Coronavirus UK news LIVE: Quarantine deadline leaves thousands of Brits scrambling back to UK as STA Travel collapses

THE quarantine deadline has left thousands of Brits scrambling back to the UK in a bid to avoid the 14-day self-isolation.

Around 20,000 Brits are thought to be holidaying in Croatia currently, and if they didn't make it home before the 4am deadline this morning, the travellers will now face quarantine.

Meanwhile, STA Travel has become the latest travel firm to fall victim to the coronavirus pandemic.

The company, which grew out of a student travel business and specialised in trips for young people, including gap years and volunteer projects, has ceased trading.

This comes as residents in Oldham have been told not to meet ANYONE outside their household from midnight on Saturday but will avoid a full lockdown.

After a rise in cases even more rules are going to come into place for the town, along with Blackburn and Parts of Pendle.

Follow our coronavirus live blog for all the latest news and updates…

  • CROATIA'S TOURISM MINISTER CRITICISES UK'S DECISION

    Croatia has criticised the UK government’s decision to impose 14 day quarantine conditions on holiday makers returning from Croatia.

    Frano Matušić, Croatia’s tourism minister, said the imposition of quarantine was unfair and urged the UK to think again.

    He said: “We think that this decision was not fair. Because we think that Croatia is really safe destination.

    “Croatia is on the list for many European countries as a safe destination still.

    “It is true that we have some several hotspots in Croatia, but we didn’t register until now, any infection in hotels camps and other accommodation facilities.

    “So we appeal to UK government to replace this 14 days quarantine measure by reliable tests. We are really disappointed by this”

  • THERE COULD BE A 'BUMPY' END TO THE YEAR

    Fears have today surfaced that Britain could face a second nationwide coronavirus lockdown amid fears of a “bumpy” end to the year.

    More restrictions could be brought in to tackle infections after the R-rate crept over one for the first time since restrictions were lifted.

    Yesterday, the Sage advisory group said Britain’s reproduction number was between 0.9 and 1.1, with senior sources warning “more nationwide measures” may be needed. 

    Read the full report here.

  • POSSIBILITY OF SECOND LOCKDOWN CAN'T BE RULED OUT

    The possibility of another national lockdown in the UK can’t be ruled out according to a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies.

    Prof Sir Mark Walport, a former chief scientific adviser, said a targeted local approach to outbreak were the right tactics for now.

    But asked by the Today programme whether the a second national lockdown would ever be used again, Walport said: “Never is very strong word – the whole point is to improve the local control, increase the amount of testing, give guidance to avoid that happening, but is there a situation where it could get out of control?

    “Well obviously that’s possible and that’s why it’s so important that we’ll work together.

    “People do understand that this is a risk. If it’s allowed to get out of control, then there could be much more draconian measures.”

  • INDONESIA REPORTS 2,090 NEW COVID CASES

    Indonesia reported 2,090 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, bringing the total tally to 151,498, data from the country’s health ministry website showed.

    The number of new deaths reported on Saturday was 94 deaths, taking the total to 6,594, the highest coronavirus death toll in Southeast Asia.

  • PHILIPPINES REPORT 4,933 NEW INFECTIONS

    The Philippines reported 4,933 infections of coronavirus on Saturday, the fifth straight day above 4,000, and 26 COVID-19 deaths.

    In a bulletin, the health ministry said total confirmed cases have increased to 187,249 while confirmed deaths have reached 2,966.

    The Philippines has the most infections in Southeast Asia, and second-highest number of deaths, behind Indonesia.

  • OLDHAM COUNCIL GIVEN EXTRA ENFORCEMENT POWERS

    Oldham Council leader Sean Fielding says the local authority has been handed more enforcement capacity to take action against people breaking the rules, revealing it had closed at least one pub in the last 24 hours.

    He told BBC Breakfast: “Part of our discussions with government which helped us to avert the kind of economic lockdown of the kind in Leicester was a pledge around increasing the capacity in our enforcement teams so that we could take action where we had reports of businesses or premises or households not following the rules.

    “So when we receive those reports we now have additional capacity around enforcement and compliance to take action, whether it's fines, whether it's closure orders or whatever.”

  • TWO SPANISH REGIONS SHUT DOWN ALL BROTHELS AND SEX CLUBS

    Two Spanish regions have shut down all of their brothels and sex clubs after a coronavirus outbreak was linked to prostitutes.

    Castilla-La Mancha, which covers five provinces in central Spain, became the first autonomous community to order the closure of sex clubs – and then was quickly followed by Catalonia.

    One of towns of Castilla-La Mancha – Alcazar de San Juan near the city of Ciudad Real – is dealing with an ongoing Covid-19 outbreak at a brothel which has so far led to 12 people including several prostitutes testing positive for the virus.

  • RUSSIA REPORTS 4,921 NEW CASES

    Russia has reported 4,921 new coronavirus cases, pushing its confirmed national tally up to 951,897.

