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Onyema - Aircraft Maintenance Abroad Cost Over N1 Billion Per Plane - THISDAY

APRIL 02, 2021

By Emmanuel Addeh 

The Chairman of Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema has revealed that it costs $3 million or over N1 billion to carry out a Maintenance, Repairs and Overhaul (MRO) on a single commercial plane outside the country.

Speaking on Arise News Channel, THISDAY's broadcast arm, Onyema stated that it was challenging having to spend such a huge amount with the current foreign exchange issues, positing that the Covid-19 pandemic has made the situation even worse.

The businessman stated that it was laudable that Aero had to set up a maintenance facility, noting that the company has to get its act together in terms of curbing service disruptions due to issues like unionism. According to him, such a facility ought to be running seven days a week.

"That's one of the challenges we have in Nigeria, having to maintain our planes abroad and doing the checks. For example, when I send any of my 727s abroad, I spend about $3 million for each aircraft before they come back. That's a lot. That's over a billion naira. That's for a two-month maintenance regime and it's a problem," he stated.

On the recent federal government bailout for the aviation sector, Onyema argued that no amount of money given for that purpose would be enough, but stressed that it was also understandable because the government has limited resources.

"A lot of people said the money was too small, yes it was small because just one of your engines will gulp the entire N4 billion, or even over. But N4 billion was given to all of us to share because the government was trying to help us, even if it's just to pay a few salaries. It's not enough, but we shouldn't be comparing ourselves with America. The truth is that we don't have the same capacity," Onyema added.

He stated that it was to the credit of the current federal government that airlines in the country now enjoy concessions on import duties, saying it will encourage others to bring in brand new airplanes and save millions of dollars.

Onyema explained that the country was not immune to the Covid-19 pandemic, saying that the airlines have been the worst hit by the situation.

He noted that there have been a reduction in number of flights as Air Peace which was doing about 10 flights between Abuja and Lagos in a day now does two. According to him, while it used to be 120 generally, it is now just over 30.

The businessman said the company currently has 21 planes abroad for maintenance, stressing that because of the Covid-19 restrictions, the workers doing the job have not been able to deliver on schedule because of the lockdowns.

He added that the local airlines had given their foreign counterparts too much space to operate in the past, noting that it was time to take over , reason he recently brought in the 777 airplanes.

Ontario Locks Down With Virus ‘Killing Faster and Younger’ - BLOOMBERG

APRIL 02, 2021

By  and 

  •  Almost half new ICU patients in Canadian province are under 60
  •  ‘This is a new pandemic. We are now fighting a new enemy.’

Ontario declared a four-week state of emergency after hitting a record for the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care, driven by virus strains that are more contagious and dangerous.

The order imposes restrictions on businesses and residents across the Canadian province of 14.7 million people, beginning April 3. Restaurants won’t be allowed to serve customers except for takeout and delivery orders; indoor public events are banned, with a few exceptions. Supermarkets and pharmacies will operate at 50% capacity and other retailers at 25%. Toronto and some other regions are already under similar rules. The government’s move tightens them further and extends them throughout the province, including Ottawa, Canada’s capital. “The variants of concern are spreading rapidly. This is a new pandemic. We are now fighting a new enemy,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said at a news conference Thursday afternoon. “Please understand folks, this decision weighs extremely heavy on me.”

Ontario joins a growing number of locations, including France and Italy, that are returning to strict limits on social interactions in an effort to slow the latest virus surge. Even as vaccinations continue, not every area has equal access. Novel variants are hastening the spread, and case rates are rising in many regions.

Ford and provincial health officials were asked why the government would extend measures that are largely the same as those already in place in Toronto and that have failed to prevent a rise in Covid-19 cases there.

But health officials argued that the situation in Toronto would be much worse if not for its lockdown, because the virus is more contagious than it was earlier in the pandemic.

“As the new variant spreads, you will see that Covid is killing faster and younger. It’s spreading far more quickly than it was before and we cannot vaccinate quickly enough to break this third wave,” Adalsteinn Brown, a doctor who is co-chair of the Ontario Covid-19 Science Advisory Table, said at a separate news conference Thursday.

Officials said the main variant spreading in the province -- known as B.1.1.7 -- is 50% more lethal, twice as likely to send patients to intensive care units and three times as likely to require ventilation.

Variants of concern are also affecting younger patients: Almost half of those admitted to ICUs from March 15 to March 21 were under age 60.

Ontario hospitals are under strain, Brown said, with some entire families ending up in intensive care. There are 430 Covid-19 patients in ICUs.

Meanwhile, only 64% of the over-80 population is vaccinated, excluding those at long-term care facilities. That drops to 39% for people 75 to 79 years old and 16% for those 70 to 74.

Overall, Canada has fully vaccinated less than 2% of its population, according to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker.

In Canada, a recent rise in cases has meant tighter restrictions in a number of provinces. Quebec said Wednesday it would close schools and non-essential stores for 10 days in two regions. British Columbia, which had managed to dodge the worst of the pandemic, has closed indoor dining, worship services and most indoor fitness activities for three weeks.

Canada’s coronavirus efforts were complicated on Monday when health officials across Canada suspended the use of AstraZeneca Plc’s vaccine for people under 55 for fear of blood clots.

In Ontario, Ford has criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government for failing to deliver adequate vaccine supplies to the province.

“The bottom line is, we need more time,” Ford said Thursday. “We need more time for our vaccine program to take hold.”

Ontario reported 2,557 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, bringing its total case count to 352,460, according to Public Health Ontario. Almost 17,100 residents have been hospitalized because of the disease, and 7,389 have died from it.

— With assistance by Zoe Ma, and Michelle Fay Cortez

(Updates throughout with details of lockdown.)

Which airports are offering Covid-19 tests? - BUSINESS TRAVELLER

APRIL 02, 2021

Travellers will have to get used to testing requirements should they wish to travel for work or leisure in the next year or so before the various vaccines are rolled out to the entire population.

While hotels around the world are offering ‘rest and test’ packages to encourage stays amid the pandemic, airports too are facilitating travel by setting up Covid-19 testing centres – from walk-in facilities to drive-through services and rapid tests in departure and arrival lounges.

