More than 500 vehicles were stopped by police in Wales this weekend, as officers began enforcing the new ‘firebreak’ lockdown which prohibits non-essential travel in the country.
Among them was a family that had driven for five hours from their home in Sussex, only to be stopped by officers in Carmarthenshire. When questioned, the family admitted they were travelling for non-essential reasons, and were escorted back to the border by the police.
Other cases include a man from Rotherham in Yorkshire, who told officers he had broken the lockdown rules because he wanted to “climb Mount Snowdon alone”. He was instructed to leave North Wales immediately.
Since the 'fire break' lockdown was introduced on Friday, all non-essential travel in Wales is now prohibited, and land borders are closed.
The Welsh Government advises that those caught breaking the new laws may have to pay a fixed penalty of £60 – rising to £120 for a second breach – and face criminal proceedings.
Scroll down for more updates on this story, and other breaking travel news.
That's a wrap
Before we sign off for the evening, here's a quick recap of today's top stories:
Covid risk no greater on holiday than at home, ONS data shows
Italian ski resorts forced to close just 48 hours after reopening
New travel corridor could unlock winter breaks to Dubai
Jamaica to launch travel insurance programme for visitors
Bookings for Gran Canaria holidays rise... by 4,700 per cent
International tourism 'dropped by 81 per cent' in August
Have a good evening; we'll be back tomorrow for more breaking travel news.
When will cruise ships start sailing again?
It's the million-dollar question.
With the UK Government still advising against travelling on ocean-sailing cruises, operators around the world have been forced to cancel sailings, postpone launches, and even send ships to the scrap-heap long before their time.
But there is a glimmer of hope for the cruise industry, with river sailings departing once again, and a few ocean operators returning to the waves.
Just another Tuesday afternoon
The nights are drawing in, with spectacular effect on North Yorkshire's Saltburn beach:
Also, around the world right now...
'It's time to scrap all restrictions on overseas travel'
The idea that travelling abroad is more risky – Covid-wise – than staying at home, is a fallacy, writes Oliver Smith.
We didn’t bother with travel restrictions back in March, when they might have made a difference. Now, when they are as pointless as an ashtray on a motorbike, we seem obsessed with them.
The travel corridors continue to come and go (goodbye Liechtenstein, hello Tenerife), there is talk of air bridges with Dubai and New York, and airport testing is becoming more and more widespread.
Unless you live in New Zealand, or some other far-flung island nation, Covid is now endemic. Even a vaccine, the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser has confirmed, is unlikely to change that fact. Every country in the world is – at varying speeds, but with steely certainty – approaching the same destination: if not herd immunity, then a level of immunity that leaves the virus chugging along in the background alongside all the other endemic viruses we’ve been living with since the dawn of time.
A postcard from Portugal, where the locals are reclaiming their tourist sights
The pandemic has made Lisbon re-evaluate its relationship with tourism, writes Emma Cooke.
This year, in spite of the pandemic, I found myself returning to Portugal’s capital, to work remotely. Despite the FCDO advice against it, I’m glad I did. Along with Amsterdam, Venice and Barcelona, Lisbon has frequently made headlines these past years as a site of extreme overtourism, but these stories felt like a distant memory as I explored.
In London, the city I’d left, mounting cases and fears of the ‘second wave’ meant the slight return to normality over the summer was fading fast. Restaurants felt empty and the streets in central were clear, as people eschewed Soho and the City for more local haunts. In contrast, Lisbon retained the spirit I fell in love with on my first visit.
Though noticeably less crowded, the city was no ghost town. Restaurants, sights and shops were instead filled with relaxed locals. Clear skies and temperatures in the twenties meant diners and drinkers took full advantage of the streets, with tables spilling out of restaurants and surrounding the city’s kiosk cafés, the better to allow socially-distanced groups to bask under the sun.
'I've not seen my father in over a year – an air bridge with New York would finally change that'
Travel corridors permit holidays, but it is families separated by Covid restrictions that stand to benefit the most, says Lizzie Frainier, who has been separated from her father for over a year.
