The corona pandemic is still not over, inflation is also making itself felt in tourism and the climate crisis and war are affecting the whole world. That doesn't stop many people from traveling, but many travelers feel very uncertain. Where is there a coronavirus outbreak right now? Which railway line is closed? How safe is my travel destination? Here you will find the most important news about travel, so that you are always up to date.
News of Monday, December 19, 2022
Black ice also disrupted the processes at Germany's largest airport in Frankfurt on Monday morning. In view of the weather conditions, there are delays in operations and flight cancellations, the airport said. According to an airport spokeswoman, 176 of the around 1,100 take-offs and landings planned for Monday had already been canceled in the morning. Travelers were asked to find out before their departure whether the plane they had booked was taking off and should come to the check-in counter as early as possible.
Flight operations have not been completely stopped, said the spokeswoman. However, there is initially a so-called approach control, which means that only a certain number of machines – fewer than usual – are allowed to land per hour. The Northwest runway was therefore closed in the morning. The winter service and gritting vehicles are in constant use. The necessary de-icing of the aircraft also leads to delays.
News of Friday December 16, 2022
Entry into Vietnam has become easier for German nationals, as reported by the Federal Foreign Office. Accordingly, travelers no longer need a visa for a stay of up to 15 days. What you should note instead: The passport must be valid for at least six months upon entry and the printed return ticket should be carried with you when entering the country without a visa.
News of Thursday December 15, 2022
Because of the unrest in Peru, hundreds of foreign tourists are stuck at the world-famous Inca site Machu Picchu. Around 800 tourists were affected, the authorities said on Wednesday (local time). Because of the violent protests against the dismissal and arrest of the left-wing President Pedro Castillo, the railway line between the World Heritage Site and the city of Cusco had previously been closed.
The railway line, which is a hundred kilometers long, is the easiest and most frequently used way to get to or from Machu Picchu. The Peruvian state railway "PeruRail" gave security concerns on Tuesday as the reason for the blockage and referred to calls for demonstrations by various organizations in Cusco.
Hundreds of tourists were stuck in the small town of Aguas Calientes at the foot of Machu Picchu. "We can't get away from here," Israeli Gale Dut told an AFP journalist. "I'm traveling with my kids, it's really a problem." She just wanted to leave Peru "in complete safety", but that's not possible at the moment.
In Peru, there have been protests for days against the dismissal and arrest of Castillo and the assumption of office by the new President Dina Boluarte. In response to the violence, the government declared a nationwide state of emergency on Wednesday.
News of Wednesday December 14, 2022
Tui could soon be back in the black due to a much more stable tourism business after the Corona crisis. The largest travel provider posted a bottom line loss of 277 million euros in the past 2021/2022 financial year (until the end of September). However, the Hanoverians succeeded in reducing the net deficit to around a tenth of the previous year's figure (EUR 2.47 billion). Before taxes and interest and adjusted for other factors, the group earned 409 million euros according to Wednesday, 2020/2021 it had lost more than two billion euros on this basis.
Customer bookings had increased noticeably in the past few months. The Tui Group thus continued to gradually work its way out of the slump in demand during the pandemic. "The summer was strong," said CEO Sebastian Ebel. Tui was able to benefit from the renewed increase in travel demand, and the prices for many holiday offers increased. At 16.5 billion euros, sales for the year as a whole were around three and a half times as high as the year before.
At the same time, after being rescued by the state in 2020, the group had to shoulder additional interest costs for loans. However, Tui has now announced the next steps to repay the aid. The outlook for the coming months is also positive: bookings for winter 2022/2023 are stable and there is a great desire to travel.
Lufthansa has once again raised its profit forecast for this year due to continued strong demand for air travel. She expects earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of 1.5 billion euros, as announced on Tuesday. Previously, she had expected a forecast of "more than one billion euros".
The group had only raised its forecast in October from 500 million euros to over one billion euros. "The development of earnings in the months of October and November exceeded expectations," said the group. The booking situation for the coming months points to a continuation of the positive development in the passenger business.
The freight subsidiary Lufthansa Cargo and the technology subsidiary Lufthansa are expected to achieve "record results", Lufthansa explained further. She wants to publish the detailed results on March 3, 2023. In addition to the core brand, Lufthansa also includes Eurowings, Austrian, Swiss and Brussels Airlines.
News from Tuesday December 13, 2022
After discussions about future penalties for unmarried couples in Indonesia, the government is trying to limit the damage in the tourism industry. Foreign visitors vacationing together in Indonesia need not fear being prosecuted for having sex or living together outside of marriage, said the Southeast Asian island nation's deputy justice minister, Edward Hiariej.
According to the draft law, the police can only investigate if a family member files a complaint, such as the parents of an unmarried person. These provisions would prevent local authorities or law enforcement from pursuing unmarried couples living together, Hiariej added.
The background to this is legal reforms in the world's most populous Muslim country, which parliament approved last week. When it comes into force in 2025, the legal situation for unmarried couples will be drastically tightened: sex outside of marriage will be banned and punished with up to one year in prison. Unmarried people will no longer be allowed to live together. Human rights activists criticize the planned law as a deep encroachment on the rights and freedoms of citizens.
On Sunday, Bali's governor Wayan Koster underscored that the provincial government will continue to keep data on the marital status of visitors confidential and that this will not be requested upon arrival at accommodations on the popular holiday island. After more than two loss-making years of the pandemic, Indonesia's tourism industry - especially with Bali as the top destination - is hoping for many holidaymakers for the upcoming Christmas and New Year period.
News of Monday, December 12, 2022
After airfares had already risen in 2022, industry experts expect prices to rise further in the coming year. According to this year's Air Monitor from American Express Global Business Travel, air travelers will have to dig deeper into their pockets in 2023. How much the prices rise depends on the route.
