Spain, Greece and Italy top British holiday wish-list – but most will wait until next summer

Spain, Greece and Italy top the holiday wish-list for British travellers – but most will wait until next summer for a foreign getaway.

As battles rage within government over the UK’s quarantine plans, Britain’s biggest travel firm says demand is strong for Mediterranean destinations.

Tui says the holidaymakers it polled revealed Spain, Greece and Italy are the top three locations “people intend to visit when they can”.

Download the new Independent Premium app

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

Among long-haul destinations, the most popular locations are Florida, the Caribbean and Mexico.

The top 10 also includes the Mediterranean nations of Croatia and Turkey, and the long-haul targets of Dubai and Thailand.

But fewer than half the holidaymakers surveyed plan to travel this year. The company said: “Forty-five per cent of us are hoping to take a holiday before summer 2021.”

In a more recent but smaller survey of subscribers to The Independent, only 28 per cent of respondents said they would travel abroad this summer.

For May and June 2021, Greece, Turkey and Florida are currently the most booked destinations.

Tui is seeing notable increases in demand for self-catering and villa holidays, reflecting the desire for social distancing.

The survey, conducted by One Poll, found that the most anticipated holiday activity is sightseeing, followed by eating “authentic local cuisine” and swimming in the sea.

The Anglo-German firm surveyed 2,000 people between 23 and 27 April 2020 – before the government had revealed its controversial quarantine plans, which are likely to depress demand for holidays.

On 22 May, the home secretary, Priti Patel, announced that almost all arrivals at UK airports, ferry ports and international rail terminals from 8 June will be required to self-isolate for two weeks.

The immediate effect of the quarantine policy was to stifle sales for summer travel; few holidaymakers are willing or able to spend 14 days at home, out of direct contact with family and friends, after their trip.

The Department for Transport is seeking to neutralise the measure by setting up “air bridge” arrangements that will allow returning travellers to avoid quarantine.

In addition, individual countries have expressed unwillingness to welcome UK visitors when destinations re-open to tourism.

Greece has excluded British holidaymakers, as well as those from France, Italy and Spain, from a list of 29 nationalities eligible to fly to the country from 15 June onwards.

Cyprus and Malta have also left the UK off their lists of “preferred tourists”.

Source: Read Full Article

TV chef Ainsley Harriott recalls his travel adventures

Checking in… TV chef Ainsley Harriott talks about eating his first hot dog in New York and having an unforgettable meal at Sydney’s Bondi Icebergs

TV chef Ainsley Harriott

This week TV chef Ainsley Harriott checks in to our travel Q&A.

He talks about his earliest holiday memory – eating his first hot dog in New York – being ‘blown away’ by Sydney’s Icebergs restaurant – and more…

Most memorable place?

Petra, Jordan’s ancient city. It takes your breath away.

Do you always fly first class?

When I am flying long-haul, I tend to go business class. I’ve had two hip operations so I can’t sit in economy for more than three hours without starting to get cramp.

What can’t you travel without?

A good toothpick.

Earliest holiday memory?

Eating my first proper hot dog in New York. I could smell the onions 50 yards away.

Favourite hotel?

The Coral Reef Club in Barbados. I’ve been many times, and the staff are so relaxed.

Most unforgettable meal?

I was blown away by a Sydney restaurant called Icebergs. I don’t know what I had. I just remember feeling fantastic there.

What’s your holiday hell?

I hate poor service. Being busy is no excuse. I have high standards.

Ainsley said he was ‘blown away’ by Sydney’s famous Icebergs restaurant in Bondi 

Favourite place in the UK?

My partner lives in Chester and I like popping up there. It’s an old Roman city with great restaurants, bars and delis.

Where next?

I’m planning to go skiing with a couple of mates — probably at Val d’Isere in the French Alps. I’ve absolutely loved skiing ever since I went with school and I was the only black man in the mountains.

  • Ainsley’s Mediterranean Cookbook is available to watch online on ITV Hub. 

Source: Read Full Article

Holidays latest: Will I be able to go on holiday in August?

Holidays abroad have effectively been put on hold as the coronavirus pandemic caused widespread disruption to the global tourism industry. Culture secretary Oliver Dowden recently announced that holidays within the UK could return soon – but will you be able to go on holiday in August?

