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Travel market news (the post is being updated)

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We are carefully monitoring changes in the travel affiliate market and will be sharing the most important travel news every week.

July 23

New Zealand shuts Australia travel bubble as Sydney’s Covid outbreak worsens

New Zealand is shutting down the quarantine-free travel bubble with Australia for two months, as the country grapples with a number of serious outbreaks of Covid-19.

The country had already paused travel with the states of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. The new pause applies to all of Australia for the next eight weeks.

At a press briefing on Friday, prime minister Jacinda Ardern said because of the Delta variant there was “greater risk now … than when we opened the travel bubble”.

Source: The Guardian

Chile Eases Foreign Travel Restrictions as Covid-19 Wave Recedes

Chile’s government will relax some international travel restrictions three months after a surge in cases forced authorities to close the borders.

As of July 26, fully-vaccinated residents will be able to travel from Chile by plane without special permission, health undersecretary Paula Daza said Thursday. Upon return, they will be allowed to complete a 10-day quarantine at home.

Returning travelers who have either not received both doses or live more than five hours away from Santiago’s international airport, the sole point of entry, will have to complete the quarantine at a designated hotel at their own expense. The borders will remain closed to most non-resident foreigners.

Source: Bloomberg

US extends Covid-19 travel restrictions with Canada and Mexico through August 21

The Biden administration is extending non-essential travel restrictions for the US northern and southern borders until August 21.

The US has been limiting non-essential travel along both borders since the start of the pandemic and extending those restrictions on a monthly basis. The restrictions don’t apply to cross-border trade, US citizens and lawful permanent residents, as well as people traveling for medical purposes or to attend school, among others.

Source: CNN

TRAVEL: Germany poised to put Spain and Netherlands on Covid ‘high incidence’ list

The German government is likely to declare Spain and the Netherlands high incidence areas this Friday, suggesting that further travel restrictions could be on the horizon.

“The federal government is closely monitoring the situation in Spain and the Netherlands,” the Federal Foreign Office told the German Editorial Network (RND).

If an area is classified by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) as a ‘high incidence area’, anyone who hasn’t been fully vaccinated or has not recovered from Covid within the last six months has to quarantine for ten days when returning  to Germany. The self-isolation period can only be shortened after five days with a negative test.

Source: The Local

Philippines to bar travel from Malaysia, Thailand to curb Delta’s spread

The Philippines will suspend travel from Malaysia and Thailand, as well as tighten restrictions in the Manila area, in a bid to prevent the spread of the contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, the presidential spokesperson said on Friday.

The travel restriction will take effect from Sunday and run to the end of July, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a national address.

The Philippines has previously banned travellers from eight countries including Indonesia and India.

Source: Reuters

Sweden changes Covid-19 travel advisory for three countries

The Swedish Foreign Ministry has removed its Covid-19 advice against travel to Ukraine, but it has reintroduced travel warnings for Rwanda and Thailand.

As of July 22nd, 2021, the disclaimer of unnecessary travel to Ukraine from Sweden has been lifted effective immediately. But the Ministry of Foreign Affairs still discourages all travel from the Crimean peninsula and the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. At the same time, the Ministry is reintroducing the advice against unnecessary travel for Rwanda and Thailand. The decision is valid until September 1st, 2021.

The other countries exempt from the travel advisory are: Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Macao, Moldova, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and the USA. For countries not on the exemption list, the advice to avoid non-necessary travel still applies until at least September 1st, 2021.

Source: The Local

July 16

Seattle looks to welcome Canadians back as COVID travel restrictions ease

With news Canada aims to ease COVID-19 travel restrictions as early as mid-August for fully-vaccinated Americans, the tourism sector in Seattle is looking forward to the border eventually opening to non-essential travel in both directions.

“We miss Canadian visitors at our venues, restaurants, and hotels as much as they miss us. Travel and tourism is a cornerstone of Seattle’s economy, and we need the return of foot traffic — checking out the Pike Place Market, walking the waterfront, and even to and from a rival Mariners and Blue Jays baseball game — for our region to recover from the pandemic in a vibrant and inclusive way,” said Rachel Smith, president and CEO of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

Source: CityNews

COVID-19: Ministers to decide if France will be moved to red travel list within days

Discussions over whether to put France on the red travel list are active in Whitehall amid pressure to make a definitive decision within days.

Some health figures are understood are pushing to make the change, which would mean everyone returning from France having to pay thousands of pounds for mandatory 10-day hotel quarantine on return.

However ministers have previously been reluctant to impose too much disruption over the UK-French border because it is such a critical juncture for trade and travel.

Source: News Sky

Travel from UK, Spain or Portugal to France: Stricter Covid test rules

From tomorrow unvaccinated people entering France from the UK, Spain or Portugal will have to present a negative Covid test taken less than 24 hours before departure, The Connexion has been told.

Following tweets this week from European Affairs Minister Clément Beaune about a ‘reinforced regime’ for those coming in from the countries, a decree is expected shortly with direct effect, a spokeswoman from his office said.

Source: Connection France

Covid-19: Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca moved to amber travel list

Ibiza, Majorca, Menorca and Formentera are being moved onto the government’s amber travel list for England. The Balearic Islands will join the list from 04:00 BST on Monday, 15 days after they were moved to the green watchlist. 

The Scottish and Welsh governments said they will do the same, and Northern Ireland is expected to follow suit. From Monday, only people aged over 18 who are not fully vaccinated will still have to quarantine on returning from an amber list country.

Source: BBC news

These are the 4 countries offering COVID-19 vaccines to tourists

A number of destinations around the world are starting to offer tourists the COVID-19 vaccine. Here are five places that either plan to, or currently, offer COVID-19 vaccinations to tourists:

  • The United States of America
  • The Maldives
  • Bali, Indonesia
  • Russia

Source: Euronews

July 9

Covid-19: Amber list quarantine for fully vaccinated to end on 19 July

Fully vaccinated UK residents arriving in England from amber travel list destinations will no longer have to quarantine from 19 July. However, they will still need to pay for Covid tests before and after their return, the transport secretary said. Grant Shapps told MPs that under-18s returning from amber list places would also be exempt from quarantine.

Travel industry leaders said the change was a “positive step” but called for the amber list to be expanded. Currently, anyone returning from countries on the amber or red list must isolate for 10 days, regardless of vaccine status.

Source: BBC

Canada loosening pandemic travel restrictions

Canada began to lift some coronavirus travel restrictions with the U.S on Monday, allowing some Canadians to forgo quarantine requirements. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that plans to reopen the Canadian border completely are to be announced in the coming weeks, The Associated Press reported.

With the loosened restrictions, Canadian residents who have been fully vaccinated will be able to skip a 14-day quarantine period, and those who take air travel will no longer have to spend three days in a government-approved hotel when reentering the country, according to the AP.

Nonessential trips between the U.S. and Canada, including tourism, are expected to remain restricted until at least July 21.

Source: The Hill

“Green Pass” COVID travel app smoothing travel for Europeans

The coronavirus pandemic has made travel more complicated for everyone, from airlines to security personnel and, of course, passengers. Europe has started cutting some of the red tape limiting international travel with its own version of a COVID-19 “passport.” Now, for many Europeans looking to move around the continent, the “Green Pass” is as important an item to check off the travel preparation list as tickets and bags.

As CBS News correspondent Chris Livesay reports, at check-in, passengers can now use the smartphone app to show they’ve been vaccinated, tested negative, or recovered from the virus before they board.

Source: CBS news

U.K. to lift Covid restrictions but travel bans to stay in place, for now

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced at a press conference Monday that most lockdown restrictions will end on 19 July, despite the recent rise in daily infection rates of the Delta variant of Covid-19.

However, for the time being, border controls are being maintained, as is the U.K. red list. Johnson stated that he will work with the travel industry to remove the need for fully vaccinated travelers to quarantine upon arrival from amber list countries. This is the second formal announcement from Johnson on the suggestion to change travel requirements for the double-dose vaccinated.

Most countries are on an amber list, which involves a ten-day quarantine upon arrival in the U.K. with a test before arrival and two tests on day two and eight after arrival. People can ‘test out’ after day five with a negative test. The U.S. is currently on the amber list, as are most EU countries.

Source: Forbes

Flight bookings surge in UK after change to Covid travel list

Airlines on Thursday reported a surge in flight bookings from the UK after the government announced that fully vaccinated passengers and their children could return from amber-listed countries without quarantine after 19 July.

EasyJet said that bookings to destinations rated as amber for coronavirus rose by 400%, and holiday bookings increased by 440 week-on-week in the hours since the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, confirmed the change in policy on Thursday morning.

Spain, Greece and Portugal topped the amber list countries for flights and holidays, according to the airline easyJet, which added an extra 145,000 seats for the summer.

Source: The Guardian

Hawaii dropped travel restrictions to visit the islands locals say are already overflowing with tourists

Hawaii eased some of its travel restrictions on Thursday, announcing that fully vaccinated domestic tourists no longer need to quarantine or take a pre-flight COVID-19 test.

Unvaccinated tourists still have to either quarantine or test negative 72-hours before flying to the islands. But for those who are vaccinated, this new announcement is “really going to be a game-changer,” Sheri Kajiwara, Hawaii’s Safe Travels special projects administrator, said, according to Jenn Boneza’s report for KHON2 News.

Source: BusinessInsider

U.S. hotels finally surpass pre-Covid levels as travel surges

Red-hot demand from leisure travelers boosted a key lodging industry metric higher than it was during the same period in 2019, marking the first time since the pandemic began that U.S. hotels outperformed pre-Covid levels.

Revenue per available room, which combines occupancy and prices, increased 5.7% last week compared to the same period in 2019, according to data from lodging analytics firm STR.

Source: Bloomberg

July 2

Spain waives vaccination requirement for U.S. travelers

Spain lifted its COVID-19 vaccination mandate for U.S. visitors on June 24, paving the way for all Americans to visit without needing to test or quarantine. U.S. travelers will have to continue to fill out a health questionnaire, which can be done electronically ahead of their trip. Those completing the document will receive a QR code to show when arriving in Spain.

