Michigan’s Duke Invitational Opener Against Army Scrapped by Travel Delays


Michigan’s Duke Invitational Opener Against Army Scrapped by Travel Delays

2/24/2022 8:34:00 PM

// Leah Howard

DURHAM, N.C. — The University of Michigan softball team will not play its scheduled Duke Invitational opener against Army West Point on Thursday evening (Feb. 24) after travel delays pushed the Wolverines’ arrival in North Carolina to within 90 minutes of game time. There are no current plans to reschedule it.

Tonight’s slate was added yesterday as part of a tournament schedule reshuffling due to anticipated inclement weather on Sunday (Feb. 27). Michigan will resume action as scheduled and open weekend play against Northern Kentucky at 4 p.m. and No. 13 Duke at 7 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 25).



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Covid Omicron news latest:: End of pandemic ‘not far away’ in UK as England restrictions ‘to be scrapped within weeks’


US yet to reach ‘national peak’ of Omicron wave, says Surgeon General

The end of the coronavirus pandemic is in sight in Britain, according to the World Health Organisation, but it is “going to be bumpy before we get to the end”.

The WHO’s special envoy for Covid, David Nabarro, said that there was “light at the end of the tunnel for Britain”.

He added: “Even though it’s possible to start imagining that the end of the pandemic is not far away, just everybody be ready for the possibility that there will be more variations and mutations coming along, or that there will be further challenges, other surges of even Omicron coming.”

Mr Nabarro’s comments come as ministers prepare to lift more of the country’s remaining restrictions next week.

On the other side of the world, Australia has recorded its deadliest day since the start of the pandemic with 74 deaths recorded nationwide in the last 24 hours as it suffers its worst outbreak fuelled by the Omicron variant.

The states that recorded the most deaths are New South Wales at 36, Victoria, which reported 22 deaths and Queensland reported 16.

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Covid-19 situation in the UK ‘gives grounds for hope’

The World Health Organisation’s special envoy, Dr David Nabarro, has repeated his comments that the UK could be nearing the end of the coronavirus pandemic.

He told BBC Breakfast this morning: “The situation in the UK. It gives us grounds for hope and I’m personally very pleased to see that. The goal that we’re all aiming for is a situation where this virus is present, but life is organised so that it is not disrupted.”

He added: “We need real honesty – it’s just no good anybody suggesting that the situation is rosier than it really is.

“That’s why I’ve been careful. I’m saying I can see where the end is, I can see light at the end of the tunnel, but I really do anticipate right throughout the world a bumpy journey ahead during 2022.”

Holly Bancroft18 January 2022 08:30

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Modern aims to launch single Covid and flu jab within two years

Vaccine company Moderna has set its sights on a single booster jab for Covid-19 and the flu, its chief executive has said.

Stephane Bancel thinks that the vaccine could be ready within the next two years and could be made available before the winter flu season in 2023.

He said: “Our goal is to be able to have a single annual booster so that we don’t have compliance issues where people don’t want to get two or three shots a winter. The best-case scenario would be the fall of 2023.”

Holly Bancroft18 January 2022 08:05

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ICYMI: Plans drawn up to ‘scrap all Covid rules in England as early as March’

Government ministers are said to be drawing up plans to get rid of Covid-19 restrictions from as early as Spring.

The restrictions currently include advice for people to work from home where possible, the mandatory wearing of face masks on public transport and in some indoor places.

There is also a requirement to show Covid-19 immunity passes for entry to certain venues.

Read the full story here:

Holly Bancroft18 January 2022 08:00

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End of the tunnel may be in sight for UK pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic may be coming to an end in the UK, an expert at the World Health Organisation has said.

Dr David Nabarro, a WHO special envoy for Covid-19, has said that there is now “light at the end of the tunnel” for this country.

Read my colleague Rebecca Thomas’s report for more detail about Dr Nabarro’s comments.

