Health & Lifestyle Travel

India Revises Rules For International Arrivals Over Omicron

Starting Wednesday, a new set of rules will come into effect for international travellers arriving in the country. The rules have been revised in view of the rising concerns over the emergence of the new coronavirus variant, named ‘Omicron’, that has been termed as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Among the latest guidelines, the Union health ministry has mandated RT-PCR test passengers arriving from ‘at-risk’ nations’. According to the health ministry, the countries designated as “at-risk” are the European countries, including the UK, South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel. Here are the key points to know: > According to the new guidelines, passengers arriving in India are required to submit the self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha Portal before the scheduled travel. They are also required to submit the last…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Israel, Japan Shut Their Borders To Foreign Travellers Amid Omicron Scare

Israel has become the first country in the world to shut its borders for foreign travellers owing to the Omicron scare. Soon after, Japan followed suit and barred foreign travellers from entering into the country. A number of countries have reported confirmed or suspected cases of the Omicron, the new variant of COVID-19. The new variant has already been discovered in Australia, Botswana, Britain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands and Scotland. Israel has not only banned entry of foreigners but has also made quarantine for all Israelis arriving from abroad mandatory. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said, “Restrictions on the country’s borders is not an easy step, but it’s a temporary and necessary step.” The government of Japan also said that they would shut its borders to foreigners amid rising cases of the Omicron variant of Coronavirus. Japanese…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Government Issues New Guidelines From ‘At-Risk’ Nations Amid Omicron Scare

Omicron (B.1.1.529), a new variant of Coronavirus, has left the world scared once again. The new variant has been detected in South Africa, Brazil, UK, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel. Though India has not reported any cases of the new variant yet, the country is taking all the precautions to avoid another wave.New guidelines The Indian health ministry had proposed to resume international flights on December 15 but on Sunday, the government issued some new guidelines for foreign travellers making the RT-PCR test mandatory for those coming from COVID ‘at-risk countries’ on arrival at the airport. The COVID report should be authentic, in case of manipulated reports, the passenger will be liable for criminal prosecution. Those who test positive will immediately be isolated and their samples would be sent further for genomic testing at the INSACOG laboratory network. For those testing…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Israel To Ban Entry Of Foreigners From All Countries Over Omicron

Israel on Saturday said it would ban the entry of all foreigners into the country, making it the first country to shut its borders completely in response to a new and potentially more contagious coronavirus variant, and said it would use counter-terrorism phone-tracking technology in order to contain the spread of the Omicron variant. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement that the ban, pending government approval, would last 14 days. Officials hope that within that period there will be more information on how effective Covid-19 vaccines are against Omicron, which was first detected in South Africa and has been dubbed a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organisation. “Our working hypotheses are that the variant is already in nearly every country,” Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked told N12’s “Meet the Press,” “and that the vaccine is effective, although we don’t yet know to what degree.” Israelis…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Australia Imposes Curbs For Travellers From Virus-Hit Southern Africa

Australia imposed new restrictions on Saturday on people who have been to nine southern African countries, as the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 raises concerns about another wave of the pandemic. The countries are South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, the Seychelles, Malawi and Mozambique. Effective immediately, the government will ban non-citizens who have been in those countries from entering and will require supervised 14-day quarantines for Australian citizens and their dependents returning from the countries, said Health Minister Greg Hunt. These restrictions also apply to people such as international students and skilled migrants arriving from countries with which Australia has travel bubbles, who have been in any of the nine countries within the past 14 days. “If the medical evidence shows that further actions are required, we will not hesitate to take them. And that may involve strengthening or expanding the restrictions,”…

TOP NEWS UPDATES Travel

India to resume international flights from December 15

New Delhi [India]: India will resume scheduled regular international flights from December 15, nearly 20 months after these flights were suspended to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had suspended operations of scheduled international commercial passenger services to and from India with effect from March 23, 2020, due to COVID-19.“The matters of resumption of scheduled commercial international passenger services to/from India has been examined in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and it has been decided that scheduled commercial international passenger services to/from India may be resumed from 15.12.2021,” the Ministry of Civil Aviation said in an order. For the resumptions of flights, the countries have been categorised into three categories with separate capacity restrictions. The categorisation has been done based on the…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Thailand Sees Slow Tourism Recovery After A Month Of Reopening

Thailand was among the first countries in Asia to reopen for foreign arrivals, and it is seeing a slow recovery, including new hotels touting longer stays for individual travellers. In the first 10 months of 2021, Thailand saw 106,117 foreign tourists, a drop from 6.7 million in 2020. Before the pandemic, Thailand saw about 40 million visitors a year. Hospitality firms like Asset World Corporation Pcl, which opened its 19th property this month, saw the majority of its bookings come from Western countries and the Middle East. “About 70% of total bookings came from Europe, including Germany, UK, Scandinavian countries, followed by the US, Middle East, and Asia,” chief executive Wallapa Traisorat told Reuters, adding that domestic travel helped. “For November, we should see 30% occupancy, and in the fourth quarter we hope to see better momentum from the reopening.” Thailand, one of the region’s most…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

New Zealand Will Not Reopen To Foreigners For Atleast 5 months

New Zealand said Wednesday it will not reopen to foreign travellers for at least another five months, as it slowly relaxes some of the world’s toughest pandemic border restrictions. The Pacific nation’s Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said New Zealanders stranded in Australia could return home from mid-January and Kiwis travelling from elsewhere would be allowed in a month later. But foreign nationals must wait until the end of April under the blueprint for a phased reopening unveiled Wednesday. “We acknowledge it’s been tough, but the end of heavily restricted travel is now in sight,” Hipkins told reporters. New Zealand closed its borders in March last year, requiring all international arrivals to undergo two weeks of hotel quarantine, a period that was recently cut to seven days. Hipkins said under the new regime, travellers would self isolate for seven days provided they were fully vaccinated and passed a series of…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

US Issues ‘Do Not Travel’ Warning For Denmark & Germany

In a recent travel update, the USA has issued a ‘Do Not Travel’ warning for Germany and Denmark as the COVID-19 cases have increased in the countries. It’s an important move to put a cap on the fast spreading COVID-19 virus further. The US health body, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State Department made the announcement on Monday and advised people against visiting Germany and Denmark. The US has marked the two countries in its “Level Four: Very High” list. The State Department issued “Do Not Travel” advisories for both countries. As of now, the CDC has a list of some 75 destinations across the globe at Level Four. The list includes several nations in Europe, including Britain, Norway, Belgium, Greece, Romania, Austria, Switzerland, Ireland and the Czech Republic. The World Health Organization (WHO) some days back had said that European nations must work harder to stop the…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Vietnam’s Island Phu Quoc Welcomes First Tourists After Nearly 2 Years

Two hundred vaccinated foreign tourists arrived in Vietnam’s beach-fringed island of Phu Quoc on Saturday, the first wave of visitors to the country in nearly two years as it seeks to resurrect its pandemic-ravaged tourism economy. Vietnam imposed tight border controls at the start of the pandemic in an effort to keep out Covid-19, with some initial success, but that harmed its burgeoning tourism sector, which typically accounts for about 10 per cent of gross domestic product. Vaccinated tourists now do not have to undergo mandatory two-week quarantine, according to the authorities, but are required to enjoy their holiday only inside the mega complex resort Vinpearl and will be tested twice during their trip. “This is the first and vital step to revive our tourism sector and to prepare for the full resumption next year,” Nguyen Trung Khanh, chairman of the country’s tourism administration said in statement.…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Australia Welcomes Students Amid Travel Bubble With Singapore

Fully vaccinated travellers from Singapore are now allowed into Melbourne or Sydney without the need to quarantine – part of Australia’s gradual reopening of its borders that began this month. Australia closed its international borders in March 2020 to curb the spread of Covid-19. Catriona Jackson, chief executive of Universities Australia, which represents 39 universities, said the flights from Singapore saw the first international students enter Australia since small numbers returned in November last year. “We understand these initial numbers are small, but they are a clear signal of the intent to allow many more students to return to classes and our communities soon,” Jackson said. There are about 130,000 international students remaining outside Australia, she added. Before the pandemic, international students made up 21% of Australia’s tertiary education students, compared to 6% on average across countries that are members of the Organisation for…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Turkey’s Tourism Agencies Launches Early Booking Campaign For 2022

Turkey’s tourism agencies launched on Friday an early booking campaign “at attractive and affordable prices” for the 2022 tourism season. The announcement came at a tourism congress organized by the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TURSAB) in Turkey’s Mediterranean Antalya province. Firuz Baglikaya, head of TURSAB, said at the congress that the campaign would be valid for a wide range of tourism forms and not only sea-sand-sun tourism, which has been the dominant type of tourism in Turkey. Mert Vardar, CEO of Jolly Tour, said that Turkey’s domestic market would get many benefits from the campaign, as the expectations for 2022 in terms of attracting foreign tourists are much higher than this year. Kaan Karayal, head of Tatilsepeti.com, an online booking system, said early reservation had lost its popularity amid the pandemic for two years, but now it has become important again. The discounted…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

New Zealand Approves Covishield & Covaxin

In a recent development, New Zealand has finally approved India-made vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin. The decision comes soon after Australia, New Zealand’s neighbour, recognised the two Indian vaccines last month. This means that Indian travellers vaccinated with these vaccines will not have to quarantine upon landing in New Zealand. Till now, the island nation has approved eight vaccines. Also, both the vaccines have been recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO). The good news was shared by India’s high commissioner to New Zealand, Muktesh Pardeshi. He took to Twitter and tweeted, “In a positive decision, NZ includes #covishield and #covaxin in the list of 8 recognised vaccines. We keenly await lifting of travel restrictions. India is already open to vaccinated tourists”. Meanwhile, India has mutual vaccination certificates agreement with 99 countries in the world, including the US, UK, UAE, Qatar, France and Germany, among others. The country, for the first time since…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Times Square To Welcome Fully Vaccinated People On New Year’s Eve

