U.S. borders reopen to international travelers Nov. 8

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October 18, 2021 – The White House on Friday will lift COVID-19 travel restrictions for fully vaccinated international visitors starting November 8, ending historic restrictions that had barred much of the world from entering the United States for as long as 21 months.

Now over 30 million visitors are expected to visit the country.

The US has been a popular tourist destination and that got severely impacted over the past 18 months. Besides tourism, the US is also frequently visited for business purposes, its conferences and specialized medical treatments.

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Starting November 1, 2021, Thailand lifts quarantine for fully vaccinated foreign tourists from “low-risk” countries

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October 13, 2021 – Fully vaccinated arrivals from approved countries must have a negative RT-PCR test prior to departure from their country of origin. They will then be required to submit a second PCR test upon arrival in Thailand. Once a negative result is obtained, they will be free to travel in the country.
 
Thailand will allow fully vaccinated travelers from at least 10 “low-risk” countries, including:

  • The United Kingdom, the United States, China, Singapore and Germany.
  • The remaining five countries will be confirmed after October 14, 2021.

The list will be expanded from December 1, 2021 and again from January 1, 2022.
People from countries not on the list can still enter Thailand but will have to be quarantined, even if they are vaccinated.
 

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Singapore to Open to Vaccinated U.S. and Canadian Travelers

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October 13, 2021 – The Singapore Tourism Board has announced that vaccinated U.S. and Canadian tourists can now visit the island destination once again. With Singapore’s high vaccination rate, the destination is moving to the next step of the safe reopening of the tourism sector by implementing local measures to keep travelers and residents safe, abiding by the requirements on COVID-19 prevention and Singapore public health regulations. 

With visitor’s safety being a top priority, Singapore has implemented “Safe Travel Lanes” to facilitate travel, providing details on testing protocols, vaccination requirements, and other distancing and social regulations. To raise hygiene standards and transform the cleanliness levels of public spaces, the SG Clean campaign was launched in February 2020, which requires tourism establishments to adhere to stringent levels of the “SG Clean Quality” mark. 

As part of Singapore’s efforts to reopen borders safely, fully vaccinated U.S. and Canadian travelers looking to make future travel plans can safely enter and depart Singapore via the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL). 

 

For travelers vaccinated in the U.S. or Canada, Singapore is currently accepting vaccination certificates issued in the SMART Health Card (SHC) format, by issuers in Canada or the U.S. on the Common Trust Network. Vaccinated travelers will be required to undergo two COVID-19 PCR tests, including a pre-departure PCR test within 48 hours of their scheduled departure and obtain a negative test result. They will also need to take on-arrival test at Changi Airport and remain self-isolated until their test result is confirmed to be negative. 

Travelers visiting Singapore under the VTL must travel into Singapore on designated VTL flights. Short-term visitors must purchase travel insurance for the entire duration of their stay in Singapore, with a minimum coverage of S$30,000 (about $22,102) for COVID-19-related medical treatment and hospitalization costs, prior to travel to Singapore. 

Visitors who wish to travel under the VTL will need to apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) seven to 30 days prior to the intended date of entry into Singapore. Applications for the VTP will open on October 12, 2021 for entry into Singapore on or after October 19, 2021. More details on the VTL requirements into Singapore can be found at https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg/

For the latest travel updates on Singapore, visit www.visitsingapore.com

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South Africa has recently been taken off the red lists of key markets such as the USA, Netherlands and Germany. Now the UK has followed

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October 12, 2021 – The announcement by the UK government follows multi-stakeholder engagements between the two countries to have the UK review its decision and shortly after Minister Sisulu’s engagement with the Acting UK High Commissioner and support for the meeting between the UK and South African government scientists, which data and expertise shared culminated in the UK’s latest review.

The tourism industry directly employs 657,000 people, 87% of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds. South Africa remains open for international travel, with ease of air travel connectivity to all our major cities and the rest of the Southern African region.

Last Thursday Minister Sisulu held the first of many engagements with Tourism Stakeholders to hear how the Department lead can help the industry to get back on back on track and encouraged all in the tourism sector to vaccinate. South Africa moved to adjusted alert level 1 which reduced the hours of curfew, increased the numbers permitted at gatherings and extended hours when alcohol can be purchased.

