Travel news latest: Travellers’ vaccine advantage may be ‘squandered’, Gatwick boss warns


The Balearic Health Minister has backed the prospect of making Covid vaccination mandatory on the islands, while calling for citizens to receive the inoculation. 

Speaking on Thursday, Patricia Gómez confirmed she was ‘in favour of legislation to make vaccination against Covid obligatory,’ local newspaper Majorca Daily Bulletin reports.

The minister admitted however that such legislation “cannot be imposed by force”, and would be a matter for the Spanish Government, rather than the islands’ ministers. 

While Gómez’s comments focused solely on citizens’ vaccination status, any mandatory vaccine requirement may well impact international arrivals too. 

The islands are currently open to Britons, with either a proof of double-vaccination, or negative PCR test certificate. Under the current amber list classification – which covers both mainland Spain and its islands – fully-inoculated Britons are not required to quarantine on their return home. 

Scroll down for more of today’s travel headlines.

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Covid: the situation around the world

A quick brush-up on the international headlines:

  • In South Korea, Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum has urged citizens to minimise holiday travel and asked companies to let people work from home amid a worsening fourth wave of infections and a shortage of vaccines.
  • More defence personnel could begin patrolling Sydney, Australia, from next week to help enforce lockdown rule. Officials have today warned of a virus surge in Sydney after it reported its biggest daily rise in infections yet.

  • France will share 670,000 vaccine doses with Vietnam to help the Asian country tackle the virus, French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

PCR test investigation report ‘within the next month’

The competition watchdog is considering whether there are any “immediate actions” the Government can take amid concerns about the high cost of PCR tests required for travel abroad.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had previously confirmed it will look into issues around testing, following a request from Health Secretary Sajid Javid, but said it will report its recommendations “within the next month”.

Now, the watchdog has said it is also looking at “steps that could be considered in the interim” to address what it described as a “particularly pressing issue”.

The CMA said it is looking at three areas: whether individual PCR providers may be breaching their obligations under consumer law and should be subject to enforcement action; whether there are structural problems in the market for PCR tests, affecting price or reliability; and whether there are any immediate actions that the Government can take in the meantime.

Some providers offering PCR tests which meet minimum standards have been charging £200 or more.

This week, Conservative MP Henry Smith, who is the chairman of the Future of Aviation All-Party Parliamentary Group, said private Covid-19 tests should be capped at £40.

‘Hot as hell’: What is causing the scorching temperatures and fires across Europe?

A “heat dome” is descending on Europe and is set to cause record-breaking temperatures and more wildfires across the south of the continent.

The hellish weather in southern Europe is being caused by an anticyclone from North Africa. This area of high pressure and extreme heat is also known as a heat dome, and has recently been seen in the US as well. 

The current heat dome has been dubbed ‘Lucifer’.

Blazes thrive on heat and dry land – and currently much of the continent is parched after significantly lower rainfall than usual. This, along with the extreme temperatures, has left forest areas primed and ready for fast-spreading flames.

Verity Bowman has the full story.

Thursday’s headlines

Before we begin, a quick recap of yesterday’s travel news:

  • CMA to clamp down on PCR test providers that fall short
  • Mauritius to fully reopen its border in October
  • Helsinki restrictions tightened as Finnish case numbers rise
  • Canada planning vaccine passport for international travel
  • Tui report: UK travellers put off by changing policies

Now, on with today’s top stories.

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