Deer, who has been in his role for just over a year, told The Telegraph that the “start-stop process” of travel corridors has put Fred Olsen in an “impossible situation”.

“Having a situation which is so fluid, where one moment you can actually go to a destination and the next you can’t is completely unacceptable on a number of levels. A company can’t operate like that, and a travel business can’t due to the nature of what we’re doing."

Benjamin Parker has the full story. You can also find out more about Test4Travel: The Telegraph campaign to scrap quarantine through airport testing, here.

The empty Greek island you should visit right now

Mary Novakovich reveals why Paxos is one of her favourite islands.

In this dreamy place, it was easy to pretend that summer wasn’t in any hurry to give way to autumn. In fact, it’s hard to hurry at all on this laid-back, languid island that measures only seven miles by three. I was based in the second largest of the three villages, Lakka, whose deep horseshoe-shaped harbour is a magnet for sailboats of all shapes and sizes. Watching launches pull up to the quayside, their occupants trying to get out gracefully and often failing, became an entertaining sunset ritual at Fanis Bar right by the water’s edge. As the sky began to glow in various shades of pink, I nursed my ice-cold glass of my favourite Greek liqueur, tsipouro, and found myself sinking into a mellowness that had more to do with the atmosphere than the alcohol.They say you cannot leave without watching the sunset from the western side of Paxos, whose wild coastline is indented with remote beaches mostly accessed by boat. I had done all that the first time round, five years ago, when I scootered up to the lighthouse by Plani beach near Lakka to watch the dramatic spectacle. Same with the incomparably beautiful Erimitis cliffs further to the south. This time, though, I was content to slow down and savour everything thoroughly, more appreciative of what I was seeing and tasting, knowing how quickly it could all change.

Read more.

South Africa lifts ban on international travel as coronavirus cases plummet

South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has announced that the country will reopen its borders as it eases its Covid-19 measures.

The country closed its borders on March 27, and has been one of the world’s hardest-hit countries since the beginning of the pandemic, recording more than 650,000 cases and over 15,000 deaths.

However, case numbers have dropped and levelled out in recent weeks, allowing the South African Government to ease lockdown and travel restrictions.

South Africa will reopen to international tourists on October 1 Credit: iSTOCK

“We will gradually and cautiously ease restrictions on international travel, allowing travel into and out of South Africa for business, leisure and other travel with effect from the 1st of October 2020,” Ramaphosa said in an address to the country.

“Travel may be restricted to and from certain countries that have high infection rates.”

So does this mean you will soon be able to travel to South Africa?  Find out here.

Health Secretary announces new restrictions for north east England

From tomorrow residents in Northumberland, north Tyneside, south Tyneside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland and country Durham will not be allowed to socialise with other people outside of their household or support bubble, Matt Hancock has announced. 

Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only and late night restrictions of operating hours will have a 10pm curfew. 

This means that holidaymakers will not be allowed to visit the named areas with those outside of their household or support bubble.

Read more on The Telegraph's coronavirus live blog.

What is the situation in Slovenia?

On September 16, Slovenia recorded 123 new cases – the highest number throughout the entire pandemic thus far. The trend of the outbreak is that it is growing and its seven-day case rate is now 31 per 100,000, which is more than double what it was in the previous week at 14. It looks likely that it may be taken off the quarantine-free list today. More details as we have them.

Singaporeans to get vouchers to boost domestic tourism

The Singapore Tourism Board has announced that from December, all Singaporeans over the age of 18 will receive S$100 worth of vouchers to spend on domestic tourism. The vouchers can be used for a variety of things, including local hotel stays, attractions and tours.

S$320 million has been set aside for the scheme, and the vouchers (found on the SingPass government portal) will be valid for 7 months. More details will be released on how to redeem the vouchers and where they can be used in November.

“This is not social assistance, this is an economic scheme to help our tourist attractions preserve their capabilities that have been built up over the years, while they consolidate capacity in the interim,” said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on Wednesday.

