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Review: Park Hyatt Istanbul Maçka Palas

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In a nutshell: The Park Hyatt Istanbul Maçka Palas is a very nice luxury hotel in Turkey’s largest city. The rooms are stylish and comfortable, front desk and concierge staff are excellent, and the hotel is in an nice neighborhood. The property lacks the intimate charm of the smaller hotels, though, and breakfast didn’t quite live up to what one would except from Hyatt’s flagship brand. 

It’s been a long time since I’ve stayed at a Park Hyatt. With 45 properties scattered across the globe, you can find Park Hyatt hotels in many major cities. They are luxurious and typically pricey, in either cash or points. As the Park Hyatt Istanbul Maçka Palas is an Award Category 4 property, I decided to use a Hyatt free night certificate for one of my three nights in Istanbul.

Although I could have spent all three nights at the Park Hyatt, I enjoy trying new properties and decided to “hotel hop” during my visit. I’m glad I did, too. While the Park Hyatt Istanbul is a fine hotel, I found that I preferred the other Hyatt properties at which I stayed.

Enough introduction. On to the Park Hyatt Istanbul review.

First Impressions at the Park Hyatt Istanbul

For my first night in Istanbul I had stayed at the Nish Palas, which was part of the Unbound Collection by Hyatt at the time. This boutique hotel is located just a couple blocks from the Park Hyatt Istanbul, making it very easy to switch hotels in the morning. If you’re arriving in Istanbul by air, I would suggest taking a taxi directly from the new airport to the hotel. There is no mass transit serving the new airport. Taxis in Turkey are generally inexpensive.

Due to COVID-19, there was an entry station set up at the Park Hyatt Istanbul. The doorman would take your temperature remotely as you entered, and you also pass through a metal detector. You’re also required to wear a face covering while in the hotel.

The first thing that struck me about the Park Hyatt Istanbul was how utterly quiet it was. I’d just been at the Nish Palas, where there were a couple of guests at breakfast and a couple others coming and going. Not much activity, but it is a boutique hotel.

The Park Hyatt Istanbul, on the other hand, appeared nearly deserted. There was a single guest at breakfast during check-in. Occupancy rates must be way, way down during the pandemic.

The lobby of the Park Hyatt Istanbul is quite lovely, though. The unique lighting and sleek design of the lobby bar is particularly nice. I never saw a bartender during the entirety of the stay, so I wonder if it was even open.

The Lounge at Park Hyatt restaurant is located to one side of the lobby. It is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner from 6:30 AM to midnight daily.

The art near the front desk gave me a good laugh. Turkish butcher Nusret Gökçe has an odd claim to “fame” in a corner of the internet. He actually now owns the Park Hyatt Istanbul. I was not aware of this at the time of my stay, but now it makes sense why his face is in the lobby. Otherwise, it’s pretty over-the-top ridiculous. Maybe it’s still over-the-top ridiculous.

It is a beautiful lobby, yet it was so eerily quiet. With just 90 rooms, the Park Hyatt Istanbul isn’t that large of a property. But I figured there would be more activity than this, even during the pandemic.

Checking In

I was pleasantly greeted by the front desk staff as I approached to check-in. It was just 8:45 AM, but I figured that they would certainly have a room available. I was surprised how long check-in took, but the manager came out and chatted with me for several minutes during the process. 

She was very personable and spoke excellent English. We discussed coronavirus restrictions in both the U.S. and Turkey, comparing how the countries were responding to the pandemic. She also asked if I’d be headed anywhere else, as many countries require PCR testing upon return. As it was my first time in Istanbul, she suggested that I talk to their concierge about planning my visit in the city. She also informed me that they had upgraded me. To what, I did not know. It’d be a surprise.

During both previous Park Hyatt stays, I was escorted to the room. I am guessing the Park Hyatt Istanbul dispensed with this due to COVID-19. I was escorted as far as the elevator, which was fine. I’ve always found being escorted to my room to be a bit awkward.

I’d noticed social distancing stickers in a few locations in the lobby, and there was a whole sign of COVID-19 measures the hotel is taking near the elevators. The staff I’d interacted with were wearing masks, and overall, it seemed the Park Hyatt Istanbul is doing the best they can during the pandemic while staying open.

Proper social distancing does really limits the number of people allowed in their elevators. But…given that there were very few people in the hotel, it couldn’t have been much of a problem.

King Premium Room

One always hopes for a suite as a Globalist, but a Premium Room at the Park Hyatt Istanbul is still extremely nice. I stayed in room 510. My understanding that this is a premium room is based solely on the bathroom, which has an odd basin in it and is very large. Premium rooms are described as having “a Turkish Hammam.” I visited a hammam the following evening, and while there was no attendant or stone slab in my room, the stone basin and bowl are similar to what was used while I enjoyed my hammam experience. Anyway…back to the room.

The room is very large and well-appointed with a stately, luxurious style. From the king bed, to the excellent desk, to the coffee and closet area, everything was excellent. I spent the day out, but enjoyed working and reading the next morning when I couldn’t sleep due to the jet lag. It was nice to have such an excellent room.

 

Both the desk and nightstand tables have easy-access power outlets. The desk actually has a whole array of plugs. I did have to borrow another adapter, as I’d forgotten the one that would fit the Turkish European-style outlets. The Park Hyatt was more than happy to lend me one.

