Tag Archives: UK News

New England Lockdown Could Destroy Travel Industry, Industry Figures Show | Trip | Instant News



British travelers who rushed to book vacations in November when the Canary Islands were added to the UK’s travel lanes list on October 22 are among the tens of thousands whose upcoming trips are now canceled. Under the new England lockdown rules, all non-essential travel within the UK and abroad is banned from November 5 to December 2. News of the government’s travel ban has been greeted with dismay by the travel industry figures. Emma Coulthurst, of comparison site TravelSupermarket, said the move had left “looming industry activity not only frayed or in tatters, but in tatters”. “Just over a week ago, Grant Shapps told the British public that they could travel for leisure in the Canaries. On the back of that permission, people, many of whom haven’t been away for months, decided to book a break in November – tens of thousands of people. The return of the Canaries has been heralded as a glimmer of light for the industry and for vacationers. Now that has been torn to pieces, ”Coulthurst said. Tui, one of the UK’s largest travel agencies, said customers whose vacations are canceled will be entitled to a refund. Those who choose to accept a credit will be entitled to up to 10% of the cost of their next vacation. In contrast, Jet2 only said it would let customers know if they were affected by the new rules and said it was “working with the government to get much needed clarification” on what the rules mean for the holidays. ‘foreign. Consumer magazine Which one? Travel reminded travelers who had booked a vacation package that they were entitled to a refund within 14 days and warned them to wait to hear from their vacation provider rather than canceling the trip themselves . He said those who have purchased flights only may not receive a refund if their flight is not canceled. EasyJet Holidays released a statement saying the company is contacting customers with bookings through December 2 “to discuss options which include changing vacation dates (no change fees), receiving credit and refunding full”. Its CEO, Garry Wilson, said: “While [the] The announcement is disappointing, as without consultation or prior warning from the travel industry, we are reaching out to thousands of our customers to share their options and reassure them. Ryanair customers will not be offered a refund for flights in November. Michael O’Leary, the low cost airline’s general manager, said passengers would not get their money back if a flight was in service, but could change the flight at a later date without paying a fee. He said: “There will be no refunds on flights operating and traveling. But we waived the change fee for reservations. Under the new restrictions, all holiday accommodation in England will be closed. Rob Paterson, CEO of Best Western, a group of 300 independent hotels, said the news was “a blow to hoteliers who have invested heavily in make their premises Covid-safe, in accordance with government guidelines. ”Paterson welcomed the return of the leave program to keep staff in employment, but said it would not be enough to pay rents or mortgages. [hoteliers] risk of failure without decisive support for cash flow. The latest foreclosure also equates to a much longer payback, which is why we are calling on the government to extend the VAT cut and business rate relief, ”he said. Julia Lo Bue-Said, managing director of Advantage Travel Partnership, which represents travel agents, told the Travel Weekly trade newspaper that 80% of members “will be cash-strapped by May.” “The ban on international and domestic travel following the new lockdowns will crucify the travel industry. While we absolutely support measures to keep us all safe, the reality of the new lockdown means that many of our travel agency members will not last the year without a government financial support program, ”a- she declared. .



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Retail, Hospitality and Travel Firms Fear Heavy Losses Amid Covid Lockdown in English | World news | Instant News



