U.S. Markets open in 1 hr 25 mins
  • S&P Futures

    3,340.25
    -5.75 (-0.17%)
     
  • Dow Futures

    27,437.00
    -45.00 (-0.16%)
     
  • Nasdaq Futures

    11,355.75
    -39.00 (-0.34%)
     
  • Russell 2000 Futures

    1,503.50
    -3.00 (-0.20%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    40.25
    -0.35 (-0.86%)
     
  • Gold

    1,891.10
    +8.80 (+0.47%)
     
  • Silver

    24.07
    +0.46 (+1.95%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.1704
    +0.0036 (+0.3043%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    0.6630
    0.0000 (0.00%)
     
  • Vix

    26.87
    +0.49 (+1.86%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.2868
    +0.0026 (+0.2033%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    10,774.91
    +72.41 (+0.68%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    231.36
    +7.44 (+3.32%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    5,904.87
    -23.06 (-0.39%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    23,539.10
    +27.48 (+0.12%)
     

Cases and hospitalisations rise in France as UK considers quarantine

Emma Featherstone
Paris - Getty
Paris - Getty

France has reported the first significant rise in the number of people admitted to hospital due to Covid-19 since the end of the country's lockdown.

The number of people in hospital with the virus had increased by 34 to 5,045 compared with Friday, the French health ministry said on Monday.

A spike in infection rates has led to fears that France could be struck from the travel “green list” this week, which could affect the holiday plans of hundreds of thousands of Britons.

Holidaymakers were reminded by Downing Street last night that “there is no risk free way of travelling overseas,” with Boris Johnson saying that he would “not hesitate” to bring in quarantine for other countries.

Paul Charles, spokesperson for campaign group Quash Quarantine, said on Monday that he understood France, along with Malta, Switzerland, Poland and the Netherlands, could be subject to fresh restrictions. 

The Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) meets today to analyse the latest data on coronavirus cases across the world, with the Government's decision on the quarantine list following in the next few days.

Read more: Can I travel to France?

Follow the latest travel news below

03:34 PM

What happened today? 

Here are the key headlines from today. 

  • No 'risk-free' travel says Downing Street

  • Global coronavirus tally reaches 20 million

  • Heathrow's July passenger numbers down 89 per cent year-on-year

  • Spanish government defends Covid response

  • P&O cruises extends global pause in sailings

  • Bhutan heads into lockdown for first time

Catch-up with the rest below.

03:19 PM

Holiday Inn owner sees customer demand slowly returning

InterContinental Hotels (IHG) saw a loss in the first half of 2020, but it said there were early signs of recovery in demand.

In the UK, revenue per available room fell by as much as 90 per cent in the second quarter as the Government forced hotels to shut during lockdown.

The hotel group said it was seeing some "very early" signs of recovery in demand in key markets as travel restrictions are eased, with July room revenue expected to decline at a slower pace than June.

But IHG acknowledged that the short-term outlook for the industry remained uncertain, with a rise in virus cases in Europe threatening to disrupt holiday plans and prolong any recovery.

Read the full story.

03:03 PM

Beach party organisers donate £750 to charity

The organisers of a beach party in Kent, which ended with violence and litter strewn across the area, have made a donation to the people who helped to clean up afterwards. 

Greatstone beach was the setting for a "cook out" on Saturday and around 5,000 people attended. 

Four police officers were injured and a man was arrested following the party.

The event was organised by Flavour Boss restaurant in Croydon, which issued at apology and pledged the donation to Litter Picking Watch Romney Marsh.

02:49 PM

Why the wilds of Mid Wales are the perfect antidote to Britain's busy beaches

Don't want to contend with the summer crowds? Then run away to the most remote corners of Wales, writes Kerry Walker.

On a bend in the woods, a steep flight of steps emerges like a fairy trail to another world. At the top is the promised cave. I slither through a fissure into its half-lit, roofless space and to my surprise find graffiti: names and messages, deeply etched into the rock face over centuries, appear like runic inscriptions. I have to hand it to Cati: if ever you were going to vanish into the ether, this would be the place to do it. 