For flights between Europe and Asia, the company expects an increase of up to twelve percent in economy class and up to 7.6 percent in business class. If you fly from North America to Europe or vice versa, you "only" have to expect an average price increase of 3.7 percent.
For flights within Europe, the company expects a price increase of up to six percent. By the way, the most expensive flights are in Australia. Those who fly business class on the continent could pay up to 19 percent more in 2023.
Every year, the company prepares a forecast for air fares for the coming calendar year. Factors such as inflation, fuel costs, capacities and demand are taken into account for the analysis.
News of Friday December 2, 2022
Train crews are on strike in France and Italy this weekend. From Friday, December 2 to Monday, December 5, 2022, there will be a number of train cancellations in the two countries. According to its own statements, the French state railway SNCF has already canceled 60 percent of its planned long-distance train connections. Including some connections to Germany.
According to Deutsche Bahn, the train connections on the "Munich - Stuttgart - Paris" and "Frankfurt - Paris" routes are particularly affected by the strike. Train passengers can find detailed information about the cancellations on the website of the French state railway. Anyone affected by the strike can rebook their ticket free of charge.
News of Wednesday November 30, 2022
There was another corona outbreak on a cruise ship. As several media reports, hundreds of passengers on board the "Queen Elizabeth" are said to have been infected with the virus. According to "ABC News", ten to 15 percent of both the guests and the crew of the ship have tested positive.
The 294 meter long cruise ship of the Cunard shipping company left the port of Sydney on November 15 and set course for Bali with 2081 passengers. "Unfortunately, we are unable to visit Indonesia at this time as contagion continues to rise across Australia and this is affecting various cruise lines," a Cunard spokesman told the Australian news portal.
After consultation with the Indonesian authorities, the luxury liner could not moor as planned on Monday during the 17-day cruise in Bali. Instead, the "Queen Elizabeth" is heading to Western Australia, where she is awaited in the port of Fremantle near the metropolis of Perth.
News of Monday November 14, 2022
A push from Schleswig-Holstein to end the obligation to wear masks on buses and trains has met with a mixed response in federal politics. The health policy spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group, Andrew Ullmann, told the "Welt": "We advocate a mask recommendation instead of a mask requirement, because citizens can protect themselves and make their own decisions." The health policy spokesman for the Greens in the Bundestag, Janosch Dahmen, rejected a relaxation of the mask requirement in local transport as well as the lifting of the isolation requirement for corona infected people announced by four federal states.
"There are no new, medically evident reasons why there should now be a deviation from the previous statutory separation and isolation obligations or the mask requirement in local transport," said Dahmen of the "Welt". On the contrary, the "consistent interruption of corona infection chains and the reduction of infection risks" is extremely important against the background of a sharp increase in seasonal respiratory diseases in the coming months.
The Schleswig-Holstein Prime Minister Daniel Günther (CDU) is aiming not to extend the mask requirement on buses and trains beyond the end of the year. In discussions with the other countries, he wanted to achieve the most uniform possible regulation, he said on Friday. Günther appealed to personal responsibility: "You stay at home with symptoms". He hopes that other countries will follow this course, which is responsible.
According to the Infection Protection Act, the federal states can decide whether masks are compulsory in local transport. A nationwide mask requirement applies to long-distance trains. On Friday, Schleswig-Holstein, together with Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Hesse, had already announced that they would abolish the obligation to isolate people infected with corona.
News of Monday October 10, 2022
In August, domestic tourism in Germany returned to pre-corona pandemic levels. The accommodation establishments recorded 58.2 million overnight stays by domestic and foreign guests nationwide, as the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden announced on Monday. That was four percent more than in the same month last year and 0.6 percent more than in August 2019.
In a year-on-year comparison, a particularly large number of additional guests came from abroad: With 8.9 million overnight stays, they booked 75.7 percent more than in August 2021. The number of overnight stays by guests from Germany, on the other hand, fell by 3.1 percent to 49.3 Millions. However, the level of 2019 has not yet been reached again for bookings from abroad.
According to the Federal Office, a good half of the overnight stays were booked in classic hotel establishments such as hotels and guesthouses. A good 23 percent went to holiday apartments and the like, 16 percent to campsites. Here in particular, strong growth was recorded with an increase of 14.7 percent compared to 2019.
News of Tuesday September 27, 2022
Entry into Thailand is to be further simplified from October 1st. Visitors would then not have to present proof of corona vaccination or a negative test at the airport, the Bangkok Post newspaper quoted Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul as saying on Friday. This was decided at a meeting of the National Committee on Communicable Diseases.
Anyone who becomes infected with the virus and only has mild symptoms no longer has to isolate themselves. It is enough to wear mouth and nose protection and to comply with the distance rules.
However, the new rules still have to be approved by the Covid-19 Crisis Center (CCSA). The number of infections in the popular holiday destination has recently continued to decline. Thailand is trying to revitalize the hugely important tourism sector and attract more visitors to the country.
News of Thursday September 22, 2022
According to its own statements, the government of Hong Kong plans to further relax the corona restrictions. "We want an orderly opening," said the head of government of the Chinese special administrative region, John Lee. Hong Kong is striving for the greatest possible international connection - "provided we can control the development of the pandemic," said Lee. The decision on how to proceed will be made and announced "soon".
In August, Hong Kong had already reduced the length of hotel quarantine for travelers from abroad from one week to three days. However, the population, business associations and health experts had called for further easing. In addition to the quarantine, Hong Kong is currently continuing to adhere to an extensive mask requirement and a ban on public gatherings of more than four people.
Local media had already reported in the past few weeks about a planned abolition of the hotel quarantine. While the government did not confirm this on Tuesday, Lee's comments hint at more planned openings.
