Bolivia tightens travel rules to prevent COVID-19 infections – Xinhua

LA PAZ, April 1 (Xinhua) — Bolivia on Thursday announced tighter travel regulations, including a 10-day quarantine for anyone arriving from abroad, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Those entering the South American country by air, land or water must present a certificate of negative PCR test for COVID-19 carried out up to 72 hours before their departure.

Visitors must guarantee they have health insurance, except Bolivians, who are covered by the Unified Health System, and foreigners with permanent residency in Bolivia.

Bolivian President Luis Arce announced via Twitter that as of Friday, the country will close its border with Brazil for a week to prevent the entry of a virus variant reported in Brazil, which is considered to be more contagious.

Bolivia has so far reported 272,411 cases with 12,257 deaths from the disease. Enditem

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Colombia updates travel rules aimed at curbing COVID-19 – Xinhua

BOGOTA, April 1 (Xinhua) — Colombia’s Ministry of Health and Social Protection on Thursday unveiled updated rules for travelers on national and international flights amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new rules, which take effect on April 7, relax or scrap certain measures while introducing new ones.

For example, there will be no more temperature taking at air terminals, since evidence now shows it is not an imperative measure, according to the ministry’s director of epidemiology and demography, Julian Fernandez.

“Some recommendations that are already obsolete or have little scientific evidence (to back them up) are updated, such as those that have to do with restrictions on aircraft entertainment systems, since if they are properly disinfected they do not represent a greater risk” to users, said Fernandez.

Due to the circulation of new variants of the virus, all arriving Colombian or foreign travelers must now present a negative PCR test taken in the last 96 hours.

“Given the emergence of the new variants and the contact with people of different origins in closed spaces, which despite the ventilation of the airplanes, forces us to take extreme measures,” said Fernandez.

He also encouraged travelers to use two applications developed to orient travelers: CoronApp for domestic flights and Check-Mig for international flights.

“The reason we believe CoronApp is effective is because it now connects to COVID-19 sample results and reveals whether people have tested positive in the past 14 days,” Fernandez said.

On flights of more than two hours, passengers will only be able to eat at intervals assigned by rows and everyone should wear a face mask, he added.

According to the Ministry of Health, as of Wednesday Colombia registered 2,406,377 cases of COVID-19 and 63,422 deaths as a result of the disease. Enditem

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Ethiopian Airlines partners with IATA to trial travel pass – Xinhua

ADDIS ABABA, March 26 (Xinhua) — Ethiopia’s national flag carrier Ethiopian Airlines on Friday announced its plan to trial the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Travel Pass, a digital travel mobile app to enhance efficiency in testing and vaccine verifications and restart travel.

The move came amid the travel restarts and the subsequent need for accurate COVID-19-related information for travelers that includes testing and vaccine requirements, which vary among countries.

According to the Ethiopian Airlines, the IATA Travel Pass initiative helps verify the authenticity of test information presented by travelers which is essential for ensuring the safety of passengers while complying with entry requirements of countries.

In future, the initiative will also manage vaccine certificates for travel, it was noted.

Amid growing COVID-19 precautionary measures, the Ethiopian Airlines has gone digital in all of its operations to avoid physical contact and combat the spread of the pandemic.

Tewolde Gebremariam, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO, said digital technology is vital to solve many of the problems that arise from the pandemic.

“We are glad that we are offering new digital opportunities to our passengers so as to fully and safely restart air travel,” Gebremariam said, adding customers will enjoy efficient, contactless and safer travel experience with their travel pass digital passport.

According to Gebremariam, the new initiative will increase travelers’ confidence in travel, encourage governments to reopen their borders and expedite industry restart.

The Travel Pass will help create a digital passport, receive test and vaccination certificates and verify that they are sufficient for their route, and share testing or vaccination certificates with airlines and authorities to facilitate travel, it was noted.

The digital travel app is said to help avoid fraudulent documentation and make air travel more convenient. Enditem

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Kyrgyzstan joins digital platform to facilitate regional travel – Xinhua

BISHKEK, March 2 (Xinhua) — Kyrgyzstan has joined a digital platform to facilitate the cross-border movement of citizens within the Eurasian Economic Union, the country’s Health Ministry reported on Tuesday.

At the moment, two accredited state labs of Kyrgyzstan are connected to the COVID-19 Free Travel platform in test mode – one in Bishkek, the other in Osh.

To obtain a PCR test result for COVID-19, the user must download the application COVID-19 Free Travel, which shows the user the nearest lab where they can be tested for coronavirus.

The test result will appear in the application in the form of a QR code, the report said.

Currently, preparatory work is underway to connect more labs to the platform.

The special mobile application has been developed to facilitate the free travel of citizens in the five-member union.

So far, Belarus, Armenia and Russia are connected to the information system. Enditem

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