Travel News: February 20th 2021

Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport will be Renamed

According to USA Today, a county board voted unanimously this week to rename busy McCarran International Airport after former U.S. Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada. The all-Democratic Clark County Commission approved a measure directing the county’s airport staff to file a change with the Federal Aviation Administration renaming the facility Harry Reid International Airport.

The county commission oversees the airport and is the final authority on a name change.

There have been long-standing calls to rename the airport. Its current namesake, Patrick McCarran, served as one of Nevada’s two U.S. senators from 1933 until his death in 1954. He was known for his contributions to aviation along with his anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic views.

Reid, a Democrat and the former Senate majority leader, retired in 2016 after serving 30 years. The proposal was put forward by Commissioner Tick Segerblom, a former chair of the state Democratic Party who announced last week he is again running for the chairmanship. For further details, please click here and continue reading on usatoday.com

Source: USA today


Ryanair is planning to open a new base in Zadar Airport – Croatia

According to Jakov Fabinger from Simple Flying, Ryanair will be opening a new base in Zadar Airport on the Croatian Adriatic coast this summer. It will do so with an Airbus A320 aircraft from its subsidiary airline, Lauda. However, Ryanair itself, along with Malta Air and Ryanair Sun (Buzz) will be flying to Zadar this summer too. Last year, Ryanair had planned for Lauda to base three A320 aircraft in Zadar, but the pandemic had spoiled these plans.

Ryanair’s booking schedule reveals that its subsidiary airline Lauda will base at least one aircraft in Zadar Airport on the Croatian coast this summer, starting from Thursday 1st July.

Lauda will fly from Zadar to a range of destinations across Europe. On some routes, the Zadar-based aircraft will be the sole operator on the route. On others, it will operate some of the flights on the route while the remaining frequencies will be picked up by one of the other Ryanair airlines. The majority of Ryanair’s flights into and out of this Croatian coastal city will be operated by Ryanair itself with its Boeing 737 aircraft.

For one of Lauda’s routes out of Zadar, and only for this one, the aircraft will be an Airbus A320 plane that is not based in Zadar, but in Austria. This will be for the Vienna-Zadar route, launching this year on 5th July and operating through to the end of October. On all the other Lauda routes into and out of Zadar, the operating aircraft will be based in Zadar itself, it seems. For the list of the routes and further details, please continue reading on Simple Flying.

Source: Croatia Week


new york theme parks to open already in early april

Just early this week Hong Kong announced to open Disney land already due to decreasing cases of Covid-19. The same is happening in New York as Governer Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that arcades and other indoor family entertainment centers can open with 25% capacity starting March 26. Outdoor amusement parks can open with a third of their normal capacity by April 9, while day and overnight camps can start planning for reopening this summer.

New York is seeing a drop in infections statewide – though at a slower pace than the nation. The state has the nation’s second-highest rate of new COVID-19 infections per capita, with 55,000 new infections recorded over the past seven days. That’s down 7% from the previous seven days.

New York also has the nation’s highest rate of COVID-19 patients per capita on a seven-day average. Hospitals in the state recorded about 6,600 COVID-19 patients as of Monday, down 16% from the previous Monday.

But the governor said the overall statewide drops are enough to allow New York to bring back recreational industries.

“With continued decreases in the infection and hospitalization rates, we have been able to take steps toward beginning our post-COVID recovery and we are excited to now be in a place where we can bring back our recreational industries with safety protocols in place,” Cuomo said in a statement. For the rest of his statement and more details continue reading here on usatoday.com

Source: USA today


February EU Travel Restrictions By Country: Quarantine, Covid-19 Tests And Vaccination Passports

Alex Ledsom from Forbes collected and published the latest travel restrions for European countries. I will post 3 of them and the rest you can read by clicking here and accessing Forbes.:

Austria—Tyrol region locked down due to South African variant

Austria is only allowing entry across its borders to anyone other than Austrian nationals if they come from an EU or Schengen area country plus the agreed small list of safe countries allowed into the EU (Australia, Finland, Greece, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea and the Vatican).

All arrivals must be in possession of a negative PCR or antigen test result taken no more than 72 hours before arrival into Austria. If they cannot provide a certificate, travelers must take one within 24 hours. Everyone must then go into a ten-day quarantine and can test out after 5 days with another negative test result.

The country has been easing itself out of lockdown measures which it has been in a version of since 3 November 2020. Schools and museums, for instance, are slowly reopening and people can visit the hairdresser if they have proof of a negative Covid-19 test. The country opened its ski resorts on 24 December but only locals have really been able to access them. The country is still under a nighttime curfew.

Due to rising cases in the Tyrol region (a western Austrian state), the German government imposed a ban on all arrivals from this region beginning 14 February. The Austrian government has imposed a ban on all people leaving the region without proof of a negative test result. The Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told press that the outbreak of the South African Covid-19 variant in Tyrol is the largest outbreak for this variant currently across the EU area.

Belgium—all non-essential travel forbidden

All non-essential travel is forbidden for Belgian citizens into other countries (compelling reasons are family emergencies or work, and people must download a form to carry with them to explain why they can travel).

If residents must travel, they must fill in a a “Public Health Passenger Locator Form” 48 hours before arrival. Based on their answers, visitors will receive a test message if they are high risk and need to quarantine for 10 days. If they do, they must take a Covid-19 test on days 1 and day 7. If visitors do not receive a text message, they do not need to quarantine. Answers are based on the ECDC’s traffic light system of risk.

Belgian residents returning from United Kingdom, South Africa or South America must follow all the steps but the quarantine is longer–10 days.

Arrivals from EU, Schengen area and the EU’s safe list are technically allowed entry to Belgium at present provided they can prove the trip is essential. It becomes much harder to gain entry if travelers are arriving from outside the EU/Schengen area, from which currently all non-essential travel is banned.

Belgium is still under lockdown with many regions having closed non-essential shops and curfews are in place. The government is working on a roadmap for a gradual easing of certain restrictions and will report on 26 February.

Bulgaria—ban on all U.K. travelers until end of April

Bulgaria was put into a severe lockdown on 27 November 2020 which was eased on 1 February and now gyms, cinemas and malls have reopened with shorter opening hours and capacity restrictions. Restaurants can only offer takeaway until March.

From 2 February to 30 April, Bulgarians and residents of EU/Schengen area countries who arrive in the country (and their families) must take a PCR test before entry or they must go into a ten-day quarantine.

Bulgaria does not follow the ECDC’s traffic light system and is operating its own list of who is able to come into the country from overseas. As of 21 January, travelers from the following countries are allowed to enter–if they are in possession of a negative PCR test taken in the 72 hours prior: Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Belarus, Kuwait, Turkey, Serbia, Albania, Montenegro, Moldova, Ukraine and North Macedonia.

There is currently an emergency travel ban on all arrivals from the U.K. and Northern Ireland which was put in place on 23 December and will stay in place until 30 April.


Travel without restrictions? Between some countries it’s already possible

According to travelweekly-asia.com, Greece, Cyprus and Israel have signed accords allowing their citizens with valid Covid-19 vaccination certificates to travel without restrictions between the three countries.

The tourism deal had been the core agenda of a recent 8 February visit to Jerusalem by Greek prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who had arrived in Israel directly from Cyprus.With the signing of the green passport agreement with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mitsotakis hinted too that there might be more of such accords coming up.

“I expect what we will be doing with Israel to be a trial run of what we can do with other countries,” Mitsotakis was reported as saying by tge Guardian. On 14 February, Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades flew into Israel, and signed the same deal.Under the accords, Israeli citizens simply need to show their EU-approved Covid-19 jab and be exempted from PCR tests and self-isolation upon arriving into Greece or Cyprus — once travel resumes.

The agreement should come into effect by 1 April this year. For further details, please click here and visit travelweekly-asia.com

Source: Travel Weekly-Asia


Major US airlines will voluntarily collect international contact tracing info

According to channelnewsasia.com, major US airlines on Friday (Feb 19) said they would adopt a voluntary international contact tracing program, months after the White House under then-President Donald Trump blocked a mandatory effort.

American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and other major airlines said they had committed to collecting contact tracing data from passengers traveling into the United States and to relaying that data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) if travelers provide information.

In August, Trump officials rejected an effort to require airlines to collect contact tracing information from US-bound international passengers after some senior administration officials cited privacy concerns, Reuters reported.

Major airlines and administration officials had held talks for months over a long-standing CDC effort to mandate the collection and reporting of tracing information from international passengers.

In February 2020, the CDC issued an interim final rule to require airlines to collect five contact data elements from international passengers, including phone numbers, and electronically submit them to Customs and Border Protection to facilitate contact tracing. But the rule was never enforced. For further details, please continue reading on channelnewsasia.com

Source: Simple Flying

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