UN Agency Air Travel Guidelines Include Restricted Bathroom Visits

When you gotta go, you better go before getting on the plane.

New guidelines for dealing with the coronavirus on aircraft issued by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) call for restricted access to the bathroom during the flight. The restroom is the smallest space on the airplane and certainly a petri dish of sorts for germs.

ICAO is a United Nations agency that concentrates on air travel, and its report on aviation during the COVID-19 pandemic was designed to protect air passengers and crew from further exposure to the virus, according to the British Broadcasting Corp. That’s especially true with the demand slowly but surely increasing.

ICAO’s goal is to have a unified response for both airlines and airports when trying to keep passengers and staff safe from the virus. There were other suggested restrictions, but bathroom usage is certainly the most eye-catching.

Access to toilets should be restricted, ICAO said, and where possible, one toilet should be set aside for use by cabin crew. Passengers should use a designated lavatory based on which seat they have, ICAO suggested.

That, obviously, could create some logistical issues during flights.

Fortunately, one of the other suggested rules is that food and drinks on short-haul flights should be limited or suspended, or be sold in sealed, pre-packaged containers.

In general, face masks should be worn in line with public health guidelines, and social distancing should be made possible where it is feasible, although ICAO did not call for mandatory social distancing.

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WHERE and WHEN tourists can travel in 2020, country by country

Revealed: As the world gradually reopens to tourism, here’s WHERE and WHEN international visitors can travel in 2020, country by country

  • Passport Index has tracked which nations are opening their doors to tourists 
  • First batch set to welcome visitors comprises Bahrain, Bulgaria and Qatar 
  • On June 15, Greece, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Japan will follow suit 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

With the worst of coronavirus seemingly over, holidaymakers worldwide are now looking ahead to the summer months in the hope that they might still be able to salvage their place in the sun.

With major tourist hotspots expected to reopen this month – expectations are again on the rise that summer 2020 may not be limited to just parks and back gardens.

The Passport Index has been tracking which nations are opening their doors to tourists and has produced a country-by-country list pinpointing which borders are opening and when.

With major tourist hotspots expected to reopen this month – expectations are again on the rise that summer 2020 may not be limited to just parks and back gardens. Pictured is San Sebastian in Spain, which is reopening its borders on August 1


