Travel news latest: 'Now or never' to save summer holidays as Government faces protests

·36-min read

British holidaymakers will miss out on a second summer of much-needed holidays should the UK Government not act now on furthering easing travel restrictions, the industry has warned.

Tim Aldersale, the chief executive of Airlines UK, said that "it is now or never for the government to reopen travel and save what is remaining of the summer season”, adding that the “travel sector remains in lockdown as the rest of the country opens up”.

There are currently only 11 countries on the UK’s travel green list, and following Portugal’s removal earlier this month, it features none of the most popular destinations for UK travellers. The next review of the traffic light system is due tomorrow, with hopes rising that Malta and Spain’s Balearic Islands could be added.

The comments come on the travel industry’s “day of action”, with thousands of protesters expected to gather across the UK – with the biggest event in Westminster – to urge the Government to demand more countries be added to the green list and the removal of quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers.

The Government response to travel following the pandemic has been “haphazard”, according to Derek Jones, head of tour operator Kuoni. The Government said its travel rules are "guided by one overwhelming priority: protecting public health".

Scroll down for the latest travel updates.

04:47 PM

Nadhim Zahawi: ‘We need to get the travel industry back on its feet’

A combination of vaccination and testing “"is the way forward" for foreign travel according to vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi.

Speaking at tonight’s Downing Street press conference Mr Zahwai said: "We will continue to work with other countries through the travel task force to see how we can build on all this really good progress in the vaccination programme so we can have use of the double vaccination, with testing, to open up more of our economy."

Following a day of protests by the travel industry Mr Zahwai acknowledge the plight of businesses, saying: "We need to get the travel industry back on its feet."

04:32 PM

Day of Action: An 'unprecedented day' for travel industry

It’s been a big day for the travel industry as pressure mounts on the Government to review the nation’s restrictions on travel to not only allow people to go on holiday but to save thousands of jobs in the sector.

Our reporter Sarah Macefield is one of the last people in attendance at the Travel Day of Action protest in Westminster, here’s her final report of the day:

Having come together in an unprecedented day of action, the travel industry is hoping its fight for survival will have been noticed in the corridors of power and the court of public opinion.

"I am really proud of what the travel industry has done," said Kuoni chief executive Derek Jones. "We have raised our voices and it’s been authentic. I hope today will make a difference."

Representatives of the pilot’s union BALPA delivered a letter to Downing Street earlier today, waving their banners at Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he left for PMQs in the House of Commons.

"There’s been a good turnout with MPs and Lords coming here and a lot of media too," said BALPA representative Adam Walker. "It’s all about raising awareness with the public as well as the politicians."

After today’s events, hopefully the travel industry has succeeded in doing just that.

travel day of action
travel day of action

04:15 PM

City centre hotels 'really struggling' despite almost 700% booking surge in bookings

Edinbrugh
Edinbrugh

British holidaymakers are being urged to book a UK city break this summer, as many city centre hotels are "really struggling" despite a massive 686 per cent increase in bookings over the last two months.

Data from hotel technology provider Avvio shows that UK holiday hotspots on the coast and in the countryside are close to full over the summer, but many city centre hotels are still at only 30 per cent or 40 per cent occupancy.

Avvio’s Chief Commercial Officer, Michael De Jongh, says: "With the UK’s resorts pretty much full up for the summer months there’s been some overspill into city centre hotels. But with almost no inbound international travel many of them are still really struggling.

"There’s so much to see in and around Britain’s beautiful cities and I’d urge holidaymakers to really think about having a UK city break - in precisely the same way they’d have considered going to Prague or Barcelona before the pandemic."

Here’s why now is the perfect time to explore Britain's finest cities.

04:04 PM

Watch live: Vaccines minister leads Downing Street press conference

04:03 PM

Day of Action: Scottish travel industry joins call for action

More than 250 members of the Scottish Passenger Agents' Association (SPAA) and their associates, including airlines, tour operators and pilots, joined the protest outside the Scottish Parliament today as part of the Travel Day of Action.

Joanne Dooey, SPAA president, said: "We're hoping that the First Minister comes to meet us to explain why, despite a world-beating vaccination programme and easily accessible albeit expensive testing, we're further behind at opening up travel than we were 12 months ago when we had no rapid testing and no vaccination.