This maxim holds true for much of Mid Wales, where the vast expanse of stark moorland and primevally beautiful forests are perfect for a post-lockdown disappearing act. Here single-track roads vein the soul-stirring emptiness of the Cambrian Mountains. The walks over moor and mountain are boundless, and the drives are some of Britain’s finest – if you don’t mind crunching gears, reversing at speed and getting your motor dirty. Across Wales’ midriff there are a million and one little-explored roads and trails that seemingly lead to nowhere, making this one of the UK’s true great adventures.

Read the full story.

02:39 PM

Bosnia needs 'urgent' response to spike in cases, say country's public figures

More than 500 public figures in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo have demanded an "urgent" response from authorities to tighten measures to curb Covid-10 after a spike in new cases, reports AFP.

According to official data, 22 deaths were logged over a 24-hour period in Bosnia on Tuesday, the highest toll yet in a country where nearly 450 lives have been lost.

In an open letter, writers, doctors, journalists and other public figures said they were "frightened by the lack of an even minimal necessary institutional response" to the resurgence of the epidemic.

After lifting a strict lockdown at the end of April, authorities have imposed few mandatory restrictions, instead issuing recommendations with weak enforcement.

02:30 PM

Thailand unlikely to welcome tourists until at least 2021, putting millions of jobs at risk

Winter sun holidays to Thailand are looking increasingly unlikely to happen this year, with the deputy governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, predicting that the country’s borders will not reopen to leisure travellers until 2021, reports Lee Cobaj.

"The Christmas period, usually the high season, is in jeopardy and I’m looking horribly even to Chinese New Year in February," Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya said. "It is not a rosy picture."

thailand - Getty
thailand - Getty

Thailand has been praised by the World Health Organisation for its handling of the virus. To date, the country has had a total of 3,351 cases, 58 deaths, and not a single local case has been recorded for the past 78 days. 

When it comes to the economic danger, however, the outlook for the Land of Smiles is far bleaker. About 20 per cent of the country’s GDP comes from the tourism industry, which is now in free fall, with up to a third of tourism-related businesses at risk of closing permanently. 

Read the full story.

02:25 PM

Malaysia and Brunei join quarantine-free list

As of today, Malaysia and Brunei are added to the list of countries from which you can travel without facing quarantine on arrival in the UK. However, both destinations have their own restrictions in place:

  • Malaysia: Require permission to enter the country; all arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days

  • Brunei: Travel severely restricted; the few who are permitted entry must go into quarantine at a government-booked facility, pay 1,000BND/£576 for a test, and cover costs of quarantine stay.

02:17 PM

Mapped: The 26 countries you can actually visit right now

The Government has given the green light to overseas holidays, but the list of options keeps changing. As of August 7, the FCO no longer advises against trips to 77 destinations, while 78 places can now be visited by Britons without the need to self-isolate on their return. However, many country's on the UK's quarantine-free list have travel restrictions in place to curb the spread of the virus.

Here are the 26 countries you can travel to without restriction.​

  1. Austria

  2. Croatia

  3. Czech Republic

  4. Denmark 

  5. Estonia 

  6. Faroe Islands (Visitors required to take Covid-19 test at airport on arrival)

  7. France

  8. Germany

  9. Gibraltar

  10. Greece 

  11. Iceland (Open to tourists, but all arrivals must choose to pay to be tested for coronavirus or self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. Children born in 2005 or later are exempt)

  12. Italy

  13. Latvia

  14. Liechtenstein

  15. Lithuania

  16. Malta 

  17. Monaco 

  18. Netherlands 

  19. Norway

  20. Poland

  21. San Marino

  22. Slovakia 

  23. Slovenia 

  24. Switzerland

  25. Turkey

  26. Vatican City

Find out more about the restrictions that are in place elsewhere.

02:06 PM

'A Greek island escape in our 70s? Never mind Covid, we needed a holiday'

After lockdown was eased, a pair of 70-somethings ventured into the wider world with excitement, and just a little nervousness. 

Spinalonga - Getty
Spinalonga - Getty

With flights restarting, air bridges with many European countries established and hotels reopening, travel further afield became an exciting prospect. With no work or family commitments even the prospect of being asked to quarantine on our return was not so alarming. After all we had just come through three months in isolation. What would another two weeks be to us?