JUNE 2020 

Bahrain – June 10, 2020

Bulgaria – June 10, 2020

Qatar – June 10, 2020

Greece – June 15, 2020

Germany – June 15, 2020

Austria – June 15, 2020

Azerbaijan – June 15, 2020

Czech Republic – June 15, 2020

Switzerland – June 15, 2020

Japan – June 15, 2020

Republic of Northern Macedonia – June 15, 2020

Lithuania – June 15, 2020

Hungary – June 15, 2020

Poland – June 15, 2020

Romania – June 15, 2020

Serbia – June 15, 2020

Netherlands – June 20, 2020

Kazakhstan – June 20, 2020

Albania – June 22, 2020

Bosnia and Herzegovina – June 22, 2020

Denmark – June 22, 2020

Estonia – June 22, 2020

Finland – June 22, 2020

South Korea – June 22, 2020

Ireland – June 22, 2020

Kyrgyzstan – June 22, 2020

Latvia – June 22, 2020

Norway – June 22, 2020

Slovakia – June 22, 2020

JULY 2020 

Australia – July 1, 2020

Belgium – July 1, 2020

Belarus – July 1, 2020

China (Beijing only) – July 1, 2020

Sweden – July 1, 2020  

Canada – July 1, 2020

Colombia – July 1, 2020

Kosovo – July 1, 2020

Malaysia – July 1, 2020

Moldova – July 1, 2020

Uzbekistan – July 1, 2020

Taiwan – July 1, 2020

Turkmenistan – July 1, 2020

Ukraine – July 1, 2020

Indonesia – July 10, 2020

India – July 10, 2020

Pakistan – July 10, 2020

Algeria – July 15, 2020

Morocco – July 15, 2020

Philippines – July 15, 2020

South Africa – July 15, 2020

Georgia – July 15, 2020

United Kingdom – July 15, 2020

Israel – July 15, 2020

Kuwait – July 15, 2020

Libya – July 15, 2020

Lebanon – July 15, 2020

Russia – July 15, 2020

Jordan – July 15, 2020

AUGUST 2020 

Brazil – August 1, 2020

Armenia – August 1, 2020

France – August 1, 2020

Iraq – August 1, 2020

Iran – August 1, 2020

Spain – August 1, 2020

Italy – August 1, 2020

Egypt – August 1, 2020

Saudi Arabia – August 1, 2020

Tunisia – August 1, 2020


USA – September 1, 2020 

The first batch of countries set to welcome visitors comprises Bahrain, Bulgaria and Qatar, which have June 10 down as the date when their borders will reopen.

On June 15, reports The Passport Index, Greece, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Japan will follow suit, along with several other nations.

June 22 will see Denmark, Estonia, Ireland and South Korea put out the welcome mat and on July 1, they’ll be joined by countries including Australia, Sweden, Canada and Colombia.

By July 15, the ranks of countries that have reopened borders will have been swelled by the UK, Israel, Morocco, India, Pakistan, South Africa and Russia.

Fast forward to August 1 and it’ll be possible for international tourists to pop over to Brazil, France, Spain, Italy, Egypt and Tunisia.

The last country on the list is the USA, which isn’t planning on opening its borders to international tourists until September 1.

South Africa is set to open its borders on July 15.  Pictured is Cape Town, one of the country’s top destinations

The USA is set to open its borders to international visitors on September 1

Meanwhile, searches for package holidays to Spain this summer have increased by 52 per cent, Greece by 51 per cent and Portugal by 38 per cent in the past fortnight on the back of news that European tourism is reopening and quarantine-free air bridges can be established.

There have been 40 per cent more price comparison searches for July, August and September holidays in the past two weeks. 

That’s according to searches on holiday price comparison site TravelSupermarket from May 16 to 30 compared with the previous fortnight, for package holidays overseas departing between July 1 and October 31 this year.

On June 15, reports The Passport Index, Greece, Germany (pictured), Austria, Switzerland and Japan will open their borders

Portugal has gone up two places in the search rankings in the past fortnight, compared with the start of May, to become the fifth most popular country for Britons to search for a holiday this summer.

Armand Arton, CEO of The Passport Index, said: ‘People worldwide have developed an insatiable appetite for global mobility and the freedom to travel, relax and work in a large number of different countries with very few hindrances.’

‘Since we started the Passport Index in 2015, we’ve seen a consistent year-on-year increase in global mobility and we are confident that Covid-19 will be no more than a short-term anomaly to an ever-increasing trend. Temporary suspensions to visa-free entry arrangements for some countries are just that – temporary. We are confident that the world will reopen quickly and safely.’

  • The FCO currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. 

Ireland is due to open its borders to tourists on June 22. Pictured is Gougane Barra National Forest Park in County Cork

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Portugal to welcome UK tourists back for summer holidays within weeks

Holidaymakers will soon be allowed to return to Portugal in as little as four weeks. As coronavirus restrictions start to ease, Britons could visit the holiday destination as soon as July without needing to quarantine.


  • Portugal holidays: Border to reopen but with COVID-19 rules in place

The coronavirus crisis caused countries across the world to close their borders.

Travel bans meant many Britons had to put their holiday plans on hold as all but essential travel was not allowed.

However, policy in Portugal means tourists could start to visit the country again in just a few weeks.

While Portugal is yet to verify a widespread date, some regions have already announced tourists can visit from July 1.

Not only will holidays be permitted soon, tourists from the UK will be among those welcomed, according to Portugal’s foreign minister Augusto Santos Silva.

Speaking to local media, he said: “Tourists are welcome in Portugal.”

He has since confirmed tourists from the UK are “most welcome”.

The minister explained an agreement could be reached between the UK and Portugal to make going on holiday even easier, he told BBC.

