New travel restrictions confirmed as part of national lockdown

Annabel Fenwick-Elliott
heathrow - afp
heathrow - afp

England is set to enter another national lockdown, Boris Johnson has confirmed, putting an end to recreational travel.

For a month, starting from Thursday, November 5, and lasting until at least December 1, citizens are urged not to leave their homes unless for education, essential work, exercise, or to shop for essentials.

While the Prime Minister made no mention of the rules on international travel, reports ahead of the press conference this evening suggested there would be a specific ban.

Telegraph columnist and Editor of The Spectator, Fraser Nelson, tweeted: "Outbound international travel will be banned, except for work. Travel within the UK will be discouraged, except for work"; while ITV's political editor Robert Peston tweeted: "Outbound international travel will be banned, except for work. Same applies for travel within England and overnight stays away from home."

Other measures to have been confirmed include the closure of bars and restaurants, except for delivery and take-away; as well as all non-essential retail. Schools and universities will stay open.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel tweeted: "Simply put, a ban on international travel will push many holiday companies, airports and airlines over the edge. Many will go bust. Others will again withhold customer money to bail themselves out."

Scroll down for more of the latest news.

08:20 PM

Farewell to a grim day for travel

Here's a recap of the key developments:

  • Boris Johnson confirms national lockdown

  • Non-essential travel, both domestic and international, are prohibited

  • Pubs, restaurants and non-essential retail must close

  • Furlough extended through November

  • Nicola Sturgeon urges Scots to avoid travel to England

  • Berlin's new airport receives its first flight after decade-long delay

  • Canary Islands to require test upon entry as restrictions tighten across Europe

Join us tomorrow for more of the latest news.

08:10 PM

Airlines could cancel 'the vast majority of leisure flights'

Paul Charles, CEO of travel PR company, PC Agency, has gloomy news:

08:05 PM

Confusion breaks out over international travel rules

Members of the travel industry are reacting to news of what the new national lockdown will mean in regards to leaving the country. It's not looking good.

07:55 PM

At a glance: the new rules

Here's what will happen from Thursday. 

1. People must stay at home, with the following exceptions:

  • Education

  • Work (if you cannot work from home)

  • Recreational exercise with one person from another household or your household

  • To escape injury or harm

  • To shop for food and essentials

  • To provide care for vulnerable people as a volunteer

2. Pubs, restaurants and non-essential retail must close.

3. Workplaces should stay open where people can't work from home in the constructing and manufacturing centres. 

4. Schools, childcare, colleges and universities will stay open.

5. No shielding - but PM urges those who are clinically extremely vulnerable to minimise their contact with others.

6. Furlough will be extended until December, with time-limited measures from November 5.

07:52 PM

Can we ignore the new advice and travel abroad anyway?

That remains unclear. Britons are, as of now, still free to travel to countries which the FCDO advises all but essential travel to, should they wish. It's harder, but not impossible, to get insurance, but otherwise it's not difficult to find flights or a tour operator that will take you.

That might change in the coming week. Boris Johnson made clear his key instruction for England's second lockdown, and that is for us to stay at home.

It's thus likely that many, if not all travel companies will stop offering trips abroad.

Whether there will be any penalties on those who choose to defy the 'stay at home' order and travel anyway, remains to be seen.

07:43 PM

It's a wrap on Boris Johnson's press conference

England will officially enter a second national lockdown on Thursday. The prime minister insisted that it is not a "full-scale lockdown as seen in April", arguing that the new rules are "less restrictive", but that from Thursday the basic message is the same:

"Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives"

Johnson made no announcements in regards to the specific rules on recreational travel, but given that a holiday of any kind, here or abroad, would not constitute an 'essential' reason to leave the house, we can assume it's off the cards.

The FCDO has not made any updates to its website as of yet. It still advises British nationals against all but essential travel, except to a list of lower-risk countries.

07:16 PM

Take home message: stay at home

The Prime Minister is now taking questions. He has thus far made no specific mention of travel restrictions, domestic or international, other than to reiterate the message: 'Stay at home.'

07:12 PM

Furlough extended through November

Boris Johnson confirms that furlough will be extended until December, with time limited measures from November 5.

He says restrictions will lapse on December 2 when the UK returns to a tiered system.

07:09 PM

Boris Johnson confirms second lockdown

Boris Johnson says that "the risk is for the first time in our lives, the NHS will not be there for us and our families".

