Travel and tourism during COVID-19

Travel and tourism during COVID-19

LATEST UPDATE: January 27, 2021 - 8:49am
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23 hours ago

Baguio City is investigating a party held at The Manor where health protocol like wearing masks and practicing physical distancing were not obeserved.

Speaking to TeleRadyo, Mayor Benjamin Magalong says the establishment has been told to explain the incident.

The city's legal office is also looking into the party organized by events host Tim Yap, he says.

Magalong confirms that he was at the event and that safety measures were generally followed.

He says, though, that there were violations, which he attributed to people being excited and being carried away by the mood of the party.

He says he has been in touch with Yap, whose group bought art at an exhibit for Baguio City artists prior to the event.

Fines for not wearing masks in Baguio City range from P1,000 to P3,000, Magalong says.

1 day ago

Foreign passengers coming from or who have been within Czech Republic in 14 days will also be banned from entering the Philippines.

The travel restriction will take effect from January 28 to 31.

However, foreign passengers and Filipino citizens coming from Czech Republic before January 28 will be allowed to enter the country.

January 22, 2021

Denmark is suspending flights from the UAE for five days over suspicions that virus tests and checks are not rigorous enough, the Nordic nation's transport minister says. 

All air passengers arriving in Denmark need to show a negative virus test from the previous 24 hours, but Transport Minister Benny Engelbrecht said Danish authorities want to be sure there were no botched screenings or tests that had been bought in Dubai.

"All commercial flights from the United Arab Emirates are cancelled for five days," he says in a statement, adding that it would give officials time "to ensure that the required negative test is a true screening that has been carried out correctly". — AFP

January 18, 2021

Australia's international borders are unlikely to open to travelers this year despite the rollout of coronavirus vaccines, a top health official said Monday.

Health department secretary Brendan Murphy, a key adviser in Australia's virus response, said free-flowing travel to and from the country was not expected to resume in 2021.

"I think that we'll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions," he told public broadcaster ABC.

"Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don't know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus. 

"And it's likely that quarantine will continue for some time." — AFP

January 18, 2021

La Trinidad town has cancelled its Strawberry Festival, which was scheduled for March this year.

La Trinidad Vice Mayor Roderick Awingan said that the Strawberry Festival Executive Committee on January 12, through a unanimous vote, cancelled the much-awaited festival that is usually held every first week of March.

Last year, the festival that features the town’s luscious red fruit product farmed in its vast valley plantations, was also cancelled.

Though an indigenous ritual known as  "Panudsuran", where ancestors’ spirits are called and invoked to cleanse the community, was held.  A mass will also be offered where limited participants are invited.

The executive committee is composed of Mayor Romeo Salda as chairman; Vice Mayor Awingan as co-chair; and members of the Sangguniang Bayan and Municipal Tourism Officer Valred Olsim as members. — The STAR/Artemio Dumlao

January 16, 2021

Emirates suspends flights to Australia's three largest cities as the country further restricts international arrivals over fears of new virus strains.

The Dubai-based carrier was one of the last to maintain routes into and out of the country's east coast throughout most of the pandemic but on Friday evening told travellers a handful of planned flights next week would be the last.

"Due to operational reasons, Emirates flights to/from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne will be suspended until further notice," Emirates says on its website. — AFP

January 15, 2021

The Philippines includes United Arab Emirates and Hungary in list of countries affected by travel restrictions, according to Malacañang.

January 15, 2021

The Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases recommends extending until January 31 the travel restrictions on the following  countries, according to the Palace 

  • United Kingdom
  • Denmark
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • Australia
  • Israel
  • The Netherlands
  • China and Hong Kong
  • Switzerland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Lebanon
  • Singapore
  • Sweden
  • South Korea
  • South Africa
  • Canada
  • Spain
  • US
  • Portugal
  • India
  • Finland
  • Norway
  • Jordan
  • Brazil
  • Austria
  • Pakistan 
  • Jamaica
  • Luxembourg
  • Oman
January 13, 2021

Cebu Pacific (CEB) greets 2021 with a P88 all-domestic seat sale. For sale until January 31, 2021, passengers can enjoy fares as low as P88 to over 30 domestic destinations, for travel from January 13 until December 31, 2021. Whether you miss the warm sunny beaches of Bohol, Coron, Boracay, Cebu and Siargao, or just want to experience the culinary trails of Davao, Bacolod or Pampanga, this special seat sale emboldens everyJuan to further explore and patronize local destinations and products. 

