This Week in Travel: July 30

A roundup of COVID-19-related updates, including closures and reopenings.

Looking for the latest travel news from around the world? You’ve come to the right place. 

Each week, we’re rounding up the top headlines and news stories to help you stay in the loop on all things travel. From tourism reopenings to restriction updates, we’re here to help keep you informed on the latest. 

Here’s what you need to know from the past week:

According to Google, This is Where Travellers Want to Go in 2021

These were the most searched-for holiday destinations worldwide, according to a report analyzing search data for 131 countries.

Interested in learning 2021’s most dreamed of destinations, travel company Kuoni analyzed Google search data from 131 different countries to learn where exactly travellers were searching for most for their 2021 trips. ⁠

Globally, these were the results:⁠

1. United Arab Emirates⁠
2. =Canada (Tied)⁠
2. =USA (Tied)⁠
2. =Qatar (Tied)⁠
3. Egypt⁠

The results varied continent by continent and country by country. Across Europe, the Maldives was named the most popular destination, whereas in Asia, the top searches were for Canada and the UAE. In Africa, the UAE was also number one, and in South America, Peru was the top searched-for holiday destination for 2021.⁠

For both the United States and Canada, the most-searched-for destination was Japan.⁠

The results for individual countries were reached by calculating the average search volume for terms such as ‘[destination] 2021’ and ‘[destination] holiday 2021’ throughout April this year, according to a spokesperson for Kuoni.⁠

To check out the map and learn more about Kuoni’s research, visit here.

Nepal to Resume International Flights Next Month

The country’s airports will reopen to international and domestic commercial air travel beginning mid-August.

According to a recent announcement, Nepal’s airports will be reopening to international and domestic commercial air travel starting August 17. 

Initially, flights will only operate to countries less affected by Covid-19. The government has yet to provide details for which countries these will be, but did state that more destinations will be added gradually.

To enter the South Asian country, travellers will need to show proof they have tested negative for Covid-19. In addition, they will need to self-isolate, though authorities did not specify for how long. According to Health and Population Ministry spokesman Samir Kumar Adhikari, an update on guidelines will be coming. 

For more information about the reopening, head here

This Airline Will Cover Fliers’ Covid-19 Expenses

The cover is free of cost to the traveller and is effective immediately until October 31, 2020.

Emirates airline has announced it will cover medical expenses of up to €150,000 (US$173,000) and quarantine costs of €100 (US$116) per day for 14 days for passengers diagnosed with Covid-19 during their travels.

The cover is free of cost to the traveller and is effective immediately until October 31, 2020. It’s valid for 31 days from the moment they take their first flight, and continues to cover them even if they travel onwards to another city.

“We know people are yearning to fly as borders around the world gradually re-open, but they are seeking flexibility and assurances should something unforeseen happen during their travel,” said HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates Group Chairman and Chief Executive.

The airline is currently flying to over 60 destinations and is based in Dubai, which reopened to international travellers on July 7.

For FAQs and more details on the offering, just head here!

Jordan Is Reopening to ‘Low Risk’ Countries in August

Travellers arriving from one of the 22 listed countries will not be required to quarantine.

After nearly five months of shutdown, Jordan will reopen its airports to commercial flights next month.

Civil aviation commission Chief Haitham Misto said that flights from 22 “low risk” countries will be allowed from August 5. 

The countries listed by the health ministry include Austria, Canada, China, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, New Zealand, Switzerland and Thailand, he said. He also added that the list would be updated every two weeks.

Travellers flying in from those countries will not need to quarantine for 14 days, but will need to be tested for Covid-19 before arriving. 

It was also noted that those travellers must show proof of having spent two weeks in one of the listed countries before arriving. Transport Minister Khaled Saif said that anyone providing false information will be fined 10,000 dinars (approximately US$14,000).

Visit here to find out more information about the reopening.

Georgia Wants You to Work Remotely From Its Historic Country

The country recently announced a new visa program targeted at remote workers interested in staying for longer than six months.

Georgia — known for its medieval castles and diverse landscapes — is launching a new work visa program with hopes of enticing remote workers to move to the country for a period longer than six months. 

Part of the country’s reopening plan, the program is designed to support the country’s tourism industry, similar to an initiative seen earlier this month in Barbados. 

While applications are yet to open in Georgia, Economy Minister Natia Turnava announced that those wishing to apply will need to provide proof of travel insurance, a certificate of employment, personal information, and a letter giving their consent to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine at their own expense. 

“Georgia has the image of an epidemiologically safe country in the world and we want to use this opportunity”, Turnava said. “We are talking about opening the border in a way to protect the health of our citizens, but, on the other hand, to bring to Georgia citizens of all countries who can work remotely.”

For more information, head here!

French Polynesia Lifts Mandatory Quarantine for Travellers

As of July 15, visitors meeting entry requirements can avoid quarantine upon their arrival.

As of July 15, French Polynesia has lifted their quarantine measures and reopened for international travel. The country, made up of 118 islands (including Tahiti and Bora Bora) is welcoming all international travellers who meet their entry requirements.

As part of the new requirements, visitors to the islands must:

  • Show proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within three days of their departure and send the results to the airline serving French Polynesia.
  • Complete an online health form.
  • Show proof of international travel insurance.
  • Self-test four days after arrival using the oral and nasal self-swab kit provided.

Most restaurants, shops, hotels, and attractions will be open on the islands in July. 

Looking for more information about the reopening? Just visit here!

The Cayman Islands Announces Phased Reopening Plan

Authorities announced international tourism will begin in September with ‘strict protocols’ in place.

In a recent press conference, Cayman Islands’ authorities announced that the British overseas territory will be reopening to international travel on September 1. 

The reopening will be done through phases and will include “strict protocols,” with some detailed here:

  • All inbound travellers will be required to obtain pre-authorization before boarding their flight, where they will be required to test negative for Covid-19 within 72 hours of travel.
  • After arriving on the islands, travellers will be required to self-isolate for five days and wear a health monitoring device for continuous passive medical screening.
  • After the five days, they will undergo a second test. If it returns negative, they will no longer be required to isolate but will be required to continue to wear the health monitoring device.

“I am hopeful that this advanced health screening solution will sufficiently enhance our reopening protocols and provide further confidence so that that we can once again welcome visitors to our shores, while still minimising the risk of introducing new cases to the local community,” said Deputy Premier Kirkconnell.

To read more about the announcement, visit here.

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