Thailand and Antigua/Barbuda loosen restrictions and CDC relaxes cruise guidelines

COVID-19 updates: Thailand and Antigua/Barbuda loosen restrictions and CDC relaxes cruise guidelines

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Jealous? Practice compersion to loosen jealousy’s grip : NPR

Illustration of a person sitting on an elevated platform jealously looking on as two people hug on an elevated platform across and open space. The three people are surrounded by stars.
Illustration of a person sitting on an elevated platform jealously looking on as two people hug on an elevated platform across and open space. The three people are surrounded by stars.

Jealousy in romantic relationships is completely normal — but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. Next time your inner jealousy monster needs taming, try summoning some compersion.

Compersion is about making space to be happy about our partner’s happiness, even if the source of that joy lies outside of your partnership. It’s a healthy practice regardless of your relationship model.

If that seems like a wild idea to you, jealousy expert Joli Hamilton says it might not be as far away as you think. “It’s the sensation that we have when we are watching a little kid have an ice cream cone, but we are lactose intolerant,” she says. “And we’re like, I cannot enjoy that joy, but I am so glad you are happy right now.”

Whether your partner has a big win at work, finally finds time for old friends, or masters a new skill, resisting possessiveness and practicing sympathetic joy instead can foster deeper connection and understanding in your relationship. It may not always be easy, but a little intentionality goes a long way.

“You don’t have to suffer through jealousy. And you don’t have to destroy it,” says Hamilton. “You can really learn to relate to it differently.”

Here’s more on working through jealousy in romantic relationships. This tip was adapted from a story originally written by Andee Tagle. 22 tips for 2022 is edited and curated by Dalia Mortada, Arielle Retting, Janet W. Lee, Beck Harlan, Beth Donovan and Meghan Keane. This tip comes from an episode of Life Kit hosted by Andee Tagle and produced by Clare Marie Schneider.

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Bay Area airports to get much needed boost as travel restrictions loosen in U.S.

SAN JOSE, Calif (KRON) — The Bay Area’s tourism industry and airports will get a much needed boost this week as the U.S. scales back restrictions for international travelers. 

Starting Monday, COVID-19 travel restrictions for international travelers will be lifted as long as they show proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test within three days of the trip. 

Additionally, foregin travelers will not have to quarantine upon arrival with proof of a negative COVID-19 test. 

The U.S. will accept travelers who have been fully vaccinated with any of the shots approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization, not just those in use in the U.S.

In the Bay Area, COVID-19 imposed travel restrictions throughout the last year and a half has had a significant impact on the region. 

In September, the San Francisco International (SFO) airport saw 337,284 international passengers, only 26.5% of the total international passengers SFO had in September 2019. 

“For reference, domestic passengers were at 65% of pre-pandemic levels in September,” said Doug Yakel, public information officer for SFO. 

“The good news is that the revised travel rules have a lot of airlines resuming service, along with some brand-new airlines coming our way.” 

Starting Wednesday, French Bee will resume flights from SFO to Papeete.

Future plans at SFO include: 

  • The December resumption of suspended service from:
    • Fiji Airways nonstop service from SFO to Nadi;
    • Aer Lingus nonstop service from SFO to Dublin; and
    • United Airlines nonstop service from SFO to Paris
  • Two new airlines coming to SFO from Canada:
    • Flair, which launches flights from Edmonton and Vancouver next March and April respectively;
    • Air Transat, launches flights from Montreal next summer

Further south at the San Jose International Airport (SJC), officials tell KRON4 News the airport saw 27,421 international travelers in September, compared to 65,483 in September of 2019. 

“Our international traffic has remained strong as service has resumed throughout COVID. Our teams have been diligent in maintaining a safe and clean environment for travelers, and will continue to work with the airlines and other partners to comply with local, state, and federal requirements,” said Keonnis Tayor, public information manager for SJC. 

“Terminal Operations have not made changes based on the lifting of restrictions to inbound traffic and do not have plans to do so at this time.”