While it’s getting easier for Americans to visit Europe, travel to the continent is becoming more challenging for people in the U.K., where prevalence of the Delta variant is a concern.

Spain, for example, is requiring travelers from the U.K. to provide proof of vaccination or results of a negative COVID-19 PCR test prior to arrival. Portugal is mandating U.K. travelers who aren’t vaccinated to quarantine for 14 days. And according to the BBC, Malta will only welcome visitors who have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Source: Travel and Leisure

Germany could ease travel curbs as Delta variant takes over

Germany expects the Delta variant of COVID-19 to account for up to 80% of infections this month and could ease travel restrictions from countries like Portugal and Britain where it already dominates, its health minister said on Thursday.

Jens Spahn told a news conference that Germany could reduce the current 14-day quarantine requirement that it imposes on travellers from countries with high levels of the Delta variant once it is sure that vaccinated people are protected.

Source: Reuters

Malama Hawaii: A new travel program for tourists to give back

As part of the Safe Travels Program, Hawaii implemented stringent Covid guidelines for visitors, including a pre-travel testing requirement. Still, the islands have cautiously welcomed an influx of tourists while simultaneously launching an initiative called Malama Hawaii, a voluntourism program to encourage travelers to malama — or “give back” — to Hawaii and leave the islands better than they found them. In exchange, visitors can earn free hotel nights or discounts on hotel stays, including at five-star resorts.

Select participating hotel partners on each island are collaborating with local non-profit organizations to offer activities such as beach clean-up through organizations like the Pacific Whale Foundation or tree planting at Gunstock Ranch in partnership with the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative (HLRI). Visitors who book a Malama Hawaii package can earn a free hotel night or other special discount in return.

Source: NBC news

Bali delays its reopening to tourists amid surge in COVID-19 cases

Travelers hoping to explore Bali this summer will have to wait a little longer as the Indonesian government just delayed the island’s reopening amid a rise in COVID-19 cases.

In an interview with Reuters on Monday, Indonesia’s tourism minister said the country will wait until cases fall significantly before welcoming international visitors again. Bali’s economy, which heavily depends on tourism, has been deeply impacted by the pandemic, but the government is still taking a cautious approach to reopening.

“We were targeting end of July, beginning of August, but we just have to be mindful of where we are in this recent spike [in coronavirus cases],” Indonesia’s Minister for Tourism and the Cultural Economy, Sandiaga Uno, told Reuters. “We will be waiting for the situation to be more conducive.”

Source: Travel and Leisure

South Korea aims for a post-Covid comeback, hopes to achieve herd immunity

South Korea is looking to open up its economy and work on travel bubble programs given its relative success in controlling the spread of Covid-19, its deputy prime minister told CNBC in an exclusive interview.

In early June, Singapore newspaper Straits Times reported that South Korea was exploring travel bubble possibilities with a few countries, including Singapore and Taiwan, to allow quarantine-free travel for those who have been vaccinated. 

Source: CNBC

UK & EU close to reaching an agreement on COVID vaccination passports for travel

Even though many European countries have closed their doors to travellers from the United Kingdom due to the rapid spread of the Delta variant, they may be permitted to spend some holidays in the EU, as both territories’ authorities are close to reaching an agreement on COVID-19 passports.

Such a deal would facilitate the travel process and increase the number of visitors during the summer holidays, SchnegenVisaInfo.com reports.

Source: schengenvisainfo

June 25

Covid: Balearics and Malta added to UK’s green travel list

Spain’s Balearic Islands, Madeira, Malta and Barbados are among the places being added to the UK’s green travel list, the transport secretary has said. People entering the UK from 16 places will not have to quarantine from 04:00 on 30 June, Grant Shapps confirmed. He also said the government intended to drop quarantine for fully vaccinated people returning from amber list countries “later in the summer”.

The destinations added to the green list from 04:00 BST on 30 June are:

  • Europe: The Balearic Islands (which include Ibiza, Menorca, Majorca and Formentera), Malta and Madeira
  • Caribbean: Antigua, Barbados, Barbuda, Dominica and Grenada
  • UK overseas territories: Anguilla and Montserrat, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Pitcairn, and Turks and Caicos Islands.

The places added to the red lists for the same time are: Dominican Republic, Eritrea, Haiti, Mongolia, Tunisia and Uganda.

Source: BBC

France adds Russia to Covid red list

France on Wednesday added Russia to its list of countries from which non-essential travel is banned, as concern grows over a spike of cases in Moscow due to the Delta variant. Namibia and the Seychelles are also being added to the “red” list, government spokesman Gabriel Attal told reporters.

There are now no restrictions for vaccinated travellers coming from green countries, which include all the EU as well as a handful of other nations including Australia and the United States. Most other countries are defined as orange, from where travel is allowed if a traveler is vaccinated and presents a negative Covid test on arrival. Travel from red list countries – which already included Brazil, India and South Africa – is only allowed on pressing grounds and even then vaccinated travelers must self-isolate for seven days.

Source: The Moscow Times

Hawaii ending COVID test requirement for vaccinated travelers on July 8

Visiting Hawaii is about to get easier for vaccinated travelers. Beginning July 8,the state will end its pre-travel COVID testing requirement for visitors from the U.S. mainland who are fully vaccinated, Hawaii Gov. David Ige said Thursday. Travelers will need to show their vaccine card as well as upload it to the state’s Safe Travels website.

Source: USA today

How to travel to Canada with a COPR during COVID

After 15 months, Canada’s border has reopened to approved permanent residents. These newcomers can now officially immigrate to Canada when they arrive at the border. Granted, they will be subject to the same public health measures that affect all incoming travellers.

Canadian officials said there are about 23,000 COPR holders outside Canada. Those whose documents are still valid are now exempt from travel restrictions. What’s more, fully vaccinated travellers can skip the mandatory quarantine.

Source: CIC news

Asia may be first in, last out of the Covid pandemic, says travel services firm

Asia is probably going to be last out of the pandemic because of its low vaccination rates, said Todd Handcock of Collinson Group. 

According to Our World in Data, only 22.26% of people in Asia have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. In comparison, that figure is 53.03% in the U.S. and 63.56% in the U.K. Incentives such as discounts and lucky draws have been introduced to encourage vaccinations in Asia. In the Philippines, however, President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened jail for those who decline the vaccine.

Source: CNBC

French COVID-19 vaccination passports for travel to be updated on June 23

People whose vaccination certificate has been issued by the French government need to get their document updated in order to be allowed to travel to the rest of the EU Member States in July, the authorities have announced.

France’s COVID-19 vaccination and test certificates’ QR Code will be updated from June 23 to align with the document with the EU verification system, which is set to fully launch on July 1, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

The document proves that the holder has been fully vaccinated with one of the European Medicine Agency approved vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer, Janssen and AstraZeneca) or that the traveller has tested negative for Coronavirus within 72 hours before travelling to another country.

Source: schengenvisainfo

Third wave: Can SA travel industry expect harsher Covid-19 restrictions?

The tourism industry waits with bated breath to see whether South Africa will implement harsher lockdown restrictions in the coming days. With the surge in Covid-19 cases, some are predicting the worst.

Last year’s heavy lockdown saw many travel businesses close down or battle to stay afloat. The travel industry believes that harsher third wave restrictions could signal the death knell for recovery efforts.

Source: IOL

June 18

Vaccine rollout and COVID certificate boosts EU travel

As Europe opens up after months of lockdowns and restrictions, interest in travel has risen distinctly, with two-thirds of Europeans intending to take a trip by the end of November 2021. 70% of respondents are already making travel plans for the next six months, up from 56% in February 2021 and also at the highest point since August 2020.

Notably, in many cases, inoculation has a direct impact on travel arrangements, with 54% intending to book a trip once they have been vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Similarly, the recent EU actions to coordinate rules and revitalise travel across the bloc are already showing positive results. The introduction of the EU Digital COVID Certificate has received a wide acceptance among Europeans: 57% of respondents feel that the certificate will facilitate the planning of their next trip, while only 18% express the opposite opinion.

Source: Travel Daily Media

France places US and Canada on its Covid green list for travel

Travellers from the US and Canada will be able to enter France more easily after the two countries were put on the country’s green list on Thursday, which means Covid-19 cases are low enough to allow for people to travel more freely.

Arrivals from the two North American countries will now no longer have to go into quarantine on arrival in France, and will be able to enter the country without an “essential reason”, even if they have not been vaccinated. Essentially that means non-vaccinated tourists or second home owners from the US or Canada are free to travel to France. If they have not received both doses of the vaccine, travellers will have to present a negative PCR or antigen test taken less than 72 hours before boarding the plane.

Source: The Local FR

Portugal to limit travel to, from the Lisbon Area during weekend

The Portuguese government will limit travel to and from the greater Lisbon area during the weekend following an increase in coronavirus cases in the region.

The restrictions on movement will apply from 3 p.m. on Friday, with exceptions including international travel, Presidency Minister Mariana Vieira da Silva said at a press conference in Lisbon on Thursday. “Apparently there is a greater prevalence of the delta variant” in the Lisbon region, the minister said.

The government is trying to contain a surge of infections around the capital city and had already said on June 9 that the next step of a plan to gradually ease confinement measures across the country wouldn’t apply in Lisbon. Portugal aims to administer at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose to 70% of its adult population by Aug. 8.

Source: Bloomberg

Details of plans to ease COVID-19 travel rules in Canada coming within days: minister

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra says the government’s plans for a phased reopening of the border to international travel following COVID-19 restrictions will be shared “in the coming days.”

In the meantime, he said talks are happening now between the government and the airports and airlines to make sure they can be ready for when those travel rules begin to relax.

“In the coming days, we’re going to be announcing details about the phasing of reopening or adjusting travel measures,” Alghabra told journalists on Wednesday when pressed on plans to reopen the border.