The world has never been smaller and there are countless families, friends and relationships separated by oceans and travel restrictions. Technology helps fill the time between visits, but it can never replace in-person connections or the feeling of a hug.
That is why I am sure that when news of a potential air bridge between London and New York was announced, there were many others like me who were suddenly filled with hope. Sure, there will be those eager for a holiday, or business folk ready to seal a deal – but it’s the families and friends that have been separated for so long that are most excited about this prospect.
As soon as an air bridge is announced I’ll be booking the days off for my father and I to meet in the middle in New York City. We won’t waste any time.
Italian ski resorts forced to close as new rules spell disaster for the ski season
— tiziana ferrario 🇮🇹🇪🇺🌍 (@TizianaFerrario) October 25, 2020
The Italian ski resort of Cervinia reopened on Saturday, before being swiftly shut down again after images of overcrowding went viral and the Italian Government imposed strict new rules.
The resort, which has been operating throughout the summer for skiing and snowboarding on its high-altitude glacier, was one of the first in Europe to kick off the winter ski season at the weekend.
But on Saturday, images of long queues and overcrowded gondola cabins left many questioning the safety measures that had been put in place, as 2,000 people reportedly flocked to the ski area, which links to the slopes in neighbouring Swiss resort of Zermatt.
However, within 48 hours of opening, Cervinia – along with all other Italian resorts – was forced to announce it would be closing until further notice following an Emergency Decree from the Government.
A postcard from Wales, as it teeters on the edge of national depression
The harsh reality of winter in lockdown has hit in Wales, where locals are weary and worried about the future, writes Kerry Walker.
In the Brecon Beacons the autumn leaves are falling and the rust-gold peaks remind of the season’s beauty. Since the fire break lockdown began on Friday October 23, the weather has brought torrential downpours, high winds, even the odd rainbow – but few clouds with silver linings. Like the skies, the mood is sombre. Winter is coming and there’s no way of knowing what it will bring.
The bubble of optimism that held businesses in Wales afloat during the first lockdown has popped, leaving people weary and worried about the future. They renovated and reduced capacity, set up marquees and followed strict guidelines to be Covid-secure, yet here they are – back where they started in March.
Where is the light at the end of the tunnel? What about Christmas? And, more pressingly, will they survive to see 2021 without more government support?
The power of a 'travel corridor'
A month ago, Telegraph Travel writer Richard Franks had almost an entire plane to himself when he flew to Tenerife.
But yesterday, just a few days after the Canary Islands were granted 'travel corridor' status by the UK government, he was lucky to get a seat:
— Richard Franks (@richardpfranks) October 26, 2020
New travel corridor could unlock winter breaks to Dubai
Dubai could soon be back on the menu for British holidaymakers, says the head of the emirate’s airport operator. Paul Griffith, CEO of Dubai Airports, told Bloomberg TV that the progression of the plans is “in the hands of politicians”, and that negotiations are currently in process with other cities around the world.
A 'travel corridor' could see a reciprocal quarantine-free travel arrangement.
Boosting tourism in the emirate is “an essential part of the kick-start of the global economy,” said Griffith. “It’s about time that governments actually recognise what a great job the travel and tourism industry is doing in controlling the spread of the virus.”
The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office currently advises against non-essential travel to the UAE, of which Dubai is part. As such, travellers from the UK must quarantine for 14 days on their return, and risk invalidating their travel insurance if they decide to visit.
On Monday, Emirates – Dubai’s government-owned airline – announced that pre-travel Covid testing was no longer mandatory for visitors from the UK and Germany. Britons may now take a PCR test on arrival instead, and transiting passengers are not required to supply a certificate unless required by their final destination.
Throughout lockdown, the emirate has launched plenty of innovative ways to keep would-be visitors engaged – such as video tours of the city, online exhibitions of Dubai Museum, and (from October 30) the Dubai Fitness Challenge – a virtual incarnation of its city-wide annual event.
