Tag Archives: Tourism / Travel

Swiss ski resorts can remain open for now – the minister of health | Instant News

FILE PHOTOS: Jungfrau Railway V-cableway Terminal, a 470 million CHF investment linking Grindelwald to Maennlichen and Eigergletscher by 2 lifts, pictured in front of Mount Eiger during final testing before the opening of the Eiger Express on 4 December, Amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID- 19), at the ski resort of Grindelwald, Switzerland, 23 November 2020. REUTERS / Denis Balibouse / File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss ski resorts can remain open for now as long as they have strict security measures in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus, Health Minister Alain Berset said Thursday.

Neighbors France, Italy, Austria and Germany have all ordered even upland lifts that could operate earlier this winter to remain closed in the hope that all resorts can reap the benefits in peak season, if and when infection rates slow down.

“In Switzerland the situation is much easier, one can still ski, that’s always the goal. Obviously with respect to very strict measures, we have to have a plan of protection and everything has to be clear, “Berset told a news conference in Bern.

He’s left the door open to changing policies if conditions change later in the year, when a two-week holiday period lures many winter sports fans to the slopes.

“The situation remains very serious and very unstable … and we have not yet decided how it will be in the future,” said Berset, adding Bern was in close contact with his neighbor and Swiss territory.

He acknowledged tensions would arise if the Swiss resorts were the only open resorts. “We have to discuss this with the cantons but we are a sovereign country and can decide for ourselves what facts are in our region,” he added.

Switzerland has adopted a “middle ground” to curb a pandemic that has infected more than 300,000 and killed 4,109 here, leaving the country largely open for business while urging people to keep their distance and embrace proper hygiene.

Berset said Switzerland could get its first limited supply of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of January if all goes well. It will not force people to get the vaccine, which it plans to distribute to patients free of charge.

Switzerland has signed vaccine contracts with Moderna and AstraZeneca and reserves doses from Pfizer upon completion of the contract.

Reporting by Michael Shields; editing by Stephanie Nebehay and Barbara Lewis


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Merkel says Germany cannot provide COVID-19 economic assistance during winter – Bild | Instant News

BERLIN, November 25 (Reuters) – Germany will not be able to maintain its financial lifeline for businesses forced to shut down by the coronavirus pandemic throughout the winter, Chancellor Angela Merkel told state leaders on Wednesday, Bild newspaper reported.

The government expects economic assistance for businesses to amount to 10-15 billion euros ($ 12-18 billion) in November and sources estimate the additional costs for December could be around 15-20 billion euros. ($ 1 = 0.8401 euros) (Reported by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Maria Sheahan)


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Travel insurance the go-to as American travelers take risks on Thanksgiving | Instant News

(Reuters) – U.S. websites have seen a surge in travelers looking for expensive, bulletproof insurance for Thanksgiving, as Americans desperate to break the monotony of a year spent at home look to get away. cover against the risks associated with the coronavirus. showed that the number of insurance policies written for domestic travel to the United States over the upcoming holidays was up 170% from the same period in 2019. About 40% of all Thanksgiving travelers have specifically sought coronavirus coverage, replacing major concerns from previous years, such as weather and financial flaws, and driving up the overall cost of coverage. “Cancellation for any reason” policies, which typically allow cancellations up to two days before departure and a 75% refund, cost up to 40% more than “It happened at one”. point where I think people are tired of being stuck at home and looking to get away and go somewhere, ”said Jeremy Murchland, president of US travel insurer Seven Corners. 3 million passengers passed through US airports over the weekend, rejecting advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to stay home as coronavirus infections hit daily records. The overall number of travelers is still down 60% from a year ago, but Squaremouth, one of the nation’s leading insurance price aggregators, said its data suggested the total number of travelers seeking coverage was on the rise by 26% from year to year Squaremouth’s data is based on all travel insurance policies written on its website between March 12 and November 9 for trips during Thanksgiving week. With trips to popular European destinations indeed banned, and the risks of quarantine and other bottlenecks to travelers’ decision-making, overall requests for coverage to foreign destinations were lower, those for domestic travel, those to the Bahamas and Costa Rica decreased slightly more than half. Insurance claims for travel to Mexico, however, fell only 23% year-over-year, and for the Turks and Caicos Islands, right next to Haiti, where luxury hotels guarantee safe COVID-19 bubbles, they are up more than 500% .For those traveling outside the United States, a travel insurance policy that also includes medical coverage for COVID-19 will cover medical treatments that a normal health policy would not allow, as well as the potential medical evacuation. theater actress, ensures a trip with her parents to Guatemala to meet her sister and her newborn niece Madi. “Madi came like the virus did. She’s crawling and trying to talk now and we just don’t want to miss this time around, “she says.” If we don’t go now, we probably won’t go before the holidays. And potentially, not until the vaccine everyone is talking about is distributed. »Report by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Suzanne Barlyn in Washington Crossing, Penn; Edited by Patrick Graham and Sriraj Kalluvila.

