Tag Archives: axed

‘Ludicrous’ travel testing rules could be axed for double-jabbed – ‘not capacity for it’

'Ludicrous' travel testing rules could be axed for double-jabbed - 'not capacity for it'

Under the current traffic light system for travel, Britons returning from amber list countries must endure 10 days of quarantine, as well as pay for and take two PCR tests on day two and day eight. These tests carry a price tag that can add hundreds on to the cost of a holiday.

However, there could be good news ahead, with the revelation Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to axe quarantine rules for double-jabbed Britons returning from amber list countries.

“We will work with the travel industry towards removing the need for fully vaccinated arrivals to isolate on return,” Mr Johnson confirmed at a press conference on Monday evening.

A further update is expected later this week, though some travel experts suggest there could even more good news.

According to Simon Calder and Paul Charles, who discussed the latest announcement on their Travel Radio show, the Government may also reconsider testing rules for those returning from amber list countries.

READ MORE: Spain quarantine rules backlash: ‘Avoid Spain at all costs’

Mr Calder said: “Anybody who is lucky enough to have been double-jabbed and waited two weeks will be regarded as having come from a green country but it’s still not clear whether you’ll still need the two PCR tests on days two and day eight.

“There’s not the capacity for it. It might reduce to one.”

The travel expert described the requirement for two tests as “a ludicrous u-turn” from the Government, which this time last year did not require holidaymakers to test at all.

“I remember this time last summer the Government started saying and carried on saying for months testing was completely pointless because it could not identify people who were not symptomatic,” he said.

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“Now they are saying testing is really useful because it can identify people who are symptomatic. It’s a ludicrous U-turn.

“That’s going to put hundreds and hundreds of pounds for a family holiday just on these tests.”

Instead, Mr Calder called for the Government to simply introduce one test for passengers to take ahead of travel to the UK.

Similarly, Paul Charles called for fewer tests for fully-vaccinated holidaymakers.

Already, a number of nations across Europe are allowing fully-vaccinated Britons to enter.

Spain, Iceland, Malta and Portugal are all allowing those who have received two doses of an approved COVID-19 jab to enter the country.

However, even if the UK does push ahead with similar plans, the travel experts believe a traffic light system will remain in place.

“We think the traffic light system will stay in place in some form,” said Mr Charles.

“I don’t think it will necessarily change hugely because they need those colour categories to guide them but it is effectively dead because you’re either jabbed or not jabbed and that will dictate how you come back from a country.”

Author: Aimee Robinson
Read more here >>> Daily Express

‘Told me not to come back’ Lorraine Kelly thankful she was axed after getting pregnant

‘Told me not to come back’ Lorraine Kelly thankful she was axed after getting pregnant

“When you think ‘oh no, things can’t get any worse than this’, sometimes you have to trawl a wee bit through some dark, but sometimes it does work in the end.”

Express.co.uk has contacted a representative for ITV for comment.

Lorraine has been married to husband Steve since 1992.

The couple share daughter, Rosie, who previously lived and worked in Singapore.

When Lorraine’s TV career took off, the pair relocated from Scotland to be nearer to her work in London.

Additional reporting by Ross Kaniuk.

Author: Kathryn Ingate
Read more here >>> Daily Express :: Celebrity News

Travel fury – Quarantine 'should be' axed for 'fully vaccinated' Brits from 'July 19'

Travel fury - Quarantine 'should be' axed for 'fully vaccinated' Brits from 'July 19'

The future of holidays remains uncertain for many with the Government expected to give its next update on the traffic light travel system on or around Thursday, June 24. Ahead of this, Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock has suggested ministers are reviewing the 10 day self-isolation period for travellers who have been fully vaccinated.

While it is not clear whether or not this will go ahead, travel experts are calling for the decision to be made sooner rather than later.

One such expert is Paul Charles, CEO of the PC Agency, who believes quarantine should be removed for double jabbed Britons as of June 19 – the next scheduled “freedom day”.

Posting to Twitter, he said: “Looks like we will see an announcement on Thursday that fully jabbed #UK citizens won’t have to quarantine when returning from Amber-listed countries, from August.

“But a test of some kind will still be needed. Progress.”

READ MORE: When is the next travel review? 12 potential green list countries

He added: “As the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) is calling for, Monday, July 19 should be the day fully vaccinated UK citizens can travel overseas without needing to quarantine on their return (from non-red zones).”

