Travel to Thailand: latest Covid rules and practical guidance

As the all-important high-season approaches and Thailand’s case numbers continue to drop the country pushed ahead with its ambitious plan to reopen to fully-vaccinated travellers from 63 countries, including China, Singapore, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom, on... Read more

This new variant has the potential to grind international travel to a halt once again

Are we facing a Groundhog Day for travel? The emergence of what seems to be a more transmissible variant of Covid-19 is certainly bad news for our holiday plans and perhaps for life in general. It has sinister echoes of... Read more

Death of England: Face to Face, review: raw lockdown drama shines light on the politics of identity

What’s in a face? Quite a lot when you are convinced that your mixed-race daughter has similar features to her racist Engerland-braying grandad. “Alan Fletcher, with his twisted lip, on the face of my beautiful child,” says Giles Terera’s Delroy... Read more

Welcome innovation for a desperate NHS

The Covid pandemic has exposed many shortcomings in the NHS even as we have been invited to applaud the people who work within it. The impact of lockdowns on other aspects of public health are now well attested, with lengthy... Read more

Why lockdown-free Sweden could be your safest bet for a ski holiday

Extra curricular thrills If you begin to tire of downhill skiing, there is always the option of another of the Swedes’ favourite outdoor activities: cross-country skiing. Prepared routes abound, with 300 km of tracks around the Sälen area, almost 100... Read more

Catching Covid twice means you are less likely to end up in hospital, say scientists

Coronavirus reinfection is 90 per cent less likely to land people in hospital than the first time catching the virus, research shows.  Scientists said the findings, from a study of 350,000 Covid cases, suggest that the impact becomes more like... Read more

EU set to propose ‘nine-month expiry date’ on Covid vaccine passports for travel

The European Union is to recommend a nine-month expiry date on Covid vaccine passports for those looking to travel into the bloc, according to reports.  Member states should prioritise vaccinated travellers and continue to welcome those inoculated with doses approved... Read more

Travel to New Zealand: latest advice as country prepares to reopen borders

New Zealand’s border reopening will happen in three stages. First, citizens and visa holders from Australia will be allowed in, then New Zealanders based in other countries, and finally all vaccinated visitors will be allowed to enter from the end... Read more

Why I’m not selfish for refusing to wear a mask

Last week I was in Waitrose, doing my food shopping. Bare-faced and mask-free, I spied an old friend. As I wheeled my trolley over to her, smiling, our eyes met for a millisecond, before she looked off in the other... Read more

Will school Scrooges put paid to children’s Nativity dreams?

One of the sweetest joys of the festive season is the Nativity play. I feel deeply nostalgic for the time when I had to find a stripey tea-towel to make a headdress for my little shepherd and wings for my... Read more

Could the red list return this winter – and where’s the safest bet for holidays?

A Covid resurgence on the Continent has raised the depressing prospect of travel restrictions – and the UK’s much-maligned red list – making an unwanted return.  The list, detailing countries from which arrivals must spend 10 days in a quarantine... Read more

Travel to Australia: when the border could reopen, and latest Covid rules

Australia’s borders are to open a little further from December 1 – permitting certain visa holders and holidaymakers. Since November 1, immediate family members – including parents – of Australian citizens and permanent residents are permitted to enter the country.... Read more

Will Europe’s ski resorts remain open this winter – and should I cancel my holiday?

As Europe continues to experience a fourth wave of Covid-19 infections, and Austria today goes into a 20-day “firebreak” lockdown, British skiers are being urged to keep calm.  Tour operators are remaining positive, thanks to the determination of ski nations... Read more

Plotting a Sound of Music-style escape after being snared by Austria’s lockdown

This joyful holiday in the mountains, marvelling at cute chalets, and enjoying the smell of autumn firesmoke, is ruined on day one. I want to scream, but turn around, trudge down the mountain and back to Das Ronacher Hotel. Staff... Read more

New documents back theory that Covid outbreak started in Wuhan lab

Wuhan scientists were studying viral samples of high-risk bat species living in Laos – the country where the closest relative to Covid-19 has been found, leaked documents show.  In September, researchers discovered a viral strain called Banal-52 in Laos, which... Read more

More than half of young people don’t think they need office-working to learn on the job

More than half of young people think they do not need to be in an office full-time to learn what they need for work, a survey has shown. Research indicated that a flexible work culture is now a key consideration... Read more

How the pandemic changed our children’s lives – for better or for worse

‘Before she was ill, Mum cycled 13 miles a day on her commute. Now she uses a wheelchair’ One morning, in mid-March 2020, we’d put our school uniforms on when Mum came downstairs saying she felt a bit unwell and... Read more

Confusing rules, testing and boosters – your holiday questions answered

As countries open up to travel again, the rules around entry become more complex – some travellers report being turned away by airlines for not having the correct paperwork. And on arrival at destinations, on-the-ground restrictions, including Covid health passes,... Read more

The six unanswered questions around boosters and travel

When you received a second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, you may have let out a sigh of relief. If nothing else, you would be able to go to your favourite holiday destination once again. Alas, the latest twist (we... Read more

How strict vaccine rules are threatening to ruin family holidays

Single or double jab entry rules. Tests to enter restaurants. NHS Covid passes that can’t be used by under-16s… the holiday rule quicksand could swiftly sink a family break this winter. Even within the European Union, the requirements for arrivals... Read more