Travel news: Japan, Australia and Argentina reveal resumption plans

(CNN) – It was World Tourism Day on 27 September this week, but it is safe to say that it has been another bad year for global tourism. If you’re wondering where it’s safe to go and when, and what you need to do to get there, CNN Travel is on hand with these weekly rounds.

Here’s what we learned in pandemic trips this week:

1. Norway lifted its domestic Covid restrictions – then moved straight into the US “very high risk” category

It was not until September 25 that Norway lifted its covid-related domestic restrictions, with the government issuing a statement willing to cautiously return to “normal everyday life”. The statement from Prime Minister Erna Solberg stated that “the pandemic is not over. People will still get sick and therefore it is important that everyone is vaccinated.”
Just two days later, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) moved to Norway to the highest risk category on its list of travel tips for destinations around the world. Although there are plenty of tourist favorites alongside them in the “Level 4” category – including the UK, France and Spain – its Scandinavian neighbors Sweden and Denmark are still down in the “Level 3” category.

2. Japan is now a little easier to visit (if you are completely cracked and with an approved vaccine)

Japan’s Ministry of Health has agreed loosen entry restrictions for visitors to the country who can prove that they are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Travelers must show proof of receiving the Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccines, as they are currently the only ones accepted in Japan. So that’s bad news for China’s Sinopharm and the United States’ Johnson & Johnson.

Qualified travelers will no longer have to endure a 14-day quarantine-instead they can do 10. At the end of the 10-day period, they must take a PCR test. If that test comes back negative, the person can then move freely.

3. Australia has unveiled its plan to reopen its borders to fully vaccinated citizens

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced plans to reopen the country’s borders to fully vaccinated Australian travelers for international travel, which is expected to take effect in November. CNN’s Angus Watson reports.

October 1, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced plans to reopen the country’s borders to fully vaccinated citizens and permanent residents.
It is now more than 18 months since Australia closed its borders in response to the pandemic and imposed strict arrival quotas and a mandatory 14-day quarantine for those who could make the trip. The resumption – which is expected to take effect in November – is still welcome news for thousands of Australian citizens stranded abroad.

4. Argentina will also open to fully vaccinated international visitors on 1 November

Drone images captured a curious southern right whale encountering a paddle border off the coast of Argentina.

We are now entering the spring in the southern hemisphere and it will therefore be a peak time to visit Argentina when it reopens for international tourism on 1 November.

All foreign visitors are welcome to make a quarantine-free visit, as long as they have received the approved vaccines at least two weeks in advance and also present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before their arrival in the country.

Argentine Health Minister Carla Vizzoti tweeted the news on 21 September. The country’s land borders have already reopened, on October 1, so that foreign nationals from their neighboring countries can enter.

Vietnam’s largest city has released its Covid restrictions

A health worker checks the temperature of a public at a Covid-19 vaccination center in Ho Chi Minh City on August 5, 2021.

A health worker checks the temperature of a public at a Covid-19 vaccination center in Ho Chi Minh City on August 5, 2021.

Maika Elan / Bloomberg / Getty Images

Vietnam has been on a strict lockdown since early July, following a Covid wave linked to the Delta variant that would lead to a record 804 deaths in one day on 1 September.

While the cases have dropped, it still sees more than 62,000 new cases a week and less than 10% of the population are vaccinated.
But the economy has been hit hard and officials in Vietnam’s largest city and commercial hub, Ho Chi Minh City, have decided to stop the travel edges in the city and allow certain hospitality facilities, malls and construction projects to resume operations, reports Reuters.

6. A couple married at the border between the United States and Canada so that the bride’s family could participate

Karen Mahoney and Brian Ray married at the US-Canada border so her family could witness it.

Karen Mahoney and Brian Ray married at the US-Canada border so her family could witness it.

Courtesy of Karen Mahoney

Some people want a church wedding, others want a beach worship service, but for newlyweds Karen Mahoney and Brian Ray, a US-Canada border crossing outside Burke, New York, was perfect.

Covid-19 restrictions had made it difficult for the Canadian bride to have her family at her wedding in the United States, so it was the way for Mahony’s parents and 96-year-old grandmother to be at the celebration.

“The most important part of the day for us was the promises we made to each other, and we wanted my parents and grandmother to witness it.” Mahoney told CNN.

7. A baby was born on a Turkish Airlines flight to the United States

On a flight from Istanbul, Turkey to Chicago, Ill.  On September 27, a passenger was born with the help of a doctor on board and Turkish Airlines cabin crew.  The flight continued, as the mother and baby were in good health.  Cabin members on the flight were: Cabin Chief Gülderen Doğu, Gulderen Dogu, Pinar Yildirim, Mehmet Topaloglu, Sinem Ozdemir, Abdulkadir Demir, Ahmet Yakar, Mustafa Can Oksuzomer, Sena Yumru, Ugur Sacak, Ezgi Dilara Subasi, Ismail Meilh.

Turkish Airlines crew members with the baby they helped to give birth to.

Courtesy of Turkish Airlines

A Moroccan woman gave birth on a Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul to Chicago on September 27. Her son was delivered with the help of cabin crew and a doctor who was on board, reports Nola.com.

The flight continued because the mother and child were in good health, a spokesman for Turkish Airlines said in a press release.

8. A Middle East airline was named the best in the world

Doha-based Qatar Airways has been named the best airline of 2021 twice: first off AirlineRatings.com in July and now by the review body Skytrax.

The Skytrax World Airline Awards are voted on by travelers via a customer survey, which this time ran from September 2019 to July 2021.

“It is clear that Qatar Airways has maintained its high standards of innovation and service standards, both during more normal times and through the current global pandemic,” said Skytrax CEO Edward Plaisted in a statement on the results.

9. Parts of United Airlines’ vaccine mandate have been suspended under a temporary agreement

nited Airlines pilot Steve Lindland will receive a Covid-19 vaccine at O'Hare International Airport in March 2021.

nited Airlines pilot Steve Lindland will receive a Covid-19 vaccine at O’Hare International Airport in March 2021.

Scott Olson / Getty Images

United Airlines’ vaccine mandate went into effect this week, but the airline is postponing full implementation while a legal challenge for the mandate progresses.

According to a temporary agreement, employees who have been denied their religious or medical accommodation by the company may remain active in the company until October 8, when the court has planned a hearing in the trial.

United’s policy will continue to apply to employees who do not show proof of vaccination and did not apply for a religious or medical exemption.

10. Road trips in the UK were tricky due to a petrol crisis

The British military is on standby to deliver petrol to petrol stations after a shortage of tanker drivers forced some to close last week, triggering a storm of panic buying by British motorists.

Britain’s week-long petrol shortage, which has seen petrol stations closed and long lines at those open, is starting to ease, although things have not returned to normal.

This is due to a shortage of tankers, which is exacerbated by the Brexit situation and also by panic purchases by the public. CNN’s Charles Riley has decline on what you need to know.

CNN’s Chris Isidore, Lauren M. Johnson, Lilit Marcus, Duarte Mendonca, Henrik Pettersson, Charles Riley, Tierney Sneed, Francesca Street, Angus Watson and Ben Westcott contributed to this report.

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