The WTTC has been calling for action from the Government for some time to help reunite people with friends and family, and ultimately recover the near-obliterated travel sector.

In an open letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the organisation called for international travel to be reopened “by allowing fully vaccinated citizens to travel freely without quarantine.”

They also say PCR testing requirements should be removed “for vaccinated travellers coming from countries on the ‘green list’ and replace by a rapid test on arrival, or no test.”

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The WTTC believe only one test on arrival should be required for those coming from countries on the amber list “instead of the current requirement of mandatory tests on day two and day eight”.

This is due to the high costs which are out of reach for many people and thus “restrict” the ability to travel.

The WTTC concludes the Government should “align on a date to relaunch international travel – announce on June 24 intention to open up

from July 19, in line with the final unlocking of social measures in England.”

Speaking on Thursday, Mr Hancock said he is “in favour of moving forward in this area” and replacing quarantine measures with daily testing.

However, he warned: “This has not been clinically advised yet – we are working on it.

The Health Secretary continued: “We’re working on plans to essentially allow the vaccine to bring back some of the freedoms that have had to be restricted to keep people safe.

“After all, that is the whole purpose of the vaccination programme, that’s why it is so important that every adult goes out and gets the jab.”

However, despite calls from industry experts, Mr Hancock did not say whether or not this new direction could aid summer holidays.

He said these kinds of changes will only be brought into force “when it’s safe to do so.”

The Prime Minister has also given a rather bleak outlook for travel in 2021.

On a visit to a laboratory in Hertfordshire, he said Britons would face a “difficult year for travel”.

Experts have also called for the green list to expand at the next review.

On Twitter, Mr Charles stated: “Higher vaccination rates, especially in Europe, are reducing 14-day infection rates to the point where it’s still obvious several destinations should be on the green list.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Holby City axed by BBC after 23 years leaving fans devastated

Hospital drama Holby City is to be dropped after 23 years as shocked fans shared their heartbreak at the decision on social media.

The BBC released a statement to say the popular medical drama will disappear from our screens for good, from next March, explaining that it was a “difficult decision” to make.

Actor Joe McFadden tweeted: “Such sad news about the end of #HolbyCity- it kept so many people in work for so long. My thoughts are with friends in the cast and crew.”

One fan of the show tweeted: “I try and defend the @BBC and then it makes bloody stupid decisions like this. Why the heck would you axe a very popular programme like #HolbyCity?! It just makes no sense whatsoever.”

Another fan said: “WWHHHHYYYYY?????? Holby city is like the highlight off the week. Absolutely gutted and upset. The BBC have made a huge mistake doing this.”

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The popular medical drama Holby City has been a feature of TV schedules for 23 years
The popular medical drama Holby City has been a feature of TV schedules for 23 years

The drama series about the staff and patients at Holby City Hospital, charting the ups and downs of their personal and professional lives, has been a permanent fixture of TV schedules for the past 23 years, reports OK!

The BBC released a statement that read: “We are incredibly proud of Holby City but it’s with great sadness that we are announcing that after 23 years, the show will end on screen in March of next year.

“We sometimes have to make difficult decisions to make room for new opportunities and as part of the BBC’s commitment to make more programmes across the UK, we have taken the difficult decision to bring the show to a close in order to reshape the BBC’s drama slate to better reflect, represent and serve all parts of the country.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the amazing team at BBC Studios and all the cast and crew who have been involved in the show since 1999.

“Holby has been a stalwart with audiences, delighting millions of viewers each week and winning hundreds of awards with a compelling mix of cutting edge medical stories and explosive personal stories.

“We look forward to working with the team over the coming months to ensure that when it ends, Holby goes out on a high,” the statement concluded.

After the shocking news, fans took to Twitter to share their heartbreak over the cancellation of the series.

And Metro has reported that fans are not ready to say goodbye to the drama and have already launched a petition to save it.

Author: [email protected] (Deborah Hall)
This post originally appeared on Hull Live – Celebs & TV

911 call center may be axed at Austin Police Department, a $16M funding decrease

Author Jacqulyn Powell
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

911 call center may be axed at Austin Police Department

AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Thursday, Austin City Council members will vote on an ordinance that would create an Emergency Communications Department to handle 911 calls, separate from the Austin Police Department.

This is the latest item up for a vote in the city’s efforts to reimagine public safety.

If approved, 222 civilian positions within APD’s current call center would be transferred out of the police department. The move would decrease funding for APD by more than $ 16 million.