This would allow Britons returning to the UK to skip on long quarantines when they get home.

The minister said: “During these weeks our diplomats will work together in order to guarantee that British tourists coming to Portugal would not be subjected on their return to England to any kind of quarantine.”

Currently, Britons are expected to be asked to quarantine when returning to the UK from overseas trips.

The government website explains: “From 8 June, there will be new rules in place for entering the UK because of coronavirus (COVID-19). The rules are for residents and visitors.”


  • Portugal holidays might be exempt from 14-day UK quarantine

The rules mean Britons will “not be allowed to leave the place you’re staying for the first 14 days you’re in the UK except in very limited situations.”

Earlier this week, it was reported those entering Portugal would also have to pass certain tests.

While Madeira has announced tourists can visit from July 1, they will need to provide negative coronavirus test results on arrival.

The country’s tourism officials said: “Madeira Islands are focused on positioning as a COVID-safe destination.

“Furthermore, Madeira was a pioneer in the whole of Portugal in developing a good practices document to deal with COVID-19.

“These measures will provide comfort to those who travel and it is ultimately for the wellbeing of all.”

If an agreement is reached between Portugal and the UK, however, travelling between the two countries could become easier.

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The unexpected luxuries of a safari – A Luxury Travel Blog

A safari in Africa may well be the epitome of adventure, heading out in the remote wilds of the planet in search of untamed creatures big and small and the drama that plays out when prey and predator meet. While you can certainly opt for a budget safari where you pitch your own tent, sleep on the ground, and endure food that can be cooked over a fire, it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, it’s quite the contrary when you choose a luxury safari. On a luxury safari, you definitely get what you pay for and will enjoy the very best, in more ways than you may expect. Small camps that accommodate just 12-20 guests maintain an atmosphere of intimacy and exclusivity, and means you can have your own private game drive experience. High thread-count linens on plush beds in airy tents, ensuite bathrooms with flushing toilets and hot water, private plunge pools for cooling off mid-day, gourmet meals from freshly baked scones to beet ravioli in a parmesan cream sauce, and sundowner cocktails in the most scenic locations, are just some of the creature comforts you’ll enjoy. And while all of those things certainly add to the memorable and relaxing nature of the adventure, the true luxuries of any safari is often found in the intangibles.

The luxury of opportunity

A photographic safari based in a private reserve in unlike being in a public area. Private reserves or concessions are not accessible by everyone, and the fewer the people the better the experience which provides the luxury of opportunity – to view more wildlife in nearly complete solitude. It a much different feeling to be the only ones for miles watching a cheetah basking in the shade versus being one vehicle of ten all surrounding moment. Moreover, in exclusive-use areas, the regulations are often different from public parks. Guides can stay out after sunset and usually drive off-road, which may be the difference between seeing a pack of endangered African wild dogs through a thicket or knowing they were just out of view. Opportunities are also created because guides know the territories of the herds, prides, and packs that live in the area around the camps, and they also communicate with each other to share sightings. A seasoned, expert guide thinks about the placement of the vehicle for optimal photos.

The luxury of knowledge

In general, as guides gain experience and expertise, they are able to move up to better camps. Luxury camps employ the best and most skilled guides, and traveling with an experienced naturalist guide means you’ll have the luxury of knowledge. Expert guides know not just where to find wildlife (individual territories or favorite hiding spots), but also incredible details about them—even down to individual animals. They can often spot animals from hundreds of feet away with their eagle eyes and know by a gazelle’s behavior if there is something lurking in the long grass—and will wait before driving on to see if something happens. On a recent safari, one of our guides knew that a leopard mother and her adolescent cub had been separated from each other for a few days and that a reunion had to be imminent. The cub had been calling all afternoon, and at dusk, guests watched from nearby as the mother returned. His knowledge allowed them to witness the moment when they reunited—pure magic!

