- Is your UK holiday now illegal?
- The 24 countries you can (feasibly) visit right now
- Holidays may not return to normal 'for three years'
- How a high-tech 'health passport' could get the world moving
- Test4Travel: 5,000 travel businesses call for airport testing
Denmark and Iceland could lose their travel corridors this week, as case numbers rise and the countries exceed the threshold for a quarantine.
Denmark’s seven-day rising infection rate is now 49.9 cases per 100,000, far surpassing the UK’s threshold of 20 cases per 100,000 – beyond that, a quarantine is usually triggered.
Iceland's rising rate also exceeds the UK's quarantine threshold figure, with a seven-day case rate of 41 per 100,000 population. The number more than doubled over 24 hours, from 19.3.
Meanwhile, infection numbers in other 'travel corridor' destinations continue to climb. Greece, whose mainland is currently on the 'safe list' for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, has reported 18.1 cases per 100,000 population over the last seven days.
Italy is at 17 cases per 100,000. The UK is currently at 37.9 cases per 100,000 over seven days.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is expected to update the UK's travel corridor list this Thursday.
Scroll down for more updates.
What did we learn today?
A recap of today's main stories.
- Cheddar Gorge and Caves to close
- India easing restrictions despite increase in cases
- Airbus reveals 'zero emissions' hydrogen-fuelled aircraft for 2035
- A 'disproportionate' number of female pilots risk losing their jobs
- No Australia New Zealand travel bubble until 2021 earliest
Join us tomorrow, for another live blog covering everything in the world of travel.
'Lockdown forced me to start swimming in the river – and it’s enriched my life'
Simon Griffiths, publisher and founder of Outdoor Swimmer magazine explains how he fell in love with taking a dip in the great outdoors.
'It was like the Apocalypse': Greece battles with aftermath of Medicane
Cyclone-like Medicane Ianos swept across Greece this weekend turning streets to fast-flowing rivers, burying villages under mud and rubble, and sinking ships with waves of up to seven meters.
“It was like the Apocalypse!” said Patrick Lamouroux, a French holidaymaker in Zante.
Calling a state of emergency on Friday, Greek Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias said: "Mediterranean cyclones are relatively rare phenomena - we have had them in Greece since 1995, but they have become more frequent in the Mediterranean region due to climate change."
Throughout the weekend the terrifying storm roared through central Thessaly and western Greece, bringing torrential rainfall and winds of up to 100kmph, killing three people and leaving thousands homeless, with the islands of Kefalonia, Zakynthos and Ithaca amongst the worst hit.
Lord Mayor's Show cancelled for first time in over 150 years
This year's Lord Mayor's Show in the City of London has been cancelled for the first time since 1852 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
A scaled-back version of one of the capital's landmark annual events was due to be held on November 14, but organisers have abandoned plans in the interests of safety.
The City of London Corporation said this year's show, which traditionally features a three-mile-long procession through the streets, had previously aimed to go ahead as a "contained, televised spectacle" with restricted public access.
The governing body of the Square Mile said that according to historical records, the Lord Mayor's Show was last cancelled in 1852 to allow for a period of national mourning for the Duke of Wellington.
The decision to cancel was taken on Monday by organisers the Lord Mayor's Show Ltd.
The pageantmaster of the Lord Mayor's Show, Dominic Reid, said: "Today's decision to cancel this year's show is as inevitable as it is regrettable, but we are facing uncertain times and despite everyone's best efforts, we took the view that cancelling the event is the most appropriate and responsible action."
No Australia New Zealand travel bubble until 2021 earliest
Quarantine-free travel between the two countries is unlikely to resume for another six months, according to the head of New Zealand's biggest airline.
“I certainly do not believe we will see anything across the Tasman this calendar year,” Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran told the Sydney Morning Herald. “It’s hard to believe it would be before March next year, and could well be longer.”
“If it comes back quicker, we’re going to pop some champagne.”
In August, Air New Zealand reported its first full-year loss in 18 years, and said it does not expect to return to profit any time soon.
Covid-19 'increasing in every area of UK except these four locations'
Coronavirus is increasing in every area of the UK except Carlisle, Swindon, Aberdeenshire and Perth and Kinross, Imperial College London modelling suggests.
Researchers from the university’s Department of Mathematics have used infection and deaths data to estimate how the virus is spreading and where the next Covid hotspots are likely to be.
The stark predictions, which show huge swathes of the UK experiencing a rise in cases with more hotspots predicted, came as Professor Neil Ferguson, whose modelling helped shape Britain’s response to the virus, warned new restrictions needed to be imposed “sooner rather than later”.