Here, we round up the airports featuring such facilities, telling you how they work, where they are located and the cost of the various services on offer.

Keep in mind that not all Covid-19 tests permit entry into every country around the world. See our feature “Which Covid-19 tests allow you to travel” to find out all the different requirements.

Aberdeen International airport

How does it work?

The airport has partnered with ICTS UK and Ireland and TAC Healthcare Group to offer PCR Park and Test and antigen tests in the terminals. Customers will have to book appointments in advance directly through the airport’s individual website.

Location and opening hours?

Within the Granite City Restaurant in the main terminal building.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

The PCR test costs £80, and results are available within 24 hours.

The antigen test costs £55, with results within 15 minutes.

aberdeenairport.com

Athens International airport

How does it work?

The airport has a PCR testing centre for arriving and departing passengers. Visitors will need to register and pay online for the test in advance of arriving. This is also available at Thessaloniki airport.

Location and opening hours?

Athens Medical Centre in Arrivals between exits 2 and 3. Open daily from 0700-2300.

Thessaloniki airport Arrivals level. Open daily 1000-1800.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

The test costs €60, and results are available within 24 hours.

aia.gr

Abu Dhabi International airport

How does it work?

The airport has partnered with Pure Health and Tamouh Healthcare to launch an on-site RT-PCR testing lab, offering rapid tests to all passengers arriving at both terminals 1 and 3 and airport staff.

Location and opening hours?

Terminals 1 and 3. Opening hours have not been given.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

The test is free for arriving passengers, with results available within 90 minutes.

abudhabiairport.ae

Belfast City airport

How does it work?

The airport has partnered with healthcare firm Randox to provide PCR and antigen (lateral flow) tests.

Location and opening hours?

The centre is currently being built by H and J Martin Asset Management Services, and it will include a resting area for passengers who have taken their test.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

The airport has not listed the price of the tests, but Randox’s website states that the PCR tests cost €99, with results within 24 hours, and antigen tests cost €49, with results in an hour.

belfastcityairport.com

Boston Logan International airport

How does it work?

The airport has partnered with XpresCheck to provide PCR tests, antibody tests, and rapid molecular tests (Abbott ID Now).

Location and opening hours?

In the airport’s International Arrival area in Terminal E. Open from 1000-1800 Monday-Friday.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

PCR and antibody test results are available within 48-72 hours while rapid test results are available within 15 minutes.

The XpresCheck tests are free if covered by insurance. If not, the PCR and antibody tests cost US$75 each (or US$90 together), while the rapid test costs US$200.

massport.com

Chicago O'Hare International/Chicago Midway International airport

How does it work?

The airports have partnered with Doctors Test Centre and Simple Laboratories to provide PCR and rapid antigen tests later in December. The testing centres will be limited to travellers and airport employees, with test recipients required to show proof of flying or airport employment.

Location and opening hours?

This is still being finalised but the airports have released information stating that there will be a walk-up centre at each airport, and an additional drive-through site at O’Hare.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

The costs have not been unveiled yet.

The rapid antigen test will provide results within 20 minutes, and the PCR test within 72 hours.

flychicago.com

Dublin airport

How does it work?

The airport has both walk-in and drive-through facilities offering PCR, LAMP (Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification) and antigen tests to passengers and the general public. Tests must be booked in advance via healthcare companies Randox and Roc Doc.

Location and opening hours?

Randox walk-in service: in an existing building close to the Terminal 2 short-term car park.

Roc Doc drive-through centre: Green car park (an in-clinic test is also available).

See available time slots online.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

The cost depends on how quickly you need the results.

Randox: PCR test costs €99, with results within 24 hours. Antigen test costs €49, with results in an hour.

Roc Doc: PCR test costs €129, with results available within 24-48 hours. Antigen test costs €89, with results within 60 minutes.

dublinairport.com

Dusseldorf airport

How does it work?

The airport has partnered with Centogene to set up a PCR testing centre for departing or arriving passengers and the general public. You do not need to make an appointment in advance, but you must register online here.

Location and opening hours?

Terminal C, public area on departure level. Open daily from 0700-2100.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

The test costs €59, with results available within 24 hours.

dus.com

Edinburgh airport

How does it work?

The airport has partnered with Express Test to set up a walk-up and drive-through PCR facility. Customers are advised to schedule a test 48-96 hours prior to their departure time, and will be emailed a ‘Fit to Fly’ certificate that is authorised by a doctor, along with their test result if they test negative.

Tests can be booked at expresstest.co.uk, and customers will be sent a QR to take along to the appointment, along with passport or employee ID.

Location and opening hours?

Walk-up centre located in departures area. Open daily from 0800-1800.

Drive-through located in front of the terminal in the Fast Park area of the car park. Open daily from 1000-1800.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

PCR test costs £99, with results available ‘typically by 10pm the following day’.

Antigen test costs £50, with results in 30 minutes.

edinburghairport.com

Glasgow airport

How does it work?

The airport has partnered with ICTS UK and Ireland and TAC Healthcare Group to offer PCR Park and Test and antigen tests in the terminals. Customers will have to book appointments in advance directly through the airport’s individual website. It is only possible to book a test from March 27, 2021 at 1000.

Location and opening hours?

On the first floor of the terminal before security.

The airport also has a drive-through facility for PCR tests which is located in the short stay car park 2.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

The PCR test costs £80, and results are available within 24 hours.

The antigen test costs £55, with results within 15 minutes.

glasgowairport.com

London Gatwick airport

How does it work?

The airport is providing an ‘Express Test’ service for passengers, staff and local residents. The centre will carry out PCR tests, with customers are advised to schedule a test 48-96 hours prior to their departure flight. Tests can be booked at expresstest.co.uk, and customers will be sent a QR to take along to the appointment.

The airport has also partnered with Collinson to offer four types of tests – antibody, antigen, LAMP and PCR. Passengers will need to set up an account and book their test online at collinsongroup.com before beginning their journey to the airport. The sample is processed onsite by staff from one of Collinson’s biotech partners, Prenetics.

