Fighting off future Covid-19 is ‘touch and go’, top WHO official warns


It is ‘touch and go’ as to whether local Covid-19 outbreaks can be controlled, a top World Health Organization (WHO) official warned today.

Yesterday the UN agency revealed Europe has seen a dramatic surge in coronavirus cases since lockdown easing measures began.  

Dr David Nabarro, a WHO special envoy, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘I’m pretty confident that most European countries are going to do well.

‘We’ve seen for example in Poland, Germany, Spain, a really effective response to these kinds of resurgences.’ But he admitted: ‘It is touch and go.’

It comes after Health Secretary Matt Hancock last night warned Britain’s beaches could be closed to prevent another wave of coronavirus.  

Temperatures reached as high as 92.1F (33.4C) yesterday, marking the UK’s hottest day of 2020 so far and triggering a frenzied rush to the seaside.

David Nabarro, a WHO special envoy, today told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘I’m pretty confident that most European countries are going to do well’

It comes after Health Secretary Matt Hancock last night warned Britain's beaches could be closed to prevent another wave of coronavirus. Pictured, beachgoers enjoy the sunshine at Bournemouth yesterday

It comes after Health Secretary Matt Hancock last night warned Britain’s beaches could be closed to prevent another wave of coronavirus. Pictured, beachgoers enjoy the sunshine at Bournemouth yesterday

Coastal beauty spots were plagued with ‘irresponsible’ and ‘selfish’ scenes as Brits flouted strict social distancing rules to enjoy the blazing sunshine.

But the virus is still spreading – figures released yesterday suggested up to 3,200 people in England are still being struck down each day. 

Dr Nabarro said: ‘I really think that Chris Whitty’s (England’s chief medical officer) point that the virus is still in general circulation is important.

‘So let’s hope that we’re able to prevent these small clusters and little outbreaks from becoming overwhelming as we had earlier this year.’

WHO’s regional director for Europe Hans Kluge yesterday said: ‘Thirty countries have seen increases in new cumulative cases over the past two weeks. 

‘In 11 of these, accelerated transmission has led to very significant resurgence that if left unchecked will push health systems to the brink once again in Europe.’

Coastal beauty spots around the country saw drunken fights amid blatant flouting of social distancing rules by crowds of young revellers yesterday.

But Dr Nabarro said he was not ‘really concerned’ by images of crowds on beaches, but feared what was going on ‘out of sight’.

He told the Today programme: ‘I don’t personally get really concerned when I see people outside in the open because transmission is less likely to occur there.

‘But it’s what happens out of sight that I’m more worried about. People going to the toilet and being in a queue and perhaps there being transmission there.

‘Or particularly the person who is cleaning the toilet being exposed to lots of folk with disease, people getting on the public transport and exposing bus drivers and the like.

‘That’s where I get nervous because I actually feel this vast amount of movement that’s going on – that is absolutely essential for people to come out and enjoy themselves again – does come at a risk.

‘And I just ask everybody, don’t just think of yourself. Think of the other person who you might be exposing to the virus because sometimes they don’t have a choice.’

Dr Nabarro also claimed there was ‘a real reluctance among some British people’ to cooperate with contact tracers.

EUROPE HAS SEEN A DRAMATIC SURGE IN COVID-19 CASES AFTER LOCKDOWN, WHO OFFICIAL WARNS

Europe has seen a dramatic surge in coronavirus cases since lockdown easing began, the World Health Organization has warned, amid fears of a second wave.

‘Last week, Europe saw an increase in weekly cases for the first time in months,’ the WHO’s regional director for Europe Hans Kluge told reporters.

‘Thirty countries have seen increases in new cumulative cases over the past two weeks. In 11 of these countries, accelerated transmission has led to very significant resurgence that if left unchecked will push health systems to the brink once again in Europe,’ he warned.

Kluge did not identify the countries by name, nor provide detailed numbers.

Data from the European Union shows a gradual decline in cases from around the start of April and continuing through this week.

However, there are countries which have seen major outbreaks since easing lockdown, including Germany which suffered a major setback this week.

On Tuesday, it reimposed lockdowns on 640,000 people in two districts in the western part of the country after an outbreak at a slaughterhouse infected more than 1,500 workers.

Portugal also imposed new restrictions in and around its capital on Tuesday.

He said: ‘If I was in charge… I would be asking myself why is it proving so hard to find all those who have got the disease and to get to their contacts?

‘It does appear there is still a real reluctance among some British people to be open about their contacts and perhaps they feel it’s an intrusion into their privacy.

‘And I say here and now when you’re trying to get rid of this virus contact tracing is absolutely critical. It’s the only way to do it.  

‘So if you’re in any doubt please do cooperate on this contact-tracing issue because it is key to getting down to the low levels that we need for life to recover and people to go about their lives as they wish to.’

NHS data released yesterday showed fewer than half of coronavirus-infected people have given any details of their close contacts.

Of the 20,968 people assigned to England’s 25,000 contact tracers, only 10,058 have actually given information that the tracers could follow up (48 per cent).  

Leading medics have already warned Britain faces a very ‘real risk’ of being rocked by another wave of Covid-19. 

Britain has the worst officially confirmed death toll in Europe, considerably higher than countries like Italy and Spain which were hit earlier. 

Damning figures show 43,000 Brits have already died after testing positive for the disease in the first wave, which began back in February.

But the real number of victims is thought to be in the region of 55,000, when every suspected death is taken into account.

Infectious disease experts say that because so few Britons have been struck down with Covid-19, the threat of a second wave is high.

Britain is nowhere near having herd immunity to the coronavirus, with government data suggesting 5.4 per cent of people in England have had the illness.

This is equal to around 3.02million people. Sixty per cent coverage is thought to be the amount of the population needed for herd immunity. 

It comes as it was revealed this week that all over-50s in Britain could get the flu jab on the NHS this winter to ease the burden of a second Covid-19 wave.

Ministers are reportedly considering the idea in the hope it will free up hospital beds and buy the health service space to cope with another crisis.

During the peak of Britain’s coronavirus outbreak, around 3,500 people were being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 each day.  

Leading scientists fear the coronavirus could wreak havoc on the health service if it returns this winter, striking alongside the flu when hospitals are already swamped.

Studies and analysis of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, which killed 50million people, have suggested any second wave could be deadlier than the first. 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock threatens to CLOSE beaches and re-lockdown local areas after ‘major incident’ in Bournemouth, thousands of Liverpool fans celebrate title win and police come under attack from revellers for second night

Britain’s beaches could be closed to prevent the resurgence of coronavirus, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned as the heatwave triggered a frenzied rush to the seaside which led to ‘irresponsible and selfish’ scenes.

It came as thousands of Liverpool fans ignored social distancing to fill the streets outside Anfield after the club won the Premier League, as fireworks went off and fans waved flags, singing: ‘We’ve gone and won the league.’

And police came under attack from revellers in London for the second night in a row, as officers tried to disperse crowds at an unlicensed music event in Notting Hill, and also had to shut down a similar gathering in Streatham. 

In Bournemouth, a major incident was declared after 500,000 visitors overwhelmed Dorset, with the authorities forced into an ’emergency response’ after they clogged up roads and dumped tons of litter on beaches. 

Coastal beauty spots around the country saw drunken fights amid blatant flouting of social distancing rules by crowds of young revellers despite the country still being in lockdown to fight the spread of Covid-19. 

Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty stressed: ‘If we do not follow social distancing guidance then cases will rise again. Naturally people will want to enjoy the sun but we need to do so in a way that is safe for all.’ 

There was also shocking violence against officers trying to end a party in Brixton on Wednesday night. Police fear widespread drunken disorder on July 4 – dubbed ‘Super Saturday’ – when pubs and restaurants can reopen. 

