Despite not reopening any of its UK hotels amidst the pandemic, Rocco Forte Hotels has high hopes for the future with a new five-star Italian property
Little Scarlett has become an Internet sensation after crashing her mum's live interview to move her unicorn picture.
What a colossal and expensive waste of time the whole quarantine arrangement and the Foreign Office’s policy banning overseas holidays have been. As a travel industry which supports hundreds of thousands of jobs has imploded and millions of holidaymakers have been left facing cancelled travel plans and battling for refunds, we have – for weeks – been subjected to a stream of contradictory messages from the Government. These have been both confusing – are we going to have air bridges, if so, when, and with which countries? And arbitrary – why has the FCO’s advice been applied with such a lack of discrimination, and why has its ban on travel been open-ended, rather than periodically reviewed? Now we hear that the whole idea of air bridges, allowing reciprocal quarantine-free travel between a limited selection of countries – which was publicly floated by the Transport Secretary at a select committee meeting on May 18 and has now been in discussion for weeks – will be effectively abandoned. The latest information suggests that British travellers will now be free to visit as many as 75 countries without the need to go into quarantine on their return to the UK. The list, apparently to be published tomorrow (believe that when you see it), will coincide with a lifting of the Foreign Office ban to nearly all EU destinations, plus British Overseas Territories like Bermuda and Gibraltar, as well as the likes of Turkey, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand. The travel industry and travellers are being given almost no notice of this change, which will come into effect on Monday, even though it is happening right in the middle of the peak summer holiday season. Millions of people have flights and holidays already booked before the end of August, and, while the EU made its decision to open its borders more than two weeks ago, British travellers have been left in limbo. This development also throws into question the whole concept of the two-week quarantine requirement, which was imposed on travellers entering or returning to the UK. Criticised from all sides, but fiercely defended by the Government as an essential measure, it was backed with the threat of £1,000 fines for breaches in England. But not only does it appear to be on the point of being scrapped after only a month, it appears that there has been hardly any enforcement or monitoring of the rules. An investigation by the BBC published today found that, of the 12 police forces that replied to its queries, none has handed out a single fine, with some adding that there had been no enforcement action whatsoever. The only two fines which appear to have been imposed were by the UK Border Force at the Eurotunnel terminal in France. A Home Office spokesman told the BBC: "We are seeing a high level of compliance and we expect this to continue as the vast majority of people will play their part to help stop the spread of this disease." I wonder how they could possibly know this. These rules have been a complete waste of time and made life extremely and unnecessarily difficult for airlines, tour operators and holidaymakers. Finally it seems we are to be allowed to travel again, but the journey we have had to endure to get to this point has been far, far more tortuous than it need have been.
As tentative signs start to emerge of a revival for the travel industry, our minds are turning to potential holiday destinations for this summer.While it may have started out as the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe, Italy has since managed to admirably flatten the curve and open up to visitors again.
As tentative signs start to emerge of a revival for the travel industry, our minds are turning to potential holiday destinations for this summer.France, as our closest neighbour barring Ireland, makes sense for a first international sojourn.
As tentative signs start to emerge of a revival for the travel industry, our minds are turning to potential holiday destinations for this summer.With excellent surfing, outstanding city break destinations and the world’s favourite custard tarts (pasteis de nata), Portugal has long been a favourite holiday destination for Brits.
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As countries around the globe tentatively begin to relax restrictions on travel, the promise of tapas al fresco and long, lazy sun-filled days beside the sea come top of the travel wish-list for many tourists.Spain has long topped the list as one of the UK’s favourite holiday destinations, with more than 18 million British tourists visiting in 2019 – a fifth of the country’s overall total of nearly 84 million visitors, according to figures from the National Institute of Statistics.
As tentative signs start to emerge of a revival for the travel industry, our minds are turning to potential holiday destinations for this summer.With sun, sea and dolmades, Greece has long been a popular travel destination for Britons in need of some vitamin D.
The first signs that the travel industry is gearing up to restart are starting to appear.EasyJet operated its first flight for 11 weeks on 15 June; Spain has announced that its borders will reopen to tourists from 21 June; and many attractions in France, Italy and Spain are now welcoming visitors, including the palace at Versailles, the Doge’s Palace in Venice and the Guggenheim in Bilbao.
