March 1, 2024


It's time to think about Travel.

Portugal becomes latest country to ban foreign travel

a man and a woman standing in front of a building: Portugal has imposed a strict new travel ban - Getty

© Getty
Portugal has imposed a strict new travel ban – Getty


Portugal has become the latest country to ban foreign travel, as it faces the worst rise of Covid-19 cases out of anywhere in the world.

The ban covers all outbound and inbound international travel, except for those travelling for medical emergencies, goods transport, international professional activities, or to reunite families.

Portugal is currently the world’s worst-hit country for Covid-19 cases, relative to its population – reporting 828 cases per 100,000 over a 7-day average. Nearly half of the country’s 12,000 deaths occurred in January during the third wave of the virus.

The Portugal travel ban comes as a growing number of countries impose stricter measures on arrivals. Yesterday, France banned all non-EU arrivals. Any travel “to or from a country outside of the EU will be forbidden,” said Prime Minister Jean Castex. EU arrivals coming into France will need to show evidence of a negative PCR result, with the exception of cross-border commuters.

The UK has imposed strict restrictions on a number of ‘high risk’ countries, meaning arrivals from 33 countries including the UAE, Portugal and South Africa will soon have to spend their 10-day quarantine in a Government-approved hotel, at their own expense.

Over the weekend, Canadian Prime Minister suspended travel to the Caribbean and Mexico. “New variants of Covid-19 pose a real challenge to Canada,” said Mr Trudeau on Friday. “That’s why we need to take extra measures.”

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12:57 PM

Britain’s summer holiday hotspots – and the crowd-free alternatives you should visit instead

Last month the Professional Association of Self-Caterers UK warned that forward bookings for holiday accommodation are up 65 per cent this quarter, compared to last year – and those that do not book soon will be looking at the “leftovers”.

So here are some of best underrated places to holiday in the UK, which will likely have fewer crowds and better availability. 

a group of people walking on a sandy beach next to the ocean: Swap Cornwall for Northumberland, says our expert - Getty

© Getty
Swap Cornwall for Northumberland, says our expert – Getty

Instead of Cornwall, head to Northumberland

If you’re looking for wild, this is something that Northumberland has in spades. With vast, empty beaches, more castles than you can count, and fresh local produce, England’s most northern county is quietly hiding in plain sight. 

Berwick-upon-Tweed is just about as far north as you can get in England. In the beautiful border lands to the west, which inspired the likes of Turner and Lowry, the river Tweed cuts through golden fields, recently harvested. Walks along the water’s edge are accompanied by the sound of cattle, sheep, leaping salmon and heron on the wing. It’s an incredibly peaceful part of the world, and it is easy to see how fishermen can while away hours staring at the scenery, repeatedly casting their lines as the cool water slowly creeps up their waders. 

Find the full list here.

12:46 PM

British tourists fined in Austrian ski resort raids

Austrian police say 96 foreigners, including a number of British tourists, have been fined for breaking the country’s lockdown rules. 

While ski resorts are open in Austria, hotels are not allowed to host tourists, who must go into quarantine when they arrive in the country. Anyone caught breaking the rules can face fines of up to €2,180 (£1,920).

The holidaymakers were discovered after hotel raids in the resort town of St Anton am Arlberg. It is thought they swerved the mandatory quarantine by registering local addresses. 

a view of a snow covered mountain: Hotels in St Anton were raided  - Getty

© Getty
Hotels in St Anton were raided  – Getty


12:28 PM

Ben Nevis climbers rescued (and fined) 

Two climbers have been fined for breaking lockdown after they had to be rescued from Ben Nevis.

The pair were found to have travelled more than 100 miles from Glasgow to take on Scotland’s highest mountain. Police were alerted after they got into difficulty on Saturday afternoon and the subsequent rescue mission took 90 minutes. The men were then issued with fixed penalty notices for breaching regulations.

In Scotland, lockdown restrictions mean all exercise must stay within five miles from the boundary of a person’s local authority area.

12:08 PM

Isle of Man ends lockdown

The Isle of Man has ended a 25-day ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown, after no unexplained community transmission was recorded for 20 days. 

The island has lifted all restrictions and schools, shops, pubs and restaurants have reopened today. The Isle of Man is now the only part of the British Isles with no social distancing measures in place.

However, the border remains closed to non-residents except for those with an exemption for work or compassionate reasons.

11:53 AM

British Airways suspends South Africa flights until mid-April

British Airways has suspended flights to South Africa until at least April 16, according to Southern Africa’s Travel News.

