The government’s next update to the traffic light travel restrictions is likely to take place on Thursday (16 September).

And the most recent government briefings indicate that the current system restricting travel to the UK is likely to be dismantled soon.

The UK has by far the highest infection rates for any major country in Europe, yet it also imposes the strictest rules on arrivals.

A total of 62 nations and territories are on the UK”s “red list,” representing a total population of well over one billion people.

Appearing on the red list is effectively a travel ban, with arrivals from those countries required to go into 11 nights of hotel quarantine once in the UK – at a cost, for a solo traveller, of £2,285.

So which countries might leave the club – and which nations should join?

Tim White, the Covid data analyst who tweets as @TWMCLtd, has trawled through the genomic sequencing records held by Gisaid, the worldwide database, with a focus on variants of concern.

He will be on hand to answer all your latest travel questions around the upcoming announcement and what might happen to the traffic light system in coming weeks during a live ‘ask me anything’ event being held on this page today (14 September).

Join Tim at 4pm today, 14 September, when he’ll be on hand to answer your travel questions about all the latest rules and restrictions live.

Register to submit your question in the Comments below. If you’re not already a member, click “sign up” in the Comments box to leave your question.

Don’t worry if you can’t see your question – they will be hidden until Tim joins the conversation to answer them.

Then join us live on this page from 4-5pm as he tackles as many as he can within an hour.

The UK’s traffic light travel system could be simplified to just two lists – a ‘go’ and a ‘no go’, similar to the current green and red lists, say sources.

In the wake of reports by the BBC and The Telegraph last week, The Telegraphis now reporting that double-jabbed travellers will be able to take cheaper lateral flow tests before and after travel to the UK from abroad.

Paul Charles, CEO of the PC Agency, has told the paper that up to 24 countries could move straight from the former red list to a new green list, with the red list expected to be “significantly shrunk”.

The government last week declined to comment on any big changes, saying: “Our international travel policy is guided by one overwhelming priority – protecting public health.

“The next formal checkpoint review will take place by 1 October 2021.”

In other news, more than 300,000 people are estimated to have broken quarantine rules between March and May.

Follow the latest travel news below:


Dominican Republic, Indonesia and the Maldives ‘should come off red list’, says expert

A dozen high-profile countries – all with either a big population or very popular with British travellers, or both – should be removed from the UK’s red list, a data analyst and travel expert has said.

Tim White, who tweets as @TWMCLtd, has given his expertise to The Independent.

These are: Argentina, Bangladesh, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Kenya, Maldives, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Turkey.

He notes, though: “If cautious, Mexico may need to stay a while longer, and Dominican Republic needs help to conduct genomic sequencing.

“Some scientists will say it’s a risk taking South American countries [including Argentina and Peru] off the red list with Gamma, Lambda and the latest “Mu” variant all in circulation to some degree.

“But most scientists believe most of the variants circulating in South America are not more likely to evade vaccines so there is an argument to allow them all off red.”

Simon Calder13 September 2021 16:23


Argentina, Egypt, Oman and South Africa could come off red list, says expert

South Africa, Argentina and Pakistan are among the countries that should be removed from the UK’s red list, travel industry expert Paul Charles has said.

“There have been no new Covid variants of concern since 11th May,” he tweeted this morning.

“Our analysis shows 24 countries should come off the UK red list immediately, including Argentina, Egypt, Kenya, Namibia, Oman, Pakistan, SouthAfrica, Uruguay, Zambia.”

Charles’s company The PC Agency has researched the red list countries with low enough cases and no variants of concern, to determine possible candidates for a move from the current 62-strong red list to a new “safe” list, that would

The Taliban on Tuesday urged skilled Afghans not to flee the country, as the new rulers of Afghanistan warned the United States and its NATO allies they would not accept an extension to a looming evacuation deadline.

A spokesman for the group told the US to stop taking “Afghan experts” such as engineers and doctors out of the country.