Retailers, pub chains and airlines are among the companies to warn of the impact the surprise imposition of a second lockdown in England will have on their businesses. The new restrictions in England mean that non-essential shops and all pubs and restaurants will be forced to close from Thursday to December 2 at least. National and international travel will also be prohibited, except for work, study or other legally permitted reasons. Jonathan Neame, managing director of Shepherd Neame, one of Britain’s oldest breweries, criticized the government for “a fourth policy change affecting hospitality in the past six weeks”. He told BBC Radio 4’s Today show that the company had already rendered 10% of its roles redundant and that the loss of the crucial Christmas negotiation period could be particularly damaging to the industry’s long-term prospects. New national restrictions are expected to come into force in England on Thursday, after MPs vote, and remain in place at least until December 2. Why can I leave the house? For child care or education, when not provided online. Getting to work unless it can be done at home. Outdoor exercise with members of the household or with someone from another household. For all medical reasons and appointments. To escape injury or harm, such as domestic violence. Provide care to vulnerable people or volunteer. To buy food and essentials. To see the people in your support bubble. Children will still be able to move between houses if their parents are separated. The Government states that the list is not exhaustive and that other authorized reasons for leaving the house may be presented later. People could face police fines for leaving their homes without a legally authorized excuse. Can different households mix inside? No, unless they are part of an “exclusive” support bubble, which allows a one-person household to meet and socialize with another household. Parents are allowed to form a childcare bubble with another household for informal childcare purposes, when the child is 13 years of age or younger. Can different households mix outdoors? People are allowed to socially meet someone from another household and exercise in outdoor public spaces, which do not include private gardens. Can I attend funerals, weddings or religious services? Up to 30 people will still be allowed to attend the funeral, while stone decorations and ash scattering can continue with up to 15 guests. Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are only permitted in “exceptional circumstances”. Places of worship must remain closed except for volunteer services, individual prayer and other exempt activities. Can I travel to the UK or abroad for a holiday? Most international travel abroad will be prohibited. There is no exemption for staying away from home for a vacation. This means that people cannot travel abroad or to the UK except for work, study or other legally permitted exemptions. Which businesses are going to close? Everything except essential stores and educational institutions, which include nurseries, schools and universities, will be closed. Entertainment venues will also have to close. Indoor and outdoor pubs, restaurants and recreational facilities will once again have to close. However, takeout and delivery services will still be allowed, while construction and manufacturing will remain open. Parents will still be able to access registered childcare and other childcare activities when reasonably necessary to enable parents to work. Some youth services may continue, such as individual youth work, but most youth clubs will have to close their doors. Public services, such as employment offices, courts and civil status offices will remain open. There is no exemption for basic organized team sports. Elite sports will be allowed to continue behind closed doors as they do now, including Premier League football matches. Aaron Walawalkar “I’m afraid there will be a substantial number of more layoffs, especially in urban areas, as it’s very difficult to see how city centers are going to revive anytime soon,” he said. “There is, I’m afraid, no confidence in the hospitality about the government’s strategy at the moment and there is a real feeling that we are going to lock ourselves in for what is supposed to be a month,” but in reality it could last until March. . It would be absolutely catastrophic for the sector. Neame also criticized restrictions on the sale of take-out beer once pubs close. “Now we’re being told that all the beer that’s in pub cellars, we can’t even sell a pint of beer to go with a meal during the lockdown, so we’ve got to dump it all down the drain,” he said. Primark owner Associated British Foods has said he will lose £ 375million in sales from the high street clothing retailer due to the new UK lockdown and other restrictions in key European markets. In an update on Monday, he said 57% of his stores would be temporarily closed from Thursday. GVC Holdings, owner of betting brands such as Ladbrokes and Coral, has issued a profit warning, believing the latest restrictions, including the closure of high street branches in England and Europe, would cost it £ 37million . The government has also been criticized for its handling of the lockdown announcement. The first leaks of the intention to impose a new foreclosure were reported on Friday evening, after the UK markets closed. The reports sparked a government scramble to clarify details of the lockdown, as well as confusion among companies. The boss of Britain’s largest airport group, Manchester Airlines Group, criticized the government for its “shocking” neglect of the aviation and travel industry, and accused the Prime Minister of ” effectively shutting down his business ”via Twitter. Charlie Cornish, chief executive of the group, whose remit includes Manchester and London Stansted airports, said airports would be forced to act quickly to secure their future after the new travel ban. MAG plans to cut 900 jobs. Cornish said urgent government support was needed to prevent further job losses in an industry that had been rocked by “chaotic changes in policy” throughout the pandemic. No specific support program has been granted to aviation, despite initial indications from the Chancellor that specific measures are being considered. Cornish said there had been no warnings or discussions with the industry about the travel ban. He said: “Given the huge impact on the hundreds of thousands of people working in the aviation and travel industry, it is shocking that the Prime Minister has not considered stopping international travel noteworthy … [but] symbolic of how the government has neglected UK aviation and the role it has played in our economy since day one of this pandemic. British Airways owner International Airlines Group’s share price fell 1.8%, while Leeds-based airline Jet2 fell 3.2%. EasyJet shares fell sharply at the start of the session, before regaining a slight gain at noon. Sportswear retailer JD Sports was the worst performer on the FTSE 100 index, with shares falling 4.4%. .