The Department of Health brought the Electronic Vaccination System online on 5 October and the digital vaccine certificate can be used to facilitate travel, access to establishments and gatherings and other forms of activity that require proof of vaccination status.

“We are delighted to see the UK restrictions on travel to South Africa lifted, following a successful vaccine rollout in South Africa, and continued decline in new COVID-19 cases. We look forward to welcoming our British visitors in time for the South African summer season and we will continue to work tirelessly with all our national and international partners to ensure the success of South Africa’s tourism recovery, ” says Sisulu.

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Israel likely to reopen for tourists on November 1st

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October 12, 2021 – In the first stage, only tourists from the EU and other countries with mutual vaccination agreements with Israel, will be allowed to visit.

The Israeli government is expected to announce that foreign tourists will be readmitted into the country from November 1. In the first stage, only tourists from some 40 countries, mainly EU countries, which have mutual vaccination agreements with Israel, will be allowed to enter Israel.

Only people who have had at least two vaccinations and have not passed six months since their second vaccination, or have had the third booster vaccination, will be allowed into Israel. These conditions will greatly reduce the number of tourists who qualify. Both groups and individual tourists will be allowed into the country.

 

In the second stage, Israel hopes to sign a mutual vaccination agreement with the US, which will allow in tourists from some states such as New York and California.

The Ministry of Health has yet to decide if it will demand that tourists from the US will also need to undergo a serological test to determine whether they have adequate levels of Covid antibodies. The Ministry of Health understands that such a test could act as a deterrent and may not stick by the demand. Such a test will not apply to tourists from Europe, under the mutual agreement with the EU.

The Ministry of Health is also considering allowing all vaccinated tourists to enter Israel from November 21, except from countries that require a visa to visit Israel.

As with all Israelis returning to Israel, foreign tourists will be required to show a negative tests from within 72 hours before boarding their flight and to take another PCR test on landing at Ben Gurion airport. They must remain in isolation until receiving those test results (within 24 hours).

Under the Israeli government’s plans, tourists in groups will be allowed into Israel, if they have gone more than six months since their second vaccination. Such groups will be limited to a maximum of 1,000 entering the country per day and these tourists will be required to undergo antigen tests at the entry to sites that they visit.

Under the plan, Israel will accept vaccinations recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) including the various Chinese vaccinations but not Russia’s Sputnik vaccination.

The Ministry of Health said, “As soon as the plan is finalized, we will approve it for publication in an organized fashion.”

Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on October 11, 2021

Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2021

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Czech Republic has received Safe Travels Stamp

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October 8, 2021 – The Czech Republic has received the international mark “Safe Travels Stamp” awarded by the World Tourism & Travel Council (WTTC) and boasts the status of a safe destination. The CzechTourism National Tourism Office applied for the mark for the Czech Republic, which, based on documents from the Czech Chamber of Commerce, professional associations and the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic, developed a set of preventive safety and hygiene recommendations for individual tourism sectors.

It’s great that today’s World Tourism Day is celebrated by the Czech Republic with the Safe Travels Stamp. I believe that the status of a safe tourist destination, by which the Czech Republic and Czech companies meeting Safe Travels standards will present themselves abroad, will bring other foreign tourists to the Czech Republic, “says Klára Dostálová, Minister for Regional Development.

Entrepreneurs and associations in tourism can apply for the Safe Travels mark from 1 October 2021 via the registration form on the CzechTourism agency’s website. Here you will also find recommendations and the resulting principles, rules and conditions of using the Safe Travels mark for individual industries (eg retail stores, hotels, restaurants, saunas, swimming pools, golf courses, cinemas, cable cars and others), which undertakes to comply with by submitting the form. The granting and use of the Safe Travels mark is free of charge. Compliance with binding health and hygiene standards in operations and companies will be carried out by an external supplier in the form of mystery shopping.

Like the Open forever initiative, the Safe Travels Stamp is based on a system of self-regulation,” says Jan Herget, director of CzechTourism, adding: “Both our projects will help not only to remain open forever, but also to attract foreign tourists. If you look at the booking portals today, you will see that some hotels already have the Safe Travels mark embedded in their profiles. Therefore, I believe that obtaining the mark will be an important competitive advantage for Czech entrepreneurs. “

Safe Travels Stamp – The Safe Travels stamp is an award for destinations and companies around the world that have adopted the global standardized SafeTravels recommendation in the field of health and hygiene. This mark will help travelers identify countries and companies around the world that have implemented these globally standardized ‘safe travel’ standards.

The World Tourism Council is a global authority on the economic and social benefits of tourism. The WTTC supports the sustainable growth of the tourism industry, working with governments and international institutions to create jobs, promote exports and prosperity. The members of the Council are the presidents, presidents and CEOs of the world’s leading private tourism companies.

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India allows foreign tourists from Nov 15 and Oct 15 for those on Chartered Flights

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October 8, 2021 – In a move aimed at boosting the economy through tourism, the government has decided to lift the Covid barrier for international travellers by resuming the grant of tourist visas.

The Ministry of Affairs will start granting fresh tourist visas to foreigners coming to India from November 15. For those coming on chartered flights, visas would be granted starting October 15.

The move comes a year and a half after grant of tourist visas was suspended in the wake of Covid pandemic.

The ministry said in a statement that the decision was taken following consultations with stakeholders like the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Tourism and state governments.

“MHA had been receiving representations from several State Governments as well as various stakeholders in the tourism sector to start Tourist Visas also, to allow foreign tourists to come to India. After deliberations we have decided to ease travel restrictions,” a senior Home Ministry official said.

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New Zealand drops “Covid Zero” goal

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Latest Travel advice New Zealand

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October 4, 2021 Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern admitted Monday that New Zealand’s widely praised “Covid zero” strategy had failed to halt an outbreak in Auckland and said a new approach was needed.

Now the lockdown restrictions in Auckland will be eased slightly, even though new case numbers have not fallen.

Auckland will remain in lockdown for now but the government will conduct weekly reviews to time the reintroduction of freedoms.

City residents can meet outdoors in groups of up to 10 from Wednesday and steps such as reopening shops and schools will be considered in the coming weeks.

The rest of the country was allowed out of lockdown in early September.

Before the Auckland outbreak, New Zealand’s elimination strategy was widely lauded by bodies such at the World Health Organization, with just 27 deaths in a population of five million.

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Check out the different entry requirements for EU citizens to the UK

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October 1, 2021 : ID cards will no longer be valid for EU citizens when travelling to the UK. From 1 October 2021 you will need a valid passport.
This includes travellers arriving directly into Northern Ireland but not arriving by land from Ireland (if travelling on to Great Britain a passport is required valid for duration of stay). EU nationals resident in the UK who have applied for the EU Settlement Scheme can continue to use an ID card (full exemption list).

From 28th September 2021, UK registered vehicles now require a UK sticker to be displayed instead of GB when driving in the EU except in Ireland. Further information here.

If you become a UK resident on or before 31 December 2020, you can continue to use your ID card to travel between the Netherlands and the UK until at least the end of 2025.  

 

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Nepal reopens all border points enabling foreigners to visit through land routes

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September 30, 2021 – The Nepali government has decided to reopen all the border crossings for the movement of Nepali and foreign nationals, as the South Asian country has been reporting fewer COVID-19 cases in recent days, a Nepali minister said Wednesday.

The move ended a months-long ban on foreigners visiting Nepal through land routes that was imposed after the second wave of the coronavirus hit the country in April.

Following the cabinet decision on Tuesday evening, “fully vaccinated foreigners can travel in Nepal after being tested negative for coronavirus either through polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or antigen tests,” Nepal’s State Minister for Health and Population Umesh Shrestha told Xinhua.

The decision came at a time when new COVID-19 cases in Nepal have come down to less than 2,000 per day in recent days from a record high of 9,317 on May 11.

On Tuesday, the country logged 1,036 new infections and five deaths, taking the total cases to 786,577 and the death toll to 11,053.

Nepal has a total of 35 border crossings with India and two border points with China.

On June 21, Nepal’s Health Ministry imposed a blanket ban on foreign nationals visiting the country through land routes.

Shrestha said the decision to relax the cross-border movement of foreigners was taken to give a boost to the country’s tourism which has been hit hard amid the pandemic. “We can attract vaccinated Indian tourists through the land routes,” he said.

Indian nationals have been allowed into Nepal in the past days despite the blanket ban still in place.

“Due to cross-border family, social and cultural relations, we have been allowing Indian nationals to visit Nepal if they are fully vaccinated or they could produce PCR negative for coronavirus,” said Phanindramani Pokharel, spokesperson for Nepal’s Ministry of Home Affairs. Enditem

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