Runway travel health: A new hub for understanding COVID requirements by country worldwide

Runway travel health: A new hub for understanding COVID requirements by country worldwide | Fortune

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The Worldwide Travel Vaccines Industry is Expected to Reach $10.7 Billion by 2027 – – WV News

The Worldwide Travel Vaccines Industry is Expected to Reach $10.7 Billion by 2027 –  WV News

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Worldwide Travel Vaccines Industry to 2027 – Featuring Sanofi Pasteur, Novartis and Pfizer Among Others –

DUBLIN–()–The “Travel Vaccines Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2022-2027” report has been added to’s offering.

The global travel vaccines market reached a value of US$ 3.2 Billion in 2021. Looking forward, the publisher expects the market to reach US$ 6.6 Billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 11.1% during 2022-2027.

Companies Mentioned

  • GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Limited
  • Sanofi Pasteur
  • Merck & Co., Inc.
  • Novartis AG
  • Pfizer Inc.
  • ALK-Abello A/S
  • Bavarian Nordic A/S
  • Crucell (Subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson)
  • CSL Limited
  • AstraZeneca PLC
  • Altimmune, Inc.
  • Abbott Laboratories
  • Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc.

Keeping in mind the uncertainties of COVID-19, we are continuously tracking and evaluating the direct as well as the indirect influence of the pandemic. These insights are included in the report as a major market contributor.

Travel vaccines, also known as travel immunizations, are vaccines travelers can get before they visit certain regions across the globe which help protect them from serious diseases. Travel vaccines work by exposing the body to a microorganism or parts of the microorganism of the disease it will protect against. The body responds to the vaccination by making antibodies that will protect it against a situation where there is an exposure to the disease in the future. The number of international tourist arrivals worldwide increased from 1.0 Billion in 2012 to nearly 1.4 Billion in 2018.

A significant number of these travelers journey from developed countries to regions with endemic diseases. As more people travel to countries with endemic diseases, the demand for vaccines will continue to increase. Moreover, regulatory authorities across the globe have also mandated that travelers should be vaccinated before traveling to disease-prone regions. As a result, travel vaccines have now become an essential requirement in an international travelers list.

For instance, the Ministry of Health in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia requires that all travelers arriving for Hajj and Umrah from countries or areas at risk of diseases such as yellow fever, Meningococcal meningitis and Poliomyelitis must present a valid vaccination certificate. Other factors driving the demand for travel vaccines include increasing awareness levels, technological advancements and increasing incidence of life-threatening infectious diseases.

Key Questions Answered in this Report

1. What was the global travel vaccines market size in 2021?

2. What will be the travel vaccines market outlook during the forecast period (2022-2027)?

3. What are the global travel vaccines market drivers?

4. What are the major trends in the global travel vaccines market?

5. What is the impact of COVID-19 on the global travel vaccines market?

6. What is the global travel vaccines market breakup by composition?

7. What is the global travel vaccines market breakup by disease?

8. What are the major regions in the global travel vaccines market?

9. Who are the leading travel vaccines market players?

Key Topics Covered:

1 Preface

2 Scope and Methodology

3 Executive Summary

4 Introduction

4.1 Overview

4.2 Key Industry Trends

5 Global Travel Vaccines Market

5.1 Market Overview

5.2 Market Performance

5.3 Impact of COVID-19

5.4 Market Breakup by Composition

5.5 Market Breakup by Disease

5.6 Market Breakup by Region

5.7 Market Forecast

6 Market Breakup by Composition

7 Market Breakup by Disease

8 Market Breakup by Region

9 Global Travel Vaccines Industry: SWOT Analysis

10 Global Travel Vaccines Industry: Value Chain Analysis

11 Global Travel Vaccines Industry: Porters Five Forces Analysis

12 Global Travel Vaccines Industry: Price Analysis

13 Travel Vaccines Manufacturing Process

13.1 Product Overview

13.2 Raw Material Requirements

13.3 Manufacturing Process

13.4 Key Success and Risk Factors

14 Competitive Landscape

14.1 Market Structure

14.2 Key Players

14.3 Profiles of Key Players

For more information about this report visit

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Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant-associated travel restrictions worldwide

In a recent study posted to the medRxiv* preprint server, researchers evaluate the travel restrictions placed by nations worldwide following the emergence of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron variant.