The website claims that the airline has announced the news to relevant travel agents and trade partners, though has stated that the decision could change.

The carrier initially suspended its Heathrow to Cape Town and Johannesburg routes on December 23, after the discovery of a new virus variant in the country. 

11:36 AM

Tourist spending in London down by £10 billion in 2020

New research published by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has revealed that tourism spending in the capital dropped by more than £10 billion last year. 

According to the report, more than 26,000 jobs in the arts and culture sector could be at risk as a result of ongoing restrictions. 

Mr Khan said: “When London thrives, the whole country thrives, so supporting our city’s businesses to survive the coming months will be absolutely vital.

“With the right support from the Government, more businesses will survive and contribute to what this report shows could be a rapid recovery, once tourists and commuters return in numbers.”

11:21 AM

The British Isles are waiting – these are the best UK cruises for 2021

Intriguing traditions, an abundance of history and a coastline of soft-sand beaches  can be found right on your doorstep, writes Lottie Gross.

a body of water: Stornoway - HUGH MCKEAN

Stornoway – HUGH MCKEAN

A coastline peppered with fishing villages, soft-sand beaches and dramatic cliffs. A nation with intriguing cultural traditions and unique cuisine. Plus, a history going back thousands of years that can still be seen today across its ancient landscapes and buildings. It sounds like an idyllic cruise destination, no? Well, it is – and it’s right on your doorstep.   

While thousands of cruise passengers set sail for warmer climes every year, the British Isles quietly lie in wait for those who know just how special these islands are. You might not be guaranteed great weather here, but there’s a rugged allure to these islands that makes even the most miserable day an exciting adventure. 

British Isles cruises offer an opportunity to explore places that are, put simply, a pain in the backside to reach. There’s no need to spend hours in the car schlepping down to  Cornwall when a cruise ship can drop you off just a few miles from the county’s most beautiful beaches on the Isles of Scilly. And there’s no need to pay extortionate train fares up to  Scotland either, as you can explore the islands and Highlands of our northernmost nation from the comfort of vessels large and small.

Whether you’re a first-time passenger or a seasoned cruiser, these itineraries around the British Isles offer something truly thrilling.

Here’s what to book for 2021.

11:07 AM

Matt Hancock to give Downing Street press conference today

Matt Hancock is expected to give a press conference from Downing Street this afternoon, as the UK Government confirms the completion of its care home vaccination programme. 

10:40 AM

Paradise lost: Hysteria and panic buying hits Perth after a single case of Covid 

Perth’s reign as arguably the safest city on the planet is over, after it recorded its first community-based Covid-19 infection in almost 300 days, with this single case triggering an severe and immediate lockdown. 

While the rest of the world has been upended by Covid-19, here in Perth we have felt like we’ve existed outside of the pandemic, enjoying a carefree lifestyle due to state of Western Australia going 10 months without an infection.

WA achieved this remarkable success by implementing, in March last year, some of the world’s strictest travel rules, which have remained largely in place ever since. 

a group of people riding on the back of a truck: A five-day lockdown has been introduced in and near Perth after a COVID-19 hotel quarantine case

© Shutterstock/Shutterstock
A five-day lockdown has been introduced in and near Perth after a COVID-19 hotel quarantine case

We’ve been banned from taking overseas holidays, haven’t been allowed to travel to other Australian states for much of that period, and have had to do a mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine if returning from living overseas.

Now one infection – a guard at one of these quarantine hotels – has triggered an immediate five-day lockdown across a large part of WA, which began on Sunday night.

Read the full report here.

10:27 AM

Matt’s Cartoon of the day

text: Matt Cartoon Telegraph

© Provided by The Telegraph
Matt Cartoon Telegraph

10:15 AM

Rusty pilots admit they are making mistakes because of a lack of flying time 

Airline pilots are making mistakes because they have become rusty because of the lack of flying time during the coronavirus pandemic, David Millward reports.

Dozens of pilots have told NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System that they have made errors since getting back into the cockpit.

On one occasion a pilot forgot to disengage the parking brake when pulling away from the gate.

Another pilot struggled to land a plane in heavy wind, only succeeding in doing so at the third attempt.

Other incidents included a first officer forgetting to turn on the de-icing system, which ensures that the altitude and speed sensors operate properly.

Read the full report here.

10:01 AM

‘Covid mindset’ blamed as gun seizures at US airports double

Figures released last week by the USA’s aviation security service reveal that the proportion of passengers caught illegally trying to carry guns onto planes in their hand luggage has doubled over the last year.