New York City’s Times Square will once again fill with revellers ringing in the new year on December 31, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday, but only if they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Last year, the still-raging coronavirus pandemic allowed only a handful of invited guests, including essential workers, to witness in person the dropping of the iconic New Year’s Eve ball, signalling the start of the new year. “We can finally get back together again,” de Blasio told reporters, touting New York City’s recovery after more than a year of pandemic hardship. “It’s going to be amazing, it’s going to be a joy for this city.” Visitors to the area will be asked to provide proof of vaccination and a valid photo ID, de Blasio said. Security checkpoints will be in place to check documentation of those seeking to enter Times Square for the festivities. “We…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Goa Police To Step Up Vigilance Along Beaches

The Goa Police have decided to step up vigilance in the state, especially to thwart harassment of domestic and international tourists, said the police on Monday. With Covid-19 cases falling in the state, leading to relaxation in the protocols, the tourists have started thronging the Goa beaches. North Goa Superintendent of Police (SP) Shobhit Saxena told ANI, “The Goa police have begun booking miscreants and touts who are involved in targeting and cheating tourists.” He said that the police have been deployed across Goa beaches to check harassment complaints of tourists and help them. He also said that the police are keeping a close watch on foreigners who are staying illegally in Goa. “We have also conducted a full foreigner survey to see who are staying here illegally. We are trying to identify them and take action against them. Moreover, there is a surge…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

India Reopens To Vaccinated Foreign Travellers

India began on Monday allowing fully vaccinated foreign tourists to enter the country on regular commercial flights, in the latest easing of coronavirus restrictions as infections fall and vaccinations rise. Tourists entering India must be fully vaccinated, follow all Covid-19 protocols and test negative for the virus within 72 hours of their flight, according to the health ministry. Many will also need to undergo a post-arrival Covid-19 test at the airport. However, travellers from countries which have agreements with India for mutual recognition of vaccination certificates, such as the U.S., U.K. and many European nations, can leave the airport without undergoing a Covid-19 test. This is the first time India has allowed foreign tourists on commercial flights to enter the country since March 2020, when it imposed one of the toughest lockdowns in the world in an attempt to contain the pandemic. Fully vaccinated…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Netherlands Imposes Partial Lockdown

As Europe deals with a fresh outbreak of the COVID 19 virus, Netherlands goes into a partial lockdown. Many countries in the European Union are reporting a rise in the number of cases, and it is certainly a worrying trend. Netherland’s Caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that the restrictions that were thought to have ended for good are now being reimposed. Fresh restrictions are being reimposed in the Netherlands for a period of three weeks. On Saturday, the Dutch government asked restaurants and shops to close early, marking the beginning of this fresh lockdown. Netherlands has further further asked supermarkets and all non-essential retailers to close earlier, while social distancing has been re-imposed. The government in the Netherlands has further announced that spectators are not allowed to watch sporting events during this time. Furthermore, the government has announced that homes will not have more than four visitors, which is…

Health & Lifestyle TOP NEWS UPDATES Travel

European Countries Where Indians Can Travel Now

India is looking to increase the number of international flights operating to and from the country in the upcoming week. With the country having administered over 100 crore doses, and 85 per cent of its eligible population receiving at least one dose of the vaccine, Indian officials are in talks with domestic and international airlines as well as other countries to increase its flight capacity under travel bubbles, senior officials told MoneyControl. Currently, there are some European countries where travel is open to and from India, albeit with some guidelines and restrictions, which are still in place due to COVID-19. The European countries where Indians can travel now are: FRANCE India has created an air bubble arrangement with France. Indian and French carriers are now permitted to operate services between India and France and carry the following categories of persons on such flights: From India to…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Philippines’ Travel Bubble With South Korea To Revive Its Pandemic-Hit Tourism

The Philippines is banking on its returning citizens and a planned travel bubble with South Korea to revive its pandemic-hit tourism sector, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said on Thursday, as the Southeast Asian country remains closed to visitors. It is in talks with its top market South Korea to welcome tourists on board chartered flights, Puyat said in an interview with Bloomberg TV’s David Ingles. The two countries are ironing out quarantine requirements for these tourists upon return to South Korea, she said. The Philippines also plans to further ease quarantine rules for returning citizens who can also help boost domestic travel, Puyat said. Domestic tourism, which has driven the sector even pre-pandemic, has shown signs of revival, with travellers from the capital now visiting tourist spots as movement curbs are eased and vaccines are rolled out, she said. Lagging its neighbours in easing travel curbs, the Philippines…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Greece Meets Tourism Target, Prepares For Next Year

In the last week of October, Amalia Delakis and her son Dimitris of Kriti Plus car rental, located near the Old Port of Chania on Crete, were finally taking a breather after a busier than expected season. “Last year was a very difficult period and most of the small businesses didn’t know if they would survive,” Amalia told DW. “Basically, this year, everyone came at once: in July, August and September and into October. Most companies didn’t have enough cars to support the big influx of people all arriving at the same time.” The family suspects they were busier in part due to tourists’ hesitancy to take public transportation in the midst of the pandemic and the fact that many other countries remained closed to tourists such as Turkey, the USA and Thailand. After much uncertainty about what the 2021 tourism season would bring, Greece…

Health & Lifestyle International Travel UK News

UK To Recognise Covaxin For Inbound Travel From November 22

The UK will recognise India’s Covaxin jab as an approved Covid-19 vaccine for inbound travel from November 22, a move that is expected to benefit thousands of travellers from India. Britain announced on Monday that it is adding Covaxin and China’s Sinovac and Sinopharm Beijing vaccines to its list of approved vaccines following their “emergency-use listing” by the World Health Organization (WHO). Around one billion doses of these three Covid-19 vaccines have been delivered worldwide. The WHO issued an emergency-use listing for Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech, on November 3 and added the jab to a growing portfolio of vaccines validated by the health body for preventing Covid-19. The listing followed an assessment of the quality, safety and efficacy of the vaccine and allows countries to expedite their own regulatory approval for the jab. The UK also began recognising Covishield, the Indian version of…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Kedarnath, Gangotri & Yamunotri Closes For Devotees

Now that the winter has arrived, the doors of Gangotri Dham, Kedarnath and Yamunotri have been closed for devotees. The news was announced by the Uttarakhand Chardham Devasthanam Management Board. Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri together are known as Char Dham. Rajesh Semwal, Gangotri Mandir Samiti co-secretary said, the gates of the temple were shuttered at 11.45 AM and the statue of Goddess Ganga was taken to the Mukhba village, which is her winter home. This year, Gangotri recorded more than 32948 pilgrims amid COVID-19 restrictions. Board member Dr Harish Gaur informed, “The doors of the Tritiya (third) Kedar Shri Tungnath Temple will close on October 30 and Dwitiya (second) Kedar Shri Madmaheshwar Temple on November 22 for winter. Shri Madmaheshwar Fair will be held on November 25”. Earlier board members have informed that on November 5 Shri Gangotri Dham will shut down followed by Kedarnath and Yamunotri on November 6.…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Sydney To Further Ease Covid-19 Curbs On Monday As Vaccinations Pick Up

Australia’s largest city of Sydney will further ease social distancing curbs on Monday, a month after emerging from a coronavirus lockdown that lasted nearly 100 days, as close to 90% of people have got both doses of vaccine, officials said. Although limited to people who are fully inoculated, the relaxation in the state of New South Wales, home to Sydney, lifts limits on house guests or outdoor gatherings, among other measures. “We’re leading the nation out of the pandemic,” said state premier Dominic Perrottet, as he called for a “final push” to reach, and even surpass, a milestone of 95% vaccinations. Several hundred people held an anti-vaccine protest on Sunday in the state’s capital of Sydney, but such opposition is slight in Australia, where polls show vaccination opponents number in the single digits. The South-eastern state of Victoria recorded the majority of Australia’s 1,417 new coronavirus…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Goa To Welcome First Chartered Flight Of Tourist Season

After a nearly a year, the first chartered flight of the season will arrive in Goa from the UK on December 13, ending a lull in the international tourism sector since the Covid-19 outbreak, a senior official said on Saturday. Four chartered flights will fly to Goa every week from the UK starting December, two each from Gatwick and Manchester Airports, said Nilesh Shah, the president of Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG).  The operations of chartered flights were shut down last year following the viral outbreak, and the season of 2019-20 was also washed out due to the pandemic, Shah said. The tourism industry was expecting good response from the Russian market, but due to the Covid-19 wave in their country, the arrivals may be delayed, he said.  Before the pandemic, Goa used to receive around 1,000 chartered flights during the tourist season, which…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Spain Sees A Reactivation Of International Tourism Due To High Vaccination Level

International travel to Spain is recovering fast and could allow the tourism-dependent nation to reach pre-pandemic foreign visitor levels by 2022, the government said on Wednesday after data showed a sharp rise in September arrivals. The number of foreign tourists visiting Spain more than quadrupled in September from a year ago to nearly 4.7 million, data from the National Statistics Office showed, as widespread vaccination and looser travel restrictions enticed back more visitors. “These data confirm a reactivation of international tourism is underway and that in 2022 we could recover pre-pandemic levels,” Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto said in a statement. Maroto cited Spain’s natural tourist attractions and its high level of vaccination – around 80% of the population – as driving forces behind the recovery. She had said in the past foreign tourism would be half pre-pandemic level in 2021 up from less than 20% in 2020. Unlike…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Shimla Sees High Tourist Footfall During Festive Season

