Tag Archives: abroad

How to find the cheapest PCR tests for travelling abroad

However, the testing cost might be a problem for many families that weren’t expecting that extra bill.

Every passenger is required to take at least two tests when flying abroad, although it depends on the destination.

At the moment, this applies to everyone, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not.

Covid tests are usually very pricey, but fortunately, some airlines have started offering discounted tests for their passengers.

READ MORE: Government approves Covid-19 saliva-based test

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

India denies asking state banks to withdraw cash held abroad over Cairn dispute

India denies asking state banks to withdraw cash held abroad over Cairn dispute© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Cairn India employees work at a storage facility for crude oil at Mangala oil field at Barmer in the desert Indian state of Rajasthan August 29, 2009. REUTERS/Parth Sanyal

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s government on Sunday denied asking its state-run banks to withdraw funds from their foreign currency accounts abroad on fears that Cairn Energy (OTC:) may attempt to seize the cash in a tax dispute, adding New Delhi was open to resolve the matter.

London-listed Cairn is involved in a long-drawn out tussle with the Indian government over tax claims and was awarded damages of more than $ 1.2 billion by an international tribunal late last year.

New Delhi has filed an appeal against the decision it calls “highly flawed”.

Citing government officials and a banker, Reuters and other media reported on May 6 that the finance ministry had asked state-run banks to withdraw the foreign funds on concern that courts abroad could order that assets in their jurisdiction – including bank accounts – be remitted to Cairn.

The ministry, which gave no comment at the time, called the reports “false” in a statement on Sunday, saying no such instructions had been issued.

“Government of India is vigorously defending its case in this legal dispute … Constructive discussions have been held and the Government remains open for an amicable solution to the dispute,” the statement said.

Separately this month, Cairn also sued India’s flagship carrier Air India to enforce the arbitration award, according to a U.S. District Court filing reviewed by Reuters.

The international tribunal had ruled unanimously that India had breached its obligations to Cairn under the UK-India Bilateral Investment Treaty and awarded Cairn damages of $ 1.2 billion plus interest and costs.

Indian authorities in 2014 had demanded 102 billion rupees ($ 1.4 billion) from Cairn for taxes it said were owed on capital gains related to the 2007 listing of the company’s local unit.

“The Government has raised several arguments that warrant setting aside of the award,” the finance ministry’s statement on Sunday said.

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Author: Reuters
This post originally appeared on Stock Market News

'Add colour to your garden': Best plants & garden tips to make you feel like you're abroad

The Growers is an online plant retailer that has just launched a new collection of plants. Hoping to help Britons recreate a much-deserved holiday abroad in the comfort of their back gardens, the company has introduced a new range of “summer destination” plants.
Customers can choose to be transported to stunning European hotspots including Santorini, Barcelona, Provence, and more – depending which plant box you buy.

Each destination has its own colour theme, enabling you to make your garden look more interesting and unique.

Orange Begonias and leafy Coleus will take you to the white sandy beaches of Madeira, while Dahlias and Geraniums will remind you of the warmth and humidity of the buzzing streets of southern Spanish cities.

Geraniums and Petunias, among other flowers and plants, are often seen growing in Mediterranean countries, but they also grow well in Britain due to their modified leaves.

Andrew Fuller, Head Growing Guru and gardening expert at The Growers, told Express.co.uk more about the colourful plants and how to best keep them alive and well in your garden.

He said: “All of the plants found in our Growing Somewhere Nice destination collections give an amazing pop of colour to your garden.

“Geraniums, Dahlias, Osteospermums and Petunias in particular are available in a range of colours, from pink and yellow to purple and orange, which will give an amazing vibrant splash of colour to your outdoor space,” Andrew added.

“Dahlias have masses of petal-loaded blooms which will help to brighten up your outdoor space, and their compact yet bushy nature will fill your container without crowding out other plants.

“Osteospermums also open to reveal an array of soft tones, with each flower differing slightly in pigment to produce a truly stunning display in your garden borders, containers, and beds.”

Andrew shared his favourite plants in the Growing Somewhere Nice collection, which are the Dahlia Labella Medio Fun Golden Eye, the Fuchsia Jollies Miravel, the Geranium Savannah TexMex Hot Pink, and the Osteospermum Flower Power Pink.

The gardening expert explained that plants need plenty of water to help their growth, saying: “In general, we suggest watering your plants every day.

“However, you should check daily to see how the plant is doing, whether it has too much water or is too dry, and then determine whether or not to water each plant individually.”

He said: “Usually this means your plant is drying out, so if your plant is underwatered, then it definitely needs a good drink of water. You should ensure that water reaches the roots.

“Underwatering can be a cause of brown leaves in outdoor plants, but could equally be caused by scorch from the sun. In this case, if the plant is in a pot, look to move it to a more shaded area of the garden.

“Some plants are more tolerant to direct sunlight than others. If your plant is indoors and you find it frequently dries out, I’d suggest moving the plant to a different space or room, as it could be getting too much sunlight or need more room to grow.”

When it comes to looking after houseplants, as well as watering, Andrew said that “temperature, humidity and ventilation” should also be considered.

He said: “Make sure your houseplants are getting sufficient light, and choose a pot that is an appropriate size for your plant.

“Some summer plants can also be brought indoors for the colder months.

“Plants such as Begonias, Coleus and Geraniums can be kept indoors, in a conservatory for example, over the colder winter months and then all being well, can be planted back outside once the spring frosts have passed the following year,” Andrew added.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed
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Boris Johnson urged 'spirit of caution' apply to travel abroad amid Indian variant

There were fears Boris might outline an extension of travel ban rules after the Welsh Labour leader urged the citizens of Wales not to travel overseas.

Mark Drakeford, Leader of Welsh Labour and Member of the Senedd for Cardiff West appeared at the podium today.

He advised Britons to holiday at home and “enjoy everything Wales has to offer.”

“Now, I believe, as I’ve said many times,” the leader said, “that if ever there was a year to holiday at home and to enjoy everything that the wonders Wales has to offer then this surely is the year to do that.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Russia’s Novatek ramps up natural gas production & shipments abroad in 2021

Russian energy major Novatek said on Monday that gas production in the January-March period this year was up by 5.6%, amounting to 20.15 billion cubic meters (bcm). The company also reported increased exports.

“In the first quarter, hydrocarbon production amounted to 158.1 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe), including… 3,129 thousand tons of liquids (gas condensate and oil), resulting in an increase in total hydrocarbons produced by 7.9 million boe, or by 5.3% as compared with the first quarter 2020,” the company said.

According to the preliminary operating data, the total volume of natural gas sales, including LNG, amounted to 21.43 bcm, which is 3.6% higher compared with the same period last year.
Also on rt.com Russia’s Arctic sea route draws growing global investor interest, Foreign Ministry says
“The decrease attributable to volumes sold on international markets was mainly due to the decrease of Yamal LNG shareholders’ share, including NOVATEK’s share, of LNG volumes sold on the spot market, and a corresponding increase in Yamal LNG direct sales under long-term contracts,” it said.

Data shows that Russia sold 19.56 bcm of natural gas, 7.2% more than in the first quarter of 2020. The volume of LNG sales to international markets amounted to 1.87 bcm.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section


UK holidays more expensive than holidays abroad: Kate Garraway hits out at UK getaways

Lisa Hodgkins, the owner of a bar in Marbella, southern Spain, told Good Morning Britain.

She urged the Government to allow tourists to travel to Spain to boost travel hotspots there.

She said: “Marbella is extremely safe.

“Obviously, we have restrictions in place, the same as the UK but Spain, particularly Marbella, we need the Brits. We don’t survive without the Brits.

Holidays abroad cancelled: How to get a refund if your holiday has now been made illegal?

From next week, foreign holidays will be illegal under drafted legislation which runs until June 30. People who try to travel abroad without a reasonable excuse could face a hefty £5,000 fine if the law is passed. MPs will vote on the new regulations in a Commons vote on Thursday.

When will holidays abroad resume?

People are already not allowed to travel for non-essential reasons under the current lockdown rules.

However, per the Prime Minister’s roadmap, the ‘Stay at Home’ measures are expected to ease on March 29.

So the new ban on foreign travel and associated fine is being implemented to prevent people from travelling abroad as lockdown measures begin to lift.

