In today’s English listening lesson we talk about the British Royal Family and going on holidays. I’ve included a lot of topical interest in the conversation to give you an insight into where the UK is right now. Although there is some sadness at the loss of Prince Philip. There is also a lot of excitement with shops re-opening, lock-down restrictions being relaxed and the possibility of going on holiday being discussed. So listen to this English language podcast and start improving your English language fluency now.
The Royal Family has been in the news a lot recently with Prince Andrew and Prince Harry. Sadly, another prince is in the news as Prince Philip has passed away. Passed away is a polite way of saying someone has died. For example, you might say “It upset him because his mother passed away last week”.
I never see any home cooking - all I get is fancy stuff.
⭐ Prince Philip
The Royal Family in the UK continues to have strong support, with most of the British people liking the Royal Family more than the UK government. So a lot of the news coverage has been about Prince Philip. Although this is big news for the UK and the commonwealth countries, it might not be in the news in your country.
There has also been a lot of news about holidays. It seems like we are not only being released from lock-down; the economy is restarting with all shops being open in the UK with the successful rollout of the COVID vaccine. And now the conversation has moved on to the next set of restrictions we can remove. Like, where can we go on holiday?
Also, you might be interested to know we have released the latest podcast bundle, episodes 301-350 today. With 50 podcasts we give you access to the Adept English back catalogue of podcasts and put you in control of your playlist. You can listen to your favourites, create your own albums and have over 7 hours of listening for just £12.
Hi and welcome to this latest podcast from Adept English.
At the time of writing this podcast, we’ve just heard that His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh – Prince Philip, the Queen’s husband has died on Friday 9th April. It probably depends upon which country you live in, how much news coverage you’ve heard about this and how many tributes there are.
A tribute, TRIBUTE is an acknowledgement of admiration, of gratitude. And we say when someone has died that we ‘pay tribute to them’. So the death of Prince Philip is big news in the UK and around the world. The Queen must be very sad to lose her husband of 73 years. Can you imagine being married to someone for 73 years? Prince Philip was 99 years old when he died and just 2 months off his 100th birthday.
The fact that he was 99 years old and the Queen is 94 years old – is also a tribute in part to good medical care that they no doubt receive! And the news and the papers are full of all the things he did. It’s strange – we’re currently watching the Netflix series ‘The Crown’ at the moment, and just the day before Prince Philip died, we watched the episode about the moon landings in 1969 and the interest Prince Philip took in this – and his crisis of religious faith too.
So even though I’m not really a royalist at heart, it felt very pertinent that we’d just watched this. A ‘royalist’, ROYALIST means a supporter of the Royal Family. I’m not really a republican either though – I’m somewhere in between. But Prince Philip’s death certainly seems like the end of an era. And I feel really sorry for the Queen, losing her husband. I respect their longevity and their public service.
Also in the news in the UK, there is much debate about when can we go abroad again? When can we travel? ‘Abroad’, ABROAD means ‘to other countries’. One of the things that we’ve all missed most in the pandemic is being able to travel, especially in the cold UK over the winter? And people have ‘set their sights on’ the summer this year, and the possibility of a holiday. What a treat it would be to sit in a café or on a beach, somewhere else in the world – and we’ll appreciate the luxury of being able to do that, I think, when the times comes.
Part of my incentive – I’ve not seen my family in France since last summer, so it would be really nice to travel there. But actually, I’ve not seen my family in the UK either for over a year – so I’m certainly due a couple of UK trips away too. But you are not allowed to travel just yet to stay over night in someone else’s house – or in a hotel. And currently in the UK, there is a £5,000 fine if you travel abroad without good reason. Ouch! That’s expensive.
So the ‘unlocking’ in the UK has started. Six people can now meet outdoors and this week, non-essential shops, gyms, hairdressers, and pubs and restaurants can open, although only serving people who are sitting outside. There’s going to be a big queue of people wanting haircuts – I will be one of them.
By the 17th May, all being well, things loosen up some more – six people can meet indoors, pubs and restaurants can serve food indoors to people – and you can stay overnight at someone’s house again. And the plan is by 21st June, things go back more or less to normal. Let’s see about that. I know that in some parts of Europe and South America, the pandemic situation is really not very good at all at the moment, so I’m not sure whether the UK will go ahead with opening up in the way that’s planned. But let’s see.
Staycations in the UK
As far as travel to other countries is concerned, from mid April, people in England have been allowed to take holidays in England and people in Wales have been allowed to take holidays in Wales. But we can’t cross the border and holidays must be taken in what’s called ‘self-contained’ accommodation. That means an Airbnb, where you have access to the whole place or a holiday cottage, where it’s just you and the people you came with – you can’t yet stay in a hotel, where you would be in contact with other people. So they’re not open until mid May.
So for many people, taking their holiday in the UK, rather than abroad will be the only option this summer. The government here are introducing a ‘red amber green’ system – so depending upon which country you are travelling to and from – your travel will be classed as ‘red, amber, green’, rather like a traffic light system. Red means ‘Stop’, amber means ‘Be careful’ and green means ‘Go’.
At the very least, if you’re travelling to a ‘green’ country, you will have to have a Covid-19 test – and isolate if it’s positive. For an ‘amber’ country, where infection rates are higher, you’ll need a test and to self-isolate in your home for 10 days. And if you’re returning from a ‘red’ country, where infection rates are even higher, you’ll need to be tested and do a ‘hotel quarantine’, rather like the system they’ve been operating in New Zealand and Australia.
A photograph of a lady in an airport. In this English lesson the UK are starting to talk about holiday travel.
This means that your stay in isolation is managed and monitored – the authorities will ensure that you follow the rules and you’ll have to pay the bill for your hotel stay. The list of countries though, with their green, amber and red colours has yet to be released. So it’s quite difficult to book a holiday, without knowing what level of restriction you’re going to have to work with.
I can see that people for whom foreign travel is essential – for their work or for other reasons. I have a friend for example, who is working in Switzerland at the moment, and she’s having to do all of this, whenever she wants to return to the UK to see her family. But it’s difficult imagining people, just doing all this for a summer holiday.
The tests that have to be done in order to travel and to be allowed back into the country – and these are PCR tests. So those are the ones which have to go to a lab, or laboratory to get the result. They’re much more expensive that the so-called ‘lateral flow test’ – the ones which the school children are using. Given that PCR tests cost upwards of £120 each, that’s another rather off-putting factor, if you’re looking at foreign travel.
So I’m sorry to say, for most people, foreign travel is a pleasure which we’re all going to have to wait a while longer for, even if the UK and other countries ‘unlock’ by the summer. And depending upon which country you’re in, your situation may be similar – or you may feel a long, long way from wanting to even think about foreign travel, if your country is one of the ones which is not having great statistics around the pandemic at the moment.
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This course is designed to help people get really comfortable with the most frequently used words in English. It helps fluency in that it builds your confidence in speaking, because you have all these words, all this really common vocabulary and you can therefore speak simple sentences in English, without thinking about it. The course also helps your comprehension and your understanding. You can just then focus on the more unusual vocabulary that you may need. Have a look on our website for the course at adeptenglish.com.
Anyway, I hope your travel plans are going OK and that you’re managing alright in the pandemic, whatever the situation in your country.
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to us again soon. Goodbye.
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