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Greece offers to lift 14-day quarantine for British tourists

Greece has offered to relinquish its 14-day coronavirus quarantine to UK tourists and holiday companies plan to restart the flights from mid-June, which could be a welcome boost for beleaguered Britain.

Since the oppressed economy of the Mediterranean country relies heavily on vacationers, it has made plans to replenish deserted beaches and hotels.

The country’s tourism minister Harry Theoharis said it would waive the requirement for visitors if the same were done for Greeks arriving in the UK, speak to the BBC.

It came when ministers considered the “airlifts” of the corona virus to enable travelers to travel between countries without the need for quarantine once the outbreak is under control.

Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps said that a 14-day “blanket” will be introduced in arrivals quarantine regulations starting next month.

But he revealed that there are ‘active discussions’ going on about which countries could be exempted from the regime in the future, referring to the idea of ​​’airlifts’ – usually used to refer to military flights over enemy territory.

Countries with a lower level of infection, such as Australia, New Zealand and Greece, may be excluded from the strict rules that will be enforced by law.

Tui, the UK’s largest travel agency, has said it will restart holidays from June 14, with the number increasing from July – subject to relaxed travel restrictions.

More good news for holidaymakers, a minister revealed that UK campsites could be reopened from July.

When asked about camping, work and retirement secretary Therese Coffey, Sky said, “I’ve come from Suffolk to London and I know there are many campgrounds eager to come.

“Part of this is being carefully considered, realizing that we have a reduced transmission risk outdoors, that things like camping might be appropriate.

With the oppressed economy of the Mediterranean country relying heavily on vacationers, it has made plans to refill deserted beaches and hotels in popular tourist areas like Corfu (photo)

With the oppressed economy of the Mediterranean country relying heavily on vacationers, it has made plans to refill deserted beaches and hotels in popular tourist areas like Corfu (photo)

Greek beaches, including those in Epanomi, near Thessaloniki, on Saturdays are thriving thanks to a low rate of coronavirus

Greek beaches, including those in Epanomi, near Thessaloniki, on Saturdays are thriving thanks to a low rate of coronavirus

Greek beaches, including those in Epanomi, near Thessaloniki, on Saturdays are thriving thanks to a low rate of coronavirus

Beachgoers enjoy the sun on the public beach in Piraeus near Athens, Greece on May 18. Since the Mediterranean country's economy relies heavily on vacationers, it has made plans to replenish deserted beaches and hotels.

Beachgoers enjoy the sun on the public beach in Piraeus near Athens, Greece on May 18. Since the Mediterranean country's economy relies heavily on vacationers, it has made plans to replenish deserted beaches and hotels.

Beachgoers enjoy the sun on the public beach in Piraeus near Athens, Greece on May 18. Since the Mediterranean country’s economy relies heavily on vacationers, it has made plans to replenish deserted beaches and hotels.

Minister of Work and Pensions, Therese Coffey, told Sky: “Realizing that we have reduced transmission risk outdoors, things like camping could potentially be appropriate.”

Airlift to where? There are some of UK tourists' favorite holiday and travel destinations in terms of coronavirus cases

Airlift to where? There are some of UK tourists' favorite holiday and travel destinations in terms of coronavirus cases

Airlift to where? There are some of UK tourists’ favorite holiday and travel destinations in terms of coronavirus cases

British tourism companies affected by a £ 37 billion corona virus

British tourism companies could lose up to £ 15 billion this year due to the coronavirus cessation, a company leader told MPs today.

Patricia Yates, Visit Britain’s acting general manager, said huge amounts are likely to be lost from both international and domestic holidaymakers.

She told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee: “Every time we model, the numbers get worse. So for inbound, I mean, looking at about £ 26.6 billion from inbound tourism at the beginning of this year, we’re expecting a drop of £ 15 billion.

And for domestic industry, a sector normally worth around £ 80 billion, a drop of £ 22 billion.

“And that’s actually before we take quarantine into account, because we don’t know exactly what the measures will look like.”