Collinson is also offering the mandatory Covid-19 tests currently required for all arrivals into the UK, allowing travellers to take the first of their two required RT-PCR tests (the Day 2 test) as soon as they arrive at the airport. The Day 8 test must be carried out by the same provider.

It is also possible to get a test at Boots (pre-booking required), while the airport’s Hilton and Sofitel hotels are offering “Test and Rest” packages that include PCR self-testing.

Location and opening hours?

Express Test is located at the South Terminal’s long-stay car park. Open daily from 1000-1800.

Collinson Testing centre is located at a new drive-through facility in the APH long-stay car park on Copthorne Road. Open daily from 0800-1800.

Boots offers tests at its South Terminal arrivals branch. See time slots online.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

Express Test:

PCR test costs £99, with results available typically by 10pm the following day.

Antigen test costs £50, with results in 30 minutes.

Collinson Tests:

Antibody test costs £40, with results available within 45 minutes.

Antigen test costs £59, with results available within 45 minutes.

LAMP test costs £85, with results available in 90 minutes.

PCR test costs £99, with results available within 48 hours.

RT-PCR package (includes Day 2 and Day 8 tests) costs £198.

Boots charges £120 for a PCR test, with results available in 48 hours, and £80 for an antigen test, with results on the same day.

gatwickairport.com

London Heathrow airport

How does it work?

The UK airport has partnered with Collinson to offer four types of tests – antibody, antigen, LAMP and PCR. Passengers will need to set up an account and book their test online at collinsongroup.com before beginning their journey to the airport. The sample is processed onsite by staff from one of Collinson’s biotech partners, Prenetics.

Collinson is also offering the mandatory Covid-19 tests currently required for all arrivals into the UK, allowing travellers to take the first of their two required RT-PCR tests (the Day 2 test) as soon as they arrive at the airport. The Day 8 test must be carried out by the same provider.

Heathrow has also partnered with Express Test to set up a drive-through PCR facility. Travellers should schedule a test 48-72 hours prior to their departure time and those who screen negative will be emailed a “Fit to Fly” certificate authorised by a doctor, plus their test result. Tests can be booked at expresstest.co.uk and customers will be sent a QR code to show alongside their passport or employee ID.

Location and opening hours?

The LAMP testing is carried out by Collinson nurses at Terminals 2 and 5. See available time slots online.

The drive-through Express Test centre is located at the airport’s N4 car park. opposite the exit to Business Parking (T2 and 3) on Northern Perimeter Road (off Bath Road). Open daily from 1000-1800.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

Collinson tests:

Antibody test costs £40, with results available within 45 minutes.

Antigen test costs £59, with results available within 45 minutes.

LAMP test costs £85, with results available in 90 minutes.

PCR test costs £99, with results available within 48 hours.

RT-PCR package (includes Day 2 and Day 8 tests) costs £198.

Express Test:

PCR test costs £99, with results typically by 2200 the following day.

Antigen test costs £50, with results in 30 minutes.

heathrow.com

London Luton airport

How does it work?

Luton has also partnered with Collinson to open a drive-through screening facility offering four types of tests – antibody, antigen, LAMP and PCR. Passengers will need to book their test at collinsongroup.com before setting off for the airport.

Collinson is also offering the mandatory Covid-19 tests currently required for all arrivals into the UK, allowing travellers to take the first of their two required RT-PCR tests (the Day 2 test) as soon as they arrive at the airport. The Day 8 test must be carried out by the same provider.

Location and opening hours?

The drive-through is open daily from 0900-1700 in the mid-stay car park.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

Antibody test costs £40, with results available within 45 minutes.

Antigen test costs £59, with results available within 45 minutes.

LAMP test costs £85, with results available in 90 minutes.

PCR test costs £99, with results available within 48 hours.

RT-PCR package (includes Day 2 and Day 8 tests) costs £198.

london-luton.co.uk

London City airport

How does it work?

Collinson is carrying out four types of tests at the airport located in the heart of London – antibody, antigen, LAMP and PCR. Passengers will need to book their test at collinsongroup.com before setting off for the airport.

Collinson is also offering the mandatory Covid-19 tests currently required for all arrivals into the UK, allowing travellers to take the first of their two required RT-PCR tests (the Day 2 test) as soon as they arrive at the airport. The Day 8 test must be carried out by the same provider.

Location and opening hours?

The departures hall in the Main Terminal. See available time slots online.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

Antibody test costs £40, with results available within 45 minutes.

Antigen test costs £59, with results available within 45 minutes.

LAMP test costs £85, with results available in 90 minutes.

PCR test costs £99, with results available within 48 hours.

RT-PCR package (includes Day 2 and Day 8 tests) costs £198.

londoncityairport.com

Frankfurt airport

How does it work?

The airport has partnered with Centogene to offer PCR tests and rapid antigen tests to all travellers. Customers must first register at corona.centogene.com.

Note that passengers booked on selected Lufthansa flights from Munich to Hamburg will undero mandatory testing before boarding.

Location and opening hours?

The pedestrian bridge connecting Terminal 1 and the mainline railway station. Open daily from 0600-2000 (antigen test 0600-1800 daily).

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

The cost depends on how quickly you need the results.

PCR test costs €69 for results within 24 hours. Results within 12 hours costs €79, and results within six hours costs €139.

Antigen test costs €59, with results available in two and a half hours.

frankfurt-airport.com

Hong Kong International airport

How does it work?

The airport has partnered with biotech company Prenetics (as seen at Heathrow) to offer rapid PCR tests for departing travellers. Customers must arrive at the designated venue at the airport at least four hours prior to boarding. Bookings are available up to two weeks in advance and are strongly recommended. The results can be uploaded to digital health passes, where available, and will be accepted anywhere a PCR test is required, according to Prenetics.

Prenetics will be joined by a second test provider, Raffles Medical Group, on December 21. Raffles will offer a 24-hour turnaround time for test specimens collected before noon each day.

Location and opening hours?

The Prenetics testing is carried out at Terminal 1 L5 Counter A03 (opposite Arrivals Hall A). Open daily from 0930-1800.

The Raffles Medical Group testing will be carried out at Terminal 1 L6, 6T104 (accessed by lifts near L7 departures level Aisle A). Open daily from 0700-2359.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

The Prenetics test costs HK$499, and results are available within two hours.

hongkongairport.com

John F. Kennedy International airport

How does it work?

