What the new tier system means for getaways The 23 countries you can (feasibly) visit after lockdown How to get a Covid test for your holiday Can you travel between tiers at Christmas? Sign up to the Telegraph Travel newsletter It's official: lockdown 2.0 is over, and Britons are once again allowed to go on holiday. The Government's contentious new Tier system comes into motion today, and while that means the vast majority of regions in England are now subject to Tier 2 or Tier 3 regulations, many of us can travel again; both domestically and abroad. Hotels and self-catering accommodation in England can reopen for leisure purposes in tiers 1 and 2, so long as you follow your regional rules, opening the door to staycations again. You may also now leave the country, and there are several destinations that have travel corridors, meaning you won't have to quarantine upon your return. Those in Tier 3, alas, are advised against all 'non-essential travel'. There are however three English regions in the lowest Tier 1 category: Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. In other news today, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has now been approved for use in the UK, Heath Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed, paving the way for mass vaccination to start as early as next week. Scroll down for the latest news.
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Tests show the University of Oxford coronavirus vaccine produces a strong immune response in older adults and scientists hope results will be ready by Christmas. In a 'rolling review' designed to speed up the process, the Oxford team have given regulators access to information to assess before they produce a final clinical data set, according to Prof Sarah Gilbert, lead researcher of Oxford’s vaccine development programme. The vaccine, named ChAdOx1 nCov-2019, has been shown to trigger a robust immune response in healthy adults aged 56-69 and people over 70. Phase three trials of the vaccine are ongoing, with early efficacy readings possible in the coming weeks. Despite this, however, Oxford’s scientists said they would not rush to publish the results of their efficiency trial, after the chair of the Oxford vaccine group, Professor Andrew Pollard, declared they were not in competition with the Pfizer and Moderna, who released their promising results last week, which were around 95 per cent effective. “We are not in a rush,” the professor shared. “It’s not a competition with the other developers. We’re trying to make sure we have very high quality data, working with other partners in other countries. When it’s ready is when we will publish the interim results.” Professor Pollard’s comments come after expectations that 100m doses of the Oxford vaccine, ordered by the UK authorities, would be available for Christmas. This would be enough to vaccinate most of the population - should it receive regulatory approval.
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Commuters could face a chilly winter on trains as the industry is set to recommend windows are kept open to prevent the spread of coronavirus. This is despite concerns being raised by scientists that coronavirus 'likes' lower temperatures and could have an impact on the severity of symptoms. Evidence has shown that whilst ventilation is important, there was a decrease in the severity of symptoms in the UK as temperatures rose in the summer months. Rail bosses are set to announce the measure in a bid to reassure commuters that trains are safe after seeing a decline of 400 million passengers during lockdown. Ali Chegini, a director at the Rail Safety and Standards Board, said: “Even though it’s cold, even though you have to wrap up and put woolly socks on, it’s better to keep windows open than to be exposed to the risk of infection.” He said four in every five trains had ventilation systems called HVAC, and that even if the windows do not open "moving air is better than not moving air in enclosed spaces." Mr Chegini admitted that although the aim was not to "get everybody back on the train,” he said that: "If you need to be back at work and you've got a choice between road and rail, road is not the panacea that was originally, without justification, put out there." This idea is due to be approved at Tuesday’s meeting of the Rail Delivery Group, where it could become mandatory for windows to be kept open during journeys and for carriage doors to be opened at stations to aid airflow. Whilst improved ventilation will go some way to reassure passengers, in July government scientists decided that coronavirus spreads fastest at 4ºC amid the mounting concern over the threat of a winter resurgence. A senior member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said Covid-19 “likes” four degrees best - “it survives well at four degrees [celsius]”. Scientists are also understood to be increasingly confident that countries with temperate climates and with relatively severe flu seasons, such as Britain, will also be affected worse by Covid-19 in winter. The maximum capacity of trains has dropped by between 45 and 50 per cent, with social distancing rules driving a loss in ticket revenue estimated at £700m a month. Last month the standards board estimated that a passenger on a train where half of the seats were occupied could take 19,765 journeys without infection if they wore a mask. The board has since revised these figures following risking infection and swab testing to say a passenger could take 5,000 coronavirus-safe trips on average. This follows worries over air conditioning units reintroduced air back into rooms, potentially spreading coronavirus in enclosed spaces. Earlier this year, experts told the Telegraph that air conditioning units that do not have a “dedicated source of outside air supply into a room… could be responsible for recirculating and spreading airborne viral particles into the path of socially distanced users”. Dr Shaun Fitzgerald, a fellow at the Royal Academy of Engineering, said that even when using air conditioning units opening a window would be the best way to mitigate risk of infection. Huw Merriman, chairman of the Commons transport select committee, said: "Hospitality and leisure businesses in cities are dying because we have not got commuters. Commuters are a hardy, stoic bunch, but we are also considerate. You only get confidence if you are realistic with the rule set and then people aren't seen to breach anything." Susie Homan, a director at the Rail Delivery Group, said: "Hundreds of swab tests have been carried out so far showing no sign of Covid-19 on trains or stations and there are no reports of people getting the virus on the rail network." The Department for Transport said it was researching "the risk of Covid-19 transmission on public transport [and] evaluating how to attract passengers back on to the railways at the right time." Britain’s coronavirus-hit train network issue due to coast ministers up to £12 billion of taxpayers money following the scrapping of rail franchises.
