I’ve traveled with my toddler to 9 countries

STARTING a family doesn’t have to instantly mean that your plans to travel the world must disappear forever.

If you know how to get your child to easily fall asleep, traveling to different countries will suddenly feel a whole lot easier.

Traveling with a young child is possible, according to Jordi Lippe-McGraw's tips


Traveling with a young child is possible, according to Jordi Lippe-McGraw’s tipsCredit: Getty

A woman named Jordi Lippe-McGraw shared her story about how she’s able to accomplish a life of travel with a toddler to Insider.

She’s been able to accomplish getting him to fall asleep while spending time away from home on vacation.

She explained that she and her husband traveled to every continent after their wedding day in 2015 – before having any children.

In 2018, she gave birth to their first son, but they weren’t ready to quit traveling just yet.

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One of Jordi’s first tips when it comes to traveling with little ones is requesting an accessible bathroom wherever you go.

If your child has to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, it will be a lot easier to handle the situation with a bathroom nearby.

Oftentimes, you’ll be able to request a complimentary upgrade that includes an accessible bathroom.

She even mentioned that hotel bathrooms have doubled as ideal sleeping spaces for her child in the past.

Jordi’s second tip is utilizing something called a SlumberPod.

For those who have never heard of SlumberPods, they’re blackout tents that can snuggly be pulled over nearly every hotel crib in existence.

The purpose of SlumberPods is to ensure enough darkness for your child to stay on their sleep schedule.

The SlumberPod will shield them from any sunlight that might peer in through hotel windows.

According to Jordi, SlumberPods and bathroom upgrades can help with toddler's sleep schedules on vacation


According to Jordi, SlumberPods and bathroom upgrades can help with toddler’s sleep schedules on vacationCredit: Getty

Jordi’s next tip is to pack a sound machine when you’re traveling with your child.

Hotel sounds can wake a child up in the middle of the night whether it’s loud elevator dinging or partiers laughing obnoxiously throughout the hallways.

Sound machines can drown out any of that tacky noise.

The last tip from Jordi is to pack the comforts of home with you when you’re going on a trip.

Does your child have a favorite stuffed animal? If so, bring it!

Does your child love to fall asleep with a special blanket? Make sure to pack that!

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Making sure your child can experience some of the same calm and peaceful sensations they have at home is super important.

Having kids truly doesn’t have to mean your traveling days are over for good.

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Which European Countries Are Open For Restriction-Free Travel?

Spain just dropped its vaccine requirement to enter the country, now allowing unvaccinated travelers to enjoy visiting Spain, too, though all travelers will be required to test negative prior to arrival.

This prompts the question in many minds: which countries in Europe don’t have any pandemic-related entry requirements right now?


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Reopening from COVID-19

The list may surprise you – some countries in this list are beloved European destinations, while others are more underrated destinations.

Either way, they’re the easiest countries in Europe to enter right now, since they don’t require any testing, proof of vaccination or other pandemic-related entry requirements.

Be aware, though, that some of these countries still abide by quarantine rules when travelers test positive for COVID-19 during their stay.

The United States also requires residents traveling abroad to test negative prior to returning to the U.S., so travelers should make necessary preparations and take precautions while in Europe to ensure they don’t test positive and are disallowed from returning from their trip until they test negative.

Highlights of Norway
Highlights of Norway

Countries in Europe without any entry restrictions:




United Kingdom



Czech Republic

– Hungary



– Bulgaria

– Latvia

– Lichtenstein

– Moldova

– Montenegro

– North Macedonia

– Poland

– Romania

– Slovakia

Germany (June 1)

For information on current entry requirements in Europe and around the world, check out our interactive guide.

For the latest travel news, updates, and deals, be sure to subscribe to the daily TravelPulse newsletter here.

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Monkeypox found in 16 countries

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning travelers to “practice enhanced precautions” as monkeypox spreads.

Monkeypox, a disease that results from infection with the monkeypox virus, a viral illness in the same family as smallpox, has been identified in 16 countries across the globe, including the United States.

The CDC, which issued the “Level 2” travel health notice Friday, said on its website that cases had been reported in Europe, North America and Australia.

“Some cases were reported among men who have sex with men,” the CDC said. “Some cases were also reported in people who live in the same household as an infected person.”

According to the World Health Organization, “monkeypox virus is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding.” 

For decades, monkeypox has been seen in parts of Central and West Africa believed to jump occasionally from animals, likely rodents, to people. Typically, several travelers a year arrive in the U.S. and Europe infected with the virus, but such a large chain of person-to-person transmission has never been seen before.

“None of these people reported having recently been in central or west African countries where monkeypox usually occurs, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria, among others,” the CDC said in its travel health notice.

While the CDC has issued a monkeypox notice, the agency said that “risk to the general public is low.” 

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This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. Monkeypox, a disease that rarely appears outside Africa, has been identified by European and American health authorities in recent days. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP) ORG XMIT: NY815

What precautions to take if you’re traveling

The CDC advised travelers to avoid:

  • Close contact with sick people – including people with skin or genital lesions. And contact with materials used by sick people or animals such as clothing, bedding or health care materials.
  • Contact with dead or alive animals, such as small mammals, including rodents like rats or squirrels, and non-human primates such as monkeys and apes.
  • Eating or preparing wild game meat or using products that come from wild animals from Africa, such as creams, powders and lotions.

The CDC also advises travelers to wash their hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, as well as keep their hands away from their face.

And if travelers develop a new and unexplained rash (with or without chills and fever), avoid contact with other people. The CDC also advises to call ahead before seeking medical attention and, if they can’t call ahead, to tell staff upon arrival that they have concerns about monkeypox. 

When visiting a health care facility for treatment, the CDC said to tell the doctor whether you have had contact with someone who might have had monkeypox and/or whether you were in an area where monkeypox has been reported or is commonly found in the month before symptoms appeared.

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Where has monkeypox been identified?

As a part of the health notice, the CDC listed the countries in which cases of monkeypox has been recently identified:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Austria
  • England
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Sweden
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Scotland
  • Israel

The health agency also listed some countries where monkeypox is common, including:

  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Central African Republic
  • Nigeria
  • Cameroon
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Sierra Leone
  • Sudan
  • Gabon

Opinion:Monkeypox is here and spreading. But the US is well prepared to handle the threat

As of Monday, in the U.S., there was one confirmed case of monkeypox in Massachusetts, CDC spokesperson Dave Daigle told USA TODAY Tuesday. There are an additional four cases of orthopox that the CDC is doing “confirmatory testing” on. 

Daigle said states test for orthopoxvirus, the genus to which monkeypox belongs, according to the CDC

How does monkeypox appear and spread?

While monkeypox is in the same family as smallpox, it is far less dangerous. It appears first as a flu-like illness, with fever, muscle aches and malaise, followed by skin lesions, though the rash may appear first, said Capt. Jennifer McQuiston, a veterinarian and deputy director of the CDC’s Division of High Consequence Pathogens and Pathology.

The incubation period for monkeypox is typically 6-13 days but can span anywhere between 5 and 21 days, according to WHO.

Unlike most known cases of monkeypox, where the telltale rash usually appears first on the hands, among current cases many rashes are first appearing around the genitals or anus, CDC officials said in a news conference with media.

Monkeypox is not as easily transmissible as viruses like SARS-CoV-2, which is responsible for the current COVID-19 pandemic. However, a lesion in the mouth could lead someone to spew viral particles when talking or coughing, though it is not typically considered a respiratory virus.

Of nine known cases of people infected with the virus who traveled from Nigeria before the current outbreak, none passed it on to others on the airplane or through casual contact, McQuiston said. 

“This is not an easily transmissible virus,” she said. “This is not COVID.”

Contributing: Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY

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Have any countries introduced monkeypox travel restrictions?

Monkeypox, a rare viral infection, is appearing in small but increasing numbers in Europe.

While the disease is rarely fatal to humans, it has prompted some countries to introduce precautions and restrictions in order to limit the spread.

What is monkeypox and how does it spread?

Monkeypox is a viral infection that was first found in monkeys. It does not usually spread easily between people. It can, however, be transmitted by close physical contact through lesions and body fluids. Like coronavirus, it can also be passed through respiratory droplets, the only similarity found between the diseases so far.