Six UK islands for a perfect autumn escape

Visits to paradises such as the Maldives and the Seychelles might not be an option right now, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of fantastic alternatives closer to home. Tamara Hinson rounds up six UK islands perfect for an autumnal adventure.

Lundy

Fancy a trip to Devon but keen to avoid the crowds in destinations like Torquay, Dartmouth and Salcombe? This tiny wildflower-covered lump of granite (it’s just three miles long and less than a mile wide) is owned by the National Trust. It’s a popular puffin-watching spot during the summer months, which is why we suggest avoiding the tripod-toting twitchers and heading there in autumn, when blubbery seals replace seagulls and shags as the most sought-after sightings. The island is surrounded by the UK’s first marine conservation zone, so it’s a brilliant diving spot too – head beneath the waves (the sea temperature remains surprisingly warm in autumn) to explore dozens of shipwrecks and 2,500 species of marine life. 

Deer on Lundy Credit: GETTY

Isle of Wight

In early 2020, the Isle of Wight hit the headlines when it emerged that bones found here in 2019 belong to a new species of dinosaur. This prehistoric paradise has more dinosaur remains than anywhere else in Northern Europe, although there are plenty of other treasures to find: sculpture-like ammonites, shark teeth and fossilised chunks of wood with seams of fools’ gold. Autumn (due to the windier sand and soil-blasting weather) is the best time for a fossil hunt, ideally with the brilliant Wight Coast Fossils. You’ll gain an unbeatable insight into the island’s prehistoric past, discovering why there’s such an abundance of dinosaur remains here, and how to find and identify the most significant reminders of their presence.

Read more.

Experts offer their verdict on when holidays will return to normal

The travel industry is going through its darkest hour. Planes are grounded, countries have closed their borders, the notion of a quarantine after a holiday has become normalised.

So different is the landscape of ‘the holiday’ that it is hard to fathom that, this time last year, you could book a break without a care in the world. 

There are some elements of our holidays that have changed forever. Hand sanitizers will likely remain in airports, our travel insurance policies now have pandemic clauses carved into the smallprint, while some holiday behemoths like STA Travel and Flybe have sadly disappeared.

But one day we will be able to book a holiday without fear of cancellations, worries of a quarantine on return, or having to go through tedious social distancing measures on arrival. When will this be?

Paul Nuki, Telegraph Global Health Security Editor, shares:

If you plan your holidays in advance, booking not just a time slot but a country, flights and accommodation in advance, things are unlikely to get back to normal until the end of 2022, and perhaps not even then. It will be a story of anxiety, disappointment and cancellations.But for those happy to travel independently and who are willing to be flexible, there has not been a better time to holiday since Laurie Lee set out one midsummer’s morning, or Kerouac hit the road. Prices for flights and accommodation have never been cheaper. Mountains, beaches, cathedrals, forests and oceans are blissfully quiet. And restaurants, boutiques and patisseries have never been more attentive or grateful for your custom and company. You can wait with the herd for the old normal to return or you can embrace the new one today. The choice is yours.

Find out what other experts in the field have to say here.

Can I visit Scotland? A guide to travel rules north of the border

Coronavirus measures continue to dictate daily life in Britain and the four nations have set out different rules and timelines for relaxing – or reintroducing – restrictions, which can be difficult to unpick.

Scotland remains in the third phase of its coronavirus approach, which offers significant freedoms, although there are still local lockdowns to contend with. On September 10, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a "tightening and extension" of current measures, meaning more face masks and more limitations on social gatherings.

Find out what the new rules mean for trips north of the border. 

Not a single country in Africa has an air bridge despite many with low case rates

Paul Charles, CEO of the travel consultancy, The PC Agency, has taken to Twitter to highlight the fact that despite many countries in Africa maintaining low infection rates, not a single one has been given an air bridge.

 Yotel London launches new 'Commuter Rate' with rooms for £30

Slick budget hotel Yotel London is attempting to lure commuters back to their jobs in the city with its new 'Commuter Rate'. The cost of an overnight in Clerkenwell from Monday to Friday at the hotel will now be just £30 until October 9, subject to availability.