Study: Fifteen Days in December: Capture and Analysis of Omicron-Related Travel Restrictions. Image Credit: Bakhtiar Zein /

Study: Fifteen Days in December: Capture and Analysis of Omicron-Related Travel Restrictions. Image Credit: Bakhtiar Zein /


After the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant in South Africa in November 2021, despite the risk-based approach advised by the World Health Organization (WHO), several nations around the world imposed stringent travel restriction policies to minimize the importation of Omicron into their country. These policies primarily targeted South African countries, even after Omicron community transmission was reported in other parts of the world.

About the study

In the present study, the authors analyzed national-level travel restrictions imposed globally during the first three weeks following the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant.

The researchers differentiated between the travel restriction policies by those targeting travelers from particular nations and broad screening techniques. The researchers also evaluated differences in regional-level approaches for mitigating Omicron transmission.

Study findings

The data capturing process of Omicron-related travel restriction policies revealed that a total of 221 Omicron-associated travel policies were implemented across the world between November 24, 2021, and December 15, 2021, following the emergence of the Omicron variant.

During the first three weeks following the identification of the Omicron variant, the entry bans or flight restrictions that were implemented by several nations primarily targeted seven countries from Southern Africa. These countries included Eswatini, Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho, and Zimbabwe, followed by additional bans on travelers from Malawi, Zambia, Angola, Egypt, and Nigeria.

Although the entry bans led to the repatriation of residents and citizens to their own countries, airport transit restrictions for travelers from the targeted countries barred their return.

The entry bans on travelers from Egypt and Nigeria were based on the detection of Omicron-positive cases among those who traveled from these countries. Hence, in most cases, the travel restrictions were not based on Omicron’s epidemiological data in these countries and were instead tied to Omicron positivity among those who traveled recently from these countries.

The travel restrictions enacted during the later periods of the Omicron wave included enhanced screening at the borders through universal entry requirements. These screening approaches required travelers to provide recent SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results and mandatory quarantine for travelers.

Most countries that placed flight suspensions or entry bans during the initial weeks of Omicron emergence continued those measures and incorporated layers of testing and quarantining during the later periods. By contrast, four countries including the United Kingdom, Israel, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka replaced travel bans with nuanced SARS-CoV-2 screening protocols.

Map illustrating the number of Omicron-related travel restrictions that imposed specific measures against each country, 24 November – 15 December 2021. Countries in which confirmed Omicron cases had been reported as of 15 December are outlined in yellow.

Map illustrating the number of Omicron-related travel restrictions that imposed specific measures against each country, 24 November – 15 December 2021. Countries in which confirmed Omicron cases had been reported as of 15 December are outlined in yellow.

Most travel restriction policy documentation did not mention the anticipated duration or criteria for the relaxation of these restrictions. In fact, only 15% of the travel included an expected end date.

Only African countries had more than 50% of the Omicron response policies based on universal entry requirements. For entry policies, these nations relied on vaccination requirements, despite their own lower coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination rates.

On November 26, 2021, European countries placed a temporary travel ban on travelers from seven Southern African countries into the European Union (EU). Further, the Eastern Mediterranean and European countries implemented flight suspensions mainly from the Gulf nations.

Following an initial burst of policies targeted to specific countries over time, measures became slightly more focused on enhancing screening measures such as testing for all travelers – though initial entry bans were rarely rescinded.

Following an initial burst of policies targeted to specific countries over time, measures became slightly more focused on enhancing screening measures such as testing for all travelers – though initial entry bans were rarely rescinded.

Due to the shortage of direct travel routes, the American and South-East Asian countries avoided airline suspensions, instead of relying on screening measures and entry restrictions implemented by the intermediaries. The Western Pacific region, including Australia, did not permit the repatriation of Australian citizens from Southern Africa until December 15, 2021.

Despite the implementation of similar COVID-19 screening methods across several countries, variations were seen in quarantining requirements. These ranged from unsupervised quarantining at any place to stringent monitoring at specified hotels, quarantining costs borne by travelers including prior purchasing of quarantine packages, COVID-19 testing on specified days of quarantine, and criteria to end quarantine.  

Variations in COVID-19 testing requirements were also observed among different countries. Out of the 81 Omicron response policies that mentioned testing, PCR tests were required in 51, whereas nine allowed rapid antigen or PCR tests.

The frequently mandated pre-travel COVID-19 test period was 72 hours in most countries and varied from 24-120 hours across countries. Several African countries enforced the requirement of COVID-negative PCR test before leaving the country, regardless of the destination, to pre-empt African countries-associated travel restrictions in other nations.

Omicron-associated travel restrictions posed many logistical and practical difficulties in nations worldwide. These included delays in the repatriation of citizens to their own countries and in the shipment of reagents to researchers in South Africa, thereby affecting the early understanding of the Omicron in the high seroprevalence setting.

Additional difficulties were encountered in obtaining PCR results 24-48 hours before boarding the flights. Additional challenges included financial implications of quarantining and testing, as well as differences in the criteria of fully vaccinated status across different nations.

Moreover, identifying and tracing Omicron response travel policies was difficult due to differences in the documentation of these guidelines among various countries and language barriers. Nations with national airline websites, air carriers, and social media handle provided up-to-date Omicron-related travel restriction policies rather than official government portals.


The current study highlights the importance of aligned response approaches worldwide and understanding transmission epidemiology for mitigating the future emergence of novel SARS-CoV-2 variants or other viruses.

*Important notice

medRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reports that are not peer-reviewed and, therefore, should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or treated as established information.

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Omicron cancels more than 3,300 flights worldwide: Live news | Coronavirus pandemic News

More than 3,300 flights have been cancelled around the world – more than 1,900 of them in the United States – as countries report record cases of the coronavirus caused by the Omicron variant.

In Europe, thousands of people defy a ban on gatherings in Amsterdam for a demonstration against the Dutch government’s coronavirus lockdown measures. France says all unvaccinated travellers from the US will need to self-isolate for 10 days.

India reports more than 27,000 new COVID-19 infections – the highest daily count since October. Neighbouring Pakistan warns the country is entering its fifth coronavirus wave.

Here are the latest updates for Sunday:

Secondary students in England to wear masks: Minister

Secondary school students in England will be required to wear face masks when they return to classes after the Christmas holidays.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said Sunday the move was an attempt to “minimise disruption” in schools as the highly transmissible omicron variant drives coronavirus infections in the UK to record levels.

Similar guidance on masks for students ages 11 and above was already in place for schools in Scotland and Wales.

Fauci cites near ‘vertical’ rise in Covid, but sees hope

The United States is experiencing “almost a vertical increase” in Covid cases as the Omicron variant sweeps the country, but the peak may be only weeks away, top US pandemic advisor Anthony Fauci said.

“We are definitely in the middle of a very severe surge and uptick in cases,” Fauci said on ABC’s “This Week,” calling the soaring infection rate “really unprecedented.”

With the Omicron variant of the virus sweeping around the world, more than 440,000 new cases were reported in the US on Friday.

Fauci warns of hospitalisation surge due to large number of COVID cases

Top US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said there was still a danger of a surge in hospitalisation due to a large number of coronavirus cases even as early data suggests the Omicron COVID-19 variant is less severe.

“The only difficulty is that if you have so many many cases, even if the rate of hospitalisation is lower with Omicron than it is with Delta, there is still the danger that you will have a surging of hospitalisations that might stress the healthcare system,” Fauci said in an interview with CNN.

Pakistan faces fifth COVID wave: Minister

Pakistan is facing a fifth wave of coronavirus amid surging infections across the country, a senior official said.

Planning Minister Asad Umar, who also heads the country’s anti-virus strategy, said there is “clear evidence” that the fifth wave of the COVID-19 was starting and expected “for last few weeks”.

Bulgaria detects first cases of Omicron

Bulgaria has detected its first 12 cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the Balkan country’s chief health inspector, Angel Kunchev, said.

“We have confirmed the new variant in samples from 12 people,” Kunchev told reporters.

Kunchev said the infected people, mainly from the capital Sofia, were experiencing mild symptoms and none was hospitalised.

A doctor in a white full body suit checks on a patient wearing a respiration mask in a hospital.A doctor examines a patient at the COVID-19 unit of a hospital in Kjustendil [File: Nikolay Doychinov/AFP]

Thousands protests lockdown rules in Amsterdam

Thousands of people defied a ban on gatherings to assemble on an Amsterdam square for a demonstration against the Dutch government’s coronavirus lockdown measures.

The municipality of the Dutch capital had outlawed the protest, saying police had indications some demonstrators could be attending “prepared for violence”.

India reports more than 27,000 cases

Infections in India rose sharply rising for a fifth consecutive day with 27,553 COVID cases in the last 24 hours.

The country’s largest cities, including Delhi and the financial capital Mumbai, have seen a recent spike in COVID-19 cases, including those of the Omicron variant, which has triggered a fresh wave of infections in other parts of the world.

Although the number of active cases in Delhi has tripled in just the last three days, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that hospitalisations had not gone up.

“This means that most people who are coming down with [COVID-19] are not requiring hospital care. They are mild cases,” Kejriwal said in an online briefing.

A paramedic checks an oxygen cylinder at a makeshift COVID-19 care center at an indoor sports stadium in New DelhiA paramedic make checks an oxygen concentrator at a makeshift COVID-19 care centre at an indoor sport stadium in New Delhi, India [File: Altaf Qadri/AP Photo]

Thousands of flights cancelled amid virus surge

More than 3,300 flights were cancelled around the world, more than half of them were US flights, adding to the toll of holiday week travel disruptions due to adverse weather and the surge in coronavirus cases caused by the Omicron variant.

Including those delayed but not cancelled, more than 4,800 flights were delayed in total, according to a running tally on the tracking website

Heading towards COVID ‘storm’: Israel PM

Israel’s prime minister has warned the country will soon see tens of thousands of new coronavirus cases a day amid the spread of the Omicron virus.

Naftali Bennett  said that despite rolling out more than 4.2 million coronavirus booster shots to the country’s population of 9.3 million since July, “the storm is coming to us these very days.”

Naftali Bennett speaks at a podium in front of Israeli flags.Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett [File: Menahem Kahana/AFP]

Unvaccinated US travellers to self-isolate for 10 days: France

Unvaccinated individuals travelling from the US will have to self-isolate in France for 10 days under supervision from local authorities in line with new government restrictions that come into force on Sunday.

All passengers from the US have to provide a negative COVID-19 test – a PCR or an antigen test – no older than 48 hours in addition to proof of vaccination before boarding a flight to France.

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COVID disrupts travel worldwide on Christmas weekend: Live news | Coronavirus pandemic News

Commercial airlines around the world cancelled more than 5,700 flights over the Christmas weekend according to a flight tracker website, as a mounting wave of coronavirus infections driven by the Omicron variant created greater uncertainty and misery for holiday travellers.

On Saturday, Pope Francis prayed for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, using his Christmas Day address to urge vaccines for the poor and health care for all.

“Grant health to the infirm and inspire all men and women of good will to seek the best ways possible to overcome the current health crisis and its effects,” Francis said in his address.

Here are the latest updates for Saturday:

Indian PM Modi announces booster shots to healthcare workers next month

India will start administering COVID-19 booster shots to healthcare and frontline workers from January 10, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

In an address to the nation, he also said those aged 15-18 would start receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations from January 3.

Turkmenistan to register Russian Sputnik Light vaccine

Turkmenistan became one of the first nations to approve the use of Russian COVID-19 vaccines, including Sputnik V, EpiVacCorona, and Sputnik Light, according to the country’s Ministry of Health and Medical Industry.

The ministry said in a statement that it registered the Sputnik Light vaccine and issued a corresponding certificate for its use.

Another Top14  Rugby games gets postponed

Clermont’s visit to Brive became the third game in the post-Christmas round of Top 14 Rugby matches to be cancelled because of a cluster of coronavirus cases.

The match, scheduled for Sunday, was called off after Clermont reported coronavirus cases in their squad, the French league (LNR) announced.

“Due to the health situation of the squad of Clermont, following new tests, the match Brive-Clermont, is postponed. The rearranged date will be communicated later,” said the LNR in a statement.

More than 5,700 flights scrapped on Christmas weekend

At least 5,743 flights have been cancelled worldwide over the long Christmas weekend and thousands more were delayed, a tracking website reported.

According to, more than 2,500 flights were scrubbed around the globe on Christmas Day, including more than 870 originating from or headed to US airports, with some 4,200 delays as of 1430 GMT.

On Friday, there were around 2,400 cancellations and 11,000 delays, while Sunday cancellations have already topped 800.

Passengers check the flight board in a terminal at the international airport in Frankfurt [File: Michael Probst/AP Photo]

Two more members of Korean group BTS test positive for virus

Two more members of the K-pop group BTS tested positive for COVID-19 following their return to South Korea from the band’s first pandemic-era concerts in the United States, their management company Big Hit Music said.

Rapper RM, 27, and vocalist Jin, 29, were diagnosed with COVID-19 a day after Suga, a songwriter and rapper for the seven-member group, tested positive.

All three had completed second doses of a coronavirus vaccine in August, the company said.

South Korean K-pop band BTS pose for photographers ahead of a press conference to introduce their single “Butter” in Seoul, South Korea [File: Lee Jin-man/AP Photo]

Japan’s Fukuoka finds first Omicron case

Japan’s Fukuoka prefecture has confirmed its first infection with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, its governor Seitaro Hattori said.

The case was a result of possible community transmission as the infection route was unclear, Hattori told a news conference.

Pope prays for end of pandemic in Christmas blessing

Pope Francis prayed for an end to the coronavirus pandemic, using his Christmas Day address to urge health care for all, vaccines for the poor and for dialogue to prevail in resolving the world’s conflicts.

“Grant health to the infirm and inspire all men and women of good will to seek the best ways possible to overcome the current health crisis and its effects,” he said on Saturday.

“Open hearts to ensure that necessary medical care – and vaccines in particular – are provided to those peoples who need them most.”

Read more here.

Pope Francis waves after delivering his traditional Christmas Day Urbi et Orbi speech to the city and the world from the main balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, December 25, 2021 [Yara Nardi/Reuters]

Djokovic ‘won’t go’ to pre-Australian Open ATP Cup: Local media

Novak Djokovic will not play in the ATP Cup ahead of the Australian Open, where his participation is in doubt as the Serbian tennis star refuses to say if he has been vaccinated against the coronavirus, his team have told Serbian newspaper Blic.

“It is 99 percent sure that Novak won’t go to the ATP Cup. He is training here (in Belgrade) but he has decided to give that tournament a miss,” an unnamed member of his team said.

The ATP Cup in Sydney is a team tournament that traditionally kicks off the men’s season.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic [File: William West/AFP]

Kenya to start booster shot drive amid virus fears

Kenya will offer COVID-19 booster shots to individuals six months after their initial shots, the health ministry said in a document published a day after the country logged its highest rate of positive COVID-19 tests.

Kenya last month said it would demand proof of vaccination to access public spaces and transport from December 21. The move met with a combination of bemusement, dismissal and occasional spot enforcement, given the country’s low vaccination rate.

By Friday just over 14 percent of Kenyan adults had been fully vaccinated.

US hit by further flight cancellations

According to, at least 2,000 flights were cancelled worldwide on Christmas Day.

On Friday, there were around 2,400 cancellations and almost 11,000 delays. The site also reported over 600 cancellations for Sunday.

Pilots, flight attendants and other staff have been calling in sick or having to quarantine after exposure to COVID, forcing Lufthansa, Delta, United Airlines and many other carriers to cancel flights during one of the year’s peak travel periods.

China’s COVID-hit Xian city reports rise in infections

China’s Xian city has reported an increase in daily COVID-19 infections and local companies curtailed activity as the country’s latest COVID-19 hot spot entered its third day of lockdown.

Xian, a northwest Chinese city of 13 million, detected 75 domestically transmitted cases with confirmed symptoms for December 24, its higest daily count of the year and reversing the previous day’s decline, official data showed on Saturday.

Residents are banned from leaving town without clearance from employers or local autorities and households can send only one person to shop for necessities every two days.

Workers in protective suits stand at an entrance to a university’s residential area under lockdown following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Xian, Shaanxi province, China [File: China Daily via Reuters]

India COVID deaths rise by 387

India’s health ministry reported on Saturday that daily COVID-19 deaths in the country have risen by 387, bringing the total number of deaths since the start of the pandemic to at least 479,520.

COVID cases have also risen by 7,189 to at least 34.8 million.

In Omicron-free New Zealand, Christmas without restrictions

New Zealanders celebrated Christmas on Saturday in the warmth of southern midsummer with few restrictions, in one of the rare countries in the world largely untouched by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Ninety-five percent of adults in New Zealand have had at least one dose of a vaccine, making it one of the world’s most vaccinated populations. The only Omicron cases that have been found in New Zealand have been safely contained at the border.

As COVID-19 spread across the globe in the past two years, New Zealand used its isolation to its advantage. Border controls kept the worst of the virus at bay, and by Christmas this year, New Zealand had recorded just 50 deaths in a population of 5.5 million.

Daily COVID cases in Australia’s New South Wales top 6,000

Australia’s most populous state recorded more than 6,000 new COVID-19 cases for the first time Saturday, adding a sombre note to Christmas celebrations.

Victoria, Australia’s second-most populous state, reported 2,108 new cases and six deaths on Saturday.

Health expert highlights importance of wearing mask to fight COVID

US Navy warship sidelined with COVID-19 outbreak

A US Navy warship has paused its deployment to South America because of a coronavirus outbreak, the Navy said Friday.

The USS Milwaukee, a littoral combat ship, is staying in port at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where it had stopped for a scheduled port visit. It began its deployment from Mayport, Florida, on December 14 and was heading into the US Southern Command region.

The Navy said in a statement that the ship’s crew is “100% immunized” and that all of those who tested positive for COVID-19 have been isolated on the ship away from other crew members. The number of crew testing positive was not disclosed. The ship has a crew of a little more than 100.

The Navy said that “a portion” of those infected are having mild symptoms and that the specific variant is not yet known. COVID-19 cases have surged across the country due to the highly contagious Omicron coronavirus variant.

Antetokounmpo clears NBA’s COVID protocols

The Milwaukee Bucks received an early Christmas present in the form of two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo clearing the National Basketball Association’s health and safety protocols on Friday.

However, Antetokounmpo’s status remains up in the air for Milwaukee’s Christmas Day showdown against the visiting Boston Celtics on Saturday afternoon.

For their part, the Celtics officially placed five more players into COVID protocols on Friday, bringing the team’s total to 12.

Blinken thanks South Africa in call with counterpart Naledi Pandor

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke via phone with his South African counterpart Naledi Pandor about an earlier announcement that the US plans to lift travel restrictions on several southern African nations, imposed last month amid fears over the Omicron variant.

“The Secretary again thanked South Africa’s scientists and government for their transparency and expertise,” State Department Spokesman Ned Price said in a statement describing the call.

“He emphasized the importance of the longstanding partnership between the United States and South Africa to combat the impacts of COVID-19.”

More than 4,000 Christmas flights cancelled worldwide

Airlines around the world called off more than 4,000 flights over the Christmas weekend, due to the increase in COVID-19 cases from the Omicron variant.

The website FlightAware showed 2,314 flights had been cancelled worldwide on Christmas Eve, a typically robust day in passenger transit. About a quarter of those suspended itineraries were in the US.

Another 1,404 flights scheduled for Christmas Day were cancelled globally, the website said, along with 340 more that had been scheduled for Sunday, Boxing Day.

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Lunar New Year, China’s biggest holiday, upended as covid surges threaten festivities worldwide

Several European cities have already canceled firework displays ringing in 2022 and some countries are reimposing restrictions, while Chinese families face the prospect of their third Lunar New Year spent apart.

The Lunar New Year — which begins on February 1, 2022 — is China’s biggest holiday, with millions of people traditionally crisscrossing the country to join loved ones for the festivities.

But those plans were upturned for many after China’s National Health Commission (NHC) on Saturday announced travel restrictions, doubling down on its “zero-Covid” strategy ahead of the Beijing Olympics happening the same month.