A 'disproportionate' number of female pilots risk losing their jobs
Hazel Plush reports:
Gender equality on the flight deck has always been a thorny topic. It wasn’t until 1976 that the first female captain took control in the commercial cockpit – and yet, over 40 years later, women accounted for just 5.3 per cent of all flying jobs globally. That figure, of course, was pre-pandemic: today, as airlines cull jobs in a bid to survive the Covid-19 storm, the future for female pilots looks bleaker than ever.
Before the virus took hold, the industry was beginning to make progress – the start of a long road, rather than a short-term fix. In 2015, Easyjet launched its Amy Johnson initiative, aimed at encouraging young women to train as commercial pilots. Meanwhile, British Airways’ #ProudtoBAwoman campaign strives for equal opportunities across its entire business. And of course, appetite for travel knew no bounds: demand for airline pilots far outstripped the supply.
But now, it seems that the pandemic has claimed yet another victim: gender diversity in the cockpit. As airlines have been forced to make redundancies and training cuts, flight deck roles – among the industry’s most ‘expensive’ roles in terms of salary – have been culled with abandon.
And now, a Reuters report describes how a ‘last in, first out’ approach to redundancies could mean that those female trainees are forced out first. A “disproportionate number” of women pilots are facing the firing line in the US, the report claims, as the industry’s most recent hires “are the first to go”.
In Britain, it’s an issue that the British Women Pilot Association (BWPA) is all-too aware of.
"We are concerned that the small 1% increase in female pilots entering the industry over the last 5 years will be adversely affected by a 'last in, first out' policy of redundancy,” chairwoman Sharon Nicholson tells Telegraph Travel.“It may take years for the airlines to recover from this pandemic, however we will always be there to support and encourage women to be part of this industry."
But there is some heartening news. Easyjet tells Telegraph Travel that on completion of its redundancy consultation, there should be “no need for any compulsory redundancies” – which means its ‘Amy Johnson’ recruits will remain intact.
“We remain committed to the importance of all aspects of diversity across our populations,” says a spokesperson; “We continue to work hard on our internal activities to support the inclusion and wellbeing of all our people.”
Five quarantine-free holidays to book right now
Emma Beaumont has rounded up a selection of convenient last-minute breaks to ‘green list’ destinations.
First up, Lake Como in Italy.
Whether it’s due to the calm-inducing waters, misty mountains or even the Clooney connection, the Italian Lakes will never lose their lustre and they make a great choice for a last-chance European holiday. Although cases have recently risen in Italy, rates remain lower than the UK and it seems unlikely to be struck off the safe list in the near future.
Lying at the foot of the pretty town of Moltrasio on Lake Como’s western shore, the four-star Grand Hotel Imperiale has exactly what you want from a hotel in these parts: an attractive lakefront swimming pool. Add to this a smart restaurant serving fresh fish dishes with views over the water and a well-equipped spa. Public boats dock just yards from the hotel, making it convenient to zip off to the nearby town of Como or to explore the rest of the lake. You can find packages for seven nights departing on selected October dates from £1,190 per person, including private transfers and BA flights, available through Expressions Holidays.
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 holiday destination you probably hadn't thought of
Germany is one of the finest spots on the Continent to enjoy autumn – so why do so few people consider it for a holiday? William Cook writes:
"I’ve been to Germany more times than I can count, and each time I go there I discover something new. From windswept beaches in the north to Alpine peaks in the south, the landscape is stunning, and the big cities boast some of the finest museums and galleries in Europe. Sure, it’s got a few rough edges, but for me that’s all part of what makes it so invigorating. Whether you’re into high culture or the great outdoors, you’re sure to find it here."
Read the full feature, here.
The secret corners of Umbria that tourists (and Boris) haven't discovered
Boris Johnson allegedly popped off to Perugia, capital of Umbria, a couple of weeks ago. Perhaps he had been reading Telegraph Travel. Last month one of our Italy experts, Umbria-based Anne Hanley, described how the idyllic region feels almost back to normal, with scores of domestic tourists making up for the international shortfall.
“The global pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the Italian hospitality sector. By July, seven out of ten Venetian hotels were accepting guests, but occupation rates languished at just 15 per cent. In Rome in August, fewer than 200 of the Italian capital’s 1,200-odd hotels have bothered to open at all. Yet in Città della Pieve, a small Umbrian town with sweeping views across the Valdichiana towards Tuscany, the situation couldn’t be more different: finding a room in the middle of August was like winning the lottery.”
Read more about the secret corners of Umbria that tourists (and Boris) haven't discovered.
When will our holidays return to normal?
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?
We spoke to three industry experts who share their insights on when they think we might return to the 2019 glory days of stress-free holidays.
Paul Nuki, Telegraph Global Health Security Editor, said:
“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.”