READ MORE: Package holidays: TUI, BA, easyJet, Jet2 & Virgin updates[1]

While the legislation will run until the end of June, in theory the date foreign travel can resume could be moved forward.

Sources told the Times newspaper that the legal ban on holidays until June 30 was for “legislative convenience”.

The Government’s review on when to restart travel is due on April 12, 2021.

The roadmap states May 17 could be the date foreign travel could restart, however the PM has stressed any easing of lockdown measures will be based on “data, not dates”.

How do you get a refund if your holiday cannot go ahead?

If a holiday is cancelled, MoneySavingExpert outlines the customer should receive a refund.

MoneySavingExpert explains: “As a general rule, if you’ve paid for a trip and then the travel firm cancels, you should be due a refund.

“Yet that hasn’t always proved easy with cancellations due to the pandemic.”

Several holiday companies are offering customers refunds and the option to rebook for holidays cancelled over the coming weeks.

Holiday operator TUI has confirmed it will not be operating any holidays or flights from the UK on or before May 16, 2021, and customers will have the option to rebook or get a refund.

The TUI website explains: “We’re working as quickly as possible to contact all impacted customers and are continuing to work through bookings in departure date order.

“You should have received an official cancellation email from us by March 5, explaining the different options available to you.

“These include changing your booking to a new holiday with a rebooking incentive, receiving a refund credit note with an additional rebooking incentive, or the ability to simply cancel your booking and receive a full cash refund within 14 days.”

Will summer holidays abroad go ahead? The key date to wait for before booking

Professor Hayward told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I suspect what we may end up with is some sort of traffic light system with some countries that are no-go areas, for example, likely to be South Africa and South America; other areas where there will be more severe restrictions, there will be some combination of vaccine certificates, testing and maybe quarantine, and maybe there will be some low-risk countries that you can go.”

Currently, a government task force is examining how international travel could work and is due to report to Mr Johnson on April 12.

This could include things like vaccine passports, Covid testing before and after travel and even quarantining on return.

A traffic light system would also give Britons the chance to see how a certain country is doing in terms of coronavirus cases, vaccinations and infectivity before booking a trip.

The task force assessing international travel is made up of civil servants and industry executives, and their report will outline how and when overseas travel can resume.

Spectators from abroad barred from Tokyo Summer Olympics

Olympic officials said the risk was too great to admit spectators from overseas during a pandemic, an idea strongly opposed by the Japanese public.

TOKYO, Japan — Spectators from abroad will be barred from the Tokyo Olympics when they open in four months, the IOC and local organizers said Saturday.

The decision was announced after an online meeting of the International Olympic Committee, the Japanese government, the Tokyo government, the International Paralympic Committee, and local organizers.
The move was expected and rumored for several months. Officials said the risk was too great to admit ticket holders from overseas during a pandemic, an idea strongly opposed by the Japanese public. Japan has attributed about 8,800 deaths to COVID-19 and has controlled the virus better than most countries.
“In order to give clarity to ticket holders living overseas and to enable them to adjust their travel plans at this stage, the parties on the Japanese side have come to the conclusion that they will not be able to enter into Japan at the time of the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” the Tokyo organizing committee said in a statement.
About 1 million tickets are reported to have been sold to fans from outside Japan. Organizers have promised refunds, but this will be determined by so-called Authorized Ticket Resellers that handle sales outside Japan. These dealers charge fees of up to 20% above the ticket price. It is not clear if the fees will be refunded.
“We could wait until the very last moment to decide, except for the spectators,” said Seiko Hashimoto, the president of the organizing committee. “They have to secure accommodations and flights. So we have to decide early otherwise we will cause a lot of inconvenience from them. I know this is a very tough issue.”
IOC President Thomas Bach called it a “difficult decision.”
“We have to take decisions that may need sacrifice from everybody,” he said.
The financial burden of lost ticket sales falls on Japan. The local organizing committee budget called from $ 800 million income from ticket sales, the third largest income source in the privately finance budget. Any shortfall in the budget will have to be made up by Japanese government entities.
Overall, Japan is officially spending $ 15.4 billion to organize the Olympics. Several government audits say the actual cost may be twice that much. All but $ 6.7 billion is public money.
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About 4.45 million tickets were sold to Japan residents. Organizers are expected next month to announce the capacity at venues, which will be filled by local residents.
The ban on fans from abroad comes just days before the Olympic torch relay starts Thursday from Fukushima prefecture in northeastern Japan. It will last for 121 days, crisscross Japan with 10,000 runners, and is to end on July 23 at the opening ceremony at the National Stadium in Tokyo.
The relay will be a test for the Olympics and Paralympics, which will involve 15,400 athletes entering Japan. They will be tested before leaving home, tested upon arrival in Japan, and tested frequently while they reside in a secure “bubble” in the Athletes Village alongside Tokyo Bay.
Athletes will not be required to be vaccinated to enter Japan, but many will be.
In the midst of Saturday’s meeting, Bach and others were given a reminder about earthquake-prone northeastern Japan — and Japan in general.
A strong earthquake shook Tokyo and triggered a tsunami warning as Bach and others made introductory remarks before the virtual meeting. The strength was put a 7.0 by the U.S. Geological Survey and the location was in northeastern Japan, an area hit by a huge earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
“I think the screen is shaking. Have you noticed the screen is shaking,” Tamayo Marukawa, Japan’s Olympic minister, said as she made her presentation from Tokyo talking remotely to Bach visible on a screen in Switzerland. “We’re actually in the midst of an earthquake right now.”