"Our survey of ordinary Scots shows that almost two-thirds of Scots feel devastated, disappointed, confused or upset at the current travel restrictions and more than half (57%) would travel overseas within the next 12 months if they were able - with 17% of all surveyed saying they would be willing to travel in the next three months or sooner.

"We want the Scottish Government to show us their data, to trust the vaccine and to make testing more affordable."

03:55 PM

Grant Shapps hopes ‘world could open up’

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is giving nothing away the day before he is expected to give an update on the Government’s plans for international travel. "I'm optimistic that the world is catching up with where we are in our vaccination programme,” he said the PA news agency.

"What happens in the UK is, people say 'well everyone I know or a lot of people I know are vaccinated'.

"People will say that, but of course as soon as you go abroad you find that's actually not the case.

"So balancing the opening up whilst preserving people's safety and security at home is absolutely at the forefront.

"Of course I very much hope the world could open up. We've got to follow the data, and that's what we'll be doing in the meetings over the next few days."

03:45 PM

Day of Action: UK holidaymakers in an ‘illogical situation’

"We are in the illogical situation that 50 per cent of people have been double vaccinated and 70 per cent single vaccinated, but travel restrictions are tighter than last year," said Advantage travel group CEO Julia Lo Bue-Said at today’s Travel Day of Action protest.

Industry staff have been making their feelings known in Westminster.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

03:30 PM

Switzerland set to reopen to vaccinated Britons

The Swiss government has announced the lifting of border restrictions on British travellers.

From June 26 fully vaccinated Britons will be allowed to enter Switzerland without having to quarantine – the same rule will also apply to anybody who has recently recovered from Covid-19.

Switzerland is currently on the UK’s amber list, meaning returning travellers face quarantine and mandatory testing. However the case rate in the Alpine nation has dropped signifncatly, now down to 13.24 per 100,000 over the past seven days, what’s more 55 per cent of the population has received their first dose of the vaccine.

It has also been announced that from Saturday mask-wearing will no longer be needed outdoors, restaurants can operate at full capacity and nightclubs can open their doors, with no masks needed for people with Covid certificates - which prove someone has been vaccinated, recovered or tested negative - are also being used to allow entry to large events of up to 10,000 people.

03:08 PM

The bumper booking guide to the Balearic Islands

With the promise of balmy weather, fine white sandy beaches, glorious local gastronomy and a swag bag of culture and history, it’s hardly surprising that the four main Balearics islands of Ibiza, Formentera, Majorca and Menorca remain a leading destination for summer holidays, pandemic or no pandemic. Add in nature reserves, ancient Talayotic sites and authentic inland villages and you’ve scooped the summer jackpot.

The Spanish archipelago looks set to make the green list in the next announcement, here are eight amazing holiday ideas for this summer from our destination expert.

Read the full piece.

Balearics beach - Juergen Sack/Getty
Balearics beach - Juergen Sack/Getty

02:51 PM

The latest from London's travel industry protest

Reporter Sara Macefield is still in Westninister, and has just sent this update:

The banners are still waving in the afternoon sunshine and there’s a gentle hum of chat. This is a social industry after all, built on hopes and dreams – though these are currently in short supply in these desperate times.

This industry reportedly supports over 500,000 jobs and contributes £37 billion to the UK economy. Julia Lo Bue-Said of travel agency group Advantage pointed out that for nearly 18 months it had been fighting for survival. Kerry Golds, managing director of upmarket tour operator Abercrombie & Kent, said that companies like hers had been unable to furlough many staff as they were needed to cancel holidays and rebook customers.

“This is what the government doesn’t understand, she said. “There’s also a time lapse of around four months between booking and when people travel – and we are paid.”

Travel industry protest
Travel industry protest
Travel industry protest
Travel industry protest

02:33 PM

Six in 10 UK adults are now double-vaccinated

An estimated 60.3 per cent of UK adults have now had both jabs.

More than 31 million doses have been administered since the vaccine rollout began in December last year. Roughly 80 per cent of the adult population has had one dose of a vaccine, with the English Government aiming to offer a first dose to all adults in England by 19 July.