Passengers with travel scheduled until March 31, 2021 will enjoy more flight options with Flexible Bookings. Guests with existing Travel Funds may also use these to book new flights to make way for new travel memories. Payments may also be made online or via payment centers. CEB offers antigen tests for only P700 for its passengers flying from Manila through its Test Before Boarding (TBB) process. The carrier also offers affordable RT-PCR tests as low as P3,300 via its three partner laboratories, namely PADL, Health Metrics, Inc. (HMI), and Safeguard DNA Diagnostics Inc. (SDDI). Passengers booked on Cebu Pacific and Cebgo can easily choose and book appointments via the “Testing Options” tab on https://bit.ly/CEBFlightReminders. 

CEB has been rated 7/7 stars by airlineratings.com for its COVID-19 compliance as it continues to implement a multi-layered approach to safety, in accordance with global aviation standards. These include contactless procedures, thorough cleaning and disinfection protocols for all aircraft and facilities, mandatory wearing of masks and face shields for both passengers and crew, as well as Antigen testing for CEB frontliners before duty.  Their aircrafts are also equipped with hospital-grade HEPA filters with 99.99% efficacy, keeping viruses at bay.  The airlines currently fly to 30 domestic destinations from its Manila and Cebu hubs, on top of five international destinations, namely, Dubai, Hong Kong, Nagoya, Seoul and Singapore. 

January 13, 2021

All air passengers bound for the United States will require a negative COVID-19 test within three days of their departure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says.

"Testing does not eliminate all risk but when combined with a period of staying at home and everyday precautions like wearing masks and social distancing, it can make travel safer," says CDC Director Robert Redfield. — AFP

January 12, 2021

China, Pakistan, Jamaica, Luxembourg and Oman are now included in the Philippines' list of countries/jurisdictions subject to travel restrictions due to the new COVID-19 variant.

The inter-agency task force on COVID-19 recommends that foreign travelers from these areas will be barred from entering the country from January 13 to 15.

January 11, 2021

Young adults dressed to the nines in kimonos gathered at venues in Japan on Monday to celebrate reaching the age of majority, although many of the usually jubilant events were cancelled over coronavirus fears.

More than a million people in Japan turn 20 this year, the age at which they can legally drink alcohol, smoke and get married without parental approval.

They are traditionally feted each January on "coming-of-age day" with a formal ceremony, originally a rite of ancient samurai families — and now often followed by raucous drinking sprees.

But a record surge in COVID-19 cases and a month-long virus state of emergency declared in and around Tokyo has led many local authorities to scrap or postpone the 2021 festivities. — AFP

January 8, 2021

England is to introduce mandatory coronavirus testing for all international arrivals in a bid to curb the spread of new virus variants, the department of transport says.

Beginning early next week, all international travellers to England will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test taken up to 72 hours prior to their departure, the ministry said.

Those passengers who do not comply with the regulations, which also apply to British nationals, face a £500 ($678, €552) fine. — AFP

January 6, 2021

Upon the joint recommendation of the DOH and DFA, the Office of the President added more countries in the travel ban list over the new COVID-19 variant, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque says.

These include Portugal, India, Finland, Norway, Jordan and Brazil.

Foreign passengers who have been to these areas within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines will be prohibited from entering the country from January 8 to 15. —  report from Alexis Romero

January 1, 2021

The US is now included in countries subject to travel restrictions to prevent the entry of the the new COVID-19 strain into the Philippines, News5 quotes presidential spokesperson Harry Roque as saying.

January 1, 2021

Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command center is implementing new travel restrictions "given the recent developments in the global pandemic and the emergence of the B117 variant of the COVID 19 virus," Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs says.

B117 is the strain first reported in the UK and which has spread to the US as well as to countries in Asia.