The footfall of tourists has increased in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh and particularly its capital Shimla during the Diwali festival season. The rush of tourists is such that the Kalka-Shimla trains are fully occupied and the tourists are rushing to hills to spend holidays. Buses and private vehicles are also being used by tourists as means to arrive in Shimla. This has surely given a reason to rejoice to the local travel and tourism business units. They expect this great footfall to translate into great business and revenue in days to come. Tourism has been the backbone of the state’s economy. After a long economic setback due to Covid-19 and consequent lockdowns and curfews, the inflow of tourists has increased hope of revival of tourism in the state. Lockdowns had put the tourism sector to a long halt, causing heavy losses to…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Australia To Allow Quarantine-Free Travel For Travellers From Singapore

Australia will let fully-vaccinated travellers coming from Singapore to enter the states of New South Wales and Victoria without having to quarantine from Nov. 21. The move follows Singapore announcing on Oct. 26 that it would allow quarantine-free entry for visitors arriving from Australia as well as Switzerland from Nov. 8, adding to a list of about 10 countries with which it has so-called vaccinated travel lanes.  “Singapore is the second country after New Zealand that Australia is opening up to,” Singapore Transport Minister S. Iswaran wrote on Facebook. “This is a significant move. Families and loved ones can reunite, students can resume their studies, and businesspeople and tourists can once again travel.” Thailand’s Big Reopening Set to Test Pandemic-Era Tourism Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan also wrote about the Australian plan on his Facebook account, saying it was particularly good news for Singaporean students…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Australia Reopens To Fully Vaccinated Tourists From New Zealand

Australia has further loosened its tight border controls, with fully vaccinated tourists arriving from New Zealand permitted to fly there without quarantining starting from late Sunday evening. Quarantine-free travel will initially be limited to those arriving in New South Wales and Victoria, the two jurisdictions that have scrapped the isolation requirement for vaccinated international travellers.  “Australia’s rapidly increasing vaccination coverage has put us in good stead to take the next steps in reopening our borders to the world,” Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said in a statement. Easing restrictions for one of its closest neighbours is expected be a major boost for Australia’s tourism sector after strict travel bans were introduced 19 months ago to stem the spread of Covid-19. “The resumption of quarantine-free travel from New Zealand to Australia is another important marker on our road to recovery,” Tourism Minister Dan Tehan said…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

India Extends Ban On Scheduled International Flights Till November 30

India has now once again extended a ban on international flights till November 30. This was announced by the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) recently. Earlier last month, the DGCA extended the ban till October 31. Like the previous order, the DGCA will not be restricting international all-cargo operations and flights that have been specifically approved by DGCA. As reported earlier, India reopened for tourists earlier this month. Starting October 15, India started granting fresh tourist visas to foreigners. Further, the Union Home Ministry earlier announced that foreign tourists will be allowed to enter the country by flights other than chartered aircraft starting November 15. The MHA informed that the said move was taken to provide a boost to the slumping tourism sector and help the economic recovery. Reports have it that the aviation and tourism sector were among the largest casualties of the Covid-19…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

New Zealand Eases Quarantine But Won’t Welcome Tourists Yet

New Zealand officials said Thursday they will gradually loosen their border quarantine requirements, which have been among the toughest in the world throughout the pandemic. But while the changes will make it easier for New Zealanders stranded abroad to return home, officials gave no date for when tourists might be welcomed back. That change is likely still months away. COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said that from next month, most people arriving in New Zealand would need to spend seven days in a quarantine hotel run by the military, half the previous requirement. He said some new arrivals from low-risk Pacific island countries could skip quarantine altogether and isolate at home. He said the new rules were an interim step ahead of broader reopening measures that would be gradually introduced once more than 90 per cent of New Zealanders aged 12 and over were fully vaccinated. So far,…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Cambodia To Reopen In Several Stages To Fully Vaccinated Tourists

Cambodia’s government announced plans Tuesday to reopen the country in several stages to fully vaccinated foreign tourists starting from the end of next month. The program beginning November 30 will allow visitors who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus to skip being quarantined if they stay at least five days in designated areas, the Tourism Ministry announced. The first such areas are two seaside provinces, Sihanoukville and Koh Kong, on the Gulf of Thailand. On arrival, visitors must show proof they have been vaccinated and take a rapid results test for Covid-19. They can proceed without quarantine if the results are negative. Siem Reap province, home to the famous Angkor temples, is to be added to the quarantine-free province list in January. Other destinations will then be added if the program is judged successful, with the entire country opening up when the coronavirus is…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

US To Lift Travel Restrictions For Fully Vaccinated Travellers From November 8

Fully vaccinated people can now travel to the United States as the country has announced lifting restrictions from November 8. President Joe Biden on Monday signed a presidential proclamation detailing the country’s new international travel rules, which will replace the patchwork of blanket bans that have been in place since the beginning of the pandemic. The new travel guidelines will end the US travel ban that has been in place for dozens of countries, including India, due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the new order has made the entry of unvaccinated noncitizen nonimmigrants in the US difficult. Here’s what the advisory states: With few exceptions, foreign nationals with only vaccinations approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization will be allowed to board planes to the US For anyone travelling to the United States who cannot demonstrate proof of full…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

India To Lift Quarantine Requirement For International Travellers From Today

Fully vaccinated travellers, who are coming from a country with which India has reciprocal arrangements for mutual acceptance of World Health Organization (WHO) approved Covid-19 vaccines, shall be allowed to leave the airport and need not undergo home quarantine and testing from Monday, according to the revised guidelines for international arrivals released on Wednesday. They will, however, have to produce a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR report. These guidelines for international arrivals supersede all others issued on and after February 17 this year, the Union health ministry has said. “The global trajectory of Covid-19 pandemic continues to decline with certain regional variations. The need to monitor the continuously changing nature of virus and the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) must still remain in focus,” the ministry said. “The existing guidelines (issued on 17th February 2021 with subsequent addendums) for international arrivals in India have…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Go First To Launch Direct Flights From Srinagar To Sharjah

The first international flight services from Srinagar to Sharjah flagged off by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday will enhance the economic bonds between India and UAE, said Srinagar Mayor, Junaid Azim Mattu. Speaking to ANI, Mattu said, “It is a big milestone. It is the very first international flight connecting two regions, which have deep cultural, social and hopefully will have economic bonds too. This will boost the tourism too, people from the Middle east can visit easily now.” “This will give a boost in the tourism sector. The government is taking a good step towards the welfare of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The youth are also very happy with this decision, ” said a passenger. Union Home Minister Amit Shah flagged off the first international flight services from Srinagar to Sharjah on Saturday. India’s low-cost airline Go First on Saturday became the first…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Israel To Welcome Fully Vaccinated International Tourists

The government of Israel has announced plans to welcome fully vaccinated overseas tourists from November 1, 2021. According to a plan drafted by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office and tourism and health ministries, the country will allow fully vaccinated tourists to enter and explore the nation. As of now, those tourists completely inoculated with Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac, or Sinopharm vaccines will only be allowed to enter the country. Also those recently recovered from COVID-19 will also be allowed to enter the country if they had received a booster dose of a vaccine approved by the WHO. But the government also cleared that tourists from red list countries (high infection rates) won’t be allowed to enter. Also tourists won’t be allowed from those nations which are facing an outbreak of the new AY4.2 variant. Health officials informed that on Thursday five cases of AY4.2 were…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Thailand Prepares Airports For Quarantine-Free Travellers

Thai government officials on Wednesday inspected the readiness of the country’s airports to welcome quarantine-free travellers, due to return next month after almost two years of strict Covid-19 rules that halted vital tourism. From Nov. 1, the country will allow vaccinated arrivals from low risk countries to return to its popular destinations like Pattaya, Chiang Mai and Bangkok. Tourism before the pandemic was a leading driver of the economy, accounting for 12% of GDP. But the tourism authority has forecast foreign arrivals will drop to just 100,000 this year, down from 40 million in 2019 before the pandemic struck. “November 1 is the first step,” Transport Minister Saksiam Chidchob said during a visit to Bangkok’s Don Muang airport on Wednesday. “Foreign tourists and investors from at least 10 countries which are in health-safe zones, as well as doing great financially, can come to visit and spend in…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Goa Wants ‘Rich Tourist’ Says Tourism Minister

Goa’s Tourism Minister has commented about the type of tourist that Goa expects to have. According to him, Goa wants the richest tourists, and not those who cook food in buses. The minister further said that tourists who ruin the beauty of Goa, and consume drugs are not welcomed here. He further stressed on the fact that Goa is open for all tourists, however, all tourists must respect the culture of Goa. Goa, which is one of the most coveted destinations in the country, is seeing a surge in budget tourists. It has been noted that many tourists are hiring buses and cooking food along the roads, and in tourism areas. The government took a decision to ban cooking in public, and has declared it an offence. The minister said, “We do not want tourists who consume drugs. We do not want tourists who ruin Goa. We do not want…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Karnataka Government Ends RT-PCR Checks For International Travellers At Airports