This could be good news for those hoping for a summer holiday this year. Yesterday Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, confirmed that ministers were "working on" plans for quarantine-free travel for fully vaccinated Britons. However, he added that it "hasn’t been clinically advised yet".

02:21 PM

We’ve lost hope for our family holiday thanks to quarantine indecision

Families with older children may miss out on summer holidays, even if the Government decides to waive quarantine for the double-vaccinated, writes Ben Ross.

So that’s it, is it? My family’s last chance for a summer holiday abroad finally quashed by government indecision followed by badly thought-through policy. And it will be the same for all of us, we mums and dads desperate for a trip away with our grown-up – or growing-up – offspring before they finally fly the nest for good.

From a family point of view, we’re all set. We rushed through the 16-year-old’s passport renewal last week in person (and what a boring blue colour it turned out to be) in the hope that we’d be able to travel (the 10-week queue for the postal service was already a notable disincentive). The 19-year-old got his first jab yesterday. We are good to go.

And from my point of view as a parent, I have never wanted to travel away with my wife and our two boys more. Family holidays are always limited by just how long a family unit remains a family unit, and last year was going to be our last opportunity to travel with school-age children. We’d intended to mark it with a cycle holiday along the Rhine. Nothing fancy, but perhaps an important moment

Read the full story here.

Ben and his family on a happy holiday three years ago  - Ben Ross
Ben and his family on a happy holiday three years ago - Ben Ross

02:07 PM

Cruise capacity in Europe set to grow

The passenger capacity of European cruise brands will grow to approximately 10 million in 2023 from 8 million in 2019, according to the 2021 Cruise Industry News Annual Report.

The British market will be dominated by P&O Cruises with an estimated passenger capacity of 800,000, followed by Marella Cruises, Cunard, Fred Olsen and Saga.

Looking ahead, Cruise Industry News expects Europe-wide capacity to grow to 11.5 million by 2027.

01:52 PM

Will countries close their borders to the UK?

When asked whether the Government was concerned that the UK was being taken off the equivalent of the green list of travel restrictions in other countries due to a rise in coronavirus cases, the Prime Minister's spokesman said: "Well, that is a decision fundamentally for individual countries and governments to take.

"We're working hard to use our vaccination programme and other methods to get this more transmissible variant under control. And with the high levels of vaccination that we're seeing, we're confident we can do that, allowing us to move to step four."

01:41 PM

Merkel wants UK travellers quarantined in every European country

German chancellor Angela Merkel has said she would like other European countries to follow Germany's lead and require people entering them from countries where there are high levels of the Delta variant, like the UK, to go into quarantine.

“In our country, if you come from Great Britain, you have to go into quarantine – and that’s not the case in every European country, and that’s what I would like to see,” Merkel said.

01:28 PM

Possible new restrictions of Britons by Ukraine

Ukraine may toughen travel restrictions on visitors from a number of countries, including the UK, due to fears over the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19.

Viktor Lyashko, the country's health minister, is quoted by Interfax Ukraine as saying: "At the government meeting we considered the possibility of strengthening control over people who come from four countries – UK, India, Russia and Portugal – where is the largest circulation of the so-called Delta virus."

Over the last month Ukraine has seen a decline in new cases of coronavirus, and last month it eased travel restrictions.

01:16 PM

'Clarion call' for travel outside Parliament

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

01:06 PM

Study reveals plight of those with family overseas

Almost a quarter of Britons are planning on travelling abroad for family reasons this year or next, having not seen their loved ones for, on average, 15 months.

Of that group, 40 per cent have not seen those family members for over 19 months, according to research by travel insurance provider Battleface, which spoke to 2,000 UK adults earlier this month.

The company says that with this in mind, people are prepared to pay three times more for testing now than they were three months ago. In March 2021, their survey conducted showed that Britons would pay on average £22 per person for PCR tests in order to travel abroad. When the same question was asked in June, the data shows that they are now prepared to pay £61 per person on average for all required tests to travel internationally.

