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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Emirates further extends SA ban until 22 April 2021

Emirates has further extended its suspension of outbound passenger flights from South Africa to April 22. The UAE flag carrier initially hoped to lift the ban on April 8 and later pushed back its return date to April 15. This is in line with UAE government directives that restrict the entry of travellers originating from South Africa.
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VIRGIN ATLANTIC: Airline to begin health pass trials from 16 April 2021

The airline has announced what it calls a major step forward towards the introduction of digital health passes by partnering with IATA Travel Pass and TrustAssure to launch two separate, complementary trials. From 16 April, Virgin Atlantic will commence a one-month trial of the IATA Travel Pass on its popular London Heathrow-Barbados services, in close collaboration with the government of the Caribbean island, which will accept the pass at its border.
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QATAR AIRWAYS: Airline to resume flights to Mykonos as Greek tourism re-opens

The middle-eastern airline has announced that it is resuming its service to Mykonos, Greece for the summer season - as the destination welcomes visitors once again. Qatar Airways is planning to operate three flights per week using an A320 aircraft.
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EMIRATES: Airline suspends flights to Nigeria in response to government directive

The Dubai-based airline has announced that, in line with government directives, passenger flights to and from Nigeria (Lagos and Abuja) are suspended until further notice. Passengers travelling to and from Lagos and Abuja will not be accepted for travel, and those who have been to or connected through Nigeria in the last 14 days are not permitted to board from any other point to the UAE.
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IRELAND: Country's government extends travel 'ban' from South America and South Africa

The country's government has announced the extension of a ban on visa-free travel from South Africa, as well as all South American countries, for an indefinite period. Visa-free travel from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname and Uruguay along with South Africa has been banned since 27 January due to the spread of COVID-19 variants.
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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Abu Dhabi Airport to offer free COVID-19 PCR testing on arrival

Abu Dhabi Airports has launched rapid, free COVID-19 PCR testing for all arrivals, alongside partners Pure Health and Tamouh Healthcare. Passengers will not be allowed to leave the airport until the test has been completed – with authorities hoping to provide results in around 90 mins. A new laboratory has the capacity to test more than 20,000 travellers and staff per day.
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UNITED KINGDOM: UK government to update England's hotel quarantine 'red list' from 19 March 2021

The UK’s Department of Transport has announced a number of changes to be made to England’s ‘red list’ from 04.00 (GMT) on Friday 19 March 2021. From this date, visitors who have departed from or transited through Ethiopia, Somalia, Oman and Qatar in the previous 10 days will be refused entry to England. Only British and Irish citizens, or those with residence rights (including long-term visa holders) will be permitted to enter; however, they must stay in a government-approved facility for 10 days. It has also been announced however that Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores) and Mauritius will be removed from England’s red list from 04.00 (GMT) on Friday 19 March. This means that passengers arriving to England from these destinations will no longer be required to quarantine in a government-approved facility; however, they must adhere to self-isolation requirements at home and undergo COVID-19 testing on days two and eight.
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FRANCE: Country's government to ease COVID-19 restrictions on international travel

The country's foreign ministry announced today, 11 March, that France will ease some COVID-19 restrictions on international travel outside of Europe; passengers arriving to or from Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Israel, Japan, Britain and Singapore will no longer need a compelling reason to travel. All other restrictions, such as a requirement for a negative COVID-19 test result obtained no more than 72 hours before travel, will remain in place. An official decree with further, confirmed information is due to be published on 12 March.
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ISRAEL: Country enters talks with United Arab Emirates to establish quarantine-free travel corridors

The governments of the United Arab Emirates and Israel have reportedly entered formal talks to establish a quarantine-free travel corridor between the two countries to boost bilateral exchange, following a normalisation deal. The travel corridor, which will apply to passengers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, will help facilitate travel for commercial, tourism and official purposes.
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ETIHAD: Airline extends COVID-19 global insurance cover until 1 October 2021

The airline has announced that it has extended its COVID-19 global wellness insurance cover until 1 October 2021; the cover is included with every Etihad ticket, providing protection for the first 31 days of a passenger’s trip.
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QATAR AIRWAYS: Airline to boost Seychelles flights as the islands re-open