Temperatures hit 92.1F (33.4C) at London Heathrow Airport yesterday afternoon, making it Britain’s hottest day of 2020 for the second consecutive day after the mercury got to 90.7F (32.6C) in the same spot on Wednesday. 

But a week of blazing sunshine and scorching heat is coming to end today, with thunderstorms and torrential rain sweeping into the country along with lightning, hail, flooding and up to 2in (50mm) of rain falling in an hour. 

Police break up a fight in Brighton as hundreds flock to the beach yesterday amid soaring temperatures into the 90Fs

Police break up a fight in Brighton as hundreds flock to the beach yesterday amid soaring temperatures into the 90Fs

Rubbish litters the beach after many visitors leave in Bournemouth last night following a major incident being declared

Rubbish litters the beach after many visitors leave in Bournemouth last night following a major incident being declared

Rubbish litters Bournemouth beach last night following the second consecutive hottest day of the year for Britain

Rubbish litters Bournemouth beach last night following the second consecutive hottest day of the year for Britain

Rubbish strewn across Bournemouth beach last night after hundreds of visitors spent the day there yesterday

Rubbish strewn across Bournemouth beach last night after hundreds of visitors spent the day there yesterday

Rubbish left on Bournemouth beach yesterday evening after an estimated 500,000 visitors flocked to the coast in Dorset

Rubbish left on Bournemouth beach yesterday evening after an estimated 500,000 visitors flocked to the coast in Dorset

Rubbish litters Bournemouth beach after huge crowds spent the day there, prompting a major inciednt to be declared

Rubbish litters Bournemouth beach after huge crowds spent the day there, prompting a major inciednt to be declared

A fire engine struggles through the crowds on the promenade in Bournemouth on the Dorset coast yesterday evening

A fire engine struggles through the crowds on the promenade in Bournemouth on the Dorset coast yesterday evening

A major incident was declared after in Bournemouth yesterday after it became overrun by hundreds of thousands of visitors

A major incident was declared after in Bournemouth yesterday after it became overrun by hundreds of thousands of visitors

The Met Office has issued thunderstorm warnings for today

The Met Office has issued thunderstorm warnings for today

In Liverpool, police condemned the thousands of Liverpool fans who filled the streets outside Anfield after the club won the Premier League.

Assistant Chief Constable Rob Carden said Merseyside had been ‘disproportionately affected’ by the coronavirus pandemic and its residents had a responsibility to prevent further cases.

He said: ‘The overwhelming majority of fans have recognised the fact that now is not the time to gather together to celebrate, and chose to mark the event safely. They are a credit to this city.

‘Unfortunately, as we have seen throughout the lockdown period, not everyone adhered to the regulations in place. Although the vast majority of celebrations were good natured, a large number of people chose to gather outside the stadium.’

Earlier, about 100 fans gathered outside the Main Stand at Anfield for when the final whistle blew on Thursday’s Chelsea v Manchester City match, securing Liverpool the title with seven games to spare.

Fireworks went off and fans waved flags and sang: ‘We’ve gone and won the league.’

Within an hour of the result, thousands of fans had gathered outside the stadium, lighting red flares and singing football songs. People, with children and dogs, continued to make their way across Stanley Park to get to the stadium.

Many fans were seen hugging and one man stood with his arm around a cardboard cut out of manager Jurgen Klopp. 

Others carried flags and scarves while some fans brought crates of beer. Many fans wore face masks for the gathering and shortly before 11pm, Merseyside Police announced road closures would be put in place.  

Air bridges to EVERYWHERE: Boris Johnson faces pressure to open up holiday routes to the whole EU


Boris Johnson has faced calls to open ‘air bridges’ to all of the EU at once because freedom of movement makes it impossible to stop tourists crossing borders.

The British Prime Minister is due to give the green light to foreign holidays next Monday when the Government unveils its long-awaited travel corridor plan. 

‘Air bridges’ to France, Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey have been all but confirmed, sources disclosed, with the first flights set to take off on July 4. 

Ministers will say Britons can visit any one of around ten countries without having to quarantine – reviving summer holidays after almost four months of travel restrictions.

But with Portugal supposedly left off the list, campaign groups have called for the whole of Europe to be opened up for British travel, The Telegraph reports.

The British Prime Minister is due to give the green light to foreign holidays next Monday when the Government unveils its long-awaited travel corridor plan. Pictured, an employee wearing a protective mask walks on the beach of the Divani Apollon Palace hotel in Greece

The travel corridors are unenforceable, according to Paul Charles, spokesman for the campaign group Quash Quarantine, which represents 400 of the biggest travel and hospitality businesses in Britain.

He told the newspaper: ‘You are not going to be able to stop British people flying in to Madrid, driving over to Portugal and then going back via Madrid.

‘That’s why it needs a pan-European travel corridor.’ 

Henry Smith, the Conservative chairman of the all-party Future of Aviation Group, welcomed the ‘first steps’ but pointed out most EU countries have had a similar if not better experience with coronavirus to the UK.

With Portugal supposedly left off the list, campaign groups have called for the whole of Europe to be opened up for British travel, The Telegraph reports. Pictured, two men set up sun umbrellas at the beach in Portugal's Algarve coast on Thursday, June 4

With Portugal supposedly left off the list, campaign groups have called for the whole of Europe to be opened up for British travel, The Telegraph reports. Pictured, two men set up sun umbrellas at the beach in Portugal’s Algarve coast on Thursday, June 4

Tourists walk by the Coliseum monument in Rome as the country eases its lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 infection

Tourists walk by the Coliseum monument in Rome as the country eases its lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 infection

He said it was a mistake not to open the corridors to all EU countries. ‘I think that is the most straight forward and eloquent way to approach it,’ he added. 

It comes after it was revealed medium-haul destinations such as Dubai will reportedly be available for Britons to explore from mid to late summer, with trips to Vietnam and Hong Kong on the horizon from late August or September. 

Britons are also expected to get the green light to visit Canada, Morocco and the Caribbean from August. 

Ministers are even on the verge of coming to a deal with Australia, as long as flights connect via low-risk countries such as Singapore. 

Britons began to arrive in Benidorm, Spain on Monday as coronavirus restrictions were eased amid the pandemic in Europe

Britons began to arrive in Benidorm, Spain on Monday as coronavirus restrictions were eased amid the pandemic in Europe

Tourists take selfies in front of Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy on June 19 as travel restrictions were loosened after months of lockdown

Tourists take selfies in front of Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy on June 19 as travel restrictions were loosened after months of lockdown

'Air bridges' to France , Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey have been all but confirmed, sources disclosed, with the first flights set to take off on July 4

‘Air bridges’ to France , Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey have been all but confirmed, sources disclosed, with the first flights set to take off on July 4

Dozens more countries will be added in coming weeks, including important business destinations, but the initial announcement will be focused on popular holiday routes to give an instant shot in the arm to Britain’s crippled travel industry. 

But Britons hoping to travel to the USA, Mexico and South American countries will likely have to wait until at least December, the Sun reported.   

Mr Charles was reportedly assured by the Government that travel corridors will open as planned – subject to any coronavirus outbreaks. 

He said ‘intensive’ phone calls are currently taking place across Europe to finalise the arrangements.

‘The first phase will be Europe, and the second phase from August will be more long haul, with the Caribbean, Dubai and Morocco included,’ he said.

‘South America, and Latin America will likely be exempt from the end of the year. There is no way restrictions will be lifted there any time soon as they are at the epicentre of the pandemic at the moment.

‘And it is unlikely that America will open up before the November election, partly because President Trump won’t open it up, but also because the number of cases there is very high.’ 