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Japan to loosen travel restrictions for business travelers, students

TOKYO — Japan announced it will ease border controls beginning Monday for fully vaccinated travelers excluding tourists, responding to requests from the business community following a rapid decline in infections.

Everyone entering Japan must be fully inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines that are recognized by the Japanese authorities.

Those eligible include travelers on short-term business visits of less than three months, as well as longer term visitors including foreign students and workers on so-called technical internship programs, with a 14-day quarantine requirement.

Schools and companies sponsoring them are required to submit documents detailing their activities and how they will be monitored.

Japan shut its borders to virtually all foreign visitors in January, except for those with special permits and for humanitarian purposes.

► International tourists return to the US: Expect bottlenecks at airports under strict entry rules

The 10-day self-isolation for Japanese citizens and foreign nationals with reentry permits will be shortened to three days.

Japan shut its borders to virtually all foreign visitors in January, except for those with special permits and for humanitarian purposes.

Daily cases have sharply fallen since September, in a trend generally attributed to vaccinations and extensive mask-wearing.

► Travel to Costa Rica: Costa Rica to require vaccination proof in hotels, bars, casinos, museums

About 73% of the population have been fully vaccinated. Tokyo on Friday reported 25 cases, below 30 for the ninth straight day. Nationwide, Japan had 158 confirmed cases Thursday for an accumulated total of 1.72 million, with about 18,300 deaths.

The easing of border controls is part of Japan’s move to gradually resume social and economic activity. The government is experimenting with package tours, at restaurants and sports events before further resumption of daily activities.

Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara said Japan is to consider a possibility of allowing foreign tour groups by the end of the year after studying ways to control and monitor their activities.

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The Latest: Florida’s amusement parks loosen mask wearing | National Business News

ORLANDO, Fla. — Visitors to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios-Orlando were allowed Saturday to remove their masks when outdoors, except when on attractions, in line or riding transportation.

Florida’s major theme parks are adjusting face mask policies after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention loosened its recommendations on Thursday as more people get vaccinated for the coronavirus. Masks remain mandatory indoors, except in restaurants when seated or actively eating and drinking.

SeaWorld Orlando and its sister park, Tampa’s Busch Gardens, are allowing guests who say they are fully vaccinated to remove their masks throughout the parks. The two parks will not require proof of vaccination but are asking guests to “respectfully comply.”

The CDC guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters.



— UK races to test, vaccinate as virus variant threatens plans

— Success story Taiwan faces its worst outbreak in pandemic

— Detroit tourism seeks rebound after year lost to pandemic

— Florida’s amusement parks loosen pandemic mask requirements


Follow more of AP’s pandemic coverage at and



MILAN — Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi was released from Milan’s San Raffaele Hospital on Saturday, where he was treated for complications related to an earlier bout with coronavirus.

The 84-year-old Berlusconi, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 last September, has been in and out of the hospital in recent weeks. He was most recently admitted last Monday. He also spent 24 days in the hospital under medical supervision in April.

The three-time former premier and media mogul left the hospital without passing in front of photographers and television cameras waiting outside. Last year, Berlusconi spent 10 days at the same hospital receiving treatment for COVID-19. He also received a pacemaker several years ago.


PHOENIX — Arizona’s Pima County officials dropped the mandatory mask mandate for fully vaccinated people in line with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tucson’s mayor will ask the City Council to do the same in the coming days. Mask ordinances in Phoenix and other cities remain in place but are likely to be eased as well.

Arizona health officials on Saturday reported 474 new coronavirus cases and 12 new deaths amid growing vaccination rates. That increased the totals to 872, 496 confirmed cases and 17,459 confirmed deaths.

The state Department of Health Services reported 474 new cases, bringing the total since the pandemic began to 872,496. The 12 new deaths brought the total number tallied in Arizona to 17,459.


NEW YORK — Yale University is requiring its faculty and staff to get coronavirus vaccinations before the fall term, extending a requirement already imposed for students.

