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Chile, Fiji and South Africa ready for return travelers

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(CNN) – Island communities around the world have seen varying fortunes this week as some have restricted entry due to Covid outbreaks while others plan to reopen.

Here’s our latest roundup of the biggest pandemic travel news.

1. Other island getaways have been added to the US ‘do not travel’ list

The popular island destinations of Grenada and Saint Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean and Mauritius in the Indian Ocean have been added to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC ) the United States.

This means that US citizens are advised to avoid traveling there and to do so only if they are fully vaccinated.

This highest category risk list is now packed with some of the world’s top tourist destinations, including France, Spain, Turkey, Thailand and the UK.

2. Lithuania will pay to extend your stay

If Lithuania is on your sightseeing list, you’re in luck: the Baltic nation is offering more than 10,000 free hotel stays to visiting travelers this fall.

Independent travelers can register online for the “Lithuania. Take Your Time” program, which will offer a third night of free accommodation after booking two.

This means that the expanses of Trakai Historical National Park and the UNESCO-recognized Old Town of Vilnius are now easier to visit than ever before. The promotion is valid until November 8.

Vilnius’ well-preserved Old Town is home to medieval buildings.

Petras Malukas / AFP / Getty Images

3. Miami has a team of Covid sniffer dogs

The two puppies started working at Miami International Airport (MIA) this week and are tasked with sniffing the face masks of all airport workers when they arrive at work. Both dogs have an accuracy rate of over 98%.

Miami is the first airport in the United States to train covid sniffer dogs, but similar puppy programs exist in Finland and the United Arab Emirates.

4. Australia is testing vaccine passports …

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that travel could resume once the country hits the 80% mark of the fully vaccinated population.

As Australians get excited and dream of overseas getaways, the government is considering exactly what the reopening might look like. First step: a vaccination “passport” in the form of a QR code.

5. … while the UK is divided on the issue

Although the government has launched a proposal that would require ‘vaccine passports’ to enter nightclubs, cinemas and other public places in the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to suspend the plan as well as mandatory regulations on the drug. wearing a mask.

Instead, his administration will continue to push vaccinations, with booster shots encouraged for frontline health workers, people over 50, and other risk groups.

However, there will be one exception to this: Scotland. The Scottish government has voted to enact a measure that people attending large events will need to show proof of vaccination in order to enter. It will come into force on October 1.

So, like the Meryl Streep and Steve Martin movie, it’s complicated.

6. England gives green light to end traffic lights

From October 4, arrivals to England will no longer be governed by constantly evolving red-amber-green lists whose countries are considered safe. Instead, there will just be a no-go red list, beyond which everything is open.

Strict PCR testing requirements are also relaxed for vaccinated travelers, meaning that journeys to and from the UK are now much cheaper and easier.

7. Chile is ready to welcome its guests again

Chile, Fiji and South Africa ready for return travelers

Arty Valparaiso was the home of the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.

Martin Bernetti / AFP / Getty Images

The South American nation of Chile will welcome international travelers from October 1.

Visitors must present a negative PCR test performed within 72 hours of boarding, travel medical insurance with minimum coverage of $ 30,000, register on the C19 national website and obtain a ‘mobility pass’, the Chilean version of a vaccination passport where you can upload your information.

All visitors who obtain the mobility pass must self-isolate for five days upon arrival in the country, while those who are not vaccinated or do not obtain the pass will be required to self-isolate for seven days.

But let’s get to the fun stuff. Travelers to Chile can enjoy the colorful street art of Valparaiso, the beauty of the driest place in the world (the Atacama Desert), and the country’s newest UNESCO site, the Mummies of Chinchorro.

8. Jamaica wants to vaccinate all its tourism workers

How do you put tourists at ease when they come to stay in hotels and dine in restaurants? Jamaica is hoping that fully immunizing 100% of its hotel workers will do the trick.

The ambitious goal of the Tourism Vaccination Task Force is to vaccinate the 170,000 Jamaicans who work in all sectors of the industry, from airport ground staff to tour operators and vendors in the cottage market.

9. More beautiful islands reopen their doors

Chile, Fiji and South Africa ready for return travelers

Montserrat is one of the Leeward Islands.

By Agostini / Getty Images

Fiji has announced that it will start reopening to tourists from around the world when it reaches an 80% vaccination rate, which means either November or December 2021. (It’s not too early to start anyway. to plan New Years Eve in the South Pacific).
Montserrat, the underrated Caribbean island and British Overseas Territory, is also reopening. To get there, you’ll need to fly to a nearby island like Antigua or Guadeloupe and take a ferry or a short suburban flight.

Bonus: If you fall in love with it, Montserrat offers a remote working program in the midst of the pandemic.

The Langkawi Islands in Malaysia began a gradual reopening on September 16. For now, these picturesque islands will only be open to domestic tourists, but keep your fingers crossed as this is a dry race to eventually allow international travelers to join them.

10. New York City Vaccine Passport Rules Come into Force

Chile, Fiji and South Africa ready for return travelers

Summit One Vanderbilt opens in midtown Manhattan next month.

SL Green

The Big Apple’s “Key to NYC” Vaccine Passport Program is now in effect.

CNN’s Eric Levenson explains the logistics: “Companies are now required to check the immunization status of all staff and customers 12 years and older, or they will be subject to fines. Residents can show proof of vaccination in the form of a CDC vaccination card, NYC vaccination card, the New York State Excelsior Pass or the NYC Covid Safe app. “

A sweetener for travelers is the opportunity to visit Summit One Vanderbilt, New York’s newest observation deck, which opens on October 21.

The Midtown attraction features an all-glass elevator that rises 1,200 feet above the city and an immersive art installation called “Air.”

11. South African Airways returns this month

After being battered by the pandemic, South Africa is slowly relaxing its restrictions.

The size of gatherings can be increased from 250 to 500 and the national curfew has been increased from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.

The country is considering a vaccine passport, but the move seems too similar to the old apartheid-era passes that black South Africans were forced to wear.

Meanwhile, the national airline South African Airways will resume flights on September 23 after a 16-month shutdown.

CNN’s Tamara Hardingham-Gill, Eric Levenson, Lilit Marcus, David McKenzie and Ben Westcott contributed to this report.

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