As with Boston Logan International, JFK has partnered with XpresCheck to provide PCR, antibody and rapid tests.

JFK also has a free walk-in testing centre in Terminal 5 operated by NYC Health and Hospitals, with clinicians offering PCR tests with no appointment necessary.

Location and opening hours?

The XpresCheck testing centre is located in Terminal 4, Level 1. Open from 1000-1800 Monday-Friday.

The NYC Health and Hospitals testing centre is located in Terminal 5. Open daily from 0900-1900. (LaGuardia airport has the same service on the first floor of the Terminal B car park).

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

The NYC Health and Hospitals test is free-of-charge to all passengers with no insurance required. The results are shared  within 48 hours.

The XpresCheck tests are free if covered by insurance. If not, the PCR and antibody tests cost US$75 each (or US$90 together), while the rapid test costs US$200. PCR and antibody test results are available within 48-72 hours while rapid test results are available within 15 minutes.

jfkairport.com

Keflavik airport

How does it work?

This airport in Iceland provides a PCR test for international arrivals. Travellers are encouraged to pre-register before arriving in Iceland to shorten waiting times.

Note that arrivals to Iceland must undergo another test at health centres across the country after five days’ quarantine.

Location and opening hours?

The testing centre is located in the arrivals hall. See available time slots online.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

The results of the test are available within 12 hours.

The test costs approximately £52 if paid in advance, and £65 at the point of entry. This includes the charge for the second test.

The tests will be free-of-charge from December 1 until January 30, 2021 to “encourage people to be tested rather than to commit to a period in quarantine”.

isavia.is/en/keflavik-airport

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International airport

How does it work?

The Mumbai airport is offering PCR testing for all international arriving passengers. During this time, passengers will be offered complimentary food and drink from a special menu in the lounge.

Location and opening hours?

In T2 Arrivals Lounge Area. Open 24/7.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

The test costs £40, with results available within eight hours

csmia.aero

Los Angeles International airport

How does it work?

Los Angeles International airport has launched a new onsite Covid-19 screening lab with three locations offering PCR tests. Pre-scheduled appointments are recommended at all locations, although “some walk-up appointments may be available at the in-terminal locations based on demand”. The airport also plans to add a rapid antigen test option later in December.

Customers will receive an itemized receipt, which can be submitted to insurance providers for reimbursement where tests are covered by healthcare providers.

Location and opening hours?

There’s a primary lab and collection site located across from Terminal 6 on the Lower/Arrivals level, which returns results in three to five hours. This centre is open from 0800-1800 daily.

There are two further locations (in the Tom Bradley International Terminal on the Upper/Departures level at the check-in counters located in Aisle C, and in Terminal 2’s Lower/Arrivals Level baggage claim area) with results available in “under 24 hours”. These sites are open from 0800-1900 daily.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

The test costs US$125, with results available within three to five hours or 24 hours depending on location (see above).

flylax.com/travelsafely

Luxembourg airport

How does it work?

Upon arrival at Luxembourg airport, passengers will receive a voucher for a Covid-19 test at baggage claim which can be used either for a PCR test or a rapid antigen test. The airport has collaborated with the Laboratoire national de la Santé to carry out the tests.

Location and opening hours?

The PCR test station is located at the exit of the arrivals hall.

The rapid antigen test station is set up at the current exit of the departures hall.

Opening times are based on the flight schedule.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

The tests are free. Antigen test results are available within three hours, and PCR results within 1-2 days “depending on the capacity of national laboratories”.

lux-airport.lu

Manchester Airports Group

How does it work?

The UK’s largest airport group has partnered with Collinson to offer four types of test to inbound and outbound passengers at Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports.

The group also offers passengers five per cent off pre-departure RT-PCR tests at selected Boots stores, which customers can access through the airport’s website. The airport’s online booking portal allows passengers to choose the correct test for their specific requirements, stating that this might be at the airport or at one of the Boots stores across the UK.

Collinson is also offering the mandatory Covid-19 tests currently required for all arrivals into the UK, allowing travellers to take the first of their two required RT-PCR tests (the Day 2 test) as soon as they arrive at the airport. The Day 8 test must be carried out by the same provider.

Location and opening hours?

East Midlands airport: Short stay car park 1. Open daily from 0700-1600.

London Stansted airport: Adjacent to WH Smith in Arrivals. Open daily 0700-1900.

Manchester airport: Terminal 1 short stay car park. Open daily 0700-1900.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

Antibody test costs £40, with results available within 45 minutes.

Antigen test costs £59, with results available within 45 minutes.

LAMP test costs £85, with results available in 90 minutes.

PCR test costs £99, with results available within 48 hours.

RT-PCR package (includes Day 2 and Day 8 tests) costs £198.

eastmidlandsairport.comstanstedairport.commanchesterairport.co.uk

Munich airport

How does it work?

The airport has two centres offering PCR tests. The Aicher Ambulanz Union (AAU) is offering free-of-charge tests to both the public and passengers. Travellers can also use the ‘Test and Fly’ centre, operated by MVZ Martinsried. Passengers must register online and make an appointment before arriving at the airport. Outside of these hours, departing passengers only can get a PCR, antigen or antibody test by Medicare in the airport’s medical centre.

Note that passengers booked on selected Lufthansa flights from Munich to Hamburg will undergo mandatory testing before boarding.

Location and opening hours?

AAU tests are at level 4 of the Forum of the Munich Airport Centre (MAC). The centre is open daily from 0600-0000.

The ‘Test and Fly’ centre is located in Terminal 2, Level 4. The centre is open daily from 0500-1900.

The out-of-hours Medicare centre is located in Terminal 1, Module E, Level 3.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

Aicher Ambulanz Union tests are free, with results available within 48 hours.

‘Test and Fly’ costs €128, with results provided within six hours.

Medicare PCR test costs €184, with results available within 24 hours. Antigen test costs €73, with results in 30 minutes. Antibody test costs €67, with results in 20 minutes. Weekend and night surcharges where applicable.

munich-airport.com

Newark Liberty International airport, New Jersey

How does it work?

