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Travel

Holidays 2020: Cyprus blacklists UK tourists from entering when it reopens in June

Britons hoping for a sunny holiday in Cyprus this year may be left disappointed after the nation decided to ban UK tourists. Cyprus, who have had a relatively low coronavirus case rate of just 927, have stated that the UK’s high death toll and infection rate means that they will not be able to visit the country as quickly as other nations. The country is set to open next month to tourists but Britons will not be allowed in.

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The nation’s Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said to begin with 19 countries will be allowed to enter Cyprus from June 9 which includes Greece.

The countries on the list for the first phase have some of the lowest coronavirus case and death rates.

The countries who will be allowed to fly into Cyprus from June 9 include Greece, Malta, Bulgaria, Norway, Austria, Finland, Slovenia, Hungary, Israel, Denmark, Germany, Slovakia and Lithuania.

A second phase of countries will then be allowed to enter from June 20.

These nations include Switzerland, Poland, Romania, Croatia, Estonia and the Czech Republic.

Visitors wishing to enter the country from June 9 will have to test negative for a coronavirus test three days before their flight.

But people arriving from June 20 from those first 13 countries will not have to be tested for the coronavirus.

The news has left Britons raging, with many expressing their fury on Twitter.

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One user said: “As long as it works both ways.”

Another said: “But I thought Europe was the land of free movement?”

Another Twitter user said: “Bye bye economy and jobs.”

However, some users agreed with the stringent new measures.

One user said: They don’t want us to bring our poorly managed pandemic with us.”

Another said: “I’d ban us as well. Absolute s**t show the UK.” (sic)

But it’s not all bad news for the UK, according to Mr Karaousos.

The Transport Minister in Cyprus revealed that the list will be updated by the Health Ministry regularly in the future.

From June 8, the UK will be quarantining anyone who arrives in the UK from abroad for 14 days.

The new rules are set to be reviewed every three weeks, according to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel.

She also said today that anyone caught breaking the rules will receive a fine of up to £1,000.

Anyone who refuses to follow the new mandatory rules can be refused entry to the UK by Border Force.

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Travel

China lockdown: How long was China on lockdown?

China was the first country to put a lockdown into effect in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus across the nation. The world was stunned by the country’s decision, but after two months of lockdown measures, the country has seen a huge reduction in cases. So how long was China on lockdown?

The coronavirus outbreak was first identified in Wuhan in December 2019 and has since been recognised as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).

As of April 22, 2,567,122 cases have been recorded around the world, 82,790 of which have been reported in China.

The province of Hubei, where Wuhan City is located, accounts for 68,128 of these cases.

Earlier this year, Wuhan City was overwhelmed with thousands of new cases of coronavirus each day, but now, Chinese authorities said the city and its surrounding province had no new cases to report.

Last week, the latest figures for deaths in Wuhan rose by 50 percent as the official Xinhua News Agency quoted an unnamed official with Wuhan’s epidemic and prevention and control headquarters as saying that during the early stages of the outbreak, “due to the insufficiency in admission and treatment capability, a few medical institutions failed to connect with the disease prevention and control system in time, while hospitals were overloaded and medics were overwhelmed with patients”.

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Wuhan has a population of 11 million people and with tens of millions more people in nearby cities, these regions were soon brought under lockdown.

China first put Wuhan City, the centre of the outbreak, on lockdown on January 23.

The move by Chinese authorities meant no travel in or out of the city was allowed, even for those who had important medical or humanitarian reasons.

Inside the city, public transport was completely suspended and cars were banned from the roads.

Schools and universities in China were already on holiday when the lockdown was put into effect, but this was extended indefinitely.

All shops were closed, except those selling food or medicine.

Only vehicles with special permission were permitted on the roads.

The streets in China were left empty and silent.

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When the lockdown first began people were allowed out of their homes, but restrictions soon tightened.

In some areas, this was limited to outings of just one member of a family every two days in order to buy necessities.

Others barred residents from leaving, obligating them to order food and other supplies from couriers.

When the policy later stepped up again, officials visited homes door to door to undertake health checks and force ill persons into isolation.