In 2019 officers found five firearms per million passengers, but for 2020 that figure was up 100 per cent, to 10 firearms per million passengers — which doesn’t sound a lot, perhaps, until you realise that that’s the equivalent of police finding two to three concealed guns at Heathrow every single day of the year.

And that’s just the ones they’re finding.

Read the full report here.

09:50 AM

Israel extends nationwide coronavirus lockdown 

Israel’s nationwide lockdown was extended Monday to contain the coronavirus which has continued to spread rapidly as the country presses ahead with an aggressive vaccination campaign.

The current lockdown, declared on December 27, is the third in the Jewish state since pandemic began last year.

The cabinet prolonged the closure until Friday morning, but scheduled a fresh meeting for Wednesday to assess whether a further extension was required, a statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the health ministry said.

Israel hopes to vaccinate its entire over-16 population by the end of March - Getty

© Getty
Israel hopes to vaccinate its entire over-16 population by the end of March – Getty

With Israel, a country of about 9 million people, still regularly registering more than 5,000 new cases per day, Netanyahu had pushed for the lockdown’s extension.

His political opponents said they would only agree if fines were increased for rule violators.

The lockdown also includes an unprecedented airport and border closure, which Netanyahu has described as a necessary weapon in the “arms race” against coronavirus variants.

Israel hopes to vaccinate its entire over-16 population by the end of March.

09:46 AM

‘Getting a vaccine passport will one day be a badge of honour’

“With several countries working on some form of digital visa for Covid-19 vaccination, they may soon form part of the battery of forms and paraphernalia we have to put together when we go abroad. And why not?” writes Ben Ross. 

“The yellow fever certificate I carried about when visiting affected countries gave me nothing but happiness, as it provided access to wonderful places I couldn’t otherwise visit.  If I want to enjoy the privilege of travel in the future, it’s vital that I protect myself and others. Getting a vaccine passport will one day be a badge of honour.”

Read his full comment piece here.

09:37 AM

Public ‘should be told to consider face masks in some outdoor spaces’

The public should be told to consider wearing face coverings in outdoor spaces such as crowded parks, markets and playgrounds, Government scientists have said. 

Ministers have been urged to draw up stronger messages on the wearing of face coverings in outdoor areas where people are close together and communal areas in workplaces.

a person holding a sign: A sign advises visitors to London's Borough Market to wear a face mask 

© Provided by The Telegraph
A sign advises visitors to London’s Borough Market to wear a face mask 

Papers released by the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (Sage) reveal that it is working with the Government on communication strategies about the risks of outdoor transmission.

Read the full report here.

09:20 AM

Ryanair Reports Q3 Loss of €306m as Traffic Falls 78%

Ryanair Holdings plc today reported a Q3 loss of €306m, compared to a previous-year Q3 profit of €88m, as Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc on the aviation industry.

Ryanair’s air-traffic fell from 36m to 8m (-78%).

a airplane that is parked on the side of a road: All airlines, including Ryanair, have struggled during the pandemic - Getty

© Getty
All airlines, including Ryanair, have struggled during the pandemic – Getty

A spokesperson said:

“FY21 will continue to be the most challenging year in Ryanair’s 35 year history.  Recently announced Covid lockdowns and travel restrictions across the EU & UK will reduce forecast FY21 traffic to between 26m and 30m (previously “up to 35m”), with more risk towards the lower end of the range. 

“While Q4 visibility remains limited due to uncertain and constantly changing Covid-19 travel restrictions, European Govt lockdowns, the timing of the rollout of vaccines across the EU and a very close-in booking curve, we are cautiously guiding an FY21 net loss (pre-exceptional items) of between €850m and €950m.”

09:12 AM

‘Going on holiday is illegal’, warns government in new social media campaign 

The UK Government has published some snappy new social media messaging, reminding us all that holidays are illegal.

In a tweet, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) made its message loud and clear – complete with a poster-style image: ‘Going on holiday is currently illegal’.

In what appeared to be a dig at social media influencers, the FCDO’s caption stated that if you go abroad, you may well ‘get a tan’ and ‘get followers’ – but you will also ‘get the virus’.

08:54 AM

What happened over the weekend?

A recap of the weekend’s main stories.

  • Matt Hancock optimistic for a ‘happy and free Great British summer’ as UK vaccine roll-out takes off
  • Perth, Australia, goes into lockdown after recording first case in 10 months
  • FDCO’s new social media campaign reminding us all that holidays are illegal 
  • France imposes travel ban on non-EU arrivals  

Now, on with today’s stories.