Pound to euro exchange rate sees 'biggest one-day gain since June’ – will you buy euros?

Vessey continued: “Even though the bill, which if passed by Parliament would breach international law, has rocked sterling sentiment amidst increased fears of a no-deal Brexit, all hope is not lost.

“Tentative concessions on fisheries were made by the UK in the last round of trade talks and the EU is looking to extend clearing of Euro derivatives by the City of London for another 18 months.

“These smalls steps towards a compromise are likely supporting the pound for now.

“Nevertheless, if a deal isn’t reached by the EU summit on October 15, the probability of a no-deal scenario is likely to increase, and history would suggest GBP/USD could fall to $1.20, whilst GBP/EUR may threaten levels closer to parity in this instance.”



Holidays: Spain and Portugal ditched for new British favourite – it's not where you think

Holidays abroad have been uncertain this year due to the coronavirus outbreak, with many countries implementing travel restrictions. However, for those Britons still travelling abroad, it appears that there is a new destination favourite. Turkey, which is included on the travel corridor list, appears to have become a British favourite since holidays restarted.

According to TravelSupermarket’s Travel commentator, Emma Coulthurst, Turkey has gained popularity due to its climate and lack of restrictions on travellers entering the country.

She said: “People are picking a country on the government’s ‘travel corridor list’ where coronavirus rates appear steady and haven’t significantly risen, where the plummeting lira means you get a huge amount for your money, where temperatures stay warm well into October and where there are no prohibitive restrictions on entering the country.”

The most popular specific searches in the last week are in Turkey, but other countries feature on TravelSupermarket’s list:

1. Resorts around Antalya region (Alanya, Lara, Belek, Kas, Kemer, Kalkan, Side, Beldibi etc.)

2. Resorts out of Dalaman (Marmaris, Oludeniz, Icmeler, Fethiye, Turunc et.)

3. Istanbul

4. Corfu

5. Rhodes

6. Rome

7. Cyprus (negative coronavirus test result required to be presented on arrival)

8. Dubai (UK government is advising only essential travel there so travel insurance likely to be invalidated if you do travel there. Negative coronavirus test result required to be presented on arrival)

9. Crete (on government’s quarantine list)

10. Sicily

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

Seven-night stays in Turkey, Greece and Cyprus are all cheaper compared to last year.

However, travellers are being warned to check entry requirements before they travel to certain countries.

The travel corridor list is also reviewed on a weekly basis, with countries being removed and added regularly.

If you are abroad when the country you are in is removed from the travel corridor list, you may need to self-isolate for 14 days on your return to the UK, depending on when you return.

One of the government’s key criteria for countries being at risk of being removed from the safe list is their seven-day case rate per 100,000 people in the country.

Countries recording more than 20 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period could be removed from the list.



TUI: Britons to receive refunds by end of the month for holidays cancelled by coronavirus

Earlier this year, thousands of Britons had their holiday plans cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving some holidaymakers out of pocket. Many travellers were offered the option to take a cash refund or accept a refund credit note or voucher for the value of their trip. The CMA has pointed out that consumer protection law requires refunds to be issued within 14 days – which many were not.

Now TUI, the UK’s largest package holiday operator, has said that it will make refund payments for trips and holidays which were cancelled because of coronavirus by the end of the month.

The CMA revealed that it had received thousands of complaints from passengers who had been waiting weeks for their refunds, claiming travel firms were withholding their cash.

TUI has also said that they will be writing to any customers who have credit notes and make it clear to them that they are entitled to a cash refund.

However, some companies have struggled to return cash to customers, with many spending the money to cover overheads and pay down loans in a debt-heavy sector.

READ MORE: Quarantine warning: Greece edges closer to red zone

The CMA said TUI’s UK division has engaged constructively throughout the investigation.

It added: “While the vast majority of people have already received their refunds or rebooked during the CMA’s investigation, any outstanding refund requests for people who had their package holiday cancelled as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) will be paid by September 30 2020.”

Travel firms have faced the majority of complaints over poor customer practices since the CMA said it would investigate any business trying to take advantage of the pandemic to either hike prices or withhold refunds.

During the height of the pandemic, the CMA revealed four out of five complaints it received related to cancelled holidays and trips.

Many of the complaints stemmed from travel firms reportedly automatically offering vouchers instead of cash refunds.

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The CMA commented on TUI’s decision, saying: “It is important they (customers) know they are entitled to a cash refund as an alternative.”

TUI will be expected to regularly report to the CMA over the next year to update on the repayments.