He says even if he could double capacity overnight, "it would still not be enough because the virus is doubling faster than we conceivably add capacity".

"Now is the time to take action because there is no alternative," he says.

"You must stay at home, you must only leave home for education, work if you cannot work from home, recreational exercise with one person from another household or your household, and to escape injury or harm, to shop for food and essentials or provide care for vulnerable people as a volunteer."

Boris Johnson confirms pubs, restaurants and non-essential retail must close, and says that workplaces should stay open where people can't work from home in the constructing and manufacturing centres. He confirms support bubbles can still be formed.

"We will not ask people to shield again in the same way, but we are asking those who are clinically extremely vulnerable to minimise their contact with others," he says.

06:50 PM

The time has come!

The press conference has begun. Boris Johnson started with an apology for "disturbing your Saturday evening with more news of Covid" and says he wouldn't if it wasn't absolutely necessary.

06:47 PM

We hope to hear from the Prime Minister very soon...

Just like old times - as a national lockdown looms, Boris Johnson is set to be joined by Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, and Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser.

Watch the Prime Minister's address to the nation over on our coronavirus live blog. We'll also be posting the key developments at they happen, right here.

06:44 PM

James Bond's favourite hotels through the ages

Sir Sean Connery died today. The 90-year-old Scottish actor, the first to play 007 on the big screen, passed away peacefully in his sleep in Nassau in the Bahamas, surrounded by his family, it was announced today.

Connery had an enduring connection to Nassau, capital of the Bahamas. It served as a shooting location for Bond films including Thunderball (1965) and Never Say Never Again (1983). 

In an ode to the icon, here is a gallery of  James Bond's favourite destinations through the ages.

06:32 PM

What happens if my holiday gets cancelled due to lockdown?

Many will be wondering whether they will get a refund on their holiday if there is a national lockdown that prevents it going ahead. 

According to The Telegraph's Jessica Beard, Yes:

You would be entitled to a refund on your travel expenses if the Government pushed ahead and put the country under lockdown. Britain’s competition watchdog made it clear during the first lockdown in spring that accommodation providers needed to pay refunds when the holiday could not go ahead. 

The Competition and Markets Authority said people will generally be entitled to a refund if contracts cannot go ahead due to lockdown laws. This applies if due to no fault of either party something happens after the booking was made which means the service can no longer be performed or was radically different to what was agreed. 

In this case, the contract comes to an end and the consumer should get their money back if they paid in advance for services or goods they have yet to receive. You should also not be required to make any further payments.

Read more: Cancelling a holiday due to Covid-19: What are my consumer rights this half term?

06:10 PM

Berlin's new airport finally receives its first flight after decade-long delay

Berlin’s beleaguered new airport’s opening – delayed by nearly 10 years – was somewhat muted due to the pandemic and didn’t quite go to plan, reports our correspondent Paul Sullivan:

The official opening of Berlin’s new airport (BER) has been announced—and subsequently cancelled—so many times during the last decade that it feels somewhat surreal to be finally heading to its brand new Terminal 1 for the official launch event. The fact that the train is packed with people wearing masks, and hardly a suitcase in sight is, on the other hand, an ominous reminder that it’s perhaps not the ideal time to be opening an international airport.

The airport, officially called the Willy Brandt Berlin Brandenburg Airport, after the former leader of West Germany, has become a national and regional embarrassment over the years, as delay after delay has put strain on the city’s other airports, and reports of incompetence and corruption have become a constant theme in the schadenfreude-loving German and international media.

The issues over the years have included lights that wouldn’t turn off, automatic doors that wouldn’t open, escalators that were too short, and a smoke-extraction system that was so complex and dysfunctional it was nicknamed ‘the monster’. Today, however, rising up smoothly into the terminal via the lifts from the train station, everything looks impressively spic and span. The abundant glass, wood and floors are all polished to a sheen, there are several large (and empty) check-in areas, and even an operational Starbucks for that classic Flüghafen feel.

Read his full dispatch here.

berlin -  STEFANIE LOOS/getty
berlin - STEFANIE LOOS/getty

06:02 PM

How to save your local pub: Join Tom Kerridge in the fight against last orders

According to a study commissioned by hospitality industry bodies, a quarter of Britain’s 47,000 pubs are unlikely to survive the Covid-19 pandemic, costing 290,000 jobs and causing untold damage to the communities that frequent them.