Those most at risk of infection have usually had close household contact or sexual intercourse with an infected person. They may also be at risk if they have changed the bedding of an infected person without personal protective equipment.

Dr David Heymann, a leading adviser to the World Health Organisation (WHO), suggested that the current spread of the disease may have been caused by sexual contact between gay and bisexual men at events held in Belgium and Spain.

Is monkeypox dangerous for people?

While the outbreak of monkeypox is raising concern, infected people usually recover from the disease in a few weeks without needing hospitalisation. The mortality rate is less than 4 per cent.

The symptoms of the virus are usually mild – but it can initially cause chills, fever, and aches. Once the fever breaks, a rash often develops which can be itchy or painful and lesions can occur on the face or genitals. Symptoms usually clear up on their own after about 14 to 21 days.

While currently there is no specific vaccine for monkeypox, a smallpox jab provides 85 per cent protection as the two viruses are quite similar. Some antiviral drugs are now being developed for monkeypox.

Those most vulnerable to the disease include immunosuppressed people, pregnant women, and children under 12.

Which countries have monkeypox outbreaks?

More than 80 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in at least nine European countries, as well as the US, Canada and Australia. The UK, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Italy and Sweden have all reported cases of the virus.

The WHO has voiced concern as these recent outbreaks are “atypical…they are occurring in non-endemic countries.”

Monkeypox is not usually seen in Europe and is most commonly found in remote parts of Central and West Africa.


The UK, where the outbreak was first identified, currently has 21 confirmed cases of monkeypox so far. On Monday, the first case of the virus was detected in Scotland.

Official guidance from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) says anyone who has had direct or household contact with a confirmed case should isolate for 21 days.


In Spain, the number of confirmed cases of monkeypox has reached 34.

The majority of the cases in Spain have been traced to an adult sauna party in Madrid that has been identified as a superspreader event.


On Saturday, Belgium recorded its fourth case of monkeypox. Local media reports have traced the outbreak to fetish festival Darklands, where three people tested positive.

Belgium has become the first country to impose a quarantine for monkeypox cases.

Those infected are required to isolate for 21 days. Contact cases are not obliged to quarantine but they are advised to remain vigilant and avoid contact with vulnerable people.


On Monday, Portugal reported 14 new cases of monkeypox bringing the total to 37. Many of those affected are reported to be young men.


The number of monkeypox cases in Italy has risen to four. Two of the cases are believed to have recently holidayed in the Canary Islands where parties are being investigated as another source of infection.


Denmark reported its first suspected case of monkeypox on Monday. The person in question had reportedly recently returned from a trip to Spain.

What are Europe’s monkeypox travel restrictions?

Currently, the monkeypox outbreak has not resulted in travel restrictions being imposed.

However, WHO’s Europe regional director Hans Kluge has warned that “as we enter the summer season… with mass gatherings, festivals and parties, I am concerned that transmission could accelerate.”

This may prompt stricter restrictions that affect travel in Europe this summer.

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Covid: Saudi announces fresh travel ban for India among 16 countries – News

Authority issues guidelines for citizens

Reuters file

Reuters file

By Web Desk

Published: Sun 22 May 2022, 2:07 PM

Last updated: Sun 22 May 2022, 2:30 PM

Saudi Arabia has announced a fresh travel ban on citizens for 16 countries due to Covid-19 cases in those countries, The General Directorate of Passports (Jawazat) said on Saturday.

The list of countries include: Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, India, Yemen, Somalia, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, Indonesia, Vietnam, Armenia, Belarus, and Venezuela.

The General Directorate of Passports (Jawazat) emphasised that the validity of the passport for Saudis, who intend to travel to non-Arab countries, must be more than six months, Saudi Gazette reported.

According to the statement, the validity of the passport should be more than three months for travelling to Arab countries. As for citizens, who travel to other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, the validity of their national ID card must be more than three months.

The Jawazat reiterated that the soft copy of the national ID on Absher and Tawakkalna applications is not sufficient for travel to GCC states.

The original ID card and family registry must be produced for the travel in addition to a document of proof of dependents inside the Kingdom whose holders are unable to travel to the Gulf countries.