Holly Bancroft18 January 2022 07:45

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Inmates sue jail over involuntary Ivermectin treatment

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Washington County Detention Centre in Arkansas after a group of men detained at the facility claimed they were experimented on with Ivermectin to see if it is effective in treating Covid-19.

According to CBS News, the men claim that medical staff at the facility gave them the anti-parasitic drug without their consent, allegedly telling them that the pills were “vitamins.”

Stuti Mishra18 January 2022 07:30

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Covid may be changing eating habits of some children, experts say

Children may have been put off certain foods and eating altogether in some cases because of a condition caused by Covid, experts have suggested.

Smell experts at the University of East Anglia and Fifth Sense, the charity for people affected by smell and taste disorders, say some children who have been infected with the virus could be suffering from parosmia.

Parosmia is a condition that changes or distorts the smell of things change.

Stuti Mishra18 January 2022 07:10

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Boris Johnson lied about lockdown party, Dominic Cummings claims

#ICYMI Dominic Cummings says evidence will show Boris Johnson “lied to parliament” when he denied knowing about the No 10 garden party, plunging his position deeper into jeopardy.

In an explosive blog post, Mr Cummings wrote: “Not only me but other eyewitnesses who discussed this at the time would swear under oath this is what happened.”

The Independent’s deputy political editor Rob Merrick has more:

Stuti Mishra18 January 2022 06:50

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Poland has entered a fifth wave of Covid, says minister

Poland is experiencing a fifth wave of Covid-19 infections, country’s health minister said on Monday, warning that the spread of the Omicron variant could send daily case numbers soaring to levels not yet seen in the country.

While daily case numbers have fallen since early December, the European Union’s largest eastern member has had little respite since the fourth wave, regularly reporting over 10,000 new infections per day amid low vaccine take-up and limited restrictions on public life.

“We predict that the peak of infections will be in mid-February and that peak is about 60,000 cases a day,” Adam Niedzielski told a news conference.

The highest number of daily cases reported since the pandemic began was 35,251 on 1 April 2021.

Mr Niedzielski said that he expected figures released on Tuesday to show in excess of 20,000 daily cases.

The country of around 38 million has so far reported 4,323,482 cases of coronavirus and 102,309 deaths.

Stuti Mishra18 January 2022 06:30

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UK could scrap all Covid rules as eary as March

The government is said to be drawing up plans to ditch Covid laws in England from as early as the spring.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to be considering a permanent revocation of emergency coronavirus laws he brought in at the start of the pandemic.

The Covid legislation, which is set to expire in a few months’ time, includes the legal obligation for someone infected with Covid to self-isolate – with failure to do so punishable with a fine of up to £10,000.

Stuti Mishra18 January 2022 06:10

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Japan to impose restrictions in Tokyo and nine other regions as Omicron cases surge

Japan’s government is preparing social restrictions in Tokyo and other regions as the omicron variant of the coronavirus infects more people.

Japan has never had a lockdown during the pandemic but has focused instead on asking restaurants and bars to close early. Crowds are back in many parts of Japan, with people packing stores and events, while Covid-19 cases jump.

The order will be finalized this week and is likely to take effect on Friday for Tokyo and nine other regions, including Chiba, Kanagawa, Aichi and Kumamoto the government spokesman said on Tuesday.

Stuti Mishra18 January 2022 05:50



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Travel news update: PCR tests scrapped for English arrivals from today | Travel News | Travel









Travel news update: PCR tests scrapped for English arrivals from today | Travel News | Travel – ToysMatrix

























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Travel news update: PCR tests scrapped for English arrivals from today | Travel News | Travel


Covid rules for those arriving to England from abroad are being changed from today. The Government has said that a day-two PCR test will no longer be needed for travellers arriving in England. This rule will apply to everyone returning to or visiting England.

In a move that will make it easier for travellers to return to or come to England, the Government is scrapping PCR tests.

