Ski holiday hopes melt away as European resorts close their slopes

Tom Mulvihill
·30-min read
ski resort - Getty
ski resort - Getty

Britons who are on holiday when England’s lockdown begins on Thursday will not have to rush home, the Government has confirmed – sparking a surge in last-minute holiday bookings. But would-be skiers will be unable to join the mass-exodus, as many resorts around Europe have closed their slopes amid new shutdown measures.

From tomorrow, Austria will be the latest to close its ski resorts – joining those in Italy and France, which have already been shuttered. 

“There will be no Christmas skiing,” said Richard Green, founder of Ski France, which has been operating ski holidays in the Alps since 1988.

Ski businesses “must batten-down their hatches, hope that furlough [is] extended, and cross their fingers,” Green told Telegraph Travel.

Many tour operators are now pinning their hopes on a surge in bookings when travel regulations are lifted – whenever that may be. “The new lockdowns across Europe have killed any optimism there was about the season starting as planned,” said Iain Martin, host of The Ski Podcast. “We could see significant last-minute bookings, and at present that is the best we can hope for.”

Scroll down for more of today's travel news.

05:29 PM

That's a wrap

Thankyou for joining us on today's live travel blog. Here's a quick recap of the top stories:

  • Travel businesses 'will run out of cash' without extra Government support

  • Fear and pessimism in Germany as lockdown 'light' begins

  • Ryanair under fire over lockdown refund refusal

  • Cruise ships granted 'conditional' return by US health agency

  • Austrian ski resorts to close

See you bright and early tomorrow for more travel news.

05:18 PM

Spending lockdown in the Caribbean, working from the poolside

Oh, go on then - Getty
Oh, go on then - Getty

Today, we've been inundated with tales of people who plan to ride out England's lockdown overseas – and are actively booking trips to avoid it. So, let's end today's travel blog on a high, with the story of one savvy traveller:

​“Since the lockdown announcement, we've been taking bookings for 'work from home' trips," says Colum McLornan, MD of travel agent Friendship Holidays – ​“and today we took one for St Lucia. The client told us she’d been working from home since March, had four holidays cancelled due to Covid, and is determined to get away this time.

“BA's flight goes on [from London] to Trinidad from St Lucia, and there’s enough business demand to sustain flights throughout lockdown. 

“So, she will be spending the second lockdown working from the poolside of one of the best resorts in the Caribbean.”

Now that's an idea.

04:54 PM

Flurry of last-minute bookings for UK camping holidays

Wind. Rain. Cold. It might not be ideal camping weather, but that's not enough to deter holidaymakers, says Pitchup.com. The campsite comparison company is reporting a last-minute surge in staycations that depart before Thursday's lockdown.

As we have continued to trumpet on the live blog today, people who will be on holiday at midnight on Thursday are not required to rush home immediately – and it seems that hardy campers have taken note.

Of bookings made through the platform since 6.45pm on 31 October (when the lockdown was announced), 11 per cent were for same-day arrival. 23 per cent were for next-day arrivals, and 8 per cent for arrivals two days after. 

80 per cent of all of those bookings are for groups without children. And bookings are already rising for next year, too.

Dan Yates, founder of Pitchup.com says: “We’ve yet to see a spike for December bookings, most likely reflecting consumer concern that the planned four-week lockdown may yet be further extended. We expect that once travellers are clearer on post-lockdown restrictions, we may well see a surge of bookings for after 2 December due to pent up demand.

“Bookings for 2021 remain very strong, 284 per cent up against the same period last year. Many are booking breaks to give themselves something to look forward to – a light at the end of the long winter tunnel.”

04:38 PM

Why we're still going on holiday this week – lockdown be damned

The vast majority of Britons have resigned themselves to staying within their own four walls for the foreseeable future – but a determined minority are gearing up to go away regardless.

Unlike during the spring shutdown, where travellers were urged to return to Britain without delay, the Government advice now states: “British nationals currently abroad do not need to return home immediately”.

This loophole of sorts has led to a flurry of bookings – from the likes of Bryan Thomas, who booked a trip to Fuerteventura yesterday:

It feels like it is go away this week, or not at all. [If my return flight is cancelled] I shall just stay there for longer – worse things could happen. The worst outcome would probably be coming back here.