About 16,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan over the past 24 hours, according to the Pentagon, as US troops lead an increasingly desperate effort to airlift thousands more before the Taliban’s “red line” for Western forces to leave the country.

US President Joe Biden is under increasing pressure to extend an August 31 deadline to pull out American forces, with the United Kingdom expected to lobby for that at a virtual G7 summit on Tuesday.

Here are the latest updates:

Afghan all-girl robotics team members land in Mexico

Five members of an all-girl Afghan robotics team have arrived in Mexico, fleeing an uncertain future at home after the recent collapse of the US-backed government and takeover by the Taliban, according to Reuters news agency.

“We give you the warmest welcome to Mexico,” Martha Delgado Undersecretary for Multilateral and Human Rights at the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the women as she greeted them during a news conference at Mexico City’s airport on Tuesday night.

The team, made up of girls and women as young as 14, has been heralded for winning international awards for its robots and started work in March on an open-source, low-cost ventilator as the coronavirus pandemic hit the war-torn nation.

Mexico has pledged to aid Afghan women and girls. Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Twitter on August 18 that the country had begun “processing of the first refugee applications of Afghan citizens, especially women and girls who have requested it,” with the aid of Guillermo Puente Ordorica, Ambassador of Mexico in Iran.

Other members of the robotics team landed in Qatar in recent days.

South Korea sends military planes to assist Afghan evacuees

South Korean military aircraft are carrying out operations to bring to the country Afghans who aided Seoul’s efforts to help rebuild the war-torn nation, Yonhap news agency reported on Wednesday quoting the foreign ministry.

Three military planes were sent to Afghanistan and a neighbouring country to “bring to South Korea Afghan workers, who supported our government’s activities in Afghanistan, and their family members,” the ministry said.

Afghans had worked at South Korea’s embassy, hospital and job training centre for years, the ministry said without providing further details.

Japan deploys transport planes to Kabul to evacuate its citizens

Japan is deploying its aircraft to transport Self-Defense Force (SDF) personnel who will evacuate Japanese expatriates, local embassy staff and others from Afghanistan, according to NHK news.

Japan’s defence ministry is making final arrangements to dispatch the Boeing 777 on Wednesday at the earliest to the Pakistani capital

The first week of Friday night high school football brings some key matchups across the state.

Wetumpka opens its new stadium against rival Prattville. Hewitt-Trussville hosts Pinson Valley in a talent-filled matchup. Class 7A No. 1 Thompson heads to Oxford. Class 5A Pike Road travels to Mobile to face Class 6A McGill-Toolen.

RELATED: Week 1 predictions

RELATED: Rewinding Thursday’s action

RELATED: How to watch your favorite game live

We will be keeping an eye on those matchups and many more. Also, will Shemar James pay for Faith Academy at home against Andalusia. The 4-star Florida commit briefly withdrew from Faith this month and enrolled at Navarre, Fla.

Check back throughout the night for scores, updates, highlights, photos and much more. Also fan submitted Tweets will be included in our Nothing But a Good Time section below the updates.

8:46 PM, Looking around:

Baker 10, UMS-Wright 0 (half)

Faith Academy 14, Andalusia 6 (half)

Gulf Shores 3, Elberta 0 (half)

Auburn 31, Park Crossing 0 (3rd)

James Clemens 3, Murphy 0 (1st)

Cleburne County 27, Ohatchee 20 (3rd)

Thompson 41, Oxford 0 (3rd)

Lincoln 7, Southside 6 (3rd)

Briarwood Christian 34, Madison Academy 3 (3rd)

Hewitt-Trussville 35, Pinson Valley 13 (3rd)

Tuscaloosa County 33, Paul Bryant 12 (half)

Opelika 14, Callaway, Ga. 14

8:45 PM, Back in action: Gulf Shores at Elberta has resumed. The Dolphins lead 3-0 with less than two minutes left in the half.


Stealing the momentum? At Theodore, Freshman Ryan Williams hits C.T. Englebert with a 38-yard TD pass with 24 seconds left in the half. Bobcats now lead 14-7 at the break.


