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With cases rising, Poland has now joined Sweden in entering the 'red zone' of the system used by the UK to determine whether a country is taken off its quarantine-exempt list.
Countries in which the number of infections surpasses 20 per 100,000 citizens over seven days risk losing their air corridor status under the FCDO's guidance. Poland today reached 20.1, while Sweden has seen its case rate double in the past week to 26.3.
As it stands, Spain leads with by far the highest rate of 162.9. In Italy, currently at 19.1, there has been a slow, steady increase rather than a spike. Greece is at 21, Portugal at 47.8, and the UK is at 58.4.
Paul Charles, CEO of travel consultancy The PC Agency, tells Telegraph Travel: “The resurgence of Covid-19 is sweeping across more countries in Europe as colder weather approaches and people go back to working or being educated indoors. We could see Poland and Sweden added to the quarantine list if cases rise substantially this week, depending on testing positivity levels.
“Yet, in destinations where summer is approaching again, such as South Africa and Australia, cases are falling. Let’s hope they drop far enough to open safe corridors again and re-energise long-haul travel.”
There are now just nine destinations Britons can visit that don’t include some form of test or restriction, including Sweden, Italy and Germany.
Scroll down for more of the latest updates.
15 of Italy's hidden hilltop gems - and you'll have them pretty much to yourself
From Urbino, with its Renaissance art, to San Daniele, famous for its prosciutto, this is Italy at its autumnal best, writes Ondine Cohane:
It’s been a hard year for travel, but one silver lining of the restrictions has been the opportunity to see Italy in a way we have not enjoyed in decades, with a fraction of its usual visitors. Hill towns are particularly alluring in their relative solitude. For now at least, you can meander through beautiful cinematic countryside with hardly another hiker in sight. Booking into a popular restaurant where it’s hard to get a table for months can now be a last-minute decision rather than an epic wrangling. Locals have time to pause and chat about their favourite nearby secrets. Decisions are spontaneous rather than scripted.Though bittersweet, of course, 2020 may well be Italy’s banner year for a more solitary and tranquil type of discovery – provided current Covid arrangements hold.
Here are 15 of the most spectacular and unexpected towns to put on your radar, whether you are an art buff, a gourmand or a nature lover. Each is its own special kind of paradise.
Third wave of coronavirus entirely possible, admits professor
A third wave of coronavirus is "entirely possible" and another lockdown would only serve to "defer" further outbreaks, Professor Mark Woolhouse has warned.
Professor Woolhouse, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of Edinburgh, said that while strict measures stop the immediate crisis and quickly reduce transmission, they do not make the virus go away.
Speaking on BBC One's The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday he said that modelling had previously shown it was "entirely possible" that another lockdown would be needed in September.
When asked if there could be a third wave of coronavirus he said:
"That's entirely possible. The scenario I mentioned earlier does actually include this possibility and this is just another demonstration of what I was saying earlier that lockdown doesn't solve the problem, it defers it.
That's why we need some kind of cavalry on the horizon or alternatively, if you think that vaccine is not going to be available in six months or 12 months or two years or whenever, it means that we do need alternatives.
The alternatives that have been mentioned so far are things like the Moonshot programme of mass testing."
Demand for holidays in Turkey soars as travel map shrinks for Britons
Britons desperate for some winter sun are turning to Turkey as one the last restriction-free options for a holiday.
Currency expert FairFX has reported a 78 per cent spike in orders for Turkish lira, with the pound currently up 24 per cent against the currency compared to the start of this year.
Travelsupermarket points to a 15 per cent jump in bookings to Turkey in the past 14 days, accounting for a third of all search traffic, and a fall in demand for Greece, where cases are on the rise. Turkey remains comfortably under the UK's threshold of 20 cases per 100,000 over seven days, with a rate of 14.1. The UK itself currently stands at 56.
'No standing, dancing or singing' – Après-ski is off the menu as Austrian government clamps down
Après-ski in Austria is set to be drastically different this winter as the Government outlines new rules to rein in the country’s popular off-the-slope parties, Lucy Aspden reports.
Gone are the days of dancing on tables in crowded bars. Instead après-ski venues, such as those in popular party destinations St Anton, Iscghl and Sölden, will have to adhere to new capacity restrictions and skiers must be seated at tables, both in and outdoors.