In a bid to make travel convenient for all, the government of Karnataka has decided to end RT-PCR checks at airports for international travellers coming to the state. The government made the announcement on Monday and said that the RT-PCR certificates will no longer be checked. All flyers need to do is upload their vaccination certificates on the Air Suvidha portal and airlines will check these before letting passengers board the flights. The decision comes after a huge decline in COVID-19 cases in the state for the first time since March 2020. Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar said checking of RT-PCR reports of international passengers on arrival will now won’t be required. Not only this, the international passengers will not be checked for oxygen saturation levels. However, if someone shows COVID symptoms like cough, fever, cold or breathing difficulties, the same will be checked. Schools have…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Domestic Flights To Operate At 100% Capacity From Today

Airlines will be running domestic flights without any capacity restrictions starting Monday, according to the revised order by the Union ministry of civil aviation. The order was issued in view of the increase in “passengers’ demand for air travel,” the ministry stated. Since September 18, the carriers were operating at 85 per cent of capacity due to the Covid-19 restrictions. The second wave of the Covid-19 restrictions had forced the airlines to limit domestic flight operations to 50% of their capacity in June. The limitation continued till July, after which it was increased to 65%. The ministry further eased the limit to 72.5% between August 12 and September 18. The order to resume flights operation to 100% capacity was issued on October 12. “It has been decided to restore the scheduled domestic air operation with effect from October 18, 2021, without any capacity restriction,”…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Sri Lanka To Resume ETA Service For International Travellers At Airports

The Electronic Travel Authorisation service (ETA) at airports in Sri Lanka is now going to resume, according to the government of Sri Lanka. The service is for fully vaccinated international travellers and is a way to make things easier on international travellers. Sri Lanka’s Immigration and Emigration Department Controller General Sarath Rupasiri said that on-arrival ETA would help international travellers who have time constraints and are unable to get an online ETA. According to reports the ETA facility would be available for international arrivals at the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport in Hambantota, and at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo. The controller general has however made it clear to travel operators that online ETA should be encouraged for incoming travellers so that there aren’t any delays at the airport. The validity of Sri Lanka’s ETA is limited to 30 days, but this can be…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Kartik Aaryan Is Taking Break In The Midst Of Nature

Kartik Aaryan recently took off to an unnamed location to chill with himself and the pictures coming in from his vacation are soothing our eyes. Amidst the greenery, Kartik can be seen rejuvenating like anything. The actor shared a fresh snippet of his travel diaries on his Instagram profile on Friday. The actor, otherwise, has been sharing sneak peeks of his journey on his Instagram stories and keeping his fans updated with his vacation activities. Kartik is having a lot of fun in his vacation. From going on long drives in his car to spotting monkeys in the forest opposite to his window, Kartik has been chilling like a villain amidst nature. On Friday, Kartik gave us a sneak peek of how he is taking a break in the midst of nature. He shared a set of pictures where he can be seen contemplating with the hills…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Indonesia’s Bali Reopens To Foreign Tourists, But Lacks International Flights

Indonesia’s holiday island of Bali reopened to foreign tourists after 18 months of pandemic hiatus on Thursday, but the island is lacking one crucial ingredient: international flights. Tourism-reliant Bali is scheduled to reopen on Thursday and though its Ngurah Rai international airport has carried out simulations preparing for tourists to return, it is not expecting much to happen soon. “So far there is no schedule,” said Taufan Yudhistira, a spokesman for the airport. Indonesia’s tight immigration measures during the pandemic have devastated the island, with widespread closures of hotels, shops and businesses. The government is eager to revive Bali’s beleaguered tourism industry in response to a sharp fall in new coronavirus cases since July, when Indonesia was Asia’s Covid-19 epicentre. But details about the reopening, such as visa requirements and which countries they apply to, have so far been patchy. Indonesia only confirmed the…

Travel

No mandatory 10-day quarantine for UK passengers

New Delhi [India] : After the COVID-19 situation the passengers travelling specially from other countries to India were quarantined under safety rules but now the Indian government on Wednesday has withdrawn travel guidelines issued in a tit-for-tat move to the United Kingdom, lifting the mandatory 10-day quarantine for passengers coming from the UK. “Revised guidelines for UK nationals arriving in India issued on October 1, 2021, stand withdrawn, and earlier guidelines on international arrival dated February 17, 2021, shall be applicable for those arriving in India from the UK,” the Ministry of Health said.Last month, London announced the new rules making it mandatory for a 10-day quarantine and RT-PCR test even for fully vaccinated Indians travelling to the UK.Enraged by the move, India in retaliation has imposed reciprocal measures for UK citizens travelling to India on October 1.However, Britain later announced that there would…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

US To Reopen Land Borders In November For Fully Vaccinated

The US will reopen its land borders to nonessential travel next month, ending a 19-month freeze due to the Covid-19 pandemic as the country moves to require all international visitors to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Vehicle, rail and ferry travel between the U.S. and Canada and Mexico has been largely restricted to essential travel, such as trade, since the earliest days of the pandemic. The new rules, to be announced Wednesday, will allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals to enter the U.S. regardless of the reason for travel starting in early November, when a similar easing of restrictions is set to kick in for air travel into the country. By mid-January, even essential travelers seeking to enter the U.S., like truck drivers, will need to be fully vaccinated. Senior administration officials previewed the new policy late Tuesday on the condition of anonymity to speak…

TOP NEWS UPDATES Travel

India permits to operate domestic airlines with 100 pc capacity from Oct 18

New Delhi [India]: Amidst the prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic, India has permitted to operate domestic airlines with 100 per cent capacity from October 18. Currently, the seating capacity in airlines is restricted to 85 per cent.The official statement by the Ministry of Civil Aviation said, “After review of the current status of Scheduled Domestic Operations viz-a-viz passenger demand for air travel in terms of the purpose specified in the initial order dated May 21, 2020…it has been decided to restore the scheduled domestic air operations with effect from 18-10-2021 without any capacity restriction.” “The airlines airport operators shall however ensure that the guidelines to contain the spread of COVID are strictly adhered to and COVID appropriate behaviour is strictly enforced by them during the travel,” said an official statement. Earlier today, the Ministry of Civil Aviation circulated a fresh circular to all airlines…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Bali Surf School Owner Hope Rises As Island Reopens To Travellers From Mid-October

Surf school owner Halfia Londa is pinning all her hopes on Indonesia’s plan to reopen the island of Bali to some foreign tourists from mid-October. Halfia’s business at Kuta Beach is among hundreds of tourist businesses to have been crippled by the Indonesian government’s decision to suspend all international flights to and from the popular island destination from April 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The closure stripped away most of Halfia’s business virtually overnight, plunging her into debt. With very little income, she was evicted from her rented house and has been relying on the generosity of friends to get by. “Just to be able to eat, I have to borrow money,” Halfia said, outside her surfboard rental shack on Kuta Beach. “We try to be economical, we eat twice a day without lunch … we try to always cook what we can eat for at least two…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Singapore To Reopen Its Border For Vaccinated Visitors From 11 Countries

Singapore will be reopening its border to vaccinated visitors from 11 countries from October 19, however, India has not been included in the list of countries allowed quarantine free entry under the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) for now, the country said. Travellers have to be vaccinated with a World Health Organization (WHO) approved jab, its guidelines said. The Singapore government’s VTL scheme covers seven European countries – Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom, Germany – along with United States and Canada. The only Asian country in the list is Brunei. China, India, and Indonesia have not been included so far. In addition to this, vaccinated travellers from South Korea will also be allowed to enter the country from November 15, reported ANI. To avail the VTL scheme travellers have to fly to Singapore in a VTL-designated flight flown by Singapore…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Jammu & Kashmir Tourism Department Organises Garba And Dandiya Night

Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department organised a Garba and Dandiya night in Gulshan Ground, Jammu on Saturday as a part of Navratri celebrations. The event was widely enjoyed by the audience who witnessed performances from various artists. Vivekanand Rai, Director, Tourism (Jammu) said that the festival will help increase tourism and cultural exchange in the Union Territory. “We started the Navratri festival from Katra this year and now we are holding a Garbha and Dandiya night in Jammu. Tourism is increasing, Covid restrictions are over. We will keep doing activities that will increase tourism and public participation. We will also have a Dogra food festival,” Rai told ANI. “Dandiya is from Gujarat but is now known all over the world, including India. Such events will also lead to cultural exchange, interactions of different cultures with each other. A culture will be able to adopt the good aspects from…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

China’s ‘Golden Week’ Travel Drops As Holidaymakers Stay Home Amid Covid-19

Travel during China’s “Golden Week” national vacation was down by a third on pre-pandemic levels, with government measures to contain sporadic coronavirus outbreaks prompting holidaymakers to spend closer to home. The number of trips taken on China’s roads on Wednesday was 34.1% below levels seen in 2019, according to the transport ministry, and 2.2% lower than last year. Trips taken on roads, rail and other transport networks have been consistently a third below pre-pandemic levels for each of the first five days of the week-long break.   To achieve its Covid Zero goals, China has used strict measures of quarantine and business closures to stamp out imported clusters of the delta-variant of the coronavirus that emerged from late July. Officials advised against unnecessary travel and gatherings over the Golden Week holiday, which began Oct. 1, citing the risk of further outbreaks. The seven-day break is China’s most important annual…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