Hong Kong, like China, has maintained a strict zero-Covid policy throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Unlike on the mainland, however, most of the residents of the special administrative region had already been infected with the corona virus at the beginning of the pandemic. Hong Kong has one of the highest death rates from the coronavirus in the world.
News of Tuesday September 13, 2022
New Zealand lifted almost all corona measures on Tuesday night (local time). Visitors traveling to the Pacific country will then no longer need to be vaccinated against the virus. The previous rule for travelers to test themselves for the virus immediately after arrival and on the fifth day of their stay only applies on a voluntary basis. In addition, the mask requirement is no longer applicable everywhere except in hospitals and retirement homes.
"It is time to turn the page on our Covid-19 management and live without the extraordinary measures we took previously," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday. The country had closed its borders in March 2020 and initially followed a strict zero-Covid strategy. The country only fully opened up again this July.
Ardern spoke of a "milestone" in the country's virus management. "Instead of feeling like Covid is dictating what's happening to us, our lives and our future, we're taking control again." New Zealand, with a population of five million, has recorded more than 1.7 million infections. Almost 2000 people have died from the coronavirus.
News of Thursday August 25, 2022
The federal government has extended the current relaxed Corona entry regulation by one month. With the cabinet decision on Wednesday, the provisions now apply until September 30 without any significant changes. This means that the category of so-called virus variant areas is retained, as the Federal Ministry of Health announced. Anyone entering the country from such an area must go into isolation for 14 days without the possibility of a free test. This also applies to those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered.
However, no country is currently classified as a virus variant area. "Should particularly dangerous virus variants develop, we must prevent them from spreading too quickly," said Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD). "This is the only way we can prepare for newly occurring mutations."
The last Corona entry regulation was decided by the cabinet in May - it provided for relaxation compared to the previously applicable regulation. Accordingly, since June 1, travelers returning and other people entering the country no longer have to prove that they have been vaccinated, recovered or tested.
News of Friday August 12, 2022
After refusing to wear a mask on an airplane, a woman has to pay a fine of 2350 euros (90 daily rates). A corresponding penalty order from the Frankfurt district court against the 41-year-old took effect on Thursday after the accused had not come to the trial. She was convicted of assault and assault on law enforcement officials.
The passenger had not put on a mouth and nose protector during the flight from Mexico to Germany in April last year. The captain took this as an opportunity to evict her from the plane during a stopover in Frankfurt. When she refused to get off the plane, police officers were called, who the woman violently opposed. The police officers suffered minor injuries. The flight to Munich could only be continued after a delay
News of Monday 4th July 2022
In response to its successful vaccination campaign and the resulting low rate of infection, the Republic of Mauritius has relaxed the Covid restrictions that have been in place up until now. Since July 1, 2022, visitors have been able to travel freely to Mauritius. Regardless of vaccination status, travelers no longer need to be tested or self-isolate.
In addition, the mask requirement is relaxed. However, wearing a face mask in public areas such as hospitals, ports, airports and public transport is still mandatory. Mauritius reopened its borders on October 1, 2021 and over 500,000 tourists have traveled to the paradise island since then. The 2-fold vaccination rate is now over 90 percent, and around two-thirds of all over 18-year-olds have also received their booster vaccinations.
News from Saturday June 25, 2022
South African Tourism welcomes the lifting of all Covid-19 restrictions after the South African Cabinet concluded on June 22 that they had served their purpose. Recent changes include removing the requirement to wear masks indoors and restricting gatherings and border controls for Covid-19, as well as requiring vaccination when entering South Africa.
The course of the pandemic has weakened, and South Africa has put a mild fifth wave of infections behind it. According to Health Secretary Joe Phaahla, the latest epidemiological analysis has revealed that critical indicators, monitored by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, have been declining since mid-June.
News of Thursday June 9, 2022
Because of some cases of corona infection among the passengers, the Moroccan authorities have forbidden a German cruise ship to stop in the port of Tangier. As the news site Le360 reported, the "Mein Schiff Herz" of the Tui Cruises shipping company was due to dock in Tangiers in northern Morocco on Tuesday coming from Lisbon. However, the port administration has forbidden the mostly German tourists on board to go ashore.
She referred to a report by the Moroccan health authorities, according to which an “increase” in the number of corona cases among passengers was recorded. The cruise ship can carry up to 1900 passengers and 780 crew members.
In view of the renewed spread of the virus, especially in the big cities, Morocco's authorities decided on Tuesday to raise the warning level from "light green" to "orange". The responsible head in the Ministry of Health asked the population to wear masks again as a precautionary measure in closed rooms and in busy places. The Tui ship moored in the port of Gibraltar on Thursday morning.
News of Tuesday June 7th, 2022
Because of the pandemic, Japan completely closed its borders to foreign tourists in April 2020. From June 10th, only guided tour groups will be allowed to enter Japan. To protect against corona disease, foreign visitors must wear a mask, take out additional health insurance and be accompanied by a tour guide from arrival to departure.
First of all, entry for tourists from 98 countries will be allowed again - including Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Before starting the journey, they must take a PCR test. Travel agents must ensure tourists agree to wearing masks and take out insurance to cover Covid-related medical costs. Visitors must also agree to avoid closed spaces and crowded places and to keep their distance.
The 16-page guidelines also require agencies to ensure that tour guides keep accurate records of the designated route and of participants' contacts. Anyone who does not comply with the requirements is threatened with an end to the group trip. The guidelines are based on the experience of test tours with participants from the USA, Thailand, Singapore and Australia. A group of four from Thailand had a corona case, after which the tour was canceled.
