fully vaccinated

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 will require spectators five and older who are eligible to be fully vaccinated,” said Tom Harris, president of the Times Square Alliance. “If you are unable to get vaccinated because of a disability, we will require a proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours.”

Masks will be required for those unable to get vaccinated, he added.

Earlier this month, US health authorities authorised the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech for children aged 5 to 11. 

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 considered under control.

Cambodia in 2019, before the pandemic, received 6.6 million foreigners who accounted for nearly $5 billion in revenue, and most of them visited Angkor and seaside destinations, according to the Tourism Ministry.

In 2020, the number of visitors dropped sharply to 1.3 million, and earnings from them plunged to about $1 billion.

Cambodia recorded 112 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, its lowest number since April, bringing its total since the pandemic began last year to 118,000. 

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 vaccination, they will have to produce documentation of a negative test within one day of departure, instead of the current three days
  • Those fully vaccinated will still have a three-day window for COVID-19 testing with negative results, but if they are not able to show proof of vaccination, they too will be subject to the one-day testing requirement
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued three orders to implement the Presidential Proclamation in accordance with appropriate public health protocols to ensure the safety of international air travel. These orders include operational details, putting in place stringent and consistent global international travel policy that is guided by public health
  • The first order is a vaccination requirement for non-citizens who are not immigrants. Air travellers who are non-citizens and who are not immigrants will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of their vaccination status prior to flying to the US. The airlines will verify vaccination status in the same way they have been and will continue to do with the proof of a pre-departure negative test result
  • For purposes of entry into the United States, vaccines will be accepted that include the FDA approved or authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listed vaccines
  • There will be very limited exceptions to the vaccination requirements for non-citizens who are not immigrants
  • The CDC has determined a very narrow list of exemptions, including children under 18 and those countries with less than a 10 per cent total vaccination rate due to lack of availability of vaccines
  • The next order after the vaccination order is an amendment to the testing requirement for all air travellers to the United States, regardless of citizenship
  • Fully vaccinated air passengers entering the United States internationally, regardless of citizenship, will continue to be required to show a pre-departure negative COVID test taken within three days of travel prior to boarding
  • For those vaccinated, they will be required to show proof of vaccination to qualify for this three-day testing window
  • However, for unvaccinated air passengers, including unvaccinated US citizens and lawful permanent residents, the rules will now require a test within one day of departure to the United States
  • Children under two years old do not need to test. There are also accommodations for people who have a documented recovery from COVID-19 in the past 90 days with respect to the testing requirement
  • The third and final order is for the collection of contact information. Air passengers to the United States will also be required to provide basic, valid contact information to airlines before boarding flights to the United States. This will allow airlines to better coordinate with public health agencies, to share information when needed, to keep the public safe and informed, and strengthen their ability to rapidly identify and contact people in the United States who may have been exposed to a communicable disease, such as COVID-19
  • In addition to these orders, all travellers need to plan ahead before travel – Follow all airline and destination requirements, including mask-wearing, proof of vaccination, testing, or quarantine
  • US travellers will need to be prepared to show proof of a negative test before they’re able to travel to the United States and should make arrangements for testing in advance of travel if possible
  • Vaccinated US travellers will need to carry and provide proof of their vaccination to the airlines to qualify for the three-day testing window. Otherwise, a one-day test will be required

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 reported in Israel which is a cause of concern.

The PM office said the plan, which must still be approved, may be updated “in accordance with the development and identification of new variants.”

The new variant has been discovered recently in several Eastern European nations and the United Kingdom. On Wednesday, the first case of the new variant was identified in the United States too by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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 ahead of the formal announcement.

Both Mexico and Canada have pressed the U.S. for months to ease restrictions on travel that have separated families and curtailed leisure trips since the onset of the pandemic. The latest move follows last month’s announcement that the U.S. will end country-based travel bans for air travel, and instead require vaccination for foreign nationals seeking to enter by plane.

Both policies will take effect in early November, the officials said. They did not specify a particular date.

The new rules only apply to legal entry to the U.S. Officials cautioned that those seeking to enter illegally will still be subject to expulsion under so-called Title 42 authority, first invoked by former President Donald Trump, that has drawn criticism from immigration advocates for swiftly removing migrants before they can seek asylum. One of the officials said the U.S. was continuing the policy because cramped conditions in border patrol facilities pose a COVID-19 threat.

According to the officials, travelers entering the U.S. by vehicle, rail and ferry will be asked about their vaccination status as part of the standard U.S. Customs and Border Protection admissions process. At officers’ discretion, travelers will have their proof of vaccination verified in a secondary screening process.