Salem pleads tourists to stay away
The mayor of Salem, Massachusetts, has urged tourists to stay away this Halloween – but visitors have been flocking to the city regardless.
Barricades have been set up outside shops and attractions to help enforce social distancing, as visitors – often dressed in fancy dress outfits – seek to explore the city, which is infamous for its 1692 witch trials.
Mayor Kim Driscoll has been urging people to stay away as cases rise in Massachusetts. “This is not the year to come to Salem,” Driscoll said at a press conference last week. “We can’t allow the sorts of crowds we’re seeing.”
Tier 4 lockdown: What would the rules be, and what UK areas could be affected?
The Government will "rule nothing out" on the prospect of a new fourth tier of restrictions, Matt Hancock has said.
Officials are drawing up fresh plans to add an extra lockdown level, which could see restaurants and non-essential shops shut in the event infection rates in England fail to drop.
The fourth tier is thought to be viewed as a short-term option, which could be deployed instead of national circuit-breaker restrictions in order to get the spread of the virus back under control.
The Scottish Government has opted for a five-tier model in which Level 4 is closer to the full lockdown.
Asked about it on October 26, the Health Secretary told BBC Breakfast: "We've always said all along that we take nothing off the table."
The Canary Islands' plan for obligatory Covid tests for arrivals
The Canary Islands are now on the UK's quarantine-free list, meaning Britons can travel there without facing two weeks of self-isolation on their return.
However, as Telegraph Travel expert Annie Bennett writes: "it was a bit odd [following the announcement of a travel corridor] that there was no mention of testing before travel, as the Canaries’ authorities had been insisting on it for months."
Now the regional government has drawn up legislation aimed at reducing the risk of importing Covid-19 to the Canary Islands.
The ruling, which if approved is likely to come into force in the next few weeks, states that all tourists – from other parts of Spain or other countries – must take a PCR or antibody test, at their own expense, 48 to 72 hours before travelling or on arrival, to be able to stay in the Canaries. Without a negative result they can be denied access to their accommodation. Anyone who turns up at their hotel, villa or apartment without this will be sent to a testing centre.
People who then test positive will have to quarantine in designated accommodation before being sent home. The costs of this will be covered by the insurance policy which the Canarian government introduced in August for all visitors to the islands.
You will be able to enter the Canary Islands without being tested, but will not be allowed to stay at holiday accommodation. It is not yet clear what the rules are if you are going to your own holiday home or private property.
Covid risk no greater on holiday than at home, ONS data shows
Britons who have travelled overseas have similar rates of Covid-19 infection to those who have remained in the UK, according to new research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
"Analysis now shows that, unlike before, there is no longer a difference in the rate of infections between those who have travelled abroad and those who haven't," said Katherine Kent, co-head of analysis for the Covid-19 Infection Survey.
In the latest fortnight analysed by the ONS, between September 25 and October 3, just three per cent of participants had travelled overseas.
Some 0.49 per cent of those who said they had not been abroad in the last 30 days tested positive for the virus, compared to 0.58 per cent of those who had travelled to another country.
This is at odds with a previous, long-term study to track Covid-19 in the population which found there were higher positivity rates among people who had travelled aboard compared with those who had not.
A look inside Iona, the largest cruise ship ever built for UK passengers
The biggest cruise ship that P&O Cruises has ever built, the 1,132-foot Iona, has been delivered to the British cruise line even as the industry remains largely at a standstill due to coronavirus.
But the arrival of the vessel, which weighs 185,000 tonnes, has 17 passenger decks and takes up the size of four football pitches, is being heralded as a “positive signal for the future” by Paul Ludlow, the president of P&O Cruises.
He added: “We cannot wait for restrictions to ease, borders to open and for us to once again be able to set sail. We are very excited to have taken delivery of our latest ship Iona, and we are looking forward to new beginnings and the opportunity to provide our guests with those memorable holidays for which we are known."
The events of 2020 “have increased the sense of anticipation even more,” Ludlow said.
The new 5,200-passenger behemoth took more than two years to build and cost approximately $950 million (£730 million).
