Cuba, Israel and Phu Quoc announce reopening plans – KION546
By Maureen O’Hare, CNN
Fall is almost here, we are approaching our seventh season of life with a pandemic, and yes, it still sucks.
It doesn’t matter, though, as CNN Travel is here as always to sharpen your pencils, straighten your backpack, and educate you in our weekly roundup of the latest developments in pandemic travel news.
1. France has banned unvaccinated American travelers
France has become the last European country – and the most important tourist destination – to remove the United States from its list of safe travel, following EU recommendations following a peak in Covid in the United States .
A French government decree released Thursday moved the United States and Israel from the country’s “green” list to “orange,” effectively banning non-essential travel to France for unvaccinated visitors.
However, caution is mutual. France was added to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) highest category risk list – “Level 4: Very high Covid-19” – on August 9, which means US citizens are already urged to avoid non-essential travel there.
2. And Spain did the same
In a policy change earlier this summer, Spain only allows tourists from the United States if they are fully vaccinated, the health ministry told CNN on Tuesday.
The new rule, which came into effect this week, states that visitors from the United States on “non-essential trips”, such as tourism, must present “a vaccination certificate that the (Spanish) Department of Health recognizes as valid ”.
Like France, Spain is at the riskiest level 4 of the CDC.
3. Cuba will start reopening its borders in November
Cuban state media reported that the island will begin reopening its borders in November, despite a recent increase in Covid cases.
Cuba has been closed during much of the pandemic, which has hit the local tourism industry hard.
According to the Cuban Ministry of Health, more than four million people on the island have been fully vaccinated with local vaccines.
A statement from the Tourism Ministry published in the Communist Party newspaper Granma on Monday said Cuba would gradually reopen borders from November 15 and no longer require travelers to take a PCR test upon arrival.
4. Israel to reopen its doors to small groups of tourists this month
An Israeli pilot program to revive tourism will allow small groups of foreign tourists from some countries, reports Reuters.
Fully vaccinated tourist groups of 5 to 30 people from countries on Israel’s green, yellow and orange lists will be allowed into the country, the tourism ministry said on September 5.
Individual tourists will still not be allowed to enter outside of a tourist group, with the exception of people visiting family members.
5. Vietnamese island of Phu Quoc will reopen next month
Vietnam has taken a hard line with its Covid restrictions – this week a man was jailed for five years for spreading the virus – but there are still plans to revive its tourism industry.
Authorities hope to reopen the Phu Quoc island getaway to foreign tourists from next month, for a six-month trial period.
The 222 square mile island is known for its stunning beaches, including Sao Beach, Long Beach, and Ong Lang Beach.
6. Jamaica and Sri Lanka have been added to the US “do not travel” list
Two tropical islands halfway around the world and popular with tourists – Jamaica in the Caribbean and Sri Lanka in South Asia – are the latest additions to the CDC’s ever-growing list of top-risk destinations for Covid -19.
They join Greece, Portugal, UK, Ireland, South Africa, Thailand, Bahamas and many other popular vacation spots.
7. The UK government has been criticized for long lines at London Heathrow
Huge queues took place at London’s Heathrow Airport last weekend as families returned from overseas trips in time for the new school term. Social media broke in, with some claiming to have waited for hours.
The airport press office criticized the British Border Force on September 4, saying: “We are very sorry that passengers faced unacceptable immigration wait times last night (September 3) in due to the insufficient number of Border Force officers on duty “.
The UK government could remove its traffic light system in a matter of weeks, reports the BBC, and could be replaced by a new strategy that would allow vaccinated travelers to travel without quarantine to countries with vaccination levels as high as the Kingdom. -United.
8. Time Out named its “best cities in the world”
San Francisco – renowned for its booming tech industry, lavish restaurant scene, and THIS bridge – has been crowned the “best city in the world,” according to Time Out.
Time Out claims that San Francisco’s “unbeatable combination of progressiveness, acceptance and sustainability” earned it the top spot. He was also applauded by Time Out for his response to the pandemic and for his vaccination rate among the highest in the United States.
9. Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade will look a bit more like normal this year.
The famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will revert to a more traditional route in 2021 and the public will once again be able to roam the streets of Manhattan to watch.
However, masks will be required for volunteer participants and staff and a vaccination warrant will apply, with some exceptions.
Public screening locations, entry guidelines and restrictions will be announced in November.
10. Delta Air Lines says the stick part of its carrot and stick strategy is working
U.S. airline Delta announced at the end of August that while it did not mandate vaccination for employees, after November 1 those who had not been vaccinated would face an increase in health insurance from the United States. business up to $ 200 per month.
The company reported on Friday that since the announcement, the vaccination rate of its employees has already jumped from 74% to 79% – a big jump in about two weeks. About 20,000 Delta employees remain unvaccinated.
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CNN’s Forrest Brown, Al Goodman, Duarte Mendonca, Barry Neild, Sharif Paget, Francesca Street, Carolyn Sung and Saskya Vandoorne contributed to this story.