Covid travel news live: Latest updates as UK reintroduces PCR testing and self-isolation
Japan has closed its borders to all international travelers over fears that the newly identified omicron variant of Covid-19 will no longer be transmissible and reduce the effectiveness of vaccines.
Stricter border controls and travel restrictions are being introduced across the world in response to the latest variant of concern.
The UK has reintroduced second-day PCR testing for all inbound travelers, including those who are fully vaccinated, as well as a mandatory quarantine while arrivals await their results.
In addition to the six southern African countries unexpectedly added to the UK’s red list last week – South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Namibia – four other countries have received red status.
At 4 a.m. on Sunday, British and Irish residents returning to England from Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola must also pay to self-isolate in an approved quarantine hotel for 10 days.
Follow all the latest travel news below:
What are the new rules for traveling to Spain?
Widely open to British travelers in the summer of 2021, Spain is once again tightening its travel restrictions in the face of the new omicron variant of the Covid-19.
Spain and its islands have long been a favorite destination for Britons, with over 18 million vacationers visiting this Mediterranean hotspot in a typical year. However, the coronavirus pandemic has decimated the travel industry.
So, can you book a Spanish getaway this winter – and what are the current travel rules?
Read our full explanation for everything you need to know:
Lucy thackrayNovember 29, 2021 11:51 AM
BREAKING: Scottish and Welsh governments demand Boris Johnson to increase self-isolation days for travelers
The Scottish and Welsh governments have urged Downing Street to introduce ‘stricter’ travel rules to combat the spread of the omicron variant of Covid-19 across the UK.
Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she and her Welsh counterpart Mark Drakeford wrote to Boris Johnson demanding a ‘tightening’ of the rules so that those arriving in the UK must self-isolate for eight days.
The SNP leader and the Welsh Labor Party leader also asked the new arrivals to take a PCR test on the eighth day as well as the second day.
Adam forrestNovember 29, 2021 11:17 AM
EasyJet passengers have until midnight tomorrow to cancel their vacation
EasyJet customers who need to travel through December 17 have until midnight Tuesday November 30 to cancel their vacation online in exchange for a credit.
The holiday company introduced the policy in response to the UK government’s announcement that it is reintroducing measures such as PCR testing for all UK arrivals.
All easyJet Holidays customers can make changes to their booking up to 28 days before departure; all customers who have booked an easyJet vacation through a travel agent or third party should contact their agent to discuss their options.
Matt Callaghan, Director of Customer and Operations at easyJet Holidays, said: “We know this news may have affected some of our customers with looming travel plans, so as always we want to be by their side and give even more flexibility right now. .
“This is why we are allowing the cancellation of the easyJet vacation credit or free modification of travel agent bookings for anyone traveling by mid-December, allowing them to rebook when the time is convenient for them.
“We are contacting our customers and sales agents with details on how to proceed. Customers can of course keep their vacation reservation, this is just to further reassure anyone wishing to change their plans.
Helene coffeyNovember 29, 2021 11:07 AM
Couple who escaped from Covid quarantine hotel arrested by Dutch police
A couple were arrested and taken from a plane to the Netherlands after fleeing a quarantine hotel and trying to leave the country.
The couple – a 30-year-old Spaniard and a 28-year-old Portuguese woman – were arrested on a plane to Spain, police said.
Public health spokesperson Stefanie van Waardenburg said one of the couple tested positive for Covid-19 and was in isolation while the other person tested negative but in quarantine.
“The arrests took place on a plane that was about to take off. They were on a plane that was about to leave for Spain, ”officials said.
Sravasti Dasgupta November 29, 2021 10:53 AM
Switzerland imposes 10-day quarantine on British travelers
Switzerland has announced that it will impose a 10-day quarantine on all arrivals from the UK in response to fears over the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
The country’s Federal Office of Public Health announced on Saturday that arrivals from the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Egypt and Malawi, as well as Great Britain, should test negative for Covid and self-test. isolate on arrival.
“UPDATE – UK has been added to Switzerland’s list of at-risk countries,” the Swiss Embassy tweeted.
“When they board a plane and enter Switzerland, all people from the UK must test negative for Covid-19 and self-quarantine for 10 days. “
Helene coffeyNovember 29, 2021 10:26 AM
Four more African countries added to UK red list
The UK has added four more African countries to its red list, after the six added last Thursday.
Angola, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia were all moved to the high-risk list as of 4 a.m. on Sunday November 28, meaning UK arrivals from those countries must pay to self-quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days.
The changes were announced in a statement from the Department of Health, which said two cases of the omicron coronavirus variant had been detected in the UK in Chelmsford and Nottingham.
Anyone who has returned from the four new Red List countries in the past four days – even if they arrived before Sunday’s deadline – must self-isolate at home and take a PCR test, said the department.
Lucy thackrayNovember 29, 2021 9:53 AM
Japan closes borders to all foreign visitors in response to new variant of Covid
Japan will close its borders to all foreigners, including business travelers and foreign students, from Tuesday in response to the spread of the omicron Covid variant, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said.
The announcement makes Japan the second country after Israel to close its borders, fearing that Omicron may be more transmissible than previous variants of the coronavirus.
“We are taking action with a strong sense of urgency,” Kishida said, adding that his government was tightening border controls due to the “rapid spread” of omicron around the world.
Mr Kishida said Japan will continue to provide booster shots to its vulnerable population, three-quarters of whom are already fully immunized.
Stuti MishraNovember 29, 2021 09:11
Spain bans unvaccinated Britons
Only fully vaccinated British tourists will be admitted to Spain from Wednesday as countries around the world tighten border restrictions amid concerns over the new variant of the Omicron coronavirus.
Until now, the British could enter Spain showing a negative PCR test result taken up to 72 hours before arrival, but from December 1 they will also need proof of vaccination against Covid- 19.
The variant, which has also been detected in Belgium, Botswana, Hong Kong, Italy, Germany and Britain, has sparked global concern and a wave of travel restrictions, although epidemiologists say such restrictions may be too late to prevent Omicron from circulating around the world.
“The appearance of new variants (…) forces an increase in restrictions”, with regard to people from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, according to a bulletin from the Spanish government.
A spokeswoman for Spanish industry, commerce and tourism said the move would not affect the estimated 300,000 Britons residing in Spain.
Alastair JamiesonNovember 29, 2021 8:53 AM
British Airways suspends flights to Hong Kong
British Airways has suspended flights to Hong Kong after a crew member tested positive for Covid-19.
The move follows reports that crew members were forced to self-isolate for three weeks at a quarantine facility built from shipping containers.
The city has one of the strictest quarantine policies in the world, with people arriving from overseas having to spend up to 21 days in government-mandated hotels.
The airline said a staff member tested positive on arrival at the special administrative region after first testing negative before departure.
Helene coffeyNovember 29, 2021 8:18 AM
What are the new rules for arrivals in the UK?
PCR testing and self-isolation are back for travelers arriving in the UK. Weeks after international travel rules were relaxed to allow cheaper and faster lateral flow (antigen) testing, the government is again tightening restrictions in response to the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
At the same time, the previously dormant red list has been extended and now applies to arrivals from 10 southern African countries.
Here are the top questions and answers on what the new rules mean for UK travelers:
Simon calderNovember 29, 2021 8:01 AM