Source: globalnews.ca

Israel issues ‘severe’ COVID travel warning for UAE

The Health Ministry on Wednesday issued a “severe” warning against travel to the United Arab Emirates, adding the Gulf state to a list of countries which Israelis are advised not to visit due to COVID-19 outbreaks.

It also removed Peru from the list, which now includes the UAE, Uganda, Uruguay, Seychelles, Ethiopia, Bolivia, Maldives, Namibia, Nepal, Paraguay, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica and Tunisia.

Another list of countries deemed “maximum risk” to which Israelis are barred from traveling includes Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, India, Mexico and Russia.

Source: Time of Israel

Finland to finally allow non-essential travel for arrivals from EU/Schengen Area from June 21

The Finnish authorities have announced that more relaxed entry restrictions will apply to arrivals from European Union Member States and Schengen Area countries.

In a press release issued by the Ministry of Interior of Finland, it was revealed that such a decision will apply to all citizens from EU/Schengen Area countries, provided that they have been vaccinated against the COVID-19 with one of the approved vaccines or have tested negative during the last six months.

Conversely, the Government has decided to extend the internal border controls and the restrictions on external border traffic until July 11.

Source: schengenvisainfo

Thailand sets mid-October to reopen to visitors with COVID vaccines

Thailand plans to fully reopen to vaccinated foreign visitors by mid-October as the government seeks to restart the crucial coronavirus-devastated tourism industry, the prime minister announced Wednesday.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said fully inoculated foreign visitors and returning Thai citizens must be allowed entry “without quarantine or other inconvenient restrictions,” and that his goal is to open up the country within 120 days.

Source: USA today

Travel to New York City during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go

On June 15, almost all pandemic restrictions were lifted in New York state (including New York City) as 70% of New Yorkers 18 or older had received the first dose of their Covid-19 vaccination series. Safety guidelines for restaurants and other businesses are now optional.

The state’s restrictions remain in effect for large-scale indoor event venues, defined as indoor places that hold more than 5,000 attendees. Mask requirements are still in effect for the unvaccinated. 

New York is subject to US government rules, meaning travel from Brazil, China, the European Schengen Area, India, Iran, Ireland, South Africa and the United Kingdom is not permitted. Exemptions are available for US citizens, family members or permanent residents. Travel from all other countries is allowed. All air travelers entering the United States are now required to have a negative Covid-19 test result.

Source: krdo

Travel latest: Spain ending Covid restrictions with ‘normal’ life set to return

Long-held Covid restrictions in popular Mediterranean holiday resorts could be relaxed in the coming days as Spain hopes to return to ‘normal’ life. Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez confirmed a need to wear masks in public spaces would soon be scrapped with much of daily life heading back to normality. Mr Sanchez said escalating vaccination levels would enable most Covid curbs to be lifted across many of country’s holiday hotspots.

Source: HertsLive

Hawaii Lifts Several Coronavirus-Related Travel Restrictions

According to Pacific Business News, interisland travel throughout Hawaii had been restricted for over a year, but the limitations were lifted on Tuesday for state residents and qualified visitors who want to move between islands.

Tourists and locals traveling between the Hawaiian Islands will no longer be subjected to any COVID-19 quarantine requirements, nor will they be required to take a pre-travel coronavirus test. As for trans-Pacific travel, those vaccinated in Hawaii will no longer need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result to avoid a 10-day mandatory quarantine when returning. Proof of vaccination is required for the exemption.

Source: Travel Pulse

Germany reveals plans to abolish travel warning to most countries from next month

The German authorities have announced that the country will be lifting its travel warning for most countries previously imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation. The decision to lift pandemic travel warning is expected to be effective from July 1, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Currently, Germany’s virus variant areas of countries, also known as countries where mutations are being widely spread and transmitted at a fast rate, include Botswana, Brazil, Eswatini, India, Lesotho, Mozambique, Malawi, Nepal, Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Uruguay, and Northern Ireland. The UK is also placed on the virus variant areas list, meaning that arrivals from the UK are banned from entering Germany due to the high rates of COVID-19 mutations.

Source: schengenvisainfo

Virtual travel business enjoys boom in Taiwan amid COVID restrictions

As many borders are still closed to contain the spread of the coronavirus, people yearning for travel have turned to virtual tours. The trend has picked up in Taiwan, which previously saw high demand for domestic travel before shuttering many tourist attractions amid an outbreak of local infections.

Partnering with MyProGuide, a platform providing licensed tour guide services, Hong Kong online travel agency Klook has launched 20 virtual itineraries. The service in Taiwan saw a fivefold rise in website visits after COVID cases surged last month, reported CNA.

According to Klook, livestreamed tours led by real guides have been the most sought-after from its wide selection of curated tours. The top five destinations for Taiwanese are Paris, Omotesando area in Tokyo, Bhutan’s capital Thimphu, Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong, and a worship visit to The Erawan Shrine in Bangkok.

Source: Taiwan News

June 4

Global Online Travel Market Report 2021: Asia-Pacific is One of the Fastest-Growing Regions Despite the Negative Influence of COVID-19

The “Global Online Travel Market 2021” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering. The report details the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the digital travel market worldwide and provides insights into possible future industry developments.

Report Coverage

  • This report covers the online travel market. It takes into account a wide definition of the travel segment, including transportation, accommodation, tour packages and others. The report’s focus is on leisure and unmanaged business online travel. The definitions used by the original sources cited in this report may vary.
  • Besides sales figures, penetration and rankings, this report also reveals important market trends that affect the online travel market, such as the rise of mobile bookings and the use of innovative technology.
  • Following global regions are covered in this report: Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America.

Source: Globenewswire

Travel Will Be Bigger Than Ever, Just Different — Great Opportunities For Startups

No matter what you think about the travel industry, it will not only be back but it will be bigger than ever. It just won’t be exactly be the same. What will be the major changes? Business travel will actually go down but personal, experiential and blended (stay/work/play) travel will rise. If you look at the behavior of Millennials and Gen-Z during the pandemic, while international travel fell off a cliff, local and state travel exploded. Airbnb shifted all their marketing to encourage customers to travel locally and between states in the United States.

Well, combine this renewed focus on domestic travel with the pent-up demand for travel internationally, fueled by remote work opportunities, and you will have a travel industry that will be growing exponentially beyond where we were in 2019. 

In the original article you’ll find five insights that might have you surface a product or service for your next travel company startup.

Source: Forbes

U.K. Drops Portugal From Travel Green List, Gutting Airlines

The U.K. removed Portugal from its so-called green list of countries that can be easily visited, dealing a body blow to an airline industry crying out for a reopening of European travel.

No other countries are being added to the roster of places Britons can go to without having to quarantine on return. Portugal, a popular southern European getaway, was the only sun-spot of any size in the green category. From Tuesday, it reverts to amber, requiring 10 days of self-isolation.

Source: Bloomberg

Europe Is Opening: June EU Travel Restrictions, Covid-19 Test Requirements, Quarantine By Country

The picture across the EU (plus the U.K.) in June hasn’t looked as promising for the travel industry for months, with tourist activity increasing in line with vaccination rates and confidence levels. June is definitely the month that Europe reopens:

  • compared with other regions around the world, Europe saw the largest decline in new Covid-19 infections and deaths during the last week of May–and about 44% of EU adults have now received at least one dose of vaccine, according to the WHO and ECDC.
  • a recent report by SiteMinder found that booking momentum has increased by 60% compared to pre-pandemic levels for the first time since March 2020, and that European bookings are responsible for this rise. The report states that “across the European continent, the relationship between reopening announcements and booking activity, as we saw last summer, is again clear, with travellers looking to lock in their plans as soon as they possibly can.”
  • air traffic saw a 16% increase in flights taking off in the third week of May with an average of 8,132 flights operating every day across the region (a 277% increase on the same period in 2020 but still a 68% decline compared to 2019 numbers)–according to Daniel Baker, CEO of Flight Aware, a tracking company, as reported by The Telegraph.
  • the EU Digital COVID Certificate has now been firmly established as the way forward to ease travel across Europe this summer. This will be in the form of a QR code, either carried on a piece of paper or in a digital application, such as France’s TousAntiCovid app, on someone’s phone. Every EU country will be using a form of this by July 1.

Source: Forbes

Where and when can Americans travel abroad?

International travel is back on the agenda this summer for millions of Americans who are fully vaccinated, but with some countries already open to U.S. travelers — and many still not — it is challenging to figure out when and where to go.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is safe for vaccinated Americans to travel internationally, keeping in mind the COVID-19 travel destination advisories on this regularly updated list.

Americans are already able to visit Mexico and parts of the Caribbean, as well as Greece, Iceland, Croatia, and Turkey. But most of Europe still remains off limits, or with restrictions.

Source: NBC news

May 28

France reimposes strict Covid curbs on travel from UK

France is re-introducing tighter rules on arrivals from UK who are not French residents to curb the spread of Covid, notably its Indian variant, the foreign ministry said on Thursday. Britons and other non-EU arrivals will again have to prove that they have a “compelling reason” to enter France, it said. The ministry did not define “compelling”, but the government has previously said that family, health or professional reasons could be acceptable.

Source: France24

EU digital COVID certificate will unlock travel for Europeans this summer

The EU Digital Covid Certificate is the European Commission’s answer to a digital health passport, operational within the EU as a temporary measure until the pandemic is over. Olivia Palamountain reports

To combat these issues within the EU, the European Commission is proposing its own digital health passport, the EU Digital Covid Certificate (formerly the Digital Green Certificate), which will display people’s vaccination status, test results and whether they have immunity from a Covid infection they have recovered from. It will be ready for use by the end of June, apparently.

Source: Globetrender

Countries eager to reopen to travel as COVID-19 pandemic recedes

Countries reliant on tourism are racing to reopen borders and revive economies decimated by the pandemic.