Regarding the health requirements for Saudis travelling outside the Kingdom, the Jawazat listed the following requirements:

– Received three doses of Covid-19 vaccine, with the third dose received after three months of taking the second dose

– Exemptions for those groups who have received a vaccine waiver on medical grounds as per the status on the Tawakkalna application

– Those under 16 and 12 require two doses of the vaccine


As for those who are under the age of 12, they are required to have a valid insurance policy against coronavirus while travelling.

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Countries relaxing COVID travel restrictions


Countries across the globe are continuing to relax international travel restrictions related to COVID with the European Union dropping its mask mandate for air travelers starting next week.

And COVID travel warnings are being dropped, too. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month removed all the remaining countries on its “Do Not Travel” list.

“More and more people are once again traveling to destinations around the world and enjoying all that comes with travel,” the agency said Thursday in a statement shared by spokesperson Tom Skinner.

While many warnings and restrictions around the world have been relaxed, the CDC said that traveling can still increase the risk of exposure to the virus.

“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and CDC are working with the White House and other federal partners to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the American public while returning to more normal routines safely,” the CDC continued. “Travel requirements are made using the best available science.”

Mask rules: Where are masks still required now that the mask mandate has been lifted?

Canada: Is easing entry requirements for some international travelers

New Zealand opening up to all tourists by July

New Zealand will reopen its borders to tourists from all countries by July, allow back cruise ships and make it easier for skilled workers to immigrate as it looks outward to the world again following the COVID-19 pandemic, the government said Wednesday.

New Zealand has been slowly reopening, first to Australians last month and then to tourists from the U.S., Britain and more than 50 other countries earlier this month. Wednesday’s announcement will allow tourists from China, India and other countries to come starting July 31.

The government said it also planned to end the need for people to get predeparture COVID-19 tests by the end of July.

Post-pandemic travel: Is it OK to ask another passenger’s vaccine status or request they mask up?

The European Union: Is dropping its mask mandate for airplanes, airports starting next week

Israel to drop arrival testing requirement for US visitors

Starting May 20, all U.S. travelers arriving to Israel by plane will no longer have to take a PCR test upon arrival and will not have to quarantine. 

That said, pre-departure testing will remain a requirement as the ease in restrictions will allow for even more visitors to enjoy our country.

Laos reopens to international visitors after more than 2 years

The landlocked Southeast Asian nation of Laos reopened to tourists and other visitors on Monday, more than two years after it imposed tight restrictions to fight the coronavirus.

Thipphakone Chanthavongsa, head of the government’s agency for controlling COVID-19, announced on Saturday the reopening date, the last in a three-phase plan, state news agency KPL reported. She said vaccination certificates or virus tests will still be required for Lao citizens and foreigners entering the country.

Travelers 12 years of age or older without vaccination certificates must be able to show negative ATK tests taken within 48 hours of departure for Laos.

As part of the easing of restrictions, entertainment venues including karaoke parlors will be able to reopen, but must comply with COVID-19 control regulations. All border crossings were reopened.

Myanmar issuing tourist visas

Myanmar announced Thursday it will resume issuing visas for visitors in an effort to help its moribund tourism industry, devastated by the coronavirus pandemic and violent political unrest.

Starting on Sunday, tourist “e-Visas” will be provided online in a move also intended to harmonize tourism with neighboring countries, according to a government notice in the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper.

Visitors need a certificate of vaccination, negative results from a COVID-19 RT-PCR test taken shortly before their flight and a travel insurance policy. They must also take an ATK rapid test after arrival.

Myanmar on April 1 had already resumed issuing business visas, and on April 17 dropped a ban on international commercial flights. It had stopped issuing visas and suspended flight arrivals in March 2020.

The Czech Republic eases all travel restrictions, too

Last month, the Czech Republic’s Ministry of Health eased travel protocols for international visitors and Czech citizens.

“There are no longer any coronavirus restrictions for entry into the Czech Republic,” CzechTourism said on its website April 14.

Jamaica relaxed some restrictions in April

Jamaica rolled back its COVID-19 entry restrictions in April with hoping that easier entry would attract more tourists. 

The Jamaica Tourist Board announced last month that the Caribbean island would drop its indoor mask mandate and its pre-departure PCR COVID-19 testing requirement starting.