Inevitably we had some hours of deliberation, debate and simple anxiety. Would our insurance cover us? The answer was yes, our policy was taken out before the pandemic and we had no plans to ignore Government advice about our destination. Would we be safe in the hotel? Research made it clear that the health and safety policies in hotels are meticulous in their attention to detail. Is air travel safe? We quickly came to the conclusion that it is probably the safest way to travel. But could we cope with wearing a face mask for several hours? There was no way of knowing in advance – but, we thought, why not try...

Read the full story.

01:47 PM

'I need this holiday' – Britons defiant as France on edge of quarantine

When travel restrictions were lifted in early July, France seemed like the safest bet for a first post-lockdown trip, writes Emma Beaumont.

However, in yet another pendulum swing of the pandemic, after a spike in infections France seems set to be struck off the travel “safe list” this week, which could create chaos for thousands of British holidaymakers, who may soon have to quarantine on their return to Britain. But some holidaymakers are still planning to go to France, even if quarantine is imposed:

One traveller will shortly be heading to a villa near Limoges in central France with his wife and young daughter born at the beginning of lockdown, will not be deterred. He says: “I have been waiting for my paternity leave to start before we could go on our first holiday together, and France has always been the aim.”

On potentially having to quarantine on return he says: “It won't be ideal, but it's a risk we're willing to take after six months in a two-bed flat.” Perhaps summing up the thoughts of the entire nation, he adds: “I need this holiday.”

Read the full story.

01:37 PM

Wales announces 13 new cases of Covid-19

Public Health Wales has released the country's latest figures. 

01:30 PM

Rome's first female mayor to run for second term

Rome's mayor Virginia Raggi has announced plans to run for a second term, hoping to steal an edge on rivals in a long campaign for next year's vote, reports Reuters.

Ms Raggi became the city's first female mayor when elected in 2016.

Her early years as mayor were overshadowed by resignations from her team, the arrest for corruption of a top aide and chronic problems with rubbish collections.

In November 2018, she was acquitted of accusations of lying over the appointment of the capital's head of tourism.

01:11 PM

Vietnam records 16 new infections

Vietnam has reported 16 new virus infections and one new death, taking its total number of cases to 863. The country has seen 16 fatalities as a result of the virus.

Most new cases are linked to the central city of Danang. It was here that a new outbreak began late in July after Vietnam had been more than three months without domestic transmission.

The health ministry has said more than 165,000 people are being quarantined in the country, according to Reuters.

12:56 PM

Can I go on a Scottish cruise? The latest travel advice

The Foreign Office is advising against all travel by cruise ship, excluding river cruises.

However, in Scotland, several small ship cruise companies, including The Majestic Line and Hebridean Island Cruises, remain confident that they will be able to set sail around the west coast of Scotland soon – despite current government guidance to the contrary. Each of these cruise lines never usually carry more than 12 passengers.

Scotland based travel writer and cruise expert, Robin McKelvie, explained: “The FCO advise against all 'sea-going' cruises. The key distinction in Scotland lies between the larger vessels and the small, usually family-run, cruise ships that take a maximum of a dozen passengers, some even less so.”

Read the full story.

12:39 PM

Air passengers told they must use disposable masks on France flights

Holidaymakers flying from the UK to France were informed that, due to French legislation, they cannot wear reusable face masks, but rather must wear the disposable kind.

According to local media, two easyjet passengers said that they had initially not been allowed to board a flight to France while wearing reusable face coverings, before they were given disposable coverings by other passengers.

The budget airline told French news site Connexion: “French authorities have passed legislation that requires all passengers over the age of 11 travelling to and from France by air to wear a disposable surgical mask and no other types of face masks will be accepted."

12:26 PM

How to get travel insurance should you choose to ignore Foreign Office advice

Contrary to popular belief, you can visit a country to which the Foreign Office (FCO) advises against travel without invalidating your insurance – you just need to contact one of the few providers willing to offer cover, writes Oliver Smith.

What’s more, it shouldn’t cost much more than an ordinary policy. 

lisbon - Getty
lisbon - Getty

The FCO has lifted its blanket travel ban, giving the green light for holidays to most of Europe and a few long-haul countries. But that still leaves the majority of the planet (including, as of July 25, mainland Spain) off-limits. 

For Britons planning a trip against FCO advice, insurance experts explain how to secure cover.