One of the key determinants of whether Brits can travel abroad this summer following the global coronavirus pandemic is the Foreign Office travel advice.The FCO keeps individual country pages on its website regularly updated, with all the latest information and warnings about potential risks, such as political unrest, natural disasters and terror attacks.
This month, get ready to accept more responsibility for your actions. On 1st July, a retrograde Saturn enters Capricorn. Saturn rules boundaries and authority; when it moves in reverse, we’re given an opportunity to reassess the structures and systems we normally accept unquestioningly. That it occurs in the hardworking sign of the Goat means we may be getting a serious reality check. Avoid the temptation to over-commit, so you can really make the most of this eye-opening transit. On 5th July at 5.44pm BST, our intuition will get a boost with the arrival of a Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn. Eclipses wake people up; this one can help us understand what we need to let go of in order to move forward. Messenger Mercury stations direct in Cancer on 12th July, after having been retrograde since 18th June. Mercury retrogrades are notorious for blocking up travel and communication, so by this point, we’re more than ready for these areas to flow more smoothly; but manage your expectations, as we're still in a post-retrograde shadow until 26th July. Get in touch with your inner performer starting 22nd July, when the Sun makes his way into his favourite sign, Leo. We'll be craving the spotlight, and ready to celebrate our talents. But we may be more prone to selfishness and vanity during this time, so we’ll have to be careful to check ourselves before we step on any toes. On 27th July, charming Venus forms a square against dreamy Neptune. This transit can bring up feelings of discouragement, confusion, and disillusionment, so it will be critical for us to build up our self-confidence, and avoid comparing ourselves to others. We're ready to unblock our thinking on 30th July, when intelligent Mercury creates a favourable trine with psychic Neptune. We may enjoy a renewed interest in learning about new subjects, and we’ll feel empowered to use our intellect to help the world. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?This Mercury Retrograde, Prepare To FightWhat Moon Phases Really Mean In AstrologyThe 2020 Revolution Was Written In The Stars
The following comes from Terri White‘s upcoming memoir Coming Undone. While Terri is known for her illustrious career as the award-winning Editor-in-Chief of magazines like TimeOut New York, Shortlist and Empire, behind closed doors she was dealing with a mental health crisis that would land her in a psychiatric ward as her past caught up with her. The memoir follows her from difficult childhood growing up with abuse from her mother’s partners to building her career in New York, where everything finally comes apart at the seams. This extract charts part of her experience in the ward.“The only group I go to willingly, speed in my step, is music group. Because as well as control over the television, and being able to watch films at the drop of a hat (though it is a stroke of luck that everyone else in the ward, male and female, seems only to want to watch Law and Order: SVU and Criminal Minds during TV time – they truly are the great unifiers), I desperately miss music. No phone and no computer means no music.My ears are starved, my heart and mind quiet. When I arrive at the class, there is a woman, the group leader, holding a black boom box, which must have been from the 90s. She has a slipcase book full of loose CDs and a stack in plastic cases, many cracked, the clear plastic now lined and milky. She’s passing them around the group, who are regarding them with a mixture of excitement and suspicion. The task at hand: to pick a CD, a song on it, that means something and play it. We’re going around in a circle – they choose songs that remind them of school, of kids they’ve lost, of kids they’re barely holding on to, of love they once had. As the songs play, each person leaves the green room, the circle, their place in it, and floats up, up and away, outside, up into the sky where they find their old memories, old lives waiting for them with open arms. With forgiveness. For a moment they’re not mad people sitting on plastic chairs in a circle with other mad people. They’re real, warm flesh-and-blood men and women with lives, with people who love them, who have once, many times, looked at them with recognition, with respect. Who don’t tell them when to eat, how to medicate themselves, don’t ask them to pare themselves open like a rotten fruit in front of strangers. They are safe, a different kind of safe. They are normal. Just like everyone else. It’s the most glorious three-and-a-half-minute escape from behind the wire and walls. And one that ends almost as it begins. The dying seconds of the song, the fadeouts that they know so well getting quieter and quieter until it’s over, the spell broken. Now, once again, they’re just a mad person sitting on a plastic chair in a circle with other mad people. They pass to the next person, and their minutes of magic begin now.