This Week in Travel: September 25

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 Taj Mahal Officially Reopened This Week

The monument reopened to visitors on Monday after six months of closure.

India’s most-visited attraction has reopened its doors after its longest shutdown in history. 

After being closed since mid-March, the Taj Mahal reopened to visitors on Monday, September 21, with new health and safety protocols in place, including the following:

  • Visitors must pass temperature checks as well as mandatory hand hygiene before entering.
  • Visitors must wear face coverings, adhere to social distancing rules, and follow capacity and time limits inside the monument.
  • No group photography is allowed.
  • Designated, one-way, single-line routes for movement within the monument will need to be followed.
  • Only digital payment is allowed for parking, the cafeteria, etc.

Pre-pandemic, the 42-acre complex allowed up to 40,000 visitors daily. As part of the new restrictions, that number is now being capped at 5,000. 

To learn more about the monument’s reopening, visit here.

Guatemala Is Now Open to International Travellers

With proof of a negative PCR test, the Central American country is not requiring travellers to quarantine.

Guatemala has lifted its restrictions and reopened its borders and La Aurora International Airport to travellers as of last Friday, September 18. 

Currently, the Central American country has no restrictions on travel based on nationality or point of departure.

As part of the entry requirements to Guatemala, all travellers must:

  • Register their travels 24 hours before arrival via the Guatemalan Health Pass website.
  • Show proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test result, taken within 72 hours of arrival.
  • Undergo a temperature screening upon arrival at the airport.

A quarantine or self-isolation period will not be mandatory for those with proof of a negative test. Those unable to provide negative test results will have to quarantine for 14-days upon arrival.

For more information on travel to Guatemala, simply head here!

South Africa Is Reopening Its Borders Starting Next Month

The President announced that the country will officially reopen its borders for tourism on October 1, 2020.

After more than six months of closure, South Africa will begin reopening its borders to international travellers on October 1. 

Announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa last Wednesday, only three airports will be open to international travellers: Johannesburg’s OR Tambo, Cape Town International, and Durban’s King Shaka.

International travel may be restricted to and from certain countries that have high infection rates. According to the announcement, “a list of those countries will be published and will be based on the latest scientific data that we will be able to get on those countries.”

To enter, travellers will have to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test, less than 72 hours old. Those unable to provide proof will have to quarantine for two weeks at their own expense. In addition, all arrivals will be screened for symptoms of the virus and will be asked to install the South African government contact alert app.

For more details on the reopening, visit here. If you would like to watch the full announcement, head here!

Hawaii Is Reopening to Travellers in October

Beginning October 15, travellers can visit the island and avoid a 14-day quarantine with the pre-travel testing program.

Hawaii will be reopening to national and international travellers on October 15! Announced by Governor David Ige on September 16, visitors can avoid the 14-day quarantine through their pre-travel testing program.⁠

The program, originally announced back in June, lets incoming travellers avoid quarantine “if they are tested no earlier than 72 hours before their flight arrives with an FDA-approved nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), performed using a nasal swab, and can show proof of negative test results from a CLIA certified laboratory.”⁠

Upon arrival, travellers will also have their temperatures checked and must fill out a travel and health form. ⁠

Those unable to provide proof of an approved negative test will have to self-isolate for 14 days or until they can show proof of negative test results.⁠

Head here to read the full announcement!

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