Thousands of tourists from other countries are reportedly being allowed into the UK every day, at a time when British people are banned from going on holiday abroad.
According to Border Force estimates which have been shared with The Times, around 40% of the 20,000 people arriving at British borders daily are holidaymakers, which equates to about 8,000 tourists per day.
Hundreds of these visitors are granted holiday visas from the Home Office, with one traveller from Peru getting a visa after saying the reason for their UK trip was to ‘visit Big Ben’.
A Border Force source revealed to the Times that hundreds of people coming to the UK each day are ‘basically coming here on a two-week holiday’, adding that the agency has ‘no grounds to refuse them’.
They said: “As long as they’ve got an address where they say they’ll quarantine, and they’ve completed their pre-departure tests, they’ve got their certificates and everything else, they’ve got means and a return ticket, we’ve got no grounds to refuse them.”
On average nearly half the people arriving here are tourists, but at Gatwick and the Eurostar Terminals that number jumps to 80 or 90%, according to the data from whistleblowers.
However, the Home Office has responded by saying it ‘does not recognise these figures’, insisting that ‘tough health measures’ are being enforced at airports, train stations and ports.
Minister for Future Borders and Immigration, Kevin Foster, said: “We do not recognise these figures. We are enforcing tough health measures at the border for the small minority of people coming to the UK, including those entering on a visitor visa for legitimate reasons.
“Since January 2021, we have paused all decisions on visitor visas to applicants applying from a ‘red list’ country or where it is apparent an applicant has visited one of those countries in the last ten days.
“Border Force officers also have the right to refuse entry to any visitor who they believe has travelled to the UK to carry out activities not permitted under current local health restrictions, such as holidays or tourism, or who will not comply with self-isolation and testing requirements.”
Brits will be able to book summer holidays abroad this year, government announces
‘For the first time people can start to think about visiting loved ones abroad or perhaps a summer holiday’
A government minister has confirmed that you will be able to book a summer holiday abroad this year.
Grant Shapps announced the news today, saying that the official advice not to plan foreign trips has now been ditched.
The transport secretary also said the government would attempt to drive down the cost of testing for anyone wanting a summer holiday or to see friends and family abroad.
However, Mr Shapps urged people to wait a little bit longer to start booking anything, as the government won’t be publishing the ‘green list’ of countries for ‘two or three weeks’.
The Government will operate a ‘traffic light’ system for international travel when it resumes, which is currently penciled in for May 17th.
Countries will be classed as either green, amber, or red under the scheme, depending on each destination’s rate of vaccination and testing capacity.
He added, when asked whether people should start booking trips: “My advice today would be moving on from where we were before.
“I’m not telling people they shouldn’t book summer holidays now, it’s the first time I’ve been able to say that for many months.”
According to reports, the US, Malta, Gibraltar and large parts of the Caribbean have been tipped for the green list, while Greece could also make the cut.
Spain and Italy could also join from June if their vaccine programmes have progressed well.
Mr Shapps advised people to wait and see which countries will be on the green list, saying: “And of course actually I think people would want to be clear about which countries are going to be in the different traffic light system and people predominantly of course will be looking to book in a green country.
“There’s only two or three weeks to wait before we publish that list itself but yes, tentative progress.
“For the first time people can start to think about visiting loved ones abroad or perhaps a summer holiday.
“But we’re doing it very very cautiously because we don’t want to see any return of coronavirus in this country.”
Holidaymakers will have to wear a face mask on the beach in Spain this summer
Would you still go to Spain on holiday?
If you’re planning on going to Spain for a holiday this summer then you better make sure you pack your face mask alongside the Factor 50.
It’s been announced that any holidaymakers heading to the country will have to wear face coverings on the beach, ITV News reports.
Spain is tightening mask rules, and while face coverings have been mandatory in places you can’t social distance since May 2020, as of this Wednesday the rules are getting even tougher.
This means face coverings will be required outdoors and in all public places, like the beach, for everyone over the age of six – unless you have a medical condition, respiratory problems or if you are exercising.
However, while this new rule is to be processed as law, it depends on the agreement of regional health ministers and therefore might not be mandated nationwide.
For example, regional authorities could previously allow tourists to take their masks off while they were sunbathing – so long as they maintained a 1.5 metre distance.
Some regions have suggested they would not enforce the rule, with Balearic health minister Patricia Gómez indicating that masks at beaches and by pools will not be obligatory as long as people social distance.
Earlier this week health secretary Matt Hancock said ‘the door is not shut’ on international travel over the summer.
According to reports, the government is considering a four-tier traffic light system for international travel which could allow people to go abroad after May 17th.
First look inside BrewDog’s new beer-themed hotel with taps in every room
‘It was a no-brainer to open our second DogHouse in Manchester, a vibrant city, known for doing things differently’
BrewDog is set to open a beer-themed hotel in Manchester city centre later this year, and now we’ve had a first glimpse of what it will look like.
The Scottish-based brewery, which already operates two bars in our city, is transforming a currently unused three-storey building on Fountain Street into the second ‘DogHouse’ hotel in the world.
BrewDog has officially shared images of what the hotel will look like when it does open, and it’s going to be a must-visit for any beer lovers.
The DogHouse hotel will feature 18 bedrooms, with every room fully equipped with a shower beer fridge, as well as Punk IPA on tap so you’ll never get thirsty.
There will also be a new rooftop bar, complete with a fire pit and taco bar. On the terrace, you’ll have 10 taps of craft beer to choose from, with a casual taco menu keeping with BrewDog’s signature relaxed style.
Hotel guests will receive a complimentary beer on arrival, access to a fully stocked beer fridge (which you’ll need to pre-pay for), games consoles, record players, guitars, and even free Brompton bike hire.
The hotel, which will feature a ground floor bar and restaurant, will also be completely dog-friendly, so you can bring your pooch with you when you stay at the DogHouse.
James Brown, managing director of bars at BrewDog, said: “After DogHouse Columbus was named one of TIME’s top 100 places to visit, we knew we were on to a winning combination.
“We’re excited to be bringing beer fans a second location where they can enjoy all things craft beer from the moment they wake up, to the moment they rest their head.
“It was a no-brainer to open our second DogHouse in Manchester, a vibrant city, known for doing things differently which is very much the spirit of BrewDog.”
He continued: “We’re also proud to have not compromised on our Carbon Negative promise throughout the build too.
“This epic site has been built using sustainable materials and guests can check out our giant living wall as well our roof-top urban jungle, which we think is truly awesome!”
The new DogHouse hotel – which is set to open in August this year – follows the launch of BrewDog’s first UK hotel, Kennels, a dog-friendly venue located in Aberdeen.