France (pictured, Paris on Sunday) is among around 10 countries expected to be included in Britain's 'air bridges' to be announced on Monday

France (pictured, Paris on Sunday) is among around 10 countries expected to be included in Britain’s ‘air bridges’ to be announced on Monday

Greece (pictured, Oia on Santorini on June 14) is also among those expected to be announced by the Govenrment on Monday

Greece (pictured, Oia on Santorini on June 14) is also among those expected to be announced by the Govenrment on Monday

At present, any traveller arriving in the UK – whether from Britain or a tourist – must quarantine for 14 days and provide their phone number and an address for self-isolation. 

But some Britons have already ventured abroad after Spain lifted its ban on foreign tourists and opened its beaches in glorious 100 degree-plus heat earlier this month.

Travel firms also slashed the price of a one-week holiday to £300 as Downing Street signalled it could bring in these ‘travel corridors’ from July 4, with no 14-day quarantine on return to the UK. 

The Foreign Office is expected to relax its warning against all but essential global travel for the first time since lockdown was imposed in mid-March. 

Instead, the risk of Covid-19 will be set to low, medium or high depending on infection rates in individual countries.

The plans – to be announced on Monday – were finalised and signed off yesterday in a meeting with officials from Downing Street, the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Home and Foreign offices.

Airlines and airports were expecting to be briefed on the plans yesterday, giving them just over a week to prepare for the new holiday season.

Under the scheme, travel corridor nations are signing ‘memorandums of understanding’ with the Government, agreeing that whatever anti-coronavirus measures are taken in the UK must be mirrored by similarly stringent policies abroad. 

Giving examples to the transport committee yesterday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the other country having an equivalent to our test and trace system was important.

He also spoke of the need to consider the ‘level and trajectory’ of the virus abroad. 

Boris Johnson will give the green light to foreign holidays next Monday when the Government unveils its long-awaited travel corridor plan (Pictured: Beaches in Benidorm, Spain)

Boris Johnson will give the green light to foreign holidays next Monday when the Government unveils its long-awaited travel corridor plan (Pictured: Beaches in Benidorm, Spain)

People sunbathe on Playa de Palma beach in Mallorca as Spain officially reopened its borders amid the coronavirus pandemic on June 21

People sunbathe on Playa de Palma beach in Mallorca as Spain officially reopened its borders amid the coronavirus pandemic on June 21

Outlining the questions being asked by UK officials, he said: ‘Do they have something equivalent to our NHS Test and Trace system? The Test and Trace system is enormous here now. We’ve got the capacity to test far more than is immediately required but that would allow for any uplift anywhere.

‘Does the country we’re talking to have that kind of capability?’  

Mr Shapps added that introducing air bridges is a ‘massive priority’, stating: ‘I understand entirely the pain that aviation is going through. I know both for airports, for airlines and actually for ground handlers as well, this coronavirus has been a complete disaster.

‘The only thing which will be worse is if the country does not continue the work it’s doing on getting on top of it.

‘That’s why quarantine has been introduced at a point where we were getting on top of it. I know there’s a lot of arguments about what we should have been doing at the beginning.’ 

Travel corridors will come as welcome news to the beleaguered tourism industry, with holiday firms and airlines likely to launch big promotions for last-minute holidays as soon as the announcement is made.

Since June 8, all passengers – bar a handful of exemptions – have been required to go into self-isolation for 14 days when they arrive in the UK.

People who fail to comply can be fined £1,000 in England, and police are allowed to use ‘reasonable force’ to make sure they follow the rules. 

On Monday, Matt Hancock used the press conference to reveal that details of the air bridges will be published shortly.

Passengers arriving from London wear face mask as they exit the arrival area at the El Part de Llobregat airport in Barcelona on Sunday

Passengers arriving from London wear face mask as they exit the arrival area at the El Part de Llobregat airport in Barcelona on Sunday

A man sunbathes in a designated roped-off area on Poniente Beach in Benidorm on June 21, as holidaymakers return to Spain

A man sunbathes in a designated roped-off area on Poniente Beach in Benidorm on June 21, as holidaymakers return to Spain

‘A lot of work is being done on travel corridors, I’ve been working on it over the weekend,’ he said.

‘And we have a formal review date of the quarantine policy at the end of this month on June 29, and we’ll make sure that in good time for that we publish what we plan to do next in terms of where we think – based on the epidemiological advice – we’re able to formalise travel corridors.

‘I know that people are really looking forward to getting this information, but we’ve got to make sure that we get it right and that work is going on right now.’ 

Ryanair has already seen a doubling of UK bookings for flights in July and August since the beginning of June, and price comparison site Travel Supermarket say demand for holidays to Spain has doubled over the past week compared to the week before.

This comes as more than 4,500 airport workers in the UK and Ireland face the axe after Britain’s biggest airport ground handling company announced plans to shed more than half its staff. Swissport yesterday announced job cuts as the pandemic has damaged the aviation industry.

The firm employs 8,500 workers at airports across the UK, including baggage handlers and check-in staff. 

Air bridges to EVERYWHERE: Boris Johnson faces pressure to open up holiday routes to the whole EU


Boris Johnson has faced calls to open ‘air bridges’ to all of the EU at once because freedom of movement makes it impossible to stop tourists crossing borders.

The British Prime Minister is due to give the green light to foreign holidays next Monday when the Government unveils its long-awaited travel corridor plan. 

‘Air bridges’ to France, Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey have been all but confirmed, sources disclosed, with the first flights set to take off on July 4. 

Ministers will say Britons can visit any one of around ten countries without having to quarantine – reviving summer holidays after almost four months of travel restrictions.

But with Portugal supposedly left off the list, campaign groups have called for the whole of Europe to be opened up for British travel, The Telegraph reports.

The British Prime Minister is due to give the green light to foreign holidays next Monday when the Government unveils its long-awaited travel corridor plan. Pictured, an employee wearing a protective mask walks on the beach of the Divani Apollon Palace hotel in Greece

The travel corridors are unenforceable, according to Paul Charles, spokesman for the campaign group Quash Quarantine, which represents 400 of the biggest travel and hospitality businesses in Britain.

He told the newspaper: ‘You are not going to be able to stop British people flying in to Madrid, driving over to Portugal and then going back via Madrid.

‘That’s why it needs a pan-European travel corridor.’ 

Henry Smith, the Conservative chairman of the all-party Future of Aviation Group, welcomed the ‘first steps’ but pointed out most EU countries have had a similar if not better experience with coronavirus to the UK.

With Portugal supposedly left off the list, campaign groups have called for the whole of Europe to be opened up for British travel, The Telegraph reports. Pictured, two men set up sun umbrellas at the beach in Portugal's Algarve coast on Thursday, June 4

With Portugal supposedly left off the list, campaign groups have called for the whole of Europe to be opened up for British travel, The Telegraph reports. Pictured, two men set up sun umbrellas at the beach in Portugal’s Algarve coast on Thursday, June 4

Tourists walk by the Coliseum monument in Rome as the country eases its lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 infection

Tourists walk by the Coliseum monument in Rome as the country eases its lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 infection

He said it was a mistake not to open the corridors to all EU countries. ‘I think that is the most straight forward and eloquent way to approach it,’ he added. 

It comes after it was revealed medium-haul destinations such as Dubai will reportedly be available for Britons to explore from mid to late summer, with trips to Vietnam and Hong Kong on the horizon from late August or September. 

Britons are also expected to get the green light to visit Canada, Morocco and the Caribbean from August. 

Ministers are even on the verge of coming to a deal with Australia, as long as flights connect via low-risk countries such as Singapore. 

Britons began to arrive in Benidorm, Spain on Monday as coronavirus restrictions were eased amid the pandemic in Europe

Britons began to arrive in Benidorm, Spain on Monday as coronavirus restrictions were eased amid the pandemic in Europe

Tourists take selfies in front of Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy on June 19 as travel restrictions were loosened after months of lockdown

Tourists take selfies in front of Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy on June 19 as travel restrictions were loosened after months of lockdown

'Air bridges' to France , Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey have been all but confirmed, sources disclosed, with the first flights set to take off on July 4

‘Air bridges’ to France , Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey have been all but confirmed, sources disclosed, with the first flights set to take off on July 4

Dozens more countries will be added in coming weeks, including important business destinations, but the initial announcement will be focused on popular holiday routes to give an instant shot in the arm to Britain’s crippled travel industry. 

