Blog

Labor MP claims Grant Shapps said travel test rules are "pointless"

Ben Bradshaw said Mr Shapps made the comment last night when he was taking a vote in the House of Commons. (Author: Gardener)

Grant ShappsA Labor MP said today that Grant Shapps had called the government's international travel testing rules "pointless". The claim came after the government announced yesterday it would remove all remaining countries from the red list but maintain stricter Covid testing rules for returning travelers. The government reintroduced the Red List last month, imposing stricter limit testing requirements in response to the advent of the Omicron variant. Ministers removed the remaining 11 countries from the banned list at 4 a.m. this morning and suspended the hotel quarantine system for a second time after admitting that Omicron is now rampant across the UK. The decision to abandon the Red List was welcomed by the aviation industry, but there is anger over compliance with the test rules. Mr. Bradshaw warned this morning that the test requirements were "devastating the Christmas travel industry" when he met Dr. Jenny Harries, the executive director of the UK Health Safety Authority, grilled during her appearance in front of the Transport Select Committee. Dr. Harries defended the decision to stick with the testing rules when she said "where we know cases are coming into the country, it seems prudent to try to stop them from being forwarded where we can". Health Minister Sajid Javid announced the changes to the Red List yesterday afternoon. He said the spread of the variant domestically meant the list was now "less effective in slowing Omicron's penetration from abroad." However, he said the government would "maintain our temporary testing measures for international travel." Dr. Harries informed the committee that the Red List has been emptied because the global spread of Omicron makes it no longer appropriate to focus the rules on specific countries. Mr. Bradshaw said, “In this case, why is the testing regime not what it was before Omicron? "Because the testing regime has changed significantly in response to Omicron, and yet it has stayed the same and will remain the same through January according to the government, which this committee knows is devastating." the Christmas travel industry. ”Dr. Harries replied, “So Omicron has not gone away, it has become more widespread. From Omicron we now know there are cases around the world, so focusing on these countries is a relatively inadequate mechanism. "But trying to keep infections, including Omicron, from getting in, still remains an important issue, especially when we can see that a very large wave of Omicron is coming through and our health services may be in serious danger." He asked what the public health benefits were? Keeping the rules "now that Omicron is spreading so quickly here". She added, "Where we know cases are coming into the country, it seems prudent to try to prevent them from being passed on where we can." Mr Bradshaw then alleged that Mr Shapps had described the testing rules as "pointless". He said to Dr. Harries: “So the decision to keep these test rules over Christmas into the New Year would have been taken on your joint advice or would the ministers have made this decision? “Because the Minister of Health told me in the house yesterday that he thought it was pointless and the Minister of Transport told me last night in the lobby of the division that he also thought it was pointless. "But we will continue to provide public health advice upon request, and this includes national, international and borderline testing," she said.

Read

All countries on the red list will be deleted and travelers will be allowed to leave the hotel quarantine early

The 11 countries currently on the red list are: Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. (Author: Gardener)