Hurricane warning: Landry Huddleston with the TD run after a muffed punt makes it 15-0 Alma Bryant over B.C. Rain with 35.8 left in the first half.

8:44 PM, Strapping it on: Iverson “Strap” Hooks puts Pike Road back in front of McGill with an 86-yard score. The QB, who missed most of his junior season with a torn ACL, had 168 yards rushing in the first quarter.

8:40 PM, Around the Yellowhammer State:

Baker 10, UMS-Wright 0

Buckhorn 21, Madison County 7

Theodore 14, Saraland 0

Brentwood Academy 28, Florence 12

8:35 PM, Halftime at Hewitt: Huskies lead Pinson Valley 35-6. Cade Ott Carruth has 266 yards passing and 3 TDs. He also scored on a rushing TD. Auburn commit Omari Kelly had three receptions for 56 yards.

8:34 PM, Quick turnaround: McGill-Toolen has gone from down 14-0 to up 16-14 in a hurry. Junior QB Aaron Carabin with the TD pass.

8:26 PM, Score check:

Orange Beach 30, J.F. Shields 0 (weather delay, 1st)

Gardendale 22, Sparkman 7 (half)

Faith Academy 7, Andalusia 6

Baker 3, UMS-Wright 0 (2nd quarter)

Brentwood Academy 28, Florence 12

Pike Road 14, McGill-Toolen 9

8:24 PM, Who is the most underrated RB in the state? It may be Braylon McReynolds, who gets McGill-Toolen on the scoreboard against Pike Road.

8:15 PM, More scores:

Hewitt-Trussville 35, Pinson Valley 6

Fort Payne 30, Athens 21 (second)

Jenni Edwards spent much of her adult life climbing corporate ladders, running through airports on business trips and accumulating houses, cars and designer clothes. But no matter how much outward success Edwards achieved, she never felt satisfied. “I traveled in style. It looked like I was living the American dream, but it didn’t feel like it. I didn’t have time for me, my family or my friends. I wanted something more,” she says. Now, at age 53, Edwards has traded in the boardrooms for a simple life on the road—living life in an RV. She is the author of Bumping Down Highways, which has reached millions of people with the tales of her tiny-living journey. She also works as a courage consultant and dream life architect, helping others get past their fears to live their best life.

It all started when Edwards was going to be temporarily displaced from her beach condo and decided to take a road trip from Florida to Oregon—just her, the dogs and what would fit in her SUV. With the dogs in tow, Edwards had to stay in little cabins that had no running water or bathrooms—a far cry from the ritzy hotels she was used to. Turns out, it wasn’t so bad. After that first night, she changed her plans, taking detours and taking her time to truly slow down and see the United States. “I fell in love with the simple life,” Edwards says of that summer.

From there, Edwards bought a little Shasta Airflyte Remake camper, thinking she’d spend the rest of the summer on a lake, taking more road trips. But it didn’t take long for that plan to change, either. Despite having zero experience with RV life, she decided to jump in with both feet. “I traded my Pradas for flip-flops and hit the road in an RV, traveling the country by myself,” she says.

A drastic shift from her corporate days, Edwards found a community of people on the road who didn’t care about her success stories or income. “They only cared about helping each other, sharing their stories and listening to mine,” says Edwards. “This was the life I wanted.”

Today, more than six years later, Edwards continues her life on the road, but also inspires others to take charge of the life they dream about. “Today, success for me is spending the majority of my time helping other people or trying something new,” Edwards explains. “Some days, it’s making it over a mountain in one piece or finding a hidden waterfall. My mission is to serve and help create difference makers who will positively impact the world.”

What Inspired Me: There wasn’t just one “aha” moment. It was a series of finding that “something more” I was searching for. I was 47 when I

To get better control over the stubborn COVID-19 outbreak in Sydney strict new rules have been imposed on workers in three areas where the majority of infections are emerging.

People who live in the local government areas (LGAs) of Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool are now not allowed to leave their area for work unless they are what’s called an “authorised worker”.