Last week, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden provided a boost for the tourism industry claiming some people may be able to go on holiday this summer.

He said holidays within the UK could return at the beginning of July if the spread of COVID-19 is kept down.

Holidays abroad are unlikely to go ahead, with strict travel restrictions in place across the world and reduced airline services.

He said: “I would love to get the tourism sector up as quickly as we possibly can.

“We’ve set this very ambitious plan to try and get it up and running by the beginning of July.”


  • Spain holidays: Canary Islands demand tourists to take corona test

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is currently advising Britons against all but essential international travel.

The FCO travel advice page reads: “As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel.

“Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.

“If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available.

“Many airlines are suspending flights and many airports are closing, preventing flights from leaving.”

Can you travel for a holiday in the UK?

People in England are from Monday permitted to meet with up to six people in outdoors spaces including public gardens.

They can spend time together enjoying the fresh air, but they are not yet permitted to stay in a home other than their own.

The Government guidance reads: “Leaving your home – the place you live – to stay at another home for a holiday or other purpose is not allowed. This includes visiting second homes.”

Hotels, Airbnbs, self-catering cottages and B&Bs are likely to remain closed until July when they will reopen subject to Government guidance about social distancing.

The Government advice reads: “Premises such as hotels and bed and breakfasts will remain closed, except where providing accommodation for specific reasons set out in law, such as for critical workers where required for a reason relating to their work.”

Spain holidays: Ibiza issues new rule for tourists [INSIGHT]
Camping & caravan sites reopen: Haven launches new rules [EXPLAINER]
France holidays: Beach holidays in jeopardy as strict rules in place [PICTURES]


  • 5 secrets of the Royal Family’s favourite hideout exposed

Will you be able to go on holiday in August?

Travel expert Myles Quee from luggage delivery company Send My Bag said: “When Health Secretary Matt Hancock commented more recently that ‘summer is essentially cancelled’ and the government rolled out a compulsory 14-day quarantine for UK arrivals, it seemed a summer abroad was even less likely.

“But, more recently, there has been more cause for optimism.

“As lockdown restrictions ease in the UK and across the continent, short-haul flights for UK travellers this summer now seem a possibility.“

He added: “Provided air bridges are in place by the end of June, international travel restrictions could be lifted first.

“But, with non-essential shops able to open from June 15, the hospitality industry will hope it encourages UK nationals to travel around the country more.

“That said, Boris Johnson has previously stated that he hoped to open some of the hospitality industry in Phase three which could be implemented later from July 4.”

Mr Quee said European countries where the infection rate is low are likely to open first such as Greece or Portugal, whereas countries in Central and South America are likely to be closed to visitors for longer.

He said: “In general, international travellers to countries where death tolls have been high or continue to rise, such as the US and Russia, may find difficulty crossing borders.

“South America and Central America has also become the new epicentre of the virus.

“In particular Brazil, where the government has banned the entry of all foreign visitors by air and closed land and sea borders to foreigners.

“Similarly, the Mexican government has extended its land border with the US until June 22.

“Countries in these regions may see travel restrictions last longest.”

Will you be quarantined if you travel?

To prevent a second outbreak of the deadly virus, the UK will from June 8 have a compulsory 14-day quarantine.

Travellers will be required to fill in a form on arrival, including their contact information and an address where they will have to remain for two weeks.

Health officials will perform spot checks to ensure compliance with the measures and fines of up to £1,000 will be issued if rules are broken.

Source: Read Full Article

Delta Air Lines Upgrades Health, Safety Guidelines

As travel restrictions are lifted, Delta Air Lines has implemented a series of health protocols to keep passengers safe as they fly again during the coronavirus outbreak and moving forward.

Delta cleaning

From the time customers check-in for their flights until they collect their bags at the final destination, Delta officials claim the company’s main focus has shifted to the health and safety of passengers.

In the airport, travelers will notice check-in lobbies, self-service kiosks, gate counters and baggage claim are thoroughly wiped down throughout the day, while electrostatic spraying will take place in the planes and throughout terminals.

In addition, Delta continues to install plexiglass shields at check-in counters, in Delta Sky Clubs and at gate counters throughout the United States. Social distance markers will also be added at all of the airports served by the airline.

Hand sanitizer stations will also become easily accessible throughout the facilities.