She said that while hopes would be that domestic tourism could take up the slack this summer and help alleviate some of the international sector’s losses, a “lack of confidence” among people traveling around is a concern.

She said, “You have a collapse in the supply industry and a collapse in demand and to really get British tourism going this summer, and summer is hugely important, you need that domestic audience. I think the disturbing thing we see is the lack of confidence in the British public about travel. ‘

She added, “So there really needs work to be done, as it must be the year of domestic tourism, real work needs to be done to convince people that it is socially responsible to travel and enjoy a holiday. And that it is safe. ‘

“But that’s a decision yet to be made for later this year, possibly in July or even later in the year, realizing that we need to do everything we can to keep that R rate below one, the number of infections is low , and we have to be careful when we take those steps. ‘

It was because the director general of the British Holiday and Home Park Association said she had written to the Prime Minister asking why holiday parks should wait until July to reopen, possibly next to pubs.

Ros Pritchard told MPs today that social distance for people with a vacation home will be “identical to what they do at home.”

She added that a staggered approach to reopening would help.

She told Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s digital committee, “It would help to get our local communities used to vacationers coming back.

“It would help us train our employees and get everything in order.”

Measures to ensure safety include looking at customers who ask to leave their property windows open during checkout to ensure ventilation before cleaners enter, and mow the grass in some way to meet the requirement two meters away, she said.

Pushed by presenter Kay Burley over a holiday in France, Ms. Coffey calmed her hopes by saying, ‘I know you love your holiday Kay, and that’s true, but I wouldn’t soon plan a holiday in the Dordogne to book.’

Patricia Yates, acting director of Visit Britain, said the UK tourism industry is facing a £ 37 billion blackhole and the public should be told that a domestic holiday is safe this summer.

She told MPs, “You have a collapse in the supply industry, as well as a collapse in demand and to really get British tourism going this summer, and summer is hugely important, you will need that domestic audience. I think the disturbing thing we see is the lack of confidence in the British public about travel. ‘

She added, “So there really needs work to be done, since it has to be the year of domestic tourism, real work needs to be done to convince people that it is socially responsible to travel and enjoy a holiday. And that it is safe. ‘

She also said MPs’ airlifts were an “interesting” idea of ​​getting people with money to the UK.

She told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, “It would be good to choose the countries that were valuable to us for emerging markets.

“We have an international network, our American regional director tells us that America is ready to go, American affairs are ready.

“So you may know that an airlift between the UK and America could be a bridge that would be valuable to us.”

She said that Visit Britain was already ramping up marketing in Ireland, which will be exempted from the quarantine measures related to international travel.

The most valuable markets are France, Germany, Italy, Spain and America when it comes to possible mutual arrangements such as airlifts with certain countries around quarantine, she said.

But Downing Street poured some lukewarm water on the airlift this morning.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said, “It is an option that is being considered but where there is no government policy.”

He added that no talks have been held with the Greek government on this.

Earlier, Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary launched a brutal attack on the government’s plans for 14-day quarantine on arrival in the UK.

The new rules are the hopes of summer vacations for most of the summer, as the exceptions are largely limited to truck drivers.

However, Mr O’Leary rejected the claim that this will prevent his goal of resuming flights in July, because he believes the policy is so “flawed” and impossible to enforce that the public will simply ignore it.

He insisted that the government “make things up as they go on” and that face masks are the best way to protect the traveling public – despite the fact that many scientists say they benefit little.

Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps told MPs that a 14-day “blanket” will be introduced in quarantine regulations from next month before arrival

Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary (photo from the file) today launched a ferocious attack on the government's plans for 14-day quarantine on arrival in the UK

Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary (photo from the file) today launched a ferocious attack on the government's plans for 14-day quarantine on arrival in the UK

Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary (photo from the file) today launched a ferocious attack on the government’s plans for 14-day quarantine on arrival in the UK

All arrivals at airports will be quarantined for 14 days according to government proposals

All arrivals at airports will be quarantined for 14 days according to government proposals

All arrivals at airports will be quarantined for 14 days according to government proposals

The latest slides released tonight by the government show the coronavirus status of the UK

The latest slides released tonight by the government show the coronavirus status of the UK

The latest slides released tonight by the government show the coronavirus status of the UK

Loss of smell and taste is FINALLY classified as a coronavirus symptom

People should isolate themselves if they lose their taste or smell because it is a clear symptom of coronavirus, the government announced today.