Katie Crowe, the director of communications for Battleface, said:

It is clear from our latest data that there is a huge appetite for the return of international travel. While there are many Brits looking forward to an overseas holiday, there are even greater numbers who want to reconnect with family members who they haven’t seen in over a year. We hope very much that families who have been kept apart due to ongoing travel restrictions will be reunited as soon as possible. Battleface continues to offer travel insurance for all destinations including countries under [Foreign Office] and Government essential and non-essential travel advisories.”

Read more: How to get a Covid PCR test for travel and what else you need to go abroad

12:53 PM

10 holidays for under £1,000 that prove Europe is not yet fully booked

beach
beach

The news that the Government is planning to all-but remove the amber list for British holidaymakers who have had both their jabs has been greeted with a tentative optimism.

Tentative why? Well, for one, the Government has far from confirmed the plan, when it will be introduced, how and where. And for two, there is a nagging concern that UK travellers have missed the boat on Europe this summer anyway.

But don’t panic, because there is no shortage of holidays to be booked. We have rounded up some of the best options for travel later this summer, on a budget of £2,000 for a couple, when, if you believe the hype, we will all be free to travel to much of Europe without the need to quarantine on return.

Start planning your double-jabbed holiday here.

12:39 PM

Day of Action: Summer holidays and travel agents approach D-Day

The lack of transparency over the future of foreign summer holidays might be frustrating for holidaymakers but it is also pushing businesses toward the edge of a precipice. Sara Macefields reports from today's protest at Westminster:

There’s no doubting the strength of feeling among travel industry staff here today. From clusters of cabin crew in their smart uniforms to travel firm bosses giving media interviews and travel agents waving banners and calling for action. When you see the stats it’s easy to see why.

Travel association ABTA estimates that 200,000 travel jobs are at risk or have already been lost; nearly 60% of travel agents are on the brink of bankruptcy and say they cannot survive more than three months in current conditions. With furlough being cut and loan repayments due - the industry is teetering on the edge of a precipice.

Travel agent Graeme Brett, who helped to set up trade lobby group TARGET, said: “For travel agents, next month is D-Day for us with the reduction of furlough and loan repayments. If we don’t get help, there are going to be thousands of redundancies.”

12:27 PM

In pictures: Travel industry protests in London

travel day of action
travel day of action
travel day of action
travel day of action
travel day of action
travel day of action

12:13 PM

‘Britain has lost the race to the sun loungers in Europe this summer’

beach chairs
beach chairs

This isn’t a war, but a race, and our European competitors have a head start and key piece of modern kit we’re missing: a vaccine passport, writes Ed Grenby.

While Shapps fiddles, Rome books. It’s all very well him and Hancock hinting that, come August, they might let us out to play if we’ve had both our jabs like good little boys and girls – but meanwhile, the rest of Europe is allowing its citizens to travel freely across the EU from July 1 with their shiny new ‘Green Certificate’ vaccine passports.

We wish them well, of course – Bonnes vacances, Marie! And, um, Guten Holidisch, Klaus? – but the problem is: there’s actually a limited supply of vacation accommodation in the hotspots of Greece, Spain and the Med. And with our neighbours hoovering all the summer holidays up now, industry projections suggest the cupboard will be as bare as a sunbather’s midriff when we Britons are eventually allowed to organise ours.

Are we at risk of losing out on our summer holidays? Read Ed’s piece and join the debate here.

12:03 PM

PMQs: Is Boris Johnson planning another Scottish summer holiday?

Boris Johnson has hinted that he might be visiting Scotland for his summer holiday, telling MPs he is "seldom away" from the nation.

"I can't wait to get back there after the record poll secured by Scottish Conservatives at the recent election," he said.

The Prime Minister holidayed in Scotland last summer but has kept his plans for this year under wraps.

If he does head to the Highlands who can blame him, if these top places to visit on a Scottish break this summer are anything to go by he's in for a bonny break.

11:52 AM

Day of Action: Protest begins in Westminster

400 travel industry members have gathered in Westminster as part of today’s Travel Industry Day of Action to lobby MPs and drive home the industry’s desperation. The protest is off to an impactful start. "Give us some help," call travel agents.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

11:48 AM

20 great British wonders that – scandalously – aren't World Heritage Sites

snowdonia
snowdonia

The World Heritage Committee’s 44th session to discuss nominations for World Heritage Site status is set to take place, virtually, next month.