I am not nervous about travelling – I am not even nervous about getting Covid, to be honest. I just think, if I am going to get it, I am going to get it. I just want life to carry on.

People need holidays for their well-being. I live on my own and have had six months of largely not seeing friends and family. You get to the point where you just need a change of scenery.

I am lucky that I am quite happy with my own company, but there is the danger that some people might think 'What is the point of living?'

Emma Beaumont has the full story.

04:22 PM

'Heathrow Arrivals is eerily quiet'

A final dispatch from our reporter at Heathrow today:

The Arrivals hall is eerily quiet. There's a trickle of people coming from the International entrance, but the Domestic Arrivals section is entirely closed down. Even its lights are off.

I watched a woman embrace her kids on arrival – the sort of long, loving hug that says "Thank god you're home" – but ultimately it was almost as barren and depressing as the Departures hall. 

No one wanted to chat to me – and, frankly, I don't blame them. Coming back to the UK today can't be an easy thing for anybody. I know where I'd rather be... 

04:08 PM

Travel businesses 'will run out of cash' without extra Government support

Travel businesses have told The Telegraph that the industry will be "torn to pieces" by the new lockdown measures, which will outlaw all non-essential movement from Thursday, reports Emma Cooke.

The new rules will last until at least December 2, rendering all holidays and leisure travel off-limits – both in the UK and overseas. And with many businesses ineligible for furlough, or unable to top up staff wages, business owners are pleading for extra financial support from the Government.

The industry is "not just frayed or ragged – but in shreds," said Emma Coulthurst, a spokesperson from TravelSupermarket.

“The travel industry had no pre-warning about the decision. Both here and overseas, many people rely on the tourism industry for their income: entertainers, hotel and bar workers, etc. Covid has wreaked devastation on so many people’s lives.”

Read the full article

04:03 PM

Comment: There are rough waters ahead for cruise holidays – with the beleaguered British stuck in the middle

In the world of cruising, as one door slightly opens in the US, another one appears to be closing in Europe, writes Dave Monk.

The no-sail order in American waters has been lifted – but replaced with a list of conditions that must be met before paying passengers can take to the seas again.

Meanwhile, some cruise lines that have cautiously restarted on this side of the Atlantic are being forced to cancel or amend sailings as new national restrictions kick in.

cruise ships - Getty
cruise ships - Getty

Stuck in the middle are the beleaguered British, who are not only still advised against ocean cruising by the Foreign Office but are now facing a month-long ban on international travel from England.

The story of the slow, steady return of cruising has been of one step forward, two steps back. So what hopes are there that we will all soon be enjoying a cocktail on the sun deck soon?

Read the full article

03:50 PM

Fear and pessimism in Germany as lockdown 'light' begins

Germany’s federal and state governments agreed to sweeping restrictions and business closures for the month of November in a bid to stem coronavirus infections before Christmas, reports Dana Regev.

The rising number of Covid-19 cases and the Germans’ relative trust in their government mean that not many intend to defy the lockdown physically, but the facial expressions of people — especially restaurant owners — catching last rays of autumn sun in the streets tell you everything you need to know about their morale.

berlin cafe - Getty
berlin cafe - Getty

Merely a few weeks ago, they had set up heated outdoor seating areas and made other preparations to follow strict health regulations — only to be told now they aren’t allowed to serve customers for a whole month.

It was no surprise then, that despite being able to mobilise massive financial aid to dampen the impact of the pandemic, the new measures implemented by Europe’s biggest economy have sparked anger from residents of all sectors.

Read the full report

03:36 PM

Use lockdown to revise 'nonsensical' travel corridors, says travel CEO

Lockdown may be necessary, but the Government must plan for the future to save the travel industry, says Alice Gully, co-owner of Aardvark Safaris.

Of course we are hugely disappointed by the news of the new lockdown and the travel bans that come hand in hand with it. We do appreciate that the Government is in a very tricky situation, so for now we must follow their advice to protect each other and our NHS.  