Right now, any emergency call in the city goes through APD’s center, then is routed back out if firefighters, paramedics or a mental health professional is needed.

“A vast majority of our 911 calls have no violence component,” said Austin City Council member Greg Casar.

Casar and others on the council like Mayor Pro Tem Natasha Harper-Madison want to create an independent, city-run Emergency Communications Department.

“I do think taking dispatch out of the PD really helps our department zero in, get really granular with its focus on its fundamental role, and that’s to protect the people and property of Austin,” Harper-Madison said. “Just imagine them managing this call center with hundreds of operators, you know? That’s one of those bureaucratic administrative things that they don’t even need to be worried about.”

The Austin Police Association told KXAN it’s supportive of the change, as long as professional standards are met. Austin-Travis County EMS told KXAN it doesn’t expect any impact from an operational perspective.

Council members said they expect passing the ordinance could bring more efficiency.

“With the police department running 911, sometimes you might end up getting a police officer when you should have had, for example, a mental health response,” Casar explained.

As council prepares for Thursday’s vote, ensuring mental health calls get the right response is a topic the city’s Reimagining Public Safety Task Force is asking the city to take even a step further.

Reading one of the task force’s working group’s recommendations, Rodney Saenz said, “A determination of appropriateness of police intervention should be made by the community member requesting assistance in conjunction with the mental health first responder, not by the dispatcher.”

The ordinance council will vote on Thursday would also free up police from having to respond to home alarm systems. A lot of times, Harper-Madison said, those are false alarms, that could be better handled by someone else.

Star Wars: Line of Duty actor was axed by George Lucas from prequel movies

Star Wars: Line of Duty actor was axed by George Lucas from prequel movies


Dunbar told The Irish Times: “Well, I did Star Wars, but I wasn’t actually in the film because George Lucas called me up and said that for plot reasons he couldn’t include my character – which I found a bit strange.

“I only had five or six lines and the only reason I was to do this one was because Lucas wanted to include me in the next two. And then he said he couldn’t.”

He added: “It’s all a bit… I don’t know. It’s all up in the air. You go in and you stand in front of a big, blue screen and there’s three guys with pig’s heads behind you talking in some weird language and it’s just mad. Mad.”

The 62-year-old actor also revealed he was picked on by Neeson for his accent during the shoot.

This article originally appeared on Daily Express :: Entertainment Feed

Lampard hails ‘incredible time’ despite being axed by Roman Abramovich at Chelsea and admits snubbing ‘not quite right’ job offers

Lampard hails ‘incredible time’ despite being axed by Roman Abramovich at Chelsea and admits snubbing ‘not quite right’ job offers

Former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard says there are no hard feeling between him and Roman Abramovich after he was sacked by the London club in January, while admitting he has also been in heavy demand from a string of new clubs.

Chelsea legend and all-time top scorer Lampard was unceremoniously booted out by the Blues in January after a dismal run of form threatened the Londoners Champions League qualification ambitions. 

Thomas Tuchel, who was similarly deemed surplus to requirements by his former employers Paris Saint-Germain on Christmas Eve, filled Lampard’s vacancy in the Stamford Bridge dugout, where he has overseen a dramatic upturn in form, much of which he has publicly attributed to the groundwork and investment in youth undertaken by Lampard in his season-and-a-half in charge.

Lampard could perhaps be forgiven for harboring some ill-intent towards Roman Abramovich and his right-hand woman Marina Granovskaia for shunting him from the club – but the 106-times capped former England international resisted any such statements when prodded in a recent interview.
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I’m absolutely appreciative of the opportunity I had to manage Chelsea,” said Lampard at a question-and-answer session in aid of the Willow Foundation. 

It was an incredible time. Everyone knows how I felt about the club.”

Lampard’s magnanimous words match those of Russian owner Abramovich, who issued a rare statement after sacking Lampard in January to pay tribute to arguably the club’s best ever midfielder.

This was a very difficult decision for the club, not least because I have an excellent personal relationship with Frank and I have the utmost respect for him,” Abramovich said at the time.

He is a man of great integrity and has the highest of work ethics. 

He is an important icon of this great club and his status here remains undiminished. He will always be warmly welcomed back at Stamford Bridge.

With history well and truly covered, Lampard soon turned to the future, with the ex-Derby boss revealing that he has been approached by several clubs since January but that he has spurned each and every advance thus far.

