Heathrow has reopened its dedicated facility for passengers arriving from red list countries.
From today, Terminal 4 will act as a separate arrivals facility, keeping direct red list arrivals away from passengers in all other operational terminals.
This safety-first approach delivers a more efficient journey for all passengers, alongside a multiple layered approach that will keep passengers and colleagues safe – including mandatory requirement of face coverings, intensive robotic cleaning regimes across the airport, enhanced ventilation in immigration halls and Covid-19 marshals on hand.
As the whole of the UK experiences additional measures, intended to be temporary, Heathrow reassures its passengers that they remain safe and can fly with confidence in coming weeks.
Passengers flying into Heathrow will be able to use PCR testing facilities either on or close to the airport.
Those choosing to test at the airport must pre-book and enjoy a service that will shorten the time needed self-isolate in a move to protect business travel and those reuniting with friends and family for a short time only.
Heathrow chief operating officer, Emma Gilthorpe, said: “We are supportive of measures that protect public health and prevent the spread of Covid-19.
“The rapid introduction of restrictions for international travel will nonetheless be a further significant blow for British exporters and those wanting to visit friends and relatives.
“Keeping the changes under constant review and a government commitment to the removal of red list countries, as soon as it is safe to do so, will help.
“Heathrow maintains the highest levels of Covid-secure measures to ensure our passengers, colleagues and partners know that Heathrow is a safe place to travel to and from.”
The U.S. has issued a travel advisory for Germany and Denmark due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the two European countries, Reuters reports. The European region as a whole has seen a recent rise in infections.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now considers both Germany and Denmark “Level Four: Very High,” telling Americans to avoid travel there. The State Department also issued “Do Not Travel” advisories for both countries.
Numerous European countries are on the CDC’s list of “Level Four” countries, including Austria, Britain, Belgium, Greece, Norway, Switzerland, Romania, Ireland and the Czech Republic.
The World Health Organization predicts Europe could reach over 2.2 million COVID-19 deaths by March 2022. The projection comes after the organization said Europe and Asia were once again the epicenter of the pandemic earlier this month.
It was the first country in the European Union to reinstitute such stringent measures amid the fourth wave of the pandemic. About 50,000 protesters turned out over the weekend to oppose the country’s fourth lockdown. Austria is also instating a nationwide vaccine mandate, meaning by February 1, all Austrians over the age of 18 will have to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, by law.
COVID-19 cases in the European region, which stretches into Central Asia and includes 53 countries, rose to nearly 4,200 per day last week, WHO reported. This is double the levels recorded at the end of September, according to the Associated Press.
There have been 1.5 million cumulative deaths in the region since the pandemic began.
On November 4, WHO Europe projected that another half a million lives may be lost to COVID-19 before February 2022. The organization also said that if Europe and Asia achieved 95% universal mask wearing, they could save up to 188,000 of those lives, and stressed that vaccines are the “most powerful asset” to stopping the spread of COVID-19.
In the U.S., COVID-19 deaths in 2021 have surpassed the 2020 death toll, according to Johns Hopkins University. Cases are rising in more than 30 states ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday — with the latest surge straining hospitals in the Upper Midwest.
Over the weekend, 3 million Americans received a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine after the FDA and CDC expanded access to Moderna’s and Pfizer’s boosters for all adults, the White House reported.
Lucky enough to snag a tee time at Cypress Point? Make sure to tell everyone.
Our latest ranking of Top 100 Courses in the World went live last week, and — dagnabbit! — not a single one of those sweet-looking properties offers bookings on GolfNow. Where does that leave us? It leaves us daydreaming about playing courses that are famous for playing hard to get. It also gets us working on a list-within-a-list. Because it’s human nature to crave what you can’t have, we offer you this rundown of the 10 toughest tee times on our roster of Top 100 Courses in the World.
AUGUSTA NATIONAL, Augusta, Ga.
Hello, friends. Please enjoy our broadcast with minimal commercial interruption. Marvel at the blushing colors of magnolias and dogwoods as you soak up the soothing trill of birdsong. By Sunday evening, you’ll swear that you’re familiar with every hill and hollow of Alister MacKenzie’s most famous course, which is nice, because playing it yourself isn’t likely in the cards.
CHICAGO GOLF CLUB, Wheaton, Ill.
One of the five founding members of the United States Golf Association, which was formed in 1894, and the site of the country’s first 18-hole golf course, Chicago Golf sure acts its age. If courses were codgers, this C.B. Macdonald design would be standing on the stoop of its own clubhouse, yelling at the world to get off its grounds.
CYPRESS POINT GOLF CLUB, Monterey, Calif.
“One year they had a big membership drive at Cypress,” Bob Hope once quipped of the club where he belonged. “They drove out 40 members.” What remains today is a roster of 250-some-odd lucky souls who’ve got ready access to a coastal course so scenic that it could be confused for a National Park.