Unlike air travel, for which proof of a negative Covid-19 test is required before boarding a flight to enter the U.S., no testing will be required to enter the U.S. by land or sea, provided the travelers meet the vaccination requirement.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. will accept travelers who have been fully vaccinated with any of the vaccines approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization, not just those in use in the U.S. That means that the AstraZeneca vaccine, widely used in Canada, will be accepted.

Officials said the CDC was still working to formalize procedures for admitting those who received doses of two different vaccines, as was fairly common in Canada.

The delay in the vaccination requirement for essential cross-border travel is meant to provide truck drivers and others with additional time to get a shot and minimize potential economic disruption from the vaccination mandate, officials said.

All told, the new procedures move toward a policy based on the risk profiles of individuals, rather than less targeted country-based bans.

The vaccination requirement for foreign nationals comes as the White House has moved to impose sweeping vaccination-or-testing requirements affecting as many as 100 million people in the U.S. in an effort to encourage holdouts to get shots.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Labor completed the initial draft of an emergency regulation that will require employers of 100 workers or more to demand their employees be vaccinated against Covid-19 or tested weekly. The Office of Management and Budget is now reviewing the order before its implementation.

Mexico has not put in place any Covid-19 entry procedures for travelers. Canada allows entry of fully-vaccinated individuals with proof of vaccination against Covid-19 as well as proof of a negative test conducted within 72 hours of entry to the country.

Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination to hit milestone with half of adults fully vaccinated

Canberra [Australia]: Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout is about to hit a milestone with half of the adult population fully inoculated.
According to data released by the Department of Health, 74.1 per cent of Australians aged 16 and older have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and 49.3 per cent are fully vaccinated. “We’re now round about 75 per cent first dose and 50 per cent second dose,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a press conference from Washington at local time Thursday afternoon.
“It’s going to make a big difference as we continue to surge towards those necessary targets of 70 and 80 per cent, that will open Australia up.”
On Friday morning, Australia reported more than 1,700 new locally-acquired COVID-19 infections as the country continues to battle the third wave of infections.
New South Wales (NSW), Australia’s most populous state with Sydney as the capital city, reported 1,043 new cases and 11 deaths.
There have been 277 COVID-19 related deaths in NSW since June 16 this year, according to the statement from NSW Health.
Victoria, the second-most populous state with Melbourne as the capital city, reported a further 733 new local cases and one death.
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) recorded 19 new cases, taking the number of active cases in the nation’s capital to 217.
The ACT is on track to become the first jurisdiction in Australia to have 60 per cent of its over-16s fully vaccinated in the coming days, according to official figures.
The ACT Government is expected to reveal its plan to ease Canberra’s strict lockdown for businesses, schools and outdoor social gatherings late next week.

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 ones, or whether other brands would also be considered. This decision would be taken by the US Centers for Disease Control. Furthermore, it has been reported that the land border restrictions will continue as of now.

The United States is only allowing US citizens, foreigners with special visas, and residents to enter the country currently. This is all set to change come November of this year.

The pandemic has already claimed numerous American lives, a total of 670000 as per official figures.

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 tourists. Malaysia has yet to invite foreign tourists to return.

Like Phuket, Langkawi, known for its beaches, geoparks, bird life and rock formations, is not expecting huge numbers initially, with 400,000 visitors targeted by the end of the year and estimated revenues of 165 million ringgit (USD 39.66 million).

“We still do not want congestion even though we need a high number. What is important is that we can control the tourists to ensure their compliance,” said Tuan Nasaruddin Abdul Muttalib, head of the Langkawi development authority.

Malaysia has recorded 2 million coronavirus cases overall among its 32 million population, one of Asia’s highest per-capita infection rates, with more than 20,000 deaths.

Its vaccination programme has progressed faster than its neighbours, with more than half the population inoculated, in the hope of a quicker return to normalcy.

“A big sign of relief, the team is ready, everybody is very happy to welcome you know, our local tourists again,” said Arnaud Girodon, general manager of luxury resort The Datai Langkawi.

“We can’t wait to see them back.”

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 under which tourists need to stay at one place for a week after arriving in the country and take COVID tests. The initiative is expected to be available in five regions, including Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan provinces. According to the officials, by October 21 other important tourist destinations will also be added to the list including Chiang Rai, Sukhothai and Rayong.

As per government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, under the sandbox scheme, more than 29000 fully vaccinated overseas visitors were recorded in Phuket which generated nearly $50 million in revenue.

