Blog Archive


How travel to the European Union from 2021 will change

Changing track: passport formalities will be tougher (Getlink)
Changing track: passport formalities will be tougher (Getlink)

Technically the UK has left the European Union, but from the traveller’s point of view, nothing significant has changed during the transition phase. This comes to an end at 11pm GMT (midnight Central European Time) on 31 December 2020.

After that, life for British visitors to the EU becomes very different. The one exception is for Ireland, where very little changes: notably customs and motor insurance rules.

For everywhere else in Europe, these are the most critical changes.


Even if you have a burgundy passport with “European Union” on the cover, it will continue to be valid as a UK travel document. The problem is, from 1 January 2021, European rules on passport validity become much tougher.

On the day of travel to the EU (as well as non-members Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the plucky Vatican City)

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  • December 1, 2020

Alaska’s elite nordic skiers face tough decisions on European World Cup

A skier in a blue and red white striped race uniform skis on a snowy trail with spruce trees around
Hannah Halvorsen of APU Nordic Ski Center at a recent training session at Hillside Ski Area in Anchorage on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020 (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)

Alaska’s top cross-country ski athletes are days away from the first races of the season in Europe, but the raging pandemic is forcing tough decisions among athletes. 

“I’d really like to race, but I’m definitely questioning going over there,” said Scott Patterson, a 2018 Olympian. 

He has plenty of reasons to be skeptical. The ski-loving Lillehammer, Norway just canceled a weekend of racing, with other venues threatening to follow suit. Cases in Europe are surging and COVID precautions on the road are ultra-strict, forcing athletes to spend much of their time cooped up in hotel rooms with little entertainment. And there’s also the danger of bringing the virus into a small town in Europe. 

“I’m starting to feel like we shouldn’t even put

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  • November 16, 2020

Pandemic holds few lessons for European chefs, mostly misery

ANTWERP, Belgium (AP) — Necessity is supposed to be the mother of invention. If that were the case for the high-end restaurant industry, the coronavirus pandemic should have offered ample opportunities for creativity and renewal.

Instead, it is turning into a bitter struggle for survival.

Many a three-star Michelin meal has been put into a takeout box and sent out on Deliveroo scooters, as renowned chefs in Belgium and elsewhere try to scrape through a second pandemic lockdown that is likely to threaten even the lucrative Christmas season.

Sergio Herman, who has run three-star, two-star and many other establishments that have wowed the Michelin powers and the most refined palates around the world, doesn’t really see any positives to come out of working against and around the pandemic.

“Sometimes you feel that whatever you built up over the years is slipping like sand through your fingers. It gives you this

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  • November 15, 2020

U.S. Diplomat Coughs Online, and European Allies Wonder if They Were Exposed

WASHINGTON — As part of a diplomatic tour through Europe in late October, the State Department’s director of policy planning briefed journalists in London about the Trump administration’s strategy toward China. A video of the virtual event showed him coughing at least six times during the hourlong discussion.

The senior department official, Peter Berkowitz, held face-to-face meetings the same day with British officials. He had similar meetings with French diplomats a few days later in Paris before flying back to the United States on a commercial airline — and then testing positive for the coronavirus.

Mr. Berkowitz’s trip two weeks ago to Budapest, London and Paris has angered other State Department employees who believed it was unnecessary. It has irritated foreign officials whom he may have exposed to the virus. And it has raised questions about the limits of in-person diplomacy during a pandemic — especially as cases are again

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  • November 1, 2020

European Markets Slip Back, While Halfords gets a Puncture

Markets elsewhere in Asia were slightly less exuberant, with the Nikkei225 slipping back from three-week highs.

To that end markets here in Europe have opened lower with profit-taking kicking in ahead of the peaks that we saw in June. While optimism of a v-shaped recovery still remains quite high it is being tempered by concerns about rising coronavirus cases globally, translating into a similar percentage rise in mortality rates. This doesn’t appear to be happening at the moment, however with the markets back close to their June peaks it would appear that the overriding sentiment is one of ahead of those June peaks.

These types of moves are becoming emblematic of how markets have been moving over the last month. We’ve seen sentiment ebb and flow from being quite bearish, to fairly bullish without ever breaking out of the range we’ve been in since we posted those June peaks.


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