Like Boston Logan International and JFK airports, Newark Liberty International has also partnered with XpresCheck to provide PCR, antibody and rapid tests.

Note that passengers booked on selected United Airlines flights from Newark to London Heathrow will undergo mandatory testing before boarding as part of the airline’s transatlantic testing pilot.

Location and opening hours?

The centre is located in Terminal B, Level 3 near the front entrance pre-security. Open from 1000-1800 Monday-Friday.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

PCR and antibody test results are available within 48-72 hours while rapid test results are available within 15 minutes.

The XpresCheck tests are free if covered by insurance. If not, the PCR and antibody tests cost US$75 each (or US$90 together), while the rapid test costs US$200.

newarkairport.com

Newcastle International airport

How does it work?

The airport has partnered with local companies NPH Group and MDNA Life Sciences to provide pre-departure PCR testing services. Travellers must book online here and reserve a slot.

Location and opening hours?

Premium Meet and Greet building at the airport. See available time slots online.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

The test costs £110 (with parking at the airport included), with results available within 36-48 hours.

newcastleairport.com

Nice airport

How does it work?

The airport in the Côte d’Azur has an antigen testing centre. This is currently available for passengers travelling to French overseas territories (via Paris Orly and Paris CDG) and Rome. It is also available to all outbound travellers on request.

Passengers must fill out a form on the airport website before arriving, and can get tested up to 90 minutes before departure.

Location and opening hours?

In Terminal 2. Open daily from 0800-1400 Monday-Friday.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

The tests are free, with results available within 30 minutes.

en.nice.aeroport.fr

Paris Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly

How does it work?

The French capital’s airports have partnered with Cerballiance laboratory to set up Covid-19 testing centres. The centres are offering PCR tests and antigen tests up to 72 hours before a flight. Rapid PCR tests are only offered to Orly passengers with a flight ticket for same day travel.

Only departing passengers can use the facilities and they must book appointments online on the doctolib.fr website – passengers need to present flight tickets and booking confirmation.

Location and opening hours?

Paris CDG: Terminal 2E, departures area, opposite gate 17. Open daily 0700-1700 (1200 on Sunday).

Paris Orly: Terminal 4, door 42D on level -1. Open daily 0700-1900.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

The tests are free.

Results for the PCR tests are available within 48 hours, and within two hours for the antigen tests.

parisaeroport.fr

Singapore Changi airport

How does it work?

The airport has partnered with Raffles Medical Group to offer PCR testing for arrivals under the fast lane travel arrangement (see countries involved here) and Air Travel Pass holders. The testing is mandatory and must be pre-booked at safetravel.changiairport.com before arrival. Visitors must quarantine until results are received.

Location and opening hours?

The airport states that arrivals will be guided by the airport staff to the testing site after immigration.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

The test costs S$196, with results available within 48 hours.

changiairport.com

Sheremetyevo International airport

How does it work?

The Moscow airport has partnered with ArchiMed Laboratory to test departing and arriving passengers for Covid-19. Testing is carried out using the PCR method through portable “mini-laboratory” kits by Evotech-Mirai Genomics (EMG). Passengers must register and pay for testing online at account.life-air.org. It is also possible to get a rapid test at the same centres.

Location and opening hours?

Terminal B, First floor and Terminal D, First floor, in the arrivals hall. Open daily from 0500-0300.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

The cost depends on how quickly you need the results.

The test costs approximately £27 for results within an hour, £25 within eight hours, £18 within 24 hours.

svo.aero

Tampa International airport

How does it work?

The Florida airport has partnered with BayCare Health System to provide walk-in passenger testing until the end of the year (at the time of writing). The testing site is offering both PCR tests and rapid antigen tests to all departing and arriving passengers.

Location and opening hours?

Main Terminal, near the entrance to Airside F. Open from 0730-1330 Monday-Friday; 0800-1200 on weekends.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

The PCR test costs US$150, with results available within 48 hours

The rapid antigen test costs US$60, with results available within 15 minutes.

tampaairport.com

Tokyo Haneda airport

How does it work?

The airport’s on-site Toho University clinic provides PCR tests for overseas travellers. Passengers must call ahead to book an appointment.

Location and opening hours?

Toho University Haneda Airport Terminal 3 clinic, located on the first floor of the airport. Open daily from 0900-11.30am and 1300-1730.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

The test costs approximately £317, with results available within 24 hours.

haneda.toho-u-ac.jp

Tokyo Narita airport

How does it work?

The airport has partnered with Nippon Medical School Foundation to set up a PCR testing centre for international departures. Testing is available without an appointment.

Location and opening hours?

Terminal 1, Central Building, Floor 3 and Terminal 2, Floor 1. The centre is open daily from 0900-2100.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

It depends whether you have pre-booked an appointment.

The test costs 39,800 yen with an appointment, and 46,500 without (the latter also applies to after-hours tests which take place at the Nippon Medical School Hospital). Results are available within two hours.

narita-airport.jp

Toulouse-Blagnac airport

How does it work?

The airport has partnered with A Medical Connect to set up an antigen testing centre. The tests are carried out by appointment only and you need to reserve a slot online. Customers will have to present their plane ticket or reservation to proceed. The airport plans to provide PCR tests soon.

Location and opening hours?

Hall C – Ground floor level (Arrivals). The centre is open daily from 1000-1800.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

The test is €46 or covered by the French health insurance if you have the Vitale card.

Results are available within 30 minutes.

toulouse.aeroport.fr

Vienna airport

How does it work?

The airport has set up a PCR and rapid antigen testing centre for all passengers and the public. Advance registration is not possible, but you can download and fill out the form in advance of bringing it to the centre.

Location and opening hours?

The Office Park 3 building, located between the NH Hotel and the Tower. Open daily from 0700-2000.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

The PCR test costs €120. If the test is taken by 1300, you will receive a result on the same day. Tests taken after 1300, or on weekends or public holidays, will provide results within 24 hours.

The antigen test costs €35, with results available within 30 minutes.

viennaairport.com

Vilnius airport

How does it work?