There’s a host of other World Heritage Sites already on Great Britain's shores: the Lake District (added in 2017), Stonehenge, Giant's Causeway, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, Bath, Liverpool and Edinburgh – but there are still quite a few glaring omissions on Unesco's list.

Here are 20 more places we'd like to see given World Heritage status in the future.

11:27 AM

Manchester Airport says UK 'must get flying again'

Manchester Airport is taking part in the travel industry’s day of action calling for the sector to be reopened.

The airport is sending out a tweet to mark every flight which departed on this day back in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic stalled international travel.

There were 319 flights on that date, compared to just 47 which are taking off today, it said.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

11:16 AM

The bumper booking guide to Malta

Malta may hold all the answers to your Mediterranean holiday dreams this summer, as hopes rise it could be added to the green list this week.

According to Telegraph Travel destination exert Juliet Rix, this tiny Mediterranean archipelago really punches above its weight when it comes to vacation virtues, and so could be just the ticket for sun-starved holidaymakers

From Europe’s most dazzling baroque interior to the oldest stone architecture anywhere in the world, it has world-class historic sights to add to its 300 days a year of sun, glistening azure waters and delicious Mediterranean food. Sun, sea, sights, and stylish accommodation and sustenance, make a pretty good mix for a holiday.

Read more: Where to stay and what to do in Malta

Malta - Stefan Cioata/Getty
Malta - Stefan Cioata/Getty

11:02 AM

Tourists in Abu Dhabi 'can get Covid vaccines', says reports

The phone application from Abu Dhabi's health authority has been updated to state that visitors to the capital can now get the Covid-19 shot by presenting their passports, according to AP.

Passport holders must be eligible for entry visas on arrival, the guidelines said, without offering further information. Previously, vaccine recipients in the emirate had to show proof of Emirati residency.

However, there has been made no official announcement on the matter. The tourist board has been contacted for clarification.

10:57 AM

In pictures: People gather in London for travel's 'Day of Action'

TRAVEL DAY OF ACTION
TRAVEL DAY OF ACTION
TRAVEL DAY OF ACTION
TRAVEL DAY OF ACTION
TRAVEL DAY OF ACTION
TRAVEL DAY OF ACTION

10:44 AM

'Coming together to get their voice heard'

Here are two of the travel professionals making their presence known in London today.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

10:38 AM

The scene from College Green

Reporting from Westminster on the 'Travel Industry Day of Action', Sara Macefield said:

The air of anticipation is building here on College Green in the heart of Westminster. Television crews are starting to set up cameras and some early birds are beginning to arrive, though the first event doesn’t kick off until 12.30pm, when 400 travel industry members will gather as part of today’s Travel Industry Day of Action to lobby MPs and drive home the industry’s desperation.

At 2.30pm another 400 people will join the action day, with many more watching from the sidelines. Around 30 people have managed to secure meetings with their MPs and some of those are taking place here today. Today’s event, which sees the industry coming together to speak with one voice is unprecedented and underlines the desperation many are feeling.

10:30 AM

Are Malta and the Balearic Islands going green this week?

There are hopes that this week will see Malta and Spain's Balearic Islands added to the travel green list. Is it likely?

The weekly rate of Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people on the isle of Malta is just 1.6, compared with 108.4 in the UK, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

The ECDC does not publish figures for the Balearic Islands - which include Ibiza, Menorca and Mallorca - but the weekly case rate for the whole of Spain is 48.3.

Read more: The countries that could go green, amber and red this week

10:23 AM

Celebrity Apex makes its debut

The new ship from Celebrity Cruises, Celebrity Apex, has set sail its maiden voyage.

The vessel, the line's second in its 'Edge' class, departed Athens on a seven day itinerary that will visit Greek Islands as well as Cyprus.

Lisa Lutoff, Celebrity Cruises’ president and chief executive, said: “After all this time, what a dream come true for everyone onboard this exquisite ship in one of the world’s most breath-taking regions.

“Her sail-away today is a meaningful moment for our guests, our crew and our company. I think we are all having ‘pinch me’ moments.”