Under the new guidelines, foreign nationals are barred entry to Taiwan except for the following:

  • Alien Residence Certficate holders
  • Those on diplomatic or official business or are "fulfilling commercial and contractual obligations"
  • Those admitted "for special humanitarian reasons"
  • Spouses and minor children of Taiwanese nationals or ACR holders
  • Others with special permission like students, white collar workers and migrant workers.

Starting January 15, all arivals will have to quarantine at a facility or a quarantine hotel. Those who choose to quarantine at home must sign an affidavit that they are the person at their home.

January 1, 2021

Brazil rang in the New Year with Rio de Janeiro's famed Copacabana beach nearly empty — the usual swarms of revelers kept away by police because of the pandemic — and pot-banging protests against far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.

Rio usually hosts one of the world's biggest New Year's Eve parties, but authorities canceled the festivities this year as COVID-19 racked the country.

"It was a complicated year, with this pandemic that has devastated the entire world," said Claudio Miranda, a 29-year-old salesman who was part of the relatively tiny crowd gathered on Copacabana.

"But we have to celebrate life — our lives, our families' lives, everyone who's still here. Even if our hearts are aching for those who have left us," he told AFP.

Covid-19 has killed nearly 195,000 people in Brazil, the second-highest death toll worldwide after the United States. The South American country of 212 million people is currently in the grips of a nasty second wave. — AFP

December 29, 2020

As it turns out, things are still up in the air regarding a ban in travelers with presidential spokesperson Harry Roque saying the ban is not yet in effect.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea has yet to issue the guidelines for a travel ban that Health Secretary Francisco Duque, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello and the Manila International Airport Authority have acknowledged and referenced.

December 29, 2020

Manila International Airport Authority announces passengers from the following countries will not be allowed into the Philippines "effective midnight of December 29, 2020":

  • United Kingdom 
  • South Africa 
  • Switzerland 
  • Italy 
  • Denmark 
  • Israel 
  • Hong Kong, China 
  • Spain 
  • Ireland 
  • Netherlands 
  • Singapore 
  • Lebanon 
  • Japan  
  • Canada 
  • Germany 
  • Sweden 
  • Australia 
  • France 
  • Iceland 
  • South Korea 

"Passengers already in transit or who had been in any of the flagged countries within 14 days from entry into the Philippines and who arrive before Dec. 30, 2020, will be allowed entry but they shall be subjected to strict quarantine and testing protocols (mandatory 14 day quarantine in OWWA and DOT accredited facilities) despite getting a negative RT-PCR result," MIAA also says.

December 25, 2020

US authorities announce that passengers arriving on flights from the United Kingdom will need to test negative for coronavirus before departure, the latest restriction imposed due to a new COVID-19 variant.

News of the strain, believed to be more transmissible, led to nations around the world closing their borders to travelers from the UK.

The new rule takes effect Monday and requires a negative test within 72 hours of departure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement. —  AFP

December 25, 2020

Hong Kong extends its compulsory quarantine to three weeks for almost all international travellers from Friday, saying the measure was needed to prevent new, more infectious, coronavirus variants from spreading.

The government says expert advice suggested that the incubation period of the virus could be longer than 14 days in some people — so passengers will now have to undergo compulsory quarantine in designated hotels for three weeks, rather than the previous two.

Only travellers arriving from mainland China, Macau, and Taiwan will be exempt from the tighter restrictions. —  AFP

December 24, 2020

China on Thursday suspends flights to and from Britain after it reported a new, more infectious strain of the coronavirus.

China has largely curbed the spread of COVID-19 within its borders, but authorities remain highly vigilant about the threat of "imported" virus cases.

"Given the exceptional nature of the virus mutation and its potential impact ... China has suspended flights between China and the UK after full assessment," foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin says at a routine briefing. —  AFP

December 23, 2020

Philippine Airlines suspends its flights to and from London until the end of February 2021 in compliance with the latest resolution of the inter-agency task force on COVID-19.

"We are monitoring the situation in the UK. As we keep close watch on this evolving situation, it is in the best interest of all to suspend flights on the route," PAL says in an advisory.

December 23, 2020

The Department of Tourism says its supports President Rodrigo Duterte's decision to suspend flights from the United Kingdom from midnight on December 24 to December 31.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat says in a statement that "ensuring public health and safety takes precedence, even as the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) carefully reviews the restriction on the entry of foreign nationals into the country."