The bathroom is the true defining feature of the room, however. It is enormous. You have a duel sink just inside the door. Off to the right is the toilet and bidet, in their own separate room. To the other side is than bathing area. You have your pick from the deep-soaking tub, to the rain shower, to your very own steam room. I enjoyed the steam room that evening, and it worked marvelously after taking about 15 minutes to heat up nicely. There is also the small, odd sink I mentioned with a metal dish and towel on the stool. The most curious part is that the stone basin doesn’t appear to have a drain. I wonder how the housekeeper cleans it.

The room didn’t have much of a view. You look out over the pool deck toward the building next door. Given the location of the hotel and the fact that it isn’t especially tall, it is doubtful any of the rooms have a truly excellent view.

Overall, my room at the Park Hyatt Istanbul was excellent. If you like luxury, especially bathroom luxury, it is the place to stay if you’re a Hyatt fan. I have no complaints. Yet if I could pick, I’d still prefer the Nish Palas a couple blocks away, if just slightly. Maybe it’s the view? I’ll give up quite a bit for a room with an excellent view.

Breakfast

Before turning in for the night, I called downstairs to ask what time breakfast started. The receptionist stated it would open at 7:00 AM. Unfortunately, I ventured downstairs to find that it wouldn’t open until 8:00 AM. This is way too late for me, and I felt it did cut into the time I had to enjoy Istanbul for the day. I came very close to skipping breakfast at the hotel, but decided to stick it out. 

The breakfast is in the Lounge at Park Hyatt, just off the lobby. There was no one there when I arrived at 8:00 AM on the dot, and I stood awkwardly around for a couple minutes before the hotel manager spotted me and ventured back into the staff area. She did not look happy that I was kept waiting.

The waitress seated me at one of the tables, and I chose to be on the “exterior” section essentially within the lobby. The Park Hyatt Istanbul breakfast menu requires you to use a QR code. Unfortunately, my phone would not read it, and I had to wait to ask the waitress what they could offer. No paper menu was provided.

She listed off a few options and I went with an omelet. I’m kicking myself for not ordering menemen, a traditional Turkish breakfast dish with tomatoes and peppers. Had I known what it was, I’d absolutely have gone with that option. The coffee was excellent. I forgot to ask for cream, but it turned out to be just fine black, neither burnt nor bitter.

Breakfast was fine. There was no “wow factor” at the Park Hyatt, unlike my experience at the Nish Palas the previous day. The food and service were both better at that boutique hotel, which says a lot about the operations at the Park Hyatt. The server basically disappeared after the food was ready and I didn’t see her until the next guests arrived at 8:30 AM, just as I was departing. I kinda wanted a bit more food, but breakfast had already dragged on, and hitting the city was more important. 

One other awkward COVID-19 thing: they took my temperature midway through breakfast. This was probably supposed to be done at the beginning, but it hadn’t happened.

Other Hotel Facilities

The weirdest park about my stay at the Park Hyatt was how completely deserted the hotel felt at times. There was no one downstairs when I ventured to the pool deck at 9:15 PM to take a look. No one. No guests, no staff. I sat on my phone for nearly a full 10 minutes until someone returned to the desk. It makes me wonder just how few people they have during the pandemic. Turkey was one of the first countries to reopen with few-to-no restrictions, so I’d hoped they’d have a fairly good tourist season. 

The pool at the Park Hyatt Istanbul is not especially large, but l loved the design. It’s lovely. If I hadn’t been headed out that morning, it would have been nice to enjoy a swim.

To get to the pool you take a staircase near the front desk. This also gives you a nice view of the restaurant and lobby below. You can see all the social distancing reminder stickers littered across the hotel.

I asked if the Park Hyatt would be able to wash my neck gaiter face covering during the stay. Turns out it got really sweaty during my first day in Istanbul. Unfortunately, the only offer was to launder it offsite during the day, which would mean I’d be checked out by the time I needed to pick it up.

Park Hyatt Istanbul Macka Palas: Review Wrap-Up

Although the Park Hyatt Istanbul is an excellent hotel, I find it ironic that I rank it 3rd out of the three at which I stayed. Aside from the breakfast experience, I really have no complaints. The front desk and concierge staff were friendly and helpful, and the room was downright excellent. I’d happily stay here again, but there are other Hyatt options in Istanbul that might be more appealing. I’m not saying it’s bad. It’s certainly not. I’m just saying you can (amazingly) do better.

By: Family Flys Free
Title: Review: Park Hyatt Istanbul Maçka Palas
Sourced From: travelupdate.com/park-hyatt-istanbul-review-macka-palas/
Published Date: Fri, 16 Oct 2020 14:08:25 +0000

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Welcome Home! Now Go Straight to Quarantine (or Not)

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What’s it like traveling in the time of coronavirus? It depends where you’re going. Epidemic prevention and control measures for international arrivals vary greatly around the world, as New York Times journalists found while traveling in recent months. The severity of outbreaks is similarly varied, but stricter quarantine policies tend to correspond with lower case numbers.

NO ROOM FOR ERROR

Population: 7.5 million | Cases: About 5,300 | Deaths: 105

Hong Kong is not messing around. Since March, traveling there has meant accepting a 14-day quarantine, a tracking bracelet and a coronavirus test.

The semiautonomous Chinese territory is closed to almost everyone except residents, and a highly organized series of stations awaits arrivals at the airport. At the first one, health workers make sure travelers have filled out a health declaration form and downloaded the government’s StayHomeSafe app.

Next, the tracking bracelet is secured to your wrist. Then someone calls your phone to make sure the number on file is correct.

At another station you receive the quarantine order, along with an at-home test to be taