Love Holidays latest online travel agent to leave Abta

Way out: Quarantine policies are changing quickly (Simon Calder)
Way out: Quarantine policies are changing quickly (Simon Calder)

Another leading online travel agent has quit Abta, the travel association, in a row over refunds for customers affected by government travel changes.

Love Holidays has followed On the Beach in resigning from the leading travel trade association.

Both are unhappy about Abta’s insistence on full refunds for package holidaymakers booked to destinations such as Portugal that are placed on the UK government’s no-go list.

A spokesperson for Love Holidays said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges for holidaymakers, which have been exacerbated by frequent changes in travel guidance issued by the UK government.

“The current package travel legislation was never designed to deal with disruption on the scale we have seen since March 2020.

“Unfortunately, as a result of our divergent views on the legal position regarding cancellations and refunds, we have decided that it is no longer possible

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AstraZeneca resumes vaccine trial; Puerto Rico reopens beaches; US downgrades Mexico travel warning

Drug developers are racing to create a COVID-19 vaccine, but a post-pandemic world won’t suddenly arrive when one is successfully developed. 

But a return to “normal living” won’t come until “several months” after a vaccine first arrives, Dr. Anthony Fauci said on CNN. That’s likely to be about a year away, as a successful vaccine still needs to be manufactured and distributed at a massive scale.

In the meantime, Americans are learning more about risks associated with several parts of normal life that remain. Recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studies documented health challenges in dining and daycare. One study found dining out was linked with higher infection rates in adults. Another study documented children who were infected in daycare and spread the virus at home. 

Meanwhile colleges continue to be hotspots for the virus: Of the 25 hottest outbreaks in the U.S., communities heavy with college students

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Should You Book Holiday Travel Now While Prices Are Still Low?

Though you may have skipped spring break this year or canceled your family summer vacation, holiday travel might still be on the table. On one hand, the coronavirus is nowhere near eradicated, so it’s hard to know whether it will be safe to travel by winter. But with ticket prices so low ― at least for now ― it can be tempting to get in while the getting’s good. 

According to travel booking app Hopper, domestic flight prices around Christmastime have dropped 25% compared with 2019, reaching a new low of $275 round trip, on average. As for Thanksgiving, travelers can expect to spend 30% less on domestic flights than in 2019, with a new average low of $216 round trip. 

Of course, things could change as we get closer to the holiday season, and prices might go back up. Here’s what you should keep in mind when planning

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Why a UK ‘cycling and walking revolution’ won’t reduce car travel

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced £2 billion to create thousands of miles of protected bike lanes and pedestrian space. There are lots of good reasons to encourage walking and cycling – active travel, as it’s called. The pandemic necessitates social distancing on public transport, which means buses and trains have to ferry fewer passengers per journey. Cycling and walking are healthier alternatives and in the longer term, both have a part to play in cutting carbon emissions from the transport system, as well as improving urban air quality.

Cities across the UK are promoting active travel in response to the pandemic. Manchester has committed £5 million to enable socially distanced cycling and walking on new routes. Sadiq Khan, the current mayor of London, has reallocated road space to pedestrians and cyclists to increase walking five-fold and cycling ten-fold.

A ten-fold increase in cycling would take the present 2.5%

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Frustrated with your travel shoe options? This list will help.

Frustrated with your travel shoe options? This list will help.
Frustrated with your travel shoe options? This list will help.

If you’re prone to overpacking — like, you regularly find yourself sitting on your suitcase to get it to close — then you know how frustrating it can be once you get to the one item you need no matter where you’re headed: Shoes. Yes, destination aside, you always need a pair of kicks to cover up your feet.

But getting your shoes to fit and stay in your bag is a huge hassle. Especially when you find yourself needing to bring more than one pair due to varying climates or special occasions. (A simple rule for packing: try to keep yourself to two pairs of shoes maximum — one to wear while you travel, and the other for your suitcase. Anything more, and you’ll find yourself struggling.)