A stark picture, then, for Britain’s beloved watering holes. But coronavirus has merely exacerbated a long-term trend. Between 2001 and 2018, 13,000 pubs shut down – more King’s Dead than King’s Head.

One man who knows more than most about the plight of the pub industry is Tom Kerridge, who owns three in Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

Pubs are something I’ve always been comfortable in,” says Kerridge, both “from a consumer point of view” and as a chef. “Pubs are inviting, whatever your background, education, finances, sex; they’re there for everybody.”

Read on as Kerridge reveals his plans to rescue the local.

05:50 PM

England's current tier status by region

Three-tier Covid lockdown map
Three-tier Covid lockdown map

05:42 PM

Which areas of the UK are seeing the highest rate of infections?

Here's a quick look:

Coronavirus UKLA current
Coronavirus UKLA current

05:29 PM

Speculation over imminent travel restrictions build

Here are some key predictions:

05:21 PM

Canary Islands to require test upon entry as restrictions tighten across Europe

Holidaymakers will soon be required to present a negative Covid-19 test upon entering the Canary Islands, it has been confirmed.

As of November 10, the ruling states that all tourists over the age of six – from other parts of Spain or other countries – must take a PCR or antibody test, at their own expense, 48 to 72 hours before travelling or on arrival, to be able to stay in the Canaries. 

Without a negative result they can be denied access to their accommodation. Anyone who turns up at their hotel, villa or apartment without this will be sent to a testing centre.

These new restrictions leave British holidaymakers with only three countries that require no mandatory test upon entry, or a 14-day quarantine sentence upon return: Gibraltar, Greece and Sweden.

It comes amid curbs on international travel across Europe, as countries including France and Germany enter new national lockdowns; and heavy speculation that Boris Johnson will follow suit next week.

04:59 PM

Boris Johnson address delayed until 6.30pm

The Prime Minister will no longer address the nation at 5pm, marking a further delay to the press conference which is expected to see additional restrictions announced.

We will update you as soon as we have more on when the briefing will be.

04:51 PM

Bury the hatchet with Sadiq Khan to keep Tube running, Boris Johnson told

Ministers have been urged to set aside their differences with Sadiq Khan and agree emergency funding to keep London’s public transport network running during an expected second lockdown, Oliver Gill reports.

The London mayor has clashed with Boris Johnson over demands from Westminster for “punitive” charges on Londoners.

Mr Khan, who is also chairman of Transport for London, wants a taxpayer bailout to plug a £4.9bn hole in the transport authority’s finances.

A deadline to secure a central government bailout was due to expire on Saturday. A second lockdown would exacerbate TfL’s funding woes, which are partly due to the steep fall in fare income as a result of coronavirus restrictions.

Failure to agree on a temporary deal could paralyse London public transport and lead to the cancellation of nearly all underground, bus and rail services.

Read the full report here.

04:43 PM

Austria brings in second virus shutdown

Another one bites the dust.  

Austria's government announced Saturday a second mass shutdown and a curfew starting next week until the end of November, in an attempt to halt rocketing coronavirus infection numbers.

"From midnight on Tuesday until the end of November there will be a second lockdown," Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told a press conference. A curfew between 8pm and 6am will also come into force.

"All events will not be possible. This will affect the sports, cultural and leisure sectors. Hotels will have to close with the exception of work travel and we must also close restaurants and cafes, with the exception of delivery and takeaway services," Kurz said.

However, unlike the first lockdown in the spring, shops will remain open.

In recent weeks the number of positive test results has surged in Austria, far exceeding the levels recorded in the springtime first wave of the pandemic.

Friday saw a new record of 5,627 infections within 24 hours, while Saturday's figure was barely any lower at 5,439.

04:38 PM

It's not looking good on the travel front

Fraser Nelson also reckons there will be a ban on outbound travel:

04:32 PM

UK infections surpass 1 million

The UK on Saturday passed one million confirmed coronavirus cases, a new milestone. 

“Between 31 January and 31 October 2020, there have been 1,011,660 people who have had a confirmed positive test result,” the government said. 

Cases rose by 21,915 from the previous day. The death toll increased by 326.

Coronavirus UK Spotlight Chart - deaths default
Coronavirus UK Spotlight Chart - deaths default

04:20 PM

Everyone has questions

Personally, I have a much-longed-for holiday in Dorset booked next week which will presumably be scuppered if we enter a national lockdown. I'm sure plenty of you have plans that hang in the balance too (let us know in the comments box at the bottom).