AngolaAll 11 countries on the UK's red travel list will be removed as the system has become "less effective at slowing penetration" of the Omicron variant, the Health Secretary announced. Sajid Javid told the House of Commons that the nations will be removed from 4 a.m. on Wednesday, eliminating the need for comers to be isolated for two weeks in a government-approved quarantine hotel priced at £ 2,285. It was later confirmed that those currently in hotel quarantine will be allowed to leave early as long as they don't test positive for COVID. Cabinet Secretary Stephen Barclay, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, told the House of Commons: "The government's decision is that we should allow the early release of those who were in managed quarantine prior to these Red List changes." the relevant rules as if they had entered from a non-Red List country. “Anyone who tests positive must remain in quarantine. Shortly after the announcement that all countries would be removed from the red travel list, shares of British Airways' owner International Airlines Group rose 1.7%, while TUI's shares rose 2.6%. Tim Alderslade, CEO of Airlines UK, which represents UK registered airlines such as BA, said removing those countries from the red list made "perfect sense" but said it was "not going far enough". is not necessary as Omicron is based here, and the costly emergency testing and isolation measures are not imposed on even fully vaccinated travelers, ”he added. He asked Mr. Javid to stop the tests, saying this was "mine or two". For British aviation, "he warned, if the restrictions are not reduced in the New Year, the government will have to intervene" with further economic support "for the aviation industry. ABTA, which represents the travel industry, called the red list rem ovalen" a sensible one Step ", however, also urged the government to lift the temporary testing requirements and come up with a plan for the sector for future variants, including transitional Red List arrangements so that if that country is listed, people abroad can do quarantine at home in the UK. All passengers, whether fully vaccinated or not, are required to do a PCR test on day two upon arrival in the UK and self-isolate until they test negative. The Omicron variant first appeared In early November in South Africa and quickly spread to neighboring countries, then to N ations around the world. The Red List was designed to stop variants from entering the UK, but models from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) show that Omicron is currently infecting 200,000 people in the UK every day. Mr Javid said Monday that the variant now accounts for more than 20% of cases in England.

Read

Great Britain removes all 11 countries from the red list

Health Minister Sajid Javid said it had become so widespread that the rules no longer made much sense (Author: Gardener)

Great BritainThe government has announced that all 11 countries will be removed from the UK's red travel list starting at 4 a.m. on Wednesday. The list includes Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. As a precaution, the red list was reintroduced at the end of November after the appearance of the Omicron variant. But Health Minister Sajid Javid said it had become so widespread that the rules no longer made much sense. But Health Minister Sajid Javid said it had become so widespread that the rules no longer made much sense. "Now that there is a community broadcast of Omicron in the UK and Omicron has spread so widely around the world, the Travel Red List is now less effective in slowing Omicron's infiltration from overseas," he said the parliament. "Although we are maintaining our temporary test measures for international travel, we will remove all 11 countries from the red travel list starting tomorrow morning at 4:00 am." All UK arrivals from Red List countries must pay and self-isolate at a pre-booked government approved hotel for 10 days. However, with all 11 countries removed from this list, it has been confirmed that those currently in managed quarantine are allowed to leave early and "follow the rules as if they came from a country without a red list". Some travelers had paid thousands of pounds to stay in government-approved quarantine hotels, with complaints of chaotic organization and inedible food during their stays. Anyone who tests positive will remain in isolation, Duchy of Lancaster Chancellor Stephen Barclay told the House of Commons. Adding countries to the Red List was about acting quickly to slow the spread of Omicron. Now it has spread through the community, the government doesn't think it makes sense to put people from a limited list of countries in hotels. It will be welcome news for people planning to come to the UK from countries like South Africa and Nigeria, or who have delayed their return from these countries. Some people who have already paid for hotel stays want the state to pay for them. The travel industry wants all restrictions to be lifted. Companies see test measures as a damper on their recovery. This will make travel companies, who usually benefit from a rush for vacation bookings in late December and early January, nervous. The move follows the anger of African countries, with the UN calling the entry ban for non-UK citizens "travel apartheid". South African Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said the UK announcement "came just in time to allow families and friends to reunite over the festive season". The travel industry had also warned that the restrictions were harming business. Tim Alderslade, head of retail group Airlines UK, said emptying the red list "makes perfect sense," but the government should also lift remaining travel restrictions. "If the Red List is not necessary because Omicron is based here, then neither are the costly emergency tests and isolation measures that are imposed on even fully vaccinated travelers, which again puts us in complete conflict with the rest of Europe." he said. Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps said these test measures would be reviewed in the first week of January. "As always, we are reviewing all of our travel arrangements and may impose new restrictions if this is necessary to protect public health," he said on Twitter. Alison Stitt says her experience at a quarantine hotel brought her to the point of collapse. She was in South Africa to visit her father on his 90th birthday when the country was added to the UK's Red List. It took days to re-arrange a return flight the same day a quarantine hotel room was available. Alison says the total cost of her extended stay in South Africa and the payment for her quarantine facility was at least £ 5,500. She describes the quarantine experience as a farce. The hotel had to be evacuated last week due to a fire alarm. "We know someone at the hotel tested positive. They came to test us again and said we were exposed to someone with Covid during the fire alarm."

