Several national titles on Thursday (2 September) cover Portugal’s decision to ease its Covid entry rules in what the press is hailing as a likely boost to struggling travel firms.
Elsewhere, Italy has extended its requirement for people to show proof of Covid status to high-speed rail links and internal flights, while Scotland is set to introduce its own Covid pass measures for certain events.
There is also encouraging news for Britain’s high streets after analysts found strong demand for domestic summer breaks was driving a return to retailers and other businesses.
Here are all the latest headlines concerning travel on Thursday (2 September).
New Portugal travel rules ’will be welcomed by travel industry’
Wednesday’s news that travellers from the UK to Portugal will no longer need to be fully vaccinated to avoid quarantine will come as welcome news to the travel industry, various outlets report. BBC transport correspondent Caroline Davies said that while the changes come relatively late in the summer, and would therefore have a limited effect on people’s travel plans given the rate of vaccination in the UK, it was nonetheless "a move in the right direction for travel companies who hope countries will continue to open up rather than close shut". (BBC News / various)
Italy extends vaccine pass requirement to public transport
Italy has extended its requirement for people to produce "green pass" health documents to those travelling on the country’s high-speed trains, internal flights, ferries and inter-regional coaches. The pass is a digital or paper certificate verifying whether someone has had at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, or has recently tested negative for – or recovered from – the virus. (The Telegraph)
Staycation boom fuels return to high street
Retail footfall in August recovered to its highest level since the start of the pandemic, with analysts pointing towards the UK’s "staycation boom" for the uptick. Footfall picked up from -24% versus February 2020 to -19% last month, The Telegraph reports, citing data from Springboard "as diners and drinkers returned en masse, boosted by the bank holiday". “[The] popularity of staycations and daycations in August bolstered footfall activity, particularly in high streets. In large cities outside of the capital, the improvement in footfall in August was nearly double that in smaller high streets, putting them at a comparable level versus 2019 for the first time.” (The Telegraph)
Scotland to introduce Covid passes for certain venues and events
Vaccine passes will be required for entry to night clubs and various other larger-scale events in Scotland, first minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed. Sturgeon said "limited use" of passes could help control the spread of Covid-19 during the autumn and winter. The first minister said the scheme would be in place for "non-essential" pursuits that bring groups together in small areas, recognising the importance to the economy and Scotland’s cultural and social life of having these events take place. The move will yet be subject to a Scottish parliamentary vote. (Sky News)
New York declares state of emergency as Storm Ida brings floods
NewYork City has declared a state of emergency after tropical storm Ida brought record rainfall and flash flooding, with mayor Bill de Blasio warning the city was "enduring an historic weather event". Streets and subway stations have been pictured under several inches of water on Wednesday. Flights and rail services out of New York and New Jersey have been halted. (BBC News)
Third Covid jab for immuno-suppressed
People whose immune systems have been weakened by conditions like leukaemia or advanced HIV, or who have recently received an organ transplant, will receive third Covid-19 jabs. Around 500,000 immuno-suppressed people will receive jabs. The scheme will come in addition to a yet-to-be-announced Covid-19 booster jab campaign, likely to be much more wide-ranging. (Sky News)
Vaccination halves risk of long Covid
Full vaccination against Covid-19 halves the risk of adults suffering long Covid, i.e. symptoms of Covid-19 lasting more than 28 days, according to a new study by King’s College London. The study found full vaccination reduced the risk of developing any Covid symptoms by eight to 10 times and then the chance of any resultant infection developing into long Covid. (ITV News)