“There will be no après-ski as we know it from earlier times,” Tourism Minister Elisabeth Koestinger told a news conference this week.
“Standing, dancing, singing while densely packed in small bars or under-umbrella bars is a potential source of infection and we are distancing ourselves from it,” she said.
Your lunchtime read: 'The family tragedy that made me fear the ocean, and my quest to overcome it '
Hang onto your handkerchief, this will be the most moving story you've read in a while.
Benjamin Parker, who grew up surfing in Dorset, lost his beloved aunt to the ocean when he was a teenager. It took more than a decade for him to trust the waves again, but he made a breakthrough during a trip to Portugal. He writes:
There’s not a romantic ending to this story; grief, heartbreak, loss, black dog – whatever you wish to call it – doesn’t wash away easily (believe me, I have tried). The burden that lingers is as heavy as the coffin I once helped carry. But there’s a glimmer of acceptance in the turmoil, which is all I can hope for. That surf and yoga hideaway in the Algarve, straightforward in concept but executed with swagger, helped reconcile an unsettled soul with a love of surfing. With saltwater washing over my skin, I’ll be thinking of you, Ora – and I promise no more pausing on the shoreline.
20 reasons why you should escape to quarantine-free Turkey
For a start, because we still can. But there are many more reasons than that, argues Terry Richardson:
With the third longest coastline of any Mediterranean country, one of the world’s best cuisines, a plethora of beautifully located archaeological sites, a historic metropolis bestriding two continents and a marvellous tourist infrastructure, Turkey needs little selling as a holiday destination. Especially when you throw in its famously hospitable people, late summer sun and the superb value for money it offers.Of course tourism has taken a big hit in the worldwide pandemic, but Turkey has been far more successful than many countries in dealing with it, and has been included on the “travel corridor” list of countries that Britons can visit without restrictions, or the need to quarantine on their return, since the start of July.
10pm curfew leads to busy streets in Soho
Back home, town and city centres up and down the UK were once again packed at closing time last night following the introduction of the new 10pm hospitality curfew earlier this week.
Nearly three months after pubs and restaurants were allowed to reopen their doors, the rules were tightened again from Thursday following a rise in the UK's Covid-19 caseload.
Police have the power to enforce these rules, and businesses are expected to as well. Individuals who fail to comply can be handed a £200 fine, doubling with each offence, to a maximum of £3,200.
A view from around the world
Here's a Sunday snapshot:
UK coronavirus cases not rising as fast as Vallance's 'nightmare projection'
Fancy some good news? Don't we all.
Newly reported Covid-19 cases are not rising as fast as projections presented by the government's chief scientists, analysis by The Telegraph's Dominic Gilbert can reveal.
On Monday, the chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance presented a scenario in which the number of new confirmed cases could reach close to 50,000 a day by October 13 if it began doubling every seven days.
Sir Patrick made clear the scenario was “not a prediction”, but an example of how the virus can spread when left unchecked. It was based on the situation as of September 15.
Since the dire warning the UK has seen the highest daily rise in detected infections since the start of the pandemic for two days running, with 6,634 new cases reported on September 24 and 6,874 on September 25.
However, had the number of new cases been doubling every seven days, the UK would have been reporting closer to 8,000 cases a day by this time.
Analysis by the Telegraph shows – at the current rate - the virus is doubling between every nine and 14 days. In a worst-case scenario, this would lead to marginally more than 32,000 new daily cases by October 13.
Which country could be quarantined next?
A look at the rising Covid-19 cases around the world. The threshold for a UK quarantine is 20 cases per 100,000 over a seven-day period:
Sweden corona strategy: 'The country has remained so calm'
Since the pandemic hit in the middle of March, Sweden has remained so calm, and its restrictions been so gentle, that it has often felt like a crisis happening elsewhere, notes Richard Orange:
Looking at the raised tempers, blame, hysteria and sense of panic over in the UK, the calm here has felt surreal, and something to be grateful for.The episode also added to my first-hand evidence that Swedes are largely continuing to abide by the public health agency's recommendations - keep your distance, keep good hygiene, and stay home when you're sick.While in the UK, many are angry and distrustful of their leaders, most people here are glad that politicians stood back and let the rational and reassuring state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell set the strategy.