More broadly, Paul Charles, CEO of the PC Agency, has questions about what this could mean for the already-injured travel industry:

04:09 PM

Rumours of possible UK outbound travel ban

Robert Peston, ITV's political editor, claims to have intel on the measures to be announced at 5pm. 

"Outbound international travel will be banned, except for work; travel within the UK will be discouraged, except for work," he tweeted.

That's sure to ruin some holidays. Nothing is certain yet, however. We'll have more when the announcement happens in 51 minutes and counting...

04:00 PM

The CDC rules to help cruise ships sail in US waters

Federal health officials announced new rules to eventually help cruise ships sail again in US waters, reports The Associated Press. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [sic] says companies must demonstrate procedures for testing, quarantining and isolating passengers and crew. Ship owners must test all passengers and crew at the start and end of all voyages, which are limited to seven days.

The companies will need test labs on all ships and arrangements to isolate or quarantine passengers on shore, if needed. The CDC says this may take months to coordinate.

"This framework provides a pathway to resume safe and responsible sailing," says CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield.

In mid-March, the CDC issued an order suspending cruise ship operations at US ports. That came after coronavirus outbreaks on ships and concerns about spreading the virus. The no-sail order ended Saturday.

When will cruise ships start sailing elsewhere in the world? We have the latest here. 

03:51 PM

Tokyo welcomes a new luxury hotel

While restrictions tighten and concerns grow in Europe, across the globe in Asia there is a glimmer of positive news. This week saw the grand opening of The Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon. 

The group’s first Japan outpost spans the upper levels of a new skyscraper in the Toranomon district, with interiors by architect Kengo Kuma. It is the first of two Tokyo EDITIONs; the other opens in Ginza next year.

Schrager has long been inspired by Japan, having staged Issey Miyake’s first US catwalk show at Studio 54 in the 1970s. Describing the challenges of opening the hotel remotely, he admits: “It would be easier if we were there in person. It’s all about the little details. It lets people know how thoughtful and considered the whole project is. So I am going on five FaceTime video tours at a time, saying, ‘Move this! Move that!’ ”

Modern Japanese touches linger in all 206 guest rooms, with sliding slated wood screens, low platform beds with faux fur throws, single-tone flower displays plus – a luxurious anomaly in Tokyo – 15 rooms which have their own ivy-clad terrace.

View of the city: a bedroom at the just-opened Tokyo EDITION - EDITION hotels
View of the city: a bedroom at the just-opened Tokyo EDITION - EDITION hotels

 Danielle Demetriou has the exclusive first look at the hotel. 

03:35 PM

Britain awaits Boris Johnson's announcement on national lockdown

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is planning to hold a Downing Street press conference at 5pm, alongside chief medical officer for England Professor Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance.

Details of what exactly will be announced have yet to be confirmed, but rumour has it that a national lockdown could be on the cards from as early as next week.

It is understood that ministers will discuss the possibility of introducing a month-long lockdown through November in a 'last-ditch' attempt to save Christmas.

So if you've got a staycation booked next month, things are looking dicey. Stay tuned.

03:20 PM

Nicola Sturgeon urges Scots to avoid travel to England

Nicola Sturgeon has told Scots not to travel to England unless it is for "essential purposes".

She made the plea as Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to be considering a second lockdown for England to curb the recent surge in coronavirus cases.

The Scottish First Minister said the prevalence of the virus is lower in Scotland than in other parts of the UK, after stricter measures were introduced north of the border in September.

That saw Scots barred from going into other people's homes, and the Scottish Government also acted to close bars and restaurants across the central belt in early October.

A new five-level system of restrictions for tackling coronavirus will come into force in Scotland on Monday, which will see travel restrictions imposed on many Scots.

In Level 3 areas - the second highest tier in the new Scottish system and which affects the central belt including Glasgow and Edinburgh, as well as Ayrshire and Dundee - people are urged not to go outside of their own local authority area.

03:05 PM

Where are all the tourists?

At home, mostly. But we did find a few today...

thailand -  MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP
thailand - MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP
greece - YANNIS KOLESIDIS/EPA-EFE
greece - YANNIS KOLESIDIS/EPA-EFE
moscow - Alexander Shcherbak/TASS
moscow - Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

02:51 PM

'Testing over quarantine' advises the World Health Organization

Covid tests should be more widely used in international travel than quarantines, the chair of the World Health Organization's Emergency Committee, Didier Houssin, has stated.

