diamond head : Reservations required to visit Hawaii’s famous Diamond Head State Monument

Reservations required to visit Hawaii's famous Diamond Head State Monument

Reservations required to visit Hawaii’s famous Diamond Head State Monument

Out-of-state visitors to the Diamond Head State Monument in Hawaii, locally known as Lē’ahi, are now required to make reservations prior to the visit. Residents have free access to the park but those …

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Masks on planes no longer required by some British airlines

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Two major British airlines and London’s Heathrow Airport announced Monday they are planning to drop their mask mandates over the next month. The policy shift followed news from the United Kingdom that it will lift its remaining travel restrictions this week, including coronavirus testing requirements for unvaccinated visitors.

In a Monday news release, Heathrow announced it will drop its mask requirement starting Wednesday but still “strongly encourages” travelers in the airport to continue covering their faces “in recognition that the pandemic is not over.”

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic provided statements to Heathrow indicating they would follow suit. In a statement, British Airways Chief Operating Officer Jason Mahoney said that beginning Wednesday, passengers will only be required to wear a mask on the carrier’s flights if their destination requires it.

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Corneel Koster, Virgin Atlantic’s chief customer and operating officer, said in a statement that masks would be optional on routes that are not subject to international mask regulations. The airline will introduce the change gradually, and Koster said masks “will still be required on many of our routes, including flights operating to or from the United States” until at least April 18, the expiration date for a recently extended mask order from the Transportation Security Administration.

Jet2 became the first British airline to remove its mask requirement two weeks ago, stating it was no longer legally required. The British government removed restrictions on transportation in late February.

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Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps announced Monday that the U.K. will no longer require coronavirus tests or passenger locator forms from travelers starting on Friday at 4 a.m. Britain previously scrapped testing requirements for vaccinated travelers last month.

In a news release provided to The Washington Post, the Department for Transport said the government will do away with managed hotel quarantine capacity by the end of the month. The department will put contingency plans in place to deal with any future variants of concern.

“I said we wouldn’t keep travel measures in place for any longer than necessary, which we’re delivering on today — providing more welcome news and greater freedom for travelers ahead of the Easter holidays,” Shapps said in the release.

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The U.K. joins a number of European neighbors that recently nixed all entry requirements. Ireland dropped all covid travel restrictions on March 6, and Iceland and Norway did the same in February.

The U.K. rule change comes despite an uptick in covid cases. According to tracking data compiled by The Post through Monday afternoon, Britain saw a 15 percent increase in daily cases over the last week, with 689 new cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days.

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Greece Travel Update| No RT-PCR Required for European Vaccine Certificate Holders

Greece is all set to welcome European Union citizens for the summer period on March 1. The country has eased travel restrictions and is aiming at 4.5 economic growth this year. European tourists holding European vaccine passports no longer requires Covid19 tests before entering Greece.Also Read – Jammu And Kashmir to Complete All Ongoing Tourism Projects by March-end

“Our country is taking all necessary preparatory steps this year to welcome our visitors for the summer season, earlier than ever before, as of March 1,” Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias told Bloomberg. Also Read – Dubai Witnesses Increase in International Travellers by 32 Per Cent in 2021

Health minister Athanasios Plevris said that holders of a valid European Union vaccination certificate can now enter Greece without the need for a mandatory Covid-19 test. The move will apply from February 7. Also Read – Qatar to Welcome a Series of Elite International Sporting Events Ahead of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

As per the Bloomberg report, the country welcomed more than 7.2 million tourists in the January to November period 2021. The government’s target for 2022 is to see the tourism sector match the record levels of 2019 when receipts from travellers to the country were more than 18 billion euros ($20.7 billion).

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No Covid Test Report Required For Fully Vaccinated And Recovered Travellers

Switzerland Travel Update: This is really great news for people planning to visit Switzerland. According to the news report, Swiss authorities announced that the covid-19 report is not required for travellers who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from coronavirus. According to the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), people who are not vaccinated and have not recovered from covid-19 have to take tests to enter.Also Read – Understanding Why Demand For Luxury Holiday Homes is Gaining Traction in India

The Consulate General of Switzerland in Mumbai passed on this information and all the orders came in effect from 22 January. People who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from covid-19 do not require a negative PCR or Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) report before entering. Also Read – Study Reveals How Remdesivir For Covid-19 Has Reduced The Need For Mechanical Ventilation

According to reports, as there is the limited testing capacity of those infected or unvaccinated travellers, a follow up will no longer be required. However, if a PCR test report is required, the report should not be 72 hours old or the RAT is 24 hours older on arrival. Passenger Locate Form (PLF) is required for people travelling to Switzerland via long-distance bus service or a plane. Also Read – UK Tourism Update: UK is Open to Fully Vaccinated Travellers, Covid-19 Test Not Mandatory

People who are not fully vaccinated or recovered need to show a negative report and recovery report. PLF should be filled online before arrival.

According to the reports, no mandatory quarantine is required for people entering Switzerland. People with a Swiss residence permit or Swiss passport can enter at any time. They will have to follow health-related measures at the Swiss border.

Children under the age of 16 do not require a covid-19 report. Along with it, certain categories of people are also exempted. For instance, people with a medical emergency or travelling without stopping.

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Switzerland travel restrictions: COVID test report no longer required for fully vaccinated, recovered travellers

Switzerland: COVID test report no longer required for fully vaccinated, recovered travellers

Good news for those planning to travel to Switzerland. As per the news reports, Swiss authorities have announced that fully vaccinated and recovered people will not be required to present a COVID-19 test report to enter the nation. As per the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), those who have not recovered from COVID or are not vaccinated, will be required to take the tests to enter.

The Consulate General of Switzerland in Mumbai shared this information and stated that the updated order has come into effect from January 22, and those who have fully recovered from COVID or are fully vaccinated, will no longer be required to provide a negative PCR or Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) report before entering Switzerland.

Reports also have it that since there is limited testing capacity, those infected or unvaccinated travellers will no longer be required to take follow-up tests after arriving. Do note if PCR test report is required, it should not be older than 72 hours or the RAT should not be older than 24 hours on arrival. However, do note that the Passenger Locator Form (PLF) will be required to be completed by those travelling to Switzerland by a long-distance bus service or a plane.

As such, those who have not recovered from COVID or have not been vaccinated, will now need to present a negative or recovery report to enter this country. Apart from this, they will have to fill the PLF form online before arrival.

As per the reports, currently, there is no quarantine requirement when entering Switzerland. Anyone with a vaid Swiss residence permit or who has a Swiss passport, will be able to enter Switzerland at any time. However, they will have to abide by the health-related measures at the Swiss border.

Moreover, children under the age of 16, will not be required to undergo COVID-19 test. Also, certain categories of people will be exempted from this rule like those with medical emergencies or those who are transiting without stopping.

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Sweden travel update: No more negative COVID test required to enter the country, Sweden

Sweden travel update: No more negative COVID test required to enter the country

In a recent COVID-19 travel update, Sweden has abolished the requirement of a negative RT-PCR test before entering the country. The big news was announced on Tuesday by the Swedish government.

A statement released by the government stated, “Travelers are no longer considered to pose a particular risk of affecting the spread of Omicron in Sweden.”

Sweden has reported around 20000 daily COVID cases over the past few days, which is around double the previous record from earlier waves. The growing number had posed myriad difficulties on healthcare services but not to the same extent as before the vaccine rollout.

Last month, in December 2021, the country had imposed some strict travel restrictions due to the rise in Omicron cases. The Swedish government had asked all tourists entering the country to carry a negative COVID-19 test report (not older than 48 hours), regardless of their vaccination status.

Not only this, Christmas and New Year parties were also restricted in the country because of the COVID-19 situation. The restaurant’s capacity was limited with social distancing between groups and vaccine passports were made mandatory for many public events.

Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson had called the pandemic situation “troubling” and stated that the rising numbers of positive cases in the country is increasing the burden on healthcare.

But now, the new rule comes as a sigh of relief for travellers and holidaymakers who had pre-planned their trip to Sweden.

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Proof of COVID Booster Required in Order for Travel to Maui and France

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UAE bans travel for unvaccinated citizens, booster dose required for vaccinated | World News

The United Arab Emirates announced a travel ban on its citizens unvaccinated against coronavirus disease (Covid-19), starting January 10. The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) of the UAE said that the vaccinated citizens, in order to travel, are further required to obtain the booster dose as per the country’s Covid protocol.

The Arab nation will allow travel for individuals medically exempted from taking the Covid-19 vaccine, humanitarian cases, and those travelling for medical and treatment purposes.

“Ban on Travel on UAE citizens unvaccinated with #Covid19 vaccine, starting Jan 10, 2022, with a requirement to obtain the booster dose for the fully vaccinated,” the official handle of NCEMA posted on Twitter. “With an exemption for medically exempted from taking the vaccine, humanitarian & treatment cases.”

The travel ban has been announced amid a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases, driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant, in the United States and Europe. The surge in Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations, with the new variant of concern causing breakthrough infections, have also led to the cancellation of hundreds of flights across the globe.

On Saturday, the UAE reported 2,556 fresh Covid-19 cases in the previous 24 hours, taking the cumulative infections to 764,493, according to the ministry of health and prevention. The ministry reported one virus-related death, taking the country’s death toll at 2,165.

Earlier this week, HT reported that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed visit to the UAE in January has been put off because of concerns over the rapid spread of the Omicron variant in the country. While no official announcement regarding the visit was made by any of the two countries, it was expected that PM Modi would have been in the UAE on January 5-6.

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Travel news live: PCR tests required from today as omicron spreads

Hong Kong and Ecuador are the two latest destinations to tighten their entry rules in the face of the new variant of concern, omicron.

Stricter border controls and harsher quarantine rules are being introduced across the globe in response to the new variant.

Hong Kong is barring non-residents from Angola, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Zambia, as well as all travellers who have visited Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Israel, and Italy in the past 21 days.

Meanwhile Ecuador has closed its borders to arrivals from South Africa, Botswana, Egypt, Mozambique, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Eswatini and Namibia.

This follows Hong Kong banning arrivals from eight southern African countries last week.

From today, the UK government is demanding PCR tests for travel, just weeks after cheaper antigen (or lateral flow) tests were permitted.

PCR tests are vital for genomic sequencing, the process needed to detect the variant of the virus which causes each infection.

Follow all the latest travel news below:


Singapore to tighten entry restrictions

Singapore is tightening entry restrictions and enhancing testing protocols for travellers arriving after 11.59pm on 2 December.

All air travellers entering or transiting through Singapore must undergo a pre-departure test within two days of their departure for Singapore. Vaccinated Brits will also have to undergo supervised, self-administered ART tests at a Quick Test Centre on day three and seven of their stay in Singapore.

Travellers who arrived between 12 and 27 November and had travelled to countries or regions affected by the omicron in the previous 14 days will have to go through a one-time “surveillance” PCR test.

These measures will continue for four weeks and will be reviewed and extended if necessary.

Helen Coffey30 November 2021 15:00


What PCR tests are available and how much do they cost?

The faster you want to leave quarantine, the more you are likely to pay for a day 2 PCR test on entry to the UK.

Tests at airports and other other transport locations are among the most expensive. Collinson is offering post-arrival tests for £69 at Heathrow, Gatwick, East Midlands, London City, Manchester and Stansted airports – as well as the O2 in east London. Many airlines can provide discount codes – for example BA20OFF – that give a 20 per cent discount.

Arriving travellers who are not in such a hurry can save significantly by opting for a 24- or 48-hour turnaround and/or self-administering tests.

Randox has a £48 home kit (again, discountable with a code such as Easyjet2021) and says: “For samples returned via standard drop box, we aim to provide next day results up to 11.59pm.”

Read our full explainer on the testing rules for travellers here:

Simon Calder30 November 2021 14:38


Scotland has higher age exemption for travel testing than other three UK nations

In Scotland, children aged under 11 need not take a PCR test when travelling into the country – in the other three UK nations the exemption only pertains to those under the age of five.

The first ministers of Scotland and Wales, Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford, wanted tougher travel rules, with eight days of mandatory self-isolation for all arrivals to the UK and a PCR test at the end.

Ms Sturgeon said: “We believe this would be more effective in detecting variants.”

Were the plan adopted, it would extend the minimum length of quarantine from a couple of hours to eight days. But it has been rejected by Downing Street.

Simon Calder30 November 2021 14:30


Tourists transiting through Switzerland in under 24 hours ‘need not quarantine’

The Foreign Office has updated its guidelines for travel to Switzerland to clarify the quarantine rules for passengers transiting onward to another country.

“There is no quarantine requirement for travellers arriving in Switzerland from the UK who wish to travel onward to another country, as long as travel through Switzerland is less than 24 hours and does not involve a stopover,” reads the update on the FCDO’s Swiss entry requirements page.

There had been confusion around whether quarantine was required for those flying to Switzerland and travelling on to other countries by land rather than air, with some passengers bound for French or Italian resorts reportedly being turned away from Geneva airport over the weekend.

Lucy Thackray30 November 2021 12:22


Ski operator suspends Switzerland trips

Ski experts Inghams have cancelled all December trips to Switzerland, following the country’s decision to impose a mandatory 10-day quarantine on all visitors from the UK.

“Following the news that Switzerland has imposed a 10 day quarantine on all UK arrivals, we have sadly suspended all December 2021 departures to Switzerland,” read a statement by CEO Joe Ponte.

“Customers impacted by this news are being offered the option to move their booking free of charge or to cancel their booking with a full refund.

“We are extremely disappointed for all our customers who were looking forward to a ski holiday in Switzerland in the coming month. Switzerland accounts for around 6% of the holidays in our winter programme, and booking numbers for the coming ski season have been strong. He emphasised that Inghams trips still have the flexibility to cope with travel rules changes, including being able to change your dates or destination up to 28 days before departure.

Ski holidays to Switzerland have been hit by the new travel rules

(Getty Images)

Lucy Thackray30 November 2021 11:54


Hong Kong, India and Ecuador latest to tighten entry rules

Hong Kong, India and Ecuador have all announced tighter travel restrictions in response to the omicron coronavirus variant, which is quickly spreading around the globe.

Hong Kong has broadened its travel ban on non-residents, with travellers who have visited Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Canada, Israel and Australia in the past 21 day barred from entering, along with those arriving from Angola, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Zambia.

Vaccinated residents may enter the city but must quarantine for seven days in a government facility before isolating for a further two weeks in a hotel at their own expense – 21 days in total.

India is also implementing stricter guidelines for international travellers, according to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation; while Ecuador is demanding that all arrivals show proof of full vaccination, plus a negative Covid test, as well as banning visitors from six southern African countries.

Helen Coffey30 November 2021 10:54


What are the new rules for travel testing from today?

In a statement last Thursday, the Departments for Health and Transport said: “After 04:00 Tuesday 30 November 2021 lateral flow tests will no longer be accepted.”

PCR tests are more expensive and slower to process, but allow positive tests to be sequenced to identify whether the omicron variant is involved.

The other big change from this week is that double jabbed travellers must self-isolate on arrival until a negative result comes through from their “day two” test – previously, fully vaccinated arrivals could take the test and go about their business until a result was received.

If your results are delayed, you must stay in isolation until they are confirmed, say government guidelines.

The rule change has generated confusion and further expense for travellers who had already arranged lateral flow tests around travel this week, and must now change their orders to a PCR.

Lucy Thackray30 November 2021 10:18


South Africa travel ban is ‘bulls***’, says Daily Show host

US Daily Show host Trevor Noah has weighed in on the travel bans from multiple countries on South Africa and other southern African nations, calling the decision “bullsh***”.

Speaking on last night’s show, Noah, who is South African, said: “I think this travel ban is total bullsh***, I really do…

“Omicron has already been found in a dozen countries around the world. Right?

“We don’t know where it started, we don’t know how long it’s been around – it’s everywhere from Hong Kong to Israel to Spain, so why aren’t you banning travel from all of those countries, too?

“Only the African countries?”

The US, the UK and the whole of the EU among others have all barred arrivals from South Africa and its neighbours as details of the omicron variant emerge.

Yesterday, South African president Cyril Ramaphosa said he was “disappointed” by the travel bans imposed on the country, and called for leaders to lift them.

Watch the full clip here:

Lucy Thackray30 November 2021 09:43


Simon Calder to answer your travel questions

As travel confusion builds once again around different border rules and quarantine requirements in destinations around the world, it’s a worrying time to be booking a holiday.

The Independent’s travel correspondent, Simon Calder, is following all of the changes amid the new variant and surging cases this winter, and is hosting a Zoom event this Wednesday, 1 December.

In the one-hour, evening event, Simon will look at the key issues for travellers as we move into 2022, and answer your burning holiday questions.

Lucy Thackray30 November 2021 08:44


City breaks in the Netherlands hit by new curfew

The Netherlands announced harsher local restrictions on Friday, amid a surge in Covid cases this autumn.

While the country has stopped short of imposing a full lockdown, a substantial new curfew – plus government advice to “stay at home as much as possible” is likely to decimate winter breaks and holidays in the country, which is especially popular for atmospheric city breaks in hotspots such as Amsterdam.

So what does this mean for travellers to the Netherlands?

Read the full story here:

Lucy Thackray30 November 2021 08:25

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Moroccans protest vaccine pass required for work, travel

RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Demonstrations have been staged in cities across Morocco against a coronavirus vaccine passport required to access indoor activities and travel. Proof of vaccination has been mandatory since Oct. 21 for all Moroccans to enter their place of work and restaurants and for domestic and international air travel. The North African kingdom’s vaccination rate is the highest in the continent, with more than 58% of its 36 million people fully inoculated. But a vocal minority is opposed. Protests were held Sunday in the capital of Rabat, Casablanca, Tangiers in the north and Agadir in the south. 

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