We've got plenty of content for you to read on the topic of Sweden, including:
- Richard Orange on the joy of Swedish freedom
- How Sweden's consistent approach saved it from a second spike
- Ross Clark: Lockdown supporters cannot bear that Sweden got it right
The underrated city that's having a food revival post lockdown
The Polish capital of Warsaw bounced back quickly from lockdown and is now witnessing a burst of culinary creativity, writes Mary Lussiana:
Those who feel cheated of exploring pastures new with our limited travel options would do well to consider a trip to Warsaw, where Covid-19 is under control, masks can be abandoned except in taxis and there is an exciting, vibrant new foodie scene to experience.The newest opening, and still the hottest ticket in town is Nobu, where chef Yannick Lohou, fresh from Nobu Barcelona, rolls out the famous black cod miso alongside toro tartare with caviar, the king crab tempura with watermelon (yes, it works), and the dish that has unofficially been crowned Warsaw’s favourite: Wagyu beef and foie gras dumplings with spicy ponzu. It is about as close as you can get to the traditional Polish pierogi (normally filled with cabbage and mushrooms or white cheese and potato), but here plump with 2020 culinary sophistication.
How Vietnam crushed its second wave
On July 24, Vietnam was enjoying its 99th straight day without any known transmission of the novel coronavirus.
While the international borders remained closed to all but a handful of specific flights, life inside the country would have appeared shockingly normal to much of the world: domestic tourism was fully functioning, restaurants and bars were busy, and social distancing regulations had ended.
The following day, the Ministry of Health announced a new case of community transmission in Da Nang, a large city on the central coast.
The source of this infection remains unknown, as all new cases in the previous three months had been people arriving from abroad who were immediately quarantined for 14 days.
Wherever it came from, the outbreak spread rapidly, and within a few weeks hundreds of new cases were detected in Da Nang, largely concentrated in a cluster of hospitals, while Vietnam’s coronavirus-related death toll jumped from zero to 35.
Three rules for planning a holiday in our post-Covid era
Embarking on a domestic summer holiday made Anna Hart more creative and discerning, not less.
This year, we’re all having to downsize our daydreams. But this doesn’t mean we should settle for lacklustre holidays. Even though I was confining myself to mainland Britain, I could still seize this opportunity to explore a nation, Wales, that shamefully I’d never visited before.A four-hour rail journey was nothing compared to the 11-hour trips to LA I used to make. My normal reluctance to spend hours travelling – without arriving somewhere hot and exotic – evaporated, and my intrepid spirit returned.
Read the full story for Anna's golden rules in planning a staycation.
France's health system will be overwhelmed, expert claims
France will face a months-long coronavirus epidemic that will overwhelm its health system if something does not change, one of the country's top medical figures warned Sunday.
"The second wave is arriving faster than we thought," Patrick Bouet, head of the National Council of the Order of Doctors, told the weekly Journal du Dimanche.
Fresh restrictions to slow the spread of the disease in the country's worst-hit areas, including the Mediterranean city of Marseille and the Paris region, have run into local resistance.
Mr Bouet told the paper that warnings delivered this week by Health Minister Olivier Veran had not gone far enough, stating:
"He didn't say that in three to four weeks, if nothing changes, France will face a widespread outbreak across its whole territory, for several long autumn and winter months."
There would be no medical staff available to provide reinforcements, and France's health system would be unable to meet all the demands placed on it, he warned.
Cases top 700,000 in Argentina
Argentina's coronavirus infections topped 700,000 on Saturday with new daily infections and deaths among the top five globally, Reuters data showed, despite seven months of quarantine that have ravaged the frail economy.
Argentina reported a rolling seven-day average of 11,082 new cases daily, behind only India, the United States, France and Brazil, all countries with far larger populations than the South American nation. Argentina's average daily death toll this week hit 365.
Health officials on Saturday reported 702,484 total infections since March and 15,543 deaths. On Friday, the province of Buenos Aires announced it had underestimated the death toll from Covid-19 by 3,523, outraging many Argentines already weary from months of lockdown that had failed to slam the breaks on the pandemic.
The additional deaths from Buenos Aires province were not incorporated in those figures, the health ministry said.
What happened yesterday
A recap of the top stories:
- Sweden's Covid-19 case rate doubles within a week
- First snow falls over European ski resorts
- Household mixing ban comes into force across swathes of Northern England
- United Airlines to be first US airline to offer Covid-19 tests for passengers
- BA crew member says Hong Kong quarantine is 'like a concentration camp'