Dreaming of a Caribbean getaway? Here are the COVID entry restrictions for popular islands

As you consider travel, consider any restrictions and recommendations

While you plan travel, even as restrictions easel the CDC recommends all travelers stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines and “follow all domestic and international travel requirements and recommendations.”

And, each week, the health agency updates its Travel Health Notices to alert travelers. 

In addition, CDC’s COVID-19 Travel Health Notices are updated each week to alert travelers of the COVID-19 situation in international destinations and advise them on how to protect themselves before, during, and after travel.

Contributing: Bailey Schulz, USA TODAY, and The Associated Press

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‘A day to celebrate’: Emotional reunions as borders reopen to 60 visa waiver countries

Kia ora, bonjour, konnichiwa, encantado and hallo, hullo, hello.

New Zealand is back on the world map for the first time in 767 days for visitors from some 60 visa-waiver countries from this morning, as two flights from the United States mark a milestone for travel from the Northern Hemisphere.

On Monday, heartwarming scenes played out at Auckland Airport just after 6am as the international terminal welcomed travellers and returnees on a flight from Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles arrivals touched down on the runway slightly ahead of schedule. A San Francisco flight initially due at a similar time had been rescheduled, its arrival time shifted from 6.10 to 7.46am.

A man and woman embrace at Auckland International Airport's terminal on Monday morning.

Abigail Dougherty/Stuff

A man and woman embrace at Auckland International Airport’s terminal on Monday morning.

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Garth and Chris Halliday were in tears when their son Stephen exited the departure lounge with his wife and son.

Stephen had flown from London, via a connecting flight in Los Angeles, and said it was “emotional” to be home, and he was looking forward to spending the evening catching up with family.

Prior to Stephen’s arrival, Garth likened the surrounding situation to a famous Love Actually scene, and said it made him happy and emotional to see so many families reunited.

The two hadn’t seen their son, daughter-in-law and grandson in over a year, he said.

Ensuring arrivals were given a warm welcome were a small group delivering jubilant Māori song and dance, while those waiting clapped and cheered, some holding balloons and welcome cards for their returning friends and whānau.

Emotional scenes at Auckland International Airport as those on the first flight from the US under relaxed border rules clear Customs.

Abigail Dougherty/Stuff

Emotional scenes at Auckland International Airport as those on the first flight from the US under relaxed border rules clear Customs.

“It’s really nice to hear the music and feel welcomed back,” said Maeve Long, who had flown in from London, via a connecting flight in LA, after visiting family in Ireland.

Long, who works at the University of Waikato, had been away since January.

From Ireland but having lived in New Zealand for six years, she said it felt as though she was coming “from one home to another”.

Marianne Niukapu had only been Stateside for two months, but that didn’t stop emotions running high as she arrived back on home soil.Through tears, she said it was “amazing” international borders were being relaxed once again.

Air New Zealand Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty said the flights were filled to the brim with overseas visitors and returning Kiwis.

Like Australians, they can now travel without isolation if they are vaccinated, and do a pre-departure and then two arrival tests for Covid-19.

“They’ll be thrilled to land on New Zealand shores once again, as they reconnect with family, start their studies or build their businesses,” she said.

“It’s great to have international tourists being able to visit our beautiful country again and explore everything Aotearoa New Zealand has to offer.”

Tourists at Lake Tekapo. Winter tourism in NZ is now an option for residents from around 60 countries as the border is relaxed.

Alden Williams/Stuff

Tourists at Lake Tekapo. Winter tourism in NZ is now an option for residents from around 60 countries as the border is relaxed.

Geraghty said demand from visa-waiver countries had exceeded expectations, with many flight services filling up.

“We’re pleased with how bookings are going across the network, both domestic and international. This is welcome news for the New Zealand tourism industry, which has weathered a difficult storm over the past 800 days.”

Air New Zealand was ramping up its network to include Honolulu and Houston routes in July, she said.

Tourism Minister Stuart Nash said international online searches for flights to New Zealand were running 19 per cent higher than in 2018-19.

“We are a safe place to visit, and in a world still battling Covid-19, travellers will be discerning about where they go,” Nash said.

“The industry knows there is a rebuild ahead. International travel will be very competitive and airlines will take time to build up their schedules and routes.