News from Wednesday June 1st, 2022
From June 1st, travelers and holidaymakers will no longer have to present proof of corona when entering Italy. The 3G rule for entry, i.e. the submission of a negative test result for the coronavirus or proof of recovery or a corona vaccination certificate, ends punctually at the beginning of the holiday season.
The government under Prime Minister Mario Draghi gradually relaxed the restrictions after the end of the Corona emergency at the end of March. 3G proof is no longer required in gastronomy, at events or for tourist attractions.
Currently, people still have to wear masks on public transport, hospitals and care facilities. In the country with almost 60 million inhabitants, the number of confirmed corona cases has fallen in recent weeks. On Monday, the authorities reported a little more than 7,500 new corona infections within one day and around 60 deaths with the virus.
News of Wednesday May 17, 2022
Cruise guests of the Tui Cruises shipping company can take off the corona masks on board the "Mein Schiff" fleet from the end of May. "For all summer season trips starting from May 29, 2022, the mask requirement on board will be lifted," said Tui Cruises. Exceptions are possible, however, if there are different rules for travel areas.
A further relaxation of the previously strict rules relates to testing: the first of two antigen tests that are mandatory before driving can in future be a self-test. The vaccination requirement for all guests over the age of twelve has not changed. In addition, Tui Cruises wants to allow indoor dancing again from the end of May and the "kids clubs" on board will now also be open to three-year-olds instead of at least four-year-olds.
Large competitors initially do not follow the step taken by Tui Cruises in terms of the obligation to wear a mask. On request, the domestic market leader Aida Cruises also speaks of "numerous easing" because of the more relaxed pandemic situation. For example, the Covid 19 test at check-in has been omitted on all cruises since the end of April. Currently, however, medical mouth and nose protection is still mandatory on board the ships in most interior areas. MSC Cruises said the mask requirement would continue to apply “as part of the comprehensive health and safety protocol” in all public areas.
News of Friday May 13, 2022
After the relaxation of the EU recommendations, masks are no longer mandatory on all flights in Europe. On Thursday, Europe's largest low-cost airline Ryanair published a list of 15 EU countries in which national laws still require the wearing of face masks to prevent corona.
In addition to Germany, important tourism destinations such as Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy are also included. If there is a state mask requirement in public transport at the point of departure or at the destination, this should continue to apply on board the machines, according to the aviation safety agency EASA and the EU health authority ECDC. Regardless of the recommendations and the Ryanair list, the statutory mask requirement in Germany applies to all airlines - on domestic German flights and on flights to and from Germany.
Ryanair welcomed the easing of the recommendations. From Monday, wearing face protection will be optional on flights between countries that are not on the list. It is expected that states will change their regulations in line with the guidelines in the coming days, said airline boss Eddie Wilson.
News of Monday May 9, 2022
The corona test requirement on arrival at Tel Aviv International Airport is to be lifted on May 20. The Israeli Ministry of Health said the decision was made in view of the decline in the number of infections.
As of Tuesday, tourists can also take an antigen test up to 24 hours before the flight as an alternative to a PCR test before traveling to Israel. In the past month, the mask requirement in Israel has been almost completely lifted. The number of infections in the country on the eastern Mediterranean has recently been steadily declining. The Ministry of Health reported 1,773 new cases for the country of 9.4 million people on Sunday.
News of Tuesday May 3, 2022
The border crossings to Bolivia, Argentina and Peru, which have been closed since March 17, 2020 due to the corona pandemic, were reopened on May 1, as announced by the Chilean border guard on Twitter. With the step, border traffic at the land borders will be “normalized”. In December last year, Chile initially reopened five border crossings to Argentina. The airport in the capital Santiago de Chile has been open to international air traffic again since November.
The corona situation in the South American country has now stabilized. All travel restrictions have been lifted. Tourists are advised to take a PCR test before leaving for Chile. There is no obligation to do so, but travelers will be randomly tested upon arrival. Since the beginning of the pandemic, around 3.5 million corona infections have been registered in Chile, and more than 57,500 people have died in connection with Covid-19.
News of Friday April 29, 2022
From May 1st, travelers to Greece will no longer need to show proof of vaccination to enter the country. The government in Athens decided on Thursday after a proposal from the responsible health authority EODY. As the state broadcaster further reported, the obligation to present a vaccination certificate for entry into taverns, bars, shops and museums will also be abolished from May 1st.
The mask requirement indoors, on the other hand, remains. The lifting of the measures is to be put to the test in the autumn. For holidaymakers in Greece, it has already been decreed that they no longer have to register on a government website before entering the country.
News of Tuesday April 26, 2022
For all cruises with ships in the Aida Cruises fleet, the previous PCR test before guests board is no longer required. From April 28, only one antigen test is necessary before the start of the journey, the Rostock shipping company informed its customers. "In the future, the prerequisites are full vaccination protection for all guests from the age of 12 (including those who have recovered) and a certified antigen test from one day before the ascent for all guests from the age of 3." A self-test at home is therefore not sufficient. Further information at www.aida.de
News from Wednesday April 20, 2022
The "Pacific Explorer" entered Sydney Harbor on Monday, flanked by tugboats with water fountains, with a large banner on the bow saying "We are at home". Australia banned cruise ships from its waters in March 2020 because of a corona outbreak on a ship.
Since then, the government has repeatedly delayed the return of tourist ships due to the progression of the pandemic. However, after she gradually opened the borders to tourists again, the ocean liners are now allowed to land in Australia again. The "Pacific Explorer" has completed a 18,000-kilometer journey from Cyprus, where the ship, along with two sister ships, had been waiting for the end of the cruise ban.
Before the pandemic, cruises were good business for Australia's tourism industry; on an annual average, 350 ships with 600,000 passengers came on board. The turnover generated was 5.2 million Australian dollars (3.5 billion euros).