Europe has been opening slowly, testing the patience of Mediterranean countries that rely heavily on tourism, including Greece, Spain, and Turkey. That is changing now, as European Union ambassadors agreed last week to allow in visitors who are fully vaccinated or are from a now-expanded list of countries whose citizens are deemed to be safe.

Source: CNA

Singapore makes Covid negative test mandatory for residents to travel back home

As cases spike, Singapore has made it mandatory for residents to present a negative Covid-19 PCR test report not older than 72 hours prior to their departure, starting 29 May.

According to a ministry of health statement, all Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs) will only be allowed to board flights to Singapore if they furnish a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test report.

Source: Mint

COVID: Travel ban to red countries extended, Russia, Argentina added

The ban on travel to seven red countries with high coronavirus infection rates has been extended for another two weeks until June 16, the Health Ministry announced on Friday.

The countries on the travel ban list include Ukraine, Ethiopia, Brazil, South Africa, India, Mexico, Turkey, Russia and Argentina.

Israelis who return from these countries will be required to enter quarantine, even if they’re vaccinated or recovered. Outbound travel to these countries is also banned.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

May 21

EU reaches deal on COVID-19 passes to rescue summer

The European Union reached a deal on Thursday on COVID-19 certificates designed to open up tourism across the 27-nation bloc this summer as a rapid pick-up of vaccinations allows widespread easing of coronavirus restrictions.

The free certificate will take the form of a QR code on a smartphone or paper, letting authorities determine the status of a visitor based on records in their home EU country. The certificate would show if a person had received a vaccine, had a recent negative test or had immunity based on recovery.

Source: Reuters

Uruguay eases down travel restrictions against covid-19

The Government of Uruguay Wednesday has decided that foreign travellers with both doses of any vaccine against covid-19 and a negative PCR test will not have to undergo a mandated quarantine upon entry.

However, the vaccination plan needs to have been completed at least 15 days before arrival, for the immunization process to take effect, it was explained.

However, the vaccination plan needs to have been completed at least 15 days before arrival, for the immunization process to take effect, it was explained.

Source: MercoPress

Covid-19: Italy reopens for international tourism

Over a third of Italians have now received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and almost one-sixth of the country’s population has been fully vaccinated. With these numbers in mind and more vaccines on the way, the Italian government has outlined plans to relax rules over the coming weeks.

Effective May 16, entry into Italy is now allowed from countries of the European Union, the Schengen Area, United Kingdom and Israel without the need to quarantine. Travellers are still required to produce on arrival a negative PCR or rapid antigen test, taken in the 48 hours prior to arrival in Italy.

Effective May 16, travellers from the US can now return to Italy on Covid-tested flights without the need to quarantine. (Delta, American Airlines and United are operating these services.)

Source: TheFlorentine

Germany eases quarantine rules for summer travel: What you need to know

As of Thursday, May 13, new nationwide rules apply to those returning to Germany from risk areas abroad, a definition which includes some popular holiday destinations like Italy, Spain and Greece. 

Anyone who has been fully vaccinated against or recovered from COVID-19 is no longer subject to quarantine requirements if they are returning from a risk or a high-incidence area. However, if they are returning from a virus variant area such as India, South Africa or Brazil, they will still need to present a negative test before being allowed to travel to Germany. They will also be required to quarantine at home for 14 days, a period that cannot be shortened with a negative test. 

Unvaccinated travellers (aged six and above) returning from risk areas can avoid the quarantine obligation if they can prove that they have recently tested negative for the virus. This can be an antigen test that is no more than 48 hours old, or a PCR test that is no more than 72 hours old.

Source: iamexpat

Ireland May Permit Restriction-Free Travel for Vaccinated US Citizens by July

Ireland may start welcoming travellers from the United States by mid-June, at the same time that the European Commission plans to launch the “green certification” system within the bloc.

Such hopes have been raised by the country’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, in its recent declaration, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Coveney stressed that international movement into Ireland depends on vaccination and the ability of passengers to prove vaccination status.

According to him, the country’s government still needs to formalize schemes on reopening restriction-free travel between the United States and Ireland.

Source: Schengenvisainfo

May 14

Germany eases travel rules for vaccinated tourists as vacations loom

The German government has agreed to let travelers who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or recovered from infection avoid testing and quarantine when entering the country, unless they come from areas where variants of concern are prevalent.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved a change to existing rules that will also allow non-vaccinated people to end their quarantine early if they test negative.

The measures are designed to make summer travel easier, particularly for families when parents are vaccinated and children aren’t.

Source: USA today

Singapore tightens COVID-19 measures, travel bubble unlikely

Singapore further tightened its COVID-19 measures as it seeks to control an increase in untraceable coronavirus infections in the city-state.

From Sunday until June 13, gatherings will be limited to two people, and restaurants can only provide delivery or takeout services. Companies will have to make working from home the default for employees who are able to do so.

Source: abc news

Cancun: COVID-19 cases are up and tighter restrictions are in place. Here’s what you need to know

The rate of COVID-19 infections is up in the popular resort town, located on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula in the Caribbean Sea. 

Quintana Roo, Mexico, Gov. Carlos Joaquín estimated a 65% spike in Benito Juarez, the municipality that includes Cancun, marking its highest rate of infection to date at a time when the rest of Mexico is improving.

More COVID-19 restrictions are in place. Under orange conditions, hotels, restaurants, tours and water parks must operate at 50% capacity, while beaches can only admit 30% of their normal levels. Bars, nightclubs and casinos must close.

Source: USA today

Covid-19: Some NI travel rules to be relaxed from 24 May

Non-essential travel from Northern Ireland to other parts of the Common Travel Area (CTA) is to be allowed from 24 May. People will not be required to self-isolate when they return to Northern Ireland if they have visited family or friends in other parts of the CTA. The CTA is the UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

The NI Executive has also announced upcoming relaxations for indoor hospitality and sporting events.

Source: BBC

Tourism minister says Spain will be ready for COVID travel certificate in June

Spain will be ready in June to use COVID certificates that would facilitate travels, Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto said on Thursday, urging the European Union to adopt this measure quickly.

The European Commission expects to finish work soon on a COVID-19 certificate that could allow citizens to travel more easily this summer in the 27-nation bloc, the EU executive said on Tuesday after a meeting with European affairs ministers.

Source: Reuters

COVID-19: Portugal confirms UK tourists with negative coronavirus test allowed to travel from Monday

Portugal has confirmed that tourists from the UK will be able to travel to the country from Monday.

The country’s foreign affairs minister has said anyone arriving from 17 May must have had a negative PCR result within the previous 72 hours.

Existing travel restrictions on travel into the country from Britain will end on Sunday, the minister confirmed in a statement released by Portugal’s tourist board, Visit Portugal.

Source: Sky News

Maldives bans travel from South Asia as COVID cases soar

Rich Indians can no longer escape their country’s raging pandemic by holidaying in the Maldives, after the island paradise said it would ban travel from South Asia as it battles a surge in COVID-19 infections.

The Indian Ocean holiday destination southwest of India reopened its tourist resorts in July last year after halting international flights for more than three months at the start of the pandemic.

The indefinite travel ban would also apply to travellers who spend more than 24 hours transiting in the listed countries, or who had visited them in the previous 14 days, the ministry added.

Travellers from other countries are still permitted to travel to the Maldives’ resort islets with a negative PCR test taken within 96 hours before arrival, but are not permitted to have contact with the local population.

Source: ALJAZEERA

May 7

easyJet adds COVID-19 travel insurance cover in partnership with Collinson

The new travel insurance will cover customers who are diagnosed with COVID-19 ahead of a trip, providing the necessary rearrangements or refunds, as well as cover to customers for any required medical care if diagnosed with COVID-19 during their trip.

Additionally, customers who are unable to return home due to being diagnosed with the virus are also covered for additional accommodation, necessary medical assistance, and the cost of returning home safely.

Customers can purchase the new travel insurance during the booking process on easyjet.com. There is also a new online claims process, giving customers more flexibility and choice if they need to claim.

Source: Future Travel Experience

Norway Announces Covid-19 Vaccine Passports To Ease Travel Restrictions

Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg has announced that Norway will use digital Covid-19 certificates or “vaccine passports” to exempt people from infection control measures within the country and make travel to and from Norway easier.

At present, Norway’s entry restrictions remain strict with all non-urgent travel essentially banned. They will remain in effect until at least May 24.

Source: Forbes

Airlines, British holidaymakers brace for limited travel restart

Airlines, holiday companies, tourists and vast swathes of southern Europe are looking forward to hearing the UK’s plan to relaunch travel but only a limited number of countries are set to be declared safe to visit.

Britain’s biggest destination countries including mainland Spain and Greece, as well as France, all risk being excluded from the initial “green list” for quarantine-free travel expected on Friday.

After a year of restrictions, that would be a major blow for tourist hotspots and the airline and holiday companies which are all desperate for big-spending Britons to travel.

Source: Reuters

Covid: Some foreign travel opening up on 17 May – Boris Johnson

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has indicated there will be some “opening up” of foreign travel on 17 May – but said it was important to be cautious. More details are expected this week to confirm when and how international travel will restart in England.

Speaking on Monday, the PM said “we’ll be saying more as soon as we can” but “we have got to be very, very tough”. He also said there was a “good chance” of the one-metre plus social distancing rule being scrapped on 21 June.

Source: BBC News

Hilton CEO: Business travel is back to about 50% of pre-Covid levels, but some markets are stronger

Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta told CNBC on Wednesday there are reasons to be optimistic about the recovery of corporate travel following a prolonged coronavirus-related slowdown.

Leisure travel has been propelling the industry’s recovery so far, and Nassetta said he expects to see record numbers in that category this summer. However, a return of business travelers is crucial for a complete rebound in the hospitality sector.

“Business travel, while it’s lagging, it’s coming back. It’s probably about half the levels that we saw at the prior peak,” Nassetta said. “Group and events are lagging that, but they’re coming back.”

