All the latest updates
A surge in holiday bookings is expected this weekend after the relaxation of travel rules, which saw the amber list scrapped in favour of a single list of places which require hotel quarantine on return to England
Meanwhile, a new tool has found certain groups remain more vulnerable to the virus after vaccination.
The QCovid tool developed by scientists at the University of Oxford shows that immunosuppressed people, and those with dementia, Parkinson’s or chronic disorders such as kidney disease are still at a greater risk of hospitalisation or death from Covid when vaccinated compared to the rest of the population.
New travel changes: What are they, and what are the effects?
Simon Calder, Travel Correspondent, has put together a guide to the new travel system.
In his opinion, there are two “modest positives” to the changes:
Travel agents are experiencing a surge of bookings to Turkey
Singapore pauses reopening amid rise in Covid cases
Singapore reported 935 new Covid cases on Friday, the country’s highest daily total since last April.
The city state has paused the lifting of restrictions as cases have risen. More than 80 per cent of the population has been vaccinated.
UK aviation much slower to recover than rest of Europe, says industry chief
Karen Dee, chief executive of the Airport Operators Association, said UK aviation was recovering from the pandemic far slower than in most other European countries.
Passenger numbers in the UK were only around 20 per cent of a normal summer, while the rest of Europe was seeing around 50-60 per cent, Ms Dee told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“That’s all down to the complexities we’ve built in the UK in the testing system,” she said.
Ms Dee also said this summer had been worse than last year’s for aviation.
Travel rule change ‘will make it much easier for customers to understand’
Chris Parker, director of capacity and commercial performance at DFDS ferries, said his company welcomed the change to the travel rules system.
“It will make it much easier for customers to understand what they need to do,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
There was a spike in visitors to the DFDS website yesterday, Mr Parker said, and an “uptick” in bookings for October onwards.
Mr Parker estimated the ferry company had this year seen only 20 per cent of the number of bookings seen in 2019.
New tool identifies groups most at-risk from Covid after vaccination
Scientists at Oxford university have developed a new tool that predicts which groups are most at risk from Covid-19 after vaccination.
The QCovid tool found that immunosuppressed people and those with dementia, Parkinson’s or chronic disorders such as kidney disease were found to be at a greater risk of hospitalisation or death from Covid after vaccination compared to the rest of the population.
Age and ethnicity also factored into risk outcomes.
Samuel Lovett, Science Correspondent, has the details:
While the risk of severe Covid-19 after vaccination remains low, some people remain more vulnerable than others, research shows
Travel surge expected, as firms see bookings spike
Holiday bookings are expected to soar after the Government announced a relaxation of international travel rules, but concerns have been raised over a changed approach to Covid-19 testing.
Alan French, chief executive of travel firm Thomas Cook, said October half-term bookings were up 200 per cent compared to August and he expected this figure to increase as a result of the changed system.
“Based on our bookings already today, I would expect this weekend to be the biggest of the year so far as people take advantage of the great deals on offer, the new easier rules on testing and the simplified system for international travel,” he said.
Andrew Flintham, managing director of holiday company TUI UK, said he had already seen “an uptick in bookings for Turkey in October” and expected a boost in customer confidence with the new rules.
Online travel agency Skyscanner said it saw a 133 per cent spike in traffic in the 30 minutes following Mr Shapps’s announcement, while there had been “huge increases” in searches for destinations such as Turkey and the Maldives in anticipation of Friday’s news.