SEE ALSO: Our top 5 eco-friendly luggage picks

If you’re in a

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Coronavirus forces STA Travel UK out of business, leaving travellers chasing refunds

Sta Travel has told customers to accept future travel vouchers: Getty Images
Sta Travel has told customers to accept future travel vouchers: Getty Images

STA Travel UK has gone out of business, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has said, in news that will leave thousands of customers chasing refunds.

It is the latest travel business to shut down after global tourism ground to a halt as a result of coronavirus. The company employed around 500 staff in 50 high street branches and its central London headquarters.

The long-established agency – whose initials are derived from its original parent company, Student Travel Australia – specialised in cheap air fares and adventure tours for young people

When restrictions started coming into effect in March, many trips were cut short – or did not begin. Long-stay trips to distant destinations, which was the mainstay of STA Travel, have since been impossible to undertake.

On Thursday, Qantas said that it would not operate intercontinental flights to

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What’s changed, what does it mean and where can you travel?

Off limits: Croatia has now been deemed a high-risk destination for British travellers: Simon Calder
Off limits: Croatia has now been deemed a high-risk destination for British travellers: Simon Calder

In the latest quarantine shuffle, “no-go” status has been lifted from Portugal after more than five months. But British travellers in Croatia, Austria and Trinidad & Tobago will need to self-isolate at home for two weeks if they arrive after 4am on Saturday 22 August.

These are the key questions and answers.

What has changed?

From 8 June until 9 July, the UK government imposed blanket quarantine for arriving travellers from any country on earth apart from Ireland. Self-isolation at home is an arduous undertaking, and the closest most of us will come to house arrest.

From 10 June, dozens of countries and territories were awarded “air corridor” status and placed on the exempt list – meaning travellers need not self-isolate on arrival.

But in response to rising rates of infection in some of those

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These Are the 26 Countries Open to American Tourists as State Dept. Amends ‘Do Not Travel’ Order

Martin Schwartz

Note: International travel restrictions and guidelines are changing regularly. The information below is accurate as of the time of publication (Wednesday, August 12). You should not travel if you are unwell.

After months of staying at home amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many Americans are craving a vacation.

And despite the continued rapid spread of the virus in the U.S. (over 5.1 million Americans have contracted it and nearly 165,000 have died), some countries around the world are slowly beginning to reopen to American tourists. 

On July 20, PEOPLE reported that 11 countries were — or would soon be — welcoming U.S. travelers. That number is now 26, as seen on the map above. 

As of August 12, the following countries are open to Americans, with varying health and safety restrictions in place: Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, Barbuda, Belize, Bermuda, Cambodia, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, French Polynesia, Jamaica, Maldives,

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Looking to travel outside the US? These places are open to Americans

It can be difficult to imagine traveling during a global pandemic that has racked up more than 17 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, worldwide and has caused many countries and states to close their borders to international travel. But as of July 30, the Transportation Security Administration reported that 718,310 people took flights, a drastic increase from the March 30 travel number of 154,695.

Where once the United States passport granted citizens the ability to travel almost anywhere, now only some countries and territories are allowing Americans across their borders. The U.S. largely falls into a “hot spot” category and is barred for its inability to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Just yesterday, the European Union extended its travel ban on Americans. According to the Henley Passport Index, which ranks the world’s most powerful passports, the U.S., which used to fall in the

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Online travel agents claim they can send holidaymakers to Spain against Foreign Office advice

People enjoy Magaluf beach in Mallorca. Britons are surprised at the abrupt announcement to impose a two-week quarantine on people travelling to the UK from Spain: Reuters
People enjoy Magaluf beach in Mallorca. Britons are surprised at the abrupt announcement to impose a two-week quarantine on people travelling to the UK from Spain: Reuters

Go on holiday against Foreign Office advice or lose some of your cash: that is the response of a leading online travel agent to the sudden government warning against travel to Spain.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, Britain’s mainstream travel industry shared a common convention: package holidaymakers should not be taken to a country against Foreign Office advice.

Standard travel insurance policies have a clause saying they do not apply if the holidaymaker goes to a country against official advice.

Once an FCO warning is issued, traditionally the only room for discussion is: should British holidaymakers be fly home immediately?

But since the unexpected warning on 25 July 2020 against travel to mainland Spain, followed two days later by the Spanish islands, with mandatory

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