A disabled boy reportedly died after he was left without food, water or help when his father and brother were quarantined leaving him without proper care.

Controls were stepped up elsewhere across China soon after Wuhan was locked down.

This was in part because of fears that people had raced to escape the city before it was closed off, which could have sparked the spread of coronavirus across the country.

Most buildings across China have security guards who monitored the comings and goings, with residential compounds closing to all but their inhabitants.

Masks also become common sights across the country.

But 59 days after the lockdown was first introduced, China started to relax some measures.

Some people are being allowed back to work and nationwide there are still strict controls, for fear the virus might return.

Some restaurants and shops ask to check temperatures before entry and operate quotas.

Officials have also become cautious of imported cases erasing earlier gains, with Beijing and Anhui province requiring travellers from abroad to quarantine in centralised observation areas.

Other provinces have ordered travellers from heavily hit countries to self-isolate at their home or in government-mandated centres for 14 days.

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Coronavirus in Turkey: Is it safe to travel to Turkey? Are there still flights?

Coronavirus has spread to 170 countries around the world, with Turkey reporting the 27th highest number of infections in Europe. The deadly virus has infected 208,507 people around the world, 8,282 of which have died. But is it still safe to travel to Turkey and are flights still available?

Coronavirus has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).

On Wednesday, Italy reported the highest daily death toll figure with 475 fatalities, an increase of 19 percent in the past 24 hours.

Italy is the hardest hit nation outside China and has been on total lockdown since March 9.

European Union leaders have agreed to close the bloc’s external borders to most non-EU citizens for 30 days.

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How serious is the coronavirus outbreak in Turkey?

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has urged Turkish nationals not to leave their homes except for emergencies in a bid to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

Speaking on Wednesday President Erdoğan said it would take three weeks to overcome the situation if the public complies with the measures outlined by authorities.

He said: “Pandemics have a relatively lower death toll compared to other diseases thanks to preventive health services and developments in the pharmaceutical sector.

“Still, they have the potential to cause mass deaths without preventive measures.

“We need to take fast and effective measures. We don’t know how this (virus) will affect humanity.

“We are entering an era with likely radical changes in the global, economic, political and social order,”

The president also called on citizens not to visit hospitals outside emergency cases so staff will be relieved of extra workloads in the event of a rise in infection cases.

The first official case of coronavirus was reported in Turkey on March 11.

However, the country first began launching measures fighting against coronavirus in January, such as launching thermal screening for flights from China.

There are 98 confirmed coronavirus cases in Turkey now, meaning the number of cases increased by 51 over a 24-hour period according to the country’s Health Minister.

Of those cases, one person has sadly died, while 97 are still unwell.

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The first fatality announced on Tuesday was a man, aged 89.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said: “The patient that fell victim to coronavirus is found to have contracted the disease from a Chinese employee.”

On Wednesday, Turkey restricted travel, closing its borders with Greece and Bulgaria.

Travellers are no longer permitted to enter or leave through the Pazarkule and Ipsala border gates and Uzunkopru railway border gate to Greece, as well as Derekoy, Hamzabeyli and Kapikule gates to Bulgaria, according to Anadolu Agency.

Is it safe to travel to Turkey?

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all travel to areas within six miles of the border with Syria, except the city of Kilis.

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to:

All other areas of Sirnak, Kilis (including Kilis city) and Hatay provinces

The provinces of Diyarbakir, Tunceli and Hakkari.

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, Turkey announced all flights between Turkey and the UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE will be cancelled from 8am (local time) on Tuesday.

The FCO advises travellers to check with their airlines before setting off, particularly when returning from Turkey as options are becoming increasingly limited.

Are flights still running from Turkey?

On Monday, Turkey imposed flight bans to six more countries, including the UK and Saudi Arabia.

This ban was in addition to the 20 other countries already included in the ban.

All flights between the UK and Turkey have now been cancelled.

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Coronavirus UK train travel: Can I get a refund on my train season ticket?

Coronavirus has infected 2,626 cases in the UK prompting Prime Minister Boris Johnson to urge Britons to avoid non-essential social contact. People have been urged to work from home where possible. But for those who buy expensive seasonal travel tickets, can you get a refund?