    The authorities said 121 people had died of Covid-19 over the last 24 hours, raising the official death toll to 16,310.

  • CORONAVIRUS WILL BE PRESENT 'FOREVER,' SAYS SAGE MEMBER

    Coronavirus will be present “forever” and people are likely to need regular vaccinations against it, a member of the Government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has warned.

    Sir Mark Walport, a former chief scientific adviser, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the pandemic would be controlled by “global vaccination” but that it is not “going to be a disease like smallpox which could be eradicated by vaccination”.

    He added: “This is a virus that is going to be with us forever in some form or another and almost certainly will require repeated vaccinations.

    “So a bit like flu, people will need re-vaccination at regular intervals.”

  • CORONAVIRUS WATCHLIST

    As Oldham braces itself for new social restrictions to avoid a local lockdown, let's look at the 'concern' hotspots in England.

  • OLDHAM UPDATE: LET'S AVOID A LOCAL LOCKDOWN

    Come midnight tonight, residents in Oldham won't be allowed to meet with anyone outside of their household.

    Oldham Council leader Sean Fielding said rather than having a full lockdown like in Leicester – where businesses would shut again – they would have more targeted measures to control the spread.

    Pubs, restaurants and offices can remain open, but extra restrictions on social interaction will come into play.

    People can still go to work and use childcare as normal, but won't be permitted extra social meet-ups from midnight on Saturday.

    Oldham now has a coronavirus rate of  103.1 per 100,000, with Blackburn and Pendle reaching 95.3 and 75.5.

  • BRITS 'MOURNING THE END' OF STA TRAVEL

    As news came in that travel company STA Travel ceased trading, Brits took to social media to thank the firm for the opportunities they provided.

    One user on Twitter said: “So many nice stories being shared about the life changing trips booked through STA Travel.

    “Booking gap year trips, RTW flights, volunteer programmes & epic tours was a rite of passage for so many travellers. Such a blow for the staff & the travel industry.”

    Another wrote: “Sad to hear that STA Travel have gone bust. I used them many many many times back in the day.

    “Thanks for making a lot of dreams come true.”

    A third said: “Had two of the most amazing adventures of my life with STA Travel – sad news today for the staff.”

  • DRIVING TEST WEBSITE CRASHES AS LEARNERS TRY TO BOOK TESTS

    The website where learner drivers can book their driving tests has crashed on the first day it reopened after the coronavirus outbreak.

    Hundreds of people who have tried to book a test on the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) this morning said they had difficulty getting on to the website.

    It comes after the government suspended driving tests on March 20 as the UK was gripped by the pandemic.

    Yesterday was the first time that learners could book a test after lockdown.

    Those who had their driving tests booked and then cancelled were allowed to rebook them from July 25 to help with the backlog.

    The theory tests resumed on July 4.

  • TRAVEL COMPANY CHAOS: WHAT'S NEXT?

    Globally, the travel and aviation industry is feeling the financial hit following months of lockdown and cancelled flights and holidays.

    It is expected that nearly three million British travel and ­tourism jobs are on the verge of disappearing — while the economy is close to losing £142billion from the travel sector.

    British Airways are slashing up to 12,000 jobs from its 42,000-strong workforce due to a collapse in flight numbers.

  • CORONAVIRUS BROUGHT TRAVEL INDUSTRY 'TO A STANDSTILL'

    STA Travel blamed the coronavirus pandemic for their collapse, stating that it had “brought the travel industry to a standstill”.

    STA parent company, Switzerland-based Diethelm Keller Group, said the company has not been immune from the “global magnitude of the pandemic”.

    In a statement yesterday, it said: “Sales have not picked up as anticipated, due to consumer uncertainties, further restrictions and renewed lock-down measures, which are expected to largely continue into 2021.

    “As a consequence, STA Travel Holding AG, is filing for insolvency.”

  • STA TRAVEL FIRM CEASES TRADING

    STA Travel has become the latest travel firm to fall victim to the coronavirus pandemic.

    The company, which grew out of a student travel business and specialised in trips for young people, including gap years and volunteer projects, has ceased trading.

    Thousands of customers are expected to begin chasing refunds after the company, which employed around 500 staff in 50 high street branches and its central London HQ, collapsed last night.

    Worldwide, STA has almost 2,000 employees working in over 200 stores. It is understood some branches will remain open.

    Read the full story here.

  • GERMANY REPORTS SPIKE IN CASES

    The number of infections in Germany surpassed 2,000 in the previous 24 hours, a high not seen since the end of April, authorities said on Saturday.

    The RKI health institute said it registered 2,034 new cases and seven more deaths, taking the total fatalities to 9,267 and cases to 232,082.

  • UKRAINE RECORDS 2,328 CORONAVIRUS CASES

    Ukraine registered a record 2,328 cases of the new coronavirus in the past 24 hours, officials said on Saturday.

    The data given by the national council of security and defence surpassed the previous single-day record of 2,134, reported on Thursday.

    Total cases are at 102,971, with 2,244 COVID-19 deaths.