These commitments apply to all of TUI UK’s different businesses that offer package holidays, which include First Choice, First Choice Holidays, Marella Cruises, Crystal Ski, Crystal, Tui Scene, Tui Lakes & Mountains and Skytours.

The move follows letters sent by the CMA to over 100 package holiday businesses to remind them of their legal obligations to give back customers’ cash.

It added: “The CMA understands that the pandemic has created extraordinary pressure for travel companies, including TUI UK.

“However, customers who had their holidays cancelled due to coronavirus must be treated fairly and receive their refunds promptly.

“It is essential that that all businesses comply with consumer protection law so that people are not being left out of pocket.”

The CMA published guidance for businesses earlier this year to help them understand their legal obligations.

Andrea Coscelli, the CMA’s chief executive, added: “The CMA is continuing to investigate package holiday firms in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.

“If we find that businesses are not complying with consumer protection law, we will not hesitate to take further action.”

A spokesman for TUI said: “We remain sorry that holiday refunds took longer to process during the height of COVID-19.

“The volume of cancellations and customer contacts was unprecedented, and at a time when retail stores, contact centres and offices were closed because of the nationwide lockdown.”

She said the firm had “worked tirelessly” to improve its systems.



Couples staycation ideas: Where are the most romantic destinations for couples in the UK?

City of Bath

Bath is a beautiful city in the county of Somerset, named after its Roman-built baths.

Nicky said: “Bath is home to the Roman thermal baths and what better way to get romantic than to ‘take the waters’ with your other half.

“Taking a stroll over Pulteney Bridge, which spans the River Avon, is highly romantic too – perfect for that couples Instagram picture.”

Bath has plenty of great places to eat and drink, from bistros to coffee houses to farm shops to posh restaurants.



Quarantine warning: Greece edges closer to red zone – but Denmark 'likely' to get the axe

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development office (FCDO) is advising against all but essential travel to the islands of Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos.

Anyone returning to England or Northern Ireland from those countries is required to self-isolate for 14 days.

However, the Greece’s islands left the UK split as Wales and Scotland implemented slightly different regulations.

Those returning to Wales from the islands of Mykonos, Zakynthos (Zante), Lesvos, Paros and Antiparos, Crete, Santorini, Serifos and Tinos are required to self isolate for 14 days.

READ MORE: Holidays refunds: On the Beach leaves ABTA



Spain holidays: Nile fever now in three tourist hotspots as new death reported

The outbreak has been described as “an extraordinary situation” and there are real fears it could spread to yet more parts of Spain and even to the holiday islands.

The action plan is to be repeated each year in a bid to stop further outbreaks amid allegations that the municipalities should have been properly warned about the dangers of Nile fever which produces meningitis in its most severe form.

The three other people who have died come from ​​Coria del Río and La Puebla del Río and were aged in their 70s and 80s.

In Coria del Río and La Puebla del Río, there has been massive de-fumigation of sports facilities, roads, squares, parks and river beds, with residents being urged to take all health precautions, including staying indoors between dusk and dawn, using insect repellant and mosquito nets, turning off lights and keeping all their homes clean, including swimming pools.

Nile virus is generally transmitted by mosquitoes that bite birds, which carry the virus and deposit it in both humans and horses.



Flights: New duty-free shopping rules announced for holidaymakers in 2021

British passengers travelling to EU countries will be able to take advantage of duty-free shopping from January 2021, bringing the UK’s approach to the EU in line with the rest of the world.

Passengers will be able to buy duty-free alcohol and tobacco products, where available, in British ports, airports, and international train stations, and aboard ships, trains and planes.

“This follows a consultation with industry on our approach to taxing goods carried across borders for personal use from January 2021, as the end of the transition period brings with it powers to set our own rules in this area,” explained HM Treasury.

The amount that passengers can bring back with them from non-EU Countries will also be significantly increased, and extended to EU countries.

READ MORE: Thomas Cook relaunches as online travel company



Google Maps Street View: Man caught during embarrassing ‘fail’ in Italy

On a sleepy road in Northern Ostrobothnia, Finland, an unexpected accident left one person face down in a field.

The scene unfolds on a country road, where a person can be seen riding a horse.

As the viewer clicks towards the direction the horse is trotting in, something shocking happens.

The horse’s body movements begin to seem erratic.

All of a sudden it rapidly turns from the road into a nearby field.

At first, the rider appears to still be atop the horse.

Then, at the next click, the horse is seen running into the distance.

Meanwhile, the rider has been thrown down into the grass.

Reddit users who saw the post reacted largely with humour.

One viewer wrote: “The rider on the ground with the horse taking off into the distance was hilarious.”