The private university says faculty members, staffers and academic trainees must be fully inoculated by Aug. 1, although there are provisions for exemptions for reasons based on medical conditions or religious or “strongly held” personal beliefs.

More than 350 colleges and universities around the country are requiring vaccinations for students, at least those living on-campus. However, requirements for employees are somewhat rare. That’s according to information compiled by The Chronicle of Higher Education.


DETROIT — Tourism leaders in Detroit are banking on a return of conventions and business meetings shut down last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Groups and companies already are booking dates for this year and next. The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau has designed Detroit-specific packages that feature high-end hotels and restaurants to attract short-term visitors from nearby states.

Not many big conventions are expected this year, but 2022 promises to be a rebound year, said Claude Molinari, president and chief executive of the Detroit convention and visitors’ bureau.

Professional Convention Management Association President Sherrif Karamat says losses in the U.S. due to COVID-19 are estimated at $300 billion.


BEIJING — China has canceled attempts to climb Mount Everest from its side of the world’s highest peak because of fears of importing coronavirus cases from neighboring Nepal.

China’s official Xinhua News Agency says the closure was confirmed in a notice from China’s General Administration of Sport. The move reflects the abundance of caution China has taken in dealing with the pandemic.

While China has mostly curbed domestic transmission of the coronavirus, Nepal is experiencing a surge with record numbers of new infections and deaths.

China had issued permits to 38 people to climb Mount Everest this spring, and Nepal to 408 climbers. In Nepal, several climbers have reported testing positive for the coronavirus after they were brought down from the Everest base camp.

The month of May generally has the best weather for climbing Everest. Scores have reached the summit this week and more are expected to make attempts later this month once the weather improves. Two climbers have died on the Nepalese side, one Swiss and one American.


LONDON — Britain says it will host an international meeting next month to combat misinformation about coronavirus vaccines and build global confidence in their use.

The U.K. government says officials, scientists and academics will meet virtually at the Global Vaccine Confidence Summit on June 2 to discuss ways to counter vaccine skepticism.

Heidi Larson, director of the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, says “no single government, academic institution or organization can tackle this challenge alone.”

She adds to ensure the high levels of vaccine uptake needed to help end the pandemic, efforts must be made “to build trust across the various relationships – from scientists and health authorities to business partners and communities.”

Britain has one of the world’s fastest vaccination campaigns, with more than two-thirds of adults receiving at least one dose since December.


WARSAW, Poland — Across Poland people are taking off masks and making toasts as restaurants, bars and pubs reopen for the first time in seven months.

The reopening, limited now to the outdoor consumption of food and drinks, officially took place at midnight between Friday and Saturday. Many people on Friday couldn’t wait for midnight and were out on the streets of Warsaw and other cities hours earlier in the evening to celebrate.

Bar owners say they were bombarded with reservation requests leading up to the opening.


LONDON — Britain is deploying public health officials, supported by the army, to distribute coronavirus tests door-to-door in two northern England towns to help contain a fast-spreading variant that threatens lockdown-easing plans.

Cases of a strain first identified in India have more than doubled in a week. Government scientific advisers say the variant is likely more transmissible than the U.K.’s dominant strain, though it’s unclear by how much.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned that the variant “could be a serious disruption to our progress.” He says the next stage of lockdown-easing measures will take place as planned on Monday but warned the variant might delay plans to lift all restrictions on June 21.

Labour Party lawmaker Yvette Cooper said the government had not barred visitors arriving from India until April 23, a decision that let in “many hundreds of new variant cases.”

More than two-thirds of British adults have received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine and 37% have had both doses. The government is shortening the gap between doses for people over 50 from 12 to eight weeks in a bid to give them more protection.


THE HAGUE, Netherlands — As coronavirus infections decline in parts of the world and the summer holiday season tentatively begins, the Dutch government has eased travel restrictions for a group of popular vacation destinations.

Among the countries with a lower risk of infections that can be visited starting Saturday are Portugal, Malta, Ireland, Thailand, Rwanda, the former Dutch colonies of Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten and a large group of Greek islands.

They previously were designated code orange, meaning the government advised only traveling there if it was urgently necessary. The Greek mainland and Crete remain under code orange.

The destinations are now yellow code, meaning Dutch travelers can visit without having to undergo a COVID-19 test and go into self-isolation on their return.

However, the foreign ministry is stressing that travelers still have to adhere to local rules and restrictions in the countries they visit, which can include showing a negative coronavirus test and self-isolating on arrival.


TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan has raised the COVID-19 alert level for the capital Taipei and the surrounding area of New Taipei city following its worst outbreak since the pandemic began.

The level 3 alert announced Saturday requires people to wear a mask outdoors and limits indoor gatherings to five people and outdoor gatherings to 10 people. The alert remains in effect for two weeks.

Health authorities said that 180 new locally spread cases had been confirmed through Friday, the majority in Taipei and New Taipei. The daily number of new cases had risen steadily from single digits early this week to 29 before the triple-digit jump announced Saturday.

“The epidemic is gaining intensity,” Health Minister Chen Shih-chung said, while noting that more cases are being identified as authorities hone in on hot zones.

Movie theaters, museums, indoor swimming pools and amusement parks were among the places ordered closed under the level 3 alert, as were community colleges and senior citizen activity centers.


NEW DELHI — India’s two biggest cities have reported a drop in daily infections but the government is warning that the devastating surge is spreading in rural areas, where nearly two-thirds of India’s 1.4 billion people live.

India reported 326,098 new confirmed cases and 3,890 deaths in the past 24 hours, though experts say both figures are an undercount. The Health Ministry had reported 343,144 cases on Friday and 362,727 on Thursday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday warned people to take extra precautions as the virus was spreading fast in rural areas. He said the government was mobilizing all resources, including the military.

News reports say villagers have been rushing the sick to nearby towns and cities for treatment because health care facilities are limited in the countryside.

India’s capital has reported less than 10,000 new cases in a day for the first time in over a month. It recorded 8,506 cases in the past 24 hours.

After a peak of 11,000 daily infections, Mumbai, India’s financial and entertainment capital, has been reporting less than 2,000.


Masks are still required under a Transportation Security Administration rule that will run into mid-September unless it is revoked before then. The Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates airlines, felt the need to remind passengers of the TSA rule.

It issued a statement late Friday to “remind the traveling public that at this time if you travel, you are still required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.”


NEW YORK — Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, says it won’t require vaccinated shoppers or workers to wear a mask in its U.S. stores, unless state or local laws say otherwise.

Vaccinated shoppers can go maskless immediately, the company said. Vaccinated workers can stop wearing them on May 18. As an incentive, Walmart said it is offering workers $75 if they prove they’ve been vaccinated.

Walmart says it won’t ask shoppers if they’ve been vaccinated. Workers, however, will need to tell the company if they’ve been vaccinated in order to go maskless.


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Hawaiian Airlines CEO: State should loosen interisland travel restrictions

A Hawaiian Airlines executive said Friday that people should be allowed to travel freely from island to island now that new COVID-19 cases are low.

Hawaiian Airlines CEO Peter Ingram said during a livestreamed interview Friday that the state should remove coronavirus testing requirements for interisland travelers regardless of whether a “vaccine passport” program is implemented. Currently, the state enforces a 10-day quarantine for travelers to any island that isn’t Oahu, unless the traveler tests negative for COVID within 72 hours of departure.

“If you think back to August, when those restrictions went in place again, it was a time when we were having over 300 cases a day in Oahu, (and) the positivity rate was far higher in Oahu than the rest of the state,” Ingram said. “If you look at the data now, it tells you that Oahu is almost entirely in line with the state average. A lot of the cases that are still existing are almost entirely community-spread. There’s not travel-related cases.”