Jamaica to launch travel insurance programme for visitors
The Caribbean island – which, as it stands, is on the UK's quarantine list – is set to launch its "Jamaica Cares" insurance programme within the next two weeks.
Visitors will be charged $40 (£30.70) for various protection measures, including up to $100,000 worth of healthcare.
Minister of tourism, and co-chair of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC), Edmund Bartlett, announced on Monday that the GTRCMC has signed an agreement with Global Rescue (a global response specialist) for the implementation of the programme.
“The Jamaica Cares Programme represents another prong in our COVID resilience and has been designed very specifically and very deliberately," Mr Bartlett said.
"The programme protocol will ensure our ability to welcome travellers to Jamaica safely, knowing that in the worst-case scenario, they will be treated to the gold standards of care and service by building an alliance that looks at the travel experience to Jamaica and back home again.”
Victoria Hislop: 'Why Greece is my storytelling spark'
Greece has become more than a second home – it has also given me a second citizenship, writes British novelist Victoria Hislop.
In September, I swore my oath of allegiance to the Hellenic Republic and the day of the ceremony included meetings with the president, the prime minister and the general secretary of internal affairs. I am now the proud possessor of Greek identity.
With six novels behind me and ten stops on each book tour, I have travelled the length and breadth of the country promoting the Greek editions. I have been to the north, to the Albanian border where bears sometimes appear, to the east (where Turkey is in view) and down to the southernmost town in Crete on the Libyan sea.
As I write, I am sitting in the terrace café of the Acropolis Museum. I keep glancing up at the Parthenon’s golden stones under a blue sky, grateful for the light breeze. The temple is iconic and for many it represents some of the best things about this country, not least beauty and the aesthetic principles that the West have followed for millennia.
Costa Rica opens to British holidaymakers, with no test certificate required
Costa Rica has announced that, from November 1, visitors from the UK will not be required to present a negative Covid-19 test certificate in order to enter the country.
Instead, travellers must complete an online health assessment and provide purchase proof of an insurance policy that covers medical expenses and accommodation in case of quarantine.
The country began reopening its borders on August 1, welcoming citizens of Canada, New Zealand and Japan, and other countries it deemed to be controlling the virus spread effectively.
The FCDO currently advises against all non-essential travel to Costa Rica – meaning that Britons must quarantine for 14 days on their return, and risk invalidating their travel insurance if they do visit. It is currently recording a seven-day case rate of 178 per 100,000 population.
Bookings for Gran Canaria holidays rise... by 4,700 per cent
Since the Canary Islands were added to the UK's quarantine-free travel last week, holiday bookings have surged by as much as 4,700 per cent says lastminute.com.
Over the weekend (Thurs-Sun), holiday purchases for Lanzarote leapt by 3,050 per cent, while Fuerteventura saw a rise of 1,800 per cent. However, the biggest hike was for Gran Canaria holidays: bookings soared by 4,700 per cent.
Fancy it? See our last-minute guide to the Canaries – including the safest islands and where to stay.
South Africa hopes to welcome UK visitors by Christmas
South Africa's international borders are already open, but not yet to countries on its 'red list', of which the UK is one.
There is optimism however, after Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane told Eyewitness News on October 26 that she "hoped" this list will be scrapped in time for the festive season.
South Africa reviews its list of 'high-risk' countries every two weeks, with the next review due on October 2. Along with the UK, other nations on the red list currently include Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Belguim and the US.
"We are watching closely at what happens there [in Europe] because from our side we are making progress for a number of countries to be able to come," said Kubayi-Ngubane, "but we are worried about us opening 100 per cent – you win that battle at opening 100 per cent, only to find that other countries are closing."
South Africa relies heavily on tourism, which accounts for 10 per cent of its GDP, and December is peak season.
'The first time I piloted a 747, I was 14 years old...'