Another cheekily added: “The end did it for me.”



Commonwealth countries mapped: Barbados pushes to drop Queen – which others want the same?

commonwealth countries barbados queen elizabeth news latest

Commonwealth countries: There are 15 other countries with Queen Elizabeth II as their monarch (Image: Getty Images/Express)

Within the Commonwealth are 15 Commonwealth Realms, meaning there are 15 other countries with Queen Elizabeth II as their monarch. Barbados is one such nation – but the country has had enough. Today the Caribbean islands revealed it wants to remove the Queen as their head of state and become a republic next year.

November 2021 marks Barbados’ 55th anniversary of independence from the UK.

A speech written by Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley stated: “The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind.

“Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state.”

So what are the other countries among the 15 Commonwealth Realms and do they also want to leave?

READ MORE: easyJet, TUI, Ryanair & BA latest update after more quarantine changes

commonwealth countries barbados queen elizabeth news latest

Commonwealth countries currently number 54 in total (Image: Express)

commonwealth countries barbados queen elizabeth news latest

Commonwealth countries: Barbados revealed it wants to remove the Queen as their Head of State (Image: Getty Images)

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda formally became a British colony in 1667.

Independence was granted from United Kingdom on 1 November 1981 when Antigua and Barbuda joined the Commonwealth.

Australia

Australia’s process of colonisation began in 1788, several years after Captain Cook’s 1770 voyage in the ship Endeavour when the Briton claimed it as a British territory.

In 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia.

Australia joined the Commonwealth in 1931, under the Statute of Westminster.

The Australia Act 1986 severed the remaining constitutional ties between. Australia and the UK.

Unearthed reports have previously revealed how the Australian republican movement said membership had surged in the wake of the Brexit vote in 2016, as some had started questioning the benefits of remaining part of “little Britain”.

According to a throwback report by The Telegraph, an “AusExit” campaign, including calls to remove the Union Jack from the flag and remove the British monarch as head of state, gained momentum when Britain voted to leave the EU four years ago.

Australians voted against changing to a republic in a referendum in 1999 and polls have since indicated that support for the change has stagnated or dropped.

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The Bahamas

The Bahamas joined the Commonwealth in 1973.

The archipelago became a British crown colony in 1718.

Royal.uk states: “As Queen of The Bahamas, Her Majesty plays an important ceremonial and symbolic role in the country, although she is not involved in the day-to-day business of The Bahamas’ Government.

“On a day-to-day basis, The Queen is represented in The Bahamas by a Governor-General, with whom she stays in close contact via her Private Secretaries.”

Belize

Belize became a British colony in 1840, known as British Honduras, and a Crown colony in 1862.

Independence was achieved from the United Kingdom on September 21, 1981 when it joined the Commonwealth.

commonwealth countries barbados queen elizabeth news latest

Commonwealth: Belize independence was achieved from the United Kingdom on September 21, 1981 (Image: Getty Images)

Canada

Canada was a founder member of the Commonwealth in 1931 when its independence was recognised under the Statute of Westminster.

The Canada Act of 1982 went on to sever the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament.

According to Canadian site iPolitis.ca: “Polls show consistently that over 50 percent of Canadians favour severing ties with the monarchy” but it is unlikely political leaders will welcome such upheaval anytime soon.

Grenada

After many years of French rule, Grenada was ceded to the British under the Treaty of Paris in 1763.

From 1958 to 1962 Grenada was part of the Federation of the West Indies, a short-lived federation of British West Indian colonies.

Then, in 1967, Grenada was granted full autonomy over its internal affairs as an associated state.

Independence was granted on February 7, 1974 and it’s been in the Commonwealth ever since.

commonwealth countries barbados queen elizabeth news latest

Commonwealth countries: Grenada was ceded to the British under the Treaty of Paris in 1763 (Image: Getty Images)

Jamaica

Jamaica came under British colonial rule in 1655.

The Caribbean island achieved independence from the United Kingdom on August 6, 1962.

As explained by UCL’s Constitution Unit, Jamaica has several hurdles to pass before it becomes a Republic.

“In Jamaica, successive Prime Ministers have long advocated that Jamaica should become a republic, and several have committed to achieving that,” they stated.

“Both major parties want Jamaica to become a republic.

“The difficulty lies in the Jamaican constitution, which has very high thresholds for constitutional change: two-thirds majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and any change to the monarchy must also be submitted to referendum.”

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said in 2016 that the country will maintain its links with the Commonwealth even if they decide to replace Queen Elizabeth II as their Head of State.

