Headlines on so-called "Freedom Day" centre on how the UK could go back into lockdown very soon as Covid cases continue to rise rapidly.
New short notice travel measures also attract criticism, while the government has warned Test and Trace will lead to further frustration in the coming month.
The good news is for the domestic market, though, with high temperatures expected across the UK in the coming week. Here are the key national headlines concerning travel on Monday (19 July).
Aito blasts new “amber plus” category for France
Aito has criticised the government for introducing a new Covid category and confusing consumers ahead of “Freedom Day” today. Double-vaccinated travellers from France to the UK will have to quarantine on return from today after a last-minute U-turn by the government late on Friday night. (City AM)
Dash back from the Balearics
Tourists have paid up to £1,000 in a mad dash to get from the Balearics to the UK before the islands were put on the amber list overnight. Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca were all upgraded to the amber list amid surging infection numbers. (The Daily Mail)
PCR Tests in short supply
Delays in accessing and processing PCR tests are hampering the battle against Covid. A surge in numbers seeking tests is expected as the country eases social restrictions, but the NHS booking system is “regularly switched off” and turnaround times are lengthening. (Financial Times)
UK Covid cases ‘could hit 200,000 a day’
Scientists are warning the easing of restrictions will mean ‘major disruption’ for the NHS with up to 200,000 infections a day and 1,000 hospitalisations. Meanwhile, the Australian state of Victoria has entered a five-day lockdown to stamp out a Delta virus outbreak and Thailand is coping with a major outbreak, with 415,000 cases registered. (The Guardian)
Warning over Test and Trace app
A government minister has warned the coming month will be marked by “frustration and disruption” as hundreds of thousands are pinged by Test and Trace. Robert Jenrick said the government stood by its decision to only exempt the double jabbed from self-isolating from 16 August to give people more time to get their second vaccination. (City AM)
Restrictions “may need to be reimposed”
The government may have to reimpose lockdown restrictions if Covid cases continue to rise, former health secretary Jeremy Hunt has warned. Hunt said the situation was “very serious”. “The warning light on the NHS dashboard is not flashing amber, it is flashing red,” he said. (City AM)
Heatwave to continue
Northern Ireland recorded its hottest day on record on Saturday, reaching 30.8C. Parts of Scotland also saw records broken, with figures approaching 30C and temperatures hovered around the 30s in many parts of England. The heat is set to continue this week, reaching up to 32C. (Sky News)