News of Friday March 25, 2022
From March 31, 2022 (5:59 p.m.) vaccinated travelers will be allowed to enter the Lion City without quarantine. Travelers will no longer need to apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP), there will be no more designated VTL flights, and post-arrival testing at Changi Airport and on-site will be eliminated.
Instead of a quarantine, vaccinated travelers undergo a PCR test or rapid test by a certified test center before departure (max. 48 hours before departure). The safety regulations on site will also be relaxed. Wearing a mask outdoors is optional. The permitted group size for gatherings without a mask will be increased from five to ten; this also applies to the interior of restaurants.
Travelers must, among other things, be reachable at all times via their provided email address and telephone number and have downloaded the Trace Together app on their mobile device throughout their stay in Singapore. For a full overview of the new regulations, visit www.moh.gov.sg and https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg
News of Monday March 21, 2022
In the worst corona wave in China since the outbreak of the pandemic more than two years ago, Disneyland in Shanghai has shut down operations. How long the closure will take depends on the authorities, the amusement park reported on Monday. According to the Health Commission, more than 4,300 local infections and asymptomatic cases were identified nationwide on Sunday.
In China, several million people are in lockdown - cities have imposed full or partial curfews. Among other things, metropolises such as Changchun, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Tangshan near Beijing are affected. Multiple mass tests were carried out. In Henan province, students at many colleges were not allowed to leave their campuses.
For more than two years, China's zero-Covid policy had weathered the pandemic fairly well, bringing outbreaks under control quickly. However, numbers have skyrocketed since the arrival of the more widespread Omicron variant. The authorities are now pursuing a "dynamic" strategy, imposing the strict measures in a more targeted and short-term manner to reduce the impact on the economy and everyday life.
News of Friday March 18, 2022
New Zealand is opening its borders to vaccinated international travelers two months ahead of schedule. Fully vaccinated people from countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program can enter the country as early as May 1 without having to self-isolate upon arrival. This applies to all EU member states, Japan, the USA and Canada, among others. For Australian travelers, the regulation will apply from April.
Thanks to the strict corona protection measures, New Zealand is now a safe travel destination for tourists, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told journalists. "We are ready to welcome the world back." The easing is an important impetus for New Zealand's ailing tourism industry.
In 2019, and thus before the pandemic, New Zealand had 3.9 million visitors from abroad, generating the equivalent of almost 9.9 billion euros. However, for most of the pandemic, all international travelers have had to undergo a two-week quarantine upon arrival in government-run, military-guarded hotels.
The strict entry regulations are considered the main reason for the country's successful fight against the corona virus: it has only recorded 117 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. In recent weeks, however, the number of cases of infection has increased significantly due to the highly contagious omicron variant. However, 95 percent of the five million inhabitants are double vaccinated.
News of Wednesday March 2, 2022
"With the widespread occurrence of the omicron variant, it is shown that the ability of this variant to cause a threatening disease is less severe compared to the previously dominant variants," said the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). For this reason, only regions where more dangerous variants are widespread would become high-risk areas.
Most recently, 62 countries and regions were still considered high-risk areas, including most of Germany's neighboring countries. They will all be taken off the list on Thursday. At their most recent Corona summit in mid-February, the federal and state governments decided to revise the rules for classifying high-risk areas.
So far, states or regions "with a particularly high number of cases" have been classified as high-risk areas - "Indication is regularly a seven-day incidence of well over 100" was the definition according to the RKI. Other “indications of a dangerous infection process” could also be used, such as a high hospitalization rate.
News of Wednesday February 23, 2022
Austria has relaxed its entry rules due to the corona pandemic. The 3G rule has been in effect for the Alpine republic since Tuesday - so those entering the country must be vaccinated or recovered or tested. Both PCR and antigen tests are accepted. PCR tests must not be older than 72 hours, antigen tests must have been carried out by official test centers and must not be older than 24 hours.
The 3G rule does not apply if someone comes from a virus variant area - however, no country on earth is currently classified as such by the Austrian authorities.
In Austria, as in other European countries, the number of new infections every day has been falling for some time. The country wants to largely lift its corona restrictions from March 5th. Among other things, people should be able to visit hotels, restaurants and bars again without proof of vaccination or testing. The night curfew will also be lifted.
News of Sunday February 20, 2022
On the Indonesian holiday island of Bali, various hotels and tour operators are said to have ripped off holidaymakers as part of the Corona measures. Local media quoted the governor of Bali, I Wayan Koster, as saying that accommodations from guests designated as quarantine hotels had asked for an additional 500,000 Indonesian rupees (30 euros) per room and night and falsely declared that it was a quarantine surcharge. In addition, tour operators would have charged foreigners completely inflated prices for their tourist visas.
The news portal “medcom.id” spoke of a “visa and quarantine mafia”. The authorities in the island nation now wanted to crack down on the culprits and prevent such scams from happening again. Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno told Indonesian broadcaster CNBC: "We have received complaints and will take firm action against any behavior that damages the reputation of Indonesian tourism."
To revive the important tourism sector, the quarantine period for visitors to Bali is to be reduced from the current five days to three days starting next week. However, this only applies to travelers with a third vaccination dose. From April, the quarantine after entry could be completely eliminated.
News of Wednesday February 16, 2022
The southern neighboring countries of Austria and Switzerland are throwing most of the protective measures overboard in view of the falling corona numbers. Switzerland is already largely returning to normal this Thursday, in Austria most of the restrictions should be lifted by March 5th. In both countries, only the mask requirement should continue to apply in some areas for the time being. However, Austria is sticking to the compulsory vaccination that has come into force.