Dr Mike Ryan, an epidemiologist on the WHO board, further said that travelling was now "relatively safe" with a "relatively low" risk.

Earlier this month, a report from the International Air Travel Association (IATA) concluded that only 44 cases of potential coronavirus infections have been traced back to flights since the start of 2020, a tiny proportion of the 1.2 billion people who have travelled by air in the same time period.  

02:45 PM

Bad luck strikes again for our roving reporter

Our correspondent Simon Parker continues his two-wheeled journey across Britain from Shetland to the Isles of Scilly

Today, on his way from Arnside to Haydock, it's raining, his bicycle is broken and he's taken refuge in a church. Our thoughts are with you Simon..

02:30 PM

Swedish regions demand tougher local restrictions in row with central government

Swedish regions are pleading with the central government to introduce tougher coronavirus restrictions, including mandatory mask=wearing, amid a new surge in cases.

The head of the region surrounding Sweden's third city, Malmo, has called for tough restrictions similar to those in neighbouring European countries, in an attempt to move the country away from its famed light-touch approach.

Richard Orange has more on this story here.

02:15 PM

Paris is a ghost town, again

I'm getting a  sense of déjà vu. Here are some scenes from Paris today, on the second day of France's national lockdown. Once again, the streets are eerily quiet...

paris - lewis joly/ap
paris - lewis joly/ap
paris - lewis joly/ap
paris - lewis joly/ap
paris - Kiran Ridley/getty
paris - Kiran Ridley/getty

02:00 PM

Comment: We can’t let dodgy accounting lead us into a disastrous second lockdown

Not everyone is behind a second lockdown; and with it more restrictions on free movement and travel.

Allister Heath argues:

Yes, shutting down society tomorrow would reduce deaths for a period (though the experience from the first and second waves suggests they would often be merely delayed, rather than actually saved). But estimates of lives preserved represent only one side of the picture, and even then very incompletely.

For a start, it is universally accepted throughout government accounting that not all “lives” are the same: callous as it may sound, in a world of limited resources where terrible choices have to be made, a gravely ill 95-year-old is less worth saving than a five-year-old healthy child.

If Tory MPs and lockdown sceptics want to make a difference, they should demand that the Government come clean on the costs of current and future restrictions. They should insist on sound accounting. Before any further lockdown is ordered, MPs and the public should be given time to scrutinise and debate all of the numbers, and potentially reject them as inadequate if they are seen to be artificially minimising the downsides.

Even with a virus as vicious and complex as Covid-19, sunlight is always the best disinfectant. It’s certainly our last chance to avoid a catastrophic winter.

Read his full comment here.

01:45 PM

Why Europe's efforts to stop a second wave of Covid were doomed to fail

The last fortnight has seen a number of countries, including Germany, France and the Czech Republic, tighten restrictions in an effort to curb spiralling infection rates. But how did things get so bad - again? After all the warnings, how is Europe on the verge of being brought to its knees once more by coronavirus?

Our Telegraph reporters explain why Europe's efforts to stop a second wave of Covid were always doomed to fail.

01:30 PM

Demonstrations sweep Europe

It is fair to say we are living in turbulent times. Mass protests are this weekend taking place around the world, over a variety of causes...

berlin - ODD ANDERSEN /ap
berlin - ODD ANDERSEN /ap
milan - MATTEO CORNER/EPA-EFE
milan - MATTEO CORNER/EPA-EFE
spain -  Santi Otero/EPA-EFE
spain - Santi Otero/EPA-EFE

01:15 PM

Quarantine-free travel: Could Greece get the chop next?

The upwards trajectory of cases across Europe and beyond is clear. There are only three countries which we Britons can still visit restriction-free; Greece being one. But with cases rising there too, it could be axed from the list next Thursday.

All of this is irrelevant, of course, if the UK enters a national lockdown and Boris Johnson re-issues a blanket advisory against all but essential travel. Whether that happens remains to be seen.

01:00 PM

Happy Halloween! Where did this tradition come from?

It will certainly be a more sedate celebration this year (thanks Covid).

In recent pre-pandemic years, there have been complaints about the 'Americanised' event dominating British streets as October comes to an end, with some questioning why we even celebrate Halloween in the UK; despite the tradition originating on this side of the pond.

So how did it evolve into the costume competition it is today? And what's with the pumpkin carving?

The answers lie here.

12:51 PM

Your 19 remaining holiday options

In all, there are now just three places on the travel corridor list that have no restrictions on UK arrivals, and a further 15 with limited restrictions that make holidays just about feasible. 

Open for business

1. Gibraltar

2. Greece

3. Sweden

Feasible options

4. Canary Islands: Test on arrival

5. Germany: Test on arrival

6. Jersey: Test on arrival

7. Madeira: Test before departure

8. Anguilla: Test before departure

9. Antigua and Barbuda: Test before departure

10. Barbados: Test before departure 

11. Bermuda: Test before departure

12. Cuba: Test on arrival

13. Dominica: Test before departure and on arrival

14. Grenada: Test before departure 

15. St Lucia: Test before departure

16. St Vincent and the Grenadines: Test before departure

17. Maldives: Test before departure

18. Mauritius: Test before departure and on arrival

19. Seychelles: Test before departure and on arrival

12:38 PM

More travel bans feared as restrictions tighten across Europe

Concern is mounting that international travel will face even more curbs as Covid-19 cases surge throughout Europe.

"Given the very dynamic situation in all of Europe, we need to equally reduce contact in almost all European countries," German Health Minister Jens Spahn stated at a conference with EU health ministers.

In Germany, now under a new national lockdown, Chancellor Angela Merkel has requested citizens "refrain from unnecessary travel". Slovakia has urged nationals to postpone "all trips beyond borders". And Government advisors in the Netherlands have warned citizens to expect a foreign travel ban this Christmas, according to DutchNews.nl.

In France, travel abroad and between French regions will be forbidden as part of its second national lockdown, but President Macron has given citizens until Monday to get home if they are elsewhere, stating: "There will be tolerance during this weekend so that everyone can return from their holiday destination, so that families can get organised."

In Portugal, checkpoints have been set up across the country to stop unauthorised travel during a five-day movement ban which began on Friday.

Boris Johnson, who is set to announce some iteration of a nationwide lockdown next week, has made no mention yet of what this would mean for travel advice in the UK; though an outright ban on people entering or leaving the country is highly unlikely.

12:15 PM

Clashes in Florence between Italian police and protestors

The mayor of the Italian city of Florence lashed out against protestors on Saturday after violent skirmishes broke out between police and demonstrators opposed to the government's anti-Covid-19 measures.

Police arrested approximately 20 people during an unauthorised protest late Friday after about 200 people gathered in the city centre were stopped from entering the Renaissance city's Piazza della Signoria, newspapers reported.

Clashes broke out in neighbouring streets between police in riot gear and protesters, some of whom hurled Molotov cocktails, bottles and rocks, overturning trash bins and breaking security cameras.

"We've lived a surreal, terrible and painful night in Florence," wrote Mayor Dario Nardella on Facebook early Saturday.

"This is not how you protest your grievances, this is not how you voice your suffering," Nardella wrote. "It's only violence as an end in itself, gratuitous. Those who scar Florence must pay for what they have done."

12:00 PM

The dark history of Eyam, the original plague village

It’s a lost-in-time story of sacrifice. The tale of the Derbyshire village that voluntarily quarantined from neighbouring communities when a pandemic hit in 1665 has entered into folklore, writes David Atkinson. Hundreds died, but their bravery stopped the spread of bubonic plague across the rural hamlets of the Peak District to the cities of Sheffield and Manchester beyond. He continues:

The village of Eyam has been dramatically thrust back into the spotlight this year, however. The history-repeating parallel between the heroic sacrifice of our 17th-century forefathers and the global response to the coronavirus pandemic has made it an unlikely haven for dark tourism fans. While I find it busy with walkers sipping coffees around a flower-garnished village green on an autumnal day, its dark past hangs like mist over the peaks. 

Read the rest of the story here.

11:45 AM

Rising cases in Greece

Here's a quick look at the situation in Greece as it imposes new restrictions.

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

It's worth noting that case counts vary greatly by region. Most of the cases are concentrated in the North and around Athens. Greece's islands have got off lightly, and Britons are free to visit with no quarantine upon return.

11:40 AM

Greek PM declares partial coronavirus lockdown

Greece will expand a night-time curfew on movement and shut restaurants and bars in the most populous areas of the country for one month to contain a resurgence in Covid-19 cases, the prime minister said on Saturday.