This week, Mr Johnson has implemented a number of measures in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.

Schools around the UK will close from Friday until further notice.

Supermarket shelves have been emptied and many sporting and other events have been cancelled.

In the worst case scenarios, if nothing is done, up to 80 percent of people could be infected.

Social distancing and self-isolation have been advised to suppress the spread.

The Government has taken “wartime” action and is asking people to reduce social contact, with the strongest warnings for the most vulnerable.

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Anyone showing symptoms is asked not to leave their homes, while anyone with a fever or persistent cough is urged to stay at home for 14 days.

People are told to work from home where possible and avoid places like pubs, clubs and theatres, as well as all unnecessary travel.

By the weekend, those with the most serious health conditions, which are around 1.4 million with conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or asthma should be shielded from social contact for 12 weeks.

London is the worst hit area of the UK in terms of coronavirus cases.

According to Public Health England, as of March 18, there are 953 cases of the virus in London.

This is more than three times the South East, which is the region with the second highest number of confirmed cases in the UK.

This week, Londoners started to avoid the Underground, with Transport for London expected to lose £500m as a result of the outbreak.

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Can you get a refund on a season train ticket?

Railway season ticket holders are potentially facing months of uncertainty as the COVID-19 outbreaks spreads across the country.

Passengers have taken to social media to express their confusion about where they stand in terms of refunds.

Rail chiefs have confirmed train operators have relaxed refund restrictions to assist travellers with the viral pandemic.

Other companies are bringing additional precautions into effect after the Government instituted new social distancing measures.

Are you eligible for a refund?

Three types of season tickets are sold by British railway companies: weekly, monthly and yearly.

Each ticket comes with different limits on refunds.

Train companies calculate season ticket refunds by working out the cheapest alternative way the holder could have travelled the journeys they have made.

A Rail Delivery Group spokesman told the Evening Standard: “Train companies understand that at the moment people may not wish to travel in the way they had originally planned.

“Season tickets can be refunded, depending on how long is left unused on them, and people should get in touch with their train company or the website from which they bought their ticket to see what they might be entitled to.”

How much money could you get refunded?

Refunds are subject to the terms and conditions of each operator and depends on the specific circumstances.

Some train operators institute a £10 admin fee for refunds on season tickets and this is likely to remain in effect with coronavirus refunds due to the sheer numbers of tickets which will likely be refunded.

The RDG said train operators have also waived “refund fees” on most refundable fares (Anytime, Off-Peak, Super Off-Peak and Rover/Ranger) and the “change of journey fee” for advance tickets, which is normally £10.

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Travel

Coronavirus Turkey map: The top regions in Turkey struck down by killer virus

Coronavirus has infected 206,941 people around the world, of which 8,275 people have died. An entry ban has been agreed for all EU member states, with a group flying from Turkey forced to go back from Germany’s biggest airport in Frankfurt late on Tuesday. But how severe is the situation in Turkey – here are the top regions in Turkey affected by the deadly infection.

Coronavirus is a global pandemic affecting more than 170 countries and territories around the world.

A pandemic, as designated by the World Health Organization (WHO), is when a disease has spread between people in multiple countries across the globe at the same time.

The last confirmed pandemic spread around the globe in 2009 when swine flu hit.

Currently, the global death toll for COVID-19 stands at 8,275.

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How bad is the coronavirus outbreak in Turkey?

The first official case of coronavirus was reported in Turkey on March 11.

Before this time the country launched defensive measures such as installing thermal cameras at airports and airlifting Turkish citizens from the originating location Wuhan City in China.

In early February, Turkey stopped all flights from China and on February 29, the country stopped all flights to and from Italy, South Korea and Iraq.

There are currently 98 confirmed coronavirus cases in Turkey.

The number of cases increased by 51 over a 24-hour period according to the country’s Health Minister.

Of those cases, one person has sadly died, while 97 are still unwell.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said: “The patient that fell victim to coronavirus is found to have contracted the disease from a Chinese employee.”

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Mr Koca previously announced Turkey intends to ban flights from nine additional countries starting on Tuesday, bringing the total number of restricted countries to 20.