Initially, it seemed only emergency services and health care workers would classify as “authorised workers” but overnight NSW Health issued an extensive list of people who are authorised to travel outside their LGA for work that could not be conducted at home.

Any authorised workers who reside in Fairfield must get a COVID-19 test every three days if they are going to work in another LGA, as per previously announced rules.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the NSW government tried to keep an “open mind” when it came to deciding which workers could leave, given how much of Sydney depended on workers in these LGAs.

“We know that a large part of the [freight and logistics] workforces do come from those three local government areas,” she said.

“But most [businesses] have been really constructive and positive in considering rostering arrangements and considering what they can do to limit movement from people coming from those areas.”

Ms Berejiklian also said she couldn’t rule out further tweaks to the exemptions over the coming days.

“Dr Chant’s advice might become different as well depending on the scenarios and situations of workers.”

People who reside in all other Sydney LGAs face no restrictions on leaving their area for work, but everyone must work from home if possible.

But for those in the Fairfield, Liverpool and Canterbury-Bankstown LGAs, here’s who the “authorised worker” exemption applies to:


Anyone who works in:

  • supermarkets and neighbourhood shops
  • shops that predominantly sell food or drinks
  • chemists and pharmacies
  • kiosks
  • shops that predominately sell:
    • office supplies
    • pet supplies
    • newspapers, magazines and stationery
    • alcohol
    • maternity and baby supplies
    • medical or pharmaceutical supplies
  • food and drink premises
  • cellar door premises
  • hardware and building supplies
  • landscaping material supplies
  • rural supplies
  • timber yards
  • garden centres and plant nurseries,
  • vehicle hire premises, not including the premises at which vehicles are sold
  • industrial or commercial food retailing

And anyone who conducts ‘click and collect’ services.

Public administration and safety

A female NSW firefighter battles a fire.
All emergency services personnel can leave the LGAs.(



Members of:

  • the NSW Police Force
  • Fire and Rescue NSW
  • the NSW State Emergency Service
  • the NSW Rural Fire Service 
  • the Ambulance Service of NSW
  • any other emergency services worker

As well as those who work for:

  • defence, national security and law enforcement
  • the administration of justice, including in relation to the operation of courts and tribunals, correctional centres and community corrections

It’s Shark Week, and for 2021, the Discovery Channel is bringing more teeth, more jaws and more heart-pounding TV specials featuring everyone’s favorite undersea predators than ever before.

You can dive in to the Shark Week action starting Sunday, July 11 (7/11/2021) on the Discovery Channel, which can be streamed live fuboTV, Sling and other live TV services. In addition, this year, special additional Shark Week content will be available on Discovery+.

This year, Shark Week will be on for four hours a day, with TV episodes featuring celebrities like William Shatner, Tiffany Haddish, Brad Paisley and more. They’ll be joined some of the top marine biologists from renowned science institutions as they explore the world of sharks.

Highlights this year include the first in utero camera tag in a pregnant Tiger shark, a potentially new Great White mating behavior and the discovery of an elusive pupping ground.

Fans can also get in on the Shark Week fun on social media, where Discovery will be adding new AR filters for Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook, plus seven nights of livestreams on TikTok. Viewers can also participate in the JAWscers hosted by Bob the Shark, where they can vote on their favorite Shark Week moments of all time.

Below, find the complete Shark Week 2021 TV and live streaming schedule.

All times ET on The Discovery Channel. All content available to stream on fuboTV, Sling, AT&T TV, Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV. All TV episodes available next day on Discovery+. Episode descriptions via Discovery Channel.

Sunday, July 11

Sharkbait with David Dobrik – 4 a.m. on Discovery+

Internet megastar David Dobrik is ready for his craziest adventure yet, with the biggest influencer of the sea — SHARKS! Bringing the Vlog Squad along for the ride, they embark on an adventure to Florida to face their fears and dive with Sharks.

