Travel news live: Latest updates as Maldives looks set to join amber list


Morocco is at risk of going red while Spain and Greece will stay amber in the next traffic light travel review, a Covid data expert has predicted.

Journalist and data specialist Tim White made his predictions about the next green, amber and red list moves in a detailed thread on Twitter.

His Morocco predictions come after an “eyewatering” 6 per cent of travellers arriving from the North African country tested positive.

Holiday favourite the Maldives has a strong case for being moved to the amber list, White believes, following a drop in cases.

“Spain, Greece and their islands shouldn’t be going red,” tweeted White. He noted that Greece has seen a 9 per cent drop in cases since last week, while in Spain, infections have dropped by 29 per cent.

White also predicted that a huge surge in cases in Mexico would keep the country on the red list.

Follow all the latest travel news below:

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France’s previous ‘amber plus’ status to remain a ‘bad memory’

France’s previous “amber plus” status, which saw even fully vaccinated travellers forced to quarantine on arrival to UK, will remain a “bad memory” in the next traffic light review, according to an expert.

Robert Boyle, consultant and former director of strategy at British Airways’ parent company IAG, said the beta and gamma variants of the virus are both dwindling in France.

“Both beta and gamma variants in full retreat in France in the face of Delta,” he tweeted. “Amber Plus fiasco should remain a bad memory when the classification is reassessed next week.”

Helen Coffey20 August 2021 15:20

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Tourists steal six tonnes’ of sand from Sardinia’s beaches

Six tonnes of sand have been stolen from Sardinia’s beaches by holidaymakers this year, say local campaigners.

A Facebook group of activists, with a name translating to ‘Sardinia Robbed and Plundered’, estimated the amount of sand taken during 2021 so far, following a decline in the amount of sand smuggled out during the pandemic.

Trading Sardinian sand, pebbles and shells was made illegal in 2017.

Yet the crime wave continues, with dozens of tourists facing fines of up to €3,000 for stealing sand and shells from the Italian island.

Helen Coffey20 August 2021 13:56

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Visitors to Spain warned about high numbers of jellyfish in its waters

Warnings have been issued on various beaches over the past week, with Malaga council reporting that the city’s beaches were flying yellow flags to alert holidaymakers to the high presence of jellyfish.

Similar warnings were issued on beaches along the Granada coast, including Almuñécar.

“It’s like something out of a horror film,” British holidaymaker Francisco Martinez, 55, told The Sun.

Lucy Thackray20 August 2021 13:40

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Covid tests scrapped for travel between Jersey and Guernsey

From Monday, people moving from Jersey to Guernsey will no longer have to take a pre-travel test.

In the rule change, effective from 23 August, anyone arriving from Jersey to Guernsey will have the same travel requirements as other travellers from the Common Travel Area.

Those who have proof of vaccination will be seen as ‘blue channel’ travellers and will not need to self-isolate when they arrive.

Visitors will need to complete five lateral flow tests in the 10 days after arrival.

Lucy Thackray20 August 2021 13:01

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Only 2% of ‘cowboy’ Covid testing firms removed from government list

Fewer than 2 per cent of “cowboy” firms have been removed from the government’s official list of Covid test providers, despite Sajid Javid announcing an “urgent” review.

A week after the government committed to removing private test providers making false claims or advertising misleading costs from the list, only eight companies have been removed from the list of more than 400, found an investigation by The Telegraph.

The review was only slated to last 10 days in total.

Helen Coffey20 August 2021 12:22

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Unions condemn axing of ScotRail train services

Rail unions have condemned ScotRail proposals to axe hundreds of rail services as a “transparent attempt to use the pandemic as cover for cuts”.

The proposed ScotRail timetable from May 2022 would have around 2,100 services per weekday, down from around 2,400 before the pandemic.

The train company brought in a reduced timetable when the country first went into lockdown in March 2020 as passenger numbers plunged.

ScotRail said it has been able to continue to operate during the pandemic thanks to significant financial support of more than £400m in the form of Emergency Measures Agreements from the Scottish Government.

It is now launching a public consultation on the proposed timetable.

Rail unions Aslef, the RMT, the TSSA and Unite have united to oppose the plans.

In a joint statement, they said: “It is incredible that in the year that the world comes to Scotland to debate the very future of our planet that ScotRail is proposing cuts to rail services in a transparent attempt to use the pandemic as cover for cuts.

“These plans would not only cull jobs, they would hit the most vulnerable hardest including elderly and disabled people. All the while diverting many passengers back onto the roads and increasing pollution, congestion and greenhouse gases.

“It is exactly this type of short-term thinking that has contributed to the climate crisis.”

Helen Coffey20 August 2021 12:03

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Spain won’t go red, say experts

Spain will stay on the amber list in next week’s traffic light review, travel industry experts have predicted.

Noting “another 29 per cent drop” in cases in the country, data specialist and journalist Tim White tweeted, “Spain seems certain to stay amber,” encouraging one follower to “Go and enjoy”.

“[Spain] won’t be going red at the next review. Rates on every level are falling quite sharply,” agreed travel consultant and CEO of the PC Agency Paul Charles.

Lucy Thackray20 August 2021 11:24

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Jet2 adds more summer capacity

Jet2.com and Jet2holidays have increased their Summer 2021 capacity to green list destination following continued demand from customers and independent travel agents.

They are offering more flights and holidays to Malta, Madeira, Croatia and Jersey, representing more than 10,000 additional seats now on sale.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said: “Destinations on the green list are continuing to enjoy a huge amount of demand from our customers and once again we are responding quickly to that demand by giving holidaymakers even more choice and flexibility.

“With more flights and holidays now on sale to Malta, Croatia, Jersey and Madeira, we know there will be a rush of bookings based on what we have already seen this summer and that is great news.”

Helen Coffey20 August 2021 10:50

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Join The Independent’s travel team live next Wednesday

Ahead of the next travel traffic light announcement, get up-to-date with what it all means for your holiday by joining The Independent’s travel correspondent, Simon Calder, and travel editor, Helen Coffey, at a live virtual event.

This lunchtime Q&A will be short and sweet – our experts have just 30 minutes to try to answer as many of your most pressing travel queries as possible.

Click below to find out more and sign up to our lunchtime event on Wednesday 25 August at 1pm:

Helen Coffey20 August 2021 10:09

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LNER launches rail sale

LNER has launched a seat sale with thousands of train tickets available from £5.

The rail operator is making 200,000 cut-price fares available for travel between 6 September and 15 October 2021 on routes connecting Scotland, North East England, Yorkshire, the East Midlands and London.

Helen Coffey20 August 2021 09:33





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