“However today is a day to celebrate, and is a big moment in our reconnection with the world.”

Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said the government would continue to review New Zealand’s reconnecting strategy to see if and when it might be possible to bring forward final steps of the reconnecting plan.

One of the last major tourism markets not catered for is China, which is not a visa-waiver country. Tourists from the country, the second-largest market pre-Covid, currently won’t be welcomed until October.

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Europe To Apply New Entry Fee to Travelers From Visa-Free Countries

Following two years of fluctuating COVID-related entry rules and border restrictions, U.S. travelers planning to visit Europe will find themselves confronted with some fresh requirements by this time next year—although, completely unrelated to the pandemic.

By next spring, the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will implement mandatory registration for international visitors and begin charging a fee of €7 (about $7.40) to foreign travelers to visit most European countries.


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Although the charge has been called a “visitor tax”, it’s actually an application fee for travelers applying for an ETIAS authorization that will be needed to enter any of the 26 nations of the E.U. and Schengen area on stays of up to 90 days. The stated purpose of the mandatory registration, pre-screening and associated fees is to help strengthen the region’s border security.

The ETIAS system only applies to travelers who are entering from one of the 62 foreign countries that currently enjoy visa-free access to the E.U. and Schengen member nations, including the U.S. Those who have to obtain a visa in order to visit won’t need to worry about applying through ETIAS.

It’s similar to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) automated system, which determines the eligibility of non-nationals traveling under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) to enter the United States.

Likewise, ETIAS will use technology to register, pre-screen and monitor foreign visitors, with software cross-checking their profiles against government watchlists and databases before issuing entry authorizations. This is intended to add another layer of protection against threats like crime, terrorism and “irregular migration”. Visitor information that’s collected in the process will also go toward data-tracking for business and tourism purposes.

According to The Points Guy, Jean-Claude Juncker, who was European Commission President when ETIAS was first announced in 2016, remarked at the time, “We need to know who is crossing our borders. This way we will know who is traveling to Europe before they even get here.”

While this new pre-travel authorization system has been in the works for years after suffering some delays, ETIAS now plans to be in full operational swing by May 2023.

Visa-free travelers will be required to register their information and answer a few background questions through the ETIAS online portal, then await authorization prior to departing for their destination. For most applicants, travel approval should take no more than a few minutes. If an applicant’s registration gets flagged, however, it must be manually reviewed. There is also an appeal process if one’s application were to be denied.

Once the system is up and running, airlines and other transportation providers will be required to verify passengers’ ETIAS authorization status before permitting them to board. Visa-free visitors seeking entry at land borders will also have access to an electronic kiosk, where they can complete their application.

For more information, visit etias.com.

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Looking for a hassle-free holiday? Here’s all the European countries that have removed restrictions

Travel to Europe is finally starting to look like something close to normal again. The number of countries that have removed all covid-related entry restrictions is growing and many are also ditching domestic rules on masks and social distancing. Here are all the destinations that are now offering hassle-free travel. The only question is, where next?

Travel rules for every country in Europe are available here.

Czech Republic

After tightening testing requirements again for foreign arrivals back in December at the height of omicron, the Czech Republic removed all covid-related entry requirements for international arrivals on 9 April, 2022. It’s no longer necessary to wear a face mask in most public places – the main exceptions are public transport and taxis.


Thanks to the country’s high vaccination rate, Denmark became the first EU country to lift all domestic covid restrictions at the beginning of February. All entry requirements for international arrivals were then abolished on 29 March, 2022 (before that, testing rules only applied for arrivals from outside the EU and Schengen).


After much to-ing and fro-ing, Greece officially confirmed that it would remove all covid-related entry measures on 1 May, 2022. Mask-wearing will remain compulsory indoors, but for many tourists to the Greek islands this will be virtually unnoticeable as so much dining, drinking and socialising takes place outdoors.


City breaks to Budapest are back on thanks to the removal of all covid-related entry requirements for travel to Hungary. There are also no social distancing measures in place anymore, and it’s no longer compulsory to wear a face mask on public transport or in indoor public places.


