• Israel and Greece agree tourism deal
• Births in China fell 15% in 2020
• Facebook to remove false vaccine posts
• Spain extends border controls with Portugal
• Surge testing begins in Manchester
• The Netherlands’ overnight curfew has been extended to early March.
• Spain’s government has announced it has extended controls along its border with Portugal until 1 March.
• Surge testing will begin near Manchester after the Kent variant was detected. About 10,000 extra tests will be handed out in six postcode areas.
• All travellers entering the UK will have to take tests on days two and eight of their 10-day quarantine.
• UK and Irish residents arriving into England from “red list” countries must book a place in hotel quarantine before travelling They will be charged fees – equivalent to £1,750pp – including 10 days’ accommodation, testing and transport. Sixteen hotels with 4,600 rooms have been secured around a small number of ports and airports in England.
• New UK fines and penalties for non-compliance of quarantine: • £1,000 fine for any international arrival passenger who fails to take a mandatory coronavirus test
• £2,000 fine for failing to take a second test, and quarantine is automatically extended to 14 days
• Fines of £5,000-10,000 for failing to quarantine in a designated hotel
• Anyone who lies on their passenger locator form about having been in a country on the red list will face a prison sentence of up to 10 years
• Beijing today lifted lockdown measures in the south of the city. People were banned from leaving this part of the city, all public places were closed, and residents were required to undergo mass testing.
• Iran has started its vaccination campaign.
• A stay-at-home order for Toronto will be extended by another fortnight.
• Israel and Greece have agreed a tourism deal today that will allow vaccinated citizens of the two countries to travel between them without limitations, once flights resume.
• The number of births in China fell 15% YoY in 2020, according to the Ministry of Public Security.
• The World Health Organization insisted today that the AstraZeneca vaccine was still a vital tool in the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
• Scientists say coronaviruses related to Sars-CoV-2 may be circulating in bats across many parts of Asia.
Travel & Leisure
• TUI – “2.8m customers are currently booked for our Summer 2021 programme, and we continue to plan to operate c.80% capacity (of Summer 2019) for Summer 2021.”
• Facebook – Will now remove posts with false claims about all vaccines, the company announced. The new community guidelines apply to user-generated posts as well as paid advertisements, which were already banned from including such misinformation. Instagram users will face the same restrictions.
• Ocado – “Many customers who have tried online grocery for the first time have seen the benefits and are saying they are unlikely to revert to pre-crisis shopping habits. According to a recent survey by CH Robinson, for example, 54% of US customers have bought produce online for the first time during the crisis, with seven out of ten saying they will continue to do so when the pandemic is over.”