Celebrity Apex
Celebrity Apex

10:12 AM

Overseas travel restrictions should be 'proportionate'

The green list should be expanded and curbs on foreign travel should be "more proportionate", according to Gary Lewis, the chief executive of The Travel Network Group, which represents 1,200 independent travel businesses.

Mr Lewis said:

Over the last 14 months we have seen our members’ revenues drop to a fraction of 2019 levels and a number of our members have sadly closed their doors for good. While much of the of the economy reopens, businesses in the outbound travel sector have been left out in the cold with a lack of financial support and ambiguity about a safe route to international travel.

Alongside colleagues across the travel industry we’re asking the Government to allow international travel to return safely in a risk managed way, implementing the Global Travel Taskforce’s plan for a traffic-light system. This should see the Green list expanding in line with the evidence and making restrictions more proportionate, whilst keeping a strong red list to guard against variants.

We are also asking for a package of tailored financial support, including extension of the furlough scheme, recognising that the travel sector’s ability to trade and generate income is much slower than first anticipated and more gradual than for businesses in the domestic economy.

Time is running out for UK travel businesses and we hope that the Government will listen and respect the contribution we make to the UK economy.

09:57 AM

Government urged to drop 'blanket bans' on travel

With almost all of Latin America on the UK Government’s red list, travel to the continent has more or less ground to a halt, according to the Latin American Travel Association (LATA), with its members reporting an average drop in revenue of 85 per cent.

Almost a third of LATA members based in Latin America have had no tourism activity over the last 12 months.

Danny Callaghan, the chief executive of LATA, said:

Since 25 February, the NHS has recorded arrivals from 22 Latin American countries. Of these, there was not a single recorded positive test from 15 countries. In the period from May 20 to June 9 2021, 1,221 passengers are recorded as arriving from Latin America of which just nine people tested positive; three people from Colombia and six people from Brazil. No other Latin American country recorded a positive test. Of these nine positive cases, not one was recorded as a variant of interest or concern.

Despite the above, almost all of Latin America remains on the UK Government’s red list. At LATA, we urge the Government to base their decisions on the epidemiological situation and the associated risks in each country rather than blanket bans. We call for transparency on the criteria that is being applied as the basis to these travel restrictions and we ask for travel to return in a safe and risk managed way by expanding the green list in line with the evidence and making the restrictions more proportionate, whist keeping a red list to guard against risk variants. We urgently call for tailored financial support for our sector, including the extension of the furlough scheme, recognising that the travel industry’s ability to trade and generate income is much slower than first anticipated.

09:49 AM

Downing Street press conference planned for today

There will be a Covid-19 press conference from Downing Street this evening at 5pm, the Government has confirmed.

It will be led by Nadhim Zahawi, the minister for vaccine deployment. He is expected to set out plans to further boost uptake of the Covid vaccination programme – although there could be questions on the reopening of international travel.

09:40 AM

'The only place I'm safe when things go wrong is still so out of reach'

There's a certain quiet corner of Australia that I always retreat to and is strangely unknown to the average Briton despite its beauty, writes Annabel Fenwick Elliott.

There are lots of things wrong with Australia, without even delving into its questionable Covid policies. It’s too far, for one, and not just from the UK but from everywhere. There are more beasts here that can kill you than anywhere else in the world; from tiny venomous spiders and vicious snakes to crocodiles and great white sharks. The accent is annoying. And it’s very bureaucratic. If you can tolerate all that, it’s also arguably the best country in the world.

The state of South Australia has been my hiding place ever since my father moved there with my stepmother and half-siblings when I was 16. It’s the place I retreat to every time I have a meltdown or a burnout – about once a year, on average – and I’ve thus grown to know this particular enclave very well. It’s also the place where, only at the age of 30, did I really get to know my father; a story which I’ll get to later.

The Fleurieu Peninsula is a corner of the world that is strangely unlauded for how disproportionately beautiful it is. Quiet and uncluttered, sun-drenched and breezy, bountiful in good food and wine; I am glad, really, that so few people know about it.

Read the full story here.

Annabel on one of the uncrowded beaches of the Fleurieu Peninsula
Annabel on one of the uncrowded beaches of the Fleurieu Peninsula

09:28 AM

Baggage changes on Irish airline

Aer Lingus, Ireland's flag carrier airline, has changed its carry-on policy to allow for only a small personal item, such as a handbag or laptop bag, can be taking into the cabin for free.

