Pandemic travel news: Australia, Thailand and Madagascar all open



(CNN) – Melbourne residents spent 260 days in lockdown, but that ended this week. Residents celebrated the lifting of restrictions on October 21 by going to bars, hugging friends and dancing in the streets.

Whether that’s the same energy you’re taking this weekend, whether your plans involve taking the fall time, scrambling to find a Halloween costume that doesn’t involve “Squid Game”, or just enjoying yourself. do nothing.

Here’s all the pandemic travel news you may have missed this week.

1. Madagascar is the last destination to reopen to tourism

The African island nation has announced that it will slowly start welcoming return flights from Mauritius and Reunion on October 23 and then from Europe on November 6. Cruise ships can also return.

Travelers must show proof of a negative PCR test performed within 72 hours of boarding their flight and then take another test upon arrival. While awaiting the results of the second test, they are required to stay in an approved hotel and take a dedicated shuttle to their accommodation.

If they test negative, customers can travel freely within the country, but anyone who tests positive will have to spend up to 14 days self-isolating at their own expense.

Madagascar has the largest population of lemurs in the world, so head to some of the country’s beautiful national parks to spot these cute primates.

2. Australia’s state of Victoria gears up for a return to tourism

Melbourne is known as the Garden City of Australia.

Asanka Ratnayake / Getty Images

Victoria, home to the city of Melbourne, puts an end to local blockages now that authorities have reached their goal of fully vaccinating at least 70% of adults in the state against the coronavirus. Next step: reopen state borders and prepare for the resumption of international tourism.

“There will no longer be a cap on returning fully vaccinated Australians wishing to enter Victoria, and opening our borders to returning Victorians will reunite families and friends and boost our vaccinated economy,” the Prime Minister said Daniel Andrews in a statement.

The first priority will be Australian citizens, residents and their immediate family members from November 1. Fully vaccinated foreign nationals will be next, although there is no specific date yet.

Those who wish to take the Great Ocean Road and visit the UNESCO-listed Royal Exhibition Center can start dreaming of 2022.

3. The tourism advocacy of a city with a superhero has borne fruit

The actor said the #GetChristoCowra campaign “has warmed his heart” and has promised to visit the Australian city next year.

Elsewhere in Australia, the small town of Cowra in New South Wales has come up with an unconventional tourism campaign – they have asked actor Chris Hemsworth to come visit him.

Hemsworth, who is the celebrity ambassador for Australia’s National Tourism Department, shared the #GetChristoCowra viral ad on his Instagram and said he plans to stop after he finishes shooting a movie abroad.

“A great love to all the people of Cowra for this incredible campaign, it warmed my heart and made me smile!” he wrote.

4. There is a new name on airplanes in Italy

The ITA Airways livery is inspired by the sky blue stripes of the national football team uniforms.

The ITA Airways livery is inspired by the sky blue stripes of the national football team uniforms.

Document / ITA Airways

After the bankruptcy of the Italian national airline Alitalia, a new logo is visible in the skies of the country – meet ITA Airways.

The new carrier and its sleek blue planes debuted at a press conference in Rome.

“We were born as a new Italian brand and we have chosen to work only with Italian companies,” said the president of ITA during the inauguration.

However, not all is true to tradition. The airline is experimenting with an attractive new compensation structure where all employees will have a portion of their salary tied not only to company profits, but also to customer satisfaction.

5. CDC advised against visiting Singapore

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added Singapore to its list of level four countries as its coronavirus cases have increased. Level 4 countries are considered high risk and Americans who travel there are advised to be fully immunized.

Singapore doesn’t seem to have the same feeling about the United States, however – it’s one of the countries whose residents can now enter the Asian city-state without quarantine, provided they can prove that ‘they are vaccinated.

While the Level 4 list may sound worrisome, this is only a suggestion and not a ban. Other popular travel destinations currently at the same level include Greece, Ireland, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Singapore Ministry of Health extended local restrictions until November 21 – this means employees are encouraged to work from home whenever possible and public gatherings are limited to two people.

6. A big plane takes care of a small project

Speaking of Singapore, the country’s flag carrier said it will fly some of the A380 superjumbo jets on short-haul flights between Singapore and Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur.

The flight, which lasts around an hour, is now perhaps the shortest A380 route in the world.

The planes, which typically make much longer journeys like London-Singapore, are popular with aviation fans because of their spaciousness and relative calm on board.

Singapore Airlines chief of global public affairs Siva Govindasamy told CNN that some people specifically decide where to travel based on their ability to fly on one of these Airbus jets.

6. Thailand is preparing to open its borders

Many pairs of eyes are watching Thailand as the country moves towards its goal of reopening on November 1.

The Southeast Asian country has announced that fully vaccinated travelers from any of 46 countries and territories – including Australia, Canada, China, France, Japan, Singapore, UK – United and the United States – will be eligible to visit without quarantine.

These tourists must provide proof of an insurance policy covering the treatment of Covid-19 up to $ 50,000 and a negative PCR test carried out within 72 hours of departure.

Upon arrival, they will need to undergo a second PCR test and check in at a hotel accredited by the Thai Safety and Health Administration (SHA +) overnight to await their test results.

Two programs, the Phuket Sandbox and Samui Plus, kicked off over the summer as a test case of how reopening travel might work in Thailand.

7. Saudi Arabia unveils a new type of theme park

A rendering of what The Rig will look like.

A rendering of what The Rig will look like.

Public investment fund

Move around, Disneyland and Peppa Pig World: Saudi Arabia is building an “extreme park” on an oil rig in the Persian Gulf. It will be called The platform.

Dubbed the “world’s first offshore oil rig-inspired tourist destination,†the attraction will feature roller coasters, bungee jumping and skydiving. There will also be three hotels and eleven restaurants spread over 150,000 square meters.

There is no opening date for the project, so don’t start packing right away.

“The Rig†is a pretty good name for an action movie, however. Just think of the potential for cross promotion.

8. China and Laos just improved their relationship

As part of China’s “Belt and Road Initiativeâ€, the 621-mile Kunming-Vientiane railway is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2021.

A new rail link China and Laos is almost finished. The route connects Vientiane, the capital of Laos, to the Chinese city of Kunming in Yunnan province.

Vientiane station opened this week and the rest of the line is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

This new railway project, which was funded and built by the Chinese government, is intended to move the Southeast Asian nation “from a landlocked country to a country tied to the land.”

Trains will be able to more easily carry passengers between the two countries, which in turn will likely improve tourism on both sides.

9. Canada will facilitate the presentation of proof of vaccination

Although each province has issued its own identifying information, Trudeau wants to make sure that every Canadian vaccinated will have something that will be easily recognized by the WHO, other countries, airlines and more.

The announcement precedes some of the world’s most stringent requirements for domestic travelers.

As of October 30, anyone over the age of 12 boarding a train or plane in Canada will need to show full proof of vaccination to travel.

Since streamlining the process may take some time, for the month of November only, people will be allowed to present a negative Covid-19 molecular test within 72 hours of travel as an alternative.

10. What happens when you test positive for Covid on vacation?

Many destinations require proof of a negative Covid test to enter – but what happens when you test positive after you arrive?

The answer will depend on the country you are in.

Even though many of these tourists had travel insurance, an entry-level plan was often not good enough to cover huge expenses like a medical evacuation.

The bottom line: Do your research, plan for the worst, and consider taking a home test yourself just in case.

CNN’s Julia Buckley, Karla Cripps, Tamara Hardingham-Gill, Paula Newton, Akanksha Sharma, Francesca Street and Hilary Whiteman contributed reporting.


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