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The majority of British holidaymakers would rather cancel a holiday than wear a mask outdoors, according to a new YouGov survey.
The survey showed that at least half of British, German and French holidaymakers would rather cancel their holiday than go into quarantine afterwards, take a test upon arrival, or wear a mask outdoors.
Two-thirds of Germans would cancel a holiday if they needed to take a test upon arrival. This comes after Germany this week imposed a mandatory Covid-19 test for travellers arriving from 130 countries.
Half of French respondents said they would rather cancel than test, and the same percentage would call off a trip if they had to wear a mask outdoors.
Many European destinations have rolled out compulsory mask-wearing in public. Parts of Spain now require face coverings, and the Portuguese island of Madeira introduced the policy over the weekend.
A smaller proportion of British people, 40%, would cancel a trip because they have to wear a mask indoors. Some 70% said they would cancel a trip if they had to quarantine for two weeks on return.
Follow the latest news below.
What did we learn today?
Here are five things that we learnt in the world of travel today:
- Virus-free Italy pleads for return of British tourists
- Dubai Airport introduces 'coronavirus-sniffing dogs'
- British Airways to resume flights to 17 destinations in August
- Uber Boat launches in London
- Tourism numbers in Portugal fall by 96%
Scroll down for all of today's main stories, and join us tomorrow for another live travel blog.
Spas are open, but there are raised eyebrows over new rules
Spas have reopened, although on July 31 the Government announced a U-turn on beauty treatments in England, postponing "high risk" services such as facials and eyebrow threading from August 1 to at least August 15.
With bookable time slots, restrictions on the types of treatments offered, and some off-limit facilities, here's an insight into what we can expect in spas and what the new rules allow.
'My hotel stay was cancelled because of coronavirus, but Secret Escapes insists I'm not due a refund'
David Kidd writes:
In February we booked a short break at a hotel in Oxford through Secret Escapes to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We paid £636 for a two-night stay checking in on April 8. Secret Escapes’ booking terms said that the reservation was non-refundable if we cancelled.
In the event we didn’t cancel ourselves, but the hotel was closed due to the coronavirus lockdown so we couldn’t stay. The Oxford Thames Hotel’s reservations manager said he could not process a refund and advised us to contact Secret Escapes to seek reimbursement.
But Secret Escapes continues to insist that it does not have to repay us because of the “no refunds” clause in its terms and that the reason for the cancellation is immaterial. Surely this can’t be right: to take money for a service that cannot be provided?
Read our consumer expert Gill Charlton's advice.
'Tourists are safe in Spain' insists Spanish tourism minister
Reyes Maroto, the Spanish tourism minister, said:
"It is a decision of the British authorities, but we have given them all the arguments so that they can trust that their tourists are safe in Spanish destinations.
"If it is not the decision we expect, we will continue working with them.
"For us, the best news is to have the destination open with the United Kingdom, which is our main issuing market.
"We have the best protocols and are highly valued by the tourists themselves, who have transferred to their government that they feel safe in Spain."
British Airways to resume flights to 17 destinations in August
The list of destinations includes a number of popular spots in Italy, France and Turkey.
Lyon and Bordeaux in France, plus Bodrum in Turkey, feature on the list, alongside long-haul destinations like Antigua.
British Airways said the routes would be operated on "low frequencies" due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19.
Virus-free Italy pleads for return of British tourists
Italy is desperate for the return of British holidaymakers and has proclaimed itself as “up and running again” as a travel destination.
The comments by the country’s foreign minister, Luigi Di Maio, come as fears grow of a second wave of coronavirus infections across Europe.
“Britons who decide to spend their holiday in Italy will find not just the beautiful country that we all know but the enthusiasm and energy of a people who are getting going again after living through a dramatic period,” he told the Times. “British citizens visiting Italy will find a safe country because the epidemiological situation is under control.”
Italy was the first European epicentre of the coronavirus and initially criticised for its handling of the pandemic, but now it has one of the lowest infection rates on the Continent, less than half that of the UK.
Last month Carolyn Spinks, chief operation officer of Abtoi, the Association of British Tour Operators to Italy, told Telegraph Travel the country faces economic disaster without tourism. Some three million Britons typically visit Italy every year.
Dubai Airport introduces 'coronavirus-sniffing dogs'
Dubai Airport is one of the first in the world to introduce 'coronavirus-sniffing dogs'. So what exactly do the canines do?
- Some arrivals will have a swab of their scent taken by the Dubai Health Authority
- Dogs will sniff multiple samples in an isolate room
- If they smell traces of Covid-19, they will sit down
- The dogs are alleged to be able to detect Covid-19 with 92% accuracy
- Results are available within minutes
Here's a video showing how the process works.