Previously, travellers could take a 10kg bag as carry-on without charge, as long as it was within certain dimensions; this will now cost at least €5.99 (£5.15).

Aer Lingus said in a statement: “These changes are being introduced to ensure faster boarding and deplaning, therefore improving overall customer experience.”

Aer Lingus - Niall Carson/PA
Aer Lingus - Niall Carson/PA

09:19 AM

Scotland to see travel industry protests

More than 250 members of the Scottish Passenger Agents' Association (SPAA) and other travel representatives, will protest outside the Scottish Parliament later.

Joanne Dooey, the president of SPAA, said today that she hopes First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will agree to meet in order to "explain why, despite a world-beating vaccination programme and easily accessible albeit expensive testing, we're further behind at opening up travel than we were 12 months ago when we had no rapid testing and no vaccination".

Jacqueline Dobson, the president of the Barrhead Travel agency, says millions of people in the industry have lost their jobs, and millions more fear for the future.

09:15 AM

'No coincidence' that Government might allow vaccinated travellers more freedom

The head of The PC Agency travel consultancy, Paul Charles, seems to think that pressure on the Government is having an effect.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

09:02 AM

Manchester–Scotland flights cancelled

EasyJet has axed its flights from Manchester to Aberdeen and Edinburgh following Scotland’s ban on non-essential travel in and out of the English city.

A spokesman for Britain’s budget airline said: An easyJet spokesperson said: “Following the Scottish government’s announcement that non-essential travel between Scotland and Manchester is currently not permitted, unfortunately we are no longer able to operate our planned new routes connecting Edinburgh and Aberdeen with Manchester.

“Customers due to travel on these flights will be notified of the cancellation and informed of their options, which includes transferring their trip to an alternative destination on easyJet’s network or to a later date free of charge, and receiving either a voucher or refund for the entire value of their whole booking. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience.”

Read more: A ‘new level of baffling’ as Scots are banned from Manchester

08:56 AM

How to find the last uncrowded corner of Cornwall this summer

For those in the know, the Rame Peninsula – which fringes the south Devon border – is as close to authentic Cornwall as it comes, writes Rob Crossan.

Part of what has kept the Rame Peninsula off the radar is its location. Whilst the belief still pervades that the deeper into Cornwall you go, the more ‘authentic’ it gets, Rame is right up against the Devon border; surrounded by Plymouth Sound, the mighty Tamar and the River Lynher.

Whilst motorists and train travelling visitors push ever onwards towards Penzance – which has seen a modest uptick of Covid-19 cases in recent weeks – the savvy Rame-aware traveller is already in his or her Cornish accommodation quaffing their first cider of the holiday.

Rame Head is crowned by a medieval chapel and rewards walkers with knockout view - Ian Wool/Istockphoto
Rame Head is crowned by a medieval chapel and rewards walkers with knockout view - Ian Wool/Istockphoto

08:45 AM

Amber list is 'disastrous' for travel

The executive president of pilots' union BALPA, Paul Naylor, has said it would be "frankly disastrous" if the amber listing of countries continues.

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Naylor said that although the industry has been "very resilient", he warned of job losses if there is no "improvement" to it.

He added: "It does really need to change."

Read more: The confirmed amber list countries and what it means for your holiday

08:36 AM

New Covid restrictions for Sydney

Sydney is to see new restrictions imposed to deal with a fast-growing Covid outbreak, with officials concerned over the "extremely contagious" Delta variant.

Authorities reported 16 new infections in Australia's largest city today, which brings the cluster there to 37 cases.

People are now required to wear masks in doors, and many of the five million residents will be banned from leaving the city.

"Please abandon non-essential activities, please don't attend social gatherings unless you absolutely must," said New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

People wait in line outside a Covid-19 testing centre in Sydney - Loren Elliott/Reuters
People wait in line outside a Covid-19 testing centre in Sydney - Loren Elliott/Reuters

08:27 AM

Travel has been 'brought to breaking point'

The latest from Sara Macefield as the travel industry looks to pressure the Government into making changes.