However, we are pleading with the Goverment to use this time constructively and find a way to move forward. The travel industry is on its knees, the travel corridors and the weekly uncertainly surrounding them has created so much instability, it is simply not a viable option going forward.  

Furthermore, the air bridges are nonsensical, Aardvark Safaris specialise in travel to Africa, which despite having some of the lowest Covid number in the world, the FCDO incorrectly continued to advise against all non-essential travel. Without fair application, FCDO and PHE metrics are meaningless and the in-out nature of the air bridges, means that holiday planning across the industry has become a complete and utter farce.   

03:19 PM

Tensions running high at Heathrow

Here's the latest from our reporter at Heathrow Airport, who has arrived at Terminal 2 to find that tempers are starting to flare.

I have heard a lot of angry travellers getting deeply frustrated with flights being cancelled and restrictions stopping them from boarding. One traveller booked a flight to Australia that was flying via San Francisco, only to be told she can't board today because San Francisco isn't allowing transit. 

I overheard her travel partner on the phone trying to book his own journey with TUI flights. "Have you got anything leaving the UK before Wednesday that'll get me to Australia? ... I know it's damn expensive, I just need a flight!" 

Tensions are high here. Dreaming of my own escape, I went to the SAS airlines desk to find out if I could get to Sweden – one of the few places I can go to without quarantine on return and no pre-departure restrictions. It'll cost me £477 for a flight leaving tomorrow and returning in two weeks, including one checked bag. Have to say, it's quite tempting! 

T2 is also the terminal where you can find the airport's testing facility. They are only allowing passengers going to Hong Kong to use it right now and it all has to be pre-booked, but there is signage in the main terminal pointing to the testing facility.

03:04 PM

Ryanair under fire over lockdown refund refusal

Ryanair has refused to issue refunds for flights in November, despite the Government banning "all but essential travel" during the second lockdown.

The airline's CEO, Michael O'Leary, confirmed that passengers will not be reimbursed if their flights are still going ahead, but they can change their date of departure without incurring a fee.

Consumer organisation Which? Travel has criticised the company, pointing out that it receives more complaints about Ryanair's handling of refunds than any other airline.

“Trust in travel has taken a battering during the pandemic and questionable claims about an airline’s performance on refunds are hardly going to help matters," said Which? Travel editor Rory Boland. "Ryanair now risks adding insult to injury by refusing to refund passengers who can not fly this month because of the latest lockdown. The airline is only offering fee-free transfers to a later flight.

"Some airlines have consistently broken the rules and ignored warnings from the regulator which, without the ability to issue fines or take swift action, has been unable to enforce the law.  The government must urgently review the CAA's powers as part of its aviation recovery plan, to ensure airlines do not feel empowered to brazenly break consumer law again in the future."  

02:50 PM

Cruise ships granted 'conditional' return by US health agency

Cruise ships have been given permission to sail in US waters after a pause of eight months due to the coronavirus pandemic, reports Benjamin Parker.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a national public health institute in the United States, has issued guidelines for the safe resumption of cruising in its ‘Framework for Conditional Sailing Order’, which replaces its previous ban. The no-sail order had been due to expire on Sunday following a number of extensions.

Many operators have already cancelled their remaining 2020 itineraries due to the uncertainty caused by the virus.

But despite this relaxation of rules, passengers won’t be allowed on board during this phased approach.

Read the full story

02:34 PM

Maldives resort rolls out the 'quaran-cation' for lockdown-sick Britons

It seems like a cruel twist for the tourism-dependent Maldives – to receive a vital travel corridor with the UK, only for it to be rendered null and void by a four-week travel ban for Britons.

However, some Maldivian hotels are hoping to take advantage of the short window of opportunity to lure UK holidaymakers out to the Indian ocean for a month-long escape in the sun.

One such is Joali, a private island resort which has just launched its new 'quaran-cation' package, starting on Wednesday 4 November and finishing on Wednesday 2 December, and including a stay in an over-water villa.

joali maldives
joali maldives

The drawback? A fairly hefty pricetag of £20,000 per person (although that does include flights).