    Infections have risen sharply recent days.

  • TEEN 'TERRIFIED' OF LOSING FREEDOM DURING LOCKDOWN HUNG HERSELF, INQUEST HEARD

    Emily Owen, 19, had been looking forward to a bright future when the pandemic began to unfold – leaving her struggling with "worry and distress".

    The teen feared the coronavirus lockdown would stop her from being able to work and go out.

    Norfolk coroner’s court in Norwich heard how her family had decided to self-isolate in the days before her death as one of her sisters had a cough.

    Tragically, the young woman was found by her mother and sister at their family home in Shouldham, Norfolk on March 18.

    Read the full story here.

  • TEST, TEST, TEST

    A senior medical expert has suggested the UK may need to increase testing from current levels of 150,000 per day to up to 10m a day.

    Prof Ara Darzi, a surgeon and co-director of Imperial College London’s Institute of Global Health Innovation, said regular home testing could be the UK’s “best hope” against the pandemic.

    He is overseeing a large study of home testing, involving more than 100,000 people, which has found self-testing at home to be practical and acceptable to the public.

    He acknowledged the UK’s “formidable” testing programme may need to be increased to “one million or even ten million a day”.

  • AUSTRALIA'S COVID INFECTIONS ARE STABILISING

    Australia’s second most populous state, Victoria, reported 13 new coronavirus deaths in the 24 hours to Saturday morning, authorities said, while new infections in the hotspot state remained below 200 for the second consecutive day.

    Other than in Victoria, which accounts for over 80% of the country’s COVID-19 deaths due to a second wave of infections, Australia has large avoided the high casualty numbers of many nations with about 24,500 infections and 485 deaths.

    The state reported 182 new daily infections, down from over 700 a day two weeks ago.

  • SOUTH KOREA EXPANDS SOCIAL DISTANCING FOLLOWING COVID SURGE

    South Korea said on Saturday it will roll out tougher social distancing guidelines to curb the spread of coronavirus nationwide as it battles a new outbreak of the disease spreading from the capital, Seoul.

    The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported 315 new domestic coronavirus infections as of midnight Friday, the latest in a string of triple digit increases in new local cases.

    The latest numbers take the country’s tally to 17,002 with 309 deaths.

  • WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION HEAD SAYS PANDEMIC COULD BE OVER IN TWO YEARS

    Speaking in Geneva on Friday, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the Spanish flu of 1918 took two years to overcome.

    But he added that current advances in technology could enable the world to halt the virus “in a shorter time”.

    “Of course with more connectiveness, the virus has a better chance of spreading,” he said.

    “But at the same time, we have also the technology to stop it, and the knowledge to stop it,” he noted, stressing the importance of “national unity, global solidarity”.

  • BORIS'S SECRET CAMPING HOLIDAY LOCATION LEAKED

    Angry Boris Johnson had to pack up his tent and come home after his Scottish holiday location was leaked, The Sun can reveal.

    The PM had taken fiancée Carrie Symonds and new baby Wilfred for a break after a traumatic six months.

    It was his first getaway since the start of the coronavirus pandemic which saw him fall seriously ill with Covid-19 shortly before his son’s birth at the end of April.

    But the windswept location was leaked when photos of his secluded Highland cottage and tent were published.

    Bodyguards said it wasn’t safe for the family to stay on and it is understood they flew home on Thursday after just three days.

    A well placed source said: “They had been camping in the garden of the cottage but the security threat was too much.

    “The tent could be spotted by a sniper from too far away for them to stay after the location was published.”

    Pictures showed a teepee-style bell tent pitched near the holiday cottage and Mr Johnson looking casual in a bobble hat.

    The cosy three-bed cottage has a woodburning stove and understated furniture.

  • THOUSANDS OF STA TRAVEL CUSTOMERS EXPECTED TO CHASE REFUNDS

    Thousands of customers are expected to begin chasing refunds after STA Travel, which employed around 500 staff in 50 high street branches and its central London HQ, collapsed today.

    It comes after it was yesterday reported that the future of the company was in doubt after it became the latest business to report problems resulting from the coronavirus lockdown.

    Worldwide, STA has almost 2,000 employees working in over 200 stores. It is understood some branches will remain open.

    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.

    STA Travel has an Atol licence to carry just over 34,000 passengers. This means holidays which have been booked together are protected. 

    The company blamed the coronavirus pandemic, stating that it had “brought the travel industry to a standstill”.

    STA parent company, Switzerland-based Diethelm Keller Group, said the company has not been immune from the “global magnitude of the pandemic”.

    The agency’s Swiss parent company, Diethelm Keller Group, filed for insolvency on Thursday saying it was hoped individual businesses could continue trading.

    In a statement yesterday, it said: “Sales have not picked up as anticipated, due to consumer uncertainties, further restrictions and renewed lock-down measures, which are expected to largely continue into 2021.

    “As a consequence, STA Travel Holding AG, is filing for insolvency.”

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