10 things we learned about Covid travel this week

(CNN) – Planning a trip this summer is a bit like battling math in high school.

There is the algebra of restrictions, when X in Y cannot go. There are increasing and decreasing R numbers. There is the addition of theft costs to test the costs to the quarantine costs. And then there’s the theory of probability and the risk of it all failing.

Luckily, CNN Travel is there as a classroom assistant, guiding you through the latest pandemic travel news with these weekly updates.

Here are 10 things we learned this week.

1. Air passengers are increasingly unruly

The US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has received nearly 3,300 reports of unruly behavior from airline passengers so far this year – and it’s had enough of their nonsense.

In January, the agency launched a zero tolerance policy against passenger misconduct and announced Tuesday that it had imposed $ 119,000 in civil penalties on nine travelers.

The biggest fine is a $ 21,500 case against a man on a Frontier Airlines vacation season flight between Nashville and Orlando. After slipping into his own booze supply, this guy got into a fight with the flight attendant and other passengers after being asked to wear a face mask, even hitting the person next to him on the head.
Sara Nelson of the Association of Flight Attendants union told CNN last month that the situation was “out of control.”

2. Billionaires flee into space

British billionaire Richard Branson plans to beat fellow billionaire and rival Jeff Bezos in space. Branson’s company, Virgin Galactic, made a surprise announcement that it will attempt to fly the Virgin rocket-propelled plane on July 11, nine days before Bezos’ planned launch on July 20.

When the world gets too heavy, “take your ass to Mars”. Otherwise, bring it to the upper parts of the earth’s mesosphere.

If all goes according to plan, Branson will be the first billionaire to travel through space aboard a vehicle he helped fund development, beating Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his only nine-day Blue Origin rocket. .

Of course, the adventure is not without risk. The rocket motor might not ignite, the cabin might lose pressure, or getting in or out of the atmosphere might just tear the vehicle apart. CNN’s Jackie Wattles explains what’s involved.

3. Asia-Pacific has the most powerful passports

The Henley Index, which does not take into account temporary travel restrictions, is based on proprietary data from the International Air Traffic Association (IATA) and ranks passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a visa. prior. Its main passports are Japan, followed by Singapore, then Germany and South Korea in third place.

The ranking of the Arton Capital index is based on the addition of the number of countries for which a passport has visa-free entry along with the number for which it can obtain a visa on arrival. Its main passports are New Zealand, followed by Germany, Spain and Australia, all in second place.

4. Travelers go to a small American island just to get stung

Wham, Guam, thank you, ma’am.

Mar-Vic Cagurangen / AFP / Getty Images

Taiwanese travelers travel to U.S. territory of Guam to enjoy the island’s stunning scenery and also to refuel on Covid vaccines from a menu of vaccines that includes Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.

The recently launched Air Visit & Vacation (dubbed V&V) program by the Guam Visitors Bureau is open to Taiwanese tourists aged 12 and over, and vaccines are delivered on-site to 11 designated hotels.

5. Airbnb has blocked over 50,000 revelers in the United States alone

6. Canada won’t be opening its borders anytime soon

If you can read this sign, you are too close.

If you can read this sign, you are too close.

Elaine Thompson / AP

Canada may just have lifted its quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated Canadians entering the country, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week rejected the idea that non-essential visitors will soon be allowed in.

“I can tell you right now that this isn’t going to happen for a while,” Trudeau said during a campaign-style stop in British Columbia on Thursday.

The Canada-U.S. Border remains closed to non-essential travel until at least July 21. CNN’s Paula Newton has the whole truth here.

7. Amber turns green for fully vaccinated Britons

The UK has once again turned its color wheel of fate, and from July 19 fully vaccinated UK travelers will be able to ignore the requirement for self-isolation on their return from countries on the ‘amber’ list. Implementation is the responsibility of decentralized governments, and travelers will still be subject to before and after testing requirements.

This means that for fully stung countries, there will be no difference between “green” and “amber” countries and the doors will again be open to all destinations that will accept them reciprocally. (Read more on the government site.)

8. Seoul and Sydney have tightened their confinement

Health workers perform Covid tests at Bondi Beach in Sydney.

Health workers perform Covid tests at Bondi Beach in Sydney.

Steven Saphore / AFP / Getty Images

On Monday, Seoul will enter a two-week lockdown that will be the most difficult to date, in a bid to counter the rise in the number of Covid-19s.

The new measure will ban private gatherings of more than two people after 6 p.m., including in restaurants, in addition to current restrictions. Most public events, including exhibitions and gatherings, will be banned and only family members will be able to attend weddings and funerals.

In Australia, Sydney tightened its measures on Friday. People shop for essentials only, are not allowed to exercise in groups of more than two, and cannot leave within 10 kilometers of their homes unless necessary. The lockdown will last at least until July 16. CNN’s Jake Kwon and Angus Watson have the details here.

9. Scottish coasts could look the purest in Europe

The Scottish island of Islay is known for its whiskey.

The Scottish island of Islay is known for its whiskey.


The coasts of eastern Scotland have the purest summer air in Europe, according to a new air pollution study from US cleantech firm Airly .

The Highlands and Islands of Scotland and the west-central coastal region of Scotland were also in the top five.

If you’re looking for inspiration on where to go, check out CNN’s guide to the best places to visit in Scotland. There are over 790 islands divided into four main groups: Shetland, Orkney, Inner Hebrides and Outer Hebrides.
And if you’re passing through the capital Edinburgh, keep an eye out for the ‘big job’.

10. LEGOLAND New York opens a huge hotel

Legoland Hotel.  Press kit, July 2021

The LEGO Friends room. Does the girl on the left know something her friend doesn’t?

Courtesy of Legoland New York Resort

Sure, you can stay at the Four Seasons or the Ritz-Carlton, but to really do New York in style you need a nightclub elevator and a pirate room.

The new LEGOLAND theme park in Goshen, New York, opened on Friday and guests can book stays at the adjacent LEGOLAND hotel starting August 6.

There are 250 rooms with a variety of themes, including Pirate, Kingdom, LEGO NINJAGO, and LEGO Friends.

But before you visit this European import to USA, please take note of the company’s official line. As LEGO tweeted in 2017, “LEGO is still an adjective. So LEGO bricks, LEGO elements, LEGO sets, etc. Never, never ‘lego'”.

CNN’s Eric Cheung, Jake Kwon, Kate Mackay, Lilit Marcus, Paula Newton, Gregory Wallace, Angus Watson and Jackie Wattles contributed to this story.

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