Opinion in Jamaica is said to be divided about whether a republic is a good idea.

New Zealand

New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire in 1841 and in 1907 it became a dominion.

The county gained full statutory independence in 1947.

The New Zealand Republic Campaign is pushing to ditch the British Royal Family to make way for a New Zealander to become head of state.

Head of the campaign Lewis Holden told local news platform TVNZ1’s Breakfast earlier this year that being a republic would be a fairer system and give equal opportunity.

commonwealth countries barbados queen elizabeth news latest

Commonwealth countries: The New Zealand Republic Campaign is pushing to ditch the Royal Family (Image: Getty Images)

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea became an independent Commonwealth realm in 1975 with Elizabeth II as its Queen.

St Kitts and Nevis

St Kitts and Nevis was colonised in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The Caribbean islands joined the Commonwealth in 1983.

Royal.uk states: “The Queen is a ‘constitutional Monarch’ in St Christopher and Nevis, meaning that she acts entirely on the advice of her Government ministers on the islands.

“She receives frequent communications from her ministers via her Private Secretaries and is kept well-informed on all key issues affecting the country and its people.”

St Lucia

Britain took definitive control of St Lucia in 1814.

From 1958 to 1962, the island was a member of the West Indies Federation.

On February 22, 1979, Saint Lucia became an independent state and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.

commonwealth countries barbados queen elizabeth news latest

Commonwealth countries: Britain took definitive control of St Lucia in 1814 (Image: Getty Images)

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Britain was granted control of Saint Vincent in 1763, and, following seizure by the French in 1779, restored again to British rule in 1783.

It joined the Commonwealth in 1979.

“Her Majesty is in regular contact with Government ministers in the country, and plays a significant symbolic role in island life: appearing on the nation’s bank notes, and as the focus of annual birthday parade celebrations,” explains Royal.uk

Solomon Islands

The Solomon Island came under British rule in 1893 and gained independence in 1978.

Tuvalu

Tuvalu came under British jurisdiction in 1877 and was made part of the British Protectorate of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands in 1892.

It joined the Commonwealth in 1978.



PICTURES: What it's really like to fly with British Airways during the pandemic

British Airways returned to the skies in July following the coronavirus lockdown. However, flights revamped with a host of new measures to keep passengers and crew safe. Recently, Express.co.uk flew on a short-haul flight with the airline and gained and insight into what travellers can expect on for future journeys.

Personal hygiene is also taken into consideration, with passengers being handed a “personal protection pack” upon boarding.

The sealed plastic bag comes with hand sanitiser and an antibacterial wipe to clean off surfaces surrounding your seat.

Flight crew enforce a strict face mask rule, which they also follow themselves.

This means all travellers are required to wear a mask for the duration of the flight.

“As a guide, they last up to four hours, so bring enough for the duration of your trip,” recommends British Airways.

Last year the airline removed its free food and beverage service on short-haul economy flights and replaced it with a new M&S food offering.

However, amid the ongoing pandemic, this service has been halted.

All passengers are now given food or snacks in a sealed plastic bag.

As our journey was just 40 minutes, we received one bottle of water, a bag of crisps and a small bag of pretzels.

For short-haul journeys in economy the airline states: “We offer complimentary refreshments, including vegetarian options, along with a bottle of water. Please speak to a member of crew if you would like a juice or hot drink. Our ‘buy on board’, pre-pay and pre-order services are temporarily suspended.”

In short-haul business class passengers are able to choose from breakfast or all-day snack, including a vegetarian option, along with soft drinks, juices, water or a hot drink.

Alcoholic drinks are also on offer serves as miniatures or individual quarter bottles.

For long-haul economy and premium economy, passengers receive breakfast or all-day options, along with a selection of alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks.

In business, passengers are offered an elevated version of the breakfast or vegetarian option, along with drinks.

In First Class, passengers can select an alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks from the bar service.

Dining includes an “a la carte menu” complete with both hot and cold items.

In all cases, pre-pay and pre-order services are suspended.

When it comes to service, contact with the crew is dramatically reduced aside from the meal service and subsequent rubbish collection to attempt social distancing where possible.

However, the crew are on hand to answer questions when needed.

In a similar attempt at social distancing, passengers are asked not to queue for the bathroom and instead follow the vacant and engaged signs which are located above the aisle.

While the British Airways inflight experience is notably different now, for would-be holidaymakers with concerns, the visible cleanliness onboard should provide some comfort.

“You’ll see changes at every step of the journey when you fly with us, with new protective measures on the ground and in the air,” says the British Airways website.

“Your safety remains at the heart of everything we do.”