From Friday, fully vaccinated people will no longer have to take a pre-departure PCR test before travelling to England.

They will not need to take a day-two PCR test either.

Instead, the Government is changing the rules so that travellers will only need to take a day-two lateral flow test.

READ MORE: Best expat destinations in Portugal for 2022

Although the scrapping of the pre-departure PCR test will not come into force until Friday, travellers arriving into England will not need to do a day-two PCR test from today, January 9.

They will only need to take the day-two lateral flow test.

The much cheaper lateral flow test could encourage more families and individuals to travel abroad.

The PCR pre-departure test also discouraged many Britons from travelling to other countries for feat of being trapped overseas, according to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

DON’T MISS: 

The rule changes come after airlines claimed traveller testing was not making much of a difference to Covid cases.

Data last week showed that one in 25 people in England had the virus.

The move is good news for many families across the UK as it will save them hundreds of pounds on tests.

PCR tests on average cost around £80 per traveller.

He added: “Prior to the announcement it was well below, but it has given people the confidence to look for a holiday, that they won’t be caught in resorts quarantining.

“People now want to start thinking about more cheerful things, i.e., going on holiday.”

Meanwhile, EasyJet said its bookings rose almost 200 percent this week compared to last week, and Tui claimed it had experienced a “strong uptick”.

For EasyJet, flights to Spanish destinations such as Tenerife, Alicante, Malaga, and Lanzarote were the most in demand.

Bookings for Lanzarote were up 427 percent week on week.





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Travel news – live: Pre-departure tests and PCRs scrapped for vaccinated


Pre-departure Covid tests for travel to the UK have been dropped for double jabbed travellers in the latest government review of restrictions.

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions this afternoon, Boris Johnson announced that pre-departure tests will no longer be required for fully vaccinated arrivals and those under 18 arriving to the UK from 4am on Friday, 7 January.

From the same date, these groups will also no longer have to isolate while waiting for results of their “day two” test.

Furthermore, from 4am on Sunday 9 January, the fully vaccinated and under 18s will be able to take a lateral flow (antigen) rather than a PCR test for their post-arrival test.

However, the rules remain the same for unvaccinated or partly vaccinated arrivals 18 and over – who must present a negative pre-departure test, quarantine for 10 days upon arrival, and take a PCR test on days two and eight of self-isolation.

Although the current easing of restrictions currently only applies to England, it is likely that the governments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will follow suit.

The transport secretary Grant Shapps confirmed the move on Twitter, saying: “We’re removing the temporary extra testing measures we introduced last year at the border to slow cases of Omicron coming to the UK.”

Follow all the latest updates below.

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‘Why not immediately?’ – travel industry reacts to testing rules change

Travel industry figures have spoken about in favour of this week’s change to the travel rules, with many voicing frustration that ministers did not make the call earlier.

“Although the scrapping of pre-departure tests from Friday (why not immediately?) is welcome, the test-on-arrival still remains, which is very disappointing,” said Danny Callaghan, CEO of the Latin American Travel Association, in a statement.

“It’s difficult to see what that test is supposed to actually achieve. You can go to a crowded football match without having to test afterwards, but not sit on a plane with 200 other people.”

Julia Lo Bue-Said, CEO at Advantage Travel Partnership, said: “In order to recover from the decimating impact the pandemic has had on the travel industry and people we must start to see a consistent approach from government in terms of the future relaxation of rules given our highly vaccinated population.

“Travel will remain ever complex this year, but if the consumer can rely on less confusing government intervention, a continuation of a more flexible approach from travel suppliers, and the expertise of a human travel agent to help guide them through the booking process from take off to landing, I am hopeful we will see the industry start to finally bounce back.”

Lucy Thackray5 January 2022 17:17

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Next travel review set for end of January, says Grant Shapps

Grant Shapps has confirmed that another travel review will take place at the end of the month, with a firmer plan in place for travel over the year ahead.