The luxury of serenity

In this modern age, perhaps the greatest indulgence while on safari is the luxury of serenity. Choosing to embark on a luxury safari means you needn’t worry about anything—your safari operator, camp staff, and guides take care of all the logistics, so you can unwind and focus on being immersed in the natural world, far from your daily routine. Aside from stress-free planning and execution, your brain will have a rest from the over-stimulation typical of our 21st-century lives. Listen to the birds, rustling grass, and hippos snorting in the distance instead of your alarm clock buzzing or planes overhead; relax on the deck as buffalo and wildebeest graze nearby instead of sitting in traffic on your commute; sleep with a cool breeze of fresh air wafting through the canvas instead of inhaling city pollution; enjoy dawn’s stillness during sunrise instead of rushing out the door; and close out the day sitting by a crackling fire under a canopy of stars instead of cleaning up after dinner. Are you ready to finally take the safari you’ve always dreamed of?

Matt Holmes is the Founder & President of Boundless Journeys. Boundless Journeys is an award-winning tour operator that goes off the beaten path for immersive and authentic travel experiences.

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Social distancing is not the answer to future flying, says Emirates president

Sir Tim Clark believes social distancing doesn’t make economic or environmental sense

Sir Tim Clark does not believe that social distancing is an option.

Employing social distancing on aircraft doesn’t make sense from an economic or an environmental sense, according to Emirates airline president Sir Tim Clark.

The Dubai-based carrier recently resumed passenger flights after its fleet was grounded as part of government measures enforced to control the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

With a tentative return to the skies, airlines are adopting new policies that protect passengers and crew from possible Covid-19 transmission, aimed at increasing consumer confidence in the embattled aviation industry.

However, Clark does not believe that social distancing is an option.

Speaking at a webinar session organised by Arabian Travel Market (ATM), he said: “If we start leaving seats in the economy inventory open or unsold because of social distancing, one has to accept that you have to be consistent about this. There’s no point in leaving the seat next to you empty because the seat behind you, if somebody sneezes of coughs, irrespective of the seat back, meant to be deflecting it, this will not happen. These will travel 20 feet down the cabin and into the air.

“What it basically means is that you will have to take 50 percent, in the case of economy, of your inventory out. It doesn’t stack up for anybody to do that.”

He added: “Equally, on the environmental side, it makes absolutely no sense to fly empty aircraft or half-empty aircraft, because we’re all very conscious of this.”

Emirates have initiated a number of health and safety measures on board its aircraft, including presenting passengers with their own kit, which includes face masks, gloves and sanitisers, allowing them the option to further clean their seat themselves before sitting down.

“There’s a degree of personal control,” said Clark.

Arabian Business digital magazine: read the latest edition online

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How far can I travel in lockdown?

Brits are eager to break free of lockdown restrictions, and new rules in action from Monday, June 1 mean English people are allowed to gather in ‘social bubbles’ of up to six people. Schools and some outdoor markets and car showrooms are also allowed to open today, while other non-essential shops are due to reopen on June 15. explains the rules on travelling.

How far can I travel in lockdown?

As of Monday, June 1, lockdown measures have been eased to allow some Brits to travel as far as they like.

In England and Scotland, there is no limit on how far you can travel, but you must keep to social distancing rules.

In Wales, people are being asked to stay locally. This has been defined as about five miles (eight kilometres).

Despite no legal limit being placed on English and Scottish people, Nicola Sturgeon has strongly advised Scots to stay within five miles of their home.

READ MORE- Can I move in with my partner during lockdown?


  • Caravan & campsites reopen: Pontins to open in July

Can I travel between England and Scotland or Wales?

Each of the devolved nations is treating the rules a little differently, making travelling between them complicated.

Overnight stays aren’t permitted since you cannot enter another person’s home except when accessing their garden.

Hotels and other accommodation services are not permitted or open either.

Because of all of this, travelling between countries is near impossible.

You would need to get to your destination and back home within the day in order to stick to the rules.

Can I go on holiday in the UK?

You cannot go on holiday in the UK yet, according to the latest advice.

