• Italy Tightens Restrictions For Unvaccinated Travellers: Covid-19
    In a bid to control the spread of COVID-19, Italy has tightened curbs on unvaccinated travellers. Such travellers will have limited access to several places and services. The discovery of the Omicron has made things difficult for the tourism sector everywhere. But in Italy, the number of COVID-19 cases have been on a rise. The new guidelines introduced by Italy allow only fully vaccinated people or those who have recently recovered from COVID-19 to access indoor seating at bars and restaurants. Only such people are allowed to visit museums in the country or go to cinemas and clubs. Unvaccinated people will get a basic green health pass after testing negative for COVID-19 in PCR test taken within the past 48 hours. The country police have also started enforcing the various measures from the early hours. If anyone is caught travelling without a health certificate on a bus, metro, tram or train, they’ll be slapped with an automatic 400-euro (USD 450) fine. Italy in Europe has the highest vaccine rates with 80 percent of the population receiving either one or two jabs. Another 15 percent of people have had a booster shot. The country has seen a spike in COVID-19 infections in recent weeks, and on Sunday the number reached 15000. Rome has tightened the weekend curbs and made face masks necessary to be worn outdoors, or at shopping streets. In 2020, Italy was the […]
  • Putin: People Vaccinated With Sputnik V Should Not Be Deprived Of Right To Travel
    People vaccinated with Russia’s coronavirus vaccines Sputnik V should not be deprived of the right to travel around the world, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday. “We have to make sure that the people who are vaccinated with Sputnik V, just like those vaccinated with other vaccines, have the opportunity to travel around the world without worry,” Putin said during a meeting with the president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Francesco Rocca. The president added that the Russian authorities “also hope for your support to guarantee this promotion of our vaccine” and that Russia should receive the WHO certificate for the vaccine as soon as possible to spread it more widely around the world. Putin also mentioned that the results of the analysis of the vaccine’s use in foreign countries showed that it is among the most effective and safe ones.
  • Omicron: Japan To Add India & More Under Strict Quarantine Vigilance
    In an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19 variant Omicron, Japan will add India, Greece, Romania and four US states under strict quarantine vigilance. Japanese nationals and foreign residents travelling to Japan from India, Greece, Romania and four US states will have to undergo stringent quarantine regulations Sunday onwards, in order to control the spread of the Omicron variant, reported Kyodo news. While, foreign residents, as well as Japanese nationals travelling from Colorado, Hawaii, Minnesota and New York to Japan, will have to mandatorily spend three days of their two-week quarantine at government-designated facilities, reported Kyodo News. With emerging Omicron cases in the country and to curb the further spread, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno on Friday announced the expansion of the list addressing a press conference. A government task force made the decision to control the increasing number of new variant cases in Japan. The list for three-day mandatory quarantine at government-designated facilities already includes countries such as Austria, Ecuador and France. While many are being subject to stringent quarantine requirements, such as staying in government-designated facilities for over 10 days, reported Kyodo News. The first Omicron case was reported on Tuesday in Japan, causing it to deny re-entry of all foreigners, including residents with long-term visas, who have recently been to any of 10 African countries likely to have widespread infections of the variant. The country has further banned new entries by foreigners from around […]
  • J & K Announces Travel Advisory For Tourists Coming From At-Risk Countries
    Jammu and Kashmir received 1.27 lakh tourists in November, and 97000 tourists in October, highest in the last seven years. Now the Union Territory has announced a travel advisory for international tourists coming in from at-risk countries. According to the new guidelines, those travellers who test negative at the Srinagar airport, will have to go under home quarantine. According to the travel advisory, this home quarantine will last for seven days, with a follow up covid negative test after the eight day. Travellers have also been advised to monitor themselves for at least two weeks. Since the outbreak of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has decided to apply the rule of Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate in order to ensure stringent implementation of containment measures. Furthermore, travellers who test positive for the virus, will be sent to an institutional quarantine, and receive treatment. The official guidelines said that, “Rigorous screening and conducting of Covid-19 RT-PCR test shall be made mandatory at the Srinagar International Airport for International Arrivals as per the guidelines issued from time to time by MoHFW.” The Union Territory conducted RT-PCR test for 16000 passengers from at-risk countries on Friday, and a total of 18 samples have been sent for genome sequencing to check whether they are of the Omicron variant.