Hundreds of travel staff from airlines, travel agencies and holiday companies are to descend on Parliament later this morning for a 'Travel Day of Action' designed to publicise the desperate situation the industry is facing.

Ongoing travel restrictions that have decimated public confidence in travel coupled with a lack of specific support for companies which have been worst affected has galvanised the industry to call for a controlled resumption of international travel and tailored financial assistance.

Trade bodies representing all sectors of the travel industry have urged members to take part in today’s lobby events in London, Edinburgh and Belfast, and organise meetings with their MPs. It is hoped today’s events will raise the profile of the industry’s battle to survive, with many businesses brought to breaking point.

Mark Tanzer, the chief executive of travel association Abta, has described this as the darkest hour in recent travel history.

“They say the darkest hour is right before dawn,” he added. “This dawn has been a long time coming and we desperately need to see day breaking soon.”

08:15 AM

Covid alert level raised in New Zealand's capital

New Zealand has raised its Covid-19 alert level in the capital city of Wellington, after an Australian tourist tested positive following a weekend visit to the city.

Alert Level 2 – one level short of a lockdown – will extend through to Sunday. It comes after nearly four months without community transmission. The measure means social distancing rules will be in place across the city, but offices, schools and businesses can remain open.

People queue outside a Covid-19 testing station in central Wellington today - Jack Crossland/NZME via AP
People queue outside a Covid-19 testing station in central Wellington today - Jack Crossland/NZME via AP

The country has taken a zero-tolerance approach to the virus and continues to pursue an elimination strategy.

The country's response has been among the most effective in the world and the nation of five million people has recorded only 26 coronavirus deaths. But its vaccination campaign has been slow, with just 11pc of the population receiving their first dose.

08:09 AM

Reporting on the industry’s battle for survival'

Telegraph Travel writer Sara Macefield is on the ground for us today cover the 'Travel Day of Action'.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

08:06 AM

Masks and social distancing will reportedly end on July 19

England is set to remove its remaining lockdown restrictions – including masks and social distancing – on July 19, according to a newspaper report.

Covid rules would be replaced with "personal responsibility", with The Times reporting that "ministers have been encouraged by the 'very, very' low number of deaths from coronavirus and the slowdown in infections, which has boosted confidence that a sizeable summer wave can be avoided".

The report states that the changes would also apply to the “rule of six” on indoor gatherings and working from home: "The government is expected to confirm on Monday that July 5 is too early to lift restrictions, despite the positive data, because ministers want to ensure that more people have received their second jabs."

Find out more on our live coronavirus blog.

08:00 AM

Travel sector 'in dire straits'

Clive Wratten, the chief executive of the Business Travel Association, has said that the travel industry is in "dire straits".

"The travel sector remains in lockdown as the rest of the country opens up. Business travel is essential for the UK economy and our ability to trade on the international stage.

"The government must provide targeted support and extend the green list at its next review."

07:56 AM

What does the traffic light system mean for travellers?

07:49 AM

Green, amber and red...

07:45 AM

Green list could grow tomorrow, minister suggests

More countries are set to be added to the green list of travel restrictions this week, a minister has suggested.

Media minister John Whittingdale told Sky News the list would be reviewed "later this week to make revisions to the green list, and I hope that we can put more countries on to it".

Green list countries do not require quarantine on return to the UK, but Mr Whittingdale urged people to go on holiday in Britain.

"You can have a great holiday in Britain and I think a very large number of people will decide this year that that's what they will do," he said.

"Having said that, people like to get away to the sun and there are a number of countries on the green list, and hopefully it will be possible to increase that number."

07:32 AM

Yesterday's top stories

Good morning. Here's a reminder of the main headlines from Tuesday.

  • Quarantine to be scrapped for double jabbed in traffic light overhaul

  • Comment: 'No reason to trust the Gov't. will deliver holidays by August

  • ' Scrapping quarantine for double-jabbed would be 'reckless', MPs claim

  • Travel Day of Action: Government should cut the ‘red tape’ on travel Portugal went amber 'too soon', says Hugh Merriman

  • Tui has become an 'interest party' in legal action against Govt.

  • Thailand approves quarantine-free model for Phuket

  • P&O announces plans for international cruises

Follow us here throughout the day for the latest travel news.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting