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Travel

Government issues warning to travellers heading to Greece for a holiday

Just in…

Alex Watson

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Nick Karvounis/Unsplash

The government has revealed new advice for Brits heading over to Greece as restrictions tighten in the country. 

In one of the country’s holiday islands, Poros, there has been a new coronavirus outbreak meaning new strict measures and restrictions have been put in place.  

Around 30 cases of the virus have been reported on the small island. 

Travel between the UK and Poros is currently still allowed, but travellers are warned of a new range of measures which will change your holiday. 

All restaurants and food shops will be closed between 11pm and 7am on the Island. Holiday makers are also warned that groups who can eat together are limited to a maximum number of four, or six if they are all related. 

The number of people meeting in either public or private spaces has also been limited now to a max of nine people. 

The new restrictions also see religious ceremonies, parties and open markets all suspended. 

All holiday makers must wear face masks indoors and outdoors, excluding private areas such as your hotel room.

Dominik Gawlik/Unsplash

The country is still on the ‘safe list’, meaning you won’t have to quarantine when you arrive to the island or return back to the UK currently.

The Foreign Office has warned that large fines are in place for rule breakers, including additional compliance patrols on the islands.

A Passenger Locator Form must be filled in by holidaymakers travelling to Greece at least 24 hours before travel. 

The FCO advises: “Failure to do so in advance may result in your carrier not allowing you to travel, €500 (£450) fine on arrival or the Greek authorities not allowing you to enter the country.”

You may also be required to take a Covid-19 test when you arrive as part of a health screening process. This may mean you have to self-isolate during the time you are awaiting test results, however this is usually within 24 hours.

Find out more here. 

Travel

New geothermal heated sea pool like Iceland’s Blue Lagoon has opened in Cornwall

Perfect for a staycation!

Alex Watson

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badwolfhorizon & porthlevenholidaycottage/Instagram

The UK’s first geothermal sea pool has now opened up in Cornwall and we need to go asap!

The pool is set at a lovely warm 35C and will be heated all year round making it a perfect destination for a weekend away in winter.

The pool has opened up in the old art deco Jubilee Pool in Penzance, and is giving Iceland’s Blue Lagoons a run for their money.

The warm water is heated through a geothermal well which transfers the cooler water back into the ground and the warm water into the pool.

The pool also offers fantastic sea views, including a glimpse of St Michael’s Mount across the water. 

Around 50 people will fit into the pool at once, making it the UK’s largest lido. Currently, due to social distancing measures, only 15 are allowed to visit at a time. 

Ryan Law, managing director of Geothermal Engineering Limited, told local media: “The system we have drilled and installed is one of the lowest forms of carbon heating available and is part of the growing movement to use sustainable heating sources across the UK.

“I’m delighted that the geothermal pool at Jubilee Pool, Penzance, is now open. It’s the first geothermally-heated lido in the UK and is a flagship for geothermal energy in general.”

The pool is part of a wider project worth £1.8m, which was supported partly by the local community which provided £540,000.

First to swim in the pool were the family of local swimmer and project supporter, Joyce Cooper. Joyce was at the opening of the original lido 85 years ago but sadly died before she got the chance to see the project completed. 

All ages are welcome to visit the pool during the afternoon, with kids under four going free. An adult ticket will start from £11.75. 

There are also dedicated adults-only spots for the pool between 10am and 12:30pm, and select evenings after 5:30pm. 

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Travel

Thomas Cook is set to relaunch ‘in the next few weeks’ but with some big changes

The UK’s oldest tour operator could be back soon…

Alex Watson

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Anna Zvereva/Wikimedia & Brian Robert Marshall/Geograph

Thomas Cook, the UK’s oldest tour operator, could be making a return to the travel industry a year after the company folded. 

The owners of Club Med and Wolverhampton Wanderers, Chinese conglomerate Fosun, saved the brand from completely vanishing after it went under in September last year. 

According to some reports it looks like Fosun could be bringing back Thomas Cook as a travel agent. 

Sky News has reported that Fosun is awaiting necessary regulatory approvals and for any quarantine updates on British citizens.

Jan Hagelskamp1/Wikimedia

Thomas Cook looks set to relaunch as just an online travel agent and will be dropping the Thomas Cook airline, high street shops and branded hotels previously operated by the company.

The relaunch is reportedly set to go ahead this month, exactly a year after the company collapsed. 

The firm filed for administration on September 23rd last year. The news left 150,000 UK holidaymakers stuck abroad and caused the biggest peacetime repatriation of Britons abroad, totalling to an estimated cost of £150m. 

The 178-year-old firm was bailed out by Fosun. Chairman Jiannong said: “The group has always believed in the brand value of Thomas Cook.

“The acquisition of the Thomas Cook brand will enable the group to expand its tourism business building on the extensive brand awareness of Thomas Cook and the robust growth momentum of Chinese outbound tourism.”


Ken Fielding/Flickr

He added: “Following the acquisition, the group will focus on business expansion, using the newly acquired Thomas Cook brands to create synergies with the existing businesses of the group.”

The Chinese firm bought the assets including the trademarks, domain names, software applications, social media accounts and licences. However, 555 stores were sold for just £6m to rival Hays Travel. 

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Travel

A new giraffe hotel is coming to the UK which lets you get up close to the animals

This is amazing!

Alex Watson

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Aspinall Foundation

A brand new hotel where you share the resort with giraffes is coming to the UK. 

Kent Online has shared the news of a new hotel, Giraffe Hall, that is set to open at Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve in Kent.

It’s not yet open but 9,000 people have already signed up to the waiting list, so this is definitely going to be a popular spot.

The accommodation is set in a Grade II listed building that dates back to the 15th and 16th century.  

Aspinall Foundation

There will be ten bedrooms, five cabins and incredible views of the nature reserve where lions, giraffes and wolves will be living. 

It’s set to be the first of its kind in the Western hemisphere, as giraffes will be able to wander right up to the hall and check out what’s happening inside through the windows.

The website explains: “Get closer than ever before and make friends with your giraffe neighbours, as the resident herd peer into the lofty ceilinged drawing room, or amble up to the bedroom windows, where you may be lucky enough to feed them.”

Aspinall Foundation

Guests will also be able to stay in ‘Lion Lodge’ which is the first of its kind in the world. It sees a timber clad, Manhattan loft-style building, set within the lion’s natural enclosure.

There will be ‘floor to ceiling windows in both the master bedroom and the open plan living area’ meaning ‘guests will be just a whisker away from lions’.

Prices are yet to be revealed for Giraffe Hall, however an overnight stay at Lion Lodge sees prices starting at £1,750.

You do get a golf buggy to move around the reserve, a bottle of bubbly on arrival and a full English breakfast, though. 

Find out more or sign up to the waiting list here

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