Football has consumed my life, firstly as a player and then as a manager,” he said. “Nobody wants to lose their job. But when you go into this career, it can happen –no matter how good you think you are. 

I’ve had some opportunities that have come up in the last six weeks, two months, that have been flattering, but not the right thing. They were not quite right.

Lampard had been heavily linked with the Celtic job which would have opened a new chapter in his rivalry with Rangers boss and former Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard, while he has also been touted for the England under-21 position currently occupied by Aidy Boothroyd. 
Also on rt.com ‘Best thing to ever happen to the Premier League’: Football ‘super-agent’ hails Roman Abramovich’s impact on English football
Whichever offer Lampard ends up taking, he says that he is just looking forward to resuming his career on the training ground.

“It would be something I’m very keen to do in the right time and place,” he said of a potential new role. “My eyes are always on it.

I’m always watching football and trying to get better. I’ll try and find the right time and right opportunity. I’m very keen to get working again.

How much it consumes you when you’re in it is a big deal. You cannot take away your love of the game. I like to keep involved.”
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Flights: Ryanair and Jet2 issue holiday updates as routes added and flight change fee axed

Flights: Ryanair and Jet2 issue holiday updates as routes added and flight change fee axed

The airline announced it is extending its zero flight change fee for all customers who book before June 30, 2021.

“Ryanair customers can now book their well-deserved summer break safe in the knowledge that if their plans change, they can move their travel dates twice with zero change fee until the end of October 2021,” said the carrier in a statement.

Ryanair has announced a new Liverpool to Kaunas (Lithuania) route from June 4, 2021, flying twice a week as part of Ryanair’s UK Summer 2021 schedule.

To celebrate, Ryanair has launched a seat sale with fares available from just €24.99 for travel until the end of October 2021, which must be booked by midnight Sunday, March 21, on the Ryanair.com website.

Portugal to be removed from 'red list' in major holiday boost – hotel quarantine axed

Portugal to be removed from 'red list' in major holiday boost - hotel quarantine axed
Portugal holidays are now once again back on the cards. Portugal has been removed from England’s travel red list, the Department for Transport (DfT) said today. This will come into force on Friday 19 April
They will have to take a test on day two and day eight to end self-isolation early.

“Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores) and Mauritius will be removed from England’s red list,” the transport ministry said.

“The flight and maritime ban from Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores) will also be removed, following evidence that shows the risk of importing a variant of concern from these destinations has reduced.

“Portugal has put steps in place to mitigate the risk from its links with countries where variants have become a concern, and now has genomic surveillance in place.”


Anyone who arrives from Portugal, Madeira, the Azores and Mauritius before Friday will still have to carry out hotel quarantine.

“Passengers from these destinations who arrived before 4am on Friday 19 March must stay in their hotel for the remainder of their 10-day quarantine period,” said the DfT.

Today’s announcement also revealed that Ethiopia, Oman, Somalia and Qatar were being added to England’s travel red list.

“Ethiopia, Oman, Somalia and Qatar have been added to England’s red list to protect the country against new variants of coronavirus (COVID-19), at a critical time for the vaccine programme,” said the Government.

“With over 24 million vaccinations delivered in the UK so far, the move will help to reduce the risk of new variants – such as those first identified in South Africa and Brazil – entering England.

“From 4am on Friday 19 March 2021, visitors who have departed from or transited through these countries in the previous 10 days will be refused entry into England.

“Only British and Irish citizens, or those with residence rights (including long-term visa holders), will be allowed to enter and must stay in a government-approved facility for 10 days.

“During their stay, they will be required to take a coronavirus test on day two and day eight.

“A ban on commercial and private planes travelling from Oman, Ethiopia and Qatar will also come into force on Friday to reduce the risk of importing variants of concern. This excludes cargo and freight without passengers.”

If anyone is in these counties they should use commercial options to return to the UK.

“The government continues to work with the hospitality sector to ensure it is ready to meet any increased demand – with over 58,000 rooms on standby, which can be made available to book as needed,” said the DfT.

“British nationals currently in the countries on the red list should make use of the commercial options available if they wish to return to England. Commercial routes that will enable British and Irish nationals and residents to return to England continue to operate.

“British nationals in these countries should check the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice and follow local guidance.

“The FCDO will continue to offer tailored consular assistance to British nationals in the country in need of support overseas on a 24/7 basis.”