The 24 countries you can (feasibly) visit right now Holidays may not return to normal 'for three years' The empty Greek island you should visit right now Covid latest: 'Circuit break' national lockdown being considered Sign up to the Telegraph Travel newsletter Analysis by Telegraph Travel has revealed that Britons can now visit just 12 places without restrictions following the removal of Slovenia and Guadeloupe from the quarantine-free list. Holidaymakers can now travel to Italy, Germany, Turkey and the majority of Greece without having to self-isolate on arrival or return. Less popular tourist destinations such as San Marino, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein and Greenland are also open for business, as are Sweden, Denmark, Poland and Slovakia. A further 12 destinations are feasible options, requiring Britons to show evidence of a negative PCR test, or else take submit to being tested on arrival. These include Madeira, the Azores and Cyprus, alongside several Caribbean countries including Barbados, Bermuda and St Lucia. The rest of the world, including new ‘travel corridors’ Thailand and Singapore, is not an option for ordinary holidaymakers, with many countries keeping their borders closed to commercial travel while the Covid-19 pandemic continues. Spain, France, Croatia, Malta, and a small number of Greek islands have all been struck off the ‘green list’ of quarantine-exempt destinations in recent weeks, sparking frantic scrambles among UK holidaymakers as they rushed to get home before quarantine rules came into effect.
Prostate cancer referrals have dropped by half since the start of lockdown, with 27,000 fewer men checked for the deadly disease, official figures show. Experts warned that missed checks during the coronavirus pandemic mean 3,500 men are at risk of dying from the condition. Prostate Cancer UK is calling on all men at increased risk of the disease – such as those aged over 50, black men and those with a history of the disease to talk to their GP about whether to have tests which can help make a diagnosis. Medics said thousands of men could face early death because of a lack of access to NHS checks during the virus crisis. The number of cases referred between April and June is the lowest for a decade, and 49.5 per cent lower than the same time last year, the NHS figures show. Experts said some men had stayed at home for fear of catching coronavirus, while others struggled to see their GP or saw their family doctor but could not obtain an urgent referral. Even in June, referrals were still down by 46 per cent in London and more than a third lower than normal in the north-west, north-east and Yorkshire, the figures show. Angela Culhane, the chief executive of Prostate Cancer UK said: "Detecting prostate cancer earlier helps save lives, but Covid-19 has made it harder for men to visit their doctor this year. "We estimate there could be 3,500 men in England with a higher-risk prostate cancer which has not yet been diagnosed. If we don't act now, we could face a future where thousands of men are diagnosed too late, when the cancer has advanced to a stage that cannot be cured." The charity is calling for all men with an increased risk of prostate cancer to talk to their GP about prostate specific antigen (PSA) tests, which can show changes requiring investigation. Experts also urged men to use the charity's 30-second risk checker to establish their own risk. Dr Sarah Jarvis, a GP backing the Prostate Cancer UK campaign, said: "It is a cause of enormous concern to me that cancer assessments have dropped so significantly in the last few months. "There have been many reasons for this – patients have been understandably concerned about being referred to hospital because of the risk of Covid-19, it has been harder to get a face to face appointment with a GP, and GPs have found it harder to get patients seen urgently.” Dr Richard Roope, a GP from Hampshire, said thousands of men could miss out on the chance to have their prostate cancer diagnosed when it can still be cured. "Prostate cancer kills more than 11,500 men each year," he said. "Most men won't have any symptoms until their cancer has progressed and is no longer curable, which is why I would encourage anyone who falls into a higher risk category – which includes men over 50, especially black men and those with a family history of prostate cancer – to act now and speak to their GP about the pros and cons of a PSA blood test." The campaign is backed by the BBC journalist and Prostate Cancer UK ambassador Bill Turnbull, who has spoken about his own diagnosis. He said: "When I shared my story of prostate cancer in 2018 along with Stephen Fry, thousands of men spoke to their doctor and were also diagnosed. But the coronavirus pandemic has prevented so many of these vital conversations. That's why I really want men to take the simple 30-second online risk check now." Professor Peter Johnson, the NHS National Clinical Director for Cancer, said: “45,000 more people were referred for cancer treatment in June compared to the month before, while 85,000 people began cancer treatment during the first wave, with 92 per cent of them starting treatment within two weeks. “As well as referrals for cancer being maintained during the pandemic, including through GP appointments, the NHS also brought in ‘Covid friendly’ cancer drugs, including enzalutamide for prostate cancer, which enabled people to keep going with treatment safely at home, so if you’re a male aged over 50, or have a family history of prostate cancer, get in touch with your GP to discuss your risk.”