As Turkey’s capital Ankara heightens its measures to curb the pandemic, the Interior Ministry implemented a nationwide closure of almost all social gathering places, including cafes, cinemas, gyms and wedding halls.

The ministry also ordered all bars, discos and nightclubs to be closed.

Furthermore, Turkey’s chief religious authority, the Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), announced a ban on prayer gatherings, including Friday prayers, while leaving the mosques open to people who want to perform daily prayers.

Schools were closed for two weeks starting on March 16, while universities have been closed for three weeks.

On Wednesday, Turkey closed its borders with Greece and Bulgaria.

Passengers will not be allowed to enter or leave through the Pazarkule and Ipsala border gates and Uzunkopru railway border gate to Greece, as well as Derekoy, Hamzabeyli and Kapikule gates to Bulgaria, according to Anadolu Agency.

Turkey’s entrance ports will be suspended, with the exemption of freight transportation.

President Recep Tayyip confirmed the country will be introducing flexible working mderls and postponing social security premiums and VAT deductions for six months.

Additionally, the country will provide stock finance support to exporters during the coronavirus slowdown.

The Turkish government has not confirmed exactly where the cases of coronavirus have been reported.

However, on Wednesday, Turkey’s vice president said more than 2,800 Turkish nationals were brought home at their request from nine European countries Ankara barred entry from, to stem the spread of coronavirus.

Additionally, 2,807 nationals were put under a 14-day quarantine in large dormitories located in the Istanbul and Kocaeli provinces.

Speculation about a state of emergency being declared in Ankara arose on Tuesday, but the rumours were dismissed by the head of Turkey’s communications directorate.

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Travel

Coronavirus Belgium map: The top regions in Belgium struck down by killer virus

Coronavirus has infected 138,097 people as of March 13, 5,069 of which have died so far. Belgium has the 11th highest number of infections of any European country at 556, three of which have died. Express.co.uk have compiled a guide for which regions have been worst hit by the deadly virus.

Coronavirus is now affecting more than 130 countries and territories around the world.

Several countries are implementing stringent measures to protect their nationals such as implementing travel restrictions, cancelling sporting events and closing schools.

The viral outbreak was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) this week, with experts estimating the number of cases will reach in the hundreds of thousands.

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How bad is the coronavirus outbreak in Belgium?

Belgium activated emergency measures to contain the outbreak of coronavirus this week.

The Belgian National Security Council decided to declare a state of emergency over the entire country.

Under the new emergency measures, all recreational and sports events will be cancelled or postponed until April 3.

Public places such as restaurants, bars, cafes and nightclubs are also ordered to close from Friday at midnight local time to April 3.

Schools in Belgium will be closed as of Monday, with a daycare service maintained for working parents with no alternative options.

Belgium’s caretaker Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès said the emergency measures were not equivalent to the Italy lockdown.

Ms Wilmès advised citizens from stockpiling, she said: “It is not reasonable to storm the stores and empty the shelves”.

Shops offering basic goods such as medicine and food will remain open as normal, while other shops are permitted to stay open during the week but must close during the weekend.

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The National Crisis Centre confirmed 153 new cases had been confirmed on Friday.

Professor Steven Van Gucht told Brussel Times: “This new number is an underestimation.”

He added the current state of play regarding coronavirus is just the beginning of the epidemic.

He said: “The effect of the measures we are taking now will only show itself in the number of cases in a week or two.”

In total, there are 556 confirmed cases of a novel coronavirus in Belgium, of those three have died.

Belgium has seen one person fully recover, while 552 are still active cases, two of which are deemed as in serious or critical condition.

The first case, an asymptomatic 54-year-old man, was confirmed on February 4 in Brussels.

Since that time, 555 additional cases have been diagnosed in Belgium, with three deaths reported this week.

Unlike its neighbouring European countries, the Belgian authorities are unwilling to provide any information or statistics on where cases are located, beyond statistics for each region.

Such as:

  • Flanders: 230
  • Brussels: 42
  • Wallonia: 78

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Coronavirus in Italy: Is it safe to travel to Italy? Are there still flights?

