1. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has now officially confirmed the delay in starting international passenger flights. The decision to postpone the resumption has come in the wake of the rising scare of the new variant of Covid-19, Omicron. The international situation is being closely monitored by concerned officials. People who need to travel should watch out for more updates from DGCA's official Twitter handle or their website.
Additionally, the various state governments have issued newer and updated guidelines for international passengers arriving into the country. The RT-PCR test is now mandatory for all passengers arriving from 'at-risk' nations.
2. Israel was the first nation to announce a complete shutting down of its international borders on 30th November in the wake of the new variant. Japan followed to do so a day later. All passengers arriving from international destinations in Israel need to undergo mandatory quarantine. Omicron, the new variant, is gaining ground in many European countries like the UK, Denmark, Italy, Germany, Belgium, France, Scotland, and the Netherlands. It has also been detected in Australia, Botswana, Canada, Hong Kong, and Italy.
3. Madrid is the site for hosting the UN World Tourism Organization's General Assembly from 1st till 3rd December 2021. The meet is crucial in the wake of the pandemic almost paralyzing the tourism industry in the past two years. This year's focus will be on creating sustainable and inclusive tourism models across the world. The meet was earlier scheduled to be held in the Kingdom of Morocco; however, the Moroccan government stepped back due to rising concerns about public health considerations.
4. Club Med is set to open its first all-inclusive ski resort in the US, somewhere towards the end of 2024. The location will be Snowbasin Resort around Salt Lake City in Utah, world-famous for its snow. The upcoming ski resort will showcase American opulence with French graciousness or savoir-faire. The resort will be spread over an area of 3,000 acres of land (skiable), with the snow height being an average of 300 inches.
5. Good news for music lovers! Nagaland's famous Hornbill Festival is on – a welcome move amidst the pandemic. The festival is scheduled to run for ten days, from 1st December till 10th December. The key highlight is the culmination of seventeen native tribes from Nagaland this year. The 22nd edition of the festival is being held at the Kisama Heritage Village, Nagaland. The Carnival will showcase music and feature dance, martial and folk arts, food, CrossFit challenges, car rallies, wrestling matches, mountain biking, and regional handicrafts.
6. November 2021 saw about 1.27 lakh tourists visiting Kashmir. The Director of Tourism Kashmir mentioned that the state would be the venue for many iconic festivals this winter, including the Sufi festival, houseboat festival, literary fest, and more. He mentioned that the rise in tourists could be attributed to multiple roadshows organized by the department across the country.
7. The residence of erstwhile South African leader Nelson Mandela has been converted into a boutique hotel. Mandela spent about eight years in this home, from 1990 to 1998. The entire house has been remodeled from floor to ceiling except for the white facade, which belongs to Mandela's time. The hotel has been named Sanctuary Mandela that opened its doors in September this year. The President's bedroom has been converted into the Presidential Suite. The other aspects of the place that reminds guests of the ex-President are 'Madiba' on the wooden frames and his prison number 466/64 engraved on the wood by Mandela's grandson.
8. The World Health Organization has advised people aged 60 years or above to restrain from traveling due to the Omicron scare. People in this age group have higher risks of catching the infection fast. Alongside, WHO has also advised people who are ill, not fully vaccinated, have comorbidities to postpone travel as they are at higher risks, including risks of death.
9. Slovakia was the second European country to announce a national lockdown last Friday after Austria. The lockdown was officially announced after cases of the new variant of Covid-19 were reported in the country with a rapid rise of the Omicron variant. The government has also announced a 90-day state of emergency. All stores selling non-essential items, hotels, restaurants, and bars will be closed in this situation. Austria was the first European nation to announce a lockdown on 22nd November. Czechoslovakia and Hungary are the other two nations in Europe that have reported an alarming rise in daily cases of Covid-19.Book your flights