“The (travel) experience is a very comfortable, a very safe experience, we have taken actions, even above and beyond what the CDC has recommended to ensure safety,” Delta Chief Customer Experience Officer Bill Lentsch said in a statement.

As for the actual onboard experience, Delta is now boarding passengers back to front and limiting it to 10 customers at a time to minimize your contact with others. The carrier is also blocking middle seats, adjusting capacity numbers and requiring face coverings. 

Before passengers board the planes, cleaning crews complete an extensive checklist of procedures using high-grade disinfectant to wipe down personal and common areas of the cabin.

Delta also temporarily streamlined food and beverage offerings to reduce touchpoints, with snack bags given out during the first pass through the cabin by flight attendants.

Related video: Delta wrestles with too many pilots, too many planes (Provided by Reuters)

  • Ursula von der Leyen et al. standing in front of a box

    EU unveils 750 bln euro plan for coronavirus recovery
    The European Commission on Wednesday unveiled a plan to borrow on the market and then disburse to EU countries 750 billion euros in grants and loans to help them recover from their coronavirus slump. Francis Maguire reports.

    Reuters Logo

  • a group of people walking in front of a building

    Without tourists, Europe's luxury stores struggle
    Europe's luxury stores are opening again, but with few tourists around many find they aren't busy. Julian Satterthwaite reports.

    Reuters Logo

  • a person using a laptop computer sitting on top of a table

    US mortgage applications rise for 6th straight week
    U.S. applications for home mortgages jumped again last week, suggesting the housing market could lead the economy's recovery from the novel coronavirus crisis. Fred Katayama reports.

    Reuters Logo

Reuters Logo
Source: Read Full Article

Mexican Caribbean Announces ‘Clean & Safe Check Certification’ Program

As the governor of Quintana Roo has announced that the Mexican state’s tourism industry will begin reopening on June 8, preparations already are underway for the restart of activities in the region. As part of those efforts, the Secretary of Tourism and state health officials have just released details of the new ‘Mexican Caribbean Clean & Safe Check Certification’, which was actually launched on May 18.

The program’s aim is to encourage tourism service providers to adopt the highest-level sanitation standards for the containment and prevention of COVID-19; restore confidence among visitors, partners and the local community, thereby increasing tourism arrivals; and bolster the Mexican Caribbean’s competitiveness as an international destination.

The Mexican Caribbean Clean & Safe Check Certification is available to hospitality and tourism operators, including travel agencies, tour operators, transportation companies, hotels and resorts, spas, water parks, golf courses, food and beverage establishments, and others.

Hospitality and tourism operators wishing to apply can visit the Secretary of Tourism’s website and must declare their compliance with the criteria outlined for health security measures. Applicants will need to register to access and complete a form indicating strict adherence to the guidelines for certification.

A technical committee, comprised of tourism officials and health authorities, is responsible for evaluating the applications and conducting random inspections of registered establishments to verify that its facilities and operations fulfill the criteria.

Applicants who pass inspection will be accredited and issued a digital certificate, valid through December 31, 2020, as well as a listing online at the Secretary of Tourism and Quintana Roo Tourism Board’s website.

In addition to general public spaces, specific service areas will also be evaluated against criteria, including the following: service and operations; management offices; reception; housekeeping; laundry; maintenance; food and beverage; meetings and conventions; kids’ clubs; pools and hot tubs; spas; healthcare facilities; staff transport and rest areas. There are also established guidelines that must be met by suppliers, partners and transportation providers.

Certificate holders, as well as the state, stand to benefit through the implementation of officially-sanctioned hygiene practices and sanitation procedures; instillment of health-related discipline in employees and, therefore, increased job security; and increased customer trust and loyalty.

“In the first days since launch, over 3,000 companies have applied for the certificate, illustrating the dedication our destinations have to keeping the Mexican Caribbean safe and welcoming,” said Dario Flota Ocampo, director of Quintana Roo Tourism Board.

Many hotels, resorts and tourism providers in the region have also introduced their own, internal health-and-safety programs, including AMResorts, Palladium Hotel Group, Palace Resorts, Riu Hotels, Unico 20 87 and Xcaret, among others.

Area airports are also meeting enhanced standards, established in collaboration with the Communications and Transportation Ministry, Federal Agency for Civil Aviation, international health authorities, the state government and municipal authorities.