Read the full article here.
Cheddar Caves to close
Cheddar Caves and Gorge will not reopen this year, and the company that runs the sight of natural beauty, Longleat Enterprises, said it "could not seeing that changing in 2021".
"The effect of the pandemic on our operations has been profound," it said.
The staff, all based at Cheddar in Somerset, will enter a formal redundancy process.
Cheddar Caves and Gorge is made up of a series of caves, a museum and cafe and also offers rock climbing activities in the gorge.
Airbus reveals 'zero emissions' hydrogen-fuelled aircraft for 2035
Airbus has unveiled a trio of zero emissions passenger aircraft powered by hydrogen that it claims could take to the skies by 2035, Matthew Field reports.
The new designs, which will form part of the ZEROe line, included a turbofan aircraft with a range of 2,000 nautical miles, a modified gas-turbine engine running on hydrogen and capacity for 200 passengers.
Airbus has also designed a propeller powered aircraft that can carry 100 passengers and a blended wing aircraft that it claims would be able to carry 200 people and have a range of up to 2,000 nautical miles.
The aerospace manufacturer, known for its giant A380 superjumbo, said the designs would rely on hydrogen fuel and storage, meaning their only emission would be water.
Read the full report here.
Is it safe to book a ski holiday for next winter?
London Mayor Sadiq Khan 'seriously concerned'
In a tweet this morning, he said: "Later today I'll meet with borough leaders and public health experts to discuss the spread of the virus in our city, which I'm seriously concerned about.
"I'll update Londoners as soon as I can about any measures that we believe may be required."
Mr Khan said, on September 18, he was "extremely concerned" by the latest evidence he has seen and was of the "firm view" that action should be taken before the virus spirals out of control.
Five spectacular UK road trips to enjoy this autumn
In other news
Here's some footage of a whale escaping from an Australian crocodile.
A humpback whale has found its way back to sea weeks after it got lost in a murky, crocodile-infested river in northern Australia.
There have been no previous recorded sightings of whales in remote East Alligator River in the Northern Territory's World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, and no one can explain why at least three of the blue water mammals ventured so deep inland in a river with little visibility.
The last of the trio managed to navigate its way through shallow channels at the broad river mouth and back into Van Diemen Gulf over the weekend, a Kakadu National Park official said on Monday.
Cases in Europe continue to rise
The number of Covid-19 cases across Europe are continuing to rise.
- France recorded another 13,498 cases on Saturday, the second straight day over 13,000.
- Germany added 2,179 cases on Friday – the second day in a row cases exceeded 2,000
- Russia reported 6,065 cases, the first time cases exceeded 6,000 since July
- Poland saw a record tally of 1,002 cases on Saturday
- Turkey saw a tally of 1,519 cases and 61 deaths yesterday, as cases continue to rise
India easing restrictions despite increase in cases
India has recorded nearly 87,000 new cases of the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, with another 1,130 deaths.
With the Health Ministry announcement Monday, India now has more than 5.4 million reported cases since the pandemic began and within weeks is expected to surpass the United States, currently the country with the most reported cases.
India's total deaths in the pandemic now stand at 87,882.
Despite the steady increase in cases, the government has continued to relax virus restrictions in order to help an economy that contracted 24 per cent in the second quarter.
On Monday, the Taj Mahal will reopen after a six-month closure. There will be some restrictions such as compulsory mask-wearing, thermal screening of visitors and physical distancing at the monument.
Where can you (feasibly) visit, right now?
In all, there are now 12 places on the travel corridor list that have no restrictions on UK arrivals, and a further 12 with limited restrictions that make holiday feasible. Here is the full guide, as of September 17:
- Greece (Partially open)
- Italy (including Vatican City)
- San Marino
- Azores: Test on arrival
- Cyprus: Test before departure
- Faroe Islands: Test on arrival
- Iceland: Test on arrival
- Jersey: Test of arrival
- Anguilla: Test before departure
- Antigua and Barbuda: Test before departure
- Barbados: Test before departure
- Bermuda: Test before departure
- St Lucia: Test before departure
- St Vincent and the Grenadines: Test before departure
We must follow the Swedish model and learn to live with Covid
The latest rise in infection should be more of a 'second bump' than a second wave and the response must be proportionate, writes Mark Woolhouse.
What did we learn yesterday?
A quick recap of yesterday's top stories.
- Iceland's infection rate is now double the UK's quarantine threshold
- 5,000 travel companies have appealed for airport testing
- Thomas Cook fails to commit to 14-day refund policy
- 1,000 jobs at risk across Butlins holiday camps
- Blackpool beach slammed for no social distancing
Now, on with today's news.