Travel News – January 11th 2021

No international flight to Vietnam for now

Vietnam is not considering a resumption of international commercial flights with the Covid-19 situation remaining intense globally and vaccine distribution uncertain.

The pandemic has been complicated by the appearance of a new coronavirus variant, with no certainty a vaccine would be distributed on a large scale this year, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Quoc Phuong told press Monday.

Resumption of tourism activities would only occur when deemed safe, he stressed.

Vietnam suspended commercial international flights in late March last year to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

However, the country still allows a limited number of flights for experts, businesspeople, workers and overseas Vietnamese, who are all quarantined by up to 14 days upon arrival. You can read more here

Amsterdam Wants to Restrict Tourists From Its Marijuana Shops

In an effort to clean up its image, Amsterdam aims to restrict a key tourist attraction: its coffee shops.

Only Dutch residents would be allowed to enter the cannabis-dealing outlets under a proposal by Mayor Femke Halsema. The plan, backed by local police and prosecutors, is aimed at tackling the flow of hard drugs and organized crime linked to the marijuana trade.

“The cannabis market is too big and overheated,” Halsema said in emailed comments. “I want to shrink the cannabis market and make it manageable. The residence condition is far-reaching, but I see no alternative.”

Halsema submitted the plan to the Amsterdam council on Friday, kicking off a political debate, including discussions over a transitional agreement with shop owners. She expects the policy to go into force next year at the earliest. You can read more here.

VIENNA AIRPORT – Cheaper covid test

There is the possibility to do a PCR test as well as a rapid antigen test (Roche SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Test; Specificity: 99,68%; Sensitivity: 96,52%) at the Health Center at Vienna Airport. Starting today the Vienna Airport changed the cost of the Covid test. The new prices are available in the picture below. You can read more about the prices and policies by clicking on the header above.

Etihad Airways launches New Year’s Sale

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, is encouraging residents to celebrate the start of the New Year with the launch of its New Year’s Sale – get two tickets for the price of one.

To give guests peace of mind and to offer an extra level of reassurance to travel, Etihad is the only airline in the world requiring 100% of its passengers to show a negative PCR test before departure, and on arrival in Abu Dhabi.

Travellers can jet off any time before 15 June 2021, and lay back and relax at a luxury resort, explore ancient architecture or spend the weekend discovering a new city. More details are available here.

Sint Maarten has restarted flights from nearby territories and Europe.

Sint Maarten has restarted flights from nearby territories and Europe. A summary of information on entry requirements and domestic COVID-19 measures can be found here.

If a country is not listed in the low risk category, this country is considered a high risk country for the transmission of COVID-19.

Countries with low risk of transmission: Anguilla, Antiqua and Barbuda, Aruba, Australia, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, China, Curacao, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, New Zealand, Saba, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, Sint Eustatius, Thailand.

Travel restrictions between Saint Martin and Sint Maarten will be implemented. Persons with medical or professional reasons will be allowed to cross the borders. Authorized travelers will only be allowed to pass with plane ticket, negative PCR test issued within 120 hours and sworn statement.Entry requirements

All travelers must complete an Electronic Health Authorization System (EHAS) Form 72 hours before travel. Children must have the online health form filled out by their parents.

All travelers arriving from a country that is categorized as high or moderate risk must have a medical certificate with a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test obtained from a naso-pharyngeal swab issued within 120 hours before departure of the last direct flight to St. Maarten. Other tests such as antibody tests and tests performed outside of the 120 hours period will not be accepted. Children under the age of 10 are exempt from presenting a COVID-19 test result.

Travelers residing in and traveling from a low-risk country are exempted from the mandatory rt-PCR or antigen test.

On January 11, Sint Maarten will be implementing a mandatory COVID-19 insurance for all travelers visiting Sint Maarten with the exception of residents, transit passengers, flight crews and French nationals. For more information on and all questions related to the COVID-19 insurance please visit https://www.sxmprotectionplan.com.

More details are available here.

United kingdom has reimposed national lockdown

The United Kingdom has reimposed national lockdown. Foreign nationals are subject to the ‘Stay at Home’ regulations. A 10-day self-isolation is in place for travelers arriving from outside the travel corridor.

Entry restrictions

The United Kingdom has reimposed national lockdown.

From January 4, National lockdown in England is in effect. Traveling away from home, including internationally, is restricted from England except in limited circumstances such as for work or for education.

Foreign nationals are subject to the ‘Stay at Home’ regulations. They should not travel abroad unless it is permitted.

Different rules apply in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Travelers must follow all the rules that apply to them.

From November 20, Scotland restricted cross-border travels within the UK, only essential travels—which includes health reasons, work and for study—will be allowed to enter and leave Scotland. People living within Level 3 or Level 4 lockdown areas in Scotland are also not permitted to leave their area, and banned from traveling overseas, though people in Level 0-2 are not.

Travelers who have been in or transited through South Africa in the past 10 days are not allowed to enter The United Kingdom with the exception of British nationals, nationals of Ireland, residents of the UK.

Certain areas of the UK and Crown Dependencies may have specific travel regulations. Check the relevant page for information related to travel to Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Shetland, and Orkney. Entry requirements

All travelers entering the United Kingdom must present a completed “Public Health Passenger Locator Form” to immigration upon arrival. You can read more about it here.

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi ready for its first take-off

Despite the ongoing pandemic, the Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air has plans for expansion — its Abu Dhabi unit is scheduled for initial take-off in mid-January 2021.

After several postponements, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi — the newest airline of the United Arab Emirates — has confirmed the unit’s launch date to be 15 January. Its inaugural flight will take off from Abu Dhabi International Airport at 12:30 in the afternoon and land almost four hours later in the Greek capital, Athens.

The airline will be looking at the lowest environmental footprint among the competition within the region as its fleet comprises the new Airbus A321neos, each packing up to 239 seats ideal for shorter journeys. You can read more here.

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