Travel news latest: European hotels ‘turning away’ UK bookings as distrust grows over traffic lights

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Ongoing confusion and chaos over the UK’s traffic lights system is causing European holiday operators to reject British travellers, according to one industry chief.

“Hoteliers are turning away bookings from the UK in August because they don’t trust us – and European travellers are taking our beds and availability,” Noel Josephides, director of Aito, the Specialist Travel Association, and chairman of tour operator Sunvil, told The Guardian.

“There is no confidence; why should people trust us when we have the sword of Damocles constantly hanging over us and things could change and result in cancellations at any moment?”

It comes as Boris Johnson delivered a lifeline to summer holidays last night when he blocked the creation of a controversial new “amber watchlist” for foreign countries. This would have put the likes of Spain, Greece and France at risk of turning red imminently, for millions of British travellers regardless of their vaccination status.

There are today fresh calls from senior Tory MPs and industry leaders for Mr Johnson to go further and ditch the green-amber-red system entirely, replacing it with a single red list.

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Sydney lockdown could be eased if vaccination rate hits 50%

Australia‘s New South Wales said on Tuesday it could ease a lockdown that demands five million people stay at home until the end of August if 50 per cent of the population is vaccinated, even as new infections linger near a 16-month high.

A lifting of restrictions in New South Wales would be a boost for Prime Minister Scott Morrison, under intense pressure for his government’s handling of the vaccine rollout, with the threat of a second economic recession in as many years looming.

New South Wales on Tuesday reported another 199 locally acquired cases in the past 24 hours but state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said curbs could be eased if six million people are vaccinated by the time the lockdown is due to end, stating:

Six million jabs is roughly half the population with at least one or two doses. That gives us additional options as to what life looks like on 29 August.

Ms Berejiklian didn’t say exactly how many in New South Wales were fully vaccinated as of Tuesday, but said the state is on course to meet its vaccination target. 

French territory of Guadeloupe to go into new lockdown

France‘s overseas territory of Guadeloupe will to go into a new lockdown for at least three weeks to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, said the local Guadeloupe authority on its Twitter account, as France battles a fourth wave of the virus.

The authority said the French West Indian island‘s new lockdown would start on August 4, with the re-introduction of a curfew running from 8pm until 5am the following day, and limitations on people’s movements.

France’s overseas territories of La Reunion and Martinique have also entered new lockdowns to curb the spread of the virus. 

What happened yesterdaty?

A quick ecap of the top stories:

  • Quarantine scrapped for fully vaccinated US and EU arrivals

  • PM wants travel rules to be as ‘user-friendly as possible’

  • Tourists evacuated as wildfires burn in Italy, Spain and Greece

  • British Airways bumps up US flight schedule

  • Foreign Office warns travellers of France’s vaccine passport law

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