News Round-Up

Aug 2: Quarantine-free travel to Scotland for double-vaccinated; Calls for ‘uncomplicated’ traffic light system; Bank set to hold interest rates

  • Here are the headlines for Monday, August 2

Time 2 months ago

Quarantine-free travel begins for double-vaccinated EU and US arrivals

Double-vaccinated travellers from the US and EU can travel to Scotland without quarantining from Monday morning.

The rules changed at 4am following a decision by the Scottish government earlier this week, hours after UK transport secretary Grant Shapps announced the relaxation of measures for England.

Subject to countries remaining on the amber travel list, travellers will no longer have to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival in Scotland. The change does not apply to people who have been in France in the 10 days prior to their arrival, however, due to concerns over the Beta variant of coronavirus.

Ministers urged not to create ‘complicated’ amber travel watchlist

Ministers are being implored not to create a new travel traffic light category that could put thousands of holidaymakers at risk of having to endure an enforced stay in hotel quarantine.

Reports have suggested there is a fallout among cabinet ministers over proposals to introduce an amber watchlist, designed to warn travellers of the possibility that countries with concerning coronavirus data – which could potentially include Italy and Spain – could be put onto the red list at short notice.

Those returning from a red list country must enter a quarantine hotel at a cost of £1,750 for solo travellers.

Delay in easing restrictions may be to blame for drop in business confidence

Postponing plans to ease coronavirus restrictions in Scotland may be behind a fall in business confidence, analysts have said.

Business confidence fell 14 points in July to 28 per cent, according to the latest Business Barometer from the Bank of Scotland Commercial Banking. The fall was the steepest among the nations and regions of the UK.

In late June, Nicola Sturgeon announced that plans to move the whole of Scotland to the lowest level of coronavirus restrictions – Level 0 – would be postponed from June 28 to July 19. Most major legal restriction are expected to be lifted on August 9.

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Pressure to recall MPs over vaccine passports grows as Tories threaten revolt

Boris Johnson is facing a renewed backlash within his party over the ‘threat’ of domestic vaccine passports, with demands for MPs to be recalled from their holidays to debate the proposal.

Andrew Bridgen, one of 43 Conservative MPs to sign a declaration opposing vaccine passports, said parliament should be recalled from its summer recess if ministers are ‘serious’ about asking people to show proof of their vaccine status to gain entry to domestic venues and events. The call means cross-party backing is emerging for the commons to return before September.

Last week, the Liberal Democrats, said a change rolled out to the NHS app, allowing users to prove they had been double-jabbed to access domestic settings – as well as for international travel – warranted a recall.

University places will become much more competitive by 2025 – Ucas

Demand for university places is set to increase over the next few years, the chief executive of Ucas has warned.

Clare Marchant has estimated one million students will apply for university by 2025, up from 700,000 now, an increase of around 40 per cent.

Last month, Ucas said record numbers of students are set to start university and college this autumn, with applications and offers up.

Bank set to hold interest rates, but policymakers split on inflation threat

The Bank of England will give its latest verdict on interest rates and the economy on Thursday amid a growing split among policymakers over the threat of soaring inflation as growth rebounds.

Members of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) appear increasingly at odds over the need to swiftly remove some of its economy-boosting measures and whether surging inflation is temporary.

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While interest rates are set to remain on hold at 0.1 per cent, there is mounting speculation the Bank may halt its £895bn quantitative easing bond-buying programme as the UK’s economic recovery spurs on sharp rises in the cost of living.

Dry in north, wet in south… again

A bright day for most in the north, reports BBC Weather. Meanwhile, in southern England and Wales, heavy showers will develop in the afternoon.

Tonight, the picture will remain similar with late sunny spells for the north and heavy showers lingering in the south.

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer.

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