The people of Melbourne have spent 260 days under lockdown, but that ended this week. Locals celebrated the lifting of restrictions on October 21 by going to bars, hugging their friends and dancing in the streets.
Let that be the same energy you take into this weekend, whether your plans involve taking in fall weather, scrambling to figure out a Halloween costume that doesn’t involve “Squid Game,” or just enjoying doing absolutely nothing.Here’s all the pandemic-related travel news that you may have missed this week.
1. Madagascar is the latest destination to reopen to tourism
The African island nation has announced that it will slowly begin welcoming back flights from nearby Mauritius and Réunion beginning October 23 and then from Europe November 6. Cruise ships can also return.Travelers must show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding their flight and then take another test upon arrival. While waiting for the results of the second test, they are required to stay in an approved hotel and take a dedicated shuttle to get to their accommodation.Upon testing negative, guests can travel freely about the country, but anyone who tests positive will have to spend up to 14 days self-isolating at their own expense.Madagascar has the largest population of lemurs in the world, so head to some of the country’s beautiful national parks to catch glimpses of these cute primates.
2. Australia’s Victoria state is gearing up for a tourism return
Melbourne is known as Australia’s Garden City.Asanka Ratnayake/Getty ImagesVictoria, home to the city of Melbourne, is ending local lockdowns now that officials have hit their goal of fully vaccinating at least 70% of the state’s adults against the coronavirus. Next up: reopening the state’s borders and preparing to resume international tourism.”There will no longer be a cap on fully vaccinated returning Australians wishing to enter Victoria, and the opening of our borders to Victorians coming home will reunite families and friends and boost our vaccinated economy,” State Premier Daniel Andrews said in a statement.First priority will be Australian citizens and residents and their immediate family members as of November 1. Fully vaccinated foreign nationals will be next, although there’s no specific date yet.Those looking to drive the Great Ocean Road and visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building can start dreaming about 2022.