Travel Briefs

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) moved to allow some cruise ships to dock in US ports as of Oct. 31, upon the expiration of the last no-sail order. Sailings will begin with a series of “test” cruises, to ensure that ships will be able to meet requirements for testing and safety. If the results prove successful, then a wider range of cruises from and to the US will be allowed.

Cruises have been banned from US ports due to the COVID-19 pandemic since...

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After videos of animal mistreatment in Egypt’s Giza archaeological area, which encompasses the pyramids and Sphinx, caused international outcry, the country’s tourism ministry announced that it would ban camel, horse and donkey riding around the complex.

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The Caribbean island country of Jamaica introduced compulsory health insurance for all foreign visitors, called Jamaica Cares, on Nov. 1. The insurance will cost $40 per person and cover up to $50,000 in medical expenses in Jamaica. The health insurance cost will not be waived for those who have separate travel insurance.

The premium will be charged at the time the traveler fills out his travel authorization form, required before anyone can enter Jamaica. Travel authorizations can be...

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The only metro train in all of Pakistan began operating in the city of Lahore on Oct. 25. The 17-mile line runs east-west and has 26 stations. It is expected to carry roughly 250,000 passengers a day. The fare is PKR40 (near 25¢) per trip.

The only other metro to have operated in Pakistan, the Karachi Circular Railway, ceased operation in 1999.

 

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Located under a 100-year-old elevated train viaduct in Tokyo between Yura kucho and Shimbashi stations, near the Imperial Palace, visitors will find the Hibiya Okuroji (Hidden Alley) shopping center.

The 1,000-foot-long brick viaduct houses 44 stores and restaurants. There are shops selling leather and textiles crafts, gourmet chocolate and jewelry, while restaurants range from classic Japanese to halal. Visit www.jrtk.jp/hibiya-okuroji (in Japanese only).

On Oct. 15, United Airlines began to offer COVID-19 testing to passengers before they board flights from San Francisco to Hawaii. Passengers are required to pay for the tests themselves; the cost is $250. If the program is successful, United hopes to expand testing to more routes.

On its flights to Hawaii out of Dallas-Fort Worth, on Oct. 15 American Airlines also began offering tests to passengers. The airline also began offering tests to Jamaican passengers flying to Jamaica from...

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The 2021 weeklong celebration of Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, scheduled for Feb. 12-17, was canceled on Sept. 24 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rio’s Carnaval has not been canceled since 1912, having weathered a flu pandemic, two world wars and a military dictatorship.

Brazil’s first confirmed case of COVID-19 was discovered one day after Carnaval ended in 2020. That festival attracted five million locals and two million foreign visitors.

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Flood-prevention gates in Venice, Italy, were used for the first time to prevent flooding on Oct. 3. After all 78 gates were raised, the tide reached over 4 feet outside of the lagoon in which the city is located, but within the city, which floods when the tide reaches at least 3 feet, the water remained below street level.

The gates, which were first test-operated on July 10, are located at three inlets to the Venice lagoon, where it meets the Adriatic Sea. The system was designed in...

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