Wego Recaps Last Week's Major Travel News - July

2021-07-19 15:45

As we enter the fourth week of July, coronavirus-related news continues to make headlines around the world. From newly introduced travel bans and vaccine booster shots to the deployment of the EU vaccine passport among the surge of Delta variant cases, here are some of the major travel news highlights these past weeks.  

Saudi Arabia expands its vaccine roster

Saudi Arabia has expanded its approved vaccine list to include the Moderna vaccine. After initially approving the vaccine for incoming visitors, the Saudi health authorities finally approved Moderna for emergency use in the Kingdom on 9 July. 

Furthermore, recipients of China’s Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccine may now enter the Kingdom under the condition that they have received a booster shot of the approved vaccines namely, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, or Moderna.

Are we getting a third vaccine dose?

While many around the world have yet to receive their first COVID vaccine dose, those who have been fully vaccinated may get another dose. Pfizer, for one, is pushing for the administration of booster shots in the US. Additionally, with some countries announcing their recognition of only certain brands of vaccines, travelers looking to travel to these destinations may need to seriously consider getting an additional vaccine shot.

Indonesia cut off

As COVID cases surge, countries are barring travel from Indonesia in droves. The Philippines has joined the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and a number of other countries in implementing a travel ban on the Southeast Asian nation. Indonesia is currently experiencing a worst-case scenario viral outbreak as it struggles with a fully stretched healthcare system and staggered inoculation drive.

The Delta variant advances in Europe

The highly contagious Delta variant is spreading through Europe at an alarming rate. Some European countries such as the UK and Portugal have seen the delta variant becoming the dominant strain. As of 16 July, the share of new cases of the delta variant in the UK and Portugal are 98.9 and 88.2 percent respectively.

Restoring freedom of movement in the EU

In a bid to once again unlock and facilitate free and safe cross-border travel in the European Union, member countries of the EU have collectively implemented the EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC). Fully vaccinated travelers, those whose latest PCR test turns out negative, and those who have recently recovered from the infection will be granted a QR code with a digital signature to validate and authenticate their COVID credentials. 

The travel certificate will grant free movement within the EU in the sense that all holders will not be subjected to testing or quarantine during their travels. The QR code is available in both paper or digital format.

So far, all 27 EU countries have established connectivity along with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway,  and Switzerland.

Additions to the Abu Dhabi green list of countries

Abu Dhabi has recently updated its green list of countries to include 13 new countries while removing nine others. Among the new additions to the green list are Belgium, Canada, France, Jordan, Seychelles, Turkmenistan, and Vatican City. Abu Dhabi also removed Bhutan, Brunei, Finland, Greenland, Japan, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, and Uzbekistan from the list.

Those traveling to Abu Dhabi from a country on the green list will not be subjected to on-arrival quarantine.   

Source: Wego