> For a moment they’re not mad people sitting on plastic chairs in a circle with other mad people. They’re real, warm flesh-and-blood men and women with lives, with people who love them, who have once, many times, looked at them with recognition, with respect. When it reaches me, the magic has run dry: I can’t cope with everyone regarding me, still the new girl, with such suspicion. I’ve been fingering the thick black CD booklet, pulling out silver and gold discs and slipping them back inside again. The 90s R&B and Noughties country music is doing nothing to aid my escape. In my head, there’s no escape, just a straight path home.The Jam, taking me home to screaming and broken bones, the warm afternoon I came home from school to be met by Mum on her hands and knees under the ironing board, picking up hundreds and hundreds of shards of black vinyl, now sharp as glass, wincing every time a sliver slid into her skin, drawing a red line as it went, marking its path. She’d been playing a Jam record and her boyfriend had come home from work, thought it reminded her of an unnamed ex and smashed it to pieces and pieces and pieces while she held the spitting iron between them.To full dancefloors above a village pub of drinkers, bouncing and vibrating to ‘A Town Called Malice’, swimming in lager and blackcurrant, littered with white crusts, Mum’s sticky perm lit right through with disco lights flashing green, blue, red, orange to the beat of the music. The dartboard rocked under the arrows it received and the bass of the disco, coming a few centimetres off the wall with each chorus. The men, all with no hair, round bellies, shiny shoes, shirts done up to the very top. Necks red-raw and slick with sweat beneath the collars that pinched at them no matter how they pulled, becoming damper and tighter as the hours passed and the drinks sank inside and the slick swam thicker and wetter. The next morning the shirt would lie discarded by the radiator, fingerprints taken in the muck, sweat, yeast that lined it, now flaking off onto the carpet.To a bedroom, the end of a narrow double bed in London, white sheets with creases still visible and itchy red wool blankets tucked in tight, ‘Start’ playing as we kissed with open mouths and sighed with closed throats, fingers hooked into hair, clinging on for life and pointing towards oblivion, and the room blurring to distortion around us until everything was noise and fuzz and a blanket of beige, until we’re submerged entirely. ‘Walls Come Tumbling Down’ bouncing off the Artexed ceiling of the house, through each doorway and up the stairs, through the net curtains and out of the open windows into the blue sky outside, laying the path that disagreement will ride in on, joined by raised voices and accusations and the creak of barely held tension, breaking like a wave to rush in with screaming and fistfuls of blood, spilling as it comes.When I look at ‘No Diggity’ I’m taken nowhere. I’m here, a mad person on a plastic chair in a circle with the other mad people. I envy the escape, the journey of the others. Even those who silently cry, staring at the ceiling or the floor as they do. No one makes a move to comfort them, to hold them. Everyone’s stuck in their own stasis. We may as well be in individual plastic pods, experiencing this in total isolation.The activities room the group is held in is by the main doors – the doors that are always locked, that allow in the outside world during visiting hours (how it burns to see people come and go freely), but other than that they’re activated by a pass or via the intercom on the door. After each visiting session, they lock the doors and the outside world is once again banished.Coming Undone by Terri White is published by Canongate Books and is out 2nd July.Like what you see? 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For many, it felt like summer was cancelled as soon as Matt Hancock said as much on ITV’s This Morning back in early May.“I think that’s likely to be the case,” the health secretary answered when asked if sunny season would be off the agenda for the first time since the Second World War.
As the travel industry slowly begins to relax restrictions on movement, it feels as if there’s a glimmer of hope on the horizon for those desperate to get away this summer. It goes without saying that safety must take precedence over any personal urge for, let’s say, a Florentine gelato, but the optimists among us are starting to see a shift in the right direction. With restrictions remaining in many destinations, we’ve looked at where Brits might be permitted to travel and when.When can Britons go on holiday again? International travel At present, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) continues to advise against all non-essential international travel.
