This Week in Travel: October 2

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:

The Maldives Announces New Loyalty Rewards Program

The country is looking for a way to boost tourism since its reopening in July.

In an effort to attract travellers to visit the island nation, the Maldives has announced plans for a new loyalty program.

The “Maldives Border Miles Program” is a three-tiered program aimed at promoting tourism, according to a press release issued by the country’s immigration department. 

Travellers enrolled in the program can earn points for each border crossing, which will get them different kinds of exclusive privileges and benefits. The details of these perks have yet to be released, but “increase in value as members progress.”

According to its website, the program is set to launch December 1 of this year.

The Maldives officially reopened on July 15 to all travellers. Recently, the country made it mandatory for all those visiting to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test (taken no more than 72 hours before their departure). There is currently no mandatory quarantine period in effect.

To read the full press release, just visit here.

Ukraine Reopened and Has Over 140 Countries on Its Green List

After shutting down for a second time in August, Ukraine officially reopened its borders again on September 28.

Ukraine has officially reopened its borders once again. The decision comes after closing down on August 29 after its initial reopening in June.

The country has decided to follow the same “Green” and “Red” zones for the reopening, although the criteria for separating the countries has slightly changed. 

For citizens of “Green Zone” countries, there are no testing or quarantine requirements. Included in its list of over 140 “Green Zone” countries are Canada, the UK, Australia, and Italy.

For travellers coming from “Red Zone” countries, a mandatory 14-day quarantine is required, with an option to end the quarantine early. This can be done by either showing a negative PCR test result taken within 48 hours of crossing the border or by undergoing the test in a laboratory/clinic listed on their Public Health Centre’s website.

Note: A Ukrainian insurance policy is mandatory for foreign travellers coming from both lists of countries. According to Visit Ukraine’s website “The policy must cover the costs associated with the treatment of COVID-19, observation and the entire duration of stay in Ukraine.”

Interested in seeing the full lists? Just head here!

Peru to Resume International Flights Next Week

As coronavirus cases continue to fall, the South American country will be resuming international air transport as of October 5.

Starting next Monday, October 5, Peru will resume international flights as part of the fourth phase of their reopening plan. 

Announced by President Martin Vizcarra in a press conference on Friday, Peru “will begin flights with neighboring countries in the region.” He added that there would later be a gradual expansion to other destinations.

Entry requirements have yet to be confirmed but will likely involve requiring travellers to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test within 48 hours of their arrival.

Visit here to read more about the announcement, and be sure to stay tuned for more details when they become available!

United Airlines to Offer Rapid Covid-19 Testing for Flights to Hawaii

The testing will help travellers avoid an otherwise mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon arrival.

United Airlines is offering its passengers a way to avoid a 14-day quarantine in Hawaii. ⁠

Launching October 15, the airline will offer those boarding flights from San Francisco International Airport to Hawaii the option to take a preflight rapid Covid-19 test. This will make them the first airline in the U.S. to coordinate coronavirus tests for its passengers. ⁠

The rapid tests will be administered by GoHealth Urgent Care at the airport and will provide results in approximately 15 minutes. The testing will be available to fliers on the same day as they take off.⁠

United said it worked closely with Hawaiian officials to make sure that its passengers who test negative would not be subject to the state’s current two-week quarantine requirement. ⁠

“We’ll look to quickly expand customer testing to other destinations and U.S. airports later this year,” said Toby Enqvist, United’s Chief Customer Officer.⁠

Interested in learning more about the program or reading the full press release? Just head here!

Uzbekistan Is Lifting Travel Restrictions in October

Travellers arriving from its “green” list of countries will not be required to quarantine.

Beginning October 1, Uzbekistan will reopen its borders and start lifting many of its restrictions on international travellers. ⁠

The government has categorized countries into different colours based on the severity of its coronavirus situation. Each colour has varying entry requirements, as outlined below.⁠

Green: Passengers arriving from green countries (who have been there for the last 14 days prior to their travels) will be able to enter without testing or quarantine. ⁠

Yellow: Those entering from yellow countries will be required to present proof of a negative PCR test issued within 72 hours of their arrival and will be subject to a 14-day home quarantine.⁠

Red: Anyone entering from a red country is required to show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival and will need to quarantine for 14-days in a government facility. ⁠

Interested in seeing which countries are on what list? Just visit here!

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