Tag: Telegraph

Testing Trial Stokes London-New York Travel Hope, Telegraph Says

(Bloomberg) — A trial starting Monday to test passengers flying between London and New York for Covid-19 could raise hopes for a potential travel corridor, according the Telegraph.



a group of people standing in a room: NEWARK, NJ - SEPTEMBER 08: People arrive before boarding flights for COVID-19 testing at the new testing facility XpresCheck at Newark Liberty International Airport Terminal B on September 8, 2020 in Newark, New Jersey. Previously, the facility administered tests only to airline employees and related parties. The facility's focus on testing for communicable disease highlights the switch parent company XpresSpa Group has been making from spa services at airports in the midst of the global pandemic. Newark Liberty XpresCheck, which is the second to begin services after New York's JFK Airport, can administer more than 350 COVID-19 tests per day. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)


© Photographer: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images North America
NEWARK, NJ – SEPTEMBER 08: People arrive before boarding flights for COVID-19 testing at the new testing facility XpresCheck at Newark Liberty International Airport Terminal B on September 8, 2020 in Newark, New Jersey. Previously, the facility administered tests only to airline employees and related parties. The facility’s focus on testing for communicable disease highlights the switch parent company XpresSpa Group has been making from spa services at airports in the midst of the global pandemic. Newark Liberty XpresCheck, which is the second to begin services after New York’s JFK Airport, can administer more than 350 COVID-19 tests per day. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)

United Airlines Holdings Inc. said Friday it will offer free rapid tests to all passengers and crew members on select flights from Newark Liberty International Airport to London Heathrow from Nov. 16 to Dec. 11. Anyone who declines to be tested will be placed on another flight, guaranteeing everyone on board other than children under two will have tested negative before departure.

Results will be shared with officials on both sides of one of the world’s busiest routes and may help to persuade government officials to agree to a travel corridor between the nations, the newspaper said.

The U.K. requires passengers arriving from the U.S. to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. British Transport Minister Grant Shapps has floated the idea of shortening the quarantine period for visitors by testing people a week after arrival. U.K. nationals are also restricted from U.S. entry.

In other airline news, EasyJet Plc has sold its slots at London Stansted Airport to rival Ryanair Holdings Plc in a deal expected to raise tens of millions of pounds, the Telegraph reported. EasyJet is in talks with the U.K. and European governments on a potential bailout, the paper said.

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Travel bosses urge Government to unlock long-haul holidays in support of new Telegraph campaign

In support of The Telegraph’s new Unlock Long Haul campaign, aimed at kickstarting travel to destinations beyond Europe, nearly 70 travel bosses have written to the Foreign Secretary to demand that its blanket advisory against “non-essential travel” is lifted after lockdown. 

Since March, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) has warned against all “non-essential” overseas travel, but exempts destinations that “do not pose an unacceptably high risk for British travellers”. In the summer, much of Europe fell into this category. However, with Covid cases now rising across the continent, that list is shrinking. Yet the vast majority of long-haul destinations – including almost every nation in Africa and Latin America – are still being snubbed. This is despite many having a far lower case rate than the UK.

The letter to Dominic Raab (reproduced here), signed by the bosses of leading firms including Last Frontiers, Martin Randall, Steppes Travel, Transindus, Dragoman, Explore Worldwide and Sunvil, as well as trade organisations such as the Association of Independent Tour Operators, points out that the FCDO advisory means those who wish to travel to non-exempt countries must do so with “inadequate or no insurance, something the Government’s own Travel Aware campaign was set up to avoid.” They are also, in nearly all cases, required to self-isolate when they return to Britain – a barrier that is further stifling business. 

Specialist long-haul tour firms employ thousands of highly-trained sales and operations staff, as well as expert guides. In the UK, the winter sun travel market is invaluable to holiday businesses and supports millions of jobs across destination countries – many of which are developing nations.

As the letter to Mr Raab warns, “We all either work for or represent specialist and long-haul tour operators, and have all had to make valued members of staff redundant. Even more tragically, we have all seen increasing levels of poverty, poaching, and other environmental damage in destination countries.”

Many winter-sun destinations, from Costa Rica to Egypt, are now fully open to tourists, including those from Britain. Most have falling or stable coronavirus case rates, have recorded far fewer deaths per capita than the UK, and many have state-of-the-art medical facilities that, in a worst-case scenario, can be accessed using travel insurance. 

Restrictions on entry vary. Some countries check the temperature of arriving travellers, others require them to take a PCR test before departure, and in some cases travellers must complete a period of quarantine. Several countries, including Brazil, don’t require anything of those arriving by air. 

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