‘Justification for having the rules is minimised’, says health secretary
According to government leaks, the recent additions to the red list could be scrapped as early as this week.
De siste dagene, both Boris Johnson and Sajid Javid have suggested that the travel restrictions put in place to protect the UK from the omicron variant are redundant now that community transmission is taking place.
Mr Javid yesterday said he wants the rules removed “quickly”, legge til: “Given that we already know that the omicron variant is fast becoming the dominant variant in our capital city, spreading rapidly around the country, the justification for having the rules is minimised.”
Totalt 11 African nations were put on the UK’s formerly empty red list between 25 november og 3 desember, including popular winter holiday spot South Africa and Nigeria, with returning travellers given short notice that they would have to pay thousands for hotel quarantine in the UK.
In other news, Amazon is one of the latest retailers to join the PCR testing effort, with its own government-approved £35 PCR kit available for day two and day eight tests.
Follow all the latest travel updates below:
Amazon launches new £35 PCR travel test
Online retail giant Amazon has launched a new PCR travel test, along side a “general testing kit” meant for domestic use.
At £34.99, the all-purpose retailer’s test kit is one of the cheapest on the market, with similar budget prices available from the likes of Randox or Tui – but only with a “click and collect” discount for picking up the former, and a customer discount from the latter.
The RT-PCR kits are processed by Amazon’s in-house laboratory, which has been used for testing frontline workers and Amazon employees for months.
Les hele historien:
The online shopping behemoth’s kit is one of the cheapest on the market
New rail link means you can travel from Portugal to Singapore by train
A newly completed rail link in Laos means you can now travel all the way from Lagos in Portugal to Singapore by train alone.
Analysis by rail blogger Mark Smith, aka The Man in Seat 61, and Reddit users calculated that the 11,654-mile journey could be done in 21 dager – assuming no stopover time in each destination.
Stops and connections along the way include Paris, Moscow, Beijing and Bangkok, making it quite the Europe-Asia grand tour.
The missing link had been a new section of railway in Laos, which was completed on 2 December and connects the Laotian city of Boten with the capital, Vientiane.
Derfra, you can take a high-speed train into China to connect up with the Trans-Siberian Railway.
Les hele historien:
Rail enthusiasts believe it is the longest continuous rail journey on earth
Indonesia earthquake prompts tsunami warning
The casualties from the undersea earthquake are not immediately clear. derimot, authorities said several buildings and public properties suffered damage as photos showed roads cracked open by the tremor.
Areas facing immediate threat of tsunami include Maluku, East Nusa Tenggara, West Nusa Tenggara and Southeast and South Sulawesi.
Aftershocks of 5.6 magnitude from the quake were felt in Larantuka, sa myndighetene. The quake was also felt strongly in Makassar in South Sulawesi, ifølge rapporter.
Les hele historien:
Casualties from the undersea earthquake are not immediately clear
12-15 year olds can access proof of vaccination for travel
Alle 12-15 year olds vaccinated in the UK can now apply for a proof of vaccination travel letter, the health secretary has announced.
In a tweet yesterday evening, Sajid Javid said: “From today, alle 12-15 year olds who have had both doses of the vaccine can apply for an #NHSCovidPass letter for international travel.
“This will give parents confidence in booking holidays in the future thanks to our fantastic vaccination programme.”
Vaccination and vaccine passports for children are hot topics at the moment as several travel destinations begin to bar those without proof of vaccination from their indoor venues.
From today, New York City will ask children as young as five to provide proof of at least one dose of the vaccine in order to enter museums, restaurants and other indoor venues.
Little justification for keeping red list, says Javid
The health secretary has said that the justification for keeping the strict travel measures introduced in response to omicron is “minimised”, now that the variant looks to become the dominant one in the UK.
Sajid Javid was answering a question from the senior Labour MP, Ben Bradshaw – a member of the Transport Select Committee, på mandag.
“Given that we already know that the omicron variant is fast becoming the dominant variant in our capital city, spreading rapidly around the country, the justification for having the rules is minimised,” said Mr Javid, adding that he would like them removed “quickly”.
Les hele historien:
‘I do hope that we can act quickly’
Red list restrictions no longer ‘appropriate’, says CBI chief
Tony Danker, director general of the CBI, has called for the government to scrap the present travel restrictions brought about by the omicron variant.
“The main issue remains the major restrictions in place for international travel, which may have seemed worth considering a week or two ago, but now that omicron is pervasive throughout our country, [den] doesn’t feel like those measures, those restrictions, seem appropriate now,” Danker told the BBC’s I dag program.
“We support the government’s intention to put public health first, but the government needs to recognise what’s really happening in our economy.”
Danker was on the programme to discuss the impact of the omicron-related measures and debates on businesses including hospitality, which he says has seen a slump following the detection of the variant.
“We can’t pretend there’s been a modest effect on demand – there’s been a massive effect on demand," han la til.
PCR tests to be sold on Amazon
Amazon has started offering PCR tests for travellers arriving in the UK – with a single “day two” test on offer at £34.99.
The government reintroduced the need for PCR tests two weeks ago, because of concerns about the spread of the omicron variant. The move provided testing companies with the prospect of higher profits – but some firms, including Collinson, breached their own timescales because of “logistical problems”.
The frequent flyer site Head for Points, sier: “Importantly, Amazon is not outsourcing this to a third party provider. It will be using a lab in Salford, which was set up last year to process tests for Amazon employees.”
Good morning and welcome to Den uavhengige’s travel liveblog, where we’ll be sharing all the latest news and updates.