Travel latest news: Wales ‘circuit-break’ lockdown would span half term, leaked letter reveals

Wales is planning to announce a three-week “circuit breaker” shutdown that would span the half-term holiday, a leaked letter has revealed.

Details of the proposed lockdown measures are outlined in the letter (published by Bubble Wales) from John Pocket, the Wales director of the Confederation of Passenger Transport, to members, including that the “circuit break” would take effect at 6pm on October 23 and last until November 9. 

The leaked document explains that “the message for public transport will be essential journeys only” and that “it will take us back to the situation in March when all but essential retail outlets were open – pubs, cafes, restaurants, hairdressers etc – were closed”. It adds that financial government support for travel firms had been secured.

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford is holding talks today ahead of an announcement on Monday – last week Mr Drakeford said his Government was “very actively talking about and preparing for” a circuit-breaker lockdown in Wales and called on the UK Government to consider adopting a short-term lockdown in England. 

A four-week “circuit breaker” came into force in Northern Ireland on Friday, which includes the closure of pubs and restaurants, the extension of the half-term holiday from October 19-30 and advice against “unnecessary” travel. 

In Wales, meanwhile, 17 out of 22 local authority areas are under local lockdown and the Welsh Government has banned visitors from Tier 2 and 3 areas of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Ireland will bring in “decisive” nationwide Covid-19 restrictions on Monday but will stop short of reintroducing the kind of lockdown imposed earlier this year, Higher Education Minister Simon Harris has said.

“The government will act tomorrow, the action will be decisive and it will be nationwide action,” Harris told national broadcaster RTE.

“Tomorrow we will have to bring in more restrictions. Level 3 has not worked in terms of getting the virus to where it needs to get to … I don’t want to be pedantic about the phrase lockdown but I don’t think that’s exactly where we’re going but there will certainly be more restrictions,” he said.

Ireland has taken a tough stance on travel restrictions; its quarantine-free list was recently reduced to zero.

Hong Kong has imposed further bans on Indian airlines, the third time it has done so in recent months.

Air India and Vistara are no longer allowed to operate inbound flights to HK until 30 October. 

Authorities said a number of passengers who took flights from India tested positive in Hong Kong.

Going ‘over the sea to Skye’ has improved a great deal since the days of Bonnie Prince Charlie, writes Dave Monk.

It is just one of the Scottish islands served by a flotilla of cruise boats – none carrying more than 12 passengers – whose crew will pamper you as you explore the rugged landscape and tranquil bays. Book quickly though, as cruises can sell out a year in advance.

Paris, and eight other French cities, experienced the first night of a month-long curfew Saturday, which left the streets empty. 

Israel will require travellers arriving from the UK to self-isolate for 14 days, according to the Israeli government website.

The UK was one of 31 “green” countries from which certain travellers could enter Israel without facing quarantine.

The country’s health ministry marks some 185 other countries and localities as red, due to infection rates. 

The Transport Secretary has admitted too many cycle lanes are being left “unused” with traffic “backed up” as a result of his green transport revolution, The Telegraph can reveal.

In a strongly worded letter sent to councils, Grant Shapps has warned he is “not prepared to tolerate” badly designed road closures and new cycle lanes which are imposing “sweeping changes” to entire communities.

And in a move that will infuriate cycling and green campaigners, he has declared the Government is not anti-car, explaining: “No one should be in doubt about our support for motorists.”

Mr Shapps announced a £250 million Emergency Active Travel Fund in May intended to promote walking and cycling as the country emerged from lockdown. Councils were invited to apply for the cash by drawing up projects intended to entice people away from their cars and take more active forms of travel.

Travel writer Simon Parker is cycling across Britain, from Shetland to the Isles of Scilly, and is reporting on his findings for Telegraph Travel.

In a normal year, bike mechanic Scott Barnes sells two recycled bikes a month. This year, he sold 40 in six weeks during lockdown. I’m also the 121st passing cyclist needing repairs since July 15th. In the whole of 2019 that figure was 101. #cycling boom. #NC500 @TelegraphTravel pic.twitter.com/jOyZwfcjX0

Day 10, #BritainByBike, Rhiconich to Ullapool. 55 miles. 4,500 feet of elevation! Lots of deer around, eating goodness knows how many calories. Tonight Im staying with the kind parents of a teacher I met in Venezuela a few years ago. Tomorrow: Loch Ness. 60 miles away… pic.twitter.com/ZUwSdjF4CI

The prospect of a quarantine-free travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore has led to a spike in demand.

Prices rose by an average of 40 per cent within 24 hours of the announcement, despite the fact no start date has been confirmed.

Return economy airfares went up from an average S$400 to S$558 for travel in December on the Singapore Airlines website, reports Travel Mole.

Wylie Bay, a stunning white sand beach with a famous surf break, lies hauntingly empty, reports Giovanni Torre.