IRCTC To Start Special Bharat Darshan Tourist Train From October 8

In a bid to promote religious tourism in the country, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is starting a special Bharat Darshan Tourist train on October 8 which will run from Rewa station of Madhya Pradesh to Agra, Mathura, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Amritsar and Vaishno Devi Shrine. According to the IRCTC Public Relations Officer (PRO) Anand Kumar Jha, the main aim to run this train is to give an enhanced experience to explore beautiful historical and devotional places of North India. To provide comfort to the passengers, a boarding facility in this special train will be available from Rewa as well as Satna, Katni, Jabalpur, Narsinghpur, Itarsi, Hoshangabad, Habibganj, Vidisha, Ganj Basoda, Bina and Jhansi stations. “The eight nights and nine days tour has been designed keeping in mind the interest of every kind of traveller, who loves fun with devotion and visit old traditional cities of India,” he…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Flights To Saipan, Guam & Hawaii Have Been Resumed

The sky roads, which had been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have been opened. As the COVID-19 vaccination rate increases worldwide, international flights are being resumed mainly in ‘Travel Bubble’ countries. According to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on the 4th, Korea’s 1st-shot vaccination rate was 77.3% and the vaccination completion rate was 52.5% as of 0 o’clock on the 3rd. It means that 1 out of 2 people can travel to a Travel Bubble country. As a result, airlines are increasing their international routes and travel agencies are also rapidly releasing tour packages. The most well-known Travel Bubble route is Incheon-Saipan. Demand for tour packages to Saipan increased during the Chuseok holiday in all three airlines, Asiana Airlines, Jeju Air, and T’way Airlines. According to the Marianas Visitors Authority, the number of Korean tourists who reserved a trip to Saipan…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Kerala Announces New Quarantine Rules For International Travellers

In a recent development, the Kerala government has announced new quarantine rules for international travellers. The announcement was made by the Health Minister Veena George wherein he said that starting Monday, travellers visiting Kerala from the UK will have to undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine at home or destination address. The new rules are on the basis of Union Health Ministry guidelines. On the other hand, those coming from South Africa, Brazil and Europe will have to undergo a 7-day quarantine mandatorily on arrival. As per new rules, international passengers will have to take three PCR tests to enter Kerala, first, 72 hours before the journey, second upon arrival at an airport, and the third will be done eight days after arriving in the state. The minister further informed that all travellers coming from foreign lands irrespective of their vaccination status will have to get RT-PCR tests done upon reaching…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

India Imposes New Travel Rules On UK Travellers

After the UK’S mandatory 10-day quarantine for Indian nationals upon arrival, India too has hit back with a similar rule for UK citizens who are arriving in India. Reports suggest that India has decided to go ahead with a mandatory 10-day quarantine rule for UK citizens. The new rule will be in place from October 4. India’s Foreign Secretary, Harsh Vardhan Shringla had first mentioned about such a reciprocal action back in September 21. Along with the mandatory quarantine period, travellers from the UK are also expected to undertake a COVID-19 RT-PCR test within 72 hours before travel. This rule stays irrespective of the traveller’s vaccination status. Additionally, there will be another RT-PCR test upon arrival. This is not all, the travellers from the UK are also required to take another RT-PCR test on the 8th day after arrival. Then there is the question of mandatory…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Pakistan Bans Air Travel For Unvaccinated Travellers

Pakistan has banned air travel for unvaccinated passengers. This move comes as the country tries to make a stronger push for vaccinations, and help prevent strict lockdowns in the future. Following the directive of National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority in its notification stated that from October 1, only fully vaccinated travellers aged 18 and above, will be allowed to air travel to, from, and within Pakistan, after providing proof of vaccination against the COVID. Pakistan Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan tweeted regarding this and stated only vaccinated travellers of age 18 and above will be allowed to undertake domestic travel within Pakistan. As per the reports, there is a catch though. Those below the age of 18 will likely be allowed to travel to Pakistan without the need to provide proof of vaccination certificate. Further, those between the age of…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Union Tourism Minister: Government Will Do Everything To Brand J&K Tourism

Union Minister for Tourism and Culture G Kishan Reddy discussed various avenues pertinent to tourism in the region of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and highlighted the importance of promotion and campaigning of the Union Territory as a tourism destination in India and across the globe. nteracting with tourism stakeholders at the SKICC here as part of the Centre’s outreach programme, Reddy reaffirmed the commitment of the Union government towards the promotion of Jammu and Kashmir’s rich cultural heritage worldwide. “The central government will do everything in their domain to brand the region as an international tourist destination,” he said during the interaction. Reddy discussed various avenues pertinent to tourism in the region of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and highlighted the importance of promotion and campaigning of the Union Territory as a tourism destination in India and across the globe. The stakeholders, including tourist trade…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Bali To Reopen For International Tourists From October

Bali is gearing up to reopen for international tourists after a long wait. Referring to this, the Indonesian Tourism Minister stated that Bali will be reopening in October for international tourism. Although Bali delayed multiple plans to reopen earlier, the Central Government has stated that Bali is now ready to receive international tourists. Its Tourism and Creative Economic Minister Sandiaga Uno, after attending the meeting at the Bali Tourism Polytechnic on September 24, announced that the central government is all prepared to reopen the international travel corridor in October. The meeting was attended by several government officials to analyse preparations regarding reopening the border for international visitors. The MInister added that they have discussed the program to reopen their border for international travellers. Earlier, Maritime and Investment Coordinator Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said that the country managed to emerge from the peak of the second COVID wave,…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Vaccinated Travellers Can Visit Bangkok From November 1

Thailand is all set to reopen in a phased manner, so tourists can soon land in Bangkok for a holiday. According to Thailand health authorities, the country is opening in four phases, and Bangkok will begin to accept fully vaccinated travellers as early as November 2021 onwards. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced that the first phase of reopening will start on November 1, but the pilot phase will begin from October 1. During the pilot phase, four beach destinations will reopen. In the first phase, Thailand will reopen all areas of Bangkok, Krabi and Phang-Nga, and designated areas in Buri Ram (Mueang), Chiang Mai (Mueang, Mae Rim, Mae Taeng, and Doi Tao), Chon Buri (Pattaya, Bang Lamung, Na Jomtien, and Sattahip), Loei (Chiang Khan), Phetchaburi (Cha-Am), Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin), and Ranong (Ko Phayam). During the second phase, which will start from December 1, Thailand will reopen…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

International Charter Flights To Land In Goa Soon

International tourists won’t have to fly to Mumbai and then head to Goa in the coming future. According to Goa Chief Minister, Pramod Sawant, the state will soon have international charter flights landing at Goa’s Dabolim International Airport. The Chief Minister announced this at a government function in north Goa district. Chief Minister Sawant also said that both domestic and international travellers would be more confident to travel to Goa after the state achieves 100 percent vaccination by October 31. The government in Goa had written to the Union Home Ministry recently, seeking permission to resume international charter flights. The Chief Minister said, “When we announce that we are a 100 percent safe vaccinated state, then national and international tourists will come here. We will complete 100 per cent vaccination by October 31.” He further urged everyone to take the second vaccine. Goa has always been a favourite…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Canada Lifts Ban On Passenger Flights From India: Check Details

Passengers from India can now travel to Canada albeit with a few precautionary measures, which include having a negative Covid-19 test report from an approved laboratory. The Justin Trudeau-led federal government in Canada on Sunday lifted a month-long ban on passenger flights from India, which was put in place in view of the enhanced coronavirus disease (Covid-19) protocols. On Tuesday, Canada extended the restriction on all direct commercial and private passenger flights from India until September 26. However, with the ban now expiring, passengers from India can now travel to Canada albeit with a few precautionary measures, which include having a negative Covid-19 test report from an approved laboratory. According to officials familiar with the development, Air Canada is expected to resume its flights from India on September 27 (Monday), while Air India will be resuming its flights to Canada from September 30. Prior to Canada…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Stunning Travel Destinations For Remote Work

The phenomenon of remote working is growing at a rapid pace as the pandemic fuels the work-from-anywhere option. The convenience and ease to blend work with vacation are much easier now than ever before, making workations a popular concept among working professionals in India. Here’s a list of destinations which provide the best remote working experience in the country: Jibhi, Himachal Pradesh: When the hills are calling, you must go! If you’re looking to spend some time relaxing in the arms of nature, Jibhi in Himachal Pradesh would be an ideal choice. A hidden gem in Himachal Pradesh, Jibhi is breathtaking and offers people a serene view of lush hills in the Himalayas in the midst of work chaos. This offbeat location provides visitors with an opportunity to stay in a warm cottage surrounded by freshwater, making it an ideal place to relax and…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Lifting International Travel Restrictions In November May Boost US Economy

Lifting of the international travel restrictions in early November is expected to boost the US economy, especially for tourist destinations like New York and for business travel. US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on Thursday that the decision by the Biden administration to lift international travel restrictions in early November will be a boost to the US economy, especially for tourist destinations like New York and for business travel. Raimondo said the decision announced Monday to allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals to fly to the United States “is huge. I think it will really be a boost to our economy, it will certainly be a boost to travel, tourism, hospitality.” To address Covid-19 concerns, the US has barred most foreign nationals from coming to the United States who have recently been in 33 countries including China, South Africa, Brazil, India and much of Europe. 