Source: CNBC

April 30

Travel to the Dominican Republic without a COVID-19 test or vaccine

There’s a change in rules affecting those planning to travel to the Dominican Republic, as the Caribbean nation is lifting travel restrictions for incoming visitors.

This means that travelers don’t have to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to be permitted entry, nor do they have to provide a negative PCR test upon arrival or undergo quarantine. Airports and other ports of entry will now perform a breath test to between 3 and 15% of arriving passengers, and will also administer it to those with virus symptoms. The latter will be put into quarantine, as will anyone who tests positive for the virus.

Source: Lonely Planet

COVID vaccine passes could grant travel perks in the EU

The European Parliament has suggested that EU governments should not impose quarantines, tests or self-isolation measures on people holding COVID-19 vaccine certificates.

The proposal was one of several agreed in a vote about the certificate, the results of which were announced on Thursday. The Parliament has now finalized its negotiating position with member states and the EU’s executive branch, the European Commission.

It brings the EU a step closer to launching a document that would open up travel within the 27-member bloc during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Source: DW

American Tourists May Be Allowed in London as Soon as Next Month

American tourists may be allowed to travel to Britain next month as part of a plan to gradually reopen the U.K.’s borders, according to the head of London’s Heathrow airport.

Progress on Covid-19 vaccinations in the two countries could allow the U.S. to be included on the so-called Green List of countries from which people will be able to travel to Britain without quarantine, Heathrow Chief Executive Officer John Holland-Kaye said in an interview Thursday.

Locations also likely to feature on the U.K. Green List include Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Israel and Iceland, plus some Caribbean destinations, the CEO said. Heathrow has been in constant communication with the government over the impact of the pandemic as well as plans for a resumption in travel.

Source: Bloomberg

Bahamas travel: Vaccinated Americans can skip the Covid-19 test

Fully vaccinated visitors headed to the Bahamas May 1 and later are exempt from the Covid-19 test requirement for entry. Unvaccinated travelers must upload a negative PCR test result taken within five days of arrival in the Bahamas.

All visitors must complete and upload a Bahamas Health Travel Visa and are required to opt in to the mandatory health insurance plan when applying for the health visa. The fee is paid in advance and is dependent upon the length of stay.

Vaccinated travelers must also upload proof of vaccination, confirming they have passed the two-week immunity period.

Source: Travel Weekly

Thailand starts stricter COVID-19 shutdown, but experts say not enough

Thailand’s government slapped restrictions on travel from India on Monday over concerns of imported coronavirus cases and closed more venues in Bangkok, even as it came under fire for not doing enough to contain a spike in infections.

The government has ordered parks, gyms, cinemas and day-care centres in its capital, the epicentre of the latest wave of infections, to shut from April 26 until May 9.

It has also introduced a fine of up to 20,000 baht ($635) for not wearing masks in public, with even the prime minister falling foul of mask-wearing rules.

But unlike last year, malls and restaurants have been allowed to operate with earlier closing times, fuelling concerns this could quickly lead to more infection clusters and prompting calls for the resignation of the country’s health minister.

Source: Reuters

April 23

Covid: India joins UK’s ‘red list’ as travel ban begins

UK and Irish nationals arriving from India must quarantine in a government-approved hotel, as new coronavirus travel curbs come into force. India joined the UK’s “red list” on Friday, effectively banning travel. The country has seen soaring infection rates, a rapidly rising death toll and the discovery of a new virus variant. Travel to England is banned for people who have been in red-list countries in the past 10 days, except UK citizens and those with residency rights.

Source: BBC news

Canada introducing stricter travel restrictions amid rise in COVID variants

As Canada sees a surge in COVID-19 cases involving new variants, the federal government announced on April 22 that it will introduce tighter travel restrictions to halt potential spread and protect Canadians. 

The travel restrictions include the banning of all passenger and cargo flights from India and Pakistan starting at 11:30 p.m. EST on April 22, 2021, for 30 days. However, cargo flights carrying vaccines and protective equipment will continue to be allowed to enter Canada. Those who travel to Canada from India or Pakistan via an indirect route will need to obtain a negative COVID-19 test from their last point of departure, according to Omar Alghabra, Canada’s transport minister.

Source: CIC news

Beware pricey summer flights: Airlines pushing fares higher as travel rebounds

U.S. airline executives are the most optimistic they’ve been since the coronavirus pandemic began thanks to an unfolding travel rebound fueled by vaccination rates, COVID case trends and the easing of travel restrictions.

The spike in travel demand, which began in March and shows few signs of slowing down as the summer travel season looms, is welcome news for the battered industry. Southwest alone lost $1 billion in the first three months of the year.

But it comes with a price for travelers: higher ticket prices. Passengers who haven’t flown since the pandemic and expect to find the bargain fares they read about over the past year are likely to be disappointed, especially on popular routes and during peak travel periods like holiday weekends.

Source: USA today

COVID-19: Coronavirus passports for foreign travel will be available ‘as soon as possible’

Britons’ prospects of booking a foreign holiday this summer have been given a boost, with the government saying coronavirus passports will be available “as soon as possible”.

Many tourist hotspots will require visitors to have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or provide proof of a recent negative test before entering the country. Coronavirus passports, also known as health certificates, would allow holidaymakers to meet this requirement. Under the government’s roadmap for easing restrictions, foreign holidays for people living in England could be allowed as early as 17 May.

Meanwhile, Spain’s tourism minister has told Sky News that the country is “desperate to welcome” Britons to its shore this summer.

Source: Sky news

Over 1,000 tourists entered Iceland with COVID-19 travel certificates within two first weeks of April

As many as 4,800 tourists have entered Iceland in the first two weeks of the month, from April 1 to April 15, 1,106 of whom holding a COVID-19 travel certificate, proving that they had either been vaccinated or that they have recovered from the Coronavirus.

Since April 6, travellers from third countries, including those from the United Kingdom and the United States, are eligible to enter Iceland for non-essential purposes if they can prove that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or that they have recently recovered from the virus.

Source: Schengen visa info

France lifts domestic travel limits but curfew stays in place

France will lift domestic travel restrictions from May 3 but a 7 p.m. curfew will remain in place until the COVID-19 epidemic is under control, the prime minister said.

In a first step towards ending a third nation-wide lockdown, which has been in place since early April, Jean Castex said schools would reopen on Monday and people would be able to travel all over the country after being confined to their own region and within 10 km of their residence.

He also said some businesses and cultural venues, as well as the open-air terraces of bars and restaurants might be allowed to reopen around mid-May if the COVID-19 situation is improving.

Source: Reuters

Greece confirms it will relax Covid travel restrictions in bid to kickstart tourism

Greece says its tourism services will open on May 15 when a ban on travel between different regions of the country will also be lifted. Prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis made the announcement yesterday, adding that restaurants and cafes will be allowed to reopen outdoor areas from May 3. Restrictions, many of which have been in effect since early November, will remain in place over Orthodox Easter on May 2. 

Greece has already lifted quarantine restrictions for travellers from EU member states, the USA, the UK, the United Arab Emirates, Serbia, Israel, and non-EU members Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland which are part of a European travel pact. Travellers from those countries are no longer subject to a seven-day quarantine requirement.

Source: WalesOnline

April 16

The promise of international travel: April EU travel restrictions, Covid-19 test requirements, quarantine by country

The picture across the EU area (plus the U.K.) in April is one of cautious optimism; countries are planning how to emerge from current lockdowns and open up to international travel. The next few weeks will determine how far and fast this can happen and indeed, if it will be uniform across the region:

  • Whilst many countries are still struggling with high infection rates, many are relaxing lockdown measures and heading into a ‘lockdown light’ modus operandi for May;
  • After a slow start, many EU countries have seen a significant upturn in the quantities of vaccine being given, although health fears over AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, are dampening progress;
  • Three EU countries have already announced dates for reopening–Greece by 14 May, Malta on 1 June, and Denmark plans to reopen to vaccinated passengers on 26 June. In addition, the U.K. will open up on 17 May (but possible 1 July), Israel has announced plans to reopen to vaccinated passengers from May and Iceland is already open to vaccinated passengers.

Source: Forbes

Covid in Scotland: Restrictions on travel and outdoor meetings eased

The Scottish government said the changes were designed to help reunite families and close friends. It will now be possible to travel out of your local area for non-essential reasons and for six people from up to six households to meet up outdoors. The relaxation had not been due to come into force until 26 April. But the government said the changes were being made earlier in an effort to boost people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Source: BBC

COVID-19 surge in Thailand casts shadow on tourism revival plans

Thailand has reported 1,543 new coronavirus cases yesterday, 15 April, which is the highest increase since the start of the pandemic. Of the new infections reported on Thursday, 409 were in capital Bangkok, the epicentre of the outbreak bringing the total number of infections to 37,453, with deaths remaining at 97.

The continued rise of COVID-19 cases casts a shadow on Thailand’s plans to revive its tourism industry by lifting travel restrictions allowing vaccinated travellers to visit the country without quarantine starting July 2021 in Phuket.

The kingdom has managed to keep the numbers low compared to other countries. The recent outbreak is due to the country’s Songkran holidays. Moreover, the vaccination rate in the country is still low.

Source: Travel Daily Media

Australians vaccinated against coronavirus could be allowed to travel overseas and return home without hotel quarantine

The Prime Minister has flagged allowing Australians to travel overseas and return home, without going into hotel quarantine, if they are vaccinated against COVID-19.

However, Scott Morrison warned the vaccination program was not a “silver bullet” and the nation would need to be prepared for the potential of “many” more COVID-19 cases if international border restrictions were to be widely lifted.

Source: ABC News

EU countries move towards COVID passes to reopen summer travel

European Union countries formally agreed on Wednesday to launch COVID travel passes as a step towards reopening to tourism this summer and will negotiate details with the bloc’s lawmakers in May, two diplomatic sources said.

The certificates would allow those vaccinated, recovered from COVID-19 or with negative test results to travel more easily in the EU, where restrictions on movement have weighed heavily on the travel and tourist industry for over a year.