Anosmia, the clinical name for a change in smell or taste, has become the third symptom of the coronavirus to be officially recognized by the NHS.

Until now, people have only been told that they could get the virus if they have a fever or a new continuous cough.

But scientists working for the government have now decided that there is enough evidence to add anosmia to the list.

Prof Tim Spector, head of the department of genetic epidemiology and leader of the Covid symptom study app at King’s College London, said 50,000 to 70,000 people in the UK with Covid-19 were not currently told to isolate themselves even though they had the virus .

He blamed Public Health England (PHE) and the broader strategy, saying that he insisted that only fever and cough were the main symptoms, and that thousands were missing.

Until now, the NHS 111 coronavirus symptom control has cited high temperatures and cough as the symptoms of Covid-19.

Prof Van-Tam said on April 3 that the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats (Nervtag) Advisory Group had looked into the problem and concluded that loss of smell or taste should not be added to the list of symptoms.

But in the same month, ENT UK, the professional membership body representing ear, nose and throat surgery in the UK, published guidelines for patients who said it believed smell and taste loss as symptoms of coronavirus and that they had shared these details with PHE.

The World Health Organization (WHO) listed the loss of smell and taste as “ less common symptoms ” a few weeks ago, and other countries, including the U.S., added the symptom.

Shapps has insisted that quarantine measures from the beginning of June will initially be a ‘general situation’ for other countries, but can then be eased for those with low infection rates from Covid-19.

Huw Merriman, Conservative Chairman of the Transportation Commission, asked in the Commons: “If he wants to consider airlifts so that those entering the UK from countries where the infection rate is below the rate are not quarantined?

“This will increase confidence in air travel and focus safety where it is most needed.”

Mr. Shapps replies: “The final details of the quarantine program will be released soon, early next month.

“It is the case that we need to consider further improvements – for example, things like airlifts that allow people from other countries who have reached a lower level of coronavirus infection themselves to come to the country.

“So these are active discussions, but go beyond what will initially be a general situation.”

Clearly, carriers will make up two-thirds of those who don’t have to isolate themselves for two weeks.

The rest are expected to include people who “ work in support of national security or critical infrastructure and in meeting the UK’s international obligations, ” officials said.

Scientists investigating coronavirus can also be exempted. Last week Downing Street denied that travelers from France would be excluded, although it was previously suggested that this was an option.

Ireland is not covered by the rules due to the role of the common travel area in the peace process in Northern Ireland.

But Mr. O’Leary told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that the plans are “impracticable, uncontrollable and non-polar.”

“People are simply ignoring something so hopelessly defective … Let’s take some effective measures, like face masks,” he said.

“The only thing you get back from the British government is” “we don’t know” “.”

“It is laughable that this government can devise plans for a quarantine that would be strict and fully enforced …

“It is crazy and cannot be implemented. You don’t have enough police in the UK. ‘

He added, “A two-week lockdown has no medical or scientific basis anyway. If you want to do something effective, wear a mask. ‘

Mr O’Leary said the policy was “not credible” and predicted it would be abolished by June.

He emphasized that research had suggested that face masks could reduce the risk of Covid-19 infection by 98.5 percent.

He told Sky News that the government is “making things up as they go on.”

“I think they honestly just make things up as they go on,” he said. “They stumble as they grab what they think a front page will be.

What is an airlift?

An ‘airlift’ is typically used by the military to access and supply territory across enemy lines.

One of the largest in history was used for the Berlin airlift after World War II.

This ensured that the Western-occupied territory was supplied between June 1948 and May 1949 when it was cut off by Soviet troops.

Another famous airlift was ‘The Hump’, the route across the Himalayas from India to supply the Chinese forces working with the Allies.

