Pandemic Travel News: Asia Pacific Vacation On The Horizon


(CNN) – It was another good week in terms of travel reopening as tropical paradises like Fiji and Bali announced eased restrictions. And the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean was celebrating its best month ever for tourism.

We learned that on pandemic trips this week.

1. Perhaps you can start planning your Asia Pacific vacation

Tourists on the observation deck of the Kuala Lumpur Tower in Malaysia on October 1st.

Vincent Thian / AP

On October 10, Singapore added eight new countries, including the US and UK, to its vaccinated and quarantine-free itineraries.

The next day, its Southeast Asian neighbor Malaysia ended its domestic and international travel restrictions on fully vaccinated residents after achieving its goal of full vaccination for 90% of the adult population.

Next up were the Indonesian islands of Bali and Riau – they reopened on October 14th to visitors from 19 countries. The lucky 19 are China, India, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Liechtenstein, Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Hungary and Norway.
In Australia, New South Wales Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet announced on October 15 that the state – including Sydney – would end its Covid-19 quarantine for fully vaccinated international travelers from November 1.
Thailand has come a little closer to fully reopening to tourism by allowing fully vaccinated visitors from a handful of approved countries to bypass the quarantine starting November 1. The 10 countries taking the cut include Singapore, Germany, China, the US, and the UK. More will be added to the list on December 1st.
Finally, the South Pacific island of Fiji, which has been closed to international visitors since the pandemic began, has announced that it will officially reopen on December 1 with the resumption of scheduled tourist flights.

2. Spain has joined France and Portugal on the CDC’s “less risky” list

Spain - Palma Beach in Palma de Mallorca is pictured - has seen a decrease in Covid cases.

Spain – Palma Beach in Palma de Mallorca is pictured – has seen a decrease in Covid cases.

Jaime Reina / AFP / Getty Images

It’s a small win – it still means up to 500 cases per 100,000 people in the last 28 days – but Spain is on “Level 3: Covid-19 High” by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC) moved back “category in its regularly updated travel advice.

It joins other popular European travel destinations on the level 3 list, including France, Germany, Italy and Portugal.

Greece, Croatia, Turkey, Cyprus and the United Kingdom are still in the Level 4 highest risk category, where all non-essential travel is discouraged. Hungary and the Madeira Islands are the only European travel destinations that are on Level 2 (“moderate”).

3. Fully vaccinated foreign visitors will be able to enter the US beginning November 8th

The American-Mexican border wall in Otay Mesa, California on August 13, 2021.

The American-Mexican border wall in Otay Mesa, California on August 13, 2021.

Sandy Huffaker / AFP / Getty Images

The confusing patchwork of bans on entering the United States across air and land borders is getting easier.

Kevin Munoz, Assistant Secretary of the White House, tweeted on October 15, “The US’s new travel policy, which requires vaccinations for foreign travelers to the United States, begins November 8th. This announcement and date apply to both international air travel and land travel travel. “

Earlier this week, the White House announced that it would relax travel restrictions for full-blown visitors from Canada and Mexico from early November.

The first phase will allow fully vaccinated visitors traveling for non-essential reasons, such as visiting friends or for tourism, to cross US land borders. The second phase, which begins in January 2022, will allow all fully vaccinated foreign travelers to enter the country.

4. The EU provides free rail passes to 60,000 young people

The EU Commission is giving away free rail passes to 60,000 European citizens between the ages of 18 and 20.

Teenagers incarcerated during the pandemic can embark on railroad adventures for up to 30 days between March 2022 and February 2023. Applications for this round are possible until October 26th.
CNN Travel’s global editor, Barry Neild, traveled overland across Europe and down to Morocco in the 1990s with an initial budget of just under $ 100. You can read his story here.

5. There was even more chaos and cancellations on a US airline

Passengers wait in line at the Southwest Airlines ticket booth at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport on October 11th.

Passengers wait in line at the Southwest Airlines ticket booth at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport on October 11th.

Joe Cavaretta / South Florida Sun-Sentinel / AP

As early as August, there were mass cancellations for days on the US airlines Spirit and American. This week it was Southwest’s turn.
A Chicago bride who got married in Las Vegas was left without a family at her wedding when all of her relatives’ flights were canceled.

6. The Dominican Republic had its best month of tourism ever

Gorgeous beaches and beautiful landscapes on this island vacation. Take a 60-second vacation to the Dominican Republic.

David Collado, Minister of Tourism of the Dominican Republic, has tweeted that the country had the highest visitor numbers ever in September.
It has welcomed 3.3 million visitors so far this year – more than in the days leading up to the 2019 pandemic – including more than 365,000 in September, reports the Caribbean Journal.

The Dominican Republic is on the CDC’s travel advisory list on “Level 2: Covid-19 Moderate”.

7. Dubai had the busiest international airport in the world

Dubai (DXB) has overtaken Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) as the busiest international airport in the world, according to the latest report from travel data provider OAG.

Based on the total capacity of the airlines, there are more than 2.7 million seats on flights planned at the airport this month. A good part of this will have to do with the opening of Dubai Expo 2020 in October, which has been delayed by the pandemic. The six-month extravaganza runs through March 31, 2022.

8. An American woman was the only allowed tourist in Bhutan

Monks in the Punakha Dzong in Bhutan.

Monks in the Punakha Dzong in Bhutan.

Adobe Stock

The American Fran Bak, a 70-year-old widow who took up gong meditation after her husband’s death in 2018, received the first tourist visa for Bhutan since the country was closed in March 2020.

“Bhutan is a gift of perfect gifts,” Bak told CNN from the Thimphu apartment she stayed in for a few weeks before heading out to give gong workshops in rural villages.

9. New Zealand vaccinates people on a plane (but it doesn’t fly them anywhere)

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that in the face of an ongoing Delta variant outbreak, the country will move from eliminating Covid-19 and instead move to a “living with the virus” strategy.

October 16 is billed as a Super Saturday in New Zealand, where the government is asking eligible unvaccinated New Zealanders to get their vaccinations.

A lucky couple can get their Pfizer vaccine on board an Air New Zealand 787 plane at Auckland Airport. You will also receive an Air New Zealand hangar tour, free snacks and drinks served by Air New Zealand crew members, and a boarding pass as a souvenir.

10. Airbus A380 return to the skies

Passengers love the A380, but airlines have given it up. Your fly-in window closes now that many are in storage.

Thanks to Covid-19, most of the Airbus A380s in the world were on the ground. Airbus had announced in 2019 that it would cease production of the superjumbos, and their high operating costs had no place in the minimal, cost-effective international flight schedules of the pandemic.

While their days are still numbered, some airlines – including Singapore Airlines and British Airways – have announced plans to get the plane back in the air.

CNN’s Priscilla Alvarez, Marnie Hunter, Masrur Jamaluddin, Betsy Klein, Ramishah Maruf, Lilit Marcus, Rhea Mogul, Kocha Olarn and Kate Sullivan contributed to this report.


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