Yotel Clerkenwell London is the first brand new hotel to open in the capital since lockdown began

The rate was decided based on the cost of a daily peak return rail ticket from 15 of the top commuter towns into London. On average, commuters from these towns spend £32.83 per day on travel fares, with an average daily journey time of 2 hours and 10 minutes. 

Guillermo Gomez, General Manager of YOTEL London, said:

Now that summer is almost over and kids are back at school, we are starting to see London businesses reopen offices, albeit on a more flexible basis. However, despite the Government’s efforts to encourage people to return to work, commuters are still wary about using public transport, especially in light of Boris Johnson’s announcement.Recognising the importance of face time in the office and people wanting to show willingness amidst job insecurity, our aim is to help commuters return safely by significantly reducing their commuting time.” Reducing the need to travel on public transport decreases people’s chances of being exposed to Coronavirus and helps address anxiety around public transport. What’s more, our guests will get more time to sleep in!

Richard E. Grant weighs in on airport testing

Earlier this week, actor Richard E. Grant flew into Italy and was impressed with the airport testing system in place.

The post was widely shared, though not everyone agreed with his stance. Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, argued that Italy's system is far from perfect.

 The Telegraph has launched its own campaign for airport testing: Test4Travel. Find out more here.

The 17 countries you can visit right now, without any quarantine

There are currently 17 countries with air bridges and no major restrictions for UK travellers upon arrival. That could be set to change this evening though, so if you're looking to book you may want to hold off for the latest announcement. 

  1. Denmark  
  2. Faroe Islands (Visitors required to take Covid-19 test at airport on arrival) 
  3. Germany 
  4. Gibraltar 
  5. Greece (Not including Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos)  
  6. Iceland (Open to tourists, but all arrivals must pay to be tested twice for coronavirus or self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. Children born in 2005 or later are exempt) 
  7. Italy 
  8. Liechtenstein 
  9. Poland 
  10. Portugal (only Azores and Madeira, and visitors must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test, carried out no more than 72 hours before arrival, or take a test on arrival and await the results within 12 hours at their accommodation) 
  11. San Marino 
  12. Slovakia  
  13. Slovenia 
  14. Sweden 
  15. Turkey 
  16. Vatican City
  17. Cuba

More details here.

'We felt safer on a Scottish cruise than going to a supermarket' 

A couple who haven’t even visited a supermarket since the start of lockdown six months ago decided to go on a Scottish cruise with seven people they hadn’t met. Why?

Charlie and Wendy McNicoll, both 66, have been very cautious over coronavirus. Their only outing has been to a post office to return a parcel – they did all their food shopping online.

But they felt confident booking one of the first post-lockdown cruises with small-ship company The Majestic Line.

“We love boats and we love Scotland. I’m Scottish and it’s always a pleasure to come back to your roots"  Credit: Dave Monk

Speaking on board Glen Shiel, Mrs McNicoll said: “We were concerned about the Covid situation and wondering if we should go but we knew the managing director, Ken Grant, is an epidemiologist so we thought it would be OK. It was a smaller ship with fewer people and the passengers were just from the UK.”

Her husband added: “There was a little trepidation, actually, but we weren’t too worried, we were quite excited. The excitement overcame the slight trepidation, and I’m glad it did."

Read Dave Monk's full report here.

Holiday quarantine: Which country will be removed from the 'green list' next?

Normally, a destination is removed from the travel corridor list when it crosses the threshold of more than 20 cases per 100k. The UK Government reviews its policy every Thursday, with destinations usually removed from 4am on a Saturday morning.

Take a look at the numbers below to see which country could be removed next.

What happened yesterday?

  • Tui agrees to refund customers by end of September
  • Dozens of countries ease restrictions ahead of winter sun holidays
  • Airlines have escaped fines for breaking UK law for 17 years, says Which?
  • G20 leaders to consider international plan for airport virus testing 
  • Thomas Cook launched as online online tour operator 
  • BA boss tells Transport Select Committee: 'We're still fighting for our survival'

More updates to follow.