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Stanford Travel Bookstore Launches Crowdfunding Project as it Fights for Survival | Trip | Instant News



It’s a wet autumn day, a second lockdown is looming and, like many in the UK, I dream of distant coastlines, sunny highlands and wild adventures. Anything but the unholy twinning of the pandemic and the British winter. My shelves are well-equipped to meet my fantasies, filled with reminders of past trips: every country map to ride the Pan-American Highway motorbike, a guide to trekking in the Sinai Peninsula, the classic Michelin 741 map Sahara from London to Cape Town ride, a map of the Tehran tube system, a kayaker’s guide to British rivers and more Ordnance Survey maps than you could shake a carbon fiber hiking stick. This isn’t an unusual library for someone who’s made a living in travel, but there’s something else that ties these pieces together: They all came from Stanford, the downtown travel and maps bookstore. London. Founded in 1853 and operating in Covent Garden since 1901, Stanfords is an institution – and an institution loved by anyone who has ever felt the slightest whiff of the urge to travel. Judging by the outpouring of sympathy and support on social media, I wasn’t the only one who felt pain at the news that Stanfords was facing the shutdown – and that was before the announcement of the second lock. There is something about losing Stanfords that hits you hard. Like all the best shops, it offers more than that: it’s a home away from home, a haven in rough seas, and (under normal circumstances) attracts travelers from all over the world. The Original Stanfords Card Room In response to the crisis, Stanfords launched a crowdfunding program with a range of rewards available for donations ranging from £ 5 to £ 5,000, ranging from a cup of coffee to personalized cards, books and tours of its cartographic archives. His goal is to raise £ 120,000 to help him survive until spring 2021, when he hopes London has recovered and people can travel more freely. As CEO Vivien Godfrey explains, this sum will allow him to continue paying rent, taxes, salaries and additional costs incurred to secure the Covid store. For me, London without Stanford is unthinkable. It seemed like it would always be there – because it had been so long. Born in 1827, Edward Stanford started out as a cartographer, becoming the Queen’s official cartographer before entering retail and creating and supplying maps to Florence Nightingale, Ernest Shackleton and Amy Johnson. Stanfords has evolved over time and in recent years has hosted events including book launches and adventure movie nights, as well as the establishment of the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards. In January 2019, he moved from his Long Acre site to a new home (just around the corner) in Mercer Walk. Behind the scenes, the mapping service has gone from providing military surveys to Neville Chamberlain to designing full-scale production maps for the James Bond films. But from a customer perspective, in an increasingly bland street landscape, Stanfords remains an example of an independent retailer with a heart, actively supporting authors and specialist publishers, and employing staff with a love and knowledge of what’s on the shelves. Cartographer Martin Greenaway has worked at Stanford for 27 years and is afraid for his future. Attendance collapsed during the pandemic, leading to a 75% drop in sales, and online sales also fell 15% due to restrictions on global travel. “The store survived a bomb in the blitz,” Greenaway said. “So I really hope we can get over this, but I’m worried. Stanfords was such an important part of the history of the expedition, and there is nowhere else like it. Legend has it that Stanfords survived the flash bombardment thanks to its large number of such tight Ordnance Survey maps, which helped stop the path of the flames. It will take more than a stash of OS Landrangers to beat the current crisis, but globetrotters, wheelchair travelers and Stanford lovers can help. Of course, we can still plan our future trips and buy our maps and books directly from their website. We can also donate to the crowdfunder, helping to ensure Stanfords survives as the spiritual home of the traveler and will always be there when the world opens up again. .



