90 per cent of Britons are in favour of hotel quarantine, according to a new YouGov poll – with the vast majority of respondents calling for an even stricter regime.
Responding to the survey yesterday, 72 per cent of British adults agreed that the ‘managed quarantine’ rules should be imposed on all arrivals, not just those from ‘red list’ countries – while 18 per cent said that they should only apply to travellers from countries with high Covid case-rates.
Just 5 per cent of respondents said they were in favour of scrapping hotel quarantine. The remaining 5 per cent said they ‘didn’t know’.
The results are at odds with Telegraph Travel’s own poll, which also took place yesterday – asking Twitter users whether they thought international holidays should resume by May. Those in favour totalled 61 per cent, while 39 per cent said it was ‘too soon’.
Scroll down for more of today’s travel headlines.
09:57AM Operators cancel what’s left of the ski season
HotelPlan UK, which owns a number of the UK’s leading ski tour operators, has cancelled all remaining ski holidays due to depart this winter, as the pressures of tough border restrictions in the UK and limited reopening of resorts in Europe continue.
The company had already cancelled trips up until April 2 but was holding out hope for the possibility of late-season trips. Customers with bookings will be offered a refund or the chance to postpone their holiday until a later date.
“Due to the ongoing impacts of covid-19, this week, we have suspended all Inghams, Flexiski and Ski Total ski trips for the rest of this winter,” said Joe Ponte, CEO of HotelPlan UK.
“With many skiers and snowboarders eager to get back to the slopes this season, while there was still a possibility that ski holidays would go ahead, we continued to monitor the situation closely. As there has been little change to ongoing travel restrictions, and with further ski resorts announcing that they will remain closed, now is the time to suspend ski trips for this season and focus on making next winter one of the best yet.
“We continue to see strong numbers for the 2021/22 winter season and bookings are well ahead of the same period last year. As people think about their holiday plans now, to avoid missing out next winter, across the Hotelplan UK brands we’ll be looking at how we can increase capacity to keep up with demand – and some of next winter’s holidays are on track for a record-breaking year.”
Crystal Ski Holidays, the UK’s leading winter operator, made the same decision earlier this week. The spotlight is now on next season, with bookings already reportedly booming.
09:44AM Inside the fight to keep travel and hospitality alive
Danny Pecorelli, Managing Director of the Exclusive Collection, has spoken to Michael Gove about the lack of support for the travel and hospitality industries during the pandemic, writes Lizzie Frainier.
Pecorelli, one of the largest employers in Surrey Heath, addressed local MP Gove on behalf of other hospitality and tourism businesses in the area. He shared with what was discussed.
Firstly, he was adamant to point out that hospitality hasn’t been well-supported, with a huge number of restrictions over the past year – despite low infection rates. “Care homes, hospitals, workplaces, nearly every environment comes out as having worse infection rates,” shares Pecorelli.
They moved on to discuss representation issues in hospitality: “There are four different government departments for the third largest employer in the country. Gove acknowledged that they are now seriously starting to look at it.” Pecorelli infers from this that perhaps, finally, after an entire year the government is finally realising how much the industry is worth, looking at their tax receipts and looking at how much the GDP fell.
“I think as an industry we’ve been hugely undervalued, and have been seen as quite a low-skilled industry. We haven’t been seen as a sexy industry like high tech. […] but if you look at diversity, gender, geography, Our industry touches every part of Britain.”
Several key policy decisions, including the VAT rate, business rates and rent deals were also discussed. One of the major sticking points is how hospitality will reopen, whether that will be in tiers, or stopping and starting like at the back end of this year.
Pecorelli is adamant that is not a solution. Hospitality cannot work like that; and up until this point it has felt to him as if the government does not understand the complexity of staffing rotas, food orders and more. Last year, his business spent £300,000 on tech, hand sanitizer, physically changing the layout and more every time new restrictions were introduced, and within days they were already changed again. In December, there was a 10-day period with four major announcements.
“I get the virus is a moving thing that no one can pre empt,” he concedes, “but the tiers just didn’t work for hospitality. What we need is clarity. If they are going to put restrictions in – for example outdoor only or no alcohol – that is a restriction, and businesses need to support.”
He concluded on an optimistic note: “I would say I do feel that the government are starting to listen – we do need to continue to push our case – but I left the call feeling slightly upbeat. He understood that the government infrastructure isn’t right, and sees it is contributing far more in Britain on every level than they have given us credit for.”
09:31AM ‘Going on holiday is the difference between living and existing’
“We were promised that this vaccine would be the route back to normal,” says Alice Gully, co-owner of Aardvark Safaris, which, in an ordinary year, sends travellers to more than a dozen African destinations.
“They said that once the vulnerable were protected we could open everything up, but now it feels like they are just penalising us even more. At least last year people could get away – to Europe, and some people even managed trips to Africa – but now there’s nothing.”
09:12AM Have your say
Do you agree with the YouGov results? We’re putting the same question to our Twitter followers and readers – please do tell us your thoughts:
09:06AM The best flexible policies if you want to book a holiday for 2021
If you are tempted to book ahead for a trip abroad, it is vital to secure flexibility. The current circumstances mean it is necessary to look closely at travel companies’ terms and conditions before you book.
Some points to note include:
- The cost of the deposit
- How close to your holiday the final payment will be due
- If you will be charged for making changes to a booking (and, if free changes are permitted, how far up until travel they are allowed)
- The company’s policy, and record, on issuing refunds
- Its approach to changes in Foreign Office advice that affect your trip
- That the operator is Atol-protected
Emma Featherstone has investigated some of the most flexible policies – for both foreign and domestic breaks.
08:54AM Which countries are currently on the ‘red list’?
There are concerns today that Spain and the United States could be added to the UK’s ‘red list’ – meaning that non-British travellers are banned from entering the country, while British citizens must quarantine in a Government-approved hotel.
But which countries are already on the red list? There are 33 in total:
08:40AM Exclusive: United States and Spain could be added to Covid quarantine ‘red list’
The United States and Spain could be added to the “red list” of countries requiring passengers to quarantine in Government-approved hotels.
On Wednesday, the Department for Transport (DfT) and health officials considered the latest scientific data on the risk of new Covid variants from the two countries. Ministers at the Cabinet Covid operations committee will decide whether they should be added to the red list later this week.
The US and Spain have both seen local transmission of new variants and are geographically linked to South America and Portugal, which are subject to UK foreign travel bans. They are two of the biggest travel markets with the UK.
08:19AM Yesterday’s headlines
Before we begin, a quick recap of Wednesday’s travel news:
- Oasis Overland ceases trading after more than 20 years
- Fees of up to £5,000 if family tests positive in hotel quarantine
- 61% of Telegraph Travel readers support rebooting travel by May
- Bahrain becomes one of first countries to unveil vaccine passport
- Sturgeon refuses to say if summer holidays can go ahead
- Beaches did not lead to virus outbreaks last summer, say scientists
Now, on with today’s stories.