Holidays: Iceland could be next on quarantine list as Covid case rate more than doubles

The UK is currently reviewing its travel corridor list on a weekly basis. The list, also known as the “quarantine exemption list”, dictates where Britons can go on holiday and avoid 14 days in quarantine on their return to the UK. Travellers entering the UK from a country not on the travel corridor list have to isolate for 14 days.

Anyone caught flouting the rules could be faced with a £1,000 fine.

Countries likely to be struck off the quarantine exemption list are those with a seven-day infection rate above 20 per 100,000 people.

Last week, Slovenia and Guadeloupe were removed from the list after recording a surge in coronavirus cases.

However, Denmark, despite its high seven-day infection rate, remained on the list.

READ MORE: Jet2 boosts Turkey flight offering

CEO of travel consultancy, The PC Agency Paul Charles has been posting daily Twitter updates regarding countries’ infection rates.

Mr Charles said yesterday: “Sun update: A 300 percent+ surge in daily cases takes #Iceland back into the red zone.

“#France records 13,498 – its highest ever daily positive cases.

“Mainland #Greece, #Italy and #Turkey all remain relatively stable. #Germany almost amber as cases climb.”

Other countries on the travel corridor list are also recording a surge of infections.

Denmark’s infection rate is above Iceland’s and the UK’s, with 45.3 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period.

The country is very likely to be removed from the travel corridor list this week after being spared last week.

Mainland Greece has recorded 18.1 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period and is in the “amber zone”.

Currently, several Greek islands are on the quarantine list but mainland Greece has managed to remain on the safe list.

Another popular holiday spot which is edging closer to the “red zone” is Italy with 17 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period.

The country has become a popular destination with holidaymakers after managing to keep its coronavirus cases under control.

Last week, Singapore and Thailand were added to the quarantine exemption list.

But despite the good news, Singapore and Thailand both have extremely stringent rules in place for arrivals.

Singapore is not allowing short-term visitors from anywhere in the world and Thailand is only allowing certain categories of foreign nationals to enter or transit the country.



Pound to euro exchange rate: Sterling ‘slides’ in second daily loss amid Brexit ‘jitters’

The pound to euro exchange rate “slid” on Friday at the end of the trading week. Sterling’s second daily loss in a row comes as Brexit uncertainty continues to be the driving force of the exchange rate. The UK left the EU on January 31, 2020, however, Britain is currently in a “transition period” until December 31, 2020.

Ranko Berich, Head of Market Analysis at Monex Europe on commented last week about the impact of a no-deal Brexit.

He said: “Sterling slid to its second straight daily loss on Friday, as jitters over the post-Brexit trade talks, and potential for further coronavirus restrictions to hit the UK economy, both exerted pressure.

“It is those two factors that will likely be the primary drivers of the pound again this week, with any meaningful sterling appreciation likely to be capped in the short-term, until at least one of those uncertainties has been resolved.”

The UK’s departure from the EU is likely to continue impacting sterling moving forwards.

Ranko Berich, Head of Market Analysis at Monex Europe commented last week about the impact of a no-deal Brexit.

He said: “The UK economy is enjoying a fairly solid economic upswing at the moment, but increasing anticipation of negative rates in financial markets, and now increasing discussion of the issue at the MPC, highlights the extent to which everyone knows the economy is not out of the woods just yet.

“With no-deal Brexit (now re-branded as an ‘Australia-style’ trade arrangement) once again looming as an economic risk, and global equilibrium interest rates in a seemingly inexorable decline, negative rates are increasingly being seen as a plausible outcome for the UK.

“Perhaps counter-intuitively, the fact that the UK economy is recovering faster than expected is not incompatible with the MPC eyeing negative rates.

“As the August Monetary Policy Report made clear, the MPC believes negative rates are best used during times when banks are less concerned about balance sheet risks – such as during a recovery. Sterling has taken another knock on the news, compounding woes from the latest rash of Brexit developments.

“As always, the safest assumption seems to be that if trade talks collapse and the UK heads for a disruptive end to the transition period, further losses will materialise for the pound.”

What does this mean for your holidays and travel money?

The Post Office is currently offering a rate of €1.0535 for more than £400, €1.0688 for over £500 or €1.0743 for over £1,000.

Before purchasing travel money, travellers should always check the exchange rate.

Currency expert and founder of Currensea, James Lynn told Express.co.ukthat travellers should try not to buy currency in advance if the rate looks good.

“Try not to judge and gamble on the FX market going one way or the other,” he said.

He added: “It’s a very hard market to judge.

“Rather than locking in something on a pre-paid card or getting currency in advance because the rate seems to be going one way or the other, it tends to be a far safer option just to use whatever rate there is at the time.

“Unless people have got a particular expertise in currency transactions, we would advise keeping those savings firmly in sterling until the time. Just in case that trip does get pushed back or cancelled.”



Mallorca flight horror: Flight from Birmingham sees passenger get 'part of ear bitten off'

The commotion happened after the plane touched down at the airport in Palma on Thursday night but has just come to light. The flight had taken off from Birmingham a few hours earlier but as it approached the holiday island, the crew requested the police due to an incident. According to the Civil Guard, there had been “conflictive behaviour” on board, involving a 29-year-old Brit.

The man had reportedly wanted a drink but the crew refused to serve him.

In “a state of intoxication”, said the police, he ignored instructions from the crew and tried to open the beverage compartment on the plane.

At one stage, he even took a drink off another passenger and drank it.

Once the aircraft had touched down in Palma, police went on board and were talking to the crew about what had happened on the steps of the plane.

“They then noticed that a fight that was taking place inside the plane,” said the police.

“Upon entering, they found the young man assaulting another passenger, whose right ear had been partially bit off. The man was reduced and immobilised by the Civil Guards who arrested him.”

The passenger who was bitten was said to have been a friend of the arrested Brit.

He was transferred to a clinic in Palma where he was admitted due to his injuries. Officers who intervened were treated at the same airport for minor injuries.

The Civil Guard said in a statement that it is responsible for intervening in such incidents which “are not very frequent” as it is “responsible for security and public order in all the facilities of the restricted area of the airports, as well as inside the aircraft both arrival and departure.”

No details were given about the airline. The Brit was arrested for an alleged offence of causing injury.



Queen Elizabeth is banned from particular action when travelling abroad

Queen Elizabeth II is a jet setter. Over her 68 years as monarch, she has travelled all around the world both on official duty and on holidays.

However, regardless of her reason for travel, there is one major protocol she must follow.

Though it is a long-running rule, the public wasn’t made aware of it until 2014.

Though the Queen has passed over her international work to the younger members of the family, including Prince William and his wife Kate, she does still journey around the UK.

She made a journey to Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, to see the set of hit television drama Game of Thrones.

READ MORE: Queen Elizabeth II: Heartwarming companions Her Majesty travels with

“This is an esoteric rule we didn’t know about until that moment.”

However, this is likely a very ancient rule dating back years and it is likely she would not be reprimanded for doing so.

Her avoidance is mostly in a bid to avoid insulting other foreign monarchs.

This is, of course, not the only royal rule Queen Elizabeth must follow when on her travels.

“When your chin points down or up it gives the impression that you’re not paying attention or not interested in what’s happening,” the etiquette expert told The Sun.

When exiting aircraft, the Royal Family are often met with crowds, photographers or members of the media.

Therefore it is vital they make the best impression possible.

“Often walking down a staircase is the grand entrance to a room or event and is the first impression with all eyes and photos on you,” added the expert.



Jet2 boosts flight offering as demand for new ‘favourite’ holiday hotspot soars

Holidaymakers have had to readjust their travel plans this year in the wake of travel corridor changes. However, with that has come a sudden rise in demand for holidays to one location in particular.

Thanks to its place on the travel corridor list, Turkey has seen an influx of British tourists in recent weeks.

Between September 8 and September 15 alone, 30 percent of all package holiday price comparison searches for holidays departing between September 11 and October 31 were for Turkey, according to TravelSupermarket.

Meanwhile, budget airline Jet2 has also seen an increase in demand from holidaymakers looking to jet off.

As a result, the airline has added 60 new flights from the UK to holiday resort destinations including Antalya, Dalaman, Izmir and Bodrum.

READ MORE: Jet2 and Ryanair: Reduce hand luggage costs by leaving these items

Steve Heapy, chief executive officer of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said:“It’s clear from the high demand we are seeing for holidays and flights to Turkey that customers are keen to get away for a much-needed holiday.

“As usual, we have been quick to respond to that demand, giving our customers what they want by adding more seats and holidays on sale to this sunny hotspot.

“With fantastic deals and free child places available, on top of great choice and flexibility, there is no better time to take advantage of a welcome escape.”

Usually, Spain is one of the leading summer holiday locations for Britons, but things are different in 2020.

Following its removal from the travel corridor list, Britons must not quarantine for 14 days on their return back to the UK.

For many this is unfeasible, and therefore holidaymakers are casting their sights on new destinations with more relaxed rules.

Along with Turkey, Greece has also seen a rise in holiday bookings – even despite some of the islands now facing restrictions.

At the time of writing, mainland Greece remains on the travel corridor list.

The country has seen the second biggest share in search in the last week, according to TravelSupermarket, with 15 percent of all package holidays price comparison searches.

Furthermore, it seems amid the chaos, now is a good time to save money on a package holiday.

The average price of a seven-night late summer holiday is reportedly 19 percent less compared to a year ago.

Those looking to travel should be prepared for sudden changes though, according to Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps.

On Twitter, he wrote: “As with all air bridge countries, please be aware that things can (and do sometimes) change quickly. Only travel if you are content to unexpectedly 14-day quarantine on return.”



Google Maps Street View: London builder’s embarrassing exposure caught on camera

Google Maps Street View offers eager explorers the change to navigate their way around the world at street level. While it is great for finding directions or simply learning more about an area, it also has another common use.

Though the accidental exposure could have left the builder red-cheeked, the good news is his face is hidden, and there are no remarkable features that could give his identity away.

Furthermore, Google also blurs faces as part of its privacy policy.

This means the two in-person witnesses also remain anonymous.

Google’s Street View camera is particularly good at snapping slightly embarrassing moments.

Luckily, his identity is also concealed thanks to face-blurring technology.

“Google takes a number of steps to protect the privacy of individuals when Street View imagery is published to Google Maps,” explains the website’s privacy policy.

“We have developed cutting-edge face and license plate blurring technology that is designed to blur identifiable faces and license plates within Google-contributed imagery in Street View.

“If you see that your face or license plate requires additional blurring, or if you would like us to blur your entire house, car, or body, submit a request using the ‘Report a problem’ tool.”



Flight attendant shares worrying reality of leaving tray tables down during take-off

Flight attendants are not only onboard to offer service to passengers, they are also there for ensure health and safety regulations are met. In fact, cabin crew are frequently trained on specific safety precautions to ensure everyone is safe – even in the most terrifying scenarios.

“Same reason you can’t have anything in the aisle.

“If there’s something in the way, you can hit your head on it and that’s how most accidents happen.”

Inflight emergencies are most common during take-off and landing which is why special precautions are taken at this time.

Though rare, plane crashes are most likely during the first three minutes and last eight minutes of the flight according to Ben Sherwood, author of “The Survivors Club — The Secrets and Science That Could Save Your Life”.

At this time passengers are also advised not to take off their shoes or to wear headsets.

Once the flight is in the air and cruising, it is usually much safer.

The good news is, statistics show that flying remains one of the safest forms of travel.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) found that in 2016, there was an average of one accident for every 2.86 million flights.

Though small bumps, such as turbulence, can leave some travellers feeling anxious, for the most part, it isn’t much to worry about.

The key to spotting a real emergency is to cast your eyes to the crew.

A flight attendant explained: “If you see them calmly doing their thing then everything is fine.

“They’re not robots though, so if something is truly wrong, you’ll see them freak out.

“Feel free to panic if and only if that happens.”



UK holidays: Local lockdown warning for Britons with staycation plans ahead

Many Britons have opted to switch their usual international holiday for a staycation right here in the UK. However, new lockdown restrictions are looming, with the Prime Minister already enforcing smaller “local lockdowns” in parts of Northern England and the City of Leicester.

For those with caravan, camping and holiday park bookings, it could be cause for concern.

Luckily, the Government has provided some advice for Britons who may be enjoying a staycation, or about to embark on one, when lockdown restrictions suddenly strike.

“In parts of Northern England and in the City of Leicester, you must not meet with people you do not live with in private homes or in gardens,” explains the Government website.

“There are limited exceptions set out in law, including where you have formed a legally-permitted support bubble with another household.

READ MORE: Holidays: What Britons wanting an autumn or winter holiday must do

“If you live inside an area with local restrictions, you can go on holiday outside that area but you should only socialise indoors with members of your own household or support bubble.”

Holidaymakers must only stay in private accommodation – such as self-catered apartments or holiday cottages, with members of their own household or support bubble.

Similarly, while hotels or similar accommodation are still okay for overnight stays, rooms should only be shared with those from your household or support bubble.

The Government warns against sharing a caravan with anyone outside of your home or support bubble.

Whilst on holiday, Britons are urged to follow the regulations of the area they are visiting.

“At the time that local restrictions are brought in, if you are currently on holiday with another household in an area with local restrictions and are staying in a private home – which includes self-catered accommodation such as holiday cottages, apartments or boats – and it is not reasonable for you to curtail your stay, you should finish your holiday as planned,” explains the Government.

“Until the end of this holiday you should make every effort to reduce socialising indoors outside of your household and follow local regulations and guidance.”

Of course, there may be some instances in which would-be holidaymakers need to cancel their trip as a result of coronavirus regulations.

“If you are not able to take a planned holiday due to local restrictions, we encourage accommodation providers to offer alternative dates if this can be agreed with you,” states the Government.

“If this cannot be arranged, we encourage businesses to provide a refund as they have for customers during the broader period of national restrictions, which may depend on the terms of the booking contract.”

Many holiday providers are being more flexible due to the pandemic, however amid the staycation surge, many have no availability until later in the year.

However, the good news is that, as a result, some parks are extending their season until much later in the year.

“Lots of campsites have been exploring an extended season to try and make up for lost revenue between April and June – not necessarily for tent camping, but perhaps for touring guests and glamping pods,” campsites.co.uk founder Martin Smith told Express.co.uk.



Baggage handler reveals simple step to protecting luggage from ruin

Baggage handlers are tasked with moving thousands of bags around the airport daily. While it is their job to ensure every bag gets to the right flight safely, there are some ways holidaymakers can help ensure their bags stay safe.

Though damaged luggage is rare, it does still happen.

According to the most recent data from MoneySuperMarket, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) received over 2,000 complaints regarding lost, delayed or damaged luggage on flights to and from UK airports since between 2015 and 2019.

Most commonly, this is due to larger bags being mishandled in transit.

However, there is a way passengers can better protect their bag during its journey, a baggage handler explained.

READ MORE: Flights: Cabin crew reveal how to get an upgrade

They added: “If you are worried about it, pack two bags instead of one! that way it won’t be so awkward.”

Passengers who are travelling with heavy luggage may also want to consider buying a specific type of suitcase.

A second baggage handler advised: “If you are packing heavy, get something robust and something that rolls.

“You know those four-wheeled hard case bags, they are light and easy to manoeuvre, easy to stack, much more likely to keep your belongings safe.”

Another crucial way to ensure your possessions stay safe is to purchase an all-encompassing travel insurance policy.

Insurance packages vary, and the amount of coverage can be increased if the contents of a bag are costly.

Anna Sant, travel insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket, advises: “Most luggage arrives at its intended destination without a hitch.

“However, with the Civil Aviation Authority receiving over 2,000 unresolved luggage complaints in the past five years, it’s clear that it’s not always an issue that airlines can fix themselves.

“Noting the contents and value of your cases will also assist with any subsequent insurance claims.

“It’s therefore vital you take out travel insurance with the right level of cover, as soon as you book your trip.

“Most policies will cover the full cost of your belongings but it’s worth double-checking before proceeding with a policy.”



Holidays: The ‘immediate’ impact travel corridors are having on the cost of travel

Meanwhile, those with holidays ahead now faced cancelled plans and, in some cases, a fight for refunds.

Yet, it seems that these rapidly changing rules are also having another concerning outcome.

In the hours that follow the news, flight costs have reportedly skyrocketed.

In the case of Portugal, on Monday, August 31 and Tuesday, September 1 directly following travel corridor changes, Skyscanner found redirect booking volumes for one-way flights departing from Portugal to the UK were 145 percent higher than the average compared to the previous two weeks.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Jon Thorne, a travel expert from Skyscanner revealed the impact these Government regulations are having on the cost of travel.

“Changing guidance on destinations has a small but immediate effect on travel prices,” said Mr Thorne.

He added that fluctuations are often noticeable when announcements are made.

READ MORE: Holidays: Turkey becomes firm favourite among Britons