"We have not yet overcome the pandemic," warned Chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) in Vienna. In view of the stable situation in the clinics, however, the opening steps are possible. The Swiss also pointed out that the health system was unlikely to be overloaded despite the continued high virus circulation.
In Switzerland, both vaccinated and unvaccinated people can now go to restaurants, shops, cultural institutions and leisure facilities again without a mask and corona ID. There are also no longer any restrictions on private meetings and the recommendation to work from home has been lifted. Only on buses and trains and in health facilities will masks remain compulsory for the time being. There are no longer any requirements for those entering the country: proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test is not required.
In Austria, events are possible again without restrictions from March 5th. The curfew should fall and gastronomic offers should be allowed again at night. As early as February 19, the 3G rule will apply again instead of the 2G rule in gastronomy, at events, in cable cars and in sports facilities. Vaccination is not mandatory.
The rate of those with basic protection is currently 70 percent. In Switzerland it was just under 69 percent. In both neighboring countries, the number of infections is significantly higher than in Germany. In Austria, the seven-day incidence was around 2,500 new infections per 10,000 inhabitants. In Germany it was around 1400. In Switzerland only the 14-day incidence is recorded, which was given as a good 4450 on Wednesday.
News of Monday February 7th, 2022
Australia wants to reopen its borders to tourists who have been vaccinated against the corona virus on February 21. "If you are double vaccinated then we look forward to welcoming you back to Australia," Prime Minister Scott Morrison told holidaymakers on Monday. Australia closed its borders to foreigners and even most of its own nationals abroad in March 2020.
The government had long held on to a zero-Covid policy. However, given the spread of the highly contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus, Morrison had to abandon it. The dispute over the entry of the unvaccinated tennis player Novak Djokovic recently exacerbated the debate about the strict rules. Gradually, the government relaxed the rules for its own citizens, for long-term residents and students.
The country's tourism industry, which is worth billions, had suffered particularly badly from the border closures. The number of visitors collapsed by 98 percent. According to the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, each month of border closures cost businesses an estimated $2.6 billion. At the same time, many tour operators are now struggling with staff shortages when resuming business, as they often rely on backpackers for labour. Despite the announcement, travel within Australia remains restricted. The state of Western Australia remains closed to most non-residents.
News of Thursday February 3, 2022
Spain received significantly fewer holidaymakers last year than the government in Madrid had hoped. A total of 31.1 million tourists from abroad visited the country, according to the statistics authority INE. Although Spain recorded a 64 percent increase in the number of holidaymakers compared to the previous year, the number of tourists remained well below the pre-pandemic level: 63 percent fewer tourists visited Spain in 2021 than in 2019.
The Spanish government had hoped for 45 million holidaymakers in 2021. Before the pandemic, the tourism sector accounted for 12.5 percent of total Spanish economic output, according to Exeltur Tourism. Last year, the proportion fell to just 7.4 percent due to travel restrictions during the corona pandemic.
In particular, visitor numbers from Great Britain, which made up the majority of vacationers to Spain before the pandemic, recovered only to a limited extent in 2021. Only 4.3 million Britons came to Spain last year. Although that was around 36 percent more than in the previous year, in 2020 there was a drop of over 82 percent in British holidaymakers.
News of Tuesday February 1st, 2022
its borders for tourists from all countries of the world. "This is to help revitalize Bali's economy, which has been hit hard by the pandemic," government pandemic officer Luhut Pandjaitan said on Monday.
However, visitors cannot move freely on the island immediately: Anyone who has complete basic protection with the second syringe that is usually necessary must be in quarantine for five days in a hotel of their choice. Those who only have one primary vaccination must isolate themselves for seven days.
The government decided to open the doors due to the contagious omicron variant, despite the fact that the corona numbers had been rising for days. On Sunday, the Southeast Asian island nation had recorded more than 11,500 new infections. Bali relies on the important tourism industry, which has been almost completely down since April 2020. In 2019, more than six million holidaymakers traveled to the island, which is known for its temples, rice fields and beaches.
News of Saturday January 29, 2022
Starting next month, the Philippines will reopen its borders to international tourists for the first time in two years. Vacationers from 157 countries who have full basic corona protection with the second syringe that is usually necessary will be able to enter the island state again without a visa and quarantine from February 10th, government spokesman Karlo Nograles said on Friday. This also includes Germany and all other European countries.
The prerequisite for entry is therefore a negative PCR test, which must be taken no more than 48 hours before departure, and an international vaccination card. "The tourism industry will recover as a result, contributing significantly to people's livelihood and the country's economic growth," Nograles stressed.
The country, known for its beautiful landscapes, volcanoes and dream beaches, has closed its borders to international holidaymakers since March 2020. The Philippines, with a population of around 110 million, has long been one of the worst-hit countries in the region by the pandemic. A total of almost 3.5 million cases have been recorded so far, and more than 53,000 people have died in connection with Covid-19. The number of infections, which at times rose sharply again due to the omicron variant, has recently fallen.
News of Thursday January 27, 2022
According to a decree signed by Health Minister Roberto Speranza, from next month the vaccination card for travelers from other EU countries should be sufficient to prove a full vaccination, recovery or a negative corona test. Currently, Italy also requires an additional negative corona test upon entry from those who have been fully vaccinated or have recovered.
In December, in view of the increasing number of new infections with the omicron variant, the government in Rome required tests from all travelers and a five-day quarantine for all unvaccinated people. These stricter rules were met with criticism in Brussels.
News of Tuesday January 25, 2022
In the future, a valid EU Corona certificate for travel in the EU will be more important than the incidence of infection in the country of departure. The EU states agreed on Tuesday that from February 1, it should no longer be decisive where a trip starts from - but whether a valid vaccination, test or proof of recovery is available. The EU countries announced this on Tuesday. The states are largely following a proposal that the EU Commission presented two months ago.
According to the agreement, in addition to vaccines approved in the EU, funds accepted by the WHO or national authorities should also be sufficient. A PCR test should be carried out no earlier than 72 hours before the trip, and a rapid test 24 hours. A recovery certificate should be valid for 180 days. Those who do not have a certificate should take a test upon arrival. There are exceptions for children. There shouldn't be any additional restrictions. A spokesman for the EU Commission emphasized: "The least we can all expect is that the member states will also implement this recommendation."
Since the omicron variant has now spread throughout Europe, consideration should also be given to lifting the travel restrictions introduced in some member states in view of the variant.
Germany distinguishes between virus variant and high-risk areas for entry. Those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered do not have to go into quarantine after entering the country from a high-risk area. Those who have not been vaccinated can test themselves five days after entry at the earliest. All EU countries are currently classified as high-risk areas, and no country is currently classified as a virus variant area. Other countries such as Italy and Austria are currently demanding more than just a certificate. For example, anyone who only has basic immunization must also present a negative test for a holiday in Austria.
News of Monday January 24, 2022
Rio de Janeiro without carnival, that was a hard blow last year. Optimism grew as the vaccination campaign progressed, and the parades of the samba schools in the sambodrome were scheduled again for 2022. But now the omicron variant intervenes.
Therefore, the world-famous parades in the Sambodromo are postponed to the Tiradentes holiday - the anniversary of the death of the 18th-century freedom fighter is April 21st. Brazil's most populous city, São Paulo, is also postponing its celebrations.
A complete cancellation would mean another loss of millions after the failure last year. Carnival usually attracts millions of tourists to Sugarloaf Mountain every year. According to the "Carnavalesco" portal, the city's spectacle brings in the equivalent of around 620 million euros every year.
News of Friday January 21, 2022
The omicron variant of the corona virus ensures that a good three quarters of all around 200 countries in the world are classified as high-risk areas . In addition to the 136 countries that have been on the risk list of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for a week, 19 more countries will be added this Sunday. A total of 155 countries are now on the list. No country will therefore be removed from the list.
According to the RKI, from Sunday on Romania, Moldova, Kosovo, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Japan, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, the Maldives, Brazil, Chile, and Ecuador will apply Paraguay new as high risk areas.
Anyone entering the country from a high-risk area and who does not have at least full basic protection with the second syringe that is usually necessary or has recovered must be in quarantine for ten days and can free themselves from this at the earliest five days after entry with a negative test. For children who have not yet reached the age of six, the isolation ends automatically five days after entry.
The classification as a high-risk area is linked to a travel warning from the Federal Foreign Office for non-essential tourist trips. It makes it easier for tourists to cancel trips that have already been booked free of charge, but does not mean that they are banned from travel. The classification as a risk area is made after a joint analysis and decision by the Federal Ministry of Health, the Foreign Office and the Ministry of the Interior.
News of Thursday January 20, 2022
Travelers fully vaccinated against the coronavirus could enter the country from February 1 under the "test-and-go" concept, Thai Corona Task Force spokesman Taweesin Visanuyothin said on Thursday. This means that they have to be tested for the corona virus on the first day of their entry and isolate themselves in a hotel until the test result is negative.
Another corona test is therefore due on the fifth day of your stay. Also, Thailand tourists need to download a tracking app. Since the number of corona deaths and hospital admissions has not increased significantly despite the new wave of infections, entry is now possible again without a long quarantine, said Taweesin. However, if the number of corona cases increases again or there are other worrying developments, the concept will be put to the test again.
Thailand suffers massively from the slump in tourism caused by the pandemic. The Southeast Asian country is expecting around five million tourists this year - before the pandemic it was almost 40 million a year.
News of Wednesday January 19, 2022
According to estimates by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the number of tourists worldwide will not reach the level before the corona pandemic before 2024 at the earliest. As the UN organization announced, an increase of four percent was recorded in 2021 compared to the first Corona year. The spread of the highly contagious omicron variant is destroying the recovery.
In 2020, the income of the international tourism industry had collapsed by 72 percent. "The pace of recovery remains slow," the World Tourism Organization said. There are also major differences in the individual regions of the world, which are related to different travel restrictions, vaccination rates and the “trust of travelers”.
In Europe and North and South America, the number of foreign tourists increased last year by 19 and 17 percent respectively compared to 2020. In the Middle East, on the other hand, the number of visitors from abroad fell by 24 percent. In Asia-Pacific, the number of tourists was even 65 percent below 2020 levels and 94 percent below pre-pandemic levels. The organization is forecasting an increase in tourist numbers of 30 to 78 percent this year compared to 2021. Overall, however, the numbers in 2022 will remain well below the 2019 level.
News of Tuesday January 18, 2022
The number of passengers on cruise ships in the European Union plummeted in the Corona year 2020. In 2020, a total of around 530,000 passengers started a cruise in the EU, which was 93 percent fewer than in the previous year, as the Federal Statistical Office announced on Tuesday. In 2019, the cruise industry had recorded a record number of passengers - 7.4 million people boarded a cruise ship at the time.
2019 was the culmination of a long-lasting trend - in 2014, just under 4.8 million people vacationed on a cruise ship. Most vacationers came on board in Spain in 2020, where 42 percent of passengers started their journey.
Around 54,000 passengers went to German cruise ports on the North and Baltic Seas, which corresponded to ten percent of vacationers on cruise ships in the EU. Germany also recorded a significant minus compared to the previous year: In 2019, 1.3 million people started a cruise in Germany, which was 96 percent more than in the pandemic year 2020.