Read

All travelers in hotel quarantine are allowed to leave early after the red list has been scrapped

Freedom for the isolated after ministers removed 11 countries from the list due to the rapid spread of Omicron across the UK (Author: Gardener)

OmicronMinisters on Tuesday gave in to demands to free travelers from quarantine hotels after being removed from the red list. Health minister Sajid Javid announced that all 11 countries on the Red List, including South Africa and Zimbabwe, will be removed from 4 a.m. on Wednesday, eliminating the need for incoming travelers to stay in hotels at a cost of up to to self-isolate at £ 2,285 per person. "It is absolutely up to the government to have given up policies to release these people," said Fox. Within hours, Cabinet Office minister Stephen Barclay said those currently in quarantine hotels are allowed to leave the hotel before completing their 10 days of self-isolation, provided they tested negative for Covid. “The government's decision is that we should allow the early release of people who were in managed quarantine prior to these Red List changes and require them to follow the relevant rules as if they were from a country without a red List, ”he said. “Anyone who tests positive must remain in managed quarantine. When he announced the removal of the red list, Mr Sajid said the quarantine had become less effective as the Omicron variant had already spread rapidly in the UK. However, all other testing measures - including pre-arrival and PCR testing on arrival - would remain in place for all UK travelers until a review in the first week of January. This means that all fully vaccinated passengers entering the UK must present a negative test before departure and have a PCR smear on or before the second day. You need to self-isolate at home until they test negative. All unvaccinated travelers are required to continue to have a pre-departure test and then self-isolate at home for 10 days and perform PCR testing on Day 2 and Day 8. Although the eleven African countries have been taken out of hotel quarantine, ministers will not abandon the concept of a red list, fearing that it may be required for future variants. The travel industry has campaigned for an end to testing and self-isolation, with particular concern that pre-departure testing kills overseas travel. The Treasury Department, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Culture, Media and Science (DCMS) and the Department of International Trade are looking to relax the tests, with the Department of Health and the Cabinet Office opposed to lifting restrictions. Tim Alderslade, CEO of Airlines UK, said: “Removing these countries from the red list makes perfect sense, but it does not go nearly far enough. “If the Red List is not necessary, as omicron is established here at home, then neither the costly emergency tests and isolation measures that are imposed on even fully vaccinated travelers, which again brings us completely into conflict with the rest of Europe. “Tests discourage you from traveling, not the relatively limited Red List. The government has admitted that the measures in place are catastrophic for the travel sector and science says they are not needed now. “The Minister of Health says he wants to act quickly to lift unnecessary restrictions and we ask him to do so as soon as possible by abolishing the tests, otherwise the important Christmas and New Year booking times will be fatally undermined. "This is vital for UK aviation and if the government is unable to break free of these restrictions over the New Year it will have to step in with further economic support for a sector that has been re-emphasized."

Read

Carol Vorderman shares pictures of a luxurious home as she "moves on"

The countdown star lived in a properly named sloblock hall and shared the reason for the name while giving fans a peek inside (Author: Gardener)

