COVID-19

With Covid-19 tests being part of the travel landscape for the near future, IATA is putting their endorsement behind rapid antigen tests.

Airlines start dropping pandemic-specific rules

As more people get their first shots of Covid-19 vaccine, some airline industry traditions are coming back. Airlines are slowly returning to their old boarding policies, while quietly re-adding change fees to certain tickets.

According to Travel Weekly, the majority of major airlines will go back to assessing fees on Basic Economy fares by April 1, 2021.

Howard Johnson, Anilao Scuba Dive Centre, Shala Caliao, scuba diving news, PPE, COVID-19, face masks, plastic pollution, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, X-Ray Mag, XRay Magazine, Philippines
Polymeric materials used in face masks can be a potential source of plastic and breakdown into microplastic pollution.

Abandoned face masks found on Philippine reef

The popular dive spot is southeast of the Philippine capital, Manila.

BBC Philippine correspondent Howard Johnson joined dive professionals from Anilao Scuba Dive Centre as they resumed diving, following the national lockdown. The dive centre is affiliated to the United Nations Environment Programme’s Green Fins, which promotes sustainable marine tourism in South-East Asia.

Covid-19 Passport from the Danish Health Authorities and police

Travel or not?

After almost a year of restrictions and lockdowns, stir-crazy holidaymakers are eager to getaway. With vaccines now being administered and more on the way, travel is finally on the horizon. According to a recent report of the European Travel Commission (ETC), the number of European citizens planning to travel abroad during the spring of this year has marked a 20 per cent increase compared to November 2020 figures.

Governments are beginning to use testing as a means of limiting the risks of COVID-19 importation when re-opening their borders to travelers without quarantine measures.

IATA calls for systematic COVID-19 testing of all international travelers

To re-open borders without quarantine and restart aviation governments need to be confident that they are effectively mitigating the risk of importing COVID-19. This means having accurate information on passengers’ COVID-19 health status.

IATA Travel Pass will manage and verify the secure flow of necessary testing or vaccine information among governments, airlines, laboratories, and travellers, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) writes in a press release.

To go or not to go. Or to go later

Dive travellers still caught in a Covid-limbo

Despite the media doom and gloom, some destinations have opened up, especially regarding dive travel. These include the Bahamas, most Caribbean countries, Cocos, French Polynesia, Galapagos, Malpelo, Maldives, Red Sea, Sea of Cortez and Socorro. Others, like Indonesia, have opened to domestic tourism but remain closed to international visitors. However, restrictions remain stringent; travellers must be tested prior to their departure and upon arrival. In some cases, you will be quarantined until test results are available. The good news?

Results in minutes Covid-19 tests to be rolled out worldwide

Covid-19 tests showing results in 15 to 30 minutes are set to roll out worldwide, potentially saving thousands of lives and decelerating the pandemic in poor and rich countries alike. Low- and middle-income countries will be supplied with 120m rapid antigen from two companies for $5 each or less. One of the tests, from South Korean company SD BioSensor, has been given emergency approval by the WHO, while the other, from the US company Abbott, is expected to get it shortly for a test it manufactures in South Korea.

Surviving Lockdown

For most of us in lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic, being away from diving in itself is enough to cause withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes, factors such as work, weather and lifestyle can mean that we take longish breaks, although I do not think anyone has taken such a long break before—certainly not one that left no choice and one that required significant lifestyle changes and restrictions.