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Thailand To Reduce Quarantine Period For Visitors

Thailand is keen to welcome back foreign visitors, after nearly 18 months of strict entry policies caused a collapse in tourism, a key sector that drew 40 million visitors in 2019. Thailand’s disease control committee has proposed a halving of a two-week hotel isolation requirement for vaccinated arrivals, amid delays in plans to waive quarantine and reopen Bangkok and tourist destinations from next month. Thailand is keen to welcome back foreign visitors, after nearly 18 months of strict entry policies caused a collapse in tourism, a key sector that drew 40 million visitors in 2019. “Reducing the quarantine is not only about tourism, but will help business travel and foreign students,” senior health official Opas Karnkawinpong told a news conference, adding tests would also be required. Under the proposal, to be presented to government on Monday, those without vaccination proof would be isolated for…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Direct Flights From India To Canada May Resume

An India-Canada flight ban, in place due to Covid-19, would be lifted only on the basis of the overall outcome of Covid-19 tests conducted on arrival in Canada on passengers travelling from New Delhi on three flights on Wednesday. Direct flights from India to Canada may resume on September 27, but there’s a catch. The ongoing flight ban, in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic, would be lifted only on the basis of the results of Covid-19 tests conducted on arrival in Canada on passengers travelling from New Delhi on three flights on Wednesday. As a “first step”, Transport Canada said, all passengers on the three Air Canada flights from New Delhi on Wednesday will be tested for Covid-19 on arrival “to ensure that the new measures are working”. The India-to-Canada direct flight ban, which expired on September 21, has been extended by Transport…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

US To Lift Travel Ban For Fully Vaccinated Travellers From November

Don’t cancel your travel plans to the United States yet, as according to latest reports, the US is looking to lift its travel ban on all air passengers in the month of November. This rule however applies to the fully vaccinated passengers who also need to get tested. The travel ban was imposed last year when the coronavirus pandemic first broke out. The country had imposed other restrictions, much like countries across the world in order to stop the spread of the virus. Jeffrey Zients, who is the coronavirus response coordinator for President Joe Biden, said that a new consistent approach will take effect early November. The most important rule to note here is that the travellers need to be fully vaccinated, and should have proof of vaccination. But as of now we aren’t clear on whether the approved vaccinations for travellers are only the US-approved…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

IRCTC Starts Special Deluxe AC Tourist Train For Char Dham Yatra

IRCTC’s special Deluxe AC tourist train for Char Dham Yatra by ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ has a host of astounding features including two fine dining restaurants, a modern kitchen, shower cubicles in coaches, sensor-based washroom functions, foot massager. As the Char Dham Yatra resumed from Saturday, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) started a special train for the popular pilgrimage circuit by ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ Deluxe AC tourist train. View this post on Instagram A post shared by IRCTC (@irctc.official) This comes after the success of the ‘Shri Ramayana Yatra’ train operated on the Ramayana circuit. This 16 days tour started from Delhi Safdarjung Railway Station yesterday and covered the visit of Haridwar including Ganga ghat, temples and Ganga aarti, Rishikesh including Lakshman Jhulla and Triveni ghat, Ayodhaya including Ramjanam Bhoomi, Hanuman Garhi, Saryu Aarti and Nandigram, Varanasi including Ganga Ghat and aarti, Kashi Vishwanath…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Tourists Allowed To Visit Mussoorie Only On Weekends

If you have been planning to visit Mussoorie, take note of the latest travel updates issued by the state government. In the wake of rising Coronavirus crises, the Uttarakhand government recently announced extension of lockdown in Dehradun till September 21. Earlier, the lockdown was supposed to remain in place September 14. The state government, issuing a fresh order, stated that it will allow tourists to visit Mussoorie only on weekends, provided that they are able to show a negative COVID test report that is not older than 72 hours before their arrival. Further, the travellers will also have to register themselves on Dehradun Smart City only portal, and provide proof of hotel booking in Mussoorie. Sharing more details regarding travel rules, District Magistrate R Rajesh Kumar informed that fully vaccinated tourists will not be required to mandatorily present a negative COVID-19 test report. However, all those who are unvaccinated…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Rajasthan Set To Launch Mobile Application For Tourists

The government of Rajasthan is all set to launch a mobile application for the convenience of tourists on the World Tourism Day, which is on 27th September. The main motive of this app is to facilitate tourists visiting Rajasthan. According to a government official, the application will be made available on Google play store. The iOS version of the app is also under development and will be introduced in a few weeks. Nishant Jain, Director of Tourism Department said, “All information regarding tourist spots, modes of transport and other services will be available through the application… Users will be able to know if the local service provider is registered with the department”. While there are several apps providing information about tourism in Rajasthan, this state government’s official application will offer reliable and real time information. The official also said that there will be schemes and a number of promotional activities through the…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

UK Likely To Relax Travel Norms For Indian Travellers From October 1

Good news for Indian travellers wanting to visit the UK! Starting October 1, those travelling to the UK from India will not have to take the super expensive RT PCR Coronavirus tests. The UK government is thinking of a way out. In the coming days, the UK might drop quarantine restrictions for the countries in its amber category. And now that India is also a part of the amber list, most probably the PCR tests would also stop. The UK has divided countries into three categories, Red, Amber and Red zone. And as per reports, From October 1, the amber category might be dropped. But still, there’s no clarity on the accepted vaccines for Indian travellers. The country is not considering people who are fully vaccinated with Covidshield. Though AstraZeneca, a widely used vaccine in the UK and India’s Covishield are manufactured by the same Serum…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Langkawi To Reopen For Fully Vaccinated Travellers

Langkawi, a cluster of 99 islands in the Straits of Malacca, will reopen from September 16 to fully vaccinated travellers as part of a domestic tourism bubble, with strict protocols in place to thwart the spread of the coronavirus. Businesses at Malaysia’s prime holiday destination are gearing up to welcome the return of tourists this week, as the country takes an early step towards recovery from a devastating coronavirus crisis. Restaurant owner Esther Lee said she was excited the bubble was finally being launched. “Finally we can welcome customers and this is actually our main source of income to actually survive,” she said. “We have like staff under us, we have overhead costs to bear so we definitely need dining customers.” The plan is similar to that introduced in Thailand, which started with the July reopening of Phuket, 220 km (137 miles) north of Langkawi, to vaccinated foreign…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Planning To Visit UAE? Avoid Visiting Suspicious Sites Warns UAE Embassy

Are you planning to visit the United Arab Emirates? If yes then beware of the flight approval letters that are now being issued by scamsters. Referring to this, the UAE Embassy in New Delhi has warned Indian expats who are all set to return to the UAE against fake flight approval letters that are being issued by scamsters. The UAE Embassy, in a tweet, also urged all its visitors and clients to be careful while planning their visit, and urged them to visit its official website for any necessary information and mentions. The Embassy further added, “Please avoid visiting suspicious sites @UAEembassyIndia shall not be responsible if any damage occurs.” The notice from the Embassy comes at a time when the UAE recently announced that it would now allow return of those who have been vaccinated fully with WHO-approved COVID-19 jabs and holding valid residence visas…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Bangkok To Reopen For Fully Vaccinated Travellers

In a big COVID travel update, Bangkok has announced it will reopen completely for fully vaccinated travellers from October 1. Thailand has been meaning to restart tourism for a long time now but given the rise in infection cases, the plan couldn’t take shape. But now, with people getting vaccinations, it has given hope to the world of tourism once again. Before the world was hit by the pandemic, tourism took the fifth spot in Thailand’s national income. But today, because of COVID, tourism has been the economy’s weakest link in over 20 years. But now, the Tourism Authority of Thailand has announced that from October 1, international travellers who have taken both the vaccine shots will be able to visit Bangkok along with four other provinces. Also, if you are fully vaccinated, you won’t have to undergo 14-days hotel quarantine rule. Also, the country has introduced a sandbox theme…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Venice To Use CCTV Cameras To Track Tourists Activities

Venice, after being hit by overtourism for decades and then, the pandemic, has evolved like very few other destinations. The beautiful, historic city was almost assailed by tourists from all over the world before the pandemic hit. In fact, Venice was struggling to keep up with its everyday tourist footfall. While tourists rejoiced, the locals suffered as much from the burnt of overtourism as they did from the pandemic. A majority of tourists, before the pandemic, would land in Venice via cruise shops, only to spend a few hours, hardly adding to the local economy and majorly devastating the fragile ecosystem that Venice exists in. Both the facets have been a topic of intense discussion for some years now. As a result, the city has learnt and is evolving fast to make it more liveable for its residents. Now, after shutting its lagoon to big cruise ships, the…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Covid Free Australian States Resist Re-Opening To Avoid Delta Variant Spread

Australian states that remain virtually Covid-free, including Western Australia and Queensland, face growing pressure to open their borders but because Australia has one of the lowest vaccination rates of any wealthy country, reopening could mean soaring coronavirus cases. It can seem like Australia’s west coast has almost entirely avoided Covid-19. A mask-free nightlife is thriving and huge crowds are turning out for sporting events, including 53,000 rugby fans who crammed into a Perth stadium to watch New Zealand’s All Blacks defeat Australia’s Wallabies on a recent sunny Sunday. “We are in paradise,” said one of those fans, Andrea Williams, who is all for the region continuing to defy the federal government and maintain strict border restrictions that keep it separated from the pandemic raging in large parts of the rest of Australia. While the cities of Sydney and Melbourne in the east have been…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Meghalaya’s Kongthong Village Nominated As ‘Best Tourism Village’

In good news, the Ministry of Tourism has nominated Meghalaya’s Kongthong village for the World Tourism Organization’s Best Tourism Villages award along with two other villages in India (Pochampally of Telangana and Ladhpura Khas in Madhya Pradesh). Also popular as the ‘Whistling village’, Kongthong is quite popular among tourists. The village has a very unique tradition wherein a mother calls her kid with a tune instead of a name. In fact, the villagers here have two names, one a regular name and the other a tune name. Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma took to Facebook and shared the happy news with the world. He wrote, “Meghalaya’s whistling village Kongthong is selected for entry to the UNWTO World Tourism Organization ‘Best Tourism Village’ along with 2 other villages in the country.” Jingrwai Iawbei, the tune-name traditionThe beautiful village is renowned for its natural bounty and for its unique tradition ‘Jingrwai Iawbei’. Under this…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Air India Resumes Flights To Saudi Arabia From India

