Home Blog

Council updates recommendation on restrictions to travel from third countries


The Council today adopted an amending recommendation on the temporary restriction on non-essential travel into the EU. This amendment responds to the ongoing vaccination campaigns by introducing certain waivers for vaccinated persons and easing the criteria to lift restrictions for third countries. At the same time, it takes into account the possible risks posed by new variants by setting out an emergency brake mechanism to quickly react to the emergence of a variant of interest or concern in a third country.

Criteria to lift restrictions for all travellers from a third country

For restrictions on non-essential travel to be lifted for a given third country, under the new rules the number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 inhabitants over the last 14 days is raised from 25 to 75. The progress in having the population vaccinated against the virus should also be taken into account. At the same time, to respond to the risk posed by new variants, the detection in a country of variants of interest should now be considered together with variants of concern.

Other existing criteria continue to apply, including a stable or decreasing trend of new cases, the number of tests performed, a 4% positivity rate among all tests carried out, the overall response to COVID-19 in the country and the reliability of the available information. Reciprocity should continue to be taken into account on a case by case basis.

Lifting of restrictions for vaccinated persons

If member states accept proof of vaccination to waive travel restrictions such as testing or quarantine, they should in principle lift restrictions on non-essential travel for third-country travellers who have received the last recommended dose of an EMA approved vaccine at least 14 days before arrival. Member states could also lift the restriction on non-essential travel to those who have received at least 14 days before the last recommended dose of a vaccine having completed the WHO emergency use listing process.

Where lifting these restrictions, member states should take into account reciprocity on a case by case basis.

Once adopted, the digital green certificate regulation will provide the basis, through a Commission implementing act, for treating third country vaccination certificates equivalent to digital green certificates. Until then, member states should be able to accept third country certificates containing at least a minimum data set, in accordance with national law and taking into account the need to be able to verify the authenticity, validity and integrity of the certificate.

Emergency brake mechanism

Where the epidemiological situation of a third country or region worsens quickly, in particular if a variant of concern or of interest has been detected, member states should adopt an urgent, temporary restriction on all travel into the EU. This emergency brake should not apply to EU citizens, long-term EU residents and certain categories of essential travellers, who should nevertheless be subject to appropriate testing and quarantine measures, even if fully vaccinated.

When a member state applies such restrictions, the member states meting within the Council should urgently review the situation in a coordinated manner and in close cooperation with the Commission. Such restrictions should be reviewed at least every two weeks.

UNWTO Hosts Tourism Leaders in Madrid


The global tourism sector has come together to show its unity and readiness to restart as soon as conditions allow.

To celebrate the return of the FITUR International Tourism Fair, UNWTO united leaders from the public and private sectors to send out a strong message that tourism is ready to return. Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili welcomed distinguished guests to the Royal Theatre in Madrid, among them the newest UNWTO Ambassadors, including the manager of Atlético de Madrid football club Diego Simeone and model and entrepreneur, Valeria Mazza.

Reflecting unprecedented levels of political support for tourism, joining UNWTO at the evening event were Reyes Maroto, Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism of Spain and the Mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida. Furthermore, the sector’s ability to touch on almost every part of society was further reflected in the naming of UNWTO’s latest Ambassadors. Joining Mr Simeone and Ms Mazza in accepting the honor in Madrid were the latest UNWTO Special Ambassador for Gastronomy Tourism, chef Ramón Freixa Riera and business leaders Alejandro Bulgheroni and Frank Ranieri.
Read More

When will Travel to Europe Open for fully vaccinated tourists?


CNN, New York Times and other major media today published the reopening of Europe for American Travelers. What was not mentioned was the effective day and approval process.

The European Union is in the final stage of agreeing on reopening the European Union including the Schengen region to international visitors, including Americans, Canadians and others. Wednesday’s decision has yet to be formally confirmed by the EU states

In view of the great advances in vaccination in countries such as the USA and Israel, the European Union wants to significantly relax the restrictions on entry from third countries. Tourists who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus will soon be able to enter the state bloc more easily again.