Italy is currently suffering the worst coronavirus outbreak in Europe. The nation is also the second-worst COVID-19 hit country in the world behind China.

Is it safe to travel to Italy?

Coronavirus cases in Italy have now exceeded 10,000, and British nationals are currently being advised not to travel to Italy.

In the country 631 people infected with COVID-19 have died as of March 11.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise “against all but essential travel to Italy” as the COVID-19 outbreak continues.

This is in-line with the advice of the Italian authorities, who are currently advising against all travel for tourism purposes.

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What if you are already in Italy?

According to the FCO, British nationals are still “able to depart Italy without restriction”.

As the Italian authorities are advising against travel for tourism, they advise tourists already in Italy should end their travel and return to where they live.

Across Italy, a number of tourist attractions such as museums and landmarks have been closed.

Schools and universities are also closed until April 3.

Airports across the country remain open, but flight schedules are disrupted.

If you are returning from Italy, it’s important to follow the advice of the Department of Health and Social Care, which you can find HERE. 

If you think you have symptoms of coronavirus while in Italy, call Italy’s 112 emergency number.

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Are there still flights running?

The FCO advise all remaining British tourists in Italy travel back to the UK as soon as possible.

The FCO advice reads: “Airline schedules are subject to change and some flights are being cancelled.

“We therefore advise all remaining British tourists in Italy to contact their airline operators to arrange return to the UK as soon as possible.”

The FCO advises travellers currently in Italy to check their flight details with their airlines.

Easyjet has cancelled all flights to Italy until April 3.

British Airways and Ryanair have also cancelled all flights until next month.

After Flybe’s collapse earlier this month, all flights from the airline have also been cancelled.

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Travel

France travel advice: Is it safe to travel to France?

France is the sixth most affected country in the world by coronavirus, closely following Spain. That’s enough to put jetsetters off, with many people opting to stay in the UK instead. But is it safe to travel to France, and is it possible to cancel your trip last minute? Express.co.uk gives you all the details you need to know.

Is it safe to travel to France?

Although coronavirus cases are rapidly increasing in France, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice does not directly warn against visiting the country.

The website says: “There is an ongoing outbreak of coronavirus in China and elsewhere, including France.

“The government has introduced a range of measures including prohibiting gatherings which involve more than 1000 attendees. You should contact the organiser of events or local authorities for further information.

“Certain local authorities continue to implement measures such as minimising local travel, closing local schools and cancelling smaller events.”

At the moment, there are no restrictions. British people are free to travel to France, and aren’t required to self-quarantine when they return.

READ MORE- Coronavirus in France: Is it safe to travel to France?

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  • Coronavirus France map: Regions in France struck down by killer virus

How do I stay clear of coronavirus while in France?

If you do end up travelling to France, the French Ministry for European and Foreign Affairs has published a list of guidelines online.

The document reads:

  • Wash your hands very often
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve when you cough our sneeze
  • Do not shake hands or greet people with kisses on the cheek
  • Use single-use tissues
  • Wear a mask when ill (only if prescribed by a doctor).

Should I wear a face mask when I travel to France?

Although there is evidence both for and against wearing face masks to protect against coronavirus, you don’t need to wear one in France.

The French Ministry for European and Foreign Affairs advises: “It is not recommended that you wear a surgical mask if you do not have any symptoms.

“Masks are not effective for the general public because they cannot be worn at all times and they are not necessary unless you are in close or long-term contact with someone is ill.

“Masks are therefore reserved for ill people and only with a doctor’s prescription, people who are in proven high-risk contact, emergency care professionals, medical transport professionals, and health professionals working in the community and at hospitals.”

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Can I cancel my holiday to France?

Since there are no travel restrictions in France, it’s unlikely you will be able to cancel your flights and get a refund.

If your flights have been cancelled by the airline – for example, British Airways has cut hundreds of flights, including to France – then you might be in luck.

If you were planning to travel via Eurostar, the same applies- services will be running as normal.

Get in touch with your travel provider to see what can be done.

Keep in mind that the only time you are likely to get a refund is if the FCO changes their advice on travelling to France.

Stay updated here 

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