Playa Hotels Announces Reopenings
Playa Hotels & Resorts, a leading owner and operator of all-inclusive luxury resorts across Mexico and the Caribbean, has incorporated advanced safety precautions and will begin welcoming back guests this summer.
Resorts opening in Mexico include:
- July 1 – Hyatt Zilara Cancun, Hyatt Ziva Cancun, Hilton Playa del Carmen
- July 15 – Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta, Panama Jack Resorts Cancun
- September 24 – Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos
- October 1 – Panama Jack Resorts Playa del Carmen
Major Ocean Cruise Lines Won’t Sail Until September
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) announced that all its member cruise lines will extend their voluntary sailing suspension through at least September 15 because of COVID-19 concerns.
The suspension, which goes beyond the “No Sail Order” issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that expires on July 24, includes all cruise lines that sail ships with 250 or more passengers. This puts a hold on sailings from some cruise lines that were hoping to be able to sail later this summer.
Cunard Extends Pause to November
Cunard, which had paused its operation because of COVID-19, will look to restart after November 1, the luxury line announced. It is canceling all sailings on Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria up to and including November 1 and all sailings on Queen Elizabeth up to and including November 23.
Cunard will be offering those on impacted voyages a 125 percent future cruise credit that can be redeemed on any bookings made by the end of December 2021.
The Europe Travel Ban: What’s Open and Who Can Travel
The 2020 Europe travel ban is a setback for world travelers and those with family on two continents, but borders within the European Union (EU) are starting to open for travel. EU residents initially have the most freedom to travel, while non-EU residents may need to wait a little longer.
Most European nations sealed their borders in March, even to travelers within the EU bloc. The European travel ban ended on June 15 for most EU residents of the 26 Schengen states, but where you can travel to depends on which country you live in.
Europe is striving to limit the potential of a second coronavirus wave and limiting travel within the EU bloc.
Central European countries like Poland and Hungary appear to be opening their borders first. These nations tend to have lower infection rates than the western and southern countries like Italy, Spain, and France. Greece and Germany border openings are some of the most lenient for the western and southern European bloc. In most cases, the northern and western countries are moving slower to reopen their borders.
Most nations start relaxing their entry restrictions to “third-country visitors” on July 1.
The European Commission is providing guidelines about when tourists can visit Europe again. For example, the European Commission is more likely to accept visitors from nations with the lowest infection rates and stricter curtailment methods.
Residents from the “EU Plus” and the United Kingdom can enter before countries with higher infection rates such as the United States. Some of the hardest-hit nations have yet to announce an opening date for countries with high infection rates.
While the European travel ban is relaxing, you should think twice before flying across the Atlantic. There are several reasons why going to Europe this summer may not be the best use of your time.
Many European nations have been enforcing mandatory 14-day quarantine for all visitors. Many quarantine orders currently expire on July 1 when countries begin welcoming non-EU visitors again. However, some nations may still insist on having a quarantine. The United Kingdom still has a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period for most visitors and returning residents.
A nation may refuse entry if your temperature is above 99.5 degrees. Most likely, you won’t be able to board the plane from the United States if you have a fever. Expect a follow-up screening when going through European customs.
The European Commission also recommends that nations perform coronavirus testing as a secondary screening measure. Some countries may already require a negative result to enter.
The European travel ban is lifting for international tourism starting July 1. Before booking your flight, view the official government travel websites of the countries you want to visit for the latest travel guidelines. The airline may sell you a seat, but a boarding pass doesn’t guarantee entry into Europe.
Words of the Wise and Well-traveled
If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else. — Marvin Gaye
Deal of the Week
New Cruise in India: The Brahmaputra
7 nights from US$2,861. Save up to 10 percent and no single supplement on selected dates.
The mighty Brahmaputra river in Northern India originates high in the Himalayas before flowing through the scenic Assam Valley where UNESCO protected national parks and remote rural communities provide the traveler with the most wonderful and authentic expedition.
Pandaw is pleased to operate this new program with safaris in search of the Greater One-Horned Indian Rhinoceros and the Indian tiger. The cruise also visits tea plantations and artisan villages, temples, and War Graves.
Ganges and Brahmaputra Combo Expedition
14 nights from US$5,975. Save up to 10 percent and no single supplement on selected dates.
There can be no river in the world as sacred as the Ganges, and an expedition on the Lower Ganges or Hooghly is one of the prettiest river journeys imaginable. The river wends its way through the lush countryside of West Bengal, with its culturally significant towns crammed with temples and palaces.
Combine this with the mighty Brahmaputra river in Northern India for the most wonderful and authentic expedition.
Judy Newell, an international travel consultant since 1971, heads Perfect Journeys, and specializes in unique travel experiences to destinations around the world. She custom designs journeys that are tailored to suit your interests, physical abilities, and budget. Please contact Newell for further information on Travel News topics and around-the-world travel. Cell phone 415 111 8765; Vonage 949 300 3682; email email@example.com.
Sources: Insider Travel Report, Travelmarket Report, Forbes, Pandaw