Holiday quarantine: Which country will be removed from the 'green list' next? How to get travel insurance should you choose to ignore Foreign Office advice Comment: Our 'computer says no' approach to quarantine has become an unfunny joke Masks compulsory across Paris as Covid-19 cases surge Air bridge between London and New York possible with top level talks held Thousands of holidaymakers are expected to visit the counties of Dorset, Devon and Cornwall over the three-day weekend, with police expecting busy roads and increased demand on emergency services. Incidents of littering, fly-tipping and wild camping in the region have risen 29 per cent on last year, while anti-social behaviour has gone up 20 per cent. Devon and Cornwall Police said the latest figures for August show 999 call demand remaining at record levels with a 13 per cent increase in calls compared with the same period in 2019. A spokesperson for Dorset Police told the Dorset Echo: "Many thousands of visitors, some already in the region, are expected to be residing in the county over the three-day holiday with congested roads and demand on all emergency services resources expected to be high. Tourism bosses are already predicting the region is at full capacity.” Staycationers in Cornwall and Wales were branded ‘rude’ and ‘ignorant’ by locals earlier this week. A private security company has even been hired to patrol a village in Snowdonia after instances of anti-social behaviour and camping without permission. The south west coast has experienced the brunt of overcrowding over recent months. Some 21 per cent of Britons were planning to visit the region over the summer, according to Visit Britain research. Follow the latest travel updates below.
For the last couple of days Liz Mills, an English teacher at Bosworth Academy in Leicestershire, has been receiving a stream of texts from teacher friends across the country.“They keep asking me ‘What’s it like to be back?’,” she says. “‘Is it really dystopian? Is it really horrible?’”
Exposure to increased levels of air pollution can lead to the development of asthma in children, a new study suggests.The research, published in The BMJ, also found that asthma was more likely to be found among children whose parents have the condition, or where the mother smoked during pregnancy.
Testing travellers for coronavirus is set to replace the imposition of blanket quarantines under plans to be discussed by Cabinet ministers next week, with the news coming as Heathrow unveiled a purpose-built testing centre. Ministers are due to meet on Monday to consider options including testing passengers between five and 10 days after their arrival to enable them to shorten their 14-day self-isolation if the results are negative. On Tuesday, Heathrow announced that an airside Covid-19 testing centre in Terminal Two was ready to swab its first passengers, for £150 a time,once the Government gives the green light to a trial. It plans a second centre in Terminal Five next month. Airports, airline bosses and travel industry chiefs have warned that testing is the only way to open up travel to and from "high-risk" countries such as the US and end uncertainty for holidaymakers hit by quarantines reimposed at short notice on countries including France and Spain. France is expected to announce a "tit-for-tat" 14-day quarantine of Britons arriving in the country, while Croatia could be removed from the UK "green list" in the next 48 hours (see graphic below for which countries could see quarantines imposed) after being placed on special watch due to a surge in virus cases.
Smartphones are able to detect when people are drunk based on the way that they walk, researchers have found.Multiple sensors inside smartphones, used to detect acceleration and movements vertically, forward and backward, and side to side, reveal significant changes in how humans walk when intoxicated compared to when they are sober.
Holiday quarantine: Which country will be next? British airlines call for airport tests to open up routes to US How to get insurance if you ignore FCO advice The idyllic region of Italy where things feel almost back to normal Has the world gone mad? 10 bizarre Covid rules (all in the name of science) Croatia looks likely to be dumped from the UK's quarantine-free list this week unless new Covid-19 cases fall in the next few days. The country has seen its seven-day case rate rise to 21.4 per 100,000, up from 7.8 a week ago and beyond the threshold of 20 which the Government has said may trigger restrictions. A further 199 cases were reported on Tuesday, up on the previous day's figure of 85 and equivalent to 47.8 per 100,000 over a one-week period. A weekly review of the quarantine-free list is expected on Thursday. Should Croatia be ejected, British travellers will have even fewer summer holiday options that don't involve two weeks of self-isolation on their return to the UK. Spain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Malta, Monaco, Andorra, Luxembourg, The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos and Aruba have already been removed. A handful of other countries with travel corridors are edging towards the Government's threshold, including Denmark (18 new cases per 100,000), Switzerland (17), and the Czech Republic (15.5). Fears have also been raised about holidays in Greece, but with a case rate of 13.8 per 100,000 during the last week they appear safe for now. See below for the latest updates: