U.S. Virgin Islands Ending COVID Travel Restrictions for American Travelers — What to Know




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The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands launches ocean plastics programme – Breaking Travel News



The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands launches ocean plastics programme  Breaking Travel News



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Hawaii Travel: What’s New for Tourists in the Hawaiian Islands


There’s no doubt about it – with pent-up demand for vacationing, an expected super-surge in air travel this summer, and its obvious natural attributes, the Hawaiian islands remain one of the most popular destinations to visit.

That’s why anybody associated with tourism in Hawaii is rolling out new experiences and new attractions for the onslaught of visitors.

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New Things to Do in Hawaii

– For ecotourists, Paradise Helicopters on Hawaii is offering guests opportunities to both experience and protect the beauty of the island of Hawaii’s natural landscapes. The company’s Malama Charters provides exclusive landing opportunities paired with a native tree-planting experience and educational tour.

– On the hotel front, Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach on Oahu recently announced that it is on track to become the first carbon-neutral hotel in the state of Hawaii. The resort’s upcoming carbon neutral certification underscores its existing sustainability initiatives.

In addition, the Aqua-Aston Hospitality (Statewide) is moving away from single-use plastic at its resorts statewide this year to convert 100 percent of its properties to bulk bathroom amenities.

Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort on Oahu is inviting guests to experience its newly created A’o Cultural Center, part of the property’s ongoing $80-million renovation.

– The new exhibit on Oahu, “Beyond Monet: The Immersive Experience,” headlines new attractions. The exhibit is a showcase of more than 400 of French painter Claude Monet’s most iconic works of impressionism, set to run at the Hawaii Convention Center from June 15 through July 31.

No’eau Designers (Oahu) now offers Native Hawaiian and Hawaii-based artisans a venue to showcase their products

O Na Lani Sunset Stories welcomes audiences at International Market Place (Oahu) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, now through February 2023, for a presentation honoring the Oahu shopping and dining center’s rich history and sense of place with Hawaiian and Polynesian song and dance.


Iolani Palace in Honolulu, Hawaii
Iolani Palace in Honolulu, Hawaii (Photo via iStock / Getty Images Plus / sphraner)

After a nearly two-year hiatus, the Royal Hawaiian Band has returned to Iolani Palace on Oahu for its popular lunchtime concerts. The concerts are free, open to the public and held on most Fridays from noon to 1 p.m. The Royal Hawaiian Band was created by King Kamehameha III in 1836 and is the only full-time municipal band in the U.S.

– For events and festivals, check out the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet and Marketplace on Oahu on the first Friday of every month.

For the first time in more than two years, the Paniolo Heritage Rodeo will return to Koloa Plantation Days on Kauai, from July 22 through 24, spotlighting the cultural experience of today’s paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) lifestyle.

Celebrate World Ocean Day at World Whale Film Festival, happening June 8 on Maui, presented by the nonprofit Pacific Whale Foundation.

For the latest insight on travel around the world, check out this interactive guide.

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





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Hawaii Bill Promotes Zero-Emission Travel Between Islands | Hawaii News


By AUDREY McAVOY, Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii lawmakers this year passed legislation creating a working group to develop ways to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions on transportation between the islands.

Sen. Chris Lee said at a news conference on Thursday that Hawaii has some of the highest transportation costs in the nation because of its dependence on imported fossil fuels. Shifting to cleaner energy sources could help lower those costs, he said.

The bill, SB 3311, establishes a zero emissions goal for all Hawaii transportation in general. It doesn’t set a deadline, but Lee said the measure would help Hawaii reach a pre-existing target to become carbon neutral by 2045.

The interisland transportation working group would include representatives of the airline and cruise ship industries and Honolulu harbor users. Each county would have a seat, along with the state director of transportation and the state’s chief energy officer.

Political Cartoons

The measure creates another working group to make sure Hawaii has enough electric vehicle chargers.

Jodi Leong, a spokesperson for Gov. David Ige, said he supports the intent of the bill but is waiting for a legal, policy and departmental review to be finished before signing the measure.

Hawaii is already requiring electric utilities to use renewable energy for 100% of their electricity by 2045.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands flights on sale






Caribbean deal alert: Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands flights on sale






















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CDC: British Virgin Islands at ‘high’ travel risk for Covid-19


(CNN) — The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added one destination — a relaxed Caribbean playground — to its “high” category for Covid-19 risk.

The British Virgin Islands moved up to Level 3 on Monday; it previously had been at Level 2.

The islands are known for the famous Virgin Gorda Baths (a bay dotted with giant granite boulders); water sports such as diving and sailing; and a pace that is more casual than some of the Caribbean’s hot spots.

Overall, this week’s CDC travel risk update saw little in the way of the dramatic shifts in status that characterized this past winter and early spring during the original Omicron variant surge.

The CDC recently overhauled its ratings system for assessing Covid-19 risk for travelers.

The Level 3 “high” risk category is now the top rung in terms of risk level. Level 2 is considered “moderate” risk, and Level 1 is “low” risk.

Level 4, previously the highest risk category, is now reserved only for special circumstances, such as extremely high case counts, emergence of a new variant of concern or health care infrastructure collapse. Under the new system, no destinations have been placed at Level 4 so far.

Level 3

Customers sit on a terrace alongside a canal in Amsterdam, on April 28, 2021,

Amsterdam is blessed with urban biking and canals, but the Netherlands is still ranked “high” risk for Covid-19.

FRANCOIS WALSCHAERTS/AFP via Getty Images

In the CDC’s new system, the “Level 3: Covid-19 High” category applies to countries that have had more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days.