To many pilots, the 747 personified ambition; it was inspirational. If you put your mind to it, you could achieve anything, writes Senior First Officer Charlie Page:
Even parked alongside my modern Dreamliner, the jumbo still looked elegant, ageing gracefully. If I was ever having a low day at work, the sight of a laden jumbo taxiing past, wingtips drooping under the weight of fuel, was all it took to me make remember why I wanted to be a pilot in the first place.
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to move onto the 747 fleet, but I turned it down. Why? They say never meet your heroes and the 747 was my hero. As she came to the end of her career, surpassed by newer, more technologically advanced aircraft, I didn’t want the image of my hero ruined. I wanted her to pass into retirement still held in high esteem, the pin-up on my bedroom wall.
The Queen of the Skies is ‘the one that got away’ and do you know what? I’m happy with that.
International tourism 'dropped by 81 per cent' in August
International tourism has fallen by an average of 70 per cent this year, according to data compiled by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
When viewed month-by-month, the statistics are even starker. International arrivals dropped by 81 per cent in July and 79 per cent in August, traditionally the two busiest months of the year for travel.
The fall in August represents 700 million fewer arrivals year-on-year, and translates into a loss of £560billion in revenues from international tourism. This is more than eight times the loss experienced after the 2009 global economic and financial crisis.
“This unprecedented decline is having dramatic social and economic consequences, and puts millions of jobs and businesses at risk,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili. “This underlines the urgent need to safely restart tourism, in a timely and coordinated manner”.
An ode to the chalet holiday, the reason Britain fell in love with skiing
Covid-19 may impact the catered ski chalet holiday this season, but it’s still the best way to maximise time and memories on the slopes, writes Kate Leahy.
For seasoned skiers, one of the most important parts of a ski trip is the depth and fall of the snow. For others, it’s the après that begins on the mountain and continues back at base long after the last skiers have descended. For others, like me, it’s the warm enticing ease of an Alpine catered chalet.
Why? Because, in the event the first two options don’t materialise, you’ll still have a ski trip to remember. But with Covid-19 (and Brexit) threatening to change the way chalets operate, maybe forever, what will become of this long treasured love?
Germany could be heading towards another lockdown
Several media outlets in Germany are reporting that Angela Merkel intends to push for a “lockdown light” at a crunch meeting with federal leaders on Wednesday, Jörg Luyken reports.
With cases numbers having tripled in the past fortnight, Berlin is coming under increasing pressure to enact stricter measures.
According to a report in Bild newspaper, Merkel will propose to state leaders that they order all bars and restaurants to close as well as ban all public events.
The lockdown would not affect the retail sector. Schools and kindergarten would also be allowed to stay open except in areas where there is a particularly serious outbreak.
Some in the Chancellor’s CDU party are pushing for more draconian measures. Deputy leader Thomas Strobl said on Monday he was in favour of a 10-day lockdown in which the whole population would have to stay home.
Storbl said that by shutting down “absolutely everything” Germany would "probably be able to bring the spread of the virus to a halt” and thus reopen by Christmas time.
Some 11,400 new cases were reported in Germany on Tuesday morning as well as 42 new deaths.
Uwe Janssen, the head of the ICU association, said that Germany has plenty of capacity in intensive care wards but doesn’t have enough nurses. He described the shortfall as “dramatic”.
Over 900 passengers banned from US airlines for not wearing masks
Three US airlines have revealed that over 900 people have been banned from future flights for refusing to wear face coverings.
In a memo to staff, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said that 460 people have been banned from travelling on the airline after refusing to wear a mask. Spokespeople from United and Alaska Airlines also told the Washington Post that they have black-listed "roughly 300" and 146 passengers respectively.
Air travellers in the US who refuse to wear masks are removed from flights, and in some cases added to carriers’ ‘no fly’ lists – prohibiting them from future travel. Alaska Airlines said the banned passengers “won't be able to fly with us as long as our mask policy remains in effect.”
‘Quarantine is the problem’
Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, has outlined the emirate’s plans to establish a travel corridor with London – and blamed travel quarantine rules for doing “more damage [to the industry] than any of the other single measures”.