  • CM Baghel: Ban Air Travel Where Omicron Variant Is Spreading
    Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Wednesday said that air travel should be banned between India and the countries where the Omicron variant is spreading. Speaking to reporters, CM Baghel said, “Air travel should be banned between India and the countries where the Omicron variant is spreading. Otherwise, the passengers coming from these countries to India will spread the virus in the country.” The chief minister said, “Safety lies in prevention. We need to maintain hygiene around us. We should regularly wash our hands and ensure cleanliness.”
  • 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 14 days travel details. > The guidelines also mandated uploading of negative RT-PCR test reports on the Air Suvidha portal before the journey. The test should have been conducted within 72 hours prior to undertaking the journey. > Travellers from ‘countries at-risk’ will need to take the Covid-19 test post-arrival. They will be then asked to wait at the airport premise until the result comes. > In case of a negative test result, the traveller will be asked to home-quarantine for seven days as a precautionary measure. They will have […]
  • 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 Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that he is ready to take criticism for being too cautious. He told the reporters, “These are temporary, exceptional measures that we are taking for safety’s sake, until there is clearer information about the Omicron variant”. A number of countries have already restricted or banned travel from various southern African countries. Recently, authorities in Sydney, Australia found two foriegn travellers Africa Omicron positive. Also, those coming from African countries will have to quarantine in a hotel upon arrival. The World Health Organization advising its 194 […]
  • 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 negative, a seven-day home-quarantine and PCR test on the eighth day is mandatory. Travellers will also be asked to give their travel details for the past 14 days. The ministry’s statement said, “A sub-section (5% of total flight passengers) shall undergo post-arrival testing at random at the airport on arrival”. Only asymptomatic travellers shall be allowed to board the flight after thermal screening. Aarogya Setu app is a must. “Travellers from specified countries at risk will follow the protocol as detailed below: Submission of sample for post-arrival COVID-19 test at […]
  • 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 entering the country, including those who are vaccinated, will be required to quarantine, Bennett said. The ban will come into effect at midnight between Sunday and Monday. A travel ban on foreigners coming from most African states was imposed on Friday. The Shin Bet counter-terrorism agency’s phone-tracking technology will be used to locate carriers of the new variant in order to curb its transmission to others, Bennett said. Used on and off since March 2020, the surveillance technology matched virus carriers’ locations against other mobile phones nearby to determine with whom they […]
  • 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,” he said. Anyone who has already arrived in Australia and who has been in any of those countries within the past 14 days must immediately isolate and be tested. The Australian government will also suspend all flights from the nine southern African countries for two weeks. Twenty travellers from South Africa are in quarantine in the Northern Territory’s Howard Springs facility, 19 of whom have returned negative coronavirus tests. It is not yet known if the one positive test result is the Omicron variant, Hunt said. The discovery of the […]
  • 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 COVID-19 situation in the country. Flights to and from the countries which have been identified by the Ministry of Health as not “at-risk” will have full capacity entitlements as per bilateral air service agreements. Flights from countries identified to be “at-risk” and with whom air bubbles have been formalised, will have 75 per cent of pre-Covid operations of Indian and foreign carriers. However, countries identified to be “at-risk” and with whom air bubbles have not been formalised, will have 50 per cent of bilateral capacity entitlements or 50 per cent […]
  • 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 popular destinations, is heavily dependent on tourism. In 2019, 40 million arrivals spent 1.91 trillion baht ($57.3 billion). Centara Hotels and Resorts is moving ahead with plans to open a 1.1 billion baht hotel on the island of Samui in December. Initially the property expects most guests to be locals on longer stays, said Centara Hotels chief financial officer Gun Srisompong. “Demand patterns have changed. Individual travellers on longer stays and ‘workations’ need more personalisation,” Srisompong said. Thailand expects only 200,000 foreign tourists this year, and 5 million in 2022. […]