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U.S. Now Accepts Home Covid Tests from International Travelers and Returning Americans

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/11/2021, 8:00 AM

Travelers entering the United States may now use at-home tests to prove they're negative for Covid-19, according to rules updated last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Since January, anyone coming into the country—including citizens returning from vacations abroad—must present proof of negative Covid-19 test results obtained no more than three days before travel (o...

With the Return of Travel Comes the Return of Robocall Travel Scams

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/10/2021, 6:00 PM

If the pandemic had one silver lining, it was that, from March through August, the number of robocalls of all sorts dropped precipitously. Like everyone else, the employees of the call centers where many phone scams originate were unable to go into work, which meant blessed peace for the rest of us—for a while.  But as you've likely noticed, the annoying spam calls are back—and many are trav...

Australia Will Stay Closed to Travel Until 2022

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/06/2021, 11:00 AM

In a surprise move, Australia Finance Minister Simon Birmingham told The Australian today that the country would likely not reopen its borders until well into 2022. The previous target date for reopening had been June 17. Birmingham cited the emergence of dangerous new variants in India and elsewhere, plus delays in vaccine rollouts, as some of the reasons for keeping Australia closed longer th...

Will a Gasoline Shortage Kill Summer Road Trips? Advice From An Expert

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/05/2021, 9:00 AM

Toilet paper shortages? That's so 2020. This year, sources have been warning about an issue that chills the blood quickly: not enough fuel at gas stations. "It's been a bit of a perfect storm," Jeanette McGee, spokesperson for the American Automobile Association (AAA) told me. "When the pandemic hit, demand [for gasoline] fell drastically. So there were less deliveries, and a number of drivers ...

The European Union’s Plans to Reopen to Vaccinated Travelers by Summer

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/03/2021, 4:00 PM

Just in time for summer travel, the European Union plans to reopen borders to fully vaccinated foreign visitors, no matter where in the world they are from. According to news reports, that could happen as early as June. Currently, only visitors from countries with low Covid-19 infection rates, like New Zealand and South Korea, are being admitted.  The EU's executive branch, the European Comm...

Masks Will Be Required on Planes, Trains, and Buses Into September

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/03/2021, 8:00 AM

Masks aren't going away anytime soon, at least not on public transportation in the United States. The Transportation Security Administration has extended its mask mandate through September 13. The rule, which was put into place on Pres. Joe Biden's first day in office, had been set to expire May 11. Passengers in the U.S. must continue to mask up at airports, onboard commercial aircraft, on ...

What’s New at D.C.’s Zoo and 7 Smithsonian Museums, Reopening in May?

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/28/2021, 7:00 PM

Next month, members of the public will get their first chance to see the new panda cub at Washington, D.C.'s National Zoo in all his adorable, bamboo-nibbling glory. The zoo and seven other Smithsonian museums have set reopening dates in May following months of closure due to the pandemic.  The move could give a much-needed boost to tourism in Washington, D.C., where visitor spending was dow...

Another Mediterranean Destination Says It Will Subsidize Tourist Visits

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/27/2021, 4:00 PM

Last year, the Italian island of Sicily announced that it was creating a fund to pay for half of vacationers' costs. It was a powerfully attractive promise, to be sure, but considering international travel was paralyzed throughout most of 2020, we have yet to meet anyone who was able to avail themselves of the deal.  Now the island nation of Malta, just south of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea,...

Pandemic Forces a 19-Month Delay in Real ID Enforcement at Airports

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/27/2021, 1:00 PM

Many notorious fibs have been told to modern travelers: High-speed rail is coming soon. Competition will make airline service better. Mergers will give travelers more choice. But among the most vexing lies, "You will soon need Real ID to fly" is perhaps the most persistent. Developed partly as a response to the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Real ID Act was passed in 2005, back when Carr...

Why You Shouldn't Freak Out Over the U.S. Adding 116 Countries to the "Do Not Travel" List

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/22/2021, 5:00 PM

Early this week, the U.S. State Department, as it often does, updated its list of travel advisories—and the resulting headlines sparked some consternation. On the surface, headlines like "U.S. State Department says it will boost ‘Do Not Travel’ advisories to 80% of the world" might throw your heart into your throat. At first glance, it seems as if the entire planet is shutting back down before ...

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