Some highlights from his interview with CNN:
“We need to make absolutely sure there's harmonisation across the world in the testing, tracing, quarantining and mitigation methods that are being used. At the moment, all those discreet components that are absolutely necessary to get the world back up on its feet are looked at differently across the world. Until harmonisation happens, we're not going to make the progress we need to get to make to get the world moving again.
“We believe we have all the steps in place both here and in London to make [a travel corridor] happen. But the thing is of course, before we can get any agreements signed, we have to get the governments on board.
“If we could get a travel corridor established between here and London, then we could very, very quickly see a massive surge in traveller confidence and the numbers starting to come back, which would be good for the economy. It would be good socially and would be a good message to other cities around the world to follow suit. So, we're really, really keen to be an early adopter of this.”
Covid heralds the death of the city break – and return of the two-week beach holiday
New data has revealed drastic shifts in Britons' travel behaviour since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
The research, by airport transfer company Welcome Pickups, analysed UK traveller behaviour from March to the end of September this year, comparing it to the same period in 2019. Among the changes, it found an increase in longer trips and a move towards beach holidays, marking a nostalgic return to the way Britons used to travel.
However, other findings, such as the rise of solo breaks and death of the city break, suggest that the pandemic is sparking a number of unexpected trends that could have a long-lasting impact on the way we travel.
How travel can make you happy – even when you're grounded
While the continued difficulty of travel will be more important to some than others, it is still a cause for sorrow, writes Chris Leadbeater.
There is a celebrated quote from the pen of John Steinbeck which declares that “a sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ”. The accuracy of this statement could be debated endlessly at present – but there is a pertinence to those words, written 60 years ago, here in the gloom of 2020. And not just because a germ (or, at least, an insidious virus) has compromised our world.
The sentence is taken from Travels With Charley, Steinbeck’s account of his road trip around the USA in 1960. While the book details the author’s search for an America he felt he had lost touch with, it also shows him on a hunt for happiness as he nears the end of his life, describing his “urge to be someplace else” as an itch that is always within him.
His cure for his sad soul is to get on the road, and go – a feeling that plenty of us can subscribe to...
UK hotel industry won’t recover fully until 2023, warns PwC
UK hotel occupancy rates could take four years to return to pre-pandemic levels – even if there is a vaccine by next summer, says PwC.
Next year, hotel occupancy across the country is expected to be just 55 per cent of last year’s rates, the consultancy firm has warned – with a return to ‘normal’ trading not likely until 2023.
In 2019, London hotels recorded an 83 per cent occupancy rate, with regional hospitality recording 75 per cent. In 2021, PwC forecasts the rates will be 52 per cent and 59 per cent respectively, reflecting higher demand for more rural, less-crowded locations.
More clashes in Italy over tough new Covid restrictions
By Nick Squires in Rome
There have been demonstrations and clashes across Italy overnight after the government on Sunday introduced a tough new package of anti-virus restrictions, including the closure of bars and restaurants at 6pm.
Thousands of people protested against the new measures, from Turin in the north to Sicily in the south.
While most protesters were law abiding, a minority engaged in clashes with riot police, throwing stones, firecrackers and petrol bombs.
The new government decree also ordered gyms, swimming pools, theatres and cinemas to close, and many people are fearful for their livelihoods, having already taken a big financial hit during the national lockdown in the spring.
In the city of Cremona, restaurant owners banged pots and pans outside government offices, while in Catania in Sicily they threw firecrackers at a police station.
There were protests in Genoa, Naples, Milan and Trieste. In some cases, police fired tear gas as protests turned violent.
Police said many of the troublemakers were not legitimate business owners but extremists from the far-Right and far-Left, as well as 'Ultra' football fans.
Before we look at today's stories, let's recap what happened on Monday:
State of emergency comes into force in Spain
Britons visiting the Canaries will soon need to take a test
Holidaymakers ‘offered fake covid test certificates by travel agents’
Belgium records almost 12,500 cases a day for a week
Canaries interest rises by 900%
Norway imposes restrictions amid rise in cases
Now, on with today's news.