The middle-eastern airline has announced that it is set to boost seat capacity on services to the Seychelles this summer, as the destination continues to gradually re-open to international visitors; the Seychelles will be permitting visitors with only need to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result obtained a maximum of 72-hours prior to departure. There will be no quarantine requirement or restriction on movement on those arriving with Qatar Airways via Doha.
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EL AL: Israeli airline launches COVID-19 testing pilot programme at check-in

The Israeli airline today, 8 March, launched a pilot programme at its Tel Aviv airport check-in counters to test unvaccinated passengers for COVID-19, before allowing them to board a non-stop flight to New York. Further testing is due to be carried out by the airline in New York within the next week, before a decision is made on whether to expand the initiative to other flight routes.
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EMIRATES: Airline published update on flights to South Africa until 20 March 2021

The Dubai-based airline has published an update stating that Emirates’ flights from South Africa will remain suspended until 20 March, in line with government directives that restrict the entry of travellers originating from South Africa, into the UAE. Daily passenger flights to Johannesburg will resume from 11 March and will operate as flight number EK763, however outbound passenger services on flight number EK764 remain suspended.
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SEYCHELLES: Country announces the re-opening of tourism from 25 March 2021

The country's government has announced that from 25 March it will re-open its borders to tourism from all destinations, with the exception only of passengers arriving from South Africa. Arriving passengers will now only be required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result obtained a maximum of 72 hours prior to departure; there will be also be no quarantine requirement nor restriction on movement upon entry into the Seychelles.
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EMIRATES: Airline offers passengers the chance to purchase adjoining seats

The Dubai-based airline has announced that it will now offer passengers the chance to purchase additional, empty seats when travelling in the economy cabin. Up to three adjoining seats on a flight will be offered to all economy class passengers holding a confirmed booking; passengers will not be able to pre-book empty seats, however, as these are subject to availability. Empty seats will only be offered for purchase at the airport check-in counter prior to flight departure, and costs range from $55-165 USD per empty seat, plus applicable taxes depending on the flight route.
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SOUTH AFRICA: Country moves to COVID-19 alert level 'one' from 28 February 2021

The country's government has announced that South Africa will move to COVID-19 alert level 'one' from 28 February, with a curfew in place daily between 00.01 and 04.00 (local time). The 20 land border crossing points previously re-opened will remain fully operational, with an additional 33 remaining closed. International air travel will only be permitted from Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport, King Shaka International Airport, Cape Town International Airport, Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport and Lanseria International Airport. All international travellers arriving at the aforementioned airports must produce a negative COVID-19 PCR test result on arrival obtained no more than 72 hours from departure. Passengers will also be subjected to health screening on arrival.
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GULF AIR: Airline to resume flights to Singapore from 1 April 2021

The airline - the national carrier of Bahrain - has announced that it will resume flights to Singapore from 1 April. Operated by the flagship Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, the Singapore route will be added to Bangkok and Manila in the list of Asian destination offered by the carrier.
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EMIRATES: Airline to resume flights to New York's Newark in June 2021

The Dubai-based airline has announced that it will resume daily flights to New York's Newark Liberty International Airport, via Athens, from 1 June. The addition of Newark via Athens will take Emirates’ U.S. network to 10 destinations following the resumption of services to Seattle, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York JFK, Washington DC, Dallas and San Francisco (to resume on 2 March).
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CHINA: Country's government introduces pre-departure quarantine for passengers from 'high-risk' destinations

The country's government has announced that it will now require passengers arriving from some destinations deemed 'high-risk' for COVID-19 to complete 14 days of self-quarantine prior to departure. The new rule applies to a number of African countries including the Republic of Congo, Seychelles, and South Africa, as well as other high-risk locations including Egypt, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia, according to the respective Chinese embassy websites. Passengers will also now be requited to take COVID-19 PCR and antibody tests at designated venues within 48 hours of boarding to qualify for a green health code. Upon arrival in China, travellers will not be exempt from standard quarantine requirements.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
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ISRAEL: Country's government eases some local COVID-19 restrictions

The country's government has announced an easing of some local COVID-19 restrictions, following evidence that a vaccine program in the country is proving effective; a number of facilities and services are now able to re-open,including gyms, hotels and synagogues. However, they require a ‘green passport’, a certificate that can only be obtained once you have been vaccinated. In addition, crowds are now allowed back at concerts, and sporting events have reopened at 75% capacity - however they have a cap of no more than 300 people inside and 500 outside. Despite this easing of local restrictions, Israel's main airport in Tel Aviv will remain closed for a further two weeks.
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