Ingram said loosening interisland travel makes sense based on the science, but added that he expects a testing requirement will remain in place for out-of-state travel for the foreseeable future.

However, Ingram also believes a vaccine passport program — where travelers who can prove they have been fully inoculated against COVID-19 are exempt from travel restrictions — is the next logical step from the state, even if such a program comes with logistical issues.

“The biggest impediment to that is the logistics of verifying that you’ve had your vaccine,” Ingram said. “People who’ve had their vaccine, they’ve all got their little white piece of paper that shows that. There’s really not an easy way to validate that, I understand, by uploading it into the Safe Travels application. So we may have to look at pieces of paper for some period of time.”

As for international flights, Ingram said Hawaiian Airlines currently is offering limited flights to Tokyo, Osaka and Seoul, but added that the major sticking point for most travelers is the fact that traveling from Hawaii to Japan or South Korea and then back again will require at least three COVID tests at the traveler’s expense.

Until those countries lower their own travel restrictions, Ingram said, there isn’t much the airline can do to make those flights more practical.

While air travel is starting to recover since the worst days of the pandemic, airlines are still reeling. Ingram said Hawaiian Airlines is currently losing about $1.3 million a day, although it’s an improvement from last year, when the airline was losing more than $4 million a day.

Hawaiian Airlines also recently opened three new routes this year, with a fourth to launch next month. By the end of April, Hawaiian will run nonstop flights between Honolulu and Austin, Orlando and Ontario, and another nonstop flight between Kahului and Phoenix.

Email Michael Brestovansky at

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Hawaii Gets Tourism Surge as Coronavirus Rules Loosen Up | Hawaii News

HONOLULU (AP) — Tourists are traveling to Hawaii in larger numbers than officials anticipated, and many are wandering around Waikiki without masks, despite a statewide mandate to wear them in public.

Hawaii’s “Safe Travels” program reported that about 28,000 people flew into and throughout the islands on Saturday, the highest number of travelers in a single day since the pandemic began, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday.

Before the pandemic, Hawaii had about 30,000 arrivals daily. When quarantine rules were put in place early in the pandemic, arrivals plummeted and the state’s tourism-dependent economy tanked.

In October, state officials launched a pre-travel testing program that allowed visitors to sidestep quarantine rules. But travel remained sluggish until the second week in March, when spring break tourists started arriving in the islands.

Travel company Pleasant Holidays president and CEO Jack Richards told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that the agency’s bookings increased 30% over the last two weeks.

“We haven’t seen travel demand for Hawaii this strong for over a year,” Richards said. “I thought we would have a U-shaped recovery; it’s V-shaped. January and February were terrible, but we’ve gone from zero to 150 mph in two weeks.”

Hawaii News Now reported that officials are receiving complaints about visitors not wearing masks. With a few exceptions, people in Hawaii are still required to wear masks while in public.

“I’m a believer that if you’re outdoors, you can remove it,” said Glenn Day, a visitor from Indiana.

Visitors said rules in their home states are different than those in place in Hawaii.

“We carry our masks around and if we walk into an establishment we’ll wear one, and if people look like they’re uncomfortable with us around, we’ll put one on. But otherwise, like I said where we come from, people are really not required to wear them,” Wisconsin visitor Larry Dopke said.

“I’m not wearing one right now, I’m outdoors,” said Todd Hasley who was visiting from Idaho. “Boise city has an indoor mask mandate. The rest of the state has a mask recommendation.”

Some lawmakers expressed concern about a possible backlash from residents.

“I think we’re all going to have to be prepared for a potential surge in tourism,” said Hawaii state Rep. Scott Saiki, a Democrat. “I think we have to be prepared because the public may have a response to a sudden surge.”

Such a reaction could hinder economic recovery.

“Pushing back against tourism is the same thing as telling your neighbor they shouldn’t have a job,” said Carl Bonham, executive director of the University of Hawaii’s Economic Research Organization.