But Britons hoping to travel to the USA, Mexico and South American countries will likely have to wait until at least December, the Sun reported.   

Mr Charles was reportedly assured by the Government that travel corridors will open as planned – subject to any coronavirus outbreaks. 

He said ‘intensive’ phone calls are currently taking place across Europe to finalise the arrangements.

‘The first phase will be Europe, and the second phase from August will be more long haul, with the Caribbean, Dubai and Morocco included,’ he said.

‘South America, and Latin America will likely be exempt from the end of the year. There is no way restrictions will be lifted there any time soon as they are at the epicentre of the pandemic at the moment.

‘And it is unlikely that America will open up before the November election, partly because President Trump won’t open it up, but also because the number of cases there is very high.’ 

France (pictured, Paris on Sunday) is among around 10 countries expected to be included in Britain's 'air bridges' to be announced on Monday

France (pictured, Paris on Sunday) is among around 10 countries expected to be included in Britain’s ‘air bridges’ to be announced on Monday

Greece (pictured, Oia on Santorini on June 14) is also among those expected to be announced by the Govenrment on Monday

Greece (pictured, Oia on Santorini on June 14) is also among those expected to be announced by the Govenrment on Monday

At present, any traveller arriving in the UK – whether from Britain or a tourist – must quarantine for 14 days and provide their phone number and an address for self-isolation. 

But some Britons have already ventured abroad after Spain lifted its ban on foreign tourists and opened its beaches in glorious 100 degree-plus heat earlier this month.

Travel firms also slashed the price of a one-week holiday to £300 as Downing Street signalled it could bring in these ‘travel corridors’ from July 4, with no 14-day quarantine on return to the UK. 

The Foreign Office is expected to relax its warning against all but essential global travel for the first time since lockdown was imposed in mid-March. 

Instead, the risk of Covid-19 will be set to low, medium or high depending on infection rates in individual countries.

The plans – to be announced on Monday – were finalised and signed off yesterday in a meeting with officials from Downing Street, the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Home and Foreign offices.

Airlines and airports were expecting to be briefed on the plans yesterday, giving them just over a week to prepare for the new holiday season.

Under the scheme, travel corridor nations are signing ‘memorandums of understanding’ with the Government, agreeing that whatever anti-coronavirus measures are taken in the UK must be mirrored by similarly stringent policies abroad. 

Giving examples to the transport committee yesterday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the other country having an equivalent to our test and trace system was important.

He also spoke of the need to consider the ‘level and trajectory’ of the virus abroad. 

Boris Johnson will give the green light to foreign holidays next Monday when the Government unveils its long-awaited travel corridor plan (Pictured: Beaches in Benidorm, Spain)

Boris Johnson will give the green light to foreign holidays next Monday when the Government unveils its long-awaited travel corridor plan (Pictured: Beaches in Benidorm, Spain)

People sunbathe on Playa de Palma beach in Mallorca as Spain officially reopened its borders amid the coronavirus pandemic on June 21

People sunbathe on Playa de Palma beach in Mallorca as Spain officially reopened its borders amid the coronavirus pandemic on June 21

Outlining the questions being asked by UK officials, he said: ‘Do they have something equivalent to our NHS Test and Trace system? The Test and Trace system is enormous here now. We’ve got the capacity to test far more than is immediately required but that would allow for any uplift anywhere.

‘Does the country we’re talking to have that kind of capability?’  

Mr Shapps added that introducing air bridges is a ‘massive priority’, stating: ‘I understand entirely the pain that aviation is going through. I know both for airports, for airlines and actually for ground handlers as well, this coronavirus has been a complete disaster.

‘The only thing which will be worse is if the country does not continue the work it’s doing on getting on top of it.

‘That’s why quarantine has been introduced at a point where we were getting on top of it. I know there’s a lot of arguments about what we should have been doing at the beginning.’ 

Travel corridors will come as welcome news to the beleaguered tourism industry, with holiday firms and airlines likely to launch big promotions for last-minute holidays as soon as the announcement is made.

Since June 8, all passengers – bar a handful of exemptions – have been required to go into self-isolation for 14 days when they arrive in the UK.

People who fail to comply can be fined £1,000 in England, and police are allowed to use ‘reasonable force’ to make sure they follow the rules. 

On Monday, Matt Hancock used the press conference to reveal that details of the air bridges will be published shortly.

Passengers arriving from London wear face mask as they exit the arrival area at the El Part de Llobregat airport in Barcelona on Sunday

Passengers arriving from London wear face mask as they exit the arrival area at the El Part de Llobregat airport in Barcelona on Sunday

A man sunbathes in a designated roped-off area on Poniente Beach in Benidorm on June 21, as holidaymakers return to Spain

A man sunbathes in a designated roped-off area on Poniente Beach in Benidorm on June 21, as holidaymakers return to Spain

‘A lot of work is being done on travel corridors, I’ve been working on it over the weekend,’ he said.

‘And we have a formal review date of the quarantine policy at the end of this month on June 29, and we’ll make sure that in good time for that we publish what we plan to do next in terms of where we think – based on the epidemiological advice – we’re able to formalise travel corridors.

‘I know that people are really looking forward to getting this information, but we’ve got to make sure that we get it right and that work is going on right now.’ 

Ryanair has already seen a doubling of UK bookings for flights in July and August since the beginning of June, and price comparison site Travel Supermarket say demand for holidays to Spain has doubled over the past week compared to the week before.

This comes as more than 4,500 airport workers in the UK and Ireland face the axe after Britain’s biggest airport ground handling company announced plans to shed more than half its staff. Swissport yesterday announced job cuts as the pandemic has damaged the aviation industry.

The firm employs 8,500 workers at airports across the UK, including baggage handlers and check-in staff. 

Trump says thousands of U.S. troops will move from Germany to Poland


Donald Trump says thousands of U.S. troops will move from Germany to Poland as he attacks Angela Merkel’s government for ‘not paying’ for NATO

  • President Trump said Wednesday at a press conference with the Polish president that he was open to sending U.S. troops stationed in Germany to Poland 
  • ‘Some will be coming home and some will be going to other places, but Poland would be one of those other places,’ Trump said 
  • Trump wants to pull American forces out of Germany who he accuses of not spending enough money on NATO, but buying Russian oil 
  • ‘You’re spending billions of dollars to Russia, then we’re supposed to defend you from Russia,’ he said in the Rose Garden 
  • Trump met with Polish President Andrzej Duda in advance of his country’s election, where like Trump, Duda has been rallying his conservative base  

President Trump said Wednesday at a press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda that he was open to sending U.S. troops stationed in Germany to Poland.  

‘We’re going to be reducing our forces in Germany. Some will be coming home and some will be going to other places, but Poland would be one of those other places,’ Trump said in the White House Rose Garden.  

Trump wants to take thousands of U.S. forces out of Germany because he says the United States bears too much of a financial burden for the deployment and criticizes the government in Berlin for buying Russian energy.  

President Trump said Wednesday that thousands of U.S. troops will be moved out of Germany and said some could be headed to Poland 

President Trump (right) was making a joint appearance with Polish President Andrzej Duda (left) Wednesday afternoon, in advance of the Polish election where Duda is on the ballot

President Trump (right) was making a joint appearance with Polish President Andrzej Duda (left) Wednesday afternoon, in advance of the Polish election where Duda is on the ballot 

President Trump lashed out at Angela Merkel's (pictured) Germany government for buying Russian energy while not paying enough into NATO. Trump used this as his explanation for why he wanted to remove U.S. troops from Germany

President Trump lashed out at Angela Merkel’s (pictured) Germany government for buying Russian energy while not paying enough into NATO. Trump used this as his explanation for why he wanted to remove U.S. troops from Germany 

‘Germany is paying a very small fraction of what they’re supposed to be paying,’ Trump said, suggesting Berlin should be paying nearly double than what they do now into NATO. ‘That’s a tremendous delinquency,’ he said. 

