Week Ahead: Joe Wicks returns and new travel restrictions begin at airports

New restrictions on travellers entering the country come into force while Joe Wicks returns with his online exercise classes. Chris Burn looks at the Week Ahead.

Four-year-old Lois Copley-Jones, who is the photographer's daughter, takes part in a live streamed broadcast of PE with fitness trainer Joe Wicks on the first day of the nationwide school closures on March 23, 2020 (Photo by Gareth Copley/Gareth Copley)

TRAVEL TESTS

All travellers to England from international destinations will have to test negative for Covid before they can enter from this week in a Government move critics have suggested is long overdue.

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Under plans set out by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, from this week passengers arriving in England by boat, train or plane – including UK nationals – will have to take a test up to 72 hours before leaving the country of departure.

Mr Shapps said the move was designed to prevent new variants of the disease which have emerged in countries such as South Africa and Denmark. Failure to comply will lead to an immediate £500 fine.

There will be a limited number of exemptions, including hauliers, children under 11, crews, arrivals from the Common Travel Area with Ireland and for those travelling from countries without the infrastructure available to deliver tests.

The move follows the decision to suspend all direct travel from South Africa following the emergence there of a new strain of coronavirus thought potentially to be even more virulent than the mutant variant which has led cases to surge in the UK.

Mr Shapps said: “Taken together with the existing mandatory self-isolation period for passengers returning from high-risk countries, pre-departure tests will provide a further line of defence – helping us control the virus as we roll out the vaccine at pace over the coming weeks.”

Tim Alderslade, the chief executive of the industry body Airlines UK, said: “This should be a short-term, emergency measure only and once the rollout of the vaccine accelerates, the focus must be on returning travel to normal as quickly as possible in order to support the UK’s economic recovery.”

BACK IN ACTION

Personal trainer Joe Wicks was one of the heroes of the original lockdown and he is resuming his at home PE lessons for families from Monday.

The fitness expert, known as The Body Coach, announced last week that he will resume the popular workouts that kept the nation active during the first lockdown.

Sessions will be live Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9am on YouTube as the latest lockdown continues.

Wicks raised £580,000 for the NHS from his original online lessons and was subsequently made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

He later raised more than £2 million for BBC Children in Need by leading a 24-hour fitness class.

Meanwhile, to help with remote learning, from today, each week day on CBBC will see a three-hour block of primary school programming from 9am. BBC Two will cater for secondary students with programming to support the GCSE curriculum, with a least two hours of content each weekday.

TECH TEASERS

Some of the world’s largest technology firms will be announcing their new products throughout this week at the annual Consumer Electronics Show.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the annual convention – traditionally held in Las Vegas – is taking place entirely virtually. Samsung, LG, Panasonic and Sony are among the firms making announcements.

LOOKING UP

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the 13th European Space Conference will be held in Brussels.

Discussions on the agenda at the event include space exploration, international space cooperation and business and European space competitiveness.

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