Hawaii requires all visitors and returning residents to get negative pre-travel COVID-19 tests before flying to the state to be exempt from the 10-day quarantine rule.

The island of Kauai has additional measures that will be in place until April 5. All visitors to Kauai must either spend three days on another island or quarantine at a county-approved resort for three days and then get second, post-arrival tests.

Violating the state’s coronavirus mandates, which are outlined in Hawaii Gov. David Ige’s latest emergency proclamation, is a misdemeanor that is punishable by up to a $5,000 fine, a year in prison, or both.

Each island county’s police are responsible for enforcing the rules. Messages from The Associated Press seeking comment from the Honolulu Police Department regarding enforcement of mask rules in Waikiki was not immediately returned.

Tim Sakahara, a spokesman for Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi, said in an email that the city recently put up banners throughout Waikiki reminding people to wear masks and remain socially distanced.

“These banners provide a tool to help Honolulu Police officers do their jobs in gaining compliance with COVID-19 rules,” Sakahara said. “The majority of residents and visitors are compliant with the rule or are cooperative when informed of it.”

However, some residents have also opposed wearing masks. Two people were arrested and two others were cited during a weekend anti-mask rally in Waikiki.

Hawaii has had among the lowest rates of confirmed coronavirus infections in the U.S.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Thailand Plans to Loosen COVID-19 Quarantine Restrictions for Travelers

It seems that Thailand may soon be slackening some of its stringent travel restrictions and regulations on foreign visitors in an effort to rekindle its once-booming tourism sector.

A proposal is being submitted to the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), which (if it passes) would enable tourists to leave their hotel room after the first three days of their mandatory 14-day quarantine. Under current rules, travelers must quarantine at a government-approved Alternative State Quarantine property and spend most of the two weeks in their hotel room.


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Reopening from COVID-19

This new initiative—called the Area Hotel Quarantine (AHQ) proposal—was introduced during a video conference held yesterday, which was chaired by Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, and attended by ministry officials, industry stakeholders and officials from the Department of Health Service Support.

Under AHQ, visitors would be PCR-tested on the third day of their stay at participating hotels and, if they receive negative results, they’d be allowed to leave the confines of their room; although they would not be permitted to leave the hotel grounds. While this still might not sound like the most fun you’ve ever had, it would certainly constitute an improvement in terms of the traveler experience.

The Bangkok Post reported that this policy change could go into effect as early as April, and would initially be targeted toward the country’s top five tourist destinations: Chiang Mai, Phuket, Krabi, Surat Thani and Chon Buri. The local outlet said that AHQ is part of the Thai government’s plan to initiate a wider reopening of the country, starting next month.

The CCSA panel will also be considering a proposal that would waive the quarantine requirement for visitors who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The nation’s local tourism industry has reportedly petitioned for the lifting of mandatory quarantines by July 1 in hopes of welcoming back throngs of vaccinated visitors.

According to Bloomberg, tourism accounted for around one-fifth of Thailand’s GDP in pre-pandemic times, making it a major driver of Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy.

Currently, U.S. tourists are permitted to visit Thailand, but there are a lot of hoops to jump through. They must apply for a special Visa and Certificate of Entry and receive approval prior to travel, provide negative results from a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of their departure and be tested again upon arrival.

From the airport, travelers proceed directly to their pre-booked Alternative State Quarantine hotel, where they’ll spend the next 14 days. Foreign visitors are also required to provide proof of travel health insurance with policy coverage of up to US$100,000 for COVID-related medical costs.

While quarantined, guests are essentially restricted to their hotel rooms, with meals delivered directly to their doors three times daily. Staff from a partner hospital are brought in to test them two or three more times during the isolation period. If the second test comes back negative, one might be allowed out of his or her room to use certain hotel facilities, depending upon the particular property’s policies.

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New York to loosen travel restrictions for Americans who've gotten the COVID-19 vaccine – USA TODAY

New York to loosen travel restrictions for Americans who’ve gotten the COVID-19 vaccine  USA TODAY

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