UK Ends Tax-Free Sales on January 1, 2021

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The UK government made a surprise announcement late Friday (the ideal time to release bad news) involving tax-free sales.

Tourists traveling to the UK and buying goods in the country are no longer eligible for tax refunds. There will also be no tax-free shopping at air or cruise ports come January 1, 2021.

European Union Extends The Slot Waiver Through March 27, 2021

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Airlines have been lobbying airports and regulators to further extend slot waivers due to the Covid-10 travel slump, or otherwise they would need to operate ghost and other unnecessary flights to retain them.

European Union today has decided to extend the slot waiver through the end of the 2020/2021 winter season.

EU Union Tries To Get Clarity To Intra-Group Travel

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European Union has a passport-free travel zone called Schengen that allows uninterrupted travel between countries that came to a grinding halt this spring due to Covid-19.

European Commission has tried to come up with common rules on how to reopen the external border and what criteria member states could use to deny arrivals from other Schengen-countries.

Maldives Soon Requires Negative Covid-19 Test Upon Arrival

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The Maldives opened its borders for incoming tourists on July 15, 2020, with only requiring a negative Covid-19 test when leaving the country and not at the time of entry.

Passengers arriving at Male will soon need to produce a negative Covid-19 result. Many airlines, such as Emirates and Qatar airways, serving the island nation already require this from all or most passengers.

Trump Hotel Vancouver Becomes Insolvent & Closes

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Trump Hotel in Vancouver, Canada, has closed for goods after its owner became insolvent. The property opened its door as recently as March 2017.

The hotel was owned by a Malaysian company whose two Canadian subsidiaries have become insolvent and have filed for bankruptcy.

Hungary Closes Its Border On September 1, 2020

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Hungary on Friday announced that it would close its external border from all non-citizen/resident travel effective September 1, 2020.

Returning citizens and residents would need to quarantine for two weeks when arriving from any outside country.

Roomkey Calls It Quits

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Remember those super annoying pop-ups and pop-unders for a website called Roomkey when visiting hotel sites such as Marriott, Choice, Hilton, IHG, and Wyndham?

This method of advertising was so annoying that we published a piece back in 2013 (read more here) how to modify the host file in your computer to prevent these ever showing and disturbing you again.

Singapore Releases More Information About ATP (Air Travel Pass)

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Singapore last week slightly relaxed visitor requirements (read more here) for those wishing to visit the city-state from September 8, 2020, and willing to pay for S$300 for a Covid-19 test.

Visitors who have been in Brunei or New Zealand in the preceding 14 days can apply for a new Air Travel Pass (ATP) from September 1 that allows visitors to take a Covid-19 test upon arrival and start freely roaming the country once a negative result has been confirmed (takes 24 to 48 hours).

Hong Kong In “Travel Bubble” Talks With 8 To 10 Countries

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Countries in Asia-Pacific have been talking about possible travel bubbles for months (Trans-Tasman bubble anyone) that would allow close to regular travel between nations that have Covi-19 under control.

Nothing has much come out of these talks so far as the infections have been on the rise in the area. Hong Kong has confirmed that it has held discussions with 8 to 10 countries, and they are most advanced with Thailand and Japan.

Bali Welcomes International Tourists Sometime In 2021

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Bali had a very aggressive plan to reopen the island for incoming foreign tourists from September 11, 2020.

How this plan was going to work out as the Indonesian government makes the border decisions in Jakarta, and they decided the other week to keep the country closed for international arrivals at least until the end of 2020.

Singapore Slightly Relaxes Border Control Effective September 1, 2020

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Singapore is starting to allow passengers from Brunei and New Zealand to enter on September 8, 2020, without having to first quarantine for 7 or 14 days. They merely need to undergo a Covid-19 test upon arrival.

Passengers from Australia (excluding Victoria State), Macao, Mainland China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Malaysia need to quarantine for 7 days (previously 14). They can do it at their place of residence (no longer at a designated hotel).

STA Travel Folds

STA Travel, an agency specializing in youth and student travel, in the UK and Australia have ceased trading and filed for insolvency after the group’s parent company in Switzerland, collapsed on Thursday.

STA Travel has several joint ventures and franchisees in various countries that may try to continue trading even after parts of the chain, including the parent, have filed for insolvency.

Ecuador Has Reopened For International Arrivals With A Negative Covid-19 Test

Ecuador, a South American country, especially hard hit with the Covid-19 deaths, has reopened for international arrivals as of August 18, 2020.

Passengers need to have a negative Covid-19 test administered within 10 days of arrival, and there are no other requirements such as mandatory quarantine.

A Crazy Plan To Allow International Tourist Arrivals In Koh Samui (Thailand)

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The Tourism Association of Koh Samui is about to present a rather unworkable plan to the CCSA (Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration in Thailand) on how to allow international tourism arrivals to their holiday island.

Many destinations that are heavily dependent on international tourism have been especially hard hit by the various travel, transit, and entry bans. There is no clear timeline set for Thailand to allow international arrivals outside of residents, Thai citizens, some business, and healthcare sector travelers.

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