Shark Rumble – 4 a.m. on Discovery+

Marine biologist and Shark expert, Luke Tipple, takes WWE Superstar, Drew McIntyre to the world renowned Georgia Aquarium for a shark dive never to be forgotten.

Shark Academy – 4 a.m. on Discovery+

Shark Academy, a series that will follow eight people over six weeks as they compete against one another for a crew spot on shark scientist Riley Elliott’s next expedition.

Crikey! It’s Shark Week – 8 p.m. on Discovery Channel.

In this unique and thrilling Shark Week special, Robert Irwin comes face to face with a Great White Shark for the first time ever. Following his father’s footsteps, Robert will have similar first time experiences, getting as close as possible to these incredible and terrifying creatures.

Tiffany Haddish Does Shark Week – 9 pm. on Discovery Channel

Tiffany Haddish and friends travel to the crystal blue waters to dive into something they’ve never done before, swim with sharks. Knowing nothing about sharks, she will meet up with the world’s top shark experts to learn everything there is to know about

Here’s what you need to know to navigate the markets today.

• U.S. private-sector employment increased by 692,000 in June, more than the 550,000 jobs expected by economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch reported. The increase is still lower than the 886,000 workers added in May, which was revised from a previous estimate of 978,000, the ADP National Economic Report said Wednesday. Economists surveyed by the Journal expect a strong June employment report from the U.S. Labor Department on Friday, with a forecast for nonfarm payrolls increasing by 706,000, and the unemployment rate falling to 5.6%. The ADP report reflected strong gains in service jobs, including 332,000 added in the leisure and hospitality sector, 123,000 jobs in education and health services, and 62,000 in trade and transportation. The construction industry added 47,000 jobs, while manufacturing added 19,000. “The labor market remains robust…job gains have totaled more than 3 million since the beginning of 2021,” said
Nela Richardson,
ADP’s chief economist.

• The Supreme Court late Tuesday decided 5-4 against lifting a national ban on evicting tenants who have fallen behind on their rent during the pandemic, rejecting an emergency request by landlords and real-estate companies who had wanted to end the moratorium and allow evictions, The Wall Street Journal reported. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had extended the ban until July 31, but a federal judge in Washington ruled last month that the moratorium was legally unsupportable. The moratorium was originally set to expire on Dec. 31, 2020. It was extended several times to prevent mass evictions that the CDC said could enable the spread of Covid-19 because people would become homeless or move in with friends or family. But the ban has created financial hardships for landlords, who are losing about $13 billion a month in unpaid rent, according to the moratorium’s challengers. About 4.2 million Americans said it is “very likely or somewhat likely” that they will face an eviction or foreclosure in the next two months, per Census Bureau data.

• Mass Covid-19 vaccination sites are shutting down across the country, and hundreds of Rite Aid Corp. stores are ending extended Friday vaccine hours as U.S. vaccine supply outweighs demand, The Wall Street Journal reported. The shift comes ahead of expectations that the U.S. will fall short of President
Joe Biden’s
goal to administer at least one dose to 70% of adults by July 4. The Biden administration plans to export 80 million donated doses by the end of the month to alleviate global vaccine shortages, through Covax international vaccine efforts and directly to countries that need them. White House Covid-19 coordinator Jeffrey Zients said adults 30 and older will meet the 70% target, but that it will take a few extra weeks to reach the president’s target for the general population, citing a reluctance among those 18 to 26 to get the vaccine. Some health experts and drugmakers say booster shots might be needed to extend immunity and

Spain has confirmed that it will require British visitors to either be fully vaccinated or present a negative Covid test for entry from 2 July, following a month of no restrictions.

Malta tightened its rules to say it would only admit vaccinated British travellers aged 12 and over, which effectively ends any hope of a family holiday; while Portugal demands quarantine from those who haven’t been fully jabbed.

Meanwhile, hopes are fading for US-UK travel to restart before the end of the summer. According to reports, travel between the two nations is unlikely to resume anytime soon, despite intense pressure from airlines and lobby groups.