02:19 PM

Have your say

Dreaming of a post-lockdown holiday? Take part in our Twitter poll and choose the destination you'd most like to see added to the travel corridor list.

02:05 PM

Travel chaos as Britons scramble to escape before lockdown

Desperate Britons are racing to escape on holiday before national lockdown rules come into effect later this week.

Travel agents are reporting a surge in bookings from customers looking to take advantage of a loophole in the rules, which state that travellers who are already abroad will not be required to return home before lockdown begins.

Colum McLornan, MD of single travel specialist Friendship Travel, told The Telegraph: “The phones at Friendship Travel are ringing off the hook this morning with single travellers desperate to fly to the sun before Thursday.

“Unlike before, airlines don’t seem to be rushing to repatriate travellers, so if you start a holiday before Thursday then it looks as if you can complete it as planned.”

Meanwhile, Heathrow Airport saw thousands of would-be holidaymakers pitch up over the weekend, seeking to book flights out of the country before four weeks of new restrictions, which include a blanket ban on travel, kick in on Thursday.

Many travel companies and airlines have already announced that they will continue operations until Wednesday evening, but are now looking to cancel bookings from then on.

01:54 PM

Comment: Travel is an easy target in the Government's futile attempts to 'control' a virus

Just over a week ago, on October 22, the Government was unveiling new travel corridors – giving the green light for holidays to both the Maldives and the Canary Islands, writes Oliver Smith

The move prompted hordes of sun-starved Britons to book November breaks. The travel industry rejoiced, with businesses on the brink handed a lifeline – they might just survive the winter, after all. 

Now we’re now told that all non-essential travel will be banned from Thursday, for at least four weeks. 

No warning of the U-turn was given to tour operators, who must now sift through another stack of refunds while they sink further into the red. Instead of a much-needed week in the sun, would-be holidaymakers are facing anxiety-inducing frustration, and – in the case of independent travellers – financial losses. What a way to run a country. 

Read the full article

01:41 PM

'I don't know if my mother will be alive when I can return to the UK'

Another story from our reporter, who's talking to passengers at Heathrow Airport today.

Sheila has been in Terminal 5 since 8am, as her connecting flight from the northeast was an early one. Her flight to Toronto doesn't depart until 5pm, so she can't check in for another hour. 

"I'm going to be reunited with my partner," she tells me. "We've been apart since March, when I got stuck here. I've lived in Canada for 10 years, came back here for shoulder surgery and then lockdown came. Then Canada closed its borders and I wasn't allowed back.

"I've been fighting to get back and now I've been given special clearance to get there – so I've got everything in place. My quarantine hotel is booked for Toronto, I won't be able to leave my room or see anyone. I just hope they give me a balcony because I would really love some fresh air." 

She's aware that she certainly won't be coming back to the UK for quite some time as a result of the pandemic, so she's grateful for having spent the last six months staying with her mother. "She's just turning 90 now and getting frail, so I don't know if she'll still be here when I do get back.

"She said to me 'don't even attempt to come back and see me, it's not worth it, you might get stuck again.'" 

01:27 PM

'BA has cancelled my flight – but if I can't travel, I'll lose my job'

T5's Departures board this afternoon - Telegraph reporters
T5's Departures board this afternoon - Telegraph reporters

Heathrow's departure boards are still showing plenty of planes still taking off – but many passengers are still stranded without flights, reports our roving reporter.

George Mc Grath, from Folkstone in Kent, is currently stuck at Terminal 5 – waiting for a flight to Nigeria for work. BA have cancelled two flights so far, and can't update him on whether or not there'll be one going out to the West African nation this week. 

He says he's frustrated and desperately just wants to get out. 

"I'd rather get there than be here. The public here are being dictated to now and that's not what we have a government for," he told me. 

But his trip is more than just an 'escape' from UK: his livelihood is at risk thanks to BA's cancellations. "If I don't get outta here by Thursday then that's me, I'm out of a job."

George Mc Grath - Telegraph reporters
George Mc Grath - Telegraph reporters

With lockdown restrictions and international travel banned from Thursday, Mc Grath could see himself completely out of work by Friday if he's unable to fly. 