The airport has set up a testing centre for departing and arriving passengers, partnering with Lithuanian lab Rezus.It to offer PCR and rapid antigen tests. The lab also hopes to open similar sites at Kaunas and Palanga airports in April. Passengers must register online at rezus.it or by phone and arrive to the testing site at least five minutes before their scheduled appointment. The airport recommends that travellers arrive at the airport at least two hours before the scheduled flight.

Location and opening hours?

The testing site is located just outside the arrivals terminal, near parking lot P2 and the intercity bus stop. See available time slots online.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

The PCR test costs €90 to receive a result within 24-36 hours, and €140 within one and half to three hours.

The antigen test costs €33 to receive a result within two hours, and €43 within twenty minutes.

vilnius-airport.lt

Zurich airport

How does it work?

Zurich airport has partnered with Swissport subsidiary Checkport Schweiz AG to operate a pre-departure PCR testing facility using Enders Diagnostics’ tests from January 7. The tests are carried out by saliva sample and not by nasal swab, allowing for a speedier return of results. The tests are sold as self-test kits on site and can be performed in test boxes independently, with no assistance required by medical personnel. The samples are then transported to the Swiss Analysis AG laboratory four times a day by courier service. No prior appointment is necessary.

Location and opening hours?

The centre is on the first floor of Zurich airport’s check-in 2. Open daily from 0600-2000.

How much does it cost and how long do results take?

The test costs Sfr195 (approximately €180), with a result available within five hours – note that test samples delivered after 1700 are processed the following morning.

Air France-KLM plans board meeting on refinancing, sources say - REUTERS

APRIL 03, 2021

PARIS (Reuters) - The board of Air France-KLM is expected to meet on Monday to discuss a state-backed refinancing plan designed to strengthen its balance sheet after a year of coronavirus shutdowns, two sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The airline group, which last year received 10.4 billion euros ($12.2 billion) in government-backed loans, has been discussing a multi-stage recapitalisation plan to lighten the resulting debt load, sources have said.

But the plan, likely to include conversion of a 3 billion-euro French government loan into hybrid instruments, has been held up by wrangling over European Union demands that Air France give up Paris-Orly take-off and landing slots as a condition.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire signalled a breakthrough in those talks earlier this week, predicting an agreement within “a matter of days”.

Air France-KLM declined to comment on the airline group’s planned board meeting, first reported by Bloomberg.

EU officials had initially demanded a similar number of slots to the 24 ceded by Germany’s Lufthansa in Frankfurt and Munich in return for its government-backed capital hike, sources close to the talks have said.

That position drew protests from Air France, its unions and the government.

France and the Netherlands each own close to 14% of Air France-KLM, and the Dutch state has held separate EU talks over converting its 1 billion euro loan to KLM into hybrid debt in return for slot concessions at Amsterdam-Schiphol.

Converting the government debt will not be enough to right Air France-KLM’s balance sheet, say analysts, who predict a further dilutive capital increase will follow.

The group told investors it planned to raise “quasi-equity and equity”, after its balance sheet recorded 5.42 billion euros in negative shareholder equity as of Dec. 31.

Reporting by Laurence Frost; Additional reporting by Gwenaelle Barzic; Editing by Edmund Blair and Barbara Lewis

UK bans travel from 4 more nations over virus; 39 in all - THE CANADIAN PRESS

APRIL 03, 2021

LONDON — The British government is gearing up to ban international arrivals from four more countries — Bangladesh, Kenya, Pakistan and the Philippines — amid concerns over new virus variants but opted against including European nations that are facing a resurgence of the virus.

The Department for Transport said Friday that the number of countries on its “red list” will reach 39 when the latest restrictions take effect in England beginning April 9. The other nations of the U.K. — Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — have similar lists.

Under the terms of the travel bans, international visitors who have departed from or travelled through red-list countries in the preceding 10 days are refused entry into England. Countries on the list include Brazil and South Africa, where two of the most concerning virus variants have been identified.

British and Irish citizens and people who have residence rights in the U.K. can enter, as commercial flights are not banned. However, they must quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days at their own expense and must take a COVID-19 test on days two and eight of their self-isolation.

No European nations are on the British red list, even though much of Europe is witnessing a resurgence of the virus that has prompted many countries to reimpose lockdown restrictions. Health experts say the surge is being driven by virus variants, including the one first identified in Britain, that are sweeping the continent. The World Health Organization on Thursday bemoaned the slow pace of vaccinations in European nations other than Britain, saying they were losing the race to protect their people.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative government has faced questions in recent days as to why France, which is suffering one of the worst outbreaks in Europe, is not on the list. Yet putting France on the red list could have serious implications for trade flows in and out of the U.K., given its reliance on traffic from cross-Channel ports.

The U.K. transport department said the majority of cases of the South African variant detected in England so far were linked to international travel and that very few are thought to have come from Europe.

The measures are aimed at reducing the risk posed by new virus variants into the U.K., which has recorded Europe’s highest COVID-related death toll, with over 126,500 deaths.

The U.K. has seen new coronavirus infections and deaths fall sharply since the winter amid a strict 3-month lockdown and a rapid rollout of coronavirus vaccines. The U.K. has now given a first vaccine shot to over 31 million people — 46% of its population — much more than the European Union average of 5.6% of the population.

Earlier this week, restrictions on gatherings in England were relaxed following the big fall in cases — the U.K. is recording around 4,500 new infections every day compared with around 70,000 a day earlier this year. Groups of up to six people, or two households, are allowed to meet outdoors.

Johnson on Friday urged people to follow the rules and to not mix indoors during this Easter weekend even if people have received a vaccine shot.

“Even though your friends and family members may be vaccinated, the vaccines are not giving 100% protection, and that’s why we just need to be cautious," he said during a question and answer session on Twitter. “We don’t think that they entirely reduce or remove the risk of transmission.”

California to allow indoor gatherings as virus cases plummet - THE CANADIAN PRESS

APRIL 03, 2021

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California on Friday cleared the way for people to attend indoor concerts, theatre performances and NBA games for the first time in more than a year as the rate of people testing positive for the coronavirus in the state nears a record low.

State officials won't require testing or proof of vaccination for some of those events, but they do limit the number of people allowed to attend. Events that do require testing and vaccinations will be allowed to have more paying customers than those that don’t. Only people who live in California can attend these live performances.