Uber Boat launches in London
Those wary of venturing onto London’s Tube network take heed: Uber has teamed up with Thames Clippers to launch a new service, Uber Boat.
Emma Cooke has the report.
Riots on Brighton Beach over the weekend?
Hardly, says Teresa Machan.
Why are we so obsessed with punishing beachgoers? Are the people that write these stories cross because they’re not at the beach? Can’t they be bothered to go and find an alcohol-induced fight in town centres in Wimbledon, Oxford or Sutton?
British Airways pilots take pay cut
British Airways pilots have accepted a pay cut of 20 per cent, in an attempt to limit job losses at the UK's flag carrier.
The airline has struggled during Covid-19, as air traffic all-but came to a standstill with travel bans imposed around the world.
Just over one fifth of the 1,255 redundancies first planned will go ahead, and some of those might still be averted, the British Airline Pilots' Association said in a statement on its website.
Switzerland the "safest country in Europe"
Switzerland has recently been named the safest country in Europe to visit this summer. Not only is it on the FCO “safe” list of destinations that don’t require self-isolation on return, but Covid-19 numbers have been remarkably low. Granted, this is a small country with a population of fewer than nine million, but cases have totalled around 35,000 to date (compared to the UK’s 300,000) and deaths have remained below 10 per day for the past three months.
Our writer Nina Caplan says:
For plenty of other reasons, a trip to Switzerland seems like the ideal antidote to lockdown. From walking to picnicking and from swimming to cycling, it is almost laughably easy to enjoy the great outdoors here. Even in town, there is open air – most places have a lake, pool or swimming baths complete with a wooden scaffold of stepped diving platforms, from low-slung to ear-popping, and somewhere good to eat and drink nearby.
Watch: Firefighters battle to contain California's 'Apple Fire'
Away from coronavirus, firefighters are tackling a blaze in the mountains east of Los Angeles.
Evacuation orders remained in place early on Monday for thousands of people after a wildfire in mountains east of Los Angeles exploded in size and forced crews to battle flames in triple-digit heat.
The Apple Fire in Riverside County consumed more than 31 square miles of dry brush and timber, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
As of Monday morning, it was five per cent contained. The cause was under investigation.
The blaze began on Friday as two adjacent fires in Cherry Valley, an unincorporated area near the city of Beaumont about 85 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.
Lufthansa steps up restart in UK
Lufthansa is to resume services to Germany from Birmingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
The airline said from today it will restart a daily flight from the Midlands to Munich.
It said: "With flights arriving in under two hours, holidaymakers can take advantage of the short hop to Bavaria’s capital and enjoy the art museums, Neo-Gothic landmarks, such as the popular Neues Rathaus (town hall) with its daily glockenspiel show, or head further afield to visit the famous 19th century Neuschwanstein Castle."
The German flag carrier says it is now operating 198 weekly flights from the UK and Ireland to nine hubs across Europe.
'In the Covid-free Greek islands I found uncrowded beaches, low prices – and freedom'
Mart Stratton has had the summer holiday we all want.
Look right when entering Katapolo Bay and you will see Erato, Zeus’s muse, lyre pressed against her chest, her marbled gaze, faraway. She may be reflecting upon the indignity of her fate. Her unloved statue was removed from Athens in 1937 and dispatched three decades later to Amorgos, the Cyclades’ easternmost island.
Or perhaps she is musing over why this summer’s ferries look so desperately empty?
She’s not to know, of course, that Greece has reduced ferry capacities as part of social distancing measures and international travellers are significantly down throughout the Cyclades. Neither too, anything about coronavirus. Because no cases have been recorded in the smaller Cyclades where I spent ten insouciant days island-hopping, finding uncrowded beaches, low prices, half-empty accommodation, and freedom, after such a torrid year.
Singapore to make visitors wear tagging device to enforce quarantine
Travellers arriving in Singapore will be required to wear an electronic monitoring device to ensure they are complying with Covid-19 quarantine requirements, it was announced today.
Greg Dickinson has the details:
All arrivals in Singapore must go into quarantine for 14 days. However, from August 11, incoming travellers and residents arriving from certain countries will be allowed to self-isolate in a private residence for 14 days so long as they wear the device.
Anyone arriving from Australia (excluding Victoria), New Zealand, Brunei, Macao, mainland China, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam can serve their stay home notice at a place of residence. Everyone else has to isolate at a state-appointed facility, at their own expense if they are not a Singaporean citizen or permanent resident.
The monitoring system is similar to an electronic band rolled out in Hong Kong in March to ensure arriving passengers were following quarantine guidelines. South Korea has also introduced a wristband connected to a smartphone app, to detect those who are violating quarantine rules.
Details on how exactly the device will work are still to be announced, although it will only be mandatory for those aged 12 and over.
