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The ‘billion-dollar air route’ is bouncing back

<i>Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images</i><br/>Canalside houses on Burano island in Venice Lagoon.
AFP via Getty Images
Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images
Canalside houses on Burano island in Venice Lagoon.

By Maureen O’Hare, CNN

Since March 2020, would-be travelers have experienced more turbulence on the ground than in the air. As always, though, CNN Travel are your attendants on hand to guide you through the safety instructions and point our your nearest exits.

Here’s our latest roundup of new developments in pandemic travel. Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy week.

1. Bahamas, Sint Maarten and more have been added to US ‘do not travel’ list

The Bahamas and Morocco are now among the highest-risk destinations for travelers, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s regularly revised travel advisories list.

They moved to the top tier on August 23, along with Sint Maarten, Haiti, Kosovo and Lebanon. The recommendation for these destinations is to avoid all nonessential travel.

2. Seven new destinations have been added to the UK’s ‘green list’

Canada, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania and the Azores are all new additions to the UK’s travel “green list.” This means that UK visitors who want to go there have to take a pre-departure test, as well as a PCR test on or before day two of their arrival back in the UK. They don’t need to quarantine.

Thailand and Montenegro have moved to the UK’s “do not travel” red list.

3. Denmark will lift all Covid restrictions on September 10

Denmark is in the top 10 of the world’s most vaccinated countries, and it’s marking this pandemic success by lifting all of its remaining Covid restrictions on September 10.

Minister of Health Magnus Heunicke said in a statement Friday that “even though we are in a good place right now (…) the government will not hesitate to act quickly if the pandemic again threatens important functions in our society.”

4. Hawaii is asking tourists to stay away

Hawaii Governor David Ige asked tourists Monday to voluntarily stay away from the state — but stopped short of introducing fresh restrictions on out-of-state visitors.

Covid cases are at a record high, with close to 5,000 new cases reported in the past week.

“We know that it is not a good time to travel to the islands,” said Ige. “The visitors who choose to come to the islands will not have the typical kind of holiday that they expect to get when they visit.”

5. Venice is employing armed guards to deal with crowded ferries

The tourists have returned to Venice, with up to 80,000 visitors a day pouring into the city of 50,000 inhabitants, according to local media.

The long lines — and tensions in them — have become such an issue that this summer, armed guards have been brought in to control the crowds, CNN’s Julia Buckley reports.

6. Unruly passengers are risking flight safety

US federal authorities are warning passengers that the rising number of violent outbursts on commercial flights are not only a problem for flight attendants, but they also distract pilots from keeping the entire flight safe.

A Federal Aviation Administration public service announcement video released Tuesday, and first to CNN, shows actual recordings of flight crews informing air traffic controllers of emergency situations in the passenger cabin, interspersed with audio of in-flight altercations.

7. A European international airport is now the world’s busiest

UK-based travel data provider OAG has been crunching the numbers and announced that Amsterdam (AMS) has moved into first place as the world’s busiest international airport, knocking Dubai (DXB) down into second.

New York JFK-London — named in 2019 as “the world’s only billion-dollar air route” because of its revenue-generating capacity — has returned this month to once again place on OAG’s Top 10 Busiest International Routes.

However, it’s still far from back to its pre-pandemic clout: While the UK is now accepting fully vaccinated inbound travelers from the US, the UK is still in the highest-risk category on the US travel advisories list.

8. Air Canada is mandating Covid-19 vaccines for staff

Air Canada has joined fellow North American airline United in introducing a vaccine mandate for its workers. All the Canadian airline’s employees and new hires will be required to be vaccinated and to report their vaccination status as of October 30.

Other US major airlines including Delta, American and Southwest have stopped short of introducing a mandate, but are strongly recommending their workers get vaccinated, and Delta will be raising insurance premiums and limiting sick pay for the unvaccinated.

9. Iceland has had no Covid deaths since May

Iceland is fourth in the world — just behind Malta, Singapore and the UAE — when it comes to the percentage of its population that’s vaccinated.

While infections have surged in the country’s latest Covid-19 wave, there have been fewer hospitalizations compared to 2020 and no coronavirus deaths since May.

10. Disney Cruise Line has issued a vaccine mandate for sailings to the Bahamas

The Bahamas has joined the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Level 4: Covid-19 Very High” travel risk list — and while Disney Cruise Line is still running sailings there, from September 3 all passengers 12 and older will have to be fully vaccinated.

Guests who choose not to provide proof of vaccination won’t be permitted to board the ship, according to the cruise line. The mandate will be effective until at least November 1.

™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Julia Buckley, Gregory Wallace, Eric Levenson, Pete Muntean, Rebekah Riess, Kristen Rogers, Andy Rose, Francesca Street and Gary Tuchman contributed to this story.

Article Topic Follows: CNN – Offbeat

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