It urged residents in any city with confirmed Covid-19 cases against traveling during the upcoming New Year and Spring Festival holidays, amid an outbreak of infections in recent weeks.

The travel restrictions are a fresh blow for lockdown-weary Chinese families, who have endured some of the toughest — but most effective — rules in the world for more than a year.

It’s bad news too for the world’s second largest economy, still struggling with real estate woes and the fallout from sporadic lockdowns.
China’s “zero-Covid” strategy will be pushed to the limits when Beijing hosts the Winter Olympics in February, as the country opens its doors to foreign athletes at the same time the Omicron variant will likely be surging in other parts of the globe.

The government in Beijing announced Friday that due to the upcoming holiday season and influx of foreign athletes, residents should avoid leaving the city during the Spring Festival, unless necessary.

Indeed the Omicron variant also comes just as many countries in the Asia-Pacific region with tough restrictions — including Australia and Japan — had tentatively started to loosen up and live with Covid-19.

Paris and Rome cancel New Year events

China isn’t the only country downscaling its festivities this year amid outbreaks.

The Netherlands is imposing a strict new lockdown, starting Sunday at 5 a.m., Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced in a televised press conference Saturday, according to CNN affiliate RTL News.

Indoor gatherings will be limited to a maximum of two guests until January 14, except on Christmas and New Year’s Eve, when that will be extended to four guests, according to RTL News.

All schools and extracurricular activities will close until at least January 9, RTL reports.

Sports competitions will be halted, and all indoor sports venues will also be closed, Rutte said, according to RTL News, though children under 17 years of age will be able to continue playing sports until 5 p.m. Sunday.

The latest on the coronavirus pandemic and the Omicron variant

France on Friday announced large outdoor events and gatherings will be banned on New Year’s Eve as the country faces its fifth wave of infections, warning that Omicron will become the dominant variant by early 2022.

Denmark has also proposed closing cinemas and theaters, and limiting the numbers of people in shops the week before Christmas, as it attempts to control a spike in cases.

And Rome is among several Italian cities that have decided to cancel New Year’s festivities over coronavirus concerns, authorities said Thursday.

The Campania region has also banned feasts and alcohol consumption in public areas from December 23 to January 1. Venice also canceled its open air concerts and New Year’s Eve fireworks.

Ireland will also introduce an 8:00 p.m. curfew for restaurants and bars from Sunday, and limit numbers for both indoor and outdoor events, amid a surge in Omicron cases, it announced Friday.

China’s ‘zero-Covid’ strategy

Under China’s newly tightened measures, people from medium or high-risk areas are strictly prohibited from travel. Those on official duties, or working in the transportation sector, should obtain special permission and a negative Covid-19 test within 48 hours, the NHC added.

The rules are slightly eased for residents in “low risk” districts. They are only advised not to travel during the holiday season, and are required to have a negative Covid-19 test within 48 hours to leave the city.

As part of the designation, “medium risk” areas are those with less than 10 reported cases in the last two weeks. And “high risk” areas have more than 10 reported cases.

China currently has 12 “high risk” areas and 57 “medium risk” areas, NHC statistics showed Saturday.

China has fully vaccinated 1.186 billion people, accounting for 84% of its the population, NHC spokesperson Mi Feng said.

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10 Cheap Worldwide Travel Destinations To Consider for 2022

To Kevin Mercier, a travel blogger, India is the place to visit in 2022.

“I believe India is one of the countries more travelers need to start researching in 2022,” he said. “Travelers can find everything from the beautiful mountains, beaches, wildlife tours, to culinary delights and delicious local drinks here. India is also one of the best yet cheapest locations for a romantic vacation.”

How affordable? Right now, very affordable given the favorable exchange rate from rupees to dollars.

“Unless you’re looking to stay at a five-star hotel or resort, you’ll find it hard to spend $50 a day here. You can get by on around $30 in most Indian cities by staying at cheap guest houses instead of hotels. The average price for a single person for accommodation in India is around 1,120 rupees ($15).”

Modern Money Etiquette: Who To Tip When You’re Traveling

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Best new tourist attractions worldwide 2021

Best new tourist attractions worldwide 2021

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