However, the third wave in the country is not yet fully over, so the tourism agency has warned that the plans could change in future. Apparently, when the world was struggling with the deadly virus in 2020, Thailand was mildly affected and recorded low numbers. But the Delta variant took the country by storm and Thailand recorded more than 1.3 million cases, and nearly 14000 deaths.

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 vaccine certificate upon entry.

On the other hand, Covaxin is still not approved. But once it does get approved by the WHO, then travellers with Covaxin will be able to visit Turkey.

Passengers who are unvaccinated, will need to be quarantined in their residence, or any other place that they must declare before travelling. An RT-PCR test will be conducted on the 10th day of quarantine. If the report comes back negative, the quarantine will end. However, if this test is not done on the 10th day, then the quarantine will extend to 14 days.

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 the South Goa Advocates Association said, “The High Court has allowed the application by the state government where people who are fully vaccinated, post 14 days of their second dose, can enter Goa without an RT-PCR negative test or a rapid antigen test.”

However, kids above two years will have to come with their negative PCR report. Symptomatic children below two years will have to carry a PCR report. Also the government of Goa has extended the COVID-19 curfew till 6 September.

Till now, Goa has reported 1.74 lakh COVID-19 positive cases since the beginning of the pandemic. More than 3198 died due to the infection.

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 from 1st September, 2021.” He also said, “Tourists who are vaccinated with a single dose will have to produce negative RT-PCR/TrueNat/CBNAAT report valid only if they have tested within 72 hrs prior to their arrival at the entry point.”

Residents of Meghalaya will also be allowed to visit any tourist destination in the state, he said. The Meghalaya Cabinet on Thursday decided to resume physical classes in colleges from September 1, while schools in urban areas may be allowed to reopen for students of classes 9 to 12, he said.

All schools in rural areas may also be allowed to reopen for students of classes 6 to 12, the CM said. “Govt (government) has decided to reopen all colleges in Meghalaya from September 1. For schools in urban areas, Cl (class) 1-5 may have online classes, Cl 6-8 may have school visits & Cl 9-12 may be opened. For Schools in rural areas, Cl 1-5 may have school visits & Cl 6-12 may be opened,” the chief minister said on the microblogging site.

The government had imposed lockdown across the state on May 5 amid the second wave of Covid-19 and has been relaxing the restrictions with an improvement in the pandemic situation.

Fully vaccinated person cannot be re-vaccinated, Centre tells Kerala HC

Kochi (Kerala) [India]: The Central Government stated in the Kerala High Court that those who have received two doses of COVID vaccine cannot be re-vaccinated.
This statement was made during the hearing of a petition by a Kannur native who had received two doses of Covaxin but wanted to be revaccinated with Covishield now, as Covaxin was not approved in Saudi Arabia where he had his job. The Central Government further stated that “A person who receives more than two vaccines is more likely to have health problems. There is currently no provision for giving more than two doses of the vaccine per person. There is no international guideline for administering the third dose vaccine. Taking an overdose of the vaccine can lead to health problems. No other studies have been conducted in this regard. The petitioner’s claim cannot be considered in this case. If we consider this demand, more people are likely to approach the court with a similar demand.”
Girikumar, 50, submitted a petition stating that Covaxin is not recognised in Saudi Arabia and as per his visa stipulation, he has to return to Saudi Arabia before August 30, or he would lose his job.
According to the petition, he returned to India due to the COVID second wave in Saudi Arabia in January and when the Centre provided vaccines for people aged above 45, he registered on the Cowin portal using his passport details.
“He got the first Covaxin dose on April 17, and the second a month later. It was only after receiving Covaxin that he came to know that it is not approved by the Saudi government. Had the authorities informed the public about the non-recognition of Covaxin earlier, he would not have taken it. He never knew his decision would put his job abroad in jeopardy,” read the petition.

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 meeting with Railways and before that, we had a meeting on last Thursday. We are trying to get the photo passes for the 30 lakh people without any hassle for long lines, the photo passes will have their vaccination certificate and their photo which will help them to avail the local train,” He further added.

Chahal further requests citizens of Mumbai to get the vaccine doses, “I request to the citizen of Mumbai that your fully vaccinated certificate is your immunity certificate. In future, if the malls re-open the certificate may be the requirement and until the covid ends you won’t be able to travel through the local train if you don’t have your vaccine certificate.”

“We have a target of getting the people of Mumbai to get fully vaccinated by November 15 to November 30 this year,” he added.

Earlier on Sunday, CM Uddhav Thackeray announced that Mumbai local train services will start from August 15 for people who have taken both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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