12:11 PM

Scotland reports 52 new cases of the coronavirus

Some 19,079 people in Scotland have now tested positive for Covid-19, up by 52 from yesterday, first minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed at her daily virus briefing today.

The were no deaths in the last 24 hours among people who tested positive, so the total remains at 2,491.

12:05 PM

Comment: A quarantine for trips to France would be unbridled insanity

Every time Foreign Office staff impose quarantine on a given nation, they should be docked 10 per cent of their wages, according to Anthony Peregrine. He writes:

There is madness, there is hysteria and then there is the suggestion that travellers in France might soon, once again, be quarantined on their return to Britain. Oh, for heaven’s sake.

Of course, I’m biased. I live in France and love it when people from my home country travel here perhaps to share my appreciation of the country. I also want the country’s travel industry to prosper and, not least, for people to carry on reading articles about France, of which I supply a few.

Nor do I underestimate the effect of the coronavirus.

More than 30,300 French people have died (as against 46,410 Britons). It goes without saying that the state of affairs is vastly serious. No-one doubts that. But the question here is whether the situation in France is presently so bad as to risk ruining the holidays of thousands of British people, not to mention administering another blow to the French tourist industry and those important elements of the British travel industry which work with France.

Read the full story.

11:50 AM

Which European countries have the fewest new cases per capita? 

Planning a last-minute holiday in Europe? You may want to avoid booking a trip to a country that could be struck from the UK's travel "green list" in the coming weeks.

To do so, it is helpful to look for places that have the least number of new cases of the virus per 100,000. The destinations with lower numbers of new cases per capita in the last 14 days and no restrictions on travel from the UK include Italy, Latvia, Slovakia, Estonia and Liechtenstein.

Which countries in Europe have the fewest new cases per capita?
Which countries in Europe have the fewest new cases per capita?

11:45 AM

Italian cruise line to resume sailings in September

Italian line Costa Cruises said it will restart sailings from September 6 after receiving approval from the Italian government.  

Costa Deliziosa will be the first ship to depart, offering weekly cruises from Trieste to Greece. It will be followed by Costa Diadema on September 19, which will sail on seven-day cruises in the Western Mediterranean from Genoa.

All other Costa cruises will be cancelled until 30 September.

The UK Foreign Office advises against travel by ocean-going cruise ships.

11:34 AM

Here's what economy cabins could look like in the Covid era

Air travel already looks different in a Covid-19 world, with the introduction of masks and enhanced cleaning techniques – but a new plane cabin design has taken things one step further and shown how a pandemic-era plane could look, reports Emma Cooke.

London-based firm, PriestmanGoode, has unveiled designs for new economy- and business-class cabins built to address key passenger concerns about flying during a pandemic, such as hygiene, personal space and contactless travel. 

cabin design - PriestmanGoode
cabin design - PriestmanGoode

The changes include dividing screens between rows, seats without pockets and surfaces that can change colour to show passengers they have been cleaned.

A new layout also offers more personal space to those on board, helping solve the question of how passengers social distance on board. This has so far been addressed by airlines leaving middle seats empty, something unsustainable in the long term as businesses seek to bring capacity – and profits – back to pre-Covid levels.

Read the full story.

11:31 AM

Russia approves first coronavirus vaccine

Russia’s health ministry has given regulatory approval for the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine, President Vladimir Putin announced today.

It is hoped that the vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, will pave the way for mass inoculation - even as the final stages of clinical trials to test safety and efficacy continue.   

"This morning, for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered" in Russia, President Putin said during a televised video conference call with government ministers.

Read the full report.

11:28 AM

Netherlands records 4,036 new cases over past week

The Netherlands saw the number of new virus cases rise to 4,036 in the past week, continuing the increase seen since the easing of lockdown measures last month, according to Dutch health authorities.

The number of infections was up 55 per cent from the 2,588 cases reported over the previous week.

11:23 AM

Watch: New Zealand confirms new cases in community as Auckland locked down

11:17 AM

Flights to nowhere: Airlines launch sightseeing trips to avoid travel restrictions

Airlines desperate for revenue but hampered by the entangled web of international travel restrictions have turned to “flights to nowhere” for cash, reports Hugh Morris.

Two carriers in Taiwan are the latest to offer ‘flightseeing’ trips to passengers keen to break the monotony of lockdown, while Australian flag carrier Qantas is set to operate tours over Antarctica later this year.