The 27 EU member states “underlined their commitment to have the framework ready by the summer of 2021,” said a document endorsed by national envoys and seen by Reuters.

Source: REUTERS

April 9

Expedia Group debuts online Covid info search for 7 travel brands

Online travel shopping company Expedia Group Thursday launched COVID-19 Travel Advisor, an online tool that provides information about current travel restrictions to potential and existing customers across seven of the company’s brands.

A pilot phase of COVID-19 Travel Advisor that began in late November attracted 1.6 million users, and in March alone Expedia Group registered 1.8 million visits to the tool across its brands, a 97% jump from February — signifying “many repeat uses as travelers plan various upcoming trips,” according to the company.

Online travel agencies like Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity and other Expedia Group brands such as online vacation home rental site Vrbo are seeing a jump in business, with consumer trip planning online at such sites up nearly 25% compared to the pre-pandemic period, according to a recent Expedia Group Media Solutions study.

Source: CNBC

With recent Covid-19 wave under control, Chinese consumers spend on travel

China’s efforts to get its people spending got a boost over the three-day traditional tomb-sweeping holiday, with official and private data showing travel back up to pre-coronavirus levels by some metrics.

Swaths of China’s economy, in particular manufacturing and exports, long ago regained their pre-virus levels. But consumer spending, held back by travel restrictions and caution over the possibility of a resurgence, has been a persistent laggard for the past year.

But that, too, is starting to change as spring arrives and the country emerges from the most recent major wave of new cases in January. China’s domestic vaccination campaign is gaining steam after lagging behind those of other countries, helping dispel concerns for travelers.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

CDC says travel is low risk if you’re fully vaccinated

On April 2, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source announced that people who are fully vaccinated with a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized vaccine can travel safely within the United States.

Fully vaccinated domestic travelers don’t need to be tested before or after traveling unless their destination requires it. International travel does require testing in some cases.

According to the CDC, you’re considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after you receive the last required dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This means you’re fully vaccinated 2 weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna-NIAID vaccines, and 2 weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Source: Healthline

New Zealand, Australia to create ‘travel bubble,’ resume quarantine-free travel

New Zealand and Australia will allow quarantine-free travel between the two countries starting April 19, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Tuesday.

“The bubble will give our economic recovery a boost and represents a world leading arrangement of safely opening up international travel while continuing to pursue a strategy of elimination and keeping the virus out,” Adern said at a press briefing Tuesday.

It’s the first time since the pandemic required travel restrictions and border closures that conditions have been met allowing for passengers to fly between Australia and New Zealand without needing a 14-day quarantine.

Source: npr

Covid travel tracker: Which countries are allowing visitors from the U.S.?

While there’s worry over whether Covid-19 cases are on the verge of another surge, vaccinations are rising, and Americans are flying in greater numbers than they have in a year. But not every country is welcoming U.S. citizens.

More than 70 countries, including Brazil, Haiti, Ireland and Egypt, are fully open to U.S. travelers and tourists. Sixteen countries are completely closed to Americans, including France, Belgium, Iraq, Libya and New Zealand. The remaining countries fall somewhere in between, with some offering exceptions for dual-citizens, residents or those with qualifying travel reasons.

Source: NBCnews

April 2

Covid: England adds Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kenya and Philippines to travel ‘red list’

The Philippines, Pakistan, Kenya, and Bangladesh are to be added to England’s “red list” of countries from which almost all travel is banned, ministers have announced.

The additions, which come into effect next Friday, will take the number of red list countries to 39, as the government battles to prevent potentially vaccine-resistant variants of Covid-19 from coming to the UK.

British and Irish nationals and residents can return from red-list countries, but they must pay to enter compulsory hotel quarantine.

Source: The Guardian

Airbus launches new travel companion app for real-time COVID-19 information

Airbus has launched a new travel companion app called Tripset. The application aggregates and provides flight and travel information to ease and restore passenger’s trust in their end-to-end journey when travelling by air during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Based on Airbus’ iflyA380 app architecture, the travel companion application has been designed to provide passengers with up-to-date, real-time information for travel restrictions and health requirements in order to ensure a safe and smooth end-to-end trip.

Source: Future Travel Experience

American Introduces More Quarantine-Free Travel and Pre-Flight COVID-19 Testing Options

American Airlines is further streamlining and helping customers travel with confidence when they are ready to fly. Through collaboration with airport authorities in Italy and coronavirus (COVID-19) testing partner GoHealth Urgent Care, American is leading the way in safe travel.

Airline opens quarantine-free travel on flights from New York (JFK) to Milan (MXP) and Rome (FCO).

Customers from several U.S. states, including the airline’s hubs in Charlotte, North Carolina (CLT), and New York City (JFK), will have convenient access to preflight testing through GoHealth Urgent Care.

Source: American Airlines Newsroom

Taiwan And Palau Launch Coronavirus Travel Bubble

On Thursday, Palau and Taiwan launched what is being touted as “Asia’s first travel bubble,” with an inaugural flight from Taipei landing at Palau International Airport just after 7:30 p.m. local time.

Palau has recorded zero cases of coronavirus infection, and Taiwan has kept the virus largely in check since the start of the pandemic.

Source: npr

March 26

Easing of COVID-19 travel restrictions expected in May

Some of the inbound international travel restrictions that have bedeviled U.S. employers reportedly are expected to be lifted by mid-May. This will include restrictions on travel from the UK, Europe, and Brazil, as well as the travel restrictions at the Northern and Southern borders, which were recently continued until April 21, 2021.

Source: The National Law Review

Covid 19 coronavirus: Travel bubble with the Cook Islands likely to begin in May

New Zealand’s prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has unveiled details of a potential two-way travel bubble with the Cook Islands after talking to the country’s Prime Minister earlier today. Ardern met with Cook Islands PM Mark Brown this afternoon where the pair spoke about the details of such a bubble.

“We have had a year to prepare ourselves”, Brown said, and the Cooks has its own systems in place to make sure Covid does not get in. “We’re ready for business – we’re looking forward to the commencement in May.”

At the moment, there is a one-way bubble between the two countries but there have been pushes for that to be fully opened up.

Source: nzherald.co.nz

Travel: Germany to demand negative Covid-19 test from all air passengers

Anyone wanting to arrive in Germany by plane must from Sunday onwards show a negative Covid test before boarding, the health ministry said, amid concerns over German tourists flocking to Mallorca over the Easter holidays.

The new decree must still be approved by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet, which is expected to discuss it in the next 24 hours, the ministry announced on Thursday. “All travellers wishing to enter Germany by plane from March 28th… must take a mandatory test before departure,” the official said. Airline crews are exempt from the new rules. The test must be less than 48 hours old and is to be paid for by the passenger.

Source: TheLocal.de

Seychelles opens borders to all visitors, no COVID-19 vaccine or quarantine necessary

While Canadians remain under a travel advisory, one Indian Ocean island nation is reopening to tourists, no vaccine required. As of March 12, the Seychelles had provided the first vaccine dose to 63.5 per cent of the total population, while only 27 per cent had also received their second dose, according to an update on the Seychelles government website. The island will be taking a wait-and-see approach to the COVID-19 situation.

While there’s no quarantine, there are still restrictions: travellers to the Seychelles still require a negative PCR test within 72 hours before arriving in the country, Health Travel Authorization is required, and they must have travel insurance that covers COVID-19 related care.

Source: CTV news

Israel sets new Covid-19 rules at Ben-Gurion Airport

The Government of Israel has announced a new set of regulations on the arrivals and departures from Ben-Gurion Airport (TLV) during the Covid-19 pandemic. The daily limit of 3,000 passengers entering the country has been cancelled. Since 20 March, there are no restrictions on the number of people allowed to enter the country.

Additionally, travellers will no longer be required to go through regular temperature checks while entering the terminal and before boarding. Israelis travelling abroad from the country will also not be required to submit a request to a special committee for travel approval. However, they will have to take a Covid-19 test before their return flight.

Source: Airport Technology

Netherlands extends travel ban until May 15

The Netherlands’ government has decided to extend the advice against travelling abroad for its citizens, until May 15, after taking into account the current infection rate of the Coronavirus in foreign countries. The decision is an additional preventive measure imposed by the Dutch government to avoid travelling during the Easter holidays, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports. In addition, the country’s administration has also decided to extend its restrictive measures after a rise in the number of COVID-19 infections. 

Source: SchengenVisaInfo

March 19

Massachusetts changing COVID-19 rules for travel, announces phase 4 plans

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced Thursday the state will replace the state’s COVID-19 travel order with a travel advisory, one that no longer requires people entering the state to complete a travel form. Under the new travel advisory, anyone arriving in Massachusetts after being elsewhere for more than 24 hours will be advised to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival, but won’t be required.

The Baker administration said in a news release that the change, which includes other steps, will take effect on Monday. That same day, Phase 4 of the state’s coronavirus reopening plan will begin, the administration confirmed Thursday. Phase 4, Step 1 of the reopening plan allows large-scale venues like indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas and ballparks to open at 12% capacity and increases gathering limits at event venues and public settings to 100 people inside and 150 people outside. (Private gathering limits remain in place, at 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.)

Source: NBC Boston

Biden administration eyes mid-May to begin relaxing Covid travel restrictions, sources say 

The relaxation of restrictions would involve travel across the Mexican and Canadian borders and on inbound travel from the U.K., Europe and Brazil, two sources told CNBC.

While there has not been a policy memo or formal codification of the time frame, the discussion has focused on trying to limit the spread of variants domestically as localities make their own decisions on how quickly to reopen.

In the meantime, officials have suggested President Biden and his Covid task force need more time to feel comfortable with reopening borders and increasing the level of air traffic from overseas.

Source: CNBC

EU proposes Covid-19 ‘Green Certificates’ to allow travel across the bloc

With summer looming and tourism-reliant countries anxiously waiting for the return of a steady influx of visitors amid the coronavirus pandemic, the European Union’s executive body presented a proposal Wednesday that would allow the bloc’s 450 million people — vaccinated or not — to travel freely across the 27-nation bloc by the summer.

