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Royal Family: Where the royals spend their New Year revealed | Travel News | Travel





The Royal Family have a number of well-loved Christmas traditions, such as a family dinner at Buckingham Palace the Tuesday before Christmas. Christmas presents are also opened in Christmas Eve, not Christmas Day, as it is a German tradition to do so. One thing that often stays the same is where they all choose to travel to Sandringham to celebrate Christmas. But where do the Royal Family celebrate New Year and it is together?

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip

The Queen spends every Christmas in Norfolk at her Sandringham estate, where they remain for New Year.

She chooses to travel by train to her estate with many Royal Family members joining her.

Other Royal Family members choose to join Sandringham after Christmas.

Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall

The heir to the throne also joins his mother every year and spends Christmas at Sandringham.

However, they then choose to head to the Scottish Highlands to celebrate New Year.

Located on the Balmoral estate is Birchall, often considered one of their favourite places to stay.

Kate Middleton and Prince William

The couple head to the Middleton’s for New Year after spending the day at Sandringham.

This often means spending time in Berkshire, with this year being the first for both Prince Louis as well as Pippa’s first child.

While Kate and William have alternated some years as to where they spend Christmas, it is suggested they will continue this way for the next few years with Sandringham remaining a Christmas affair.

This means they will most likely be seeing Kate’s parents for New Year this year.

The pair also spent their first New Year as a married couple in Scotland with Prince Charles.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

This year marks their first as a married couple with it being Meghan’s first Royal Christmas as the Duchess of Sussex.

Last year, the pair flew by British Airways to Monaco to see in the new year together.

This year however it is suggested the pair will remain in Sandringham with the rest of the Royal Family.

It will also be their last Christmas as just a couple with their first child due in spring 2019.

Meghan had previously travelled to Iceland to celebrate New Year before she met Prince Harry.


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Travel & Escape

Christmas travel rules explained: From advance train tickets to travelling abroad from Tier 3 airports





Q: Normally trains would be packed over the busy Christmas period. Do you have to get advance train tickets to ensure you have a seat? And what happens if a train is cancelled?

A: Sir Peter Hendy has been tasked with overseeing travel during the Christmas period by the Department for Transport. By analysing bookings and searches, the Chairman of Network Rail is looking at whether the current, reduced, infrastructure is prepared for a surge in passenger numbers with reduced capacity to ensure social distancing. The DfT is advising passengers to buy advance tickets to ensure they have a seat, and some operators such as LNER, are making them mandatory. 

On GWR services between London and the West, not all standard services will be reservable, but for those that are, GWR says “we’ll automatically allocate you a space if one is available or ask you to try another service if not. We always leave space on board for those with walk-up tickets, such as season tickets, or those who may have been disrupted.” 

Avanti West Coast is advising passengers to make advance reservations and has also relaxed its Christmas peak so that demand is spread over the period. It will be operating trains at 40-45 per cent capacity. 

Disruption is guaranteed on some parts of the network, with no trains operating from London Kings Cross between 25-30 December. LNER says: “Please do not travel to London on these dates. Trains either side of these dates will likely be busy.” It also advises against travelling on Christmas Eve and between 31 December and 3 January. 

GWR’s Night Riviera service between London Paddington and Penzance will pause between 24 December and 2 January. Engineering work is scheduled to take place on Northern routes either side of Christmas, too. 

If unforeseen cancellations arise, the Rail Delivery Group is offering reassurance that space is left on each service to allow for emergencies and cancellations. Agreements can be put in place with other operators, depending on the disruption, such as cross-acceptance of tickets. A spokesperson told i:  “contingency plans are in place and they will be very strong.” For example, if the last train of the day is cancelled, onward transport by other means could be arranged.

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Travel & Escape

Delta launching contact tracing program for international travel





Delta announced Tuesday it will debut a new contact tracing program for international travelers returning to the United States.

The company said the program is in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The program, slated to start December 15, will ask customers traveling to the U.S. from an “international location to voluntarily provide five pieces of data to aid contact tracing and public health follow-up efforts,” including:

  • Full Name
  • Email address
  • Address in the U.S.
  • Primary phone
  • Secondary phone

Delta said that under the new process, they will work with the CDC to streamline contact-tracing efforts by “directly and securely transmitting the five requested customer data points to the CDC via U.S. Customs and Border Protection.” Delta said this move will give the CDC access to the data fast, decreasing the time it takes to notify impacted customers. According to Delta, “by connecting with customers more quickly and providing public health follow-up, health authorities can help reduce instances of potential exposure and slow the spread of the virus.”

“Independent studies have shown that the many layers of protection Delta has already put in place are effectively minimizing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, and contact tracing adds one more important layer to our efforts to ensure safety throughout travel,” Bill Lentsch, Delta’s Chief Customer Experience Officer said in a statement. “We want customers to feel safe when they return to travel, and this voluntary program is another way we can provide additional reassurance to customers and employees alike.”

Delta recently announced a COVID-19 testing program that allows a quarantine-free entry into Italy for the first time. The airline also remains the only airline blocking middle seats during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Travel & Escape

Delta unveils ‘quarantine-free, COVID-free’ plan to resume international travel





International flights are currently limited at Orlando International Airport because of travel restrictions, but there is some hope on the horizon.

This week, Delta announced what it’s calling a “quarantine-free, COVID-free” plan to get people from Atlanta to Rome.

U.S. citizens who are permitted to travel to Italy for essential reasons like work, health and education can take part in the innovative and experimental flight program.

Delta stated passengers will need to have a negative test result 72 hours before departure, then they will need to test negative with a rapid test at the Atlanta International Airport before takeoff, upon arriving in Rome and before returning to the U.S.

“Carefully designed COVID-19 testing protocols are the best path for resuming international travel safely and without quarantine until vaccinations are widely in place,” Delta said in a prepared statement.

The program begins Dec. 19.

Industry experts said they’re really hoping Delta’s new plan becomes some sort of a role model, saying it could be the key to safely restarting international travel.

“As the tourism sector tries to recover, to have that additional influx of tourists from outside United States would be a welcome occurrence,” said Dr. Sean Snaith with the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Forecasting.

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