At the daily conference on Thursday, the Prime Minister said: “We don’t want people to stay overnight, we don’t want people to go to other households and stay there, I’m just afraid we’re not at that stage.”

You can travel as far as you like, as long as you can get home in the same day.

Staycations are off-limits for now, so you will have to wait until measures are eased to book an overnight trip to the British seaside.

Caravan & campsites reopen: Caravan and motorhome traders open [INFORMER]
Coronavirus: Nearly 70 hospital trusts confirm no weekend deaths [INSIGHT]
Lockdown rules: Which lockdown rules are lifted today on June 1? [INFORMER]


  • Outside toilet ideas: How to go to the toilet outside

Can I use someone else’s toilet?

While the Prime Minister has said that people shouldn’t be inside other people’s homes for purposes other than accessing the garden, it seems you can go to the toilet if you absolutely must.

At Thursday’s press conference, Professor Chris Whitty stressed the importance of keeping your hands clean when meeting up with others

He said: “If someone was to go into the loo because they had to do that, it’s absolutely critical that they wipe everything down, wash their hands all the way through.”

On the other hand, the Scottish first minister said: “Don’t go indoors. Being in someone else’s house should still be avoided unless of course you are providing support to someone who is vulnerable.

“We are not putting a legal limit on how far you can travel to meet another household, but please use your good judgment.

“If the distance is so far that you would have to use someone else’s bathroom, then perhaps you shouldn’t be doing it.”

Can I see my friends and family?

Previously, people in England were allowed to meet just one person from another household.

Now, you can meet up with six people from other households at a time.

Before, the rules meant these people could only meet in public outdoor spaces.

However, from Monday, June 1, people in England can meet up with five others in a private outdoor space.

This means you can have a gathering of six people in someone’s garden, and you may carefully enter the garden through their house.

You are not allowed to stay in another person’s home or even congregate inside.

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Mobility in GCC fell drastically amid Covid-19 shut downs, Google data shows

Bahrain experienced the least mobility reduction in the region, according to Google’s Community Mobility Reports

According to Google data cited by the Bahrain Economic Development Board, the kingdom experienced the least mobility reduction in the region at -21.7 percent

Overall mobility fell by an average of 36.9 percent in the GCC in May, with fewer visits to parks, grocery stores and workplaces, according to new data released by Google.

According to Google data cited by the Bahrain Economic Development Board, the kingdom experienced the least mobility reduction in the region at -21.7 percent, compared to -35.7 percent for the UAE, -36.8 percent for Oman, -39.5 percent for Saudi Arabia and -59.5 percent in Kuwait.

Residential mobility was the least impacted segment, as citizens and residents stayed home during Ramadan, with an average positive growth of 26.8 percent across the Gulf.

This was followed by the grocery and pharmacy category (-33 percent) and workplaces (-45 percent).

The most significant impacts were recorded in transit stations and parks, with average reductions of -60.1 and -53.8 percent, respectively, largely as a result of measures taken across the region to stem the spread of Covid-19.

“I feel very happy about what has been done,” said World Health Organisation regional director Ahmed Al Mundhari. “A lot of states, for example, Gulf countries, they have from day one preparing their system at points of entry in the airports and other points of entry to their country.”

The Google data formed part of the company’s Community Mobility Reports, which show national movement trends in categories including retail, parks, workplaces and transit.

The data shows visitor levels compared to baseline days, representing a pre-Covid value for that day of the week.

Arabian Business digital magazine: read the latest edition online

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Spain holiday warning: Canary Islands bans Britons as tourists return to Balearics

Holidaymakers could be allowed to holiday to the Canary Islands in just two weeks, according to a travel minister. While tourists will be welcomed from European countries, Britons could be banned from visiting the areas in Spain.


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

The coronavirus crisis has caused countries across the world to go into a lockdown, in a bit to combat the disease.

Travel bans have meant many people have only been able to move between countries if it is absolutely essential.

However, policies in Spain are thought to be relaxed from July 1, making it easier for tourists to visit.