After a long gap, Air India has resumed flights to Saudi Arabia from India. Those wishing to travel to Saudi Arabia from India can now book their tickets through the Air India website. They can also visit booking offices or book tickets via call centres or travel agents. The big decision comes after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) relaxed travel restrictions for fully vaccinated passengers from India Air India took to Twitter to make the following announcement: “Air India opens bookings from India to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Before booking tickets kindly read the travel guidelines carefully. Bookings opened through Air India Website, Booking Offices, Call Centre & Authorised Travel Agents. It will be the sole responsibility of the passengers to ensure his/her eligibility to enter the destination country. Air India will accept no liability in this regard”. Saudi Arabia travel guidelines1) Resident permit…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Kuwait To Resume Direct Commercial Flights With India From Today

In a recent travel update, Kuwait has announced that it will resume direct commercial flights with India from September 7, 2021 (today). With this Kuwait has become the latest city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to come up with such a crucial decision after nearly four months. Last month, the UAE decided to curb its international travel restrictions and said that it will resume flights with India, Egypt and several other Southeast Asian nations. Requirements1) Passengers travelling to Kuwait from India will need to be fully vaccinated with the vaccines approved by the WHO. 2) Priority will be given to Kuwaiti citizens, their first degree relatives and domestic workers. 3) Passengers must also carry their negative RT PCR test result not older than 48 hours before departing. 4) All passengers need to download and register on the Alhosn app with the UID and phone number. Meanwhile, the UAE opened applications for…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Fully Vaccinated Indians Can Travel To Turkey Without Quarantine

Good news for travellers from India going to Turkey. You will not be required to undergo the 14-day mandatory quarantine period if you are fully vaccinated. The new rule is already in motion from September 4, according to the Turkish Embassy in New Delhi. The Embassy has also said, Indian travellers will be able to skip quarantine two weeks after their last dose of vaccination. So plan your trip accordingly. However, travellers must note that a negative RT-PCR test report is still needed, not older than 72 hours. The Turkish authorities have said that they recognise WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccine, and those approved by the Turkish government, which includes Sputnik V, Sinovac, and Pfizer Biontech. Travellers with Covishield are included. Passengers are required to show their vaccine certificate. Travellers who are below the age of 12 are currently exempted from taking the RT-PCR test, or showing a…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Negative RT-PCR Report Must For Tourists Visiting India From These Nations

The central government has extended its coronavirus disease (Covid-19)-related restrictions to include more countries from where international travellers, intending to enter India, will require a mandatory negative RTPCR test report. The curbs were imposed on additional countries due to concerns over new mutations of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, particularly the ‘Mu’ and the C.1.2 variants reported in recent days, as well as over the rising number of “Variants of Concern (VOCs)” and “Variants of Interest (Vols)” in general across the world, according to the Union ministry of health and family welfare. The health ministry added seven additional countries to the list of nations from where travellers must carry a negative RTPCR test report to enter India. These seven countries are: South Africa Bangladesh Botswana China Mauritius New Zealand Zimbabwe Travellers from the United Kingdom (UK), and from countries in the European Union (EU) and the…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Karnataka’s New Covid Travel Protocols For Travellers From Kerala

In a new ruling, the Karnataka government has exempted certain travellers from Kerala from mandatory seven-day institutional quarantine, provided that they have a short-term travel plan. The new rule says that such short term travellers should be in Karnataka for three days. The rule is applicable to travellers who are in Karnataka for examination with one parent; passengers who are in transit from or to Kerala through any desired mode of transport; health care professionals, and their spouses; constitutional functionaries; children who are below two years of age; and those who are in need of emergency medical treatment, or have a death in the family. On the other hand, students and employees coming to Karnataka are required to show an RT-PCR negative certificate that is valid for one week. Such certificates should not be older than 72 hours. This is irrespective of whether these travellers have had one…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Air India’s Indore-Dubai Flight Resumes After 17 Months

Air India’s Indore-Dubai flight operations resume after 17 months amid Covid-19 after it was stopped in March 2020. Air India’s Indore-Dubai flight will resume operations from Wednesday after a gap of 17-months because of the Covid-19 situation. The flight operation was stopped in March 2020. A programme will be organised at Devi Ahilyabai International Airport to mark the occasion. Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will take part in the event virtually, an airport official said on Tuesday. The flight will take off from Indore at 12.35 pm as per the Indian Standard Time and will reach Dubai at 03.05 pm, the official said. From Dubai, the plane will take off every Wednesday at 04.05 pm UAE time and will reach Indore at 8.55 pm. The flight will give a fillip to tourism and trade between…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Fully Vaccinated Allowed To Enter Goa Without Negative RT-PCR Reports

In a recent travel update, the Bombay High Court at Goa has allowed fully vaccinated people (tourists or not) to enter the state without providing a negative RT PCR test report. Apparently, the government of Goa had submitted an application in the High Court to allow fully vaccinated people to enter the state. In mid-July, the High Court had permitted fully vaccinated people to enter the state without a negative certificate, but the exemption was not for tourists. Those coming to Goa for tourism purposes were supposed to show their negative PCR certificate even if they were fully vaccinated. According to the orders of the HC, a person is considered fully vaccinated when he/she has completed two weeks since his/her second COVID vaccine dose. But on Monday, the HC modified its order and allowed fully vaccinated people to enter the state. Advocate Nikhil Pai, who represented…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Ladakh To End Inner Line Permit For Indians & Local Residents

In a bid to promote tourism, the Ladakh government has decided to end the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system for Indians and local residents wanting to explore protected regions of Ladakh. The announcement was made by Mehboob Ali, secretary for tourism and culture in Ladakh during a three-day event organised by the Union Tourism ministry in Ladakh. What’s an Inner Line Permit?Inner Line Permit is a document tourists need to get from the government in order to explore popular tourist areas like the Khardung La, Pangong Tso, Nubra Valley, Tso Moriri and Hanu Villages, to name a few. Though the Ladakh administration has done away with IPL requirements for Indians, foreign tourists will still need to obtain the document to visit the protected areas. But now the validity of their ILP is extended to 15 days from the seven days. Ali said, “With the opening up of domestic tourism in…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Meghalaya To Welcome Fully Vaccinated Tourist From September 1

Fully vaccinated tourists will be allowed to visit Meghalaya from September 1 for tourism-related purposes while those who are vaccinated with a single Covid-19 vaccine dose will have to produce negative RT-PCR/TrueNat/CBNAAT report valid only if they have tested within 72 hrs prior to their arrival. Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Thursday announced reopening of the state’s tourism sector from September 1 with relaxations of Covid protocols for travellers. Tourists, who have been fully inoculated, will be allowed to visit Meghalaya, while negative Covid test reports, conducted 72 hours before arrival in the state, will be mandatory for those who received the first dose of vaccines, he said. Taking to Twitter, the chief minister said, “Meghalaya will restart its tourism (sector) from 1st September 2021 with the following protocols: Fully vaccinated tourists will be allowed to visit the state for tourism-related purposes…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Darjeeling Toy Train Resume Services After 17 Month

The Darjeeling Toy Train is now back to enchant passengers travelling between the hill town of Darjeeling from New Jalpaiguri (NJP). The train ride returned on August 25 after not moving for about 17 months. The Darjeeling-Ghoom-Darjeeling train route too returned to provide passengers with joy rides August 16 onwards. The much coveted toy train service was suspended after the COVID 19 pandemic took hold of the world last year in the month of March. Guneet Kaur, CPRO, NF Railway said in a statement, “As we all try to come out of this pandemic and return to normalcy, NF Railways is happy to announce that they are resuming their toy train services on Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. These services were stopped on March 22, 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and now we are ready to again gear up and start the services from August 25, 2021. We request…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Will Singapore’s Vaccinated Travel Lane Help India-Singapore Trade To Recover?

Last week, the Singapore government presented its plan for relaxing safe distancing rules as well as gradually reopening the country to business travellers and tourists. This is in line with its earlier stated strategy to treat COVID-19 as an endemic disease and slowly easing its population into safely living with the virus. With a remarkably high rate of vaccination, Singapore is in the process of cautiously returning its residents lives to some form of normalcy. As of August 21, 78 percent of Singapore residents have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines and it projects that this number will reach 82 precent in two weeks. Unlike most of its Asia-Pacific neighbours who are still embracing a “zero-COVID” strategy, Singapore which has no domestic market or natural resources sees this not only as a way to getting ahead of regional countries but also as a matter…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Taj Mahal To Reopen For Night Viewing From Today

The Taj Mahal is set to reopen for night viewing from August 21, after remaining closed for almost a year due to COVID crises. As per the officials, visitors who want to explore the marble monument under the moonlight, can do so from today. As per the reports, night viewing of the monument had closed on March 17, 2020, during the first lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic. Referring to this, ASI Superintending Archaeologist (Agra Circle) Vasant Kumar Swarnkar stated that night viewing will be allowed on August 21, 23 and 24 as the monument is closed every week on Friday, while lockdown remains in effect on Sunday. Here’s all that you need to know about the night viewing timings: There are three time slots available for visitors, i.e., from 8:30 to 9 PM, 9 to 9:30 PM, and from 9:30 to10 PM. In every slot, only 50…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Florida’s Domestic Tourism Returns, International Market Still Lagging