She says the department empathizes with families who will not be able to spend the holidays with relatives expected to come home from the UK.

December 23, 2020

Passengers from the UK disembarked from ferries in the port of Calais early Wednesday following Britain and France's deal easing a crossborder travel ban imposed over the discovery of a new coronavirus variant, an AFP correspondent said.

Much of Europe swiftly banned entry by British travellers and UK freight after a more transmissible strain of the coronavirus was found in Britain.

The "Cotes des Flandres" ferry — the first ship to leave Dover after the restrictions were lifted — arrived at around 3:30 am (0230 GMT), followed shortly afterwards by P&O's "Spirit of France".

A handful of passenger vehicles disembarked from the two ships but port management told AFP traffic was not expected to pick up until late Wednesday morning. — AFP

December 23, 2020

The Philippines has suspended all flights from the United Kingdom until December 31, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announces,

Accoridng to Inter-agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases Resolution No. 90, which Roque quoted, 

"All flights from the United Kingdom shall be temporarily suspended until December 31, 2020. Effective 0001H of December 24, 2020, Manila Time, until December 31, 2020, all passengers who have been in the United Kingdom within 14 days immediately preceding arrival to the Philippines, including those merely transiting the same, are likewise temporarily restricted from entering the Philippines for the same period."

December 21, 2020

Switzerland on Monday imposes an entry ban on arrivals from Britain and South Africa and orders retroactive quarantine for all arrivals from those countries since December 14.

"This is intended in particular to stop travel from these countries for tourism purposes," the government says in a statement, following the identification of a "new, more contagious variant of the coronavirus" in those countries. — AFP

December 21, 2020

Hong Kong on Monday said it would ban all flights from Britain following the discovery of a new and highly infectious strain of the coronavirus there.

"From midnight there will be no more passenger flights arriving in Hong Kong from the United Kingdom," health secretary Sophia Chan told reporters. — AFP

December 21, 2020

In Finland's snowy far north, international visitors normally flood the Santa Claus Village amusement park, in search of reindeer rides, snow castles and a meeting with the jolly man himself.

Under the pandemic travel restrictions, however, crowds in the Lapland town of Rovaniemi have dwindled to just a trickle and the joyful winter wonderland feels ghostly and abandoned.

"It's been an exceptional and difficult year," Santa tells AFP from behind a plexiglass screen installed in his grotto, adding that his visitors have appreciated being able to forget a tough year and enjoy the Christmas cheer. — AFP

December 21, 2020

Canada will halt the entry of passenger flights from Britain for 72 hours from midnight Sunday, authorities announced, the latest nation to take action over a new fast-spreading strain of coronavirus in the UK.

"Given the high number of cases of a variant COVID-19 virus observed in some areas in the United Kingdom, the decision has been made to suspend entry into Canada of all commercial and private passenger flights from the United Kingdom for 72 hours," said a statement from Canadian health authorities. — AFP

December 16, 2020

Rio de Janeiro's annual New Year's Eve beach bash, already reduced in scope and format, has been canceled due to the raging coronavirus pandemic, the mayor's office said Tuesday.

What is normally a mega-party with live music, a dazzling display of fireworks and hundreds of thousands of people dancing to live music had already been drastically downsized, with the fireworks canceled and several events moved online.

Mayor Marcelo Crivella's office said in a statement that it had "opted to cancel the event out of respect for all of the victims, and to prioritize security for all."

Some 180,000 people have died of COVID-19 in Brazil, population 212 million. It is the world's second highest death toll after the United States, and virus cases are on the rise.

Rio de Janeiro has the highest ratio of COVID-19 victims of any Brazilian state. — AFP

December 15, 2020

The Philippine Coast Guard says its personnel have been enforcing health protocol on boats bringing tourists to and from Boracay, the world-famous resort island that has reopened to tourism.

The coast guard says in a social media post that travelers are reminded to wear face masks and face shields and observe physical distancing.

"Passengers and crew are also reminded to always bserve minimum health standard to ensure a safe journey during the pandemic," it also says in Filipino in its post.