In the Canary Islands, tourists could go even earlier with a scheme allowing visitors in just two weeks.

However, holidaymakers from Britain will not be among those allowed early access, according to Spain’s minister of industry, trade and tourism in Spain, Maria Reyes Maroto.

She spoke about the possibility of foreign tourists entering the Canary and Balearic Islands in just two weeks.

If a pilot is approved by the Spanish government, holidaymakers could visit the islands weeks before Spain officially reopens borders.

According to reports, the Spanish government had been discussing plans with holiday providers including Jet2holidays and TUI.

However, she explained tourists granted access are likely to come from other countries in Europe.

The minister said the first holidaymakers to arrive could be from Germany and the Nordic countries, stating “at this moment at time their epidemiological situations are very good”.

Concerns about the current state of the coronavirus crisis in the UK could stop Britons from being allowed to visit.

Maria continued: “There the health situation still has to improve. For us, it is important to guarantee that people arrive healthy and leave healthy.”


  • Holidays 2020: Skyscanner reveals this shocking new booking trend

The Balearics Islands regional government has been campaigning for a test run to welcome visitors on June 16.

It was announced Spain would welcome tourists again as the coronavirus pandemic improved in the country.

Visitors can visit from July 1, although they will need to follow strict health rules including taking tests.

Britons hoping to travel to the Canary Islands could be asked to take a coronavirus test before leaving the UK.

Vice-president of the Government of the Canary Islands and Minister of the Treasury, Román Rodríguez said this will reduce the risk of infection for everyone.

He said: “We need people who get on the plane to do so with the least possible risk of infecting others or becoming infected.”

Britons may also be asked to quarantine for six hours when they arrive in Spain to ensure they don’t have any symptoms.

Additional reporting by Gerard Couzens

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Emirates airline warns passengers over phishing email scam

Email tells passengers that the flight has been cancelled

Emirates has provided correct email addresses that customers can check to ensure that it’s a genuine communication from the airline.

Emirates airline has warned passengers about the latest phishing email scam that is currently in circulation.

The Dubai carrier said the Covid-19-related phishing email scam, which is attempting to gain access to sensitive information, has a subject line of ‘Your flight is cancelled: collect your refund’.

Emirates has provided two correct email addresseses that customers can check to ensure that it’s a genuine communication from the airline.

“We’ve been alerted to recent email phishing attacks that contain the subject “Your flight is cancelled: collect your refund”. These are not emails sent from Emirates,” the statement from the Dubai carrier said.

“Please be careful to protect your personal information and don’t respond or click on links in such emails.

“The easiest way to detect a fake email is to look at the email address it was sent from. All official emails from Emirates are sent from one of these two email addresses: [email protected] or [email protected].”

In December last year, Emirates issued a warning about an email claiming to be from the airline, suggesting the recipient had been selected to take part in an ‘Emirates Rewarding Survey’. 

If a customer suspects their account may have been compromised, visit Emirates security page on its website.

Arabian Business digital magazine: read the latest edition online

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Saudia announces 60 daily flights as Covid-19 movement restrictions ease

Flights will be operated from the new terminal at Jeddah’s international airport

Saudia said that the first phase of its resumption of domestic operations will see the airline operate 60 flights a day to locations including Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam, Madinah, Jazan, Hail and Najran.

Saudi Arabia Airlines will begin operate dozens of daily domestic flights on May 31 following a decision from the kingdom’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), the airline has announced.

In a statement, Saudia said that the first phase of its resumption of domestic operations will see the airline operate 60 flights a day to locations including Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam, Madinah, Jazan, Hail and Najran.

All domestic flights will be operated from the new Terminal 1 at Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport.

The announcement comes as Saudi Arabia moves to ease restrictions from Thursday, May 28, which includes an easing of domestic travel in all areas of the kingdom with the temporary exception of Makkah.

On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia reported 1,931 new cases of Covid-19, bringing its total to 76,726, including 411 deaths.

Arabian Business digital magazine: read the latest edition online

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