The rules are different for private indoor gatherings, including weddings, meetings or conferences. Those are only to be allowed if all guests test negative for the coronavirus at least 72 hours in advance or show proof of full vaccination. The changes do not mention requiring proof of vaccination and put much of the enforcement on business owners and operators.

“Allowing some of these activities and opportunities to vaccinated individuals is an incentive,” said Dee Dee Myers, director of the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development. “If they can return to some of their favourite activities because they're vaccinated then hopefully a few more people will go and get vaccinated.”

The new rules seem to nudge California toward a system of vaccine verification, a hotly debated issue across the country. New York has launched a digital pass residents can use to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test that is accepted at major entertainment venues. But Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order on Friday banning businesses from requiring so-called “vaccine passports.”

President Joe Biden's administration has said the federal government won't come up with a national vaccine passport app, leaving that to the private sector. But the federal government is devising regulations for how and when those passports can be used.

California Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragón said Friday the state will follow the federal government's lead but said vaccinations won't be required for essential services.

California's new rules come as the state has administered nearly 19 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines. Nearly 6.9 million people are fully vaccinated in a state with close to 40 million residents. Only people 50 and over are eligible statewide to get the vaccine now, followed by those 16 and older on April 15.

Requiring proof of vaccination prompts questions of privacy and equity as not everyone will be able to get a vaccine while others would not want their medical information stored in a clearinghouse, said Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California-San Francisco.

She noted that similar requirements in other countries have prompted people to get vaccinated, but the most notable problem in California is “we just haven't simply vaccinated enough people in the population right now,” she said. Surges in some parts of the country also suggest it's not a low-risk time to lift restrictions, she said.

The new rules will continue to adhere to California's tier system, in which sectors of the economy can reopen depending on how widespread the virus is in each county.

In the most restrictive purple tier, indoor concerts, sporting events and theatre productions aren't allowed. In the red tier, venues of up to 1,500 people can operate at 10% and grow to 25% if all guests provide evidence of vaccination or a negative test. Venues of 1,501 people or more can operate at 20% capacity in the red tier, but must show proof of vaccination or a negative test. Capacity increases for tiers where the virus is less widespread.

Venues can also choose to separate people into sections based on their vaccination status. Those who are fully vaccinated could sit shoulder-to-shoulder but they still must wear masks, Aragón said.

Ben Bleiman, a San Francisco nightlife activist and chairman of the California Music and Culture Association, said venues need full capacity to make any money — but members will take the change, albeit with some trepidation.

“On the one side you have the thrill and the joy of reopening," he said, adding on the other, “there’s some dread that something's going to go wrong.”

Private indoor events, including wedding receptions and conventions, are not allowed in the purple tier. In the red tier, they are limited to 100 people and all guests must show proof of either a negative test or that they have been fully vaccinated. More people can attend such events in less restrictive tiers.

Most of California's 58 counties are in the red tier, but big population centres like San Francisco, Santa Clara County and Los Angeles County are in the less restrictive orange tier. Just two counties are in the lowest yellow tier.

Those capacity limits for private gatherings likely won't help large convention centres , which rely on indoor events that attract thousands of people.

Ray Roa, director of sales and marketing for the Fresno Convention & Entertainment Center, said the updates are a step in the right direction, but officials need guidance on how to hold large-scale meetings and events like the ones his venue typically hosts.

Gov. Gavin Newsom visited a San Diego vaccination site Friday to highlight California's vaccination efforts. Newsom, 53, got vaccinated on Thursday, the first day California allowed anyone 50 and older to get a shot.

“We’re not going to get to herd immunity, we’re not going to get back to that semblance of normalcy unless we get more people vaccinated," Newsom said.

Danish vaccine passport app 'will cause domino effect' across Europe - SKYNEWS

APRIL 03, 2021

The company behind a Danish COVID passport app says its rollout will cause a "domino effect" across Europe.

graphical user interface: Netcompany is developing an app which will be ready for use in Denmark by May© Sky News Screen Grab Netcompany is developing an app which will be ready for use in Denmark by May

Netcompany is developing an app which will be ready for use in Denmark by May.

It will show whether a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19 as well as recent test results.

The firm's chief executive Andre Rogaczewski said international interest in the technology is "very high".

"We are talking to at least a dozen of countries, and most of them in Europe right now," he told Sky News.

The UK could be among them, although no details have been confirmed.

The Danish app is being designed with three main goals; efficiency, simplicity and safety.

"If you have to certify that you've been tested you run around with a piece of paper.

"Or if you've been vaccinated, you probably run around with a piece of paper. Now this is replacing the paper with a digital certificate."

Denmark was the first country in Europe to confirm it will use digital passports.

Mr Rogaczewski said: "I think that's going to start some sort of domino effect. We will see more countries in Europe following suit."

He was quick to defend the platform's safety.

"It's actually safer than using the paper, because if you use a paper certificate, you can actually copy it, you can lose it, someone else can use it, you can you can pretend to be someone else," he said.

The idea of vaccine passports has faced some strong opposition in the UK - a marked difference to Denmark where Mr Rogaczewski says there is a "broad acceptance". He thinks it will be a vital tool in reopening life.

"The only thing you're exchanging, it's basically a red [or] a green light saying, I've been tested or vaccinated, and it's only been exchanged in that moment between those devices."

The app comes with a "sundown clause" which means once it's no longer needed it will be destroyed.

There has been suggestion the technology could be incorporated into the existing NHS COVID app. It can't be done quickly though. Netcompany's platform takes at least two to three months to set up, depending on the amount of preparation already in place.

Spain, Greece and Turkey 'to require quarantine' this summer - THE TELEGRAPH

APRIL 03, 2021

BY  Hugh Morris, Emma Cooke

Holidays to some of the UK’s most popular destinations, including Spain, Greece and Turkey, will require pre-travel testing and at least three days of quarantine, according to new data.

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The plans of tens of thousands of British travellers could be disrupted by the news as the prospect of unfettered overseas travel by the summer recedes, with only a dozen countries set to be added to the “green” list in May. 