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Mid-term stays, hotel bookings collapse as restrictions bite | Trip | Instant News



Jules Cuthbert gets used to canceling vacations. The 41-year-old Bristol mother of two abandoned her plans for a mid-term trip in October to Merthyr Tydfil when the South Wales town was locked down on September 22. It was the fifth public holiday she has had to postpone since the start of the pandemic and it may not be the last. As coronavirus cases continue to rise, Cuthbert is unsure whether she should continue with her mid-term plan B – days in the South Downs. “I’m rethinking if we should travel at all because we live in a heavily populated area with a large student body. I am a hospital pharmacist, so I am very aware of the potential risks of moving from an area with a high number of cases to one with fewer. Cuthbert’s experience is far from unusual. While many British holidaymakers managed to escape to the countryside in July and August, recent measures to contain the spread of the virus have destabilized autumn and winter holiday plans and dashed any hope that the holidays in mid-term could help tourism businesses recoup some of the fall and winter vacation. losses incurred during the first lockdown. Local closures, the rule of six and the 10pm curfew for restaurants and bars had already led to thousands of vacation cancellations and seriously damaged travelers’ confidence. A consumer study conducted by VisitBritain between September 28 and October 2 showed that only 10% of people planned an overnight trip this month, with the majority (51%) blaming government travel restrictions for not not feeling confident enough to travel, and 48% citing concerns about catching Covid. With more of the country now on high alert (level 2) or very high alert (level 3), tourism bosses say the situation can only get worse. Merthyr Tydfil has seen vacations canceled following a local lockdown. Photograph: Matthew Horwood “It’s death by thousands of cuts,” said Rob Paterson, managing director of Best Western, a group of 300 independent hotels across the UK. “The most recent data shows that bookings for its hotels in the north of England and Scotland are down almost 70% compared to the same period last year. In London, there was an annual decline of 65%. The only part of the UK where bookings were strong was the South West where there was no local blockade, but now hotels in the area are also experiencing a year-over-year decline in business. . The loss of mid-term bookings along with dire Christmas prospects will be the last straw for some of the group’s hotels, Paterson said. “As soon as the new level system was announced, we noticed a new booking behavior. We will see more cancellations. Many hotel owners will now close until March. Fran Downtown, managing director of Tourism Southeast, said the ever-changing restrictions are a blow to accommodation providers, attractions and hospitality businesses. “The nervousness has increased noticeably – we’ve seen a significant drop in footfall in the area over the past two weeks,” she said. Attractions remain open, but the drop in visitor numbers, in addition to already reduced capacity, has led many to cut back event plans typically scheduled for half the quarter. In a recent poll by Welcome to Yorkshire, the region’s tourism board, a third of tourism businesses said they were canceling activities halfway through. “Business owners need certainty to invest [in events and activities]. If we continue with this stop-start in perpetuity, some companies will simply opt out, ”said CEO James Mason. VisitBritain predicts a 49% drop in national tourism spending in 2020, equivalent to a loss of £ 44.9 billion to the economy. Thousands of people working in the UK travel and tourism industry have already lost their jobs, with more to come. The Major Tourist Attractions Association, which represents some of the UK’s most popular institutions, from the National Trust to the Tate, reports that almost all of its 70 members are currently in consultation with staff. A report published by Globaldata last week summed up the grim outlook. “The coming months look bleak for the UK tourism industry and with the national infection rate continuing to rise, there appear to be no signs of slowing down in the near future.” .