When it opened, in 2001, this Greg Norman-Bob Harrison design had a membership of one: the Australian media mogul Kerry Packer, who commissioned the course on his private estate in a remote swatch of New South Wales, roughly four hours by car from Sydney (as if anyone ever drives here). Packer died in 2005, and still under the direction of the Packer family, Ellerston has meted out a smattering of corporate memberships. Otherwise, access requires an invite from someone in the ownership’s inner circle. Norman was one of Packer’s pals. So, if you’ve got the Shark on speed-dial, now might be the time to ring him up.
FISHERS ISLAND CLUB, Fishers Island, N.Y.
An island in the literal and metaphoric sense, this Seth Raynor design sits in the Atlantic, just off the eastern tip of Long Island, accessible only by boat or private aircraft and well beyond the reach of average blokes. You’ve heard of old money? The dough here is so ancient, you could carbon-date it. But it doesn’t like to call attention to itself. In 1979, when GOLF included Fishers Island on its inaugural ranking of world’s greatest courses, a club representative wrote a letter to the editor: thanks for the kudos, it read, now please remove us from your list.
HIRONO, Kobe, Japan
In a nation rich in custom and formality, Hirono fits right in. As for fitting in non-members, that’s another matter. Unaccompanied play is not allowed. What’s more, despite its top-tier ranking, the intensely private club and its C.H. Alison design have played host to only two events of note: the Japan Amateur and the Japan Open. It’s a short list of people who get to see it, and — in the wake of a recent restoration by Martin Ebert — an ever-swelling group of people who are keen to sneak a peek.
A lot of folks would like to peg it at this glorious heathland layout, some 40 miles north of Paris. Only un peu ever get the chance. Built in 1913 as a private playground for the 12th Duke of Gramont, it remains a hush-hush redoubt for French golf royalty, and others in possession of princely fortunes. Unaccompanied play is as rare as steak tartare, so unless you’re tight with one of the Duke’s descendants, we’re not optimistic you’ll gain access to a club that — speaking of tartare — serves what many say is the finest lunch in the wide world of golf.
THE OLD COURSE AT ST. ANDREWS, Scotland
Yes, there is a ballot. There’s also standby. But unless you’re a local or an R&A member, you’ll likely need assistance from a tour operator to find time on a tee sheet that routinely books out several seasons in advance. Life is filled with ironies, and one of them is this: precisely because anyone and everyone can play the Old Course, it sometimes feels as if no one can.
PINE VALLEY GOLF CLUB, Pine Valley, N.J.
Since everyone is into data nowadays, let’s run some numbers. Pine Valley is the top-ranked course in the world, so pretty much everyone wants to play it. Too bad that the majority of its members don’t live in the area, and unaccompanied guests are not allowed. Add to that the fact that the club doesn’t stage regular fundraisers or corporate outings (a common way to access other premiere private courses) and, well, it’s grade-school math: the odds are hard against you.
SEMINOLE GOLF CLUB, Juno Beach, Fla.
To get a sense of life at Seminole, picture your standard gated Florida golf community, with an ostentatious clubhouse, gaudy-money members and geezers riding carts everywhere you turn. Now envision its opposite. “If I were a young man going on the pro tour, I’d try to make arrangements to get on Seminole” Ben Hogan once said of this Donald Ross design. Sound counsel but not so simple. This is a club that is said to have turned down Jack Nicklaus for membership.
A golf, food and travel writer, Josh Sens has been a GOLF Magazine contributor since 2004 and now contributes across all of GOLF’s platforms. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting. He is also the co-author, with Sammy Hagar, of Are We Having Any Fun Yet: the Cooking and Partying Handbook.
The longtime guide-book publisher and online travel site picked the southern part of the state as one of its 49 options for its “GO List” for next year. Southern Vermont is one of only nine sites chosen for the Northeast, a list including Bar Harbor, Maine; the North End of Boston; and Asbury Park, New Jersey. All of the sites on the “GO List” for 2022 are within the U.S.
The premise of the article is that travelers have been cooped up since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in March 2020. “While the pandemic closed borders, forced lockdowns, and complicated travel planning, it gave us plenty of time to imagine all the wonderful places we’d like to visit after the plague recedes,” according to Fodor’s.
One of those wonderful places is southern Vermont. “The Green Mountain State’s modesty is no match for the myriad charms bursting around every bend in this southern stretch,” according to the Fodor’s article.
Fodor’s recommends Brattleboro because its “charming Downtown hosts a smattering of excellent restaurants (including the hyper-seasonal TJ Buckley’s housed in a vintage dining car for added ambiance), an owner-operated arts supply store Zephyr Designs to ignite dormant creativity, and Galanes Vermont Shop for all your local VT needs.”