“We’ll do a full review of travel measures by the end of Jan to ensure a stable system is in place for 2022,” tweeted the transport secretary at this end of his thread of travel rules.

Mr Shapps’ update to the travel rules followed Boris Johnson’s announcement that testing requirements would be eased for the double jabbed from Friday onwards.

Testing rules for fully vaccinated travellers and under 18s are being simplified in a bid to support “the safe reopening of international travel”, said the transport secretary.

Lucy Thackray5 January 2022 16:57

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‘Damage has already been done’ – ABTA chief executive

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive of ABTA – The Travel Association, has commented on the latest government changes to the UK’s travel rules.

“The government’s announcement that travellers will no longer have to take a pre-departure test on return to the UK is extremely welcome news,” wrote Tanzer in a statement shortly after the announcement.

“The removal of pre-departure testing recognises that with the Omicron variant widespread throughout the UK these tests do not serve a useful purpose.

“Pre-departure tests not only add to cost and create inconvenience, they can also plant a seed of doubt among some travellers who wonder ‘What will happen if I test positive abroad?’ which can be a considerable disincentive to booking an overseas trip.

“The two announcements are potentially very positive for the travel sector, but damage has already been done.

“We now hope to see confidence return as we enter what is usually the peak booking season for summer holidays.

“We would urge the government to ensure greater stability in the international travel system, including avoiding similar disruption in future, to enable business to recover fully and to rebuild consumer confidence.”

Lucy Thackray5 January 2022 16:43

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What are the new rules for travel from Friday?

The government has announced that the UK’s travel rules are once again changing from Friday – but only for the fully vaccinated and under 18s.

From 4am on Friday 7 January, travellers to the UK who have had at least two doses of the vaccine, as well as those aged 17 and under, will no longer have to present a result from a pre-departure test taken before journeying to the UK.

The same groups will also no longer have to self-isolate while waiting for their “day two” test results.

From 4am on Sunday 9 January, those groups will also be able to take a lateral flow (antigen) test instead of a PCR for their “day two”.

Wondering how this affects your next trip?

Here’s everything we know so far.

Lucy Thackray5 January 2022 16:39

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Measures are ‘no longer proportionate’ – Grant Shapps

The transport secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed the easement of the testing requirement for UK travellers from Friday.

He tweeted: “We’re removing the temporary extra testing measures we introduced last year at the border to slow cases of Omicron coming to the UK. Now Omicron is the dominant variant & is widespread in the UK, these measures are no longer proportionate.

“Fully vaxxed passengers & under 18s will no longer need to take a pre-departure test before returning to England if arriving after 4am Fri 7 Jan.

“Fully vaxxed passengers & under 18s will no longer need to self-isolate whilst waiting for post-arrival results if arriving after 4am Friday 7 Jan.

“ After arrival in England, all fully vaxxed people & under 18s will now only need to take a lateral flow test (instead of a PCR test) if they arrive after 4am Sunday 9 Jan.”

Lucy Thackray5 January 2022 16:16

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Double-jabbed travellers can take a lateral flow test – from Sunday

The requirement for all arrivals to take a PCR test within two days of entering the country and self-isolate until they receive a negative result will be axed from 4am on Sunday 9 January, the transport secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed.

Vaccinated travellers and under-18s can instead take a cheaper lateral flow test within the two-day window, and need not quarantine while they await the result.

Lucy Thackray5 January 2022 16:11

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Pre-departure tests dropped for double-jabbed from Friday

One month after travel testing rules were tightened due to the Omicron variant, the prime minister has announced they will be eased for fully vaccinated travellers from Friday.

From 4am on 7 January, double jabbed arrivals to the UK (and those aged under 18) will no longer have to present a result from a pre-departure test taken before their journey.

Boris Johnson confirmed the move in Prime Minister’s Questions today, following a travel rules review earlier in the day.

