2. Weekly Newsletter
Holiday Bookings at ‘Pre-Pandemic Levels’
The BBC has reported that holiday bookings have now returned to “around pre-COVID levels” after the government announced that pre-departure tests for the fully vaccinated populous will be scrapped. Britain’s largest low-cost carrier, easyJet, has experienced an almost 200% rise on the previous week and TUI declared “a strong uptick” as bookings for warm climates lead the pack. Lanzarote has seen a 427% week on week increase in demand after a challenging 2021. Britain’s most visited airport, Heathrow, in the first 11 months of 2021 had just 16.3m passengers– down from 80.8m in 2019.
The pandemic years have witnessed Britain’s aviation sector lose a national airline (Flybe) and giants incur heavy losses. easyJet anticipates a £1.135bn loss for 2021 and has more than halved it’s share price since the start of the pandemic. Whereas, IAG (the owner of British Airways) face a loss of around £2.5bn for the period due to the exacerbated impact of the pandemic upon long-haul flights which is not recovering as quickly as short-haul. Going forward, the relaxed rules on travelling for the fully vaccinated into the UK is expected to help return the industry to profit.
The new UK strategy for COVID has been labelled as the ‘Swedish’ approach, by some, and returns to the initial first strategy planned at the start of the pandemic. Ministers are now advising that the nation must ‘learn to live with COVID’ due to its weakened severity and hospitalisation rates. PM Johnson will be setting out his government’s strategy for this approach in the coming weeks; he is also expected to reduce the official self-isolation period down from 7 to 5 days to relieve pressure upon labour shortages.
COVID cases in the UK now total 14.62m over the course of the pandemic and daily totals have risen significantly since 2021. Over the last 7 days there have been 1.20m new positive cases and 1,330 COVID-related deaths in the same period. The spread of the dominant Omicron variant has been relatively equally distributed across the nation, surpassing previous regional and rural/urban divides. Britain has now inoculated 51.97m people, with 47.72m receiving a second vaccine and a final 35.66m have taken a booster dose- this totals 135.36m vaccinations delivered across the country.
UK 2022 Calendar Highlights
2022 brings in a new calendar of entries for the UK and additionally features HM the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee to celebrate her 70th year on the throne. This will feature a special four-day bank holiday weekend featuring a unique Trooping The Colour on Horse Guards Parade in central London as well as beacons being lit across the UK and Overseas Territories to mark the occasion. A service of Thanksgiving will be held in St Paul’s Cathedral with a national ‘Party At The Palace’ show set for the 4th of June.
Unique to Britain events for 2022:
25 January : Burns Night (Scottish celebration with food, drams and verse)
1 February : Chinese New Year in London (largest outside of Asia)
5 February – 19 March : Rugby Six Nations (across Cardiff, London and Edinburgh)
18 – 22 February : London Fashion Week (fashion industry event)
1 March : St. David’s Day (Welsh national day)
15-18 March : Cheltenham Festival (horse racing)
17 March : St Patrick’s Day (celebrated in Northern Ireland and parts of Britain)
3 April : Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race (university rowing event)
7 – 9 April : Grand National (largest horse race event in UK)
23 April : St George’s Day (England’s national day)
14 May : FA Cup Final (world’s oldest domestic football cup)
24 – 28 May : Chelsea Flower Show (world-famous flower show in London)
28 – 29 May : Highland Games start (continue at other locations throughout the year)
2 June : HM the Queen’s Birthday (including Trooping the Colour)
2 – 5 June : HM the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee (70 year anniversary of HM’s reign)
14 – 18 June : Royal Ascot (historic horse race)
16 – 19 June : Isle of Wight Festival (music festival off coast of England)
23 – 26 June : The Royal Highland Show (Edinburgh country event)
25 June : Round the Island Race (16,000 sailors race 50 nautical miles around the Isle of Wight)
27 June – 10 July : Wimbledon Tennis Championships (tennis tournament)
1 – 3 July : F1 British Grand Prix (motorsport racing at Silverstone)
2 – 3 July : Wales Air Show (Swansea air display)
11 – 17 July : The Open Championship (St Andrews golf championship)
18 – 21 July : The Royal Welsh Show (Welsh agricultural show)
28 July – 8 August : Commonwealth Games (international sports event hosted in Birmingham)
22 July – 2 October : Buckingham Palace Summer Opening (royal place open to public)
30 July – 10 September : BBC Proms (classical music event at the Royal Albert Hall)
28 – 29 August : Notting Hill Carnival (London cultural event)
2 October : London Marathon (public long-distance run)
5 November : Bonfire Night (UK-wide historic tradition)
30 November : St Andrew’s Day (Scottish national day)
30 December – 1 January : Hogmanay (Scottish New Year celebrations)