Spain, which alone welcomes 18 million Britons in a normal year, is to be added to a putative “amber” list when the Government introduces its new four-tier traffic light system for the resumption of holidays abroad. Cyprus could join it on the “amber” list, according to analysis by The PC Agency. 

Meanwhile the US could be set for one of its busiest summers as it looks likely to make the “green” list, along with Canada, Barbados and the United Arab Emirates. 

A Government source downplayed the Prime Minister’s announcement next week on the return of overseas travel, adding: “It is still too early to say where and when people will be able to go on holidays, but there will be detail about what that will look like.”

Brexit vote sparked surge in Irish passports issued in Great Britain - THE GUARDIAN UK

APRIL 03, 2021

The number of Irish passports issued in Great Britain rocketed in the years following the Brexit referendum, according to figures.

a close up of a piece of paper: The surge in passport applications was most marked in 2019, when 120,8900 were issued by the Irish embassy in London.© Alamy Stock Photo The surge in passport applications was most marked in 2019, when 120,8900 were issued by the Irish embassy in London.

The data emerged as it was revealed that the celebrated British author John le Carré went to his grave as an Irish citizen.

Data issued by Ireland’s foreign minister, Simon Coveney, shows just over 422,000 passport applications were made in Great Britain in the years 2016 to 2020.

In the years 2017 to 2020, 358,900 passports were issued, compared with 63,500 in 2016, the year of the poll on the UK’s departure from the EU.

The surge in passport applications was most marked in 2019 when 120,800 were issued by the London embassy, double that of 2016 alone.

Related: John le Carré, chronicler of Englishness, died Irish, son reveals

The figures do not include numbers for Northern Ireland, where all citizens are entitled to dual British and Irish nationality under the Good Friday agreement.

Neale Richmond, a membe said Ireland was “proud of the global Irish community” and would welcome any new passport-holder to the country.

The figures come after it emerged that Le Carré, one of the UK’s most celebrated spy thriller authors, died an Irishman.

The creator of the quintessential English spy George Smiley was so opposed to Brexit that in order to remain European, and to reflect his heritage, he took Irish citizenship before his death last December aged 89, his son revealed this week.

“He was, by the time he died, an Irish citizen,” Nicholas Cornwell, who writes as Nick Harkaway, says in a BBC Radio 4 documentary due to air on Saturday evening. “On his last birthday I gave him an Irish flag, and so one of the last photographs I have of him is him sitting wrapped in an Irish flag, grinning his head off.”

Le Carré was entitled to Irish citizenship through his maternal grandmother, Olive Wolfe. Under Irish citizenship rules anyone who has or had a grandparent from the country is entitled to a passport once they enter into the foreign birth register.

text: Applications for Irish passports, both paper (above) and online applications (below) Photograph: Ireland's department for foreign affairs© Ireland's department for foreign affairs Applications for Irish passports, both paper (above) and online applications (below) Photograph: Ireland's department for foreign affairs

Anecdotal evidence shows that since Brexit many people of Irish heritage born in Britain have sought to exercise this right to enable them to retain their rights to work, travel and retire anywhere in the EU.

In 2019, Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs saidmore than 43,000 British people applied for an Irish passport for the first time.

“The harsh impacts of Brexit and the attack on the rights of so many UK citizens has clearly motivated many to realise their Irish citizenship rights.

“We are proud of the global Irish community and take pride in every passport issued, needless to say if any of our diaspora wish to come home, they’ll be more than welcome,” said Richmond.

Just over 450,000 Irish passports were issued in 2020, according to the government figures, 13% of those through the Irish embassy in Britain.

Travel ban: Four more countries added to Covid ‘red list’ - EVENING STANDARD

APRIL 03, 2021

BY  Tammy Hughes 

Passengers push luggage through the Arrival Hall of Terminal 5 at London's Heathrow Airport after arriving into the UK following the suspension of the travel corridors. Passengers arriving from anywhere outside the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man must have proof of a negative coronavirus test and self-isolate for 10 days. Picture date: Monday January 18, 2021. (Photo by Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images via Getty Images)© Getty Images Passengers push luggage through the Arrival Hall of Terminal 5 at London's Heathrow Airport after arriving into the UK following the suspension of the travel corridors. Passengers arriving from anywhere outside the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man must have proof of a negative coronavirus test and self-isolate for 10 days. Picture date: Monday January 18, 2021. (Photo by Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images via Getty Images)

Travel bans are to be introduced for visitors from the Philippines, Pakistan, Kenya and Bangladesh, the Department of Transport has said.

The countries have been added to England’s so-called red list amid concerns about new Covid-19 variants, such as those first identified in South Africa and Brazil.

From 4am on Friday April 9, international visitors who have departed from or transited through the Philippines, Pakistan, Kenya and Bangladesh in the previous 10 days will be refused entry into England.

The DfT said only British and Irish citizens, or those with residence rights in the UK (including long-term visa holders), will be allowed to enter and they must stay in a Government-approved quarantine facility for 10 days.

They will also be required to arrive into a designated port.

No direct flight bans from the countries will be put in place but passengers are being advised to check their travel plans before departing for England.

During their stay, passengers will be required to take a coronavirus test on or before day two and on or after day eight, and they will not be allowed to shorten their quarantine period on receipt of a negative test result.

They will also not be able to end their managed quarantine early through the Test to Release scheme.

The latest restrictions take the total number of countries on England’s red list to 39.

Earlier this month, Mauritius and Portugal were removed from the red list while Oman, Ethiopia, Qatar and Somalia were added.

Overseas holidays are currently banned due to the UK’s coronavirus lockdown measures, but Boris Johnson plans to make an announcement on Easter Monday about lifting restrictions in England.

It comes as foreign getaway destinations are expected to be ranked under a traffic light system, with fewer restrictions for countries with low rates of infections and high vaccination take-up.

Countries will be graded either green, amber or red, according to how well they are coping with the pandemic, it has been reported.

Scientific experts have repeatedly said summer staycations should be encouraged over foreign holidays this year.

Dame Anne Johnson, professor of epidemiology at University College London, said the importation of new coronavirus variants is “one of the biggest risks” facing the UK.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday: “This is a risk where you’ve got high rates of infection. I’m for staycations.”

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