Until then, he's forced to wait in the airport – hoping for some good news soon.

01:10 PM

Austrian ski resorts to close

From tomorrow, ski resorts across Austria will be forced to close until at least November 30 as the country enters a second national lockdown.

The resort shut-downs follow those in Italy and France last week, where ski resorts are closed until December 1 and November 24 respectively – at the earliest. 

Under the new restrictions, travel in Austria will be banned; hotels, restaurants and bars will be closed; and there will be a curfew in place between 8pm and 6am. Many hope that the introduction of a month-long second lockdown will save the lucrative Christmas holiday season.

"While this is difficult news for both the winter sports tourism industry and would-be visitors looking forward to early season skiing, the top priority for Austria now is reducing the rate of infection," said Martina Jamnig, UK director of the Austrian National Tourist Office. 

"The new national lockdown, the postponed ski region openings, and closure of glacier resorts are all key steps towards reaching this goal. With these early restrictions, it’s our hope that we’ll be able to return to the slopes in December in an environment that will be safer for everyone,"

However, with much of Europe pulling down the shutters for a month, resorts in Switzerland are bucking the trend.

The Swiss slopes opened for the season in Verbier and Andermatt this weekend – the Alpine nation is now the last remaining place in Europe holidaymakers can ski – while limited slopes in France, Italy and Austria are permitted to remain open for professional sport training only.

01:01 PM

Travel businesses 'will run out of cash' without extra Government support

Tourism experts have told The Telegraph that the industry will be "torn to pieces" by the new lockdown measures, with many travel businesses set to go bust before the end of the year without extra financial support.

The industry is "not just frayed or ragged – but in shreds," said Emma Coulthurst, a spokesperson from TravelSupermarket. “Covid has wreaked devastation on so many people’s lives.”

For many businesses, the extended furlough scheme will not be enough to support them through winter. “The travel and hospitality sectors are already on their knees,” said Sonia Davies, CEO of travel agency Scott Dunn. “We are yet again surprised and very disappointed by the latest government u-turn. The lack of forward planning is causing chaos for both businesses and consumers.” 

Emma Cooke has the full story.

12:43 PM

The situation at Heathrow

Our reporter is on the ground at Heathrow Airport, where the crowds from the weekend look to have dissipated somewhat. Currently, the staff-to-passenger ratio is now around 1:1.

But there is still a steady trickle of travellers determined to leave the country before they are barred from doing so.

One woman said that she is flying out to Portugal and intends to stay there until lockdown is over, spending time with family. "If necessary, I won't come back until February," she told Telegraph Travel.

12:34 PM

‘We had to take out loans to refund customers’: the real toll of lockdown on travel

The coronavirus pandemic has decimated the travel industry and taken with it my 17-year career as a travel writer, says Tracey Davies. But despite paying taxes throughout my working life, I've not received a penny from the government's purse. Sadly, I'm not the only one in the industry to fall through the cracks.

On Saturday, Boris Johnson announced a four week national lockdown – and with it, the extension of the furlough scheme. But where does that leave the three million people that have been excluded from support since March? Many of them work in travel, or run travel businesses – and have no idea how they'll get through the winter.

I've been inundated with tales of frustration and worry, and the lack of government support has had a devastating effect on mental health across the board. Many have wiped out their life savings, remortgaged themselves to the hilt and, at the lowest point, even considered suicide. It's a desperate time for the industry.

Read the full article

12:21 PM

UK reeling from plummeting visitor numbers

A lack of foreign tourists is costing the UK economy £457 million a week, according to travel trade association UKinbound.

With the number of inbound travellers visiting the country down by 76 per cent compared to last year, the association is now lobbying the Government to set up an ‘Inbound Tourism Resilience Fund’ to help struggling tour operators and destination management companies.

UKinbound representatives today met with officials at the Treasury to submit their proposals.

Joss Croft, CEO, UKinbound said: “Since March, we have seen the number of international visitors fall off a cliff, with the Government’s delays on testing and a blunt quarantine policy halting a summer recovery and costing businesses millions in lost revenue.