The plan, which will be discussed next week during a summit of EU leaders, foresees the creation of vaccine certificates aimed at facilitating travel from one member state to the other.

Source: France24

US borders with Canada, Mexico to remain closed to nonessential travel through April 21

Thursday brought bad news for people planning spring and early summer trips: America’s land borders with Canada and Mexico will be closed to nonessential travel until at least April 21.

“To prevent the further spread of COVID-19, and in coordination with our partners in Canada and Mexico, the United States is extending the restrictions on nonessential travel at our land borders through April 21, while ensuring continued flows of essential trade and travel,” the Department of Homeland Security announced via tweet.

Source: USA Today

Australia plans to restart international travel with COVID-19 bubble with Singapore

Australia is working on an ambitious plan to establish Singapore as a COVID-19 quarantine gateway and potential vaccination hub for returning Australians, international students and business travelers. The deal with Singapore could allow passengers en route to Australia to satisfy strict biosecurity rules before arrival.  

Ministers hope the proposal with the south-east Asian city would help about 40,000 Australians stranded overseas return home, boost tourism and revive the multibillion-dollar market for international students at Australian universities, which has been badly hit by border closures. 

Source: VOA news

March 12

France relaxes Covid travel restrictions for UK and six other countries

France began easing restrictions on international travellers from outside Europe on Friday, the foreign ministry has announced, including those from the UK, Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea.  However travellers will still need to provide a negative Covid test on arrival. 

The ministry said in a statement on Thursday that people travelling to and from those seven countries will no longer have to provide documentary proof that they have “essential reasons” for their trip such as a family or medical emergency. French Tourism Minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said this easing was due to the improving health situation in those countries.

Source: rfi

New York to end COVID travel quarantine requirement beginning April 1

New York will end its mandatory quarantine policy for domestic travelers entering the state beginning next month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday. Since June, Cuomo’s administration has required out-of-state travelers or those returning home to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival in New York, with a shorter isolation period required in recent months for those who test negative for COVID-19.

With virus rates dropping throughout the country, New York will now abandon the mandatory quarantine requirement altogether for those traveling domestically, though the state Department of Health will still recommend it as a precaution. The change takes effect April 1.

Source: Democrat and Chronicle

Ryanair launches Covid-19 Travel Wallet

Ryanair has launched a new Covid-19 Travel Wallet which is available only in its app. Customers can now upload their negative PCR tests, their Covid-19 vaccination certificates and other documents that may be required for EU travel this summer.

The successful rollout of Covid-19 vaccines will see the return of EU holiday travel in summer 2021, the carrier said, and the Ryanair Covid Certificate Wallet will make EU air travel as seamless as possible.

Source: Breaking Travel News

Italy unveils ‘covid-free’ trains to tourist destinations

Italy already has “covid-free” flights — where passengers are tested before boarding and on arrival — from Rome to Atlanta and New York JFK. But the country’s main train operator has announced plans for “covid-free” trains including to Italy’s main tourist destinations this summer.

Gianfranco Battisti, CEO of state-owned Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, has said that on these trains, both passengers and staff will be tested for Covid-19 before boarding. Passengers will have to arrive at the station an hour ahead of departure. “We will launch a covid-free train at the start of April,” said Battisti.

Source: CNN

Mass. changes travel rules for people who have been completely vaccinated

Massachusetts health officials are no longer requiring people who have been fully vaccinated to quarantine or test negative for COVID-19 when traveling to the Bay State at least two weeks after their final shot. They will have to be able to show they’ve been vaccinated, and when, if asked about it, according to the new guidance.

There are only four U.S. states and one American territory with low enough COVID-19 rates that Massachusetts health officials are allowing non-vaccinated people to travel from without quarantine. They are Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, Missouri and Puerto Rico.

Source: NBC Boston

COVID-19: UAE, Israel discuss quarantine-free travel corridor

The UAE and Israel governments are in official talks to set up a quarantine-free travel corridor between the two countries, state news agency WAM reported. The corridor will enable individuals vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel for tourist, commercial and official visits without undergoing isolation for a number of days as a precaution against coronavirus.

Abu Dhabi maintains a ‘green list’ of countries and territories where visitors from those places can visit the UAE capital without the need for quarantine. As of March 8, the list includes countries such as Australia, China, Hong Kong, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore and Saudi Arabia.

Source: Arab News

March 5

Spain’s regions reach preliminary agreement to restrict travel over Easter week

Spain’s regions and the central Health Ministry on Thursday decided to extend the current coronavirus restrictions on social activity over Easter week. Under the pact, regions will remain under a perimetral lockdown, meaning no one can enter or leave without a justified reason, such as to go to work. This measure is already in force in all of Spain’s 17 regions, with the exception of Madrid, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands.

The regions also agreed to set a curfew between 10pm and 6am during Easter week and to ban large events where crowds form, meaning Spain’s world-famous Easter processions are likely to be canceled. Other measures include a four-person limit on social gatherings in both private and public spaces, regardless of whether they take place indoors or outdoors, and recommendations against members of different households gathering inside the home or other indoor spaces.

Source: El Pais

How coronavirus vaccine is impacting Americans’ travel plans

According to a new survey by The Vacationer, nearly 85% of Americans are either already willing to travel or would be willing to do so once they get the vaccine or it reaches a larger portion of the population.

Approximately 28% said they were ready to travel right now, nearly 24% said they would travel once they received the vaccine, and almost 32% said they would travel once enough of the general population gets the vaccine. Meanwhile, just 16% of those surveyed said they would not travel again until the world returns to pre-COVID life.

Source: Silive.com

Pakistan extends travel restrictions as coronavirus cases continue to rise

Pakistan’s aviation authority on Saturday extended the existing restrictions for all inbound travellers for another two weeks as the nation continues to witness a surge in the number of coronavirus cases. In a notification, Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) said that the instructions issued on December 31, 2020 would remain in place till March 14.(Unsplash)

Source: Hindustan Times

EU to propose Covid-free ‘travel pass’ ahead of summer

The European Commission is working on a special pass to allow vaccinated people and others to travel more freely – despite criticism from those who say it risks discriminating those unable to get the jab. Also known as a “digital green pass,” the plan is to have a legal proposal in a matter of weeks which would include categories like those who are vaccinated, those who have recovered from Covid-19, or those who are able to produce negative test results.

EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen tweeted on Monday (1 March) that it would ease the lives of Europeans. “The aim is to gradually enable them to move safely in the European Union or abroad – for work or tourism,” she said. The commission’s timeline is three months, meaning a pass could – theoretically – be ready for the summer.

Source: EUobserver

Coronavirus: Cyprus declares it will open its borders to vaccinated UK tourists from May

Cyprus’s deputy tourism minister Savvas Perdios said the country would allow Britons who had been given vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency the right to enter without the need for a negative test or to quarantine. Tourists would be required to have had their second dose at the latest seven days before travel, the minister added.

Cyprus has already struck a similar agreement allowing Israeli tourists to enter the country from April 1.

Source: The Scotsman

February 26

Cancun loosens COVID-19 restrictions ahead of spring break travel

Unlike some spring-break hot spots in Florida, Cancun is actually easing its COVID-19 restrictions. With spring-break travel fast approaching, popular tourist destinations in Mexico like Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum are raising capacity limits from 30% to 60% at hotels, restaurants and beaches, Quintana Roo government officials announced on Twitter.  Attractions and group tours will also be allowed to operate at 60% capacity. Nightclubs and bars will stay closed, the guidance says.

Travelers visiting Mexico also need to register with the government online and show proof of registration via a QR code received once they arrive. Face masks must be worn at all times inside the country’s restaurants, hotels and at airports. U.S. travelers will also need to present a negative COVID-19 test upon departure for re-entry into the states.

Source: Fox News

Italy prolongs COVID-19 regional travel ban until March 27

Italy’s government has extended the ban on travel between its 20 regions until March 27 due to the upsurge in the number of Coronavirus infections.

The announcement has been revealed by the country’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s through an approved decree and aims to put an end to the further spread of the disease, which as yet has infected over 2,818,860 persons in Italy, making the country the eight most affected one worldwide, SchnegenVisaInfo.com reports.

Source: Schengenvisainfo

Covid: Airline industry travel pass ready ‘within weeks’

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says it expects its digital Covid Travel Pass will be ready “within weeks”. The pass is an app that verifies a passenger has had the Covid-19 tests or vaccines required to enter a country. It also verifies they were administered by an approved authority.

The industry body sees the pass as essential for reopening air travel, as many countries still have strict restrictions or quarantines in place. “We are currently working with a number of airlines worldwide and learning from these pilots. And the plan is to go live in March,” Mr Goel said. “So basically we expect to have a fully functional working system over the next few weeks.”

Source: BBC News

Countries that are open to COVID-19 vaccinated travelers

Although the rate of the vaccine availability has varied around the world, some countries are jumpstarting their tourism industries by inviting fully inoculated travelers to visit. Below are the countries currently welcoming vaccinated Americans.

  • Georgia
  • Seychelles

Source: Travel and Leisure

Spain extends travel restrictions on arrivals from the UK, Brazil and South Africa until March 16

The Spanish Cabinet on Wednesday extended travel restrictions on arrivals from the United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa until March 16. The measure is aimed at preventing the arrival of the more-contagious variants of the coronavirus that have been detected in those countries.

Current rules stipulate that only Spanish citizens or people with other nationalities who have official residency in Spain or Andorra can fly or sail into the country from the United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa. Passengers traveling from those countries to a non-Schengen destination with a stopover less than 24 hours in Spain must not leave the international transit area of the airport.

Source: El Pais

February 19

Poland lifts quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated travelers from select countries

First and foremost, travelers must come from a place that Poland is already allowing into the country. Admission to Poland is currently restricted to citizens and legal residents of European Union countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Georgia, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Thailand, South Korea, Tunisia, and Australia, as well as their spouses and children.