Travel between the US and the UK, usually a thriving market, has been largely frozen since March 2020.

Key points

  • Stricter entry requirements for Spain to come into force from Friday
  • US-UK air corridor delayed until ‘end of summer’
  • Malta and Portugal tighten entry requirements

When does green list come into effect?

17:42 , Cathy Adams

As a reminder, the expanded “green list”, which now includes Malta, the Balearics and Madeira, will come into force at 4am on Wednesday 30 June.

That means if you’re arriving in the UK from a green-rated destination after that time, you won’t be required to self-isolate.

Here’s a full list of all the green grade:

water next to the building

© Provided by The Independent

Which countries are on the green list?

While these territories have been added, all new additions bar Malta remain on the “green watchlist”, meaning they are at risk of turning amber.

How to get a cheap PCR test for travel

17:16 , Cathy Adams

Chances are your travel plans now will involve some sort of PCR test: either as a “Fit to Fly” before you depart, or when you return back to the UK.

UK travellers are not permitted to use the free NHS testing service and must instead go through a private firm to obtain their result although, increasingly, travel firms are luring holidaymakers with discounted or subsidised travel tests.

All returning travellers, meanwhile, will be required to take at least two tests: one before departing for the UK, which can be a lateral flow or rapid antigen; and at least one PCR test within two days of arrival to the UK, depending on whether they’ve been to a green, amber or red country.

The average cost of a PCR test is about £120, but we’ve put together a handy guide to some of the cheapest on the market.

© Provided by The Independent

PCR tests for travel: The cheapest ways to buy one

Update to Maltese entry rules

17:13 , Cathy Adams

Malta has updated its entry requirements for Britons, due to come into force tomorrow. Only those fully vaccinated, aged 12 and above, will be allowed to enter the country.

The Malta Ministry for Health now says that all UK arrivals must present proof of full vaccination “in the form of the NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate Letter issued by the NHS”.

It adds: “Only the paper

Christopher Coppala, nephew of Oscar-winning director Francis Ford Coppola and older brother of actor Nicholas Cage, will share his knowledge of filmmaking and the film industry with a group of Mississippi students this fall.

The Mississippi School of the Arts has partnered with San Francisco Art Institute for the upcoming 2021 semester.

An SFAI instructor Coppola will co-teach with MSA film instructor John Kelly Shelburne.

Students will write, shoot, produce and complete a series of short films centered around the Mississippi River and with the inspiration of Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities.”

The project will explore racism, fear, injustice, corporate takeovers, gentrification and balkanization in comparison to poetry, music, art and storytelling. The inspiration, Coppola said, comes in part from his uncle Francis Ford Coppola who taught him, “The job and purpose of cinema is to convince people that the world they live in is not the only one available to them.”

This summer, film students from SFAI and MSA will read the Dickens classic and begin their research to explore the relevance of the story in the world today. In the fall, SFAI students will collaborate across the state to write, and travel to Mississippi to shoot and edit with their MSA classmates. Then MSA students will travel to San Francisco to collaborate with students there.

The premiere of the project will be held at both schools simultaneously with a live audience and online streaming.

The class will meet twice weekly and will also feature guest lecturers.

“This collaboration will allow students from both MSA and SFAI to learn about each other’s environments and create cinematic works that reflect their feelings and what they hope viewers will learn about these two cities,” Shelburne said.

Two MSA Media Arts/Filmmaking seniors recently won first and third place in the high school student film competition of the Tupelo Film Festival. Ronald Ries, of Collinsville, won first and Addison Laird, of Natchez, won third for their short films.

Benjamin Taylor, of Saltillo, won second place. Taylor will attend MSA beginning in August.

“We’re excited to see our Media Arts students succeed in the high school classroom. MSA continues to shine in the world of film since the inception of the Media Arts/Filmmaking discipline in 2015” said MSA Executive Director, Dr. Suzanne Hirsch. Applications for MSA in the media, theatre, dance and vocal departments are still open for the 2021-2022 school year. Visit for more information or to apply.