Tokyo Olympics ready to announce ban on fans from abroad

About 4.5 million tickets have been sold to Japan residents. Perhaps another 1 million have been sold abroad.

TOKYO, Japan — Tokyo organizers and the International Olympic Committee are poised to finally make it official that most fans from abroad will be prohibited from attending the postponed Olympics when they open in four months.

The announcement is expected to come after “five-party” talks on Saturday with the IOC, local organizers, the Japanese government, the Tokyo metropolitan government and the International Paralympic Committee.
“People are waiting eagerly for an early decision so they can move to the next step,” Seiko Hashimoto, the president of the organizing committee, said Friday in a news briefing. “We need to be able to make the decision soon.”
Despite some calls to delay it, Hashimoto has promised a decision before the torch relay opens on Thursday from the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima.
Hashimoto said all five parties will have to agree on the decision. But she said two have more influence than others: the IOC and the Japanese national government.
“All decisions will be made by the IOC in the end,” Hashimoto said. “When it comes to immigration, this is a matter for the national government at the border.”
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About 4.5 million tickets have been sold to Japan residents. Perhaps another 1 million have been sold abroad. Before the postponement a year ago, organizers said a total of 7.8 million tickets would be be available for the Tokyo Games.
Toshiro Muto, the CEO of the Tokyo organizing committee, has said ticket holders from abroad would receive refunds. However, those decisions will be made on the ground by Authorized Ticket Resellers that are appointed by national Olympic committees and handle sales outside of the host nation.
The local organizing committee budget is sure to take a hit. Its budget projected income of $ 800 million from ticket sales, the third-largest source of revenue. Any shortfall will have to be made up by Japanese government entities.
John Coates, the IOC member who oversees preparations for Tokyo, said earlier this month there would probably be exemptions for some fans from abroad.
“We are looking at the other implications of accommodation, looking at implications for national Olympic committees who have sponsors who might have bought tickets. The same with international federations,” Coates said.
There is widespread skepticism in Japan about holding the Olympics, and particularly about admitting fans from abroad. Japan has attributed about 8,700 deaths to COVID-19 and has handled the virus better than most countries.
The torch relay will present a stern test with 10,000 runners crisscrossing Japan to reach the opening ceremony on July 23. Organizers are asking crowds to stay away, discouraging cheering, and are reserving the right to stop or reroute the relay.
The Olympics and Paralympics will involve 15,400 athletes from more than 200 nations, most operating inside a ‘bubble” linking venues, training facilities, and the Olympic Village on Tokyo Bay.
Many may arrive with vaccinations, but the IOC is not requiring this as condition of competing.
Ten of thousands of others will also arrive and be operating outside the bubble: officials, judges, sponsors, media, VIPs and broadcasters.