The country has reported less cases of the novel coronavirus than most in Europe, but has seen a gradual increase in infections since early October.

Restaurants, bars, coffee houses, cinemas, museums and closed gyms will be shut from this coming Tuesday, November 3, for a period of one month across northern Greece and the Attica region, which includes the capital Athens.

A curfew on night-time movement, until now applicable to the hardest-hit areas, would be expanded across the country from midnight to 5.00 am.

"These new rules are focused on two sources which are, verifiably, conducive to the spread of the virus; entertainment and the movement of people," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a public address.

Retail businesses, industry and schools will remain open, along with service industries like hotels and hairdressing salons.

11:25 AM

Comment: 'The Welsh Government's maniacal ban on English visitors will cause lasting damage'

First Minister Mark Drakeford's regime of keeping outsiders out of Wales will have a catastrophic effect on its tourism, argues Rob Crossan, not to mention the country's already tenuous relationship with England. 

He writes:

The current First Ministers’ extraordinary lack of proportion when it comes to protecting a nation from Covid-19 seems to be partially fuelled something much darker; namely the dog-whistle siren of jingoism from the last part of the UK to remain entrenched in Corbynite dogma.

The sheer zeal in which the ‘keep out’ signs have been placed on the Welsh frontiers and the quite spectacular (even by 2020 standards) levels of vitriol that are vomited onto social media should any English person even dare to suggest that perhaps a solitary walk in the remotest parts of Powys might not cause funeral pyres of Covid victims to be erected, is beyond the rational on every level.

Drakeford might not care about his nation’s reputation beyond Hereford or Flint, but the reality is that the current slide to the bottom with regard to using the English as vermin-caked ghouls to justify his Covid zealotry is going to have long-lasting effects.

Read the full comment here.

11:09 AM

The ECDC's latest heat map

Here's the latest map released by the ECDC to show which countries are recording the highest number of reported Covid-19 cases.

map - ECDC
map - ECDC

The ECDC releases a new one every week, as part of its new 'coordinated approach to the restriction of free movement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.'

A country turns red if the 14-day notification rate is higher than 50 cases per 100 000, or the test positivity rate is more than four per cent.

10:59 AM

Latest news from around the globe

  • The US passed 9 million reported cases on Friday and broke its own record for daily new infections for the second day with more than 94,000 cases in 24 hours, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.

  • Protesters clashed with police across Spain on Friday night after hundreds gathered to demonstrate against new restrictions, including a curfew and a ban on leaving the city over the holiday weekend.

  • Australia has announced it will spend $500 million  (£271 million) to secure Covid-19 vaccines for the Pacific and Southeast Asia "as part of a shared recovery for our region from the pandemic".

  • Slovakia on Saturday begins a programme to screen its entire population for coronavirus with antigen tests in what would be a global first, but critics have said the plan is poorly thought out.

10:45 AM

Could the UK close its international borders again?

It seems highly unlikely. 

Professor Paul Hunter, an infectious disease specialist based at the University of East Anglia, points out: "Closing our borders now whilst we have one of the highest attack rates in Europe will do nothing to affect the current epidemic." 

What is likely, is that we will increasingly be 'discouraged' from travelling abroad. The Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) currently has a global advisory in place which warns Britons against 'all but essential travel' to all but a specialised list of countries.

As more clampdowns mount, that list could be whittled down further.

10:33 AM

National lockdown would be 'absolutely devastating' for hospitality sector

National lockdown would be 'absolutely devastating' for hospitality sector A national lockdown would be "absolutely devastating" for the hospitality industry, Kate Nicholls of UK Hospitality has said.

She expected that some businesses would be unable to trade at all and the sector would need "significant additional help in order to get through this".

She told BBC Breakfast: "People have borrowed up to the hilt and spent money in order to get Covid-secure.

"There is no spare capacity in the tank to be able to fund a lockdown, even for three to four weeks."

10:13 AM

What happened yesterday

A quick recap of the top stories:

  • Travellers from UK virus hotspots could still barred from entering Wales after the firebreak

  • Flight prices returning from Cyprus surge as holidaymakers rush home to beat quarantine

  • Powerful earthquake strikes off of Turkey's Aegean coast

  • Swiss ski resorts among last to remain open despite lockdowns in Europe

  • Machu Picchu to reopen to tourists – but children are banned