“From Friday we will be scrapping the pre-departure test…we will also be lifting the requirement to isolate on arrival,” Mr Johnson said during today’s PMQs.

Lucy Thackray5 January 2022 16:02

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‘Covid tests killing jobs, costing travellers a fortune’

As the travel industry waits to learn the details of a much-leaked plan to reduce the testing requirements for arrivals to the UK, a senior Labour MP has condemned the current system of multiple tests.

Ben Bradshaw, MP for Exeter and member of the Transport Select Committee, tweeted: “It’s a month since @sajidjavid promised to me in the Commons to scrap ‘pointless’ new travel rules & restrictions once #Omicron became established here. They’re still in place, killing transport jobs, costing travellers a fortune and lining pockets of dodgy testing companies.”

Simon Calder5 January 2022 14:41

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Out of practice pilots are making mistakes when flying, says Qantas memo

Out-of-practice pilots have been recorded making mistakes due to a lack of flying hours during the pandemic, according to an internal memo from the airline Qantas, leaked to Australian media on Wednesday.

The memo, by Qantas’ fleet operations chiefs and seen by The Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne’s The Age, reportedly attributed some operational errors to a lack of time in the cockpit, a requirement for pilots known as “recency”.

The memo’s writers said the pandemic had “created a situation where expert pilots have lost recency and experienced a subsequent reduction in cognitive capacity”.

Lucy Thackray5 January 2022 14:19

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Paris most popular city for photos by night, study shows

Paris has lived up to its “City of Light” nickname by topping a list of cities most photographed after dark, published by Premier Inn.

The brand explored the cities most posted with a ‘by night’ hashtag on Instagram and found that Paris was the most popular nighttime location, with over 1,000,000 posts.

London was next most snapped by night, with more than 231,000 posts tagged, followed by Athens with over 182,000 and Rome with 174,000.

More surprising appearances in the top 10 were Warsaw, Lyon and Toulouse.

In the UK, London was the top most Instagrammed-by-night, followed by Edinburgh and Manchester.

(Getty Images)

Lucy Thackray5 January 2022 13:09



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US air travel still messy, with another 2,400 flights scrapped


Issued on: Modified:

Washington (AFP) – Americans returning home from holiday travel had to battle another day of airport chaos Sunday, with more than 2,000 flights cancelled due to bad weather or airline staffing woes sparked by a surge in Covid cases.

Further disruptions are predicted for Monday, as a winter storm blows eastward.

As of 20H30 GMT Sunday, 2,432 domestic flights or international ones starting or finishing in the United States had been canceled — almost as many as the 2,749 scrapped over the course of Saturday, said the flight-tracking service FlightAware.

That midday figure represented well more than half of the 4,079 flights canceled around the world. Another 5,004 US flights were delayed.

Southwest Airlines, one of the hardest-hit carriers, had to cancel some 400 flights Sunday morning, a spokesperson said in an email to AFP, adding that it expected further cancellations.

On Saturday, poor weather, much of it linked to Winter Storm Frida, forced Southwest to cancel 490 flights, most of them in the center-north states south of the Great Lakes and reaching west to the Great Plains.

The result: intense frustration for many travelers.

Missed connections

“Our flight this morning was cancelled. We were now forced to rent 4×4 cars to drive all the way to Colorado from Texas,” Southwest passenger Katie Armstrong posted on Twitter.

A woman named Kayla described her own ordeal: “I was supposed to get home at 10:30 yesterday morning. and at this point I’ve had 3 flights cancelled and one delayed to the point where I missed my connection.”

Airports in Chicago — a major transit hub — were the most affected Saturday, but by Sunday the airports in Atlanta, Denver, Detroit, Houston and Newark were also hard hit.

Around the world, air traffic has suffered snarls since Christmas because of airline staffing issues linked to the spread of the highly contagious Omicron coronavirus variant.

Many pilots and flight attendants have called in sick after testing positive for the virus or being forced to quarantine due to contact with someone who has the virus.