Specific implementations thus far include deep-cleaning and sanitization of all areas, protective barriers at counters, monitoring of social-distancing rules, temperature checks performed on all passengers, and a requirement that travelers complete a risk-factor identification questionnaire.

For more information, visit

Source: Read Full Article

Google Maps Street View: Google car caught in embarrassing situation as camera hides this

Google Maps Street View regularly photographs people in bizarre situations. All over the world, images of folk doing weird and wonderful things have gone viral. However, on rare occasions, it’s the Google cars and drivers who go viral.


  • British Airways: BA offers passengers way to avoid 14 day quarantine

Photos have been shared to Reddit capturing the Street View vehicle in an awkward position.

It would appear the driver has had an unfortunate run-in with nature.

A series of shots shows the problem unfolding.

The scene took place in Taiwan.

The Google car was driving along a jungle-lined road when the incident took place.

Although the vehicle itself cannot be seen, its surroundings can.

In the first photo the quiet, scenic road can be seen in full view.

However, in the second it appears there’s been a bit of a problem with the camera.

It captures the shot seemingly down the side of the Street View vehicle.

The lens is unable to take a clear picture.

A large blurred image blocks the view – what has happened?

It’s unclear what it could be as only foliage can be sighted around the car.


  • Google Maps: Users left terrified when they spot this man

So what is this bizarre item obscuring the view?

According to the Reddit user who posted the photo, the answer is rather less dramatic than many might like.

It would seem a rogue branch has come into contact with the car and blocked the camera lens.

The photo came with the caption: “Tree branch gets stuck to google car.”

How the scene panned out is not quite clear.

One imagines that the problem was eventually sorted out and the branch disposed of – although one cannot know for sure.

Luckily, the branch did not seem to be a problem with the view ahead.

The road in front can clearly be seen stretching off into the distance.

Source: Read Full Article

La Coleccion Resorts Announces "Brighter Days Ahead" Travel Agent Promotion

WHY IT RATES: Five top-selling travel advisors will be rewarded with dream vacation prizes for themselves and up to seven companions, plus another five getaways will go to agent-nominated first responders or healthcare workers as a “thank you” for their efforts. — Laurie Baratti, TravelPulse Associate Writer

Just before borders begin to reopen and travel plans gear up again, La Colección Resorts—a collection of fifteen resorts spanning across Mexico and the Dominican Republic—is upping the ante to motivate travel agents with the “Brighter Days Ahead” promotion.

While most have been quarantined and secluded the last few months, La Colección Resorts is bringing some excitement to the post-quarantine season by offering five lucky winners who make the most sales at its resorts the opportunity to reunite with their own family and friends.

Additionally, these five winners will be able to give a trip giveaway to a healthcare professional or first responder who they would like to show gratitude to.

“The travel industry is so resilient and we at La Colección Resort look forward to brighter days ahead when families and friends are able to reunite in the way they enjoy it the most—a vacation. Usually it is the travel agent making these reunions happen but now we want to do it happen for them, which is why we’ve launched this promotion to give this experience to five lucky winners, and take it even one step further by allowing them to nominate a healthcare worker or first responder who deserves much-needed relaxation time,” explains COO of Posadas, Enrique Calderon.

The “Brighter Days Ahead” promotion invites travel agents to book at any of the 15 La Colección Resorts in destinations such as Cancun, Cozumel, Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, San Miguel de Allende and Acapulco in Mexico, as well as Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Eligible winners will be the top five booking agents who have a minimum of three reservations made between May 26 and September 30, 2020, for travel between June 1 to December 31, 2020.

The prize will be an amazing trip for the travel agent and seven of his/her loved ones to one of La Colección Resorts’ located in the best and most relaxing destinations in Mexico and the Dominican Republic, as well as roundtrip airfare, for the winning agent and up to seven guests.

The award also includes a secondary trip for two people who the agent will nominate, being a healthcare professional or first responder.

Both prizes include airport transfers and an all-inclusive plan at the resorts, where guests will have the opportunity to lay-back and enjoy delectable gastronomy, serene landscapes, countless amenities and much more.

To participate, agents must be registered as La Colección Rewards Members, and qualifying bookings made through a tour operator, wholesaler or direct channels must be registered. Bookings also qualify for La Colección Rewards benefits, including up to $100 cash bonus and free nights.

For more information and to review the official rules of the competition visit

SOURCE: La Colección Resorts press release.

Source: Read Full Article

Holidays: PM reveals major lockdown rule changes – can Britons now travel? Latest update

Boris Johnson spoke to the nation again this evening in his latest address. He revealed that the five tests required to relax the coronavirus lockdown had been met. Thanks to this positive development, the UK’s lockdown can now be relaxed.


  • Greece holidays: Greece announces first countries allowed to visit

Non-essential shops will open from mid-June and, from Monday, groups of six people will be able to meet outside.

But what about travel? What is the latest travel advice?

In his speech, Johnson explained that Britons can now travel to the houses of others to sit in private gardens.

They can also travel to “outdoor open space irrespective of distance,” explains the government’s guidance.

However, there is, unfortunately, no word on when Britons will be able to travel for holidays.

Currently, only “essential” travel is permitted – and Johnson announced no change to this in his Thursday address.

The ongoing holiday guidance explains: “Day trips to outdoor open space, in a private vehicle, are permitted.

“You should practise social distancing from other people outside your household.

“Leaving your home – the place you live – to stay at another home for a holiday or other purpose is not allowed. This includes visiting second homes.”

Holiday accommodation is still not allowed to reopen.

“Premises such as hotels and bed and breakfasts will remain closed, except where providing accommodation for specific reasons set out in law, such as for critical workers where required for a reason relating to their work,” said the government.

As before, Britons are advised to “avoid using public transport wherever possible” when travelling.


  • More than eight in 10 Ryanair passengers still waiting for refunds

What’s more, from next month, visitors entering the country will be required to quarantine for two weeks.

However, all holiday hope is not lost for 2020.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock appearing on ITV’s This Morning on Thursday and said he was “optimistic” about holidays, suggesting they could even go ahead as early as July.

Speaking to Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford he said he “wouldn’t rule out” jetting off on a summer vacation.

He said: “We have been looking carefully at this and the rules on quarantine and international travel.

“This crisis has had a massive impact on airlines across the world.

“I am a little more optimistic than I was about being able to get some foreign travel back up.

“The quarantine rules are important and we will keep watching and try to do everything we can to allow the relaxation and freedoms, but you understand we will only do that when it is safe to do so.”

Source: Read Full Article

Central Park’s incredible secrets revealed

Think you know Central Park? Turns out there are surprising secrets hiding behind one of New York’s most well-loved attractions – we peel back the layers of history to share seven little-known facts.

a view of a city with a mountain in the background

A glowing green oasis in the heart of The City That Never Sleeps, Central Park is one of New York’s best-loved attractions, usually visited by around 42 million people a year. Yet despite the park’s fame, it has more than a few surprising secrets up its sleeve, from ground-breaking scientific discoveries to the fascinating – and troubling – history of the land before the park was built.

The decision to purchase the park’s land was approved in 1853 and the design was the result of a competition, which saw 33 entries. The winning design, created by American writer and landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and English architect Calvert Vaux, focused on pastoral-style scenes and wooded areas.

Once the land had been cleared, work on the park began in 1858 with the first section opening to the public that same year. The rest of the park was built over the next 15 years. We reveal its hidden secrets below.

a close up of text on a black background: Central Park design (Image: Library of Congress)

1. It used to be home to a diverse community

a sign in the middle of a park: Seneca Village exhibit sign (Image: Courtesy Central Park Conservancy)

© Provided by Love Exploring
Seneca Village exhibit sign (Image: Courtesy Central Park Conservancy)

Yet the park wasn’t just built on barren land. From the 1820s many African Americans, as well as German and Irish immigrants, began to settle in a patch of land between 82nd and 89th street. By the 1850s, there were at least 300 people living on the patch of land, known as Seneca Village. At the time, such an integrated community was highly unusual.

New York’s white upper-class elite began to air concerns about overcrowding in Lower Manhattan and put forward the idea of building a city park. But where to put it? The proposed area included Seneca Village and would mean that 1,600 people were displaced. Newspapers downplayed the extent of the communities that lived there, with one describing the area as being “occupied by miserable looking broken-down shanties” and another calling it a “Squatter’s Village”.

But that wasn’t the case: while some did live in shanties, evidence shows many residents had two-story homes and most researchers agree that it was a stable and prosperous middle-class community.