All of Iceland’s covid-related restrictions were lifted on 25 February, 2022, both for international arrivals and within the country itself. The wearing of masks is no longer mandatory anywhere and there are no social distancing measures in place. However the country still encourages testing and self-isolation to control the spread of covid.


Guinness-lovers rejoiced when Ireland dropped all covid-related entry requirements on 6 March, 2022. This includes proof of vaccination, pre-arrival testing and the passenger locator form. Mask-wearing became optional a couple of weeks before that, on 28 February, 2022.


As it stands, visitors from the EU, EEA, Switzerland or the UK can all enter Latvia without the need to take a test, show proof of vaccination or quarantining. However there are some hoops to jump through if you’re travelling to Latvia from third countries, which still requires proof of vaccination or a negative test result. FFP2 masks remain mandatory on public transport.


Vilnius became one of Europe’s most hassle-free city breaks in mid-February when Lithuania announced that it was dropping all entry requirements for travellers from EU/EEA countries, as well as a number of others including the UK, US and New Zealand. However, you’re still required to wear a face mask on public transport.


Although part of Portugal (which still requires testing or proof of vaccination), the popular holiday island of Madeira has removed all covid-related entry requirements for tourists. However, it’s not quite back to total normality.

The territory does still recommend that international visitors register on the Madeira Safe digital platform. And once you’re there, it’s still compulsory to wear a face mask at indoor public venues and carry proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, bars and other venues.


This lesser-known Balkan gem dropped all entry restrictions in mid-March, 2022. It’s also no longer necessary to carry a vaccine passport to enter social settings here, though Montenegro has kept its mask mandate for indoor public settings. This includes restaurants, bars and hotels.


“No testing, no quarantining, no registration!” – that’s been Norway’s entry policy since 12 February, 2022, when the Nordic country dropped all covid entry requirements for international arrivals. There’s also no testing requirements if you fall ill, which may raise some eyebrows among cautious travellers. All social distancing and face mask rules have been dropped in Norway, too.


In one fell swoop, Poland dropped on-arrival quarantining, proof of vaccination and pre-arrival testing requirements on 28 March, 2022. The new business-as-usual status applies to all arrivals from non-Schengen countries, as well as those from the EU. Poland has also removed all rules about wearing face masks in public.


This eastern European country dropped all quarantining, testing and passenger tracking requirements for international visitors on 9 March, 2022. At the same time, Romania declared that it was ditching the digital pass that had previously been required to enter certain institutions and made face masks non-compulsory in both indoor and outdoor settings.


Travel to this Balkan nation became much easier from 19 February, 2022, when it removed all covid-related entry requirements for visitors, regardless of vaccination status. Most covid restrictions within Slovenia ended on 13 April, 2022, though you’ll still need to wear a face mask on public transport and in enclosed public spaces.


On 1 April, 2022, Sweden dropped all covid-related entry requirements for visitors from the UK or outside the EU/EEA. This followed a temporary ban on third-country arrivals in March due to the omicron variant. Regardless of where you’re arriving from, it means you’ll no longer need to present proof of vaccination or a negative covid test.


Just in time for the summer hiking season, Switzerland announced that it would drop all covid-related entry requirements for international visitors from 2 May, 2022. Before then, travellers needed to show proof of vaccination. The Alpine country also got rid of face masks on 1 April, 2022, and at the same time mandated that people who have tested positive for covid no longer need to isolate.

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These are the 10 happiest countries in the world

Happiness is a difficult thing to measure, but one initiative at the United Nations has been trying to figure it out. Every year since 2012, the U.N. Sustainable Development Solutions Network has published its World Happiness Report – a study that examines the connections between happiness and development, all while encouraging policymakers to place more of an emphasis on the former.

Around 1,000 people in each U.N. member state rate their quality of life on a scale from 0 to 10, while researchers cull data from six areas: GDP per capita, life expectancy, social support, trust and corruption, perceived freedom to make life decisions, and generosity. The World Happiness Report 2022 was just released, and while the results follow previous trends (every Nordic country made the cut), the list is a little more interesting because of Covid. The report paid special attention to evaluate how different governments have supported citizens’ happiness before, during, and likely after the pandemic.

Read on for the list of the 10 happiest countries in the world – and who knows? Maybe just daydreaming about visiting these countries will give you a boost of happiness.

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