It is a week since Andrew Sharpe, a 53-year-old surfer and local businessperson, was attacked by a shark believed to be at least four metres in length at Kelp Beds. His friends tried desperately to save him, but he was pulled under the waves and not seen again.

“I’ve never seen a dorsal fin that big before, not even in media footage,” a witness to the attack, Ross Tamlin, said.

Mr Sharpe’s death was the second fatal shark attack off the Western Australian town of Esperance this year, and the third since 17-year-old Laeticia Brouwer was killed at Kelp Beds in April, 2017, while surfing.

Italy and San Marino was the latest countries to be added to the UK’s quarantine list following rising infection rates. There are now a handful of restriction-free destinations available to British travellers.

Are any at risk of being added to the quarantine list in this week’s update? Here’s a closer look at the figures.

Australia’s state of Victoria, the epicentre of the country’s coronavirus outbreak, will see some of its months-long restrictions eased as of Monday but retailers and restaurants must wait longer, the state’s premier said on Sunday.

After more than 100 days in a strict lockdown, the five million people living in Melbourne, Victoria’s capital, will be able to spend as much time outdoors as they wish, but must stay within a 25-kilometre (15-mile) radius from their homes, Premier Daniel Andrews said.

Public gatherings will remain tightly limited, and retailers and restaurants must operate only on take-away or delivery orders, with the state government eyeing their reopening by Nov. 1, Mr Andrews said.

Scotland’s islands could be allowed to return to a form of normality, breaking from mainland rules, with residents proposing testing on arrival as a solution, reports The Herald.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon indicated she is open to exploring whether a “different balance might be struck” for the islands. However, she warned that this would likely mean island communities would become subject to travel bans.

As it stands, Scotland’s islands must follow the same hospitality restrictions as the rest of Scotland outside of the central belt, although Arran is included in the curfew being experienced by Glasgow and Edinburgh. Households in some parts of Scotland’s islands cannot meet others in their homes.

The leader of Orkney Islands Council has called for an alternative to travel bans, pointing to other islands worldwide that test people on arrival, which can help to protect vital visitor economies.

As of 4am this morning, travellers arriving in the UK from Italy must self-isolate for two weeks. Meanwhile, arrivals from Crete are now longer subject to quarantine. Holidaymakers returning to the UK from anywhere in Greece (except Mykonos) are exempt from self-isolation rules. 

Dubai is the latest destination attempting to entice ‘digital nomads’ with a new ‘remote working’ visa programme, writes Emma Beaumont.

The Middle Eastern metropolis’ new initiative removes the uncertainty surrounding working remotely while abroad. Travellers on the one-year visa, which costs $287 (£222), will be able to access housing, schools and telecom services, though they won’t be able to get any form of job in the emirate. 

Workers hoping to make the move will have to prove that they have an income of at least $5,000 (£3,871) a month, plus at least a year on their job contract. Those who are self-employed can also apply, providing they demonstrate that they have an average income of $5,000 a month or more. All applicants must also have comprehensive health insurance and are welcome to bring their families. 

Currently recording far fewer coronavirus cases than much of Europe, the UAE is an attractive destination to escape to this winter. For those interested in a spot of desert working, further information and applications can be found on the Dubai Tourism website.

Asked if the Government would take the measure on Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday, he flatly replied: “No.”

“It would seem an error to try to impose on every part of the country the same level of restriction when we know that the disease is spreading more intensively and quicker in some parts of the country,” he said.

Tony Blair was last night accused of a “flagrant” breach of Covid-19 restrictions, after failing to self-isolate for a fortnight after a two-day trip to the US on a private jet, reports Edward Malnick.

In pictures obtained by this newspaper, the former prime minister is seen leaving a restaurant in Mayfair 10 days after his return from Washington DC last month.

The Sunday Telegraph understands that Mr Blair appealed to Whitehall ­officials for special dispensation from the Covid-19 rules, but that he was not issued with the formal exemption letter he would have needed to avoid the 14-day isolation period.

The Telegraph is not aware of any other exemption for which Mr Blair could qualify. He claims he was advised to follow rules on attending “international conferences”, having travelled to the US for a ceremony at the White House at which Israel signed agreements establishing formal relations with Bahrain and the UAE.

Wales is awaiting news on Monday of a “circuit breaker” lockdown, while Northern Ireland has already imposed such a measure.

Meanwhile, the Liverpool City Region and Lancashire are under tier-three measures and eight areas of England are under tier-two (both tiers can impact your UK travel options). What’s the situation in your local area? Search below.

Boeing’s 737 Max is a step closer to being recertified after Europe’s safety aviation regulator declared it is satisfied with new safety features.

The EU Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) signalled that it could issue a draft airworthiness directive for the Max next month, but the grounded aircraft is unlikely to return to operation until next year.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has yet to recertify the aircraft following the exposure of systemic failures in its original certification of the aircraft.

American Airlines plans to return the 737 Max to service for passenger flights by the end of this year should it be recertified by the FAA.

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News – Travel latest news: Wales ‘circuit-break’ lockdown would span half term, leaked letter reveals