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Travel

Fifteen countries have banned all travel from the UK

Australia, New Zealand and Japan are all on the list

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Bernard Spragg & Florian Weiss / Wikimedia Commons

As Omicron Covid cases continue to rise, fifteen countries have quietly banned British tourists from crossing their borders.

While the UK has introduced its own strict travel restrictions in a bid to prevent the spread of the new variant, these countries have effectively banned all British tourists from visiting their destinations. 

Here are the countries which have banned UK travel according to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office:

@lucidtech / Wikimedia Commons

Australia

Despite only just reopening its borders after a two year-long closure, Australia has announced that people can only enter if they are exempt or have been granted an individual exemption.

These exemptions are Australian citizens, permanent residents, and immediate family members of Australian citizens or permanent residents.

Benin

The West African country of Benin has limited all its border crossings to ‘extreme necessity’, meaning that entry and exit must be authorised in liaison with bordering countries.

As it stands, British tourists are not permitted to cross the border.

Bhutan 

Bhutan, which borders China, India, and Tibet, has closed its borders to all foreign nationals, British citizens included.

The Royal Government of Bhutan has not yet specified when the country will re-open to foreign visitors.

Keith Roper / Flickr

China

The Chinese authorities have banned all flights from the UK, though entries from a number of other countries is still possible. 

This measure will be subject to future review but, according to the government website, no date has yet been given.

Falkland Islands

While the Falkland Islands are a British Overseas Territory, current visitor restrictions mean all tourists – British included – are not permitted to visit, including via cruise vessels.

Friends of residents are permitted to visit if sponsored by an Island resident who is present in the Falkland Islands at the time of arrival, though these visitors will be subject to the same quarantine requirements as all other visitors.

Indonesia 

While commercial flights are continuing to operate to and from Indonesia, tourist visas for British Nationals are currently unavailable. 

Israel

Non-Israeli citizens are not allowed to enter Israel, unless they have a special entry permit from a dedicated ‘Exceptions Committee’.

Officials announced on Sunday that the UK and Denmark has been added to its ‘red list’ of countries that Israelis are forbidden to visit. 

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Japan 

On November 30th, Japanese officials announced that all foreign nationals – British tourists included – who do not have existing resident status are not permitted to enter Japan for any purpose, other than in exceptional circumstances.

The travel ban was originally put in place for one month, though this is subject to review.

Laos

The government of the Lao PDR has suspended the visa on arrival service at all international entry points.

There are also no visas being issued to people travelling from a country with existing cases of Covid, including the UK.

Malaysia 

Entry to Malaysia for British nationals is currently prohibited.

However, some exemptions do apply, including: British nationals with permanent resident status, resident pass, My Second Home Programme (MM2H) pass, expatriates of all categories, including professional visit passes as well as dependants pass, spouse to Malaysian nationals (spouse visa) and students and temporary employment passes.

Myanmar

New tourist visa applications have been suspended for those wanting to visit Myanmar, located in South East Asia.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) also advises against all but essential travel to Myanmar, based on recent political events.

Ministry of Justice of New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand, which has operated some of the strictest travel restrictions in the world, has closed all its borders to international arrivals, including the UK.

Travel to New Zealand while the border is closed is still possible, but only if you are considered to have a critical purpose to travel.

Suriname

Suriname, found in South America, has closed all its borders amid Covid-19 concerns.

According to the Foreign Office, all international borders will remain closed for the foreseeable furture.

Taiwan

Taiwanese authorities have announced a temporary ban on foreign nationals entering Taiwan, though there are some exemptions.

These include: ARC/APRC/Gold Card holders, foreign spouses of Taiwan passport holders and their children under the age of twenty, international students and foreign professors and researchers.

Vietnam

Vietnam has suspended visa waivers, issuing of visas and the entry into Vietnam for all foreign nationals, Brits included, apart from a few exceptions for citizens. 

Travel

Spain issues update on £85 a day rule for British tourists

According to officials, it isn’t a new rule…

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Rab Lawrence / Flickr

Spanish officials have addressed the controversy surrounding the country’s new policy regarding British tourists’ spending money.

According to various reports last week, holiday-goers are now required to prove they can spend at least €100 (£85) a day for the duration of their holiday.

It was also suggested that tourists will need to provide evidence of a return flight or onward ticket, as well as proof of accommodation while on holiday.

A number of British travel firms criticised the alleged new policy, arguing that Brits contribute hugely to the large tourism market.

Julian Dik / Unsplash

But now, Spanish officials have dismissed these reports and clarified which rules British tourists need to be aware of.

A statement on behalf of the Spanish Tourist Office said the rule was not new and had in fact been in force since January 1st. It added that the regulations were not confined to Spain and applied to visitors from most nations outside the EU-Schengen border-free travel area.

Read More: Airline issues warning to Brits travelling to Spain over new alcohol restrictions

Manuel Butler, the Spanish Tourist Office director, said: “The requirement for UK travellers to be able to illustrate sufficient means for the duration of their stay and the return is established in the Schengen Borders Code and is not a Spain-specific requirement.

“This is not a new requirement and has been in place for some time for visitors from outside of the European Union or Schengen area. When entering Spain, these checks are not systematically carried out for every traveller.