Delta to block middle seats on London-New York services
Delta has boasted it is the only airline operating between London and New York that keeps its middle seats empty to enable some sort of social distancing in the sky.
The American carrier has today resumed its daily service between Heathrow and JFK and says it will keep capacity on its aircraft capped until the end of September "to help protect the health and safety of its customers and crew".
"Seat blocks will be automatically implemented to prevent the adjacent seat being booked once a reservation is complete and seats are chosen," the airline said. "Parties of three or more will be able to book seats together, including middle seats."
Passengers and cabin crew will also be expected to wear face masks while travelling.
The majority of airlines have rejected the idea of blocking the middle seat as it would prove economically damaging. However, while demand remains low in the wake of the pandemic, passengers on some carriers will find it easier than others to maintain social distance.
Second cruise ship caught up in coronavirus outbreak
And here is some more detail from my colleague, Ben Parker, on yet another coronavirus outbreak on a cruise ship.
A cruise ship in the South Pacific has been forced to return to shore after a case of coronavirus was confirmed on board.
Paul Gauguin Cruises’ eponymous vessel, the sole ship in its fleet, only resumed holidays on June 29 following an industry-wide pause in operations.
The vessel began its current voyage in Papeete, capital of French Polynesia, with around 350 on board – including passengers and crew – and was sailing between Bora Bora and the Rangiroa islands when an on-board doctor diagnosed Covid-19. It has now returned to Tahiti, and Telegraph Travel understands the affected passenger has been taken ashore along with their family. Local media reports that the positive case is an American tourist, and that her family have tested negative.
There are a number of measures in place on the ship to thwart the spread of Covid-19, including a reduction in capacity and the removal of buffet meals. At embarkation, all passengers who have been in the country for less than two weeks are required to produce a negative Covid-19 test as well as undergo a health check on board. The cruise line, which is a subsidiary of French operator Ponant, has been contacted for comment.
The news is a further blow to the beleaguered cruise industry and comes after at least 40 passengers and crew who had been on board MS Roald Amundsen in Norway tested positive for the virus. Of the ship’s 158 staff, 36 are infected.
Airline capacity half of what it was last year for first time since pandemic
Global airline capacity has crept above 50 per cent for the first time since the pandemic, new figures show, fuelling optimism that the world's travel industry could be set for a recovery.
John Grant, an analyst at OAG, said scheduled passenger seats was now up to 60 million, up 4 per cent on last week, and now 50.4 per cent of last year's capacity.
"There are undoubtedly some markets where capacity is returning to previous year levels and others where further growth remains out of reach pending lockdowns being eased," he said.
"The United Kingdom reported the largest weekly capacity increase amongst the top ten countries with a near 20 per cent increase and some 230,000 additional seats added. Easyjet added a further 115,000 seats to their network of which 20,000 were to Spain (that may now be changing!) and both Greece and France had seen a further 12,000 seats added."
He said that there are currently 638 airlines operating around the world, down from 716 last year.
"Given the market conditions and outlook for the coming months it is likely that many of those will be probably not be operating again in the near future," he said.
Tourism numbers in Portugal fall by 96%
The latest tourist statistics for Portugal have been released by the country's Instituto Nacional de Estatística (INE).
The number of overnight stays by foreign tourists in June fell 96 per cent compared to last year, the INE said.
Portugal remains off the UK Foreign Offices list of 'safe' countries, heavily restricting the number of British holidaymakers making the trip.
More hotels in the UK reopen
The Cavendish hotel in the heart of Mayfair, London, reopened over the weekend.
See here for the latest information on all the best hotels in the UK that have now reopened their doors once again.
Wales enters next phase of easing lockdown
Up to 30 people can now meet outside in Wales while maintaining social distancing, with pubs and restaurants in the country able to open indoors.
Children under the age of 11 no longer need to keep two metres from each other or adults, following scientific evidence that the risk of transmission is lower among that age group.
Changes to coronavirus regulations in Wales on Monday also include pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes being able to reopen indoors as well as bowling alleys, auction houses and bingo halls.
Licensed wedding venues will be able to reopen to provide wedding ceremonies - though indoor receptions are still banned.
On Sunday, Public Health Wales said that a further three deaths had been reported, taking its total for Wales to 1,565 deaths. A further 37 positive cases were recorded, bringing the total figure in Wales to 17,315.
Cruise line suspends all sailings after ship outbreak
Hurtigruten has suspended all of its expedition cruises after a coronavirus outbreak on one of its ships.
All guests on board MS Roald Amundsen have been told to quarantine after 36 crew members of several guests tested positive for Covid-19. The line has now said all its sailings will be cancelled until further notice.
Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam said:
In light of the recent increase in new cases of Covid-19 globally, the only responsible choice is to suspend all expedition sailings until we are absolutely confident, we can carry out our operations in line with all requirements from the Authorities and with the even stricter requirements we have set for ourselves.
Hurtigruten is as of Monday in the process of reaching out to and informing guests booked on the now cancelled voyages.
The staff, of which there were 160 in total, were tested at the end of a seven-day sailing around the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard on Friday, with 177 passengers on board; none of whom reported any symptoms of the virus while onboard and all of whom had disembarked by the time the news broke.
'Then there are those simply too bored or defiant to follow the rules'
The Australian city of Melbourne has been plunged into further lockdown to stem the tide of new coronavirus cases.
Cristian Bonetto reports:
Melbourne now finds itself back at square one, with a harsher Stage 4 lockdown now underway. How does this feel exactly? Like hearing ‘False start!’ three-quarters through a Tough Mudder trail.
Expected to last a minimum of six weeks, Australia’s toughest restrictions to date include a nightly curfew between 8pm and 5am for those not at work, three-mile restrictions for all shopping and exercising, and the expected closure of non-essential retail outlets. Rumours of abattoir shutdowns have switched-up the panic buying from toilet rolls to mince.
The biggest driver of Melbourne’s new infections are symptomatic locals heading out instead of staying home. On July 30, a doorknock by teams of Australian Defence Force and Department of Health and Human Services officers found that more than a quarter of residents who had tested positive for Covid-19 weren’t home. Many have been at work, sparking Covid-19 hotspots that now include over 60 aged-care facilities.
Then there are those simply too bored or defiant to follow the rules, among them a ban on non-essential trips outside the metropolitan area. This particular no-no didn’t stop one man from zipping up to the New South Wales border (a distance of 199 miles) to buy a Big Mac. Daily appeals from Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to ‘stay home’ recall a patient parent tested by misguided teens.
Normality returns as Chinese beer festival attracts thousands
Thousands of Chinese beer lovers left their facemasks and virus worries behind to gather in large crowds and raise a much-needed glass as the annual Qingdao beer festival opened over the weekend.
China has largely brought the coronavirus outbreak under control through a series of lockdowns and restrictions, and the small number of cases reassured beer-lovers to turn out despite the global pandemic.
And at the festival, which opened Friday and runs until late August, drinkers were eating and drinking together, watching shows and fireworks and sampling the more than 1,500 types of beer available.
Many revellers were walking around the enormous venue in Shandong province mask-free, with long tables packed with merry drinkers in scenes reminiscent of pre-COVID-19 days.
State broadcaster CCTV said the festival was a chance for people to go back to "normal life and clink glasses".
"It's been half a year since I last travelled around... I feel so happy and relaxed right now," Wang Hua, a tourist from northern Shanxi Province, told CCTV.
But all was not entirely as normal.
The central "Beer City" is limited to 30 percent visitor capacity, while staff must wear masks and visitor temperatures and health codes are checked.
Imported beer containers are also being tested for the virus and disinfected before entering the venue, officials said, after several local clusters in China were linked to imported food.
In pictures: Tokyo reopens amid economic woes
Germany to introduce mandatory testing of travellers
Germany planning to ramp up its testing of arrivals from overseas.
Reuters has the latest:
Mandatory testing of travellers returning to Germany from countries with a high risk of COVID-19 infection will take effect later this week, Health Minister Jens Spahn said.
"We have first drafts. We want to coordinate this well with the states because they need to be able to implement it at airports and train stations," he told German broadcaster ARD on Monday.
The country has seen a small uptick in the number of new daily cases, with 1,012 recorded on July 31, the first time in more than a month the figure surpassed 1,000.
Britons set to spend money in restaurants rather than abroad
Healthy restaurant bookings are due to people having spare money from staycations rather than the launch of 'Eat Out to Help Out', the San Carlo group has said.
Managing Director Marcello Distefano has said that people who would have spent money going abroad are instead using the extra cash to eat out at restaurants.
Discussing the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme he told BBC Radio 4’s The Today Programme: “We had a positive response to our social media last week. We started advertising throughout Thursday and Friday and the bookings are looking quite healthy for this week.
“But we are also putting it down to the fact that we believe there’s a lot of people who are not going on holiday, everyone is calling it a staycation at the moment.”
He added that the rise in bookings was not “purely to do with” the Government scheme but instead “people still have some money to spend, they’re not going away but they still want to eat out”.
Five stories from the weekend
Good morning, here are some of the weekend's key stories:
- Victoria declares disaster and sets curfew for Melbourne
- UK staycations attract large crowds and increase coastguard callouts
- Switzerland and Ireland consider enforcing stricter Covid-19 restrictions
- Holland’s top scientists say no to face masks in public places
- South Africa coronavirus case toll soars