Much of Europe is still lodged there with the summer travel season getting ever closer. As of May 9, some popular European destinations remained at Level 3:

• France
• Germany
• Greece
• Ireland
• Italy
• The Netherlands
• Portugal
• Spain
• United Kingdom

It’s not just European favorites that find themselves at Level 3. Other popular travel spots around the world still ranked at the high risk level:

• Brazil
• Canada
• Costa Rica
• Malaysia
• South Korea
• Thailand

There are almost 110 destinations at Level 3 this week. Level 3 locations now account for nearly half of the roughly 235 places monitored by the CDC.

The CDC advises that you get up-to-date with your Covid-19 vaccines before traveling to a Level 3 destination. “Up-to-date” includes not only the full initial vaccinations but any boosters for which you’re eligible.
The CDC does not include the United States in its list of advisories, but on its color-coded map of the world, the CDC had it at Level 3 on Monday.

Level 2

The Temple of Hercules at the Amman Citadel. Jordan was moved to "moderate" risk by the CDC.

The Temple of Hercules at the Amman Citadel. Jordan was moved to “moderate” risk by the CDC.

Maurizio De Mattei/Adobe Stock

Destinations carrying the “Level 2: Covid-19 Moderate” designation reported 50 to 100 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days. Seven destinations — spread all around the planet — were moved to this level on Monday:

• The Bahamas
• Fiji
• Jordan
• Mongolia
• Namibia
• Paraguay
• St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The move to Level 2 was a step back for the Bahamas, Namibia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which had been at Level 1.

But the move was good news for tourism-dependent Fiji, along with Jordan and Mongolia, which had been at Level 3. Paraguay was previously “unknown.” Almost 25 places are now at Level 2.

In its broader travel guidance, the CDC has recommended avoiding all international travel until you are fully vaccinated.
If you’re concerned about a health situation not related to Covid-19, check here.

Level 1

The Plaza Murillo and Bolivian Palace of Government in La Paz. Bolivia became a Level 1 destination on Monday.

The Plaza Murillo and Bolivian Palace of Government in La Paz. Bolivia became a Level 1 destination on Monday.

diegograndi/Adobe Stock

To be in “Level 1: Covid-19 Low,” a destination must have had 49 or fewer new cases per 100,000 residents over the past 28 days. Two landlocked destinations were added to the category on May 9:

• Bolivia
• Kosovo

South America’s Bolivia had been at Level 2, while Kosovo, part of Europe’s Balkans, dropped all the way from Level 3, making it the biggest mover of the week.

This level is dominated by destinations in Africa, including Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda. Level 1 had more than 50 entries total this week.

Unknown

Finally, there are destinations for which the CDC has an “unknown” risk because of a lack of information. Usually, but not always, these are small, remote places or places with ongoing warfare or unrest. Only one addition was made on Monday to this category: Angola.

The CDC advises against travel to these places precisely because the risks are unknown. Also attracting their fair share of visitors in this category are the Azores, Cambodia and Tanzania.

A medical expert weighs in on risk levels

Transmission rates are just “one guidepost” for travelers’ personal risk calculations, according to CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen.

We’ve moved into “a phase in the pandemic where people need to make their own decisions based on their medical circumstances as well as their risk tolerance when it comes to contracting Covid-19,” said Wen, who is an emergency physician and professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.

There are other factors to weigh in addition to transmission rates, according to Wen.

“Another is what precautions are required and followed in the place that you’re going and then the third is what are you planning to do once you’re there.

“Are you planning to visit a lot of attractions and go to indoor bars? That’s very different from you’re going somewhere where you’re planning to lie on the beach all day and not interact with anyone else. That’s very different. Those are very different levels of risk.”

Vaccination is the most significant safety factor for travel, since unvaccinated travelers are more likely to become ill and transmit Covid-19 to others, Wen said.

And it’s also important to consider what you would do if you end up testing positive away from home. Where will you stay and how easy will it be to get a test to return home?

Top image: BVI, now at Level 3, has plenty of beach escapes. (Matt/Adobe Stock).



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COVID travel rules for Spain, Canary Islands and Balearics as holiday season approaches | Travel News | Travel


Canary Islands travel rules

The Canaries’ rules are similar to those of Spain, as you need to be fully vaccinated or have proof of recovery to visit.

Again, unvaccinated teens aged 12 to 17 can visit provided they have proof of a negative test taken within 72 hours before travel.

You may also be required to show proof of a negative coronavirus test for your accommodation – check with your tour operator or travel agent.

All travellers will need to fill out a pre-travel online form before visiting the Canaries.

If Britons are travelling to the islands from Spain, the Foreign Office travel advice notes: “To travel to the Canary or Balearic islands from mainland Spain, you may need to show a negative COVID test depending on the region you are travelling from.

“Check with your travel operator and the local authorities in your final destination for guidance on domestic entry requirements.”

In a recent holiday boost for Britons, the Canaries have ended their local coronavirus restrictions, which included removing capacity limits for venues such as bars and restaurants, and once again allowing dancing in nightclubs.





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CDC lowers coronavirus warnings for cruise travel, popular Caribbean islands


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday moved several popular beach destinations — as well as cruise ship travel — into categories at lower risk of spreading the coronavirus.

The public health agency reassigned travel warnings for nine vacation destinations in the Caribbean and Atlantic from Level 4 — which means a “very high” level of covid-19 — to Level 3, which means the level of the virus is merely “high.” They include Cuba, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos.



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