News of Friday January 14, 2022
After Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Tui Cruises is also tightening the vaccination requirements for passengers. From February 23, 2022, the mandatory vaccination protection will be standardized "All guests from the age of 12 need a complete vaccination protection. In addition, all guests from the age of 18 whose basic immunization was more than three months before the end of the cruise need a booster vaccination", announced the Hamburg-based shipping company.
The new regulation applies to the entire Mein Schiff fleet, both for all guests and for all crew members. Further information at www.meinschiff.com/leinen-los/logbuch/covid-19-test
News of Wednesday January 12, 2022
The restrictions to combat the corona pandemic have hit Germany tourism hard for the second year in a row. Despite a significant increase in the number of overnight stays in November, the balance sheet for the first eleven months of 2021 was worse than in the same period of the Corona crisis year 2020.
From January to November 2021, hotels, guesthouses, campsites and the like booked a total of 293 million overnight stays, as the Federal Statistical Office announced in Wiesbaden on Wednesday. That was 0.9 percent less than in the same period last year. Because of the pandemic, some federal states had bans on overnight stays for private travelers until June 2021. In the first half of 2020, on the other hand, only about two months - mid-March to mid-May - were affected by such bans.
In November, accommodation providers recorded a significant increase with 24.6 million overnight stays by guests from Germany and abroad. That was 165.5 percent more than in November 2020, when there was a ban on overnight stays for private travelers. Compared to November of the pre-crisis year 2019, overnight stays were 24.2 percent lower.
News of Friday January 7th, 2022
The federal government has classified the neighboring country of Luxembourg and almost 40 other countries as high-risk areas in whole or in part as of Sunday due to the high number of corona infections. This was announced by the Robert Koch Institute on Friday. Anyone entering the country from such an area and who is not fully vaccinated or has not recovered must be in quarantine for ten days and can only free themselves from this five days after entry with a negative test at the earliest.
In addition to Luxembourg, Sweden, Australia, Argentina, the United Arab Emirates with the winter holiday destination Dubai, Israel and Kenya will be put on the risk list on Sunday. All in all, the number of high-risk areas worldwide increases to more than 100 countries in one fell swoop. This means that about every second country in the world is a high-risk area again. Ukraine is the only country to be removed from the list. Of Germany's neighboring countries, only Austria is no longer a high-risk area as of Sunday.
In France, which has already been considered a high-risk area, there are also the overseas departments of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy - as well as the Dutch overseas territories of Aruba and Curaçao. Angola, Bahrain, the Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Cabo Verde, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Estonia, Fiji, Iceland, Jamaica, Qatar, Kuwait, Panama, Uruguay, the Ivory Coast (Cote d'Ivoire), Gabon will also be considered high-risk areas in the future , Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, the Comoros Archipelago, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Togo and Uganda, Zambia.
After a flight from Italy to India, 70 percent of the passengers tested positive for the corona virus. Before departure from Milan, passengers had to present a negative test in order to be allowed to enter India. After Euroatlantic Airways Flight 661 landed on Wednesday afternoon, all 160 adults out of the 179 passengers were tested again, Indian media reported, citing officials and the airport boss in Amritsar. After that, 125 people tested positive and were sent to institutional quarantine, according to television station NDTV.
After the violent and deadly corona wave almost a year ago, the number of infections in India was low for months. Now they have been rising again for some time. In the country with more than 1.3 billion inhabitants, almost 91,000 new infections were recorded on Thursday. The day before it was 58,000. However, there should be a certain number of unreported cases in the number of infections.
News of Tuesday January 4th, 2022
After Germany was officially removed from the list of red countries, vaccinated and recovered people can enter Israel again from January 9, 2022. According to the decision of the Israeli government, the country will open its borders to individual tourism again from January 9th. All vaccinated and recovered are allowed entry under certain conditions.
Fully vaccinated is anyone who can demonstrate complete immunization with a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO). If the last vaccination was given more than 180 days before entry, the third booster vaccination is required. The vaccination must also have been administered at least 14 days before entry. The digital Covid vaccination certificate from the EU is valid as proof of vaccination for travelers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Digital proof of a positive NAAT test is required for entry into Israel for those who have recovered from Covid, as well as proof of at least one dose of a vaccine approved by the WHO.
Before entering the country, a PCR or rapid test is required in addition to the vaccination. The swab may be taken no more than 72 hours or 24 hours before entry. Travelers must fill out a health declaration online 48 hours before departure - the so-called "Entry Statement". Entry can only be made through Ben Gurion Airport.
Further information: https://new.goisrael.com/de
In view of the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant in Germany, the federal government removed Great Britain, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Eswatini and Lesotho from the list of virus variant areas from Tuesday. The nine states are then listed as high-risk areas.
This makes entry from these countries much easier for people with a full corona vaccination. The classification as a high-risk area, on the other hand, has consequences for unvaccinated travelers in particular: they have to be in quarantine for ten days when entering Germany from a high-risk country. After five days, however, you can "test yourself" with a negative test result. The quarantine obligation does not apply to vaccinated and recovered travelers.
News of Saturday January 1st, 2022
Unplanned New Year's Eve in Lisbon: Due to corona cases among the crew, the onward journey of the cruise ship "Aida Nova" in the port of the Portuguese city has been delayed until the new year. The positive cases were discovered early on in routine tests and those affected were housed ashore in coordination with the authorities in Lisbon, according to Aida Cruises in Rostock. They only have mild symptoms and are being treated medically. "RTL online" had previously reported about it.
According to the company, it was not yet clear when the ship would continue its journey to the Canary Islands. They are awaiting the arrival of important crew members and are examining various travel options. According to the information, cruise guests are allowed to leave the ship without restrictions. The company pointed out that all passengers over the age of 12 and crew are vaccinated and must have both an antigen and a PCR test before boarding.