Carol VordermanCarol Vorderman has said that she is "moving on" from her luxurious home for new adventures. Her posh Bristol mansion went on sale earlier this year for a staggering £ 2.6 million and is now sold as Carol wished the new family of the house "good luck and health and laughter". She revealed that she named the building "Sloblock Hall" in homage to a cheeky moment from a sketch based on Channel 4's countdown, and it's an anagram of a dirty word. READ MORE: Carol Vorderman Shares Pictures With "New Love" In Her Life The word then became a joke between Carol and the late former countdown host Richard Whiteley. Carol explained, “SLOBLOCK became our countdown gun word. I named my house SLOBLOCK HALL. The 60-year-old shared a selection of pictures from her "happy place" home, including selfies, indoor and outdoor shots, and even some aerial views. The five bedroom property was bought by Carol for £ 1.1million in 2007 and then extensively renovated. Carol shared her love for the place as she posted on Instagram. She said, “Goodbye, my happy place ... ... so many bad parties ... so many brilliant memories. “And now I'm moving on to more new adventures. I wish all the best, health and laughter to the new family who are now calling you home. The fans raved about the property and wished the presenter all the best for what was to come next in her life. Casper said, "Good luck and I am sure you will save these amazing memories of this place and I am sure wherever you go next you will make new fond memories." Chris said, "What a fabulous home . It must be sad to go after so many memories. "Carol recently invested in a van that she plans to convert into a motorhome just in time for new adventures next spring.

Read

Carol Vorderman gives a tour of a luxurious home while she "moves on"

The former countdown star called the property "Sloblock Hall" - an anagram for a swear word (Author: Gardener)

Carol VordermanCarol Vorderman gave fans a tour of her luxurious home, Sloblock Hall, after announcing it was time to embark on new adventures. The former Prestatyn countdown star has sold her Bristol mansion, which was on the market for a staggering £ 2.6 million. The 60-year-old, who also has a second home in Pembrokeshire, wished the new owners "all the best, health and laughter". READ MORE: Carol Vorderman supports the under-threatened farm milkshake company that "makes people happy". The word then turned into a joke between Carol and the late former countdown host Richard Whiteley, as reported by the Liverpool Echo. Carol explained: “SLOBLOCK became our countdown buzzword. I named my house SLOBLOCK HALL. "Taking my theory about ego and showbiz and life too seriously, it's HALL B ******* S." Carol shared a selection of pictures on her Instagram of her home "Happy Place", including selfies, indoor and outdoor shots and even some from the air. The five bedroom property was bought by Carol for £ 1.1million in 2007 and then extensively renovated. Carol shared her love for the place with me as she posted on Instagram. She said, "Goodbye, my happy place ..... So many bad parties ..." And now I'm moving on to more new adventures. I wish all the best, health and laughter to the new family that calls you home. The fans raved about the property and wished the presenter all the best for what was to come next in her life. Casper said, "Good luck and I am sure you will enjoy these amazing memories of this place and I am sure wherever you go next you will make new fond memories." Chris said, "What a fabulous home . It must be sad to go after so many memories. "Carol recently invested in a van that she plans to convert into a motorhome just in time for new adventures next spring.

Read

Carol Vorderman shares snaps at a luxury home as she emotionally says goodbye

Carol Vorderman announced in an Instagram post that she had sold her luxury Bristol mansion while preparing for "new adventures". (Author: Gardener)

Carol VordermanCarol Vorderman announced in an Instagram post that she had sold her luxury Bristol mansion while preparing for "new adventures". Carol Vorderman gets emotional when she talks about her brother "going on new adventures". The 60-year-old Countdown star said in an Instagram post that she wished the family who nabbed the mansion, which she launched for £ 2.6 million earlier this year, "all good luck and health and laughter." ". She revealed in the post when she shared a series of pictures of the beautiful house she named "Sloblock Hall" in relation to an episode of A Bit of Fry & Laurie in which Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie mocked Countdown. "So many bad parties ..... so many brilliant memories. Carol Vorderman announced that her block in Bristol has now been sold. And now I'm moving on to more new adventures. I wish the new family you see every day now." home calls happiness and health and laughter. " The star shared selfies, indoor and outdoor shots, and an aerial view of the five-bedroom property she originally spent £ 1.1m on in 2007 before giving it a major overhaul. Carol wishes "all good luck and health and laughter" to the family who bought the house. Carol and the late former countdown host Richard Whiteley joked a lot about the SLOBOCK reference on the show. Carol paid £ 1.1million for the beautiful house in 2007, which Carol explained in another post where she shared Fry and Laurie's parody clip. : “SLOBLOCK became our countdown gun word. I named my house SLOBLOCK HALL. One wrote,“ Wow, what a beautiful house. ”Another said,“ Good luck and I'm sure you will have these amazing memories of this place save, and I'm sure wherever you go next you will make new fond memories. "A third wrote," What a fabulous home. It must be sad to go after so many memories. ”Carol recently announced that she has bought a van that she is planning to turn into a motorhome for the vacation.