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“Likewise, travellers coming to the UK are also required to show that they have specific means to support themselves and any dependents for the duration of the trip and the ability to pay for the return or onward journey.”

The UK Foreign Office guidelines states: “Border guards will use passport stamps to check you’re complying with the 90-day visa-free limit for short stays in the Schengen area.

“If relevant entry or exit stamps are not in your passport, border guards will presume that you have overstayed your visa-free limit.”

Read more about the government’s entry advice for Spain here.

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Travel

British tourists visiting Spain will need to prove they can spend £85 a day

A number of Spanish resorts are also restricting alcohol consumption among British tourists

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Emil Kalibradov / Unsplash

Tourists heading to Spain this summer will need to prove they have adequate spending money under new travel restrictions.

Holiday-goers will now be required to prove they can spend at least €100 (£85) a day for the duration of their holiday. They may also need to provide evidence of a return flight or onward ticket, as well as proof of accommodation while on holiday.

These requirements follow a U-turn on Spain’s decision to ease airport congestion for holidaymakers by allowing all UK passport-holders to use automatic e-gates to enter the country.

British travel firms have criticised the tough new policies, arguing that Brits contribute hugely to the large tourism market.

Julian Dik/Unsplash

The Spanish Ministry del Interior said on the new entry requirements: “Foreigners from third countries must prove – if required to do so by the officials in charge of controlling the entry of people into Spanish territory – that they have economic resources for entering the country.

“This could be through cash, traveller’s cheques, payment letters, or credit cards, which must also be proven to have sufficient funds available on them.”

Read More: Airline issues warning to Brits travelling to Spain over new alcohol restrictions

The UK Foreign Office added: “At Spanish border control, you may need to show a return or onward ticket, show you have enough money for your stay, show proof of accommodation for your stay, for example, a hotel booking confirmation, proof of address if visiting your own property, or an invitation from your host or proof of their address if staying with a third party, friends or family.

“The Spanish government has clarified that the ‘carta de invitation’ is one of the options available to prove that you have accommodation if staying with friends or family.

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“Tourists may also be asked to provide evidence that they are able to spend a minimum of €100 each day of their holiday, equating to £85.22 plus an additional minimum of €900.”

British tourists are also reminded to check their passport stamps to see if they enter or exit the EU Schengen area through Spain as a visitor.

The UK Foreign Office guidelines states: “Border guards will use passport stamps to check you’re complying with the 90-day visa-free limit for short stays in the Schengen area.

“If relevant entry or exit stamps are not in your passport, border guards will presume that you have overstayed your visa-free limit.”

Read more about the government’s entry advice for Spain here.

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Travel

Manchester named second friendliest city in the ENTIRE world

Manchester ranked highly on a number of factors

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William McCue / Unsplash

Time Out has released its fifth annual list of the world’s best cities to visit right now, and Manchester has ranked highly on a number of factors.

Manchester has been voted the second friendliest city in the world, with a rating of 74% (Glasgow was first and Dublin third).

Our city was also named the second most resilient in the world with a 67% rating, while New York came in first and Manila third, with San Francisco and Amsterdam making up the rest of the top five.

And if that wasn’t enough, we are also the third most progressive city in the world (65%), although, sadly, of all of the global cities surveyed Manchester received the least votes for its beauty (only 11% of residents surveyed rate its looks).

ChrisClarke88 / Wikimedia

Edinburgh was officially named the world’s best city to visit right now, with the city ranking highly across the board, topping the global chart as the most beautiful and the most walkable city.

All in all, around one fifth of the top twenty are in the UK, with Edinburgh (1st), Glasgow (4th), Manchester (13th) and London (17th) all having top rankings.   

Every year, Time Out surveys thousands of global city-dwellers about life in their hometown right now, using their responses to compile its annual ranking of the world’s best cities – the Time Out Index.

Last year the list focused on how cities pulled together through the pandemic, focusing on community spirit and resilience, but with limited travel back on the agenda, Time Out added extra weight to things that make cities great places to visit as well as live for 2022.

Dr Neil Clifton / Wikimedia Commons

So the top cities this year excel at nightlife, eating and drinking, art, culture, and museums, as well as rating highly for fun, beauty and not being boring, overly expensive or overrated – the top picks also score well for practical stuff like walkability, good public transport and safety, as well as sustainability. 

Dave Calhoun, Chief Content Officer North America & UK at Time Out, said: “The Time Out Index 2022 combines the experiences and opinions of more than 20,000 people in hundreds of cities around the world and – for the inside scoop – we’ve also tapped into the expertise of Time Out’s global network of local editors and city experts to capture and celebrate what makes a city great right now.  

“This year, we are showcasing the cities that locals, and our editors, not only love living in, but that we think everyone should be visiting. Many people will be planning their first city break in a long time, and our list of the Best Cities in the World provides the ultimate travel bucket list.”

Here’s the top 20 best cities in the world to visit right now:

1) Edinburgh

2) Chicago

3) Medellín (new entry)

4) Glasgow

5) Amsterdam

6) Prague

7) Marrakech (new entry)

8) Berlin

9) Montreal

10) Copenhagen

11) Cape Town

12) Madrid

13) Manchester

14) Mumbai

15) Melbourne

16) Taipei (new entry)

17) London

18) Porto

19) Lyon (new entry)

20) New York

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