Trump said that he expected to keep 25,000 American troops in Germany down from 52,000. 

A defense agreement would send more U.S. troops to Poland, bolstering defense cooperation between the two NATO allies and acting as a further counterweight against Russian aggression.

‘I think it sends a strong message to Russia,’ Trump said.  

‘Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars to purchase energy from Russia. And through the pipeline. And I’m saying what’s that all about? You’re spending billions of dollars to Russia, then we’re supposed to defend you from Russia. So I think it’s… very bad,’ Trump said.

Washington objects to the Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would double the amount of gas piped directly from Russia to Germany and reduce the amount piped in Ukraine.

The U.S. Army already has an area support group in the region that can be tailored to increase the number of U.S. soldiers in Poland.

According to Polish media reports, the United States could offer 2,000 soldiers to Poland, 1,000 more than initially agreed in June 2019. Those additional troops would include the U.S. Army V Corps from Kentucky and F-16s from Germany.

Another official with knowledge of the talks told Reuters that moving the V Corps to Poland was under discussion and that Poland could get more than the 1,000 troops agreed to last year, but would not say if 2,000 would be sent.

Trump also told the news conference that the United States and Poland were discussing a project to construct a nuclear-powered plant in Poland.

Duda was the first foreign leader to visit Trump since the coronavirus pandemic led to global lockdowns, and the two leaders said they looked forward to signing the defense cooperation agreement. 

Critics have accused Duda and Trump of calling the visit just before the Polish election in order to improve the right-leaning Duda´s chances of winning, as his lead in opinion polls has dropped in recent weeks.

Duda’s campaign has focused on rallying his conservative base with attacks on what he calls lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ‘ideology,’ while promising to protect popular social benefit programs for families and pensioners that have transformed life for many poorer Poles. 

The nationalist Polish leader has emerged as one of Trump’s preferred foreign partners. 

The two have met one-on-one at least five times.

The two leaders spoke after meeting in the Oval Office.

Duda said it was an honor to discuss next steps in relations at the White House. 

‘Today we are entering another stage, namely there is a possibility of further increase in American troops in our country,’ he said. 

Britons can holiday in France, Spain and Italy from NEXT WEEK


Boris Johnson will give the green light to foreign holidays next Monday when the Government unveils its long-awaited travel corridor plan.

Ministers will say Britons can visit any one of around ten countries without having to quarantine – reviving summer holidays after almost four months of travel restrictions.

‘Air bridges’ to France, Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey have been all but confirmed, sources disclosed, with the first flights set to take off on July 4.

Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Gibraltar and Bermuda will also reportedly be announced as destinations in the first round of ‘safe nations’ on June 29. 

The Mail has learned Portugal is likely to be included on the list of destinations, despite concerns over recent outbreaks of Covid-19 in the Algarve.

Britons began to arrive in Benidorm, Spain on Monday as coronavirus restrictions were eased

Tourists take selfies in front of Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy on June 19 as travel restrictions loosen

Tourists take selfies in front of Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy on June 19 as travel restrictions loosen

Medium-haul destinations such as Dubai will also reportedly be available for Britons to explore from mid to late summer, with trips to Vietnam and Hong Kong on the horizon from late August or September. 

Britons are also expected to get the green light to visit Canada, Morocco and the Caribbean from August. 

Ministers are even on the verge of coming to a deal with Australia, as long as flights connect via low-risk countries such as Singapore. 

Dozens more countries will be added in coming weeks, including important business destinations, but the initial announcement will be focused on popular holiday routes to give an instant shot in the arm to Britain’s crippled travel industry. 

But Britons hoping to travel to the USA, Mexico and South American countries will likely have to wait until December, the Sun reported.   

Paul Charles, from the pressure group Quash Quarantine, was reportedly assured by the Government that travel corridors will open as planned – subject to any coronavirus outbreaks.    

France (pictured, Paris on Sunday) is among the countries expected to be included in Britain;'s 'air bridges'

France (pictured, Paris on Sunday) is among the countries expected to be included in Britain;’s ‘air bridges’

Greece (pictured, Oia on Santorini on June 14) is also among those expected to be announced on Monday

Greece (pictured, Oia on Santorini on June 14) is also among those expected to be announced on Monday

He said ‘intensive’ phone calls are currently taking place across Europe to finalise the arrangements.

‘The first phase will be Europe, and the second phase from August will be more long haul, with the Caribbean, Dubai and Morocco included,’ he said.

‘South America, and Latin America will likely be exempt from the end of the year.

‘There is no way restrictions will be lifted there any time soon as they are at the epicentre of the pandemic at the moment.

‘And it is unlikely that America will open up before the November election, partly because President Trump won’t open it up, but also because the number of cases there is very high.’     

Booking boom for staycations 

Staycation companies took one booking every 11 seconds after the announcement that domestic holidays will be allowed.

After Boris Johnson gave summer holidays the thumbs up from July 4, UK holiday company Hoseasons.co.uk took around 330 bookings an hour. 

Reservations were up 270 per cent on the same day last year. Cornwall was the most popular destination with 14 per cent of all bookings, closely followed by Devon on 9 per cent.

The Foreign Office is expected to relax its warning against all but essential global travel for the first time since lockdown was imposed in mid-March. 

Instead, the risk of Covid-19 will be set to low, medium or high depending on infection rates in individual countries.

The plans – to be announced on Monday – will be finalised and signed off today in a meeting with officials from Downing Street, the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Home and Foreign offices.

Airlines and airports are also expecting to be briefed on the plans today, giving them just over a week to prepare for the new holiday season.

Under the scheme, travel corridor nations are signing ‘memorandums of understanding’ with the Government, agreeing that whatever anti-coronavirus measures are taken in the UK must be mirrored by similarly stringent policies abroad. 

Giving examples to the transport committee yesterday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the other country having an equivalent to our test and trace system was important.

He also spoke of the need to consider the ‘level and trajectory’ of the virus abroad. 

Outlining the questions being asked by UK officials, he said: ‘Do they have something equivalent to our NHS Test and Trace system? The Test and Trace system is enormous here now. We’ve got the capacity to test far more than is immediately required but that would allow for any uplift anywhere.

‘Does the country we’re talking to have that kind of capability?’

Mr Shapps added that introducing air bridges is a ‘massive priority’, stating: ‘I understand entirely the pain that aviation is going through. I know both for airports, for airlines and actually for ground handlers as well, this coronavirus has been a complete disaster.

‘The only thing which will be worse is if the country does not continue the work it’s doing on getting on top of it.

‘That’s why quarantine has been introduced at a point where we were getting on top of it.’  

Boris Johnson will give the green light to foreign holidays next Monday when the Government unveils its long-awaited travel corridor plan (Pictured: Beaches in Benidorm, Spain)

Boris Johnson will give the green light to foreign holidays next Monday when the Government unveils its long-awaited travel corridor plan (Pictured: Beaches in Benidorm, Spain)

People sunbathe on Playa de Palma beach in Mallorca as Spain officially reopened its borders amid the coronavirus pandemic on June 21

People sunbathe on Playa de Palma beach in Mallorca as Spain officially reopened its borders amid the coronavirus pandemic on June 21

Travel corridors will come as welcome news to the beleaguered tourism industry, with holiday firms and airlines likely to launch big promotions for last-minute holidays as soon as the announcement is made.

Since June 8, all passengers – bar a handful of exemptions – have been required to go into self-isolation for 14 days when they arrive in the UK.