For them, the restrictions imposed at the beginning of the pandemic for non-essential entries should no longer apply after an agreement by the EU ambassadors, as the German press agency learned from several EU diplomats.

This should apply if the EU states also accept proof of vaccination for travel within the block of states.

U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement:
“The European Union’s risk-based, science-driven plan to reopen international travel will hopefully spur the U.S. to heed the many calls for a plan and timetable to safely reopen our borders. The right conditions are in place: vaccinations are increasing, infections are decreasing, all inbound visitors get tested or have to prove they’ve recovered, and it’s possible to determine vaccine status.

US Travel responded in saying:
“Vaccinated Americans can travel to other countries because EU governments know they’re essential tourism spenders and will safely support economic recovery. The U.S. is being left off the UK and EU safe list because we aren’t yet moving forward to let international visitors back in.

“The U.S. has been a leader in many aspects of managing the pandemic, but is behind our global competitors in pursuing an international economic reopening. The millions of travel-related U.S. jobs that were lost to the pandemic won’t come back on the strength of domestic travel alone, so identifying the path to restarting international visitation is essential to an overall economic recovery.”

At the same time, the EU is working to make traveling within Europe easier with the help of a vaccination certificate. However, the negotiations between EU states and the European Parliament on Tuesday evening did not bring any result and will go into the next round on Thursday.

In order to protect themselves from the pandemic, in March 2020 all EU states except Ireland and the non-EU states Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland agreed on recommendations for an extensive stop for non-essential entries. The recommendations are not legally binding, but they are considered an important directional decision.

There are exceptions for family members, diplomats and medical staff. Last summer, the EU states then stipulated the conditions under which entry from certain states with a good virus situation should become easier. There are currently seven third countries on the relevant “white list”.

The agreement reached on Wednesday now stipulates that people who have been vaccinated will be allowed to re-enter two weeks after the last vaccination if they can present a valid vaccination certificate.

It should also play a role whether vaccinated EU citizens are also allowed to travel to the relevant third country. Vaccines that are approved in the EU should be accepted.

So far, these are the four preparations from Biontech -0.13% / Pfizer, Moderna -2.34%, Johnson & Johnson -1.56% and Astrazeneca -0.46%. However, the EU states can decide for themselves whether they should continue to impose test or quarantine obligations on vaccinated persons. Some countries such as Greece already allow vaccinated people from some third countries to enter the country without quarantine.

In the future, more people should be allowed to enter the country regardless of the vaccination. To this end, the EU states are loosening a criterion on the “white list”. The limit for the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the past 14 days is to be raised from 25 to 75. Further criteria are, for example, the test rate and the positive rate in a country. In the coming days, the EU states will discuss separately from which countries entry will soon be easier under these conditions.

In the event that the corona situation in a country worsens dramatically within a short period of time, a kind of emergency brake is provided. This should be used in particular for regions in which worrying virus variants occur. Then a strict entry freeze should be imposed immediately with only a few exceptions.
Source: eTN / Image: Pixabay

San Marino a great success at ATM event


Officials from the Republic of San Marino highlighted key nationals attractions and plans for the future of tourism at the just-concluded Arabian Travel Market held in Dubai.

The Republic of San Marino for the first time ever showcased the unique attractions and heritage in the UAE during the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) and offered insights about the country’s participation at the upcoming Dubai Expo later this year. Attending the ATM was Republic of San Marino’s Minister for Tourism and Expo, Federico Pedini Amati, and Commissioner General of San Marino to Expo 2020 Dubai, Mauro Maiani.

The ATM was an ideal platform for the Republic of San Marino officials to communicate and engage with partners, media, and sponsors about the deep cultural and economic ties between San Marino and the UAE as well as strengthen crucial relationships to encourage more tourists at cultural sites, natural areas, and retail and tourist attractions within the Republic of San Marino.

As the country gears up to be at the Expo Dubai, its participation at ATM reinforced the country’s efforts to position itself as a must-see tourist destination nestled within Italy and easily accessible via key airports such as Rome and Bologna. San Marino is located in Northern Italy and is an independent country founded more than 1700 years ago with a territory of 24 square miles and 33,000 inhabitants.

Minister for Tourism and Expo of the Republic of San Marino, Federico Pedini Amati, said: “We were delighted to be part of the Arabian Travel Market and share new developments for tourism and highlight our participation at Dubai Expo as we worked together to help rebuild trust in travel and showcase our country’s appeal to potential visitors around the globe. This ATM was a great opportunity to highlight our country’s strengths and offer a short glimpse into our culture and our common interests. We were also keen for visitors to see a piece of San Marino in the UAE as we have a unique Fibula – a brooch in the form of an eagle currently exhibited at the Louvre Abu Dhabi.”

During the presentation, the Ambassador to the UAE and Commissioner General Expo 2020, Mauro Maiani, unveiled the main theme and title of the San Marino Pavilion at the Expo located in the Opportunity area. The Pavilion will be dedicated to the replica of the “Treasure of Domagnano” found in San Marino in late 1800s. The most important piece of the treasure, the fibula, is now at Louvre Abu Dhabi. The pavilion will also tell the history and tradition of the country as well as its modern economic system based on tourism but also in innovative companies. The national day of San Marino at Expo 2020 will be on December 10, 2021.
Source: eTN

Great challenge for Italy: The new Colosseum


One of the most popular tourist sites in Italy, the Colosseum, will be made new again and will be ready in 2023.
The symbolic monument of Italy known as the Colosseum will get a new wooden floor with a super technological and green soul along with a system of panels with a carbon fiber core that moves and rotates like a sort of super sophisticated brie soleil that will guarantee both the view of the basement and its ventilation. This is how the new Colosseum arena will be in 2023, the most ambitious and contested challenge of the Italy Minister of Cultural Heritage, Dario Franceschini.

It will be “an extremely light and completely reversible structure” assured the designers of Milan Ingegneria, the Venetian company that won, together with other specialists, the tender launched by Invitalia for the construction of the project, financed since 2015 with 18.5 million euros.

“An ambitious project that will help the conservation and protection of archaeological structures by recovering the original image of the Colosseum and also restoring its nature as a complex scenic machine,” defined the minister who has taken this idea to heart since 2014 by relaunching the input of archaeologist Daniele Manacorda and then carrying it forward despite the criticisms and controversies that have come from many insiders.

And that today returns to the possibility of exploiting the rediscovered arena also for “high-profile” events and cultural or entertainment initiatives of international caliber. “I know that there will be controversy,” the minister admits, but “the Colosseum is our symbolic monument; it is right that we discuss it. But it is a great challenge for Italy.”
On July 29, the amphitheater – still to be modernized – will symbolically host the first G20 of the ministers of culture.

It will take more months to finalize what architects and engineers call “the executive” and at the same time another call for tenders will have to be launched to identify the company that will build it. But the times at this point are quite limited as the new arena of the Colosseum anticipates as the Director of the Archaeological Park of Pompeii, Alfonsina Russo, said should be built by 2023.

The engineering firm at the head of the winning group boasts a very rich portfolio of projects all over the world and decades of collaborations with great architects starting from Renzo Piano and also architects whose names are linked to the conservative restoration of the Palladian Basilica in Vicenza.

The project, which was drawn up together with architect Fabio Fumagalli of Labics and others was chosen by a commission drawn by Invitalia. At the basis there is the idea of combining the reasons for protection with the recovery of the image origin of the monument and that of its functioning as a complex scenic machine.

The platform, explained architect Fabio Fumagalli, was placed at the level it had been at the time of the Flavians and “takes both form and functions from the original plan.”

The beams “are placed directly on the wall structures without mechanical anchors” and this is precisely to make the structure as less invasive as possible and completely reversible. “If in ten or a hundred years there is the need to remove it, it will be possible to restore the state of today’s event,” pointed out Massimiliano Milan.

The new decking will consist of movable panels made of protruded carbon and covered with Accoya wood, a material “obtained through an acetylation process of the wood fibers” to increase its resistance and also its durability. High technology is in play, therefore, and also sustainability, because precious essences will not have to be demolished and, among other things, the recycling of rainwater has been envisaged.

A sophisticated mechanism of “rotation and translation” of the panels of which the platform is composed will serve to guarantee both the view of the basement and its ventilation and lighting, as well as allowing the original scenic system to be seen. Distributed along the perimeter of the monument there will then be 24 mechanical ventilation units that will control the humidity and temperature of the underground rooms.

“In just 30 minutes, it will be possible to guarantee the complete exchange of the entire volume of air,” the designers still assured. Hence also the step forward underlined by the minister for the protection of the Italian monument that has been increasingly visited stated, “The new level of the arena – explain the designers – will protect the underlying environments from atmospheric agents; the water discharge will be significantly reduced thanks to a system of rainwater collection which will then be reused in the Colosseum public conveniences.”
Source: eTN / Image: Pixabay

Arabian Travel Market 2021 is open


ATM 2021’s show theme is appropriately ‘A New Dawn for Travel & Tourism’ and spread across nine halls. Consistent with the existing density restrictions and social distancing guidelines and regulations, there will be 11,000 people in the halls at any given time.

HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, CEO and Founder of the Emirates Group, and chairman of Dubai World, officially inaugurated Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2021 today, marking the start of the 28th edition of the Middle East’s largest travel and tourism exhibition.

HH Sheikh Ahmed was accompanied by HE Helal Saeed Al Marri, CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) and Director-General of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Claude Blanc, WTM & IBTM Portfolio Director; Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director the Middle East, ATM and other VIPs who embarked on a tour of the show floor as the four-day event got underway at DWTC.

The event will once again play an integral role in Arabian Travel Week, a 10-day long festival of travel and tourism events taking place in Dubai and online. In addition to the in-person Arabian Travel Market event, the travel events that are part of Arabian Travel Week are: travel technology exhibition Travel Forward, ARRIVAL Dubai for the tours and attractions sector, GBTA’s half-day virtual business travel conference, ITIC’s Middle East Tourism Investment Summit and regionally focused buyer groups including China, and of course ATM Virtual, the online edition of the ATM exhibition.

This year, for the first time in ATM history, a new hybrid format will mean a virtual ATM running a week later, from 24-26 May, to complement and reach a wider audience than ever before. ATM Virtual, which made its debut last year, proved to be a resounding success attracting 12,000 online attendees from 140 countries.
Source: eTN / Image: ATM

Tourists not counted on State of Hawaii COVID-19 statistics


Hawaii has been seen as a model for the United States and the World to keep COVID-19 out. It can be hoped that this assumption is also based on facts. Why would State officials and elected officials take the risk to mislead visitors and residents with incomplete COVID.

eTurboNews and Hawaii News Online have been excluded from media allowed to ask questions at press conferences by the State of Hawaii and in the City of Honolulu. There may be a reason. For many months, eTurboNews was waiting for an opportunity to question the legitimacy of COVID-19 numbers published.

Did Hawaii Governor Ige and Honolulu Mayor Blangiardi want to avoid this important question so it could not be asked at a public press conference?

Hawaii has been seen as the safest and most restricted place in the United States of America during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hawaii’s travel and tourism is already back in record numbers when it comes to domestic arrivals. International tourism remains closed. In a community town hall meeting, the Hawaii Tourism Authority CEO John De Fries talked about limiting the number of tourists to 35% in order to protect the environment and the Hawaiian culture when the rest of the tourism world is desperately trying to increase numbers.

Hawaii still has a 10-day quarantine in place for everyone entering the Aloha State without a specific COVID-19 test from an approved US Laboratory. Speed tests are not accepted. This quarantine requirement is waived with a negative test by an approved facility.

Why would the State of Hawaii mislead its people and the tourism industry in hiding the true number of COVID-19 cases? A nurse who wanted to remain anonymous told eTurboNews her urgent care office receives visitors with positive COVID-19 tests all the time.

eTurboNews reached out to the Hawaii Department of Health, the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, and to legislators that are members of the Senate and House Committees on Health and on the House Committee on Pandemic & DIsaster Preparedness.

The ignorance to this very important and key question on how safe tourism in Hawaii is, and how safe residents really are interacting with visitors, can only be categorized as negligent.

Senator Sharon Moriwaki did some more research and came out with a final verdict.
Visitors are counted in Hawaii the minute they are diagnosed as COVID-19 positive. Once it is investigated this visitor has a drivers license in another state, he or she will be deleted from the Hawaii count and added to the count in his or her home state or country.

In other words, there seems to be a constant adding and subtracting to the COVID-19 count in Hawaii, hiding the true numbers from visitors and residents. This way, a sense of safety and security is created based on confusion.

Hawaii has been seen as a model for the United States and the world to keep COVID-19 under control. It can be hoped that this assumption is also based on facts. The fact remains that COVID-19 infections for Hawaii residents are low and have not been increasing. The fact is also that most residents in Hawaii have been vaccinated or are in the process of getting vaccinated. So why would officials take the risk to mislead visitors and residents with COVID statistics?
Source: eTN / Image: Pixabay

Spectacular architectural attraction opens in the Norwegian fjords

Spectacular architectural attraction opens in the Norwegian fjords
Staircase bridge over the Vøringsfossen waterfall Photo: Harald Christian Eiken)

On Friday, August 21, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration opens a new National Scenic Routes attraction with a staircase bridge over the Vøringsfossen waterfall in the Hardangerfjord region.

Europa-Park says HALLOWinter

Europa-Park says HALLOWinter
Europa-Park in Germany (Photo: Michael Thoma)

For the first time in its history, Europa-Park, Germany’s largest theme park, is also open between the Halloween and winter seasons.

NapCabs at Frankfurt Airport


Looking for a little shut-eye before your flight? Passengers at Frankfurt Airport now have the opportunity to take time out in specially designed NapCabs. Three of these snooze pods are now available in transit area B of Terminal 1. They can be found on Level 3, next to the roof terrace.

The new facilities are designed for transit passengers with prolonged waits for their connecting flights looking for some peace and quiet far from the hustle and bustle of the terminal. With a floor area of 4.2 square meters, the pods are compact but comfortable. The occupant can be sure of total seclusion and privacy. Each cabin is equipped with a bed, workstation and touchscreen with access to videos and music. It also features fully adjustable air-conditioning, lighting, a docking station for an iPod, an MP3 port, a USB charging point, and Internet connectivity. If users wish to freshen up, shower rooms are just a few short steps away.

The minimum rental period is two hours during daytime; between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. it is three hours. Usage is charged by the hour. During the day, 60 minutes cost 15 euros, at night the fee is 10 euros – payable by credit card, PayPal or Alipay. The NapCabs are accessible 24 hours a day, all year round. They can be reserved in advance via booking.napcabs.com – or they can be used ad-hoc, if available.

The pods are operated by German company Napcabs GmbH. They are also responsible for cleaning and disinfecting the cabins immediately after use, and for maintaining them.

The NapCabs are an attractive addition to the current rest-and-relaxation facilities on offer for transit passengers at Frankfurt Airport. The MY CLOUD transit hotel, for example, has been available in Pier Z since 2017. This provides passengers with a total of 59 rooms, each featuring an en-suite bathroom with a shower and available to rent for a minimum of three hours.
Source: Frankfurt Airport / Image: Frankfurt Airport

(German version)