Despite residents’ objections against Central Park’s construction, the settlements were ultimately seized and destroyed. To commemorate this forgotten chapter in the city’s history, a temporary exhibit has been placed in the park this year.

2. Sheep once roamed freely

a herd of sheep standing on top of a grass covered field: Sheep in Central Park in around 1906 (Image: Detroit Publishing Co/Library of Congress/Public Domain)

© Provided by Love Exploring
Sheep in Central Park in around 1906 (Image: Detroit Publishing Co/Library of Congress/Public Domain)

When Central Park was created, there was a 15-acre area reserved for military drills and exhibitions. However, park designers Olmsted and Vaux realized that it might not be an ideal location for such activities, so in 1864 the area took on an unusual new purpose.

From that point on, the area named Sheep Meadow was home to a flock of 200 sheep, intended to evoke a British countryside scene. The sheep stayed for decades until 1934, when Central Park Commissioner Robert Moses decided to move them to Prospect Park in Brooklyn.

3. It was once covered in glaciers

Wandering around the park today, you’ll still be able to spot large boulders which were left during the last ice age, some 18,000 years ago. These huge rocks were once embedded in a giant glacier that covered the entire country and were left behind when it melted.

4. The roads are curved… for a peculiar reason

a vintage photo of a forest: Central Park, pictured in 1899 (Image: Museum of the City of New York/Byron Collection/Getty Images)

© Provided by Love Exploring
Central Park, pictured in 1899 (Image: Museum of the City of New York/Byron Collection/Getty Images)

The park’s curved roads were originally meant to deter people from having horse and carriage races around it. It’s also thought that Olmsted and Vaux designed the meandering paths to attempt to bring a countryside feel to the park, in contrast with its urban surroundings.

However, the curved roads haven’t stopped some modern-day racing, with many super-fast cyclists reaching speeds in excess of 30 miles per hour, according to Strava data.

5. It’s bigger than some countries

With a size of 840 acres (340 hectares), Central Park is bigger than the world’s two smallest countries: the Vatican City at 121 acres (49 hectares) and Monaco at 499 acres (202 hectares).

The land also cost more to buy than the whole of Alaska: New York authorities paid $7.4 million for the land to build Central Park in 1853, while Alaska was purchased by the US from Russia for $7.2 million in 1867.

6. Lampposts have a curious hidden meaning

a person taking a selfie in a park: A numbered street light in Central Park (Image: MSuper/Shutterstock)

© Provided by Love Exploring
A numbered street light in Central Park (Image: MSuper/Shutterstock)

It’s easy to get lost in Central Park, with its winding paths and enormous size. Fortunately, Henry Bacon, the man who designed the park’s lampposts back in 1907, was one step ahead.

On each of the park’s 1,600 lampposts there is a four-number code. The first two numbers designate the nearest street, while the second two tell you whether you’re closest to the east or west side – with even numbers signaling east and odd numbers signaling west. A handy tip to remember if your phone battery runs out.

7. It was home to a scientific discovery

You might not imagine a busy city-center park as the prime spot for wildlife discoveries, but that’s exactly what happened in 2002.

While collecting leaf samples from different parts of the park, scientists from the American Museum of Natural History in New York discovered an 82-legged centipede with a length of 0.4 inches, the first of its kind ever to be discovered.

The researchers said it likely originated from East Asia but somehow made its way into the park, perhaps by hiding on an exotic plant. The samples were sent to Richard Hoffman, then-curator at the Virginia Museum of Natural History and the insect was named in his honor – Nannarrup hoffmani.

Featured image: T photography/Shutterstock

WATCH:  Central Park musician offers hope, encouragement amid pandemic (provided by ABC 7 New York)

  • a group of people on a beach near a body of water: Less than two months after detecting its first infection, Montenegro is the first country in Europe to declare itself coronavirus-free, a success story the tiny country hopes will lure tourists to its dazzling Adriatic coast this summer. Up the coast, tourism powerhouse Croatia is also hoping to capitalise on its relatively low virus numbers to salvage the 2020 season.

    Montenegro woos tourists to Europe's 'corona-free' corner
    Less than two months after detecting its first infection, Montenegro is the first country in Europe to declare itself coronavirus-free, a success story the tiny country hopes will lure tourists to its dazzling Adriatic coast this summer. Up the coast, tourism powerhouse Croatia is also hoping to capitalise on its relatively low virus numbers to salvage the 2020 season.