The flights depart and land at the same airport, negating any possible quarantine concerns for travellers. Taiwan is currently closed to international tourists. 

Eva Air, a major Taiwanese airline, flew a special Hello Kitty-themed flight at the weekend, departing Taoyuan International Airport before passing over the island’s northeast cape, circling Japan’s Ryukyu Islands and returning home via the picturesque south-east coast. The flight lasted just under three hours. 

flight route - Flightradar24
flight route - Flightradar24

EVA Air’s key competitor, China Airlines, has also launched a “flight to nowhere” experience, this time aimed at children playing as cabin crew on a two-hour flight that takes off and lands at Taoyuan. 

Read the full report.

11:11 AM

Scottish holiday searches up 532 per cent

Trips to Scotland, Wales and Cornwall are dominating Google searches for "staycations", according to analysis from The Cairn Collection, a group of hotels across the UK (including in Scotland, Brighton and Wales). Its findings include: 

  • Scotland is the most searched for UK destination, up 532 per cent on last year

  • Wales is the second most searched for destination, up 370 per cent on 2019

  •  Staycation in Brighton is down 87 per cent on last year in searches

  • Cornwall is the most searched for destination in England, up 325 per cent on last year

11:00 AM

Greece adds restrictions for some arrivals

Greece will require visitors arriving on flights from Sweden, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands to test negative for Covid-19 no later than 72 hours before arrival, a government spokesperson said. The measure will come into effect next Monday.

The same requirement will apply to all people entering Greece via its land borders except for Greek citizens or legal residents.

10:53 AM

Germany sees over 1,200 new virus cases 

Germany recorded 1,220 new infections in the 24 hours through Tuesday morning, up from 385 on Monday and above the 1,000 mark for the third time in less than a week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The infection rate – the average number of people infected by one person with the virus – eased to 1.09 on Monday, from 1.26 the previous day, the latest report from the country’s RKI public health institute showed.

Coronavirus Germany Spotlight Chart - cases default
Coronavirus Germany Spotlight Chart - cases default

10:48 AM

My Cornwall: Our expert – a resident for 25 years – reveals her favourite places

Many Britons are forgoing foreign trips for a UK break this summer, with Cornwall high on the holiday wishlist.

Our destination expert, Gill Charlton, offers insider tips on her perfect day in the country and where to stay. Here's a snippet:

My perfect day is all about walking, eating and drinking on the Lizard peninsula. Park in Lizard village and walk out to Kynance Cove on a low tide to visit the red-and-green serpentine marble caves and walk on to Britain's most southerly point.

After stopping for a coffee and a home-baked doughnut at Polpeor Café, perched on Lizard Point (aerial display by rare choughs most days), follow the flower-studded coastal path as it rises and falls between headlands all the way to the thatched houses of Cadgwith.

Read the full story.

10:26 AM

In pictures: Beaches around the world

Temperatures are set to exceed 30C in London and the south-east today, following temperatures of up to 38C over the weekend.

In countries across the world, people have been enjoying some time on the coast as lockdown restrictions ease.

sydney northern beaches - Getty
sydney northern beaches - Getty
beach new york - Getty
beach new york - Getty
netherlands - Getty
netherlands - Getty

10:11 AM

British Airways extends its flexible bookings policy

BA is extending its Book with Confidence policy for customers booking flights and holidays in September 2020, to cover journeys up to 31 August 2021.

Under this policy, customers can change the dates and destination of their booking without incurring a fee. They can also cancel their booking and receive a voucher for use at a later date.

BA Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Brem said: "We want to give people the confidence to book, safe in the knowledge they can change their booking should they choose to. "

British Airways Holidays has introduced deposits from £75 per person. Customers can pay their balance in as many installments as they need with final payment not now due until three weeks before travel.

  

09:56 AM

New Zealand announces first new Covid cases in community

New Zealand has announced its first locally transmitted coronavirus infections in 102 days, leading prime minister Jacinda Arden to issue a stay-at-home lockdown order for the country's largest city.

Ms Ardern said four cases had been detected in a single family in Auckland from an unknown source.