People who fail to comply can be fined £1,000 in England, and police are allowed to use ‘reasonable force’ to make sure they follow the rules. 

Ryanair has already seen a doubling of UK bookings for flights in July and August since the beginning of June, and price comparison site Travel Supermarket say demand for holidays to Spain has doubled over the past week compared to the week before.

This comes as more than 4,500 airport workers in the UK and Ireland face the axe after Britain’s biggest airport ground handling company announced plans to shed more than half its staff. Swissport yesterday announced job cuts as the pandemic has damaged the aviation industry.

The firm employs 8,500 workers at airports across the UK, including baggage handlers and check-in staff.

Britons can holiday in France, Spain and Italy from NEXT WEEK


Boris Johnson will give the green light to foreign holidays next Monday when the Government unveils its long-awaited travel corridor plan.

Ministers will say Britons can visit any one of around ten countries without having to quarantine – reviving summer holidays after almost four months of travel restrictions.

‘Air bridges’ to France, Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey have been all but confirmed, sources disclosed, with the first flights set to take off on July 4.

Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Gibraltar and Bermuda will also reportedly be announced as destinations in the first round of ‘safe nations’ on June 29. 

The Mail has learned Portugal is likely to be included on the list of destinations, despite concerns over recent outbreaks of Covid-19 in the Algarve.

Britons began to arrive in Benidorm, Spain on Monday as coronavirus restrictions were eased

Medium-haul destinations such as Dubai will also reportedly be available for Britons to explore from mid to late summer, with trips to Vietnam and Hong Kong on the horizon from late August or September. 

Britons are also expected to get the green light to visit Canada, Morocco and the Caribbean from August. 

Ministers are even on the verge of coming to a deal with Australia, as long as flights connect via low-risk countries such as Singapore. 

Dozens more countries will be added in coming weeks, including important business destinations, but the initial announcement will be focused on popular holiday routes to give an instant shot in the arm to Britain’s crippled travel industry. 

But Britons hoping to travel to the USA, Mexico and South American countries will likely have to wait until December, the Sun reported.   

Paul Charles, from the pressure group Quash Quarantine, was reportedly assured by the Government that travel corridors will open as planned – subject to any coronavirus outbreaks.    

Boris Johnson will give the green light to foreign holidays next Monday when the Government unveils its long-awaited travel corridor plan (Pictured: Beaches in Benidorm, Spain)

Boris Johnson will give the green light to foreign holidays next Monday when the Government unveils its long-awaited travel corridor plan (Pictured: Beaches in Benidorm, Spain)

People sunbathe on Playa de Palma beach in Mallorca as Spain officially reopened its borders amid the coronavirus pandemic on June 21

People sunbathe on Playa de Palma beach in Mallorca as Spain officially reopened its borders amid the coronavirus pandemic on June 21

He said ‘intensive’ phone calls are currently taking place across Europe to finalise the arrangements.

‘The first phase will be Europe, and the second phase from August will be more long haul, with the Caribbean, Dubai and Morocco included,’ he said.

‘South America, and Latin America will likely be exempt from the end of the year.

‘There is no way restrictions will be lifted there any time soon as they are at the epicentre of the pandemic at the moment.

‘And it is unlikely that America will open up before the November election, partly because President Trump won’t open it up, but also because the number of cases there is very high.’     

Booking boom for staycations 

Staycation companies took one booking every 11 seconds after the announcement that domestic holidays will be allowed.

After Boris Johnson gave summer holidays the thumbs up from July 4, UK holiday company Hoseasons.co.uk took around 330 bookings an hour. 

Reservations were up 270 per cent on the same day last year. Cornwall was the most popular destination with 14 per cent of all bookings, closely followed by Devon on 9 per cent.

The Foreign Office is expected to relax its warning against all but essential global travel for the first time since lockdown was imposed in mid-March. 

Instead, the risk of Covid-19 will be set to low, medium or high depending on infection rates in individual countries.

The plans – to be announced on Monday – will be finalised and signed off today in a meeting with officials from Downing Street, the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Home and Foreign offices.

Airlines and airports are also expecting to be briefed on the plans today, giving them just over a week to prepare for the new holiday season.

Under the scheme, travel corridor nations are signing ‘memorandums of understanding’ with the Government, agreeing that whatever anti-coronavirus measures are taken in the UK must be mirrored by similarly stringent policies abroad. 

Giving examples to the transport committee yesterday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the other country having an equivalent to our test and trace system was important.

He also spoke of the need to consider the ‘level and trajectory’ of the virus abroad. 

Outlining the questions being asked by UK officials, he said: ‘Do they have something equivalent to our NHS Test and Trace system? The Test and Trace system is enormous here now. We’ve got the capacity to test far more than is immediately required but that would allow for any uplift anywhere.

‘Does the country we’re talking to have that kind of capability?’

Mr Shapps added that introducing air bridges is a ‘massive priority’, stating: ‘I understand entirely the pain that aviation is going through. I know both for airports, for airlines and actually for ground handlers as well, this coronavirus has been a complete disaster.

‘The only thing which will be worse is if the country does not continue the work it’s doing on getting on top of it.

Belgium tourists sunbathe in a roped off area at Levante beach, Benidorm after the town's beaches were reopened after three months of closure on June 15

Belgium tourists sunbathe in a roped off area at Levante beach, Benidorm after the town’s beaches were reopened after three months of closure on June 15

‘That’s why quarantine has been introduced at a point where we were getting on top of it.’  

Travel corridors will come as welcome news to the beleaguered tourism industry, with holiday firms and airlines likely to launch big promotions for last-minute holidays as soon as the announcement is made.

Since June 8, all passengers – bar a handful of exemptions – have been required to go into self-isolation for 14 days when they arrive in the UK.

People who fail to comply can be fined £1,000 in England, and police are allowed to use ‘reasonable force’ to make sure they follow the rules. 

Ryanair has already seen a doubling of UK bookings for flights in July and August since the beginning of June, and price comparison site Travel Supermarket say demand for holidays to Spain has doubled over the past week compared to the week before.

This comes as more than 4,500 airport workers in the UK and Ireland face the axe after Britain’s biggest airport ground handling company announced plans to shed more than half its staff. Swissport yesterday announced job cuts as the pandemic has damaged the aviation industry.

The firm employs 8,500 workers at airports across the UK, including baggage handlers and check-in staff.

Flying Fox: ‘World’s most expensive’ superyacht is rented out for £3million a week


‘World’s most expensive’ superyacht is available to rent for £3million a week – and guests get their own sub-marine station, luxury spa complex and even a HOSPITAL (but you’ll need 54 crew to sail it)

  • The stunning white superyacht, which sleeps 22, was built in Germany and cost around £500million to craft 
  • Flying Fox stretches 450ft and boasts a heli-pad and mini-submarine station for its discerning guests
  • Floating holiday home comes with a hefty price tag though – it costs £3million to hire it out just for a week 

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Billionaires looking for an alternative lockdown playground this summer might consider snapping up the world’s most expensive charter yacht – a snip at just £3million a week, or, if you break it down, a wallet-crushing £18,000 an hour.  

The uber luxurious six-deck Flying Fox stretches 450ft and boasts the kind of five-star amenities most high-end hotels would struggle to conjure up, including a futuristic cryo-sauna, heli-pad and a 400sq-metre spa pool with a balcony purely for yoga.

The superyacht, which sleeps 25 but can entertain up 34 guests, was built in Germany and cost around £500million to craft.

The Flying Fox needs a whopping 54 crew members – from bar staff to gym instructors and waiters – to be fully operational while cruising the world.   