Polish law requires travelers to quarantine for 10 days, but this mandate was waived last month for passengers who are able to present a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival, as long as that result was obtained within 48 hours of their entry. Now, the rules have been updated to include vaccinated travelers as well.

Source: Travel and Leisure

Vaccinated travelers may soon be able to visit Hawaii with a digital vaccine passport

Hawaii is looking to welcome fully vaccinated travelers in the coming months, working on a potential vaccine passport that would allow vaccinated visitors to enter without a quarantine. The program could start as early as March 1 and would likely kick off with in-state essential workers who received the full dose of a vaccine, according to Hawaii News Now.

With this vaccine passport program, Hawaii would join a growing list of countries and cities exploring the concept, including Iceland, Denmark, and Phuket. Additionally, several countries, including the Seychelles and Georgia (the country, not the state), have already started welcoming fully vaccinated travelers to their shores.

Source: Travel and Leisure

Iceland issues first vaccination certificates for international travel

Iceland is now issuing Covid-19 vaccination certificates in a bid to help international travel resume. Citizens who have had two doses of the vaccine are now eligible for a digital certificate, and the nation’s Health Ministry has set up a website to ensure they are distributed. “The aim is to facilitate the movement of people between countries so that the individuals can show a vaccination certificate during border checks and be exempt from border restrictions,” the ministry says.

While national “vaccination passports” aim to streamline and simplify health certification for international travellers, they are not yet considered enough for international travel to resume safely – and the World Health Organisation (WHO) currently advises against them.

Source: GlobeTrender

Local travel no 1 choice! Indians prefer familiar destinations, holidaying with pets, shows new survey

According to Booking.com’s South Asia Regional Manager, Ritu Mehrotra, “Staying close to home, becoming familiarists instead of tourists” and “Travelling like a local” are key trends for Indian travellers.

The Booking.com Future of Travel research insights show that 49% of Indian travellers plan to visit new domestic destinations. Another 52% Indian travellers still intend to travel in 7 to 12 months’ time. About 41 % plan to do so over a year’s time. Interestingly, the top trending destinations for the month of February are Srinagar, Digha, Manali, Goa and Alibaug.

Source: Financial Express

China requiring people to quarantine before traveling to country

China will now require some travelers to quarantine for 14 days before traveling to the country, in a rare move that toughens up restrictions in the country as it tries to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

In notices on China’s embassy websites in Egypt, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and South Africa, the country says that, “In order to reduce the cross-border spread of the epidemic,” all Chinese citizens traveling from those countries are required to carry out a 14-day quarantine before embarking on their journey. The requirement for most countries will begin March 2.

Source: US News

February 12

7 destinations that are allowing travelers vaccinated for covid-19

While there are growing arguments against vaccine passports, some nations have begun allowing vaccinated travelers to bypass the usual entry requirements, such as a 14-day quarantine.

European nations and remote tropical islands are among the destinations welcoming vaccinated travelers, even though health experts remain uncertain about coronavirus vaccines’ ability to prevent transmission of the virus. Here are the destinations that have so far announced that they will allow vaccinated travelers to enter: 

  • The Seychelles
  • Georgia
  • Estonia
  • Romania
  • Iceland
  • Cyprus
  • Poland

Source: By The Way

U.K. coronavirus restrictions to include hotel quarantines, threats of fines and prison

Britain is about to launch the toughest travel restrictions in Europe, including mandatory hotel quarantines and 10-year prison terms for those who lie on entry forms. The government has already shut down almost all travel by international visitors from 33 countries seen as viral hot spots, including Brazil and South Africa.

Beginning Monday, British citizens returning from those “red list” countries must quarantine for 10 days in designated hotels, under police guard, costing travelers 1,750 pounds, or about $2,400. Travelers must submit to multiple coronavirus tests before release. Those who try to elude quarantine face fines of up to $14,000.

Source: The Washington Post

Which COVID-19 tests are required for international travel?

The U.S. will accept results from either a test that detects the genetic material of the virus — considered the most sensitive type of test — or a rapid test that looks for viral proteins called antigens. The tests must have been taken no more than three days before departing for the U.S. With either test, the U.S. requires electronic or printed proof of the negative result from a medical laboratory.

England has a similar setup, accepting results from both types of tests. But health authorities are imposing extra requirements, including that the tests meet certain thresholds for accuracy. Travelers are told to check to make sure their test meets the standards.

Source: AP

European travel restrictions: Non-essential travel curbed

Though travel into the EU is already severely restricted, beginning Sunday January 24, anybody arriving from outside the EU — possible only for those with essential reasons — would have to have a test for COVID-19 before departure. However, each EU country maintains its own standards for deciding whether and how citizens of third countries may enter if they are already in an EU or Schengen country.

Source: DW

Canada tightens border restrictions further, will require negative COVID test

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday that starting next week any nonessential traveler arriving in Canada by land will need to show a negative PCR-based COVID-19 test or face a fine if they don’t have one.

Trudeau said customs officers can’t send Canadians back to the U.S. if they don’t have a test because they are technically on Canadian soil but said the fine will be up to $2,370, and the traveler will be subject to extensive follow up by health officials if they don’t show a negative test.

Source: USA Today

February 5

56% of Americans plan to travel in 2021

A survey, conducted by Morning Consult, shows optimism is aplenty among US travelers: more than half (56%) of Americans are likely to travel for a vacation in 2021. 

The report also asked consumers how comfortable they feel about using hotels. It found that 34% of participants say they already feel comfortable staying in a hotel. 48% say their levels of reassurance rely on the distribution of the vaccine. 36% say they expect to travel more for leisure in 2021 compared to last year.

Source: Small Business Trends

Denmark working on digital coronavirus passport in order to enable foreign travel

Denmark has revealed its plans to launch a digital Coronavirus passport in collaboration with business, in order to allow foreign travel and for restrictions to be eased, which, according to the government, will need another three or four months to come into life.

The government hopes that the vaccination passports will contribute to a gradual, sound, and appropriate reopening in Denmark, while at the same time matching the requirement for such documents set by the EU.

Source: SchengenVisaInfo

Germany imposes travel restrictions over COVID variants

Germany has announced entry restrictions for travelers from the UK, Ireland, Brazil, Portugal and South Africa, as concerns of more contagious coronavirus variants are rising. Starting on Saturday, a transportation ban will go into effect for all planes, trains, buses and ships from countries where the new variants have spread. The restrictions are currently set to run until February 17.

Source: DW.com

Coronavirus: Sweden brings in new travel restrictions for foreign tourists

Swedish citizens as well as foreign residents in Sweden will be exempt from a new entry ban on arrivals without a negative Covid-19 test, said the government on Wednesday. This means that even people travelling from another EU country will have to show a negative Covid-19 test, or be turned away.

There is currently a ban on non-essential travel to Sweden from most countries outside the EU, and from Denmark and Norway, but there are certain exceptions, including for people who live or work in Sweden.

Souce: The Local

Mandatory hotel quarantine for international travel could be coming ‘very quickly’ in Canada

On Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced new measures to discourage flying and hopefully prevent more cases of the novel coronavirus variants from coming into Canada. Among them was the requirement for arriving flyers to quarantine in an approved hotel for up to three days until they receive results from a COVID-19 test taken at the airport. The hotel quarantine requirement could cost each traveller more than $2,000. 

New restrictions requiring international travellers to quarantine in hotel rooms at their own expense if arriving or returning to the country are expected to come into effect “quickly,” according to a spokesperson from the Transport Minister.

Source: CTV news

New York eases some restrictions

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said New York will lift restrictions on gatherings and some nonessential businesses across most of the state — except in parts of the greater New York City-area, including Washington Heights, the Bronx and Queens, and the Newburgh area upstate.

The new measures will eliminate harsher limits on indoor dining, gathering sizes and businesses like gyms, barbershops and hair salons. While indoor dining in New York City will remain closed for now.

Source: CNBC

UAE airlines announce travel restrictions to Kuwait

Airlines in the UAE – Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways and flydubai – have announced travel restrictions to Kuwait. According to guidelines issued by Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, from February 7 to February 21, only Kuwait nationals, first-degree Kuwaiti relatives and domestic workers travelling with a Kuwaiti sponsor can enter Kuwait on the airline’s flights. This is in addition to a 14-day quarantine on arrival to Kuwait and a negative PCR test result before departure.

Dubai-based Emirates said it is not accepting nonKuwaiti passengers on flights from Dubai to Kuwait, from February 7 to February 20, 2021. In case of flydubai, effective from January 24 until February 6, all passengers with onward flight connections to Kuwait will not be accepted for travel. This does not apply to passengers connecting to Kuwait after 14 days quarantine in Dubai.

Source: Khaleej Times

Long haul travelling may take some time to recover

Even though coronavirus vaccines have started rolling out, it is still unclear as to when travelling worldwide will get back to its normal self. According to experts, we can only expect to recover in 2022. The International Air Transport Association said this week that in a worst-case scenario, passenger traffic may only improve by 13% this year. 

Quarantines that lock up passengers upon arrival for weeks on end remain the great enemy of a real travel rebound. A better alternative, according to IATA, is a digital Travel Pass to store passengers’ vaccine and testing histories, allowing restrictions to be lifted. 

Source: Hindustan Times

MSC Cruises looking to restart Greece sailings next

MSC Cruises today announced that it was working closely with the Greek Ministry of Tourism towards a restart of its Greece sailings. MSC has already successfully restarted its Mediterranean sailings out of Genoa, Italy on MSC Grandiosa, and is now hoping to add sailings out of Greece sometime after April 29.

Greece has banned inbound passengers arriving by sea since Nov. 9, which not only includes cruise ships but also ferry service with Turkey and Albania. It is still allowing international passengers to come in by air if they provide a negative PCR COVID-19 test and then self-isolate for seven days as a precaution.

Source: Travel Market Report