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With hugs, kisses and a duet pull, the border between Australia’s two largest states is reopening | Instant News

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s two largest states reunited in emotional scenes on Monday as borders – closed for the second time in 101 years due to the coronavirus pandemic – reopened and the first flight since July landed in Sydney from Melbourne.

Friends, family and a musician duo greet passengers as they disembark from Qantas flight QF401 at 7:20 a.m. (Sunday GMT 2020), the first of 26 flights scheduled between the two states on Monday.

“I can come and visit my father when I need to without having to worry about when I will get home,” said one of the passengers as he got off.

The border between the states of New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria was closed in July due to the COVID-19 outbreak around Melbourne – Australia’s second largest city. It was the first border closure since 1919 when Australia was battling the Spanish flu.

The outbreak in Victoria, which numbered more than 20,000 cases, was contained only after a strict lockdown that lasted more than 100 days.

But with Victoria gone more than three weeks without detecting a COVID-19 infection, the authorities are making the decision to reopen borders which have greatly helped separated families and the tourism and aviation sectors.

“We never want to be in a position again when we have to close our borders,” NSW state Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian told reporters.

Sydney-to-Melbourne is the world’s second-busiest air route and Australian lawmakers are looking to revive domestic travel and tourism in a bid to revive ailing economy.

Australia also hopes to restart international travel with flights to New Zealand in the works.

While New Zealanders can now travel to Victoria without quarantine, a reciprocal agreement is still a long way off. New Zealand says Australian citizens will remain banned until the entire country has left for at least 28 days without a single case of COVID-19.

Australia’s economy shrank 7% in the three months ended June, the most since records began in 1959, while the unemployment rate hit a 22-year high of 7.5% in July.

As well as reopening borders, NSW also said up to 500 people can now gather at outdoor religious gatherings.

Victoria accounts for around 73% of Australia’s total COVID-19 cases over 27,800 and 90% of its 907 deaths.

Reporting by Colin Packham; Additional reporting by Renju Jose; Edited by Stephen Coates


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CDC issues travel warning on very high-risk coronavirus cruise lines | Instant News

FILE PHOTO: Cruise ships dock at the Port of Miami as the tourism industry is affected by the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Miami, Florida, United States March 26, 2020 REUTERS / Carlos Barria / File Photo (Reuters) – The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Saturday it is recommending that all people avoid travel by cruise ship because the risk of COVID-19 on ocean liners is very high. should get tested 3-5 days after their trip and stay home for 7 days after the trip, even if they test negative. Last month, the agency released a framework for a gradual resumption of cruise ship operations after a banning navigation order issued in March in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic was set to expire. The CDC said more As early as March 1 through September 28, data showed “a total of 3,689 confirmed cases of COVID-19 or COVID-like illness on cruise ships and 41 deaths.” Report by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; edited by Grant McCool.

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