There is no scientific or medical basis for 14-day isolation for air passengers if you do not apply it equally to passengers on the London Underground or London commuter trains. ‘

Virgin Atlantic seemed to support Mr O’Leary’s comments and called for a “multi-layered approach” of targeted measures to successfully restart flights.

The statement released today said, “The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a devastating loss of life and livelihood for so many around the world and the UK.

“The safety and security of our people and our customers is always our top priority and public health must be paramount. However, by introducing a mandatory 14-day self-isolation for each individual traveler entering the UK, the government is taking an approach likely to prevent flights from resuming.

“We are constantly reviewing our flight program, but with these restrictions there will simply not be enough demand to justify flying and it is unlikely that we will resume passenger services until August at the earliest.

Oliver Dowden said the quarantine regulations for people traveling to the UK will be enforced by law

Oliver Dowden said the quarantine regulations for people traveling to the UK will be enforced by law

Oliver Dowden said the quarantine regulations for people traveling to the UK will be enforced by law

Truck drivers are expected to make up the bulk of people exempt from quarantine regulations when traveling to other countries (stock photo)

Truck drivers are expected to make up the bulk of people exempt from quarantine regulations when traveling to other countries (stock photo)

Truck drivers are expected to make up the bulk of people exempt from quarantine regulations when traveling to other countries (stock photo)

“We know that as the Covid-19 crisis subsides, air travel will be a key factor in the UK’s economic recovery.

“That is why we advocate a multi-layered approach to carefully targeted measures that enable a successful restart of international air traffic for passengers and companies and reduce health risks.”

The Association of UK Airlines, the industry’s trade body, added that if the government continues the 14-day quarantine plan, there should be strict rolling assessments.

Tell municipalities to reopen car parks and public toilets, says government expert

Ministers should order councils to reopen public toilets and car parks and stop “terrorizing” those seeking to visit beauty spots, a government adviser said today.

Professor Robert Dingwall, who is part of the Advisory Group on New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats, said the outdoor risk was “minimal” and people shouldn’t be so anxious.

The government eased draconian exercise limits last week, with Boris Johnson saying the public is free to drive distances and enjoy public spaces as many times a day as they want.

However, tourist offices have joined the local authorities by saying that visitors should stay away from beauty spots and beach resorts.

Weston-super-Mare changed the slogan from ‘Visit Weston’ to ‘Don’t Visit Weston’

A spokesman said: “Airlines will not work if people are effectively told not to travel and that will do a lot of damage to both our tourism industry and companies that rely on aviation for their supply chains and exports.

“If the government insists on doing this, with minimal exceptions, strict ongoing evaluations must be conducted so that this policy doesn’t last a second longer than necessary.”

Dowden said the quarantine regulations for people traveling to the UK will be enforced by law.

He said to Today, “We would look at the relevant enforcement mechanisms, just as we have done with other measures.

“So, for example, the measures we took when we introduced the so-called lockdown – which was underpinned by regulations that had legal implications, and I’m sure we’ll do the same.”

He said there would be “very limited” exceptions to the rules.

Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye raised hopes of looser rules yesterday, telling Sky News: “If two countries are at very low risk of being broadcast within each country, there should be a free flow of passengers.

“But if a country is at very high risk with rising infection rates and poor controls, there would be very strict controls on anyone who has access to the UK from those markets.

Meanwhile, a government advisor has urged ministers to allow municipalities to reopen public toilets and car parks and to stop “terrorizing” those wishing to visit beauty spots.

Professor Robert Dingwall, who is part of the Advisory Group on New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats, said the outdoor risk was “minimal” and people shouldn’t be so anxious.

The government eased draconian exercise limits last week, with Boris Johnson saying the public is free to drive distances and enjoy public spaces as many times a day as they want.

However, tourist offices have joined the local authorities by saying that visitors should stay away from beauty spots and beach resorts.

Weston-super-Mare changed the slogan from ‘Visit Weston’ to ‘Don’t Visit Weston’

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