Read

In Carol Vorderman's huge Bristol house with an outdoor pool and chic kitchen

COUNTDOWN star Carol Vorderman showed off her Bristol home, complete with an outdoor pool, chic kitchen and huge living room. The TV host shared a series of snapshots from her palatial apartment ... (Author: Gardener)

BristolCOUNTDOWN star Carol Vorderman showed off her Bristol home, complete with an outdoor pool, chic kitchen and huge living room. The TV host shared a series of snaps of her palatial home when she revealed she was selling the house - called Sloblock Hall - in an emotional post. Carol, 60, told her Instagram followers how to say goodbye to her beloved home for the last time after the launch. The former TV host said she was "a lucky woman" for having "had a lot of fun" at the stunning property for so many years. I wish all the best, health and laughter to the new family that calls you home now. "Carol went on to reveal that she would soon be clearing the property she" somehow built "for her family over a decade ago inside the At home, fans got a glimpse of the sprawling kitchen, complete with black wood cabinets and marble countertops, and a snapshot of the kitchen revealed a curved kitchen island perfect for entertaining guests, as well as a skylight that lets in natural brightness. The mother of two also showed the stunning living room with a curved wall that is covered from floor to floor. Ceiling windows overlooking the vast garden. Meanwhile, aerial photographs showed the bulk of the outside space, including a perfectly mowed lawn and a huge swimming pool. Another snapshot showed that Countdown star posing by the blue water in front of a stunning pool ha us, which is used to entertain the guests. Carol went on to say that she herself named the property Sloblock Hall thanks to a countdown parody that provided inspiration. She shared a video of the clip showing herself Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie starring in a round of pun as she spells "BOLLOCSK" on the blackboard. Despite the obvious hint of colorful language when the 30-second timer ran, none of the players in the joke clip saw the eight-letter answer guessing. "Today I sold and said goodbye to a house that I built 15 years ago," she wrote. "The house of a thousand parties. I called it SLOBLOCK HALL." Check out this clip of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie and the first parody by Richard Whitely and me. SLOBLOCK then became our countdown gun word. "So I named my home after that - life and ego and showbiz and taking yourself too seriously ... SLOBLOCK HALL, which means everything sucks." Carol ended her post with a sign that had been hammered on a tree in front of her house after making it "past the council" to make the name official. “I never thought I'd get the name through the council naming committee, but I did because I didn't tell them what it meant,” she revealed.

Read

Carol Vorderman is selling her staggering £ 2.6 million mansion to live in a van

The former countdown host has said goodbye to a mansion and greeted a delivery truck (Author: Gardener)