    AFP Logo

  • a group of people standing in front of a building: Italy's world-famous archeological site of Pompeii reopens to the public. The country's second most visited tourist destination after Rome's Colosseum, Pompeii lays bare nearly perfectly preserved remains of an ancient Roman city covered in volcanic ash nearly 2,000 years ago after the eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius. IMAGES

    Pompeii archeological site reopens to the public
    Italy's world-famous archeological site of Pompeii reopens to the public. The country's second most visited tourist destination after Rome's Colosseum, Pompeii lays bare nearly perfectly preserved remains of an ancient Roman city covered in volcanic ash nearly 2,000 years ago after the eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius. IMAGES

    AFP Logo

  • a close up of a hillside next to a body of water: Dune's edge, pitch pine, Marconi beach, wellfleet, Cape Cod national seashore.

    Silent places to listen in awe
    Escape the noise and listen to nature's symphony

    CNN Logo

ABC 7 New York Logo
Source: Read Full Article

Cyprus holidays: Country vows to pay expenses for travellers in new coronavirus measures

Cyprus’ government is hoping to boost tourism to the holiday island with a new plan aimed at protecting tourists and locals from coronavirus (COVID-19). The government has said it will cover the costs of accommodation, medicine and food for any travellers who contract the COVID-19 whilst visiting the region.


  • Flights: easyJet, Jet2, Ryanair, BA & TUI resume – destination list

The measures will also cover the cost of any family travelling with the patient.

In a letter outlining the plan the government said that tourists will only “will only need to bear the cost of their airport transfer and repatriation flight”

Cyprus has seen just 17 deaths as a result of the pandemic, with 939 people across the nation contracting the virus.

It is hoped that the new measures will help encourage tourism to the region, which has seen a major blow in recent months.

Tourism accounts for around 13 percent of the country’s economy, but this year it anticipates losing as much as 70 percent of the anticipated €2.6 billion (£2.33 billion) in revenue.

Deputy tourism minister Savvas Perdios said: “The hit is massive, and we are trying to do our best now and do what we can for the remainder of the season.

“We have worked extremely hard to keep the virus in check here.”

Air travel to the country is set to resume on June 9, and the country is working to ensure any cases detected are isolated immediately.

A 100-bed hospital has been set aside especially for travellers who test positive.

Flights: Percentage of UK passengers still waiting for refunds  [INSIGHT]
Holidays 2020: Skyscanner reveals this shocking new booking trend [DATA]
Flights: Passenger shocks onlookers with homemade face mask [PICS]

There are approximately 112 intensive care units fitted with 200 respirators.

However, when international travel to the country resumes on 9 June, UK holidaymakers won’t be amongst those heading to its sandy shores.

The country has white-listed just 19 countries to return including Germany, Finland, Israel, Greece and Norway.

There is some light at the end of the tunnel though, with Britons hoped to return by July.


  • More than eight in 10 Ryanair passengers still waiting for refunds

“The UK is definitely our prime market, the bread and butter of Cyprus tourism whose importance is undisputed,” Zacharias Ioannides, head of the Cyprus Hotels Association in Nicosia, told The Sun.

“But right now health safety is of prime concern and everything depends on what epidemiologists say.”

Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios added: “For our important markets like the UK, Russia and Sweden I expect in early July the situation (there) will allow their travel to Cyprus. I am quite optimistic about that.”

Passengers will have to prove they do not have coronavirus before they board their flight, and must wear face masks while travelling.

Travellers will also have their temperature checked on arrival and must complete a ‘COVID-19 Traveller Declaration’ list outlining any places they have visited prior to landing.

The new measures are very similar to those outlined by Greece, which reopened to tourists this week.

Greece has said that travellers from around two dozen countries will be allowed to come to Greece from July without having to be quarantined.

Government officials have said that tourists from 20-25 countries will be allowed in.

These countries include Germany, Cyprus, Israel and countries in central Europe and the Balkans.

Greek tourism minister Haris Theoharis told ITV News the government would be giving the green-light to countries based on “epidemiological criteria”.

Unfortunately, Britons cases remain too high for Greece to comfortably allow tourism.

Theoharis added that UK travellers will not be accepted until figures show that the virus has “improved” in the country.

Source: Read Full Article