This has left carriers with staffing shortages and forced them to delay or cancel flights.

The latest travel chaos carried echoes of a frustrating Christmas weekend, when around 7,500 flights around the world were scrapped.

And rebooking canceled flights has been a major challenge for many.

One traveler, Eric Crawford, described his frustration at trying to call a Delta Airline agent to reschedule.

“An estimated wait time of 22+ hours to speak with a rep about a cancelled flight,” he said on Twitter, “is not the best look for starting 2022.”

And Kowshick Boddu offered this account, also on Twitter, about his troubles with Alaska Air: “We were supposed to fly out from Fairbanks to San Jose on Dec 30, but our flights got rescheduled to today which is eventually cancelled again??? Long customer call wait hours, no response and flights not been rebooked? Need help!!”

Travel woes are expected to continue into Monday, the first working day of 2022.

Storm Frida will continue on a disruptive path eastward, meteorologists said, bringing snow to a wide swath from Washington located on the mid-Atlantic coast up to Boston, Massachusetts in the north.

Nearly 575 Monday flights have already been canceled within, into or out of the United States.



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Chaos as people remain in UK quarantine hotels after red list is scrapped


Thousands of people remain stuck in quarantine hotels, despite the fact the red list has now been cleared of all countries.

As of 4am this morning, all 11 red list countries were scrapped. This means that, from today, anyone arriving into the UK from countries such as South Africa and Nigeria can sidestep a ten-day stint in a managed quarantine facility, and just take a Day 2 test.

The Government has indicated that it will permit the early release of individuals in hotel quarantine, although since this will require a change in the law it will not happen immediately.

“We will look to implement that as quickly as possible and we will set out further specific guidance for affected individuals imminently,” Cabinet Office minister Steve Barclay told the Commons yesterday.

Overnight, people in hotel quarantine were woken to be handed a letter from Tracy Cottis, deputy director of the Managed Quarantine Service at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

It read: “We would ask that you remain in quarantine for the time being until we are able to facilitate an early release from quarantine in line with public health guidelines.”

The Independent reports that nine individuals at one facility exited hotel quarantine this morning, meaning they could face fines of up to £10,000.

Scroll down for more updates.





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Travel news live: Red list could be scrapped this week


According to government leaks, the recent additions to the red list could be scrapped as early as this week.

In recent days, both Boris Johnson and Sajid Javid have suggested that the travel restrictions put in place to protect the UK from the omicron variant are redundant now that community transmission is taking place.

Mr Javid yesterday said he wants the rules removed “quickly”, adding: “Given that we already know that the omicron variant is fast becoming the dominant variant in our capital city, spreading rapidly around the country, the justification for having the rules is minimised.”

A total of 11 African nations were put on the UK’s formerly empty red list between 25 November and 3 December, including popular winter holiday spot South Africa and Nigeria, with returning travellers given short notice that they would have to pay thousands for hotel quarantine in the UK.

In other news, passengers in Las Vegas were furious after they were told that the pre-departure tests they had taken ahead of travel were not the right kind.

Several passengers were forced to pay for extended accommodation and new tests before they could fly back to the UK.

Follow all the latest travel updates below:

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PCR tests to be sold on Amazon

Amazon has started offering PCR tests for travellers arriving in the UK – with a single “day two” test on offer at £34.99.

The government reintroduced the need for PCR tests two weeks ago, because of concerns about the spread of the omicron variant. The move provided testing companies with the prospect of higher profits – but some firms, including Collinson, breached their own timescales because of “logistical problems”.

The frequent flyer site Head for Points, says: “Importantly, Amazon is not outsourcing this to a third party provider. It will be using a lab in Salford, which was set up last year to process tests for Amazon employees.”

(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Simon Calder14 December 2021 07:57

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Good morning

Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s travel liveblog, where we’ll be sharing all the latest news and updates.

Lucy Thackray14 December 2021 07:43



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