"After 102 days, we have our first cases of COVID-19 outside of managed isolation or quarantine facilities... While we have all worked incredibly hard to prevent this scenario, we have also planned and prepared for it," she said.

09:50 AM

Trump mulls banning re-entry for citizens over virus concerns

President Trump is considering new rules that would allow border officials to temporarily block a US citizen or legal permanent resident from re-entering the US if the authorities have reason to believe the person may be infected with the coronavirus, reports the New York Times.

The US government has yet to officially comment on the reports.

Amid the pandemic, President Trump has approved new rules banning entry by foreigners, citing the risk of spreading Covid-19. However, US citizens and permanent residents have so far been exempt from these rules.

The US has recorded 5 million cases of Covid-19, accounting for around a quarter of worldwide cases.

Coronavirus USA Spotlight Chart - cases default
Coronavirus USA Spotlight Chart - cases default

09:38 AM

P&O cruises extends pause in sailing until November

UK-based P&O Cruises has extended its pause in operations until the middle of November, blaming Foreign Office guidance against travel by ocean-going cruise ships, reports Benjamin Parker. 

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: “It is clear that whilst the guidance is in place it is not advisable for us to resume operations. [...] I know that these January cruises, in particular, are holidays of a lifetime and we are so sorry for the disappointment that these cancellations will cause.

"We continue to work in partnership with public health agencies at the highest level as well as Department for Transport, EU Healthy Gateways and Cruise Lines International Association, the world's largest cruise industry association."

Those booked on the cancelled cruises will automatically receive an enhanced 125 per cent future cruise credit or alternatively can request a 100 per cent refund.

  • See our full list of when cruise lines will be sailing again, and how to claim a refund, here.

09:32 AM

China to reinstate tourist visas to Macau

Macau, the world's biggest casino hub, is set to welcome an influx of gamblers, reports Reuters.

It was announced on Tuesday that tourist visas, through which the majority of visitors enter the Chinese territory, would be reinstated for all provinces from September 23.

China's National Immigration Administration said that if the domestic coronavirus situation continued to improve, residents would be able to apply for individual and group travel visas to enter the special administrative region located on the country's southern coast.

Visitors from greater China make up over 90 per cent of tourists to the former Portuguese colony of Macau.

09:21 AM

Australia's Northern Territory could stay shut until 2022

Australia's remote Northern Territory could keep its borders for at least another 18 months, according to officials.

Announcing that the Northern Territory will close its border with Victoria indefinitely, Chief Minister Gunner told Australian news channel ABC 24 that 18 months was a “conservative” estimate for when the borders would reopen again.

He said: "we have got an indefinite ban on Victoria, and Sydney keeps bubbling away to a point [that] I can’t give you a date where that would ever lift [...]My advice to every Territorian, if you can, stay here in the Territory. You’re safe here, don’t go.”

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said interstate travel restrictions will probably continue until Christmas.

09:00 AM

Rio considers app for beachgoers to reserve space

Visitors to Rio de Janeiro's beaches could soon be able to reserve socially-distanced sunbathing spots through a mobile app, according to the city's mayor.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, beachgoers in Rio have, officially at least, not be allowed to simply sit down on the beaches and take in the sun.

Copacabana beach - Getty
Copacabana beach - Getty

However, the city's beaches have often been full recently, especially on weekends, as visitors ignore restrictions aimed at fighting the world's second worst outbreak.

Now city officials are hoping to turn to technology to help ensure that social-distancing measures, including and proper conditions for sunbathing, are respected.

08:47 AM

Bhutan heads into lockdown for the first time

Bhutan has ordered its first nationwide lockdown after a returning resident tested positive for coronavirus after being discharged from quarantine.

The case took the total in the tiny Himalayan kingdom to 113, still the lowest in South Asia.

The country has yet to record a fatality.

Bhutan, which is heavily reliant on high-end tourists, banned tourism in March after an American visitor tested positive for the virus, and ordered a three week mandatory quarantine for everyone returning from abroad.

08:41 AM

Finland to mandate tests for travellers from high-risk countries

Finland is to make Covid tests and quarantine compulsory for travellers from some "high-risk" countries, a Government minister said on Monday. 

This move comes after 24 of 157 passengers arriving in Finland from Skopje in North Macedonia tested positive for the virus.