“Without this support, we risk pushing international visitors to other European destinations once international travel restarts, causing irrevocable damage to the communities and regions who rely on tourism and leaving the Government’s Global Britain ambitions in tatters.”

12:05 PM

Telegraph Travel writer on final sprint to beat lockdown

Speaking of racing against the clock, travel writer Simon Parker is facing the gruelling task of completing his length-of-Britain bike trip before lockdown begins.

Having originally planned a five-week fact-finding mission from Shetland to the Isles of Scilly, cycling through the country and gauging the public mood for Telegraph Travel, Simon is now frantically pedalling to meet his new deadline.

You can also follow his adventure in real time via TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Search for the hash tag #BritainByBike.

11:44 AM

Kiwis face race against the clock to return home for Christmas

As in Ireland (see below), the government in New Zealand has been wrestling with the problem of Kiwis abroad who want to return for Christmas.

New Zealanders hoping to travel home must sign up to the Managed Isolation Allocation System: those who do so are issued with a voucher, and upon arrival in the country are sent to a government facility for 14 days where their quarantine can be supervised.

But the government has warned that spaces are running out fast as the festive season approaches.

"Because of Covid, this Christmas is very different to the last," said a government spokesperson. "We're asking people to be flexible and if there are no available places in managed isolation on their preferred date, to check and see if there are any places available on another nearby date."

11:27 AM

'As usual it’s hospitality that gets punished'

It was the news no one in the hospitality industry wanted to hear, but everyone knew might be coming, writes Jade Conroy.

Hotels, hostels and other accommodation are allowed to operate only for “those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions”. 

So what does this mean for the country’s hoteliers?

Robin Hutson, CEO of The Pig and Lime Wood hotels:

Nobody wanted to see a second lockdown, we had good traction for past few months, but I think it was inevitable.

Hospitality had operated safely for four months, this surge in infection appears to be caused by students going back to universities and yet even now they are not sent home, [so] I struggle with this strategy. 

Jeremy Goring, CEO of The Goring: 

Every time our PM opens his mouth, thousands of good people lose their jobs and their life opportunities.

Peter Hancock, Chief Executive of Pride of Britain Hotels:

Well-run hotels are among the safest places on earth and yet the recent restrictions, and now this national lockdown, have robbed many of them of the ability to trade their way out of trouble. 

Find more hotelier reaction here

11:07 AM

Ireland could cut quarantine for Christmas

Ireland's strict travel rules could be relaxed in time for Christmas, with antigen testing used to cut down on quarantine time.

Those travelling into Ireland would be required to show proof of a negative coronavirus test before departure, and would then have to take another test after five days of self-isolation under plans proposed by the Irish government.

Senior ministers hope that the testing programme would allow Irish citizens living abroad return home for the festive season, but public health officials have expressed concerns over the use of antigen tests, arguing that laboratory testing, while slower, is also more accurate.

10:53 AM

Fire engulfs Table Mountain

Cape Town firefighters have spent the weekend battling a fierce blaze on Table Mountain.

The fire broke out on the mountains lower slopes on Saturday, with strong winds driving the flames uphill as emergency services struggled to contain it.

No casualties or property damage have yet been reported.

10:32 AM

Facebook group charters jumbo jet for 'flight to nowhere'

In recent months, a number of airlines have experimented with 'flights to nowhere' as a means of raising much needed cash in the midst of worldwide travel bans – but many were forced to backtrack following uproar from outraged environmentalists.

Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways (ANA) has not been phased, and is going ahead with a 'no-destination' flight chartered by Facebook users.

Members of 22,000-strong Facebook group of ANA frequent flyers reportedly approached the airline in the hope of engaging one of its Airbus A380s (the world's largest passenger plane), and ANA has consented.

The 90-minute round trip from Tokyo-Narita Airport – priced from around £220 – will depart on December 20, with passengers treated to drinks, souvenirs, and 380 precious air miles.

10:13 AM

Comment: Take it from an Australian, Boris Johnson's cure is worse than the disease

The state of Victoria is a shell of the vibrant place it was, and its people live in constant fear, writes James Bolt. And Britain is about to follow the same path.

