UK government ministers have confirmed this week that they are considering relaxing restrictions surrounding international travel for Brits who have had both doses of a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.
As is being reported by the Telegraph, Sky News, and The Guardian, changes are being considered to the traffic light travel system under – where countries are graded according to their COVID case and jab rate to determine the need for isolation for travellers returning from them to the UK.
A government spokesperson has told Sky News that it is “working with industry for a safe return to international travel, guided by one overwhelming priority – public health”.
They added: “Recognising the strong strategic rationale and success of the vaccine programme, we have commenced work to consider the role of vaccinations in shaping a different set of health and testing measures for inbound travel.”
If the new plan is approved, it could mean that Brits who are fully vaccinated will not need to quarantine upon their return from some of the most popular destinations – including the US and several countries across Europe.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock is said to be open to the idea, according to the Telegraph.
The relaxing of international travel restrictions for the fully-vaccinated may also help appease a furious air travel industry – with Ryanair and the owner of the Manchester Airport Group (MAG) having launched legal action against the government this morning.
Papers have been filed to the High Court to seek clarity over the transparency of the traffic light system amid frustration over the lack of green list destinations.
Green: Arrivals must take a pre-departure test and PCR test before their return to the UK – but will not need to quarantine when they arrive.
Amber: Arrivals must quarantine for 10 days upon arrival in Britain and take a pre-departure test, as well as two further PCR tests.
Red: Arrivals must stay for 10 days in a managed quarantine hotel, taking a pre-departure test and two further PCR tests.
Only a handful of countries currently appear on the UK’s “green list” for travel, where tourists are not required to quarantine once they return.
At present, Brits are being advised not to travel to “amber list” countries – which includes popular holiday hotspots such as Spain and France – as government guidelines state that they must quarantine at home for 10 days after upon return.
But the introduction of relaxed international travel rules could mean breaks to amber list countries would be permitted for those fully-vaccinated just as the summer holiday season gets in full swing.
Jesse Norman, the financial secretary to the Treasury, told Kay Burley on Sky News this morning that the government was “certainly looking at all the options here”, adding that: “We don’t want to get left behind by countries which may be adopting a two jabs approach if it can be done safely and if it can be done carefully and securely.”
He also admitted that the idea that under-30s – the majority of whom have only recently had the chance to get their first jab – would be discriminated against if travel restrictions were based on vaccination status was “certainly a consideration to be borne in mind”.
“Of course the under-30s do not have anything like the same vulnerability to the disease that people older do,” he added.
Manchester United reject offers for Mason Greenwood as rep says he ‘should be allowed to move forward with his young life’
Manchester United have reportedly rejected a number of offers for Mason Greenwood as the club continues their internal investigation into his behaviour.
The club have reportedly received a number of offers for the young forward from Turkish teams in recent weeks and months while Greenwood has been suspended from playing or training. He has yet to return to the sport after charges of attempted rape, controlling and coercive behaviour and assault occasioning actual bodily harm were dropped.
The charges handed down in January 2022 were ultimately dropped last month when key witnesses withdrew, more than a year on from the incident that was widely circulated on social media.
Now, following a behind-the-scenes feature by The Athletic and ‘new material’ leading the Crown Prosecution Service to drop the case for the foreseeable, it seems United are now the only party still investigating Greenwood, with his own team and figures around the club pushing for a resolution.
Speaking to Laurie Whitwell as part of the piece, one of Greenwood’s representatives argued that there is “no real substance” to the allegations, them “a mix of old news, speculation, half-truths and completely untrue claims.”
He went on to say, “Mason is 21, he has been cleared and should be allowed the opportunity to rebuild and move forward with his young life.”
Another source is also said to have told the outlet that the youngster has been fundamentally changed by the experience, insisting that he “would run through a brick wall” to be back playing at United.
As for the club’s stance, it remains to be seen what their final decision on his future will be, but it was reported earlier this month that a potential return is still “firmly under consideration” and his number 11 shirt has not yet been vacated as many would have expected if he was set to move on.
On the other hand, the article goes on to detail questions surrounding Greenwood’s conduct and general attitude during his relatively short time as a senior player too, the suggestion being that he was slacking in training because “he knew he was a good player”.
His attendance at Carrington is said to have been raised as an issue on more than one occasion and then-manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær often covered for training sessions and games he missed after failing to turn up to the team hotel for “unexplained absences”.
Another source who watched him play aged just 16 also went on to reveal that Bradford-born academy product “wasn’t shy about telling someone they were s***”, apparently even calling out Cristiano Ronaldo as “dead [finished]” when he was still at Real Madrid.
Greenwood played over 100 senior games for United and was widely considered one of the brightest young prospects in England, let alone the club, but the career trajectory he looked to be on is widely different from the problematic position he finds himself in now, regardless of any offers from abroad.
So, after setting up a fake consultancy firm based out of Seoul, South Korea called Hanseong Consulting and inviting along a number of MPs, many of whom either previously held or currently sit in senior party positions, they began holding Zoom interviews with the various candidates to see if they’d be interested.
More importantly, however, the crucial question was “how much would they want to be paid?”. The likes of former Matt Hancock and Kwasi Kwarteng had very simple but nevertheless astounding answers:
As you can see in the trailer for the full mini-documentary, both the former health secretary and the ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer quoted their day rate as up to £10,000.
In fact, Hancock broke down his figures even further, insisting that an hourly rate would equate to “around £1,500”. Wonder how that sizes up to the fee he was paid to be on I’m A Celeb? (yes, that wasn’t a fever dream, it really happened). We’ll let you do the nauseating maths on that one.
Other Tories who were duped into putting themselves forward for the made-up job included Gavin Williamson, Stephen Hammond and the Chairman of the party’s 1922 Committee (a private members group known to influencers backbenchers), Sir Graham Brady.
Well, they were the only ‘candidates’ to have issued statements after the fact trying to play down the story, anyway. The campaigners approached 20 different MPs under the guise of the fabricated company, with other individuals dropping out in more preliminary stages.
After having asked for £60k a year on top of his £48k annual salary as the representative for Manc constituency Altrincham and Sale West, this would have been Brady’s fourth job besides his two marketing and comms advisory roles, but assured he would always act “within the Code of Conduct”.
Hammond had more to say on the matter, responding that “scamming is an unpleasant activity undertaken with malicious intent”, while Hancock’s office responded by labelling it a “failed attempt at entrapment” and insisted he is free to look at “exploratory options” as he is set to stand down as an MP.
Led By Donkeys are now in the process of gradually releasing each one of the fake job interviews in full on their YouTube channel.