For a long time, most people judged their deodorant on two key factors: the scent (be it lavender or eucalyptus) and its ability to make armpit wetness a nonissue. You’d grab a drugstore speed stick with 48-hour sweat protection that checked both boxes and be on your way. But now, you’re faced with a new question resulting from an increased awareness of what’s actually in your products: Is that deodorant aluminium-free?You’ve probably heard the allegations linking aluminium salts, the sweat-blocking agents used in traditional antiperspirant, with alarming health risks like breast cancer. While those claims have been largely disputed by The American Cancer Society, many brands have since formulated aluminium-free options, which can mask BO but not the sweat that comes with it. The whole dilemma makes shopping for effective — and safe — pit-stain control in the heat of summer a real headache.To help, we asked a few expert dermatologists to break it down for us. Ahead, they gave us the plain and simple answers to the most commonly-pondered natural deodorant vs. antiperspirant questions and concerns. Why are people so concerned by conventional antiperspirant?Hadley King, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, explains that the rampant concern about sweat-blocking agents as potentially dangerous (despite the lack of conclusive evidence) comes as a result of the recent movement towards cleaner labels for the beauty industry at large. “There is definitely a ‘natural’ beauty trend happening right now, and it includes forgoing conventional, aluminium-containing antiperspirant or deodorants for cleaner options,” Dr King says. “While there is no data showing that ingredients in deodorants or antiperspirants result in breast cancer — as many headlines propose — some health concerns have been raised about conventional deodorant ingredients, such as propylene glycol, triclosan, parabens, and aluminium.”To that end, it’s more than just aluminium that proponents of natural deodorant are seeking to avoid. “Propylene glycol is an additive used to help keep substances, like deodorant paste, from drying out, but if sufficient quantities are absorbed, it has been linked to liver and kidney damage,” Dr. King says. “Some studies have linked triclosan to a number of different health problems, including disruption of the endocrine system and increased risk of cancer. Parabens mimic the effects of oestrogen in our bodies, so concerns have been raised about the possible hormonal effects of absorption.” She continues: “Then, of course, aluminium has been linked to both breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease — and while there’s no empirical scientific data to support the legitimacy of either claim, these concerns are something that people are aware of.” What’s the real difference between antiperspirant and natural deodorant? Simply put, the key difference between antiperspirant and natural deodorant is sweat. “Antiperspirants actually stop the formation of sweat and perspiration,” says dermatologist Caroline Robinson, MD. “Natural or aluminium-free deodorants may have a nice fragrance, which can help mask normal bodily odours, but because they’re formulated without the use of aluminium salts, they won’t stop you from sweating.” Do any natural deodorants work as well as antiperspirants?Switching your antiperspirant for a natural deodorant is easier said than done, especially if you’re a self-proclaimed heavy sweater and it’s hot out. That said, the technology and innovation is at a place now where there are some naturally-derived ingredients that can do the job of aluminium salts — effectively preventing pit stains via moisture absorption — without the use of chemical additives or plugging up your sweat glands. Some of the trendiest deodorisers you’ll find on natural labels include alcohol, baking soda, charcoal, arrowroot powder, and crystal minerals. According to Dr King, finding the right formula for your body can take some trial and error. “None of these ingredients block sweat ducts; rather, they work by absorbing moisture, and the efficacy of each will vary from person to person,” she says. “For example, alcohol, baking soda, charcoal, and arrowroot powder contain moisture-absorbing properties and neutralise armpit odours, but the caveat is that they can dry and irritate sensitive skin. I usually recommend Crystal Deodorant because it’s non-irritating and uses a zeolite mineral salt alternative to slow bacterial growth, which effectively reduces body odour.”At the end of the day, your pits won’t be as dry as you might be accustomed to, but you’ll smell fine (layering on a perfume might help, too), and you’ll have peace of mind while science catches up — which, for many people, feels like a worthwhile trade-off. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?5 Black-Owned Skin-Care BrandsAll The Products That Help With My Chronic Rosacea
In what appears to be an astonishing U-turn, the government is set to reverse its controversial blanket quarantine policy from Monday, 6 July.The government currently has a “double lock” in place designed to prevent overseas tourism. The Foreign Office warns against all but essential travel anywhere abroad.