Tag Archives: tourism

Malta Airport may open June 15

Malta airport could reopen on 15 June but decision still depends on agreement granted by the health authorities the Tourism Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli indicated.

Farrugia Portelli said the Prime Minister will be announcing an official date for reopening the airport in the coming days.

The target date has been set earlier, and all stakeholders agreed that a confirmation is needed as soon as possible, she continued.

“We have always said the airport should be closed until 15 June but we will continue assessing this with the health authorities,” she said on TVM’s Xtra on May 28 night programme, pointing to the government intention of mid-June reopening.

Farrugia Portelli underlined that there will be a summer vacation possible for the guests of the archipelago country.

“It will be a safer summer than ever before,” she said, adding that safety protocols will be introduced once the airport reopens.

Tourism operators have been waiting for the reopening of the airport and lifting of travel restrictions to encourage tourism, contributing to about 15% of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). All travel came to standstill when the COVID-19 pandemic reached Malta in March.

Malta medical experts have established 616 cases, 501 patients received treatment and recovered, but still 108 cases remain active. Seven from COVID-19 infections resulted in related deaths.

COVID19: Europe gradually lifts restrictions

A number of European countries are further lifting their restrictions on May 25, Monday:

Gyms and swimming pools reopen in Italy, except in the hardest-hit region of Lombardy. The country has the third-highest recorded death toll from the virus worldwide.

Spain’s two biggest cities, Madrid and Barcelona, both move into phase one of the country’s 3-phase lockdown lifting plan. People can now gather in small groups, while bars and restaurants can serve customers outside. Other parts of the country move to phase two – meaning beaches, businesses and public areas can open more extensively.

Ferry services in Greece resume to all islands and ports, as the government hopes to boost domestic tourism. Cafes and restaurants are also reopening in the country from Monday.

Bars repent in the Czech Republic – the country with the highest per capita beer consumption in the world – as the country enters its final lockdown easing stage.

As well as restaurants, cafes and pubs, the doors are also reopening at primary schools, zoos and castles.

COVID19: EU tourism re-launch

Commission presented a package of guidelines and recommendations to help Member States gradually lift travel restrictions and allow tourism businesses to reopen, after months of lockdown, while respecting necessary health precautions.

The Commission’s guidance aims to offer people the chance to get some well-needed rest, relaxation and fresh air. As soon as the health situation allows, people should be able to catch up with friends and family, in their own EU country or across borders, with all the safety and precautionary measures needed in place.

The package also aims to help the EU tourism sector recover from the pandemic, by supporting businesses and ensuring that Europe continues to be the number one destination for visitors.

The Commission’s Tourism and Transport package includes:

An overall strategy towards recovery in 2020 and beyond;
A common approach to restoring free movement and lifting restrictions at EU internal borders in a gradual and coordinated way;
A framework to support the gradual re-establishment of transport whilst ensuring the safety of passengers and personnel;
A recommendation which aims to make travel vouchers an attractive alternative to cash reimbursement for consumers;
Criteria for restoring tourism activities safely and gradually and for developing health protocols for hospitality establishments such as hotels.

Switzerland travel restrictions till June

Health Minister Alain Berset said that he was pleased with people’s behaviour in Switzerland, respecting the lockdown during the Easter period.

In addition to the measures, along with the continued flattening of the curve of new Covid-19 infections in Switzerland, Berset indicated that the country would start relaxing the measures soon.

“It didn’t go too bad and so we need to thank everyone for that. As we said, this is not the moment to travel or take holidays – for example in Ticino – and as we saw, people have abided to the rules”.

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I’m happy about that – we’re asking a lot from people at the moment, it needs to be said.”

There will be no passengers allowed to enter Switzerland by air until June 13th. Travel restrictions have been updated and are available on IATA Timatic tool. Exceptions applied, information is subject to permanent change.

Berset reasserted that the country needed to remain humble as vulnerable people will continue to be affected until there is a vaccine. Until a vaccine was found, there is a need to abide by the rules and to keep proper hygiene, Berset said.

Moscow: seven Chinese hospitalised

Seven members of a tourist group from China were hospitalized in Moscow with high fever, Interfax news agency reports with reference to an informed source.

The tour group stayed in one of the capital’s hotels. After deterioration, seven people were hospitalized with high fever, ”the source told reporters. According to him, at the moment, other visitors to the hotel are examined by doctors, all are urgently taken tests.

World Health Organisation published hygiene recommendation to avoid contamination with coronavirus,

New Oman Sultan promotes peace

Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the Middle-East’s longest-serving monarch, has died at the age of 79 after long illness. His death was announced by the state Oman News Agency via its official Twitter account. The royal court in the country declared three days of mourning.

Sultan Qaboos seized power in a 1970 palace coup and reformed his Arabian sultanate into modernity while carefully balancing diplomatic ties between Tehran and the Washington. The new agency phrased his “balanced policy” of mediating between rival camps in a volatile region, which had earned the world’s respect.

The British-educated sultan reformed a nation that was home to only three schools and archaic laws, banning electricity, radios, eyeglasses and even umbrellas when he took the throne.

Under his reign, Oman became known as a popular tourist destination and a key Mideast interlocutor, helping the U.S. free captives in Iran and Yemen and hosting visits by Israeli officials for talks about Palestinian issue.

The European leaders expressed their condolences to the nation.

Oman’s new ruler Sultan Haitham bin Tariq al-Said promised to maintain the Gulf Arab state’s foreign policy of peaceful coexistence and maintaining friendly ties with all nations.

Amsterdam increases tourist tax

City of Amsterdam will be adding a levy of €3 per person per night for travelers staying overnight in hotel in addition to the 7% of the room rate it currently charges.

The decision will make Amsterdam the highest overnight tax in Europe, on average.

Venice removes trinket shops

The Venice city council this week approved a resolution to stop trinket shops and cheap souvenir shops opening in St Mark’s Square and around the Rialto bridge,

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The decision to be ratified by the regional government indicates that new commerce will have to respect rules regarding quality of goods prior to obtaining a licence to sell.
The aim is maintain the city’s cultural identity.

Stromboli eruption safety concerns

Italy Stromboli volcano in Mediterranean  has erupted for the second time in two months, sending huge plumes of smoke and forming ash clouds in the air.

No injuries have been reported on the island, though local officials have advised tourists and nearby residents to remain cautious. As the eruption occurred, witnesses to the event took some incredible footage.

 Stromboli erupted in what local authorities in Italy considered might be classified a “paroxysmal event.” This is where a pyroclastic flow — a rapid moving plume of gas, rock, and volcanic ash — is shot out from the volcano. Italy‘s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology said the smoke plume reached a height of 2 kilometers (1.2 miles).

Elena Schiera, who enjoyed sailing on a boat with her family near the island when the volcano erupted, shared several videos of their escape from the cloud of smoke. “All of a sudden we heard a loud bang and saw a large black cloud spewing out of the Stromboli crater and pouring into the sea,” she told CNN.

 

Spanish Steps sitting ban

Sitting on Rome‘s Spanish Steps ( Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti) is no longer allowed as the local police is imperative to apply the rules in a more stringent way, sources said to ANSA news agency. The famous steps are also considered to be a monument, meaning sitting or lying on them is banned.

The film Roman Holiday(1953), starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck  made the Spanish Steps famous to world audience.

Those who breach the ban risk a fine of 250 , which can go up to €400 if the steps are dirtied or damaged.

The stairway was designed by architects Francesco de Sanctis and Alessandro Specchi, commissioned by French diplomat Étienne Gueffier (1723–1725).

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