Dozens of people have died after severe flooding hit western Europe, while there is speculation France could be moved to the UK’s red list.
As northern Europe suffers from catastrophic floods, public health officials are warning about the potential impact of a heatwave – which is set to arrive in England at the weekend.
Meanwhile, some UK businesses are struggling to operate as record numbers of people are “pinged” by the NHS Covid app, while England’s chief medical officer warns the pandemic still has a “long way to run”.
Here are the travel headlines in the national press the UK woke up to on Friday (16 July).
Dozens dead as heavy rain brings catastrophic flooding to Europe
Record rainfall across western Europe has caused massive flooding with more than 50 people being killed in Germany as buildings were destroyed by the force of the water. Parts of the Netherlands and Belgium have also been badly affected by flooding. (The Guardian)
France could be moved to red list as beta cases rise
The UK government is considering moving France to the red list of countries due to rising cases of the beta or South African variant of Covid-19 on the other side of the Channel. The move was discussed as part of the government’s three-week review and officials have been told to conduct a “deep dive” into the Covid data in France. (The Telegraph)
Britain is grinding to a halt
Businesses are struggling with a shortage of staff as more than 500,000 people in the UK were “pinged” by the NHS Covid app last week. Unions fear the high number of people being told to self-isolate could “cripple” the UK economy as factories and shops are forced to close as they don’t have enough workers to operate. (Daily Mirror)
Heat-health alert issued in England for weekend
Public health officials are warning people in England about the impact of high temperatures at the weekend. The country is set to swelter with temperatures of up to 31C and Public Health England is urging people to take steps to stay cool and help those who could be at risk from the heat. (BBC News)
Shocking £525 cost for a Covid test: Holidaymakers confronted with extortionate prices
A study of 15 Covid test providers has found many holidaymakers are facing charges up to three times higher than those stated on the UK government’s website, with one firm charging up to £525 for a “bespoke” single test service. Consumers have also faced long delays in getting results and “shoddy” service. (Daily Mail)
Merkel presses Biden on lifting Covid-related Europe travel ban
US president Joe Biden has told German chancellor Angela Merkel he will make a decision “within the next several days” on when the US plans to lift its Covid-related travel ban on European countries. Biden was pressed on the issue during Merkel’s visit to Washington DC. (Financial Times)
UK ’not out of the woods yet’ on Covid
England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty has warned the pandemic “has got a long way to run”, with the potential for hospital numbers to get “quite scary” in the coming weeks. Whitty urged the public to act cautiously as further restrictions are lifted on Monday (19 July). (Sky News)