Pandemic travel news: Asia-Pacific vacations on the horizon

(CNN) – It was another good week in terms of reopening travel, as tropical havens including Fiji and Bali announced relaxed restrictions. And the Dominican Republic of the Caribbean celebrated its best month for tourism.

Here’s what we learned on pandemic trips this week.

1. You may be able to start planning your Asia-Pacific vacation

Tourists on the Kuala Lumpur Tower Observation Deck in Malaysia on October 1.

Vincent Thian / AP

On October 10, Singapore added eight new countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, to its vaccinated and non-quarantined traffic routes.

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

Next are the Indonesian islands of Bali and Riau – they reopened on October 14 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, the Prime Minister of New South Wales, Dominic Perrottet, announced on October 15 that the state – including Sydney – will end his Covid-19 quarantine for international travelers fully vaccinated as of November 1.
Thailand got a little closer to fully reopening to tourism by allowing fully vaccinated visitors from a handful of approved countries to bypass quarantine from November 1. The 10 countries to make the cut are Singapore, Germany, China, the United States and the United Kingdom. Others will be added to the list on December 1.
Finally, the island of Fiji in the South Pacific, closed to international visitors since the start of the pandemic, announced that it was officially going reopen on December 1 with the resumption of regular tourist flights.

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

Spain - Palma beach in Palma de Mallorca is pictured - has seen a drop in Covid cases.

Spain – Palma beach in Palma de Mallorca is pictured – has seen a drop 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 past 28 days – but Spain has retreated to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “Level 3: High Covid-19” category in its regularly updated travel advisory.

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

Greece, Croatia, Turkey, Cyprus and the UK are still in the highest risk category of Level 4, where not all non-essential travel is advised. Meanwhile, Hungary and the Madeira Islands are the only European destinations below level 2 (“Moderate”).

3. Fully vaccinated foreign visitors will be able to begin entering the United States from November 8.

The US-Mexico border wall in Otay Mesa, California on August 13, 2021.

The US-Mexico border wall in Otay Mesa, California on August 13, 2021.

Sandy Huffaker / AFP / Getty Images

The confusing patchwork of bans covering inbound travel to the United States via its air and land borders started to get simpler.

Kevin Munoz, deputy White House press secretary, tweeted on October 15: “The new United States travel policy which requires the vaccination of foreign travelers to the United States will begin on November 8. This announcement and date apply to both international air and land travel. to travel.”

Earlier in the week, the White House announced its intention to relax restrictions on trips for fully stung visitors to Canada and Mexico starting in 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 will begin in January 2022, will allow entry to all incoming fully vaccinated foreign travelers.

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

The European Commission offers free rail passes to 60,000 European citizens aged 18 to 20.

Young people who have been locked up during the pandemic will be able to stretch their wings by going on rail adventures between March 2022 and February 2023 for up to 30 days. Applications for this tour are open until October 26.
CNN Travel’s global editor-in-chief Barry Neild traveled overland across Europe and to Morocco in the 1990s, with an initial budget of just $ 100. You can read his story here.

5. There was more chaos and cancellations on an American airline

Passengers line up at the Southwest Airlines counter at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport on October 11.

Passengers line up at the Southwest Airlines counter at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport on October 11.

Joe Cavaretta / South Florida Sun-Sentinel / AP

In August there were days of massive cancellations on the American airlines Spirit and American. This week, it was the turn of the Southwest.
A Chicago bride who got married in Las Vegas even ended up with no family at her wedding when the flights of his relatives were all canceled.

6. The Dominican Republic had its best tourist month ever

Beautiful beaches and stunning scenery in this island getaway. Take a 60 second vacation to the Dominican Republic.

David Collado, Minister of Tourism of the Dominican Republic, has tweeted in September, the country experienced the highest number of visitors on record.
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 Review.

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

7. Dubai had the busiest international airport in the world

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

Calculated using total airline capacity, there are over 2.7 million seats on scheduled flights at the airport this month. Much of this will be linked to the opening in October of the Dubai Expo 2020, which was delayed by the pandemic. The six-month extravaganza will run until March 31, 2022.

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

Monks at Punakha Dzong in Bhutan.

Monks at Punakha Dzong in Bhutan.

Adobe Stock

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

“Bhutan is a gift of perfect deals,” Bak told CNN from Thimphu’s apartment where she spent a few weeks before hitting the road to do gong workshops in rural villages.

9. New Zealand allows people to get vaccinated on a plane (but it doesn’t take them anywhere)

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is announcing that the country is moving away from Covid-19 elimination, amid a persistent outbreak of the Delta variant, and will instead shift to a ‘living with the virus’ strategy.

October 16 is billed as Super Saturday in New Zealand, where the government is urging eligible unvaccinated New Zealanders to get vaccinated.

The lucky few will be able to get the Pfizer vaccine on board a Air New Zealand 787 plane at Auckland airport. They will also receive a tour of the Air New Zealand hangar, free snacks and drinks served by Air New Zealand crew members and a commemorative boarding pass.

10. Airbus A380s return to the sky

Passengers love the A380, but airlines have abandoned it. Your window to fly in is now closing that many are in storage.

Thanks to Covid-19, most of the Airbus A380s around the world have been grounded. Airbus had already announced its intention to stop production of superjumbos in 2019 and their high operating costs had no place in the pandemic’s minimum and profitable international flight schedules.

While their days are still numbered, some airlines, including Singapore Airlines and British Airways, have announced plans to put 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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