Carol VordermanCarol Vorderman Sells Her Stunning £ 2.6M Villa To Live In A Van Former Countdown Host said goodbye to a mansion and welcomed a van. An error has occurred. Please try again later. The former countdown genius and presenter of Pride of Britain says she has now sold Sloblock Hall on Cadbury Camp Lane near Weston-in-Gordano, North Somerset, and wants her new love, a 'front van' 'Renovation project, create some new memories. Read more: Stephen Merchant in crime drama Grindr killer Stephen Port didn't want anyone to see Carol bring the house she bought for £ 1.1million in 2007 to the market for £ 2.6million earlier this year , and usually posts pictures from what is believed to be an apartment in Clifton. But she said goodbye to the mansion by showing fans the curved, spacious, airy property with floor-to-ceiling windows that she lets go of. "Today I sold and passed a house that I built 15 years ago ... the house of a thousand parties," she wrote. In her latest post, 60-year-old Wishes describes the contemporary five-bedroom property as her "happy place," posing in a luxury kitchen and outdoor pool. "Goodbye, my happy place ..... So many bad parties ..... so many brilliant memories. I'm a happy woman," she posted on Instagram. "And now I'm moving on to more new adventures. Made me laugh every time I walked through the gates." The property was in the market with Knight Frank who said, “The living room has a glass ceiling and a hanging open log fire with a fully collapsible glass wall that opens onto a circular terrace with a large pond and waterfall. Fans wish their luck on the next stage of their life, which looks like they could spend in a van that they want to turn into a motorhome. Carol has posted several pictures of her with her "new love" in Mid Wales, which she will be heading to Bristol to be rebuilt in the New Year when some work is done. She titled a picture of her posing in front of the van: "It's a love thing" and on another she explains that she has invested in a foursome so that she can go off-road with her "little one." Lady "she bought in Aberystwyth. Carol tells her fans that in the New Year she will be driving her to @vanlifebuilds in Bristol, "where she will be converted into my new home." She added, "God! I'm excited about this. It is planned that she will be ready for real adventure by the end of March. Bliss." The company prides itself on transforming regular box vans to premium quality, a one-of-a-kind home on wheels. "We're celebrating the freedom and opportunity it creates for businesses, individuals, couples, or families!" The fans wished her all the best, but after watching it in the photos, there was a lot of thought as they said, "What a beautiful home, I'd have a hard time letting go."

Read

Will Adam Woodyatt Return to EastEnders After I'm a Celebrity in 2021?

Will Ian Beale be back on the pitch after I'm A Celeb finishes? (Author: Gardener)

Will Adam Woodyatt ReturnAdam Woodyatt, 53, took part in this year's I'm A Celebrity series (Image: ITV / BBC / Rex) EastEnders actor Adam Woodyatt showed the nation in I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! The star, who portrayed Ian Beale on the longtime soap, arrived at Gwrych Castle last month when it was officially confirmed that he and fellow actor Simon Gregson would join the camp. Adam stated that he would like people to see a different side to him than his character, Ian. “I don't have a contract with the BBC, so I can come and do [I'm A Celeb]. Everyone thinks I am Ian Beale and it will be great to show that I am not, ”he said as he outlined his reasons for joining the cast. Adam and Olympic diver Matty Lee became the sixth and seventh celebrities eliminated from the ITV series. The Ian Beale legend told Ant McParlin that he "spent 36 years writing a script," which is why I'm A Celeb was such a massive contrast to his usual job. But with I'm A Celeb now over, fans are no doubt wondering if Adam will be returning to EastEnders. Ian Beale was last seen on EastEnders in January (Image: BBC). It is currently unknown whether or not we will see Adam on our screens again as Ian Beale at EastEnders, despite having said several times that he doesn't? know if or when he will return. "I just had one more chance," he told Frankie Bridge during "I'm A Celeb" when she asked him why he decided to leave the soap. Kadeena Cox asked, "Would you ever get into the movie?" And Adam then replied, "I'll be available from April." Originally, Adam had been assumed to be only 10 weeks away from Walford, but he later announced that he would would come back next year at the earliest. The actor will star in the stage production of Looking Good Dead and reunite with EastEnders star Laurie Brett. The 53-year-old left EastEnders earlier in the year when Ian's best pal Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) planned to kill him with the help of Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden). Ian had married his best friend Sharon believing that she had fallen in love with him, but she was secretly planning his downfall for the role he played in the death of her son. However, despite her resentment towards Ian, she couldn't cope with it. EastEnders airs Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays on BBC One. If you have a soap or TV story, video or picture, email us at [email protected] - we look forward to hearing from you. Join the community by leaving a comment below and stay up to date on all things soap operas on our home page.

Read