Florida’s tourism marketing firm, Visit Florida, reveals that about 30.6 million domestic visitors came to the US state from April through June of this year, a 216% jump from the same time last year during the height of Covid-19 pandemic closures. The number of US tourists who came to Florida in the second quarter of this year has returned to pre-pandemic levels, though the international market is still lagging, according to figures released Thursday. About 30.6 million domestic visitors came to Florida from April through June of this year, a 6% increase over the same time in 2019, and a 216% jump from the same time last year during the height of Covid-19 pandemic closures, Visit Florida, the state’s tourism marketing firm, said in a news release. Overall, Florida had 31.4 million visitors in the second quarter of this year, an increase of 220%…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Disney’s US Parks To Offer Quicker Ride Entry For A Fee

Disney theme parks in the United States will now allow visitors to get quicker access to some of its most popular rides for an entry fee. Tired of long waits for the Haunted Mansion or the Millennium Falcon? Walt Disney Co’s US theme parks will offer an option to pay for quicker access to some of the most popular rides, the company said on Wednesday. The feature is part of the rollout this fall of Disney Genie, a digital tool designed to help park visitors maximize their time at Disney’s US parks, now operating at limited capacity due to the Covid-19 pandemic and requiring masks while visitors are indoors. Disney Genie will be free through the Disneyland and My Disney Experience apps, the company said in a blog post. An upgrade called Disney Genie will provide access to “Lightning Lanes” for quicker entry at a specific time to more than 15…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

US Eases Travel Advisory For India To Level 2

The US State Department on Monday (local time) has eased its travel advisories for India, taking it to its second-lowest level and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the South Asian nation now has a “moderate level of COVID-19.” “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a level 2 travel health notice for India due to COVID-19, indicating a moderate level of COVID-19 in the country. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC’s specific recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers,” the state department said in a statement. The department also urged American citizens not to travel to Jammu and Kashmir, except the eastern Ladakh region and its capital of Leh, due to terrorism and…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

New Zealand Borders Shut To Overseas Travellers Till The End Of 2021

The New Zealand government on Thursday announced that it will keep its borders shut to overseas travellers until the end of 2021. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the nation won’t reopen for foreign tourism until the COVID-19 vaccination rollout is completed, which is expected to happen by the end of the year. The PM stressed that the country is “not in a position to fully reopen yet”. Apparently, the vaccination process in New Zealand has been much slower as compared to other developed nations. As per reports, only about 29 percent of the country’s population has received one dose and 17 percent are fully vaccinated. Till Thursday, the nation didn’t report any new infections in the community. The PM further said that the country wants to move forward carefully and with confidence She added, “Rushing could see us in the situation other countries are…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Tourism Sector In Goa Continues To Suffer Due To Covid-19 Pandemic

Travel and Tourism sector in Goa continues to suffer as the state sees low footfall due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Thursday, while speaking to the reporters, Goa Minister Michael Lobo said that “Tourists are visiting Goa with RT-PCR negative certificates. We welcome them but they’ve to wear masks and follow COVID-19 protocols. We’ve to be careful and understand that it’s a pandemic. Resorts have reopened but getting very few customers.” “The whole country is suffering from covid-19, we need to have patience, we are welcoming tourists to Goa with RT-PCR negative report or both doses of vaccination certificate and antigen test when they come to the state,” he further stated. After the low footfall of tourists, many businesses in the tourism sector has seen losses over the past year, “We have had no business in the last one year. I have 50 vehicles…

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Delhi Airport (IGIA) Declared Best Airport In India & Central Asia

Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) has been declared the Best Airport in India and Central Asia. With this, the airport has been adjudged as the best airport for the third consecutive year. The airport was declared so by Skytrax World Airport Awards. Considered to be the most significant award for the airport industry, Delhi has been adjudged after votes by customers in the survey. Skytrax is known to assess customer service and facilities over 550 airports across the world. The IGIA airport was established in Delhi back in 1986, and today is a major airport for international connectivity in India. The Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) CEO Videh Kumar Jaipuriar said, “Our agile and effective response to the pandemic and crisis preparedness has led us to be recognised by Skytrax.” He further said that by adopting the new-normal, DIAL is looking to boost its efforts in providing the best…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

US Adds Israel To ‘Do Not Travel’ List Due To Spike Of Covid-19 Cases

The US State Department on Tuesday (local time) added Israel on its “Do Not Travel” list amid a spike of Covid-19 cases in the country. US State Department issued a travel advisory informing Americans about the move. The advisory list, which is updated weekly, is primarily based on US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travel Health Notices (THNs) and secondary factors such as commercial flight availability, restrictions on US citizen entry and impediments to obtaining coronavirus test results within three calendar days, reported Sputnik. Israel is joined in the so-called Level Four category by other nations experiencing a surge in cases, including Iceland, France, Laos, Thailand, Eswatini, Aruba and French Polynesia.The number of cases in Israel has increased in the past couple of months despite the fact that more than 60 per cent of the population has been vaccinated against the novel…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Fully Vaccinated People Can Avail Mumbai Local Train Service: BMC Commissioner

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Iqbal Chahal on Monday said around 30 lakh people vaccinated with both doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be allowed to travel in the local trains. “Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had announced the people who have taken both the doses of COVID-19 vaccine can avail Mumbai local train services from August 15, and we have around 19 lakh people in Mumbai who have fully vaccinated 56 lakh who are vaccinated with one dose, said BMC Commissioner. “The local train doesn’t only run in BMC are but also in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) areas where around 12 lakh people are there who are fully vaccinated. So, around 30 lakh people will be allowed to travel in the local trains as they are fully vaccinated,” he further added. “After the announcement of the reopening of the local train, we had a…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

UK Retains Pakistan In Red List Due To ‘Deteriorating Covid Situation’

The British Government has retained Pakistan on the ‘red list’ of its travel advisory due to the ‘deteriorating Covid situation’ in the country. UK senior health official JO Churchill, in a letter dated August 6 explained the reasons for keeping Pakistan on the red list of countries, reported The Express Tribune. She said that UK’s Joint Biosecurity Centre continues to assess risk based on factors including incidence, trends in deaths/hospitalizations, exported cases as well as testing and test positivity rates. Her response comes after Pakistan was retained in the red list of countries at the latest coronavirus travel update while India was removed from it, reported The Express Tribune. The British government placed Pakistan and India on the red list on April 2 and 19, respectively. However, in an updated list, the government announced that India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE would be moved…

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India-UK Airfare goes up to Rs 4 lakh, IAS complains to govt.

New Delhi [India]: Alarmed at skyrocketing flight fares between India and the UK, a senior IAS officer has formally lodged a complaint with the Civil Aviation Ministry.Sanjeev Gupta, a senior IAS officer of 1985 batch said the inflated fares come at a time when colleges in UK are beginning admissions. Parents and guardians of those who have been admitted to UK educational institutes have also expressed their dismay and frustration at the exorbitant flight fares. “The APIs from Airlines being consumed by Travel Portals have issues in some cases. If economy class is not available, it automatically fetches business fare but shows economy only on travel portal. The basic point still remains Rs 1.2 lakh for one-way direct flight is still too high,” Sanjeev Gupta tweeted. The IAS officer shared multiple screenshots of several airlines which mentioned “price for one way Delhi to London…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

Countries That Have Eased Travel Restrictions For Indians

Following diplomatic push, several countries have now eased travel restrictions on passengers from India. In this week, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and Spain have relaxed their international travel rules for Indians and people travelling from India. While these relaxations do not mean that every Indian can fly to these destinations, some Indians will be allowed to travel. The United Kingdom has moved India from the ‘Red’ to ‘Amber’ list which means fully vaccinated Indians will not have to be quarantined for 10 days. But before travelling to the UK, vaccinated individuals too will have to take tests — three days before the scheduled travelling date and then on or before day 2 after reaching the destination. Now, Covaxin and Covishield are not recognised by the UK government. So how does moving India from the Red to Amber list help? Unvaccinated Indians will have…

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Tourism in Space: Virgin Galactic ticket sales beginning at $450,000, Know the details

By News Desk with Inputs from various agencies. Space tourism is now possible. Between 2005 and 2014, around 600 people had paid $200,000 to $250,000 for booking seats on Virgin’s spaceship. British billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic is restarting ticket sales beginning at $450,000 for space tourism. The company, to cash in on the success of last month’s fully-crewed test flight, has nearly doubled the amount paid by people previously. Between 2005 and 2014, around 600 people had paid $200,000 to $250,000 for booking seats on Virgin’s spaceship. “We are excited to announce the reopening of sales effective today,” said CEO Michael Colglazier in a statement, with first dibs going to people on a waiting list. “As we endeavor to bring the wonder of space to a broad global population, we are delighted to open the door to an entirely new industry and consumer experience.” Former chief executive officer of Virgin Galactic Holdings, George Whitesides, will fly…

Health & Lifestyle Travel

FAITH Urges For National Coordination Among States For Tourism Sector Revival

During a virtual meeting held with the tourism secretaries of all states and Union territories, FAITH requested for standardised harmonised travel protocols, quarantine-free travel among vaccinated and open spaces for F&B (food and beverages), among others. The Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) on Thursday has urged for immediate national coordination among states for revival of the tourism sector after the pandemic. During a virtual meeting held with the tourism secretaries of all states and Union territories, FAITH urged the states for a coordinated support for waiver of statutory obligations of power, utilities, parking, inter-state tax tariffs, state goods and service tax waiver and industry status, it said in a statement. The apex industry body requested for standardised harmonised travel protocols, quarantine-free travel among vaccinated, and open spaces for F&B (food and beverages), among others. FAITH urged states to pursue through…

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