December 14, 2020

New Zealand hopes to open a travel bubble with Australia by April next year and is working to finalize the necessary anti-coronavirus border measures, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday.

Ardern said New Zealand's cabinet had agreed "in principle" to open a trans-Tasman travel bubble in the first quarter of 2021 provided there are no major virus outbreaks in either country.

"It is our intention to name a date for the commencement of quarantine-free trans-Tasman travel in the new year, once remaining details are locked down," she told reporters.

New Zealand closed its borders in March and since then all international arrivals, including Australians, have been required to undergo two weeks of managed isolation.

The country has been widely praised for its strict handling of the coronavirus which has caused just 25 deaths in a population of five million. — AFP
 

December 8, 2020

The Department of Tourism reaches out to tourism workers affected by the closure of establishments or those which scaled down operations to avail of the expanded financial assistance.

This is part of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act interventions to address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Philippine tourism.

December 2, 2020

Hotel chain OYO, multi-channel Insurtech and Insurance Company of North America enter into a partnership to provide complimentary insurance coverage to guests who book rooms to any of the partner hotels in the Philippines.

"Our partnership with OYO marks an important milestone, especially during these times of high uncertainty. As the economy braces for the new normal, travelers are more wary on how they approach every aspect of travel," Qoala CEP Harshet Lunani says in a press release.

OYO Philippines head Ankit Gupta nnotes that most consumers are still wary of travel. Their Hotel Protection insurance coverage would provide customers with protection during their stay at any one of the 300+ partner hotels in the country.

This partnership between OYO and Qoala us the fourth in Southeast Asia following similar programs in Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

December 1, 2020

Hong Kong and Singapore indefinitely delay a "travel bubble" in a new blow to their hard-hit tourism and aviation industries as the Chinese city battles a coronavirus surge.

The arrangement allowing people to travel between the financial hubs without quarantining had been due to launch on November 22, but was postponed for two weeks as Hong Kong saw a sudden spike in cases. 

The delay was not just a blow to the cities, but also other countries which had been hoping the scheme might be a model to replicate during the pandemic. — AFP

November 27, 2020

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque says the Philippines will allow the entry of Filipinos’ foreign spouses and children who are traveling with them, regardless of age, starting December 7.

November 24, 2020

International air travellers will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to fly with Australia's Qantas, the airline's CEO says, adding the rule was likely to become "common" across the industry.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce says the Australian flag carrier would implement the measure once a coronavirus vaccine was made available to the public.

"We are looking at changing our terms and conditions to say for international travellers that we will ask people to have a vaccination before they can get on the aircraft," he says. — AFP

November 23, 2020

Coronavirus has wrought havoc across the world, but for Thailand's "sea gypsies" it has brought welcome respite from the threat of mass tourism.

Since the pandemic began, life has been easier for Sanan Changnam and his people — there's an abundance of fish to eat and real estate projects on their ancestral land in the tourist hotspot of Phuket have come to a standstill. 

In the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea, connected to the surface by a slender pipe stuck in his mask — a "thread of life" allowing him to breathe — Sanan stalks fish and shellfish, spear in hand. 

A few kicks of his flippers and he skewers three groupers before rising to the surface.

With Thailand closed to foreign visitors for the past eight months, tourist boats have been stuck at the quay and fishing has been easier for the Chao Lay, or "people of the sea". — AFP 

November 21, 2020

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat visits Ilocos Sur as the province reopens to visitors, including tourists from Metro Manila. 

“We are making another big leap forward with the reopening of Ilocos Sur to tourists from the rest of Luzon. Staying true to our strategy of “slowly but surely” reopening our destinations, we have taken careful steps to ensure that the public’s health and safety continues to be the priority in this great undertaking,” says Puyat. 

November 3, 2020

Mists hung low over Machu Picchu, adding an eerie, otherworldly atmosphere as delighted tourists entered the iconic Inca citadel for the first time after eight months of lockdown due to the coronavirus.

Two couples from France and Chile were the lucky first visitors on Monday to the UNESCO World Heritage site. They were brought to the ruins by bus from the tiny Machu Picchu Pueblo village at the foot of the 2,400-meter (7,874 feet) mountain atop which the ruins sit.