Wilmington, according to Fodor’s, “will have you stumbling upon a 19th-century bedside lamp at Chapman’s Antiques or a sumptuous wool Scottish blanket from Quaigh Designs.”
“After you explore Brattleboro and Wilmington, it’s just a 10-minute drive to another darling VT town, West Dover,” Fodor’s writes. The site recommends wings and beer at the 1846 Tavern; skiing, snowboarding or mountain biking at Mount Snow; and pastries and cappuccino at Sticky Fingers Bakery.
“Best accessed by vehicle,” Fodor’s “insider tip” notes, “Southern Vermont’s darling towns encourage Sunday driving with ample time built in for spontaneous stops at roadside stands and country markets along the way.”
Sand from Ireland was brought by ship to sand cap the fairways at Ardfin, located on the Isle of Jura in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland.
Ed. note: With each new Top 100 Courses ranking comes new learnings, both large and small. Our 2021-22 Top 100 World list is no exception. To better understand this ranking’s key trends and takeaways, we asked Ran Morrissett, who manages our ratings panel, for his observations. Here’s the sixth installment of his seven-part series. Stay tuned to GOLF.com in the coming days for more of Morrissett’s insights.
Three special courses built in the past five years climb onto our world ranking. The exciting thing? They couldn’t be more different. A tip of the hat to the GOLF panel for not playing favorites or having their selections be stereotyped.
St. Patrick’s Links (No. 55), in northwest Ireland in County Donegal, occupies a beguiling mix of tumbling dunes and quieter stretches where the land’s micro-contours shine. Tom Brown, a panelist in Southern California, mused that “St. Patrick’s Links might be the finest natural site for golf in the past 80 years.” UK-based architect Robin Hiseman said, “I can’t think of a course I have enjoyed more for a very long time.” High praise! Side note: Tom Doak’s creation at St. Patrick’s came to life only because golf previously existed on-site. New course construction on virgin dunes, like those at St. Patrick’s, is no longer permitted in Ireland.
Only 110 miles northeast across the Irish Sea from St. Patrick’s, as the crow flies, is Ardfin (No. 74) on the Isle of Jura in the Inner Hebrides. Designed by Bob Harrison, the midsection of the course plays along the southern end of the island’s perimeter, with jaw-dropping views over to the Isle of Islay. Jura is a rocky piece of land — it’s the antithesis of St. Patrick’s. Sand from Ireland was brought by ship to sand cap the fairways so that the course would play properly. It’s as spectacular a golf site as I have seen. The weather plays a huge role, too — it’s man versus Mother Nature on an epic stage.
In contrast to the spectacular DNA of St. Patrick’s and Ardfin, the third new entry to the list, the New Course at Les Bordes (No. 97), features more demure elevation changes with a high to low point of 35 feet. Built two hours south of Paris, it, like Garden City (No. 45) on mid–Long Island, is set across sandy soil with greens often positioned as extensions of the fairways. A variety of grasses, brome and even thistle, lend the course a panoply of texture and contrast. Drama plays a huge role here, too, via the fierce hazards Gil Hanse, Jim Wagner and team cut into the gently rolling land and the opportunity to bounce approach shots onto open greens. Set on a 1,400-acre estate, it’s one of the most peaceful — and handsome — golf environments imaginable.
“Travel options kind of vary right now,” George Stone, National Geographic Travel’s executive editor told Fox News. “So we have a whole bunch in North America, some that some people can even drive to. And then we have a handful that are quite far away for some of us, but are closer to our international partners.”
Tent camping under a rising Milky Way in Voyegeur’s National Park in Minnesota. (Photograph by Steve Burns, Getty Images)
“Things we highlight include new trails, new experiences,” Stone said. “We definitely dig into conservation aspects and sustainability partly, because I think that in this time away from travel, people are reflecting on how they want to be, you know, a more responsible traveler in the future and what that might mean.”
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention, National Geographic’s list features 10 UNESCO-designated destinations including Hokkaido, Japan; Parque Nacional Yasuni, Ecuador; Lake Baikal, Russia; the island country of Palau; and Lycia, Turkey.
Guests enjoy the highest Via Ferrata in North America at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, topping outat 12, 999 feet, located in Summit County, Colorado. July 2021. (Photograph courtesy Ian Zinner, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area)
The list also features several U.S.-based destinations such as Atlanta, for its strong cultural identity and the Arapahoe Basin, Colorado, for its adventurous mountain trails that are accessible even to “average outdoors people,” Stone told Fox.
“With this time off from travel, people are going to be making much more conscientious choices about where they’re going,” Stone said. “And so we wanted to meet that with specific ideas about what is a unique, revealing and a safe destination for the year ahead.”
Why Mauritius should be at the top of your travel to-do list right now
Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.