Voluntary testing was carried out at Turku airport in Finland on Saturday for all passengers arriving on a flight from Skopje after authorities had traced flights from North Macedonia and Bucharest in Romania as two main sources of recent new coronavirus infections in Finland.

A mandatory two-week quarantine and possible testing will apply to arrivals from any country with more than 8 to 10 new Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people over the last 14-days, authorities said.

08:30 AM

Greece shuts down Museum of the Ancient Agora

Greece's culture ministry is closing down the Museum of the Ancient Agora, a major archaeological site in central Athens, for two weeks after a cleaner there was diagnosed with Covid-19. 

The country also announced yesterday that it is imposing a curfew for restaurants and bars in some of its top tourist destinations after new coronavirus infections hit a new high. The restrictions will be in place from today until August 23.

Coronavirus Greece Spotlight Chart - cases default
Coronavirus Greece Spotlight Chart - cases default

Restaurants and bars will be closed from midnight to 7am, including on the popular holiday islands of Mykonos, Santorini, Corfu, Rhodes and Crete. 

08:21 AM

Germans flout virus rules at 'crazy and wild' U-Bahn parties

Video has emerged of people ignoring social distancing rules and holding spontaneous “corona parties” on crowded Berlin subway trains late at night, reports Justin Huggler.

Footage shared extensively on social media shows an U-Bahn carriage packed with young passengers dancing and singing along to loud music.

Some of the more adventurous passengers are climbing on the seats and hanging from the handrails.  Almost none of those visible are wearing face masks, despite the fact failure to wear one is punishable with a fine of up to €500 (£450).

Read the full story.

08:18 AM

Spanish government defends Covid response

The Spanish government has defended its response to the coronavirus pandemic after official data showed the country had registered the highest total number of cases in western Europe, overtaking Britain.

“Appropriate measures are being taken to control the pandemic in coordination” with the regions, the government said in a statement. “The data shows that we are being very active in tracking and detecting the virus.”

Spanish Health ministry data from Monday showed 1,486 new cases were diagnosed in the past day bringing the cumulative total to 322,980.

On July 25,  Spain was added to the UK's quarantine list following a spike in infection rates in the country.

08:09 AM

Global Covid cases have hit 20 million, says tally

The global number of Covid-19 cases has reached 20 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Centre.

This number was reaches in the early hours of Tuesday morning, UK time, with 20,011,186 cases worldwide.

The total number of global coronavirus deaths stands at 734,664, according to experts at Johns Hopkins, the American university whose aggregated tally has become the main reference for monitoring the disease.

08:07 AM

Heathrow's July passenger numbers down 89 per cent year-on-year

Heathrow airport's passenger numbers were down 89 per cent in July on the previous year to 867,000 (from 7.7 million in July 2019), due to the ongoing restrictions on travel.

The numbers reveal a slight uptick of travellers since the coronavirus crisis began, with the help of "travel corridors" since the introduction of "travel corridors" on July 4. 

Some 60 per cent of Heathrow’s route network remained grounded, according to the airport. Heathrow thinks airport testing could safely open up these routes and restart the UK’s economic recovery.

07:56 AM

No 'risk-free' overseas travel, says Downing Street

There is “no risk-free way of travelling overseas” Downing Street has warned, after Boris Johnson said he would "not hesitate" to impose quarantine for other countries.

Alongside France, other countries that are at risk of being dropped from the travel "green list" include the Netherlands, Switzerland, Poland and Malta, while there are hopes that Portugal may be reinstated.

Coronavirus Netherlands Spotlight Chart - Cases default
Coronavirus Netherlands Spotlight Chart - Cases default

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: "We have been updating the exemptions list on a weekly basis in order to make sure that it reflects the changes in the international health picture.

"Unfortunately, during this pandemic there isn't a risk-free way of travelling overseas. The population's made a huge effort to get the disease down to the levels that we're seeing in the UK, and if we feel that we need to act in relation to the travel exemptions list, then we'll do so."

07:52 AM

What happened yesterday?

The key travel headlines from Mondau:

  • Portugal moving towards 'safe' list

  • France and Greece tighten coronavirus restrictions

  • National Trust bemoans increase in 'fly-camping'

  • Air travel volumes may have peaked for 2020

  • UK heatwave to end in thunderstorm

Now onto today's news