"We're really happy to be here today," Frenchwoman Veronique, who declined to give her surname, told AFP.

She was left stranded in Peru with her husband and two children by the pandemic.

Peru ordered a total lockdown and closed its borders in March. It has since become one of the worst-affected countries in Latin America, with the highest mortality rate in the world, after the tiny republic of San Marino. — AFP

October 30, 2020

Few things say Rio de Janeiro like a "roda de samba" legendary jam session where musicians sit in a circle gushing out Brazil's most beloved music and a tight crowd of beer-guzzling revelers surrounds them.

But the coronavirus pandemic has forced the performers who keep this tradition alive to adapt.

"We don't sit in a circle anymore. We play on a stage in front of the audience," said Moacyr Luz, 62, founder of the Samba do Trabalhador (Worker's Samba), which held a Monday evening roda de samba (samba circle) for 15 years until the pandemic hit.

Luz, a giant of Brazilian music who is up for a Latin Grammy this year, said playing samba without a crowd was like a footballer scoring a goal without celebrating.

"It doesn't feel natural. But at least the samba is flowing. We're living in a time of transformation, so everybody has to adapt," the gray-bearded songster told AFP. — AFP

October 24, 2020

The Department of Tourism announces that the Municipal Government of El Nido will ease its travel restrictions starting October 30. 

It will allow tourists to enter the island under a test-before-travel policy. — Philstar.com/Rosette Adel

October 21, 2020

Thailand has welcomed its first group of tourists in seven months, as part of an experiment aimed at testing if a wider opening is possible as the coronavirus cripples the kingdom's economy.

A planeload of 39 Chinese tourists flew into Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport Tuesday evening from Shanghai to a welcome from staff in full protective equipment.

The visitors underwent health checks and had their luggage disinfected, before donning protective clothing themselves and being whisked away for two weeks' quarantine. — AFP

October 16, 2020

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque says the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has lifted the restriction of non-essential outbound travel of Filipinos effective Oct. 21, 2020.

The COVID-19 task force also allows Filipinos aged 15 to 65 years old to go out (previously 18-60 years old).

October 5, 2020

Singapore hopes to start "cruises to nowhere" in a bid to revive its coronavirus-hit tourism industry, but critics warned Monday against a risky move that could spark Covid-19 outbreaks.

The global cruise industry has largely ground to halt due to virus-related travel restrictions, and following a series of outbreaks on packed vessels.

But the tourism board in Singapore, a key port and transport hub in Asia, is holding talks with cruise lines on putting on voyages that depart from and return to the city-state.

Officials will put in place "appropriate measures that will enable cruises to resume in a safe manner," the board's cruise director Annie Chang told AFP. She did not say when the cruises might start. 

However Marcie Keever, oceans and vessels program director at Friends of the Earth, warned about "the potential to have Covid outbreaks" on cruise liners. — AFP

October 5, 2020

Frolibar Bautista, mayor of Malay town in Aklan, says resort island Boracay has been COVID-free because people there have been following minimum health standards.

"Kahit may turista, sinusunod ang health protocols. Talagang safe na safe ang mga tao dito," he says after Boracay was opened to domestic tourism on October 1.

He says at a Palace briefing that there are now 204 establishments that have resumed operating in Boracay and the local government has already issued 365 certificates to operate.

 

 

September 29, 2020

Singapore Airlines says it had scrapped plans for "flights to nowhere" aimed at boosting its coronavirus-hit finances after an outcry over the environmental impact.

With the aviation industry in deep crisis, several carriers -- including in Australia, Japan and Taiwan -- have been offering short flights that start and end at the same airport to raise cash.

They are designed for travel-starved people keen to fly at a time of virus-related restrictions, and have proved surprisingly popular. — AFP

September 23, 2020

Japan is considering easing strict coronavirus border restrictions from October to allow more foreign nationals to enter, local media report.

Tourists would still be banned and only longer-term visas approved, the reports say, as the nation looks to rebuild its economy and prepare for the postponed Olympics next year.

Japan currently bans entry for foreigners from most countries, but has been negotiating the gradual resumption of cross-border business travel. — AFP

Find the latest travel and tourism news from around the world amid the coronavirus pandemic. Main image by AFP/Romeo Gacad

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