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One for Mr Bond? With a heli-pad, mini submarine station and a fleet of cool ocean toys such as fly and hoverboards, the Flying Fox, the world’s most expensive superyacht offers the super-rich an enviable floating playground

Sail away: The luxury 440ft charter vessel was finished in 2019 and became available to rent earlier this month

Sail away: The luxury 440ft charter vessel was finished in 2019 and became available to rent earlier this month

There are six decks and a very cool 400sq-metre spa pool perfect for lazy days at sea - if you don't mind the £18,000 an hour price tag

There are six decks and a very cool 400sq-metre spa pool perfect for lazy days at sea – if you don’t mind the £18,000 an hour price tag

German built, the Flying Fox is the world's most expensive superyacht, costing a cool £500 million to make

German built, the Flying Fox is the world’s most expensive superyacht, costing a cool £500 million to make

Visiting oligarchs have several ways to access the Flying Fox; there’s a helipad should they wish to whirr in from above and even a mini-submarine station. 

Those who want alternative options for getting on the ocean can also try a hoverboard, flyboard or sea scooter. 

Inside, there’s are swish interiors by leading designer Mark Berryman and the 11 cabins can accommodate up to 25 guests staying overnight; all rooms have private sea view terraces.  

Anyone feeling anxious about catching Covid can rest assured the Flying Fox boasts a fully-staffed medical centre purely to take care of visitors.   

In the spa, there’s the chance to try the benefits of trendy cryotherapy which involves freezing the body to sub-zero temperatures. And missing rural life while at sea isn’t a problem, guests can stroll an indoor garden, complete with its own trees and water garden.  

Building began on the Flying Fox in 2017, and it was completed last year before being put up for rental earlier this month.  

A floating mini city: there's a fully functioning medical facility with staff on board to reassure visiting guests

A floating mini city: there’s a fully functioning medical facility with staff on board to reassure visiting guests

Now that's a corner couch, the bedrooms on board are super spacious

...and there's plenty of places to relax for a sundowner

Now that’s a corner couch, the bedrooms on board are super spacious, and there’s plenty of places to relax for a sundowner

Flying Fox can welcome 36 guests on board but needs a crew of 54 to be fully functioning

Flying Fox can welcome 36 guests on board but needs a crew of 54 to be fully functioning 

Room with a view: there are 11 cabins for 25 guests to stay overnight, all staterooms come with private sea view terraces

Room with a view: there are 11 cabins for 25 guests to stay overnight, all staterooms come with private sea view terraces

St Trop for summer? The chartered superyacht can glide effortlessly around some of the world's glitziest destinations

St Trop for summer? The chartered superyacht can glide effortlessly around some of the world’s glitziest destinations

With six decks, rising 100ft, there's plenty of space for privacy onboard the luxury vessel

With six decks, rising 100ft, there’s plenty of space for privacy onboard the luxury vessel

Escape the midday sun with a dip in the sleek pool which stretches across the entire width of a deck

Escape the midday sun with a dip in the sleek pool which stretches across the entire width of a deck

The yacht's crew includes former Olympians and triathletes should guests onboard want to stretch their fitness with some specialist training

How the Flying Fox looks at sunset...

The yacht’s crew includes former Olympians and triathletes should guests onboard want to stretch their fitness with some specialist training. Right: How the Flying Fox looks at sunset…

Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner could be released from prison NEXT WEEK


Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner could be released from prison in Germany NEXT WEEK as lawyers launch bid to free him on parole

  • Christian Brueckner’s lawyers filed a request for him to be released on parole 
  • German prosecutors fear he could ‘vanish’ afterwards if he is released next week 
  • The convicted paedophile has served two-thirds of a 21-month drug sentence 

The prime suspect in Madeleine McCann’s disappearance could be out of prison in Germany on parole by next week. 

Christian Brueckner’s lawyers have filed a request for him to be released after serving two thirds of his 21-month drug sentence in Kiel, Germany. 

Now prosecutors fear the 43-year-old could flee the country after his release, making it impossible for them to pursue him over Maddie’s disappearance.   

The case has now been passed to Germany’s Federal Court in Karlsruhe and officials are expected to decide within the next week if he should be released.

In 2011, Brueckner was sentenced to 21 months in jail for his part in a drugs trafficking ring that supplied marijuana to VIP clients.

The convicted paedophile and rapist was announced as the prime suspect in the disappearance of Maddie in Praia da Luz, Portugal in 2007. 

Christian Brueckner’s lawyers have filed a request for him to be released as early as next week

Prosecutors have said they have concrete evidence that Maddie is dead. 

Now, a source close to the German investigation has told the Sun: ‘If the superior court decides to free him then it will severely impact the case.

‘He could vanish and then we will not be able to put him on trial. We are fighting for him to be kept in court.’

The suspect’s legal team have also taken the case to the European Court of Justice claiming that there was a breach of European Arrest Warrant regulations when Brueckner was extradited from Italy to Germany.

He was flown back to Germany in 2018 on a warrant issued for the drugs offence.

However, he was also then put on trial and convicted of the rape of a 72-year-old American woman at her villa in Praia da Luz in 2005.

In December, he was sentenced to seven years but is appealing the conviction and, under German law, the jail term has yet to be imposed.    

Brueckner has a long history of crimes, having first been jailed as a teenager for molesting a six-year-old. 

Kiel Prison in Kiel, Germany where Madeleine McCann suspect and convicted German paedophile Christian Brueckner is being held

Kiel Prison in Kiel, Germany where Madeleine McCann suspect and convicted German paedophile Christian Brueckner is being held

The convicted paedophile and rapist was announced as the prime suspect in the disappearance of Maddie

The convicted paedophile and rapist was announced as the prime suspect in the disappearance of Maddie

After being released in 1996, aged 19, he fled Germany.

He is thought to have then committed a series of crimes, including burglaries and sexual assaults, while abroad.  

He was jailed in Portugal in 2006 for stealing diesel.

A blue Bedford van that the prime suspect owned at the time Maddie went missing was impounded for the non-payment of a fine for stealing fuel and reportedly later crushed before it could be searched for evidence.

German drifter Brueckner used to live and sleep in the van on the beach near Praia da Luz between February and April 2006 while he was unemployed and homeless.

Crucially he still owned the van in May 2007 when Madeleine disappeared in the coastal resort, according to the respected Portuguese newspaper Expresso. 

Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner could be released from prison NEXT WEEK


Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner could be released from prison in Germany NEXT WEEK as lawyers launch bid to free him on parole

  • Christian Brueckner’s lawyers filed a request for him to be released on parole 
  • German prosecutors fear he could ‘vanish’ afterwards if he is released next week 
  • The convicted paedophile has served two-thirds of a 21-month drug sentence 

The prime suspect in Madeleine McCann’s disappearance could be out of prison in Germany on parole by next week. 

Christian Brueckner’s lawyers have filed a request for him to be released after serving two thirds of his 21-month drug sentence in Kiel, Germany. 

Now prosecutors fear the 43-year-old could flee the country after his release, making it impossible for them to pursue him over Maddie’s disappearance.   

The case has now been passed to Germany’s Federal Court in Karlsruhe and officials are expected to decide within the next week if he should be released.

In 2011, Brueckner was sentenced to 21 months in jail for his part in a drugs trafficking ring that supplied marijuana to VIP clients.

The convicted paedophile and rapist was announced as the prime suspect in the disappearance of Maddie in Praia da Luz, Portugal in 2007. 

Christian Brueckner’s lawyers have filed a request for him to be released as early as next week

Prosecutors have said they have concrete evidence that Maddie is dead. 

Now, a source close to the German investigation has told the Sun: ‘If the superior court decides to free him then it will severely impact the case.

‘He could vanish and then we will not be able to put him on trial. We are fighting for him to be kept in court.’

The suspect’s legal team have also taken the case to the European Court of Justice claiming that there was a breach of European Arrest Warrant regulations when Brueckner was extradited from Italy to Germany.

He was flown back to Germany in 2018 on a warrant issued for the drugs offence.