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Q&A: Where can I still travel under the new coronavirus tier system? | Trip | Instant News



On Monday, the UK government introduced a new three-tier system of local Covid alert levels in England. This means that different areas have different restrictions. The new English levels are medium (level 1), high (level 2) and very high (level 3). Level 1 continues with the rules entered on September 25, including the rule of six and the 10pm closure for pubs and restaurants. Level 2, which will soon include almost half of England’s population, prohibits mixing within households. Level 3 (currently the Liverpool area and parts of Lancashire) closes all pubs that do not serve ‘substantial’ meals and advises people not to travel or foreigners to stay in the area. Meanwhile, Wales bans visitors to Covid hotspots (i.e. anyone living on level 2 or 3) from Friday evening, while Scotland advises against traveling in or out of areas at high risk. Under the new Northern Ireland rules, most hotels are closed and “no unnecessary travel should be undertaken”. Level 2 currently covers large parts of the Midlands, North East and North West England, including the areas around Newcastle, Tyneside and Manchester, as well as Leeds, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester and Birmingham. From midnight Friday they will be joined by London, parts of Cumbria, Essex, Derbyshire, Surrey and Yorkshire, meaning that more than half of the English population will be living with Level 2 or 3 restrictions. government zip code tells you which areas are in which level. Can I travel to other parts of the UK if I live in a level 2 region? Yes. You can still go on vacation in most areas, but only with people from your household or bubble. The Level 2 guidelines suggest that people aim to “cut down on the number of trips you take when possible.” Visitors to Wales are banned from Covid hotspots elsewhere in the UK on Friday evening. This means anyone from level 2 and 3 regions of England, Northern Ireland and the Scottish Central Belt. In Scotland, until at least Monday 26 October, residents of the central belt areas are advised to limit travel. What about exits in level 2 areas. Many tourist attractions have introduced reservation systems and some have reduced their opening hours, but most are open again and pleasantly uncrowded. Like everywhere, restaurants and bars now have to close at 10 p.m. and often need to be reserved in advance as they limit the number. But, as long as you’re only visiting as a family group (or keeping six outside), you can still go and spend a day in the Level 2 areas. What if I don’t want to travel? Can I get a refund? It varies. Some hotels and independent companies offer refunds; others offer a credit score or new dates. Under the new system, most venues are still open and bookable, so customers may be liable for cancellation fees. In many cases, owners agree to let vacationers defer or reimburse, but they are not obligated to do so. While the ban on visiting Wales is legally enforceable, the restrictions in England (even for level 3) are only guidelines. Alistair Handyside of the Professional Association of Self-Employed (PASC) points out that in the current situation, English law leaves a lot of gray areas. The number one question, he says, from people booking accommodation these days is, “What if I have to cancel?” He advises people to read the T & Cs carefully and purchase travel insurance if they can. Some insurance companies offer coronavirus coverage (for example, to help you if you contract the virus after booking), but generally cannot cover the cancellation of your trips if they are not legally impossible. Handyside points out that self-catering is a relatively safe industry and that PASC cleaning protocols have been downloaded over 100,000 times. With the number of cancellations, he adds, there are “very good places available”. Mike Bevens, general manager of glamping site Canopy & Stars, says that so far this year the company has been able to change more than 90% of its bookings for stays affected by the coronavirus. They advise people to check their own local restrictions and those of the area they hope to visit before booking. If the rules change, they can probably suggest a date change. If this proves impossible, they can consider other options, which could include a refund. What about travel abroad from a level 2 zone? Yes, you are still allowed to go on vacation abroad. But it’s complicated. The government travel corridor lists countries that you can still fly to that do not require quarantine upon your return. At the time of going to press, there are only four countries that UK travelers can visit without self-quarantine on their return. More importantly, the only places the British don’t need to isolate themselves on arrival are: Gibraltar, Greece and Sweden. In Germany, tourists from several parts of the UK are supposed to self-isolate, but could be allowed to travel freely after a negative test result. .



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