Victoria has become famous for using lockdowns to ‘defeat coronavirus.’ Dr Anthony Fauci mentioned Australia as a country that did “quite well”. We haven’t defeated the virus. The virus is at bay but the only thing truly defeated is Victoria and Victorians. 

The state last week got out of its second lockdown of the year. Just like you were told yours will only last one month, we were told it would last six weeks. It lasted 112 days. 

Like Brits are about to re-experience, all non-essential retail and hospitality have been closed, businesses have been shuttered and we have been cut off from friends and family. At the lockdown’s peak we were only allowed out of our homes for one hour a day between 5am and 9pm.

Cases have come down, but what has exploded is a mental health and economic crisis that will take this state decades to recover from.

Read the full article.

"Streets that once boasted the country’s best culture and nightlife are empty" - Getty
"Streets that once boasted the country’s best culture and nightlife are empty" - Getty

10:01 AM

New York ditches quarantine for testing

New York has scrapped its quarantine list and will instead move to a testing system in a bid to open up domestic travel.

Previously travellers from 41 other US states were required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival anywhere in New York State.

But the new two-test system allows visitors to cut quarantine down to just three days by submitting a negative Covid-19 test before departure, then testing negative again while isolating.

09:45 AM

Machu Picchu reopens with Incan ritual to thank the gods

Peru's ancient mountain citadel of Machu Picchu has reopened to visitors after almost eight months of closure.

Locals marked the occasion with a traditional Incan ceremony to thank the gods on Sunday, expressing gratitude for the return of a vital part of the local economy.

machu picchu - Getty
machu picchu - Getty

However, with coronavirus still a threat in the country, capacity will be limited to just 675 people a day – a significant reduction from the pre-pandemic limit of 2,500.

09:28 AM

Scottish local lockdowns begin – but what does it mean for travel?

Scotland's new five-level system of regional restrictions came into effect earlier today, with each of the country's 32 local authorities now graded according to the threat of infection.

With 0 the lowest category and 4 indicating the tightest constraints, all areas are currently between levels 1-3.

So what does this mean for Scots hoping to go on holiday? Or, for that matter, anyone looking for a Scottish weekend away this winter?

Hazel Plush has the answers

09:08 AM

Use lockdown to "massively speed up testing", says Ryanair boss

Ryanair's outspoken CEO, Michael O'Leary, has urged the Government to take advantage of the impending lockdown to ramp up efforts to introduce a proper test and trace system for travellers.

Speaking on Radio 4's Today programme, he said:

"We need much more effective tracing. Air travel, particularly short-haul and within the EU, can continue and has done so.

"We need to use this second lockdown to massively scale up testing."

Ryanair today reported a loss of €200 million over the six months to the end of September.

08:54 AM

The pandemic at a glance

The UK surpassed 1 million lab-confirmed cases of Covid-19 on Saturday – the same day the Prime Minister announced that new nationwide lockdown restrictions will come into force from November 5.

But how does the country's infection rate compare with the rest of the world?

Coronavirus live map cases tracker
Coronavirus live map cases tracker

08:39 AM

Aviation industry pleads for support to survive second lockdown

UK airlines and airports are calling on the Government for extra financial support as a second ban on international travel looms.

With outbound flights about to be cancelled due to the winter lockdown, which will start on Thursday and last until December 2, the struggling aviation sector has warned that hundreds of thousands of jobs could be lost as a result of the new restrictions.

Tim Alderslade of Airlines UK and Karen Dee of the Airport Operators Association have issued a joint statement, saying:

“Aviation has been devastated by the pandemic, and has essentially never had the opportunity to recover. A ban on international travel means airlines and airports, already hamstrung by quarantine, are closed businesses and will require financial support now – which other sectors like hospitality have received – alongside a comprehensive restart package."

08:29 AM

Good morning!

Here's a quick summary of yesterday's main headlines:

  • International and domestic leisure travel banned in England

  • Britons race to book holidays before lockdown

  • EasyJet to cancel most flights from Thursday

  • Jet2 says customers 'can still travel and book as normal' until Wednesday

  • Italy mulls tougher Covid measures

  • Anti-lockdown riots tear through Europe