However, he was also then put on trial and convicted of the rape of a 72-year-old American woman at her villa in Praia da Luz in 2005.

In December, he was sentenced to seven years but is appealing the conviction and, under German law, the jail term has yet to be imposed.    

Brueckner has a long history of crimes, having first been jailed as a teenager for molesting a six-year-old. 

Kiel Prison in Kiel, Germany where Madeleine McCann suspect and convicted German paedophile Christian Brueckner is being held

Kiel Prison in Kiel, Germany where Madeleine McCann suspect and convicted German paedophile Christian Brueckner is being held

The convicted paedophile and rapist was announced as the prime suspect in the disappearance of Maddie

The convicted paedophile and rapist was announced as the prime suspect in the disappearance of Maddie

After being released in 1996, aged 19, he fled Germany.

He is thought to have then committed a series of crimes, including burglaries and sexual assaults, while abroad.  

He was jailed in Portugal in 2006 for stealing diesel.

A blue Bedford van that the prime suspect owned at the time Maddie went missing was impounded for the non-payment of a fine for stealing fuel and reportedly later crushed before it could be searched for evidence.

German drifter Brueckner used to live and sleep in the van on the beach near Praia da Luz between February and April 2006 while he was unemployed and homeless.

Crucially he still owned the van in May 2007 when Madeleine disappeared in the coastal resort, according to the respected Portuguese newspaper Expresso. 

Lucy Aitkenread: Meet the mum who doesn’t believe in mainstream schooling


A mother who describes herself as ‘anti-school’ takes her kids to the beach for picnics instead of sending them to a mainstream classroom to learn traditionally.   

Lucy Aitkenread’s two daughters, Ramona, nine, and Juno, seven, are encouraged to wake up when they want and pass their days surfing, hiking, kayaking and exploring the countryside surrounding their 25-acre farm in Waikato, New Zealand.

Lucy, 37, and her husband, ex-teacher, Tim Aitkenread, 40, first stumbled upon the ‘self-directed learning’ phenomenon while visiting a kindergarten in Germany in 2013, having recently left their home London after becoming ‘disillusioned’ with life there.

The kindergarten allowed children to choose what they wanted to study and after seeing that structure, the couple made the decision to never put their daughters through mainstream schooling. 

Lucy Aitkenread’s (right) two daughters, Ramona, nine (centre), and Juno, seven (left), are encouraged to wake up when they want and pass their days surfing, hiking, kayaking and exploring the countryside surrounding their 25-acre farm in Waikato, New Zealand

Lucy, 37, and her partner, ex-teacher, Tim Aitkenread (pictured), 40, first stumbled upon the 'self-directed learning' phenomenon while visiting a kindergarten in Germany in 2013

Lucy, 37, and her partner, ex-teacher, Tim Aitkenread (pictured), 40, first stumbled upon the ‘self-directed learning’ phenomenon while visiting a kindergarten in Germany in 2013

Now living in a yurt in the New Zealand countryside, the couple let their daughters ‘learn as they wish’, whether that means doing calculations on the bathroom wall or modelling sculptures out of clay. 

Their chosen lifestyle is legal in New Zealand, with Lucy submitting two successful applications to the Ministry of Education to have her kids exempt from enrolling in a registered school. 

They also have no family rules, other than not hurting each other, and the kids are encouraged to feed the chickens and cook breakfast on their own.  

‘We have really slow mornings and we don’t get up until we’ve had a few mugs of tea. Then we might go surfing or do a big hike, go kayaking or do a trip to a museum or art gallery,’ Lucy, who makes a living from her lifestyle blog, said.   

How do the children learn without a curriculum to follow? Is it legal?

HOW DO YOU LEARN WITHOUT A CURRICULUM?

Lucy says she has adopted a creative approach to schooling, teaching her daughters not through sit down lessons, but letting them follow their own interests. 

Instead of having dedicated time for reading or maths, she believes these issues come up naturally as the girls go about their day – for example, one of them asking how to write a card. 

‘In my own experience, all these topics permeate everyday life, so in just an hour of our day, we’d basically cover all of those topics,’ Lucy said. 

She covered how each child covers each traditional subject in day to day life in detail in the below application forms.  

IS IT LEGAL TO ‘UNSCHOOL’ IN NEW ZEALAND? 

The Ministry of Education in New Zealand can issue a Certificate of Exemption from enrollment at a registered school when it is satisfied that parents are willing and able to be responsible for an appropriate programme of education for their child.

The application form asks parents to provide full details about how they intend to home educate their child

Lucy submitted successful applications to the Ministry of Education to ‘unschool’ her children which can be read here (for Ramona) and here (for Juno).

Now living in a yurt in the New Zealand countryside, the couple let their daughters 'learn as they wish'

Now living in a yurt in the New Zealand countryside, the couple let their daughters ‘learn as they wish’

‘Yesterday, we forested for mushrooms and at night we played cards and went possum hunting and late at night we skinned the possums.’

Lucy says that children are more likely to succeed later in life if they are given ‘lots of time to follow their interests’.  

‘If I sent them to school, they wouldn’t get the same freedom,’ she said. 

‘Most mainstream education can be very punitive. It can use shame to coerce kids to learn things they’re not interested in and that’s really paralysing.

‘My eldest daughter has finished writing her first book and she has a natural love of maths. She does long calculations on our bathroom wall.’ 

Lucy says that children are more likely to succeed later in life if they are given 'lots of time to follow their interests'

Lucy says that children are more likely to succeed later in life if they are given ‘lots of time to follow their interests’

'If I sent them to school, they wouldn't get the same freedom,' Lucy said

‘If I sent them to school, they wouldn’t get the same freedom,’ Lucy said 

Tim, who once taught at a secondary school in London, was happy to swap the blackboard for the great outdoors  now spends his time farming the land around their yurt and attending to the family’s chickens and cows.

The couple say teachers make up a large percentage of parents who are part of the ‘unschooling’ world. 

And Lucy, who now teaches other parents how to unschool their kids online, says there has been a surge in interest in the trend since lockdown, with parents noticing their children having become less stressed since schools closed their doors.  

‘They get into [teaching] because they’re passionate about learning, but they feel the opportunities to learn are stifled by the way school is structured,’ Lucy said. 

”It’s mad how we test children when they’re seven, eight or nine and make them experience shame and stress on a mass scale. Future generations will think: “what were we doing?”.’

'I'm not worried my daughters will be disadvantaged in the future as we know parents of kids who never went to school and got into university on the strength of their interviews,' she said

'I'm not worried my daughters will be disadvantaged in the future as we know parents of kids who never went to school and got into university on the strength of their interviews,' she said

‘I’m not worried my daughters will be disadvantaged in the future as we know parents of kids who never went to school and got into university on the strength of their interviews,’ she said

Despite the growing interest, Lucy admits that many people still doubt her unique approach to education, with people online accusing her of 'neglecting' her children

Despite the growing interest, Lucy admits that many people still doubt her unique approach to education, with people online accusing her of ‘neglecting’ her children

Lucy said there has also been a surge in interest about unschooling since coronavirus lockdown started.      

‘Lots of parents have noted that during quarantine their children transformed and went from being stressed, anxious and controlling to being really playful and connected with their siblings,’ she said, adding that there was a surge in enrollments to her online unschooling course.  

But despite the growing interest, Lucy admits that many people still doubt her unique approach to education, with people online accusing her of ‘neglecting’ her children.

‘There have been people telling me I’m neglecting my children and that they will hate me when they’re older,’ she said.

‘Partly these people don’t know what they’re looking at when they see our lives and partly they’ve internalised the oppression of school.

‘They batten down the hatches and say it was worth the bullying and lack of consent, that it was worth studying those things they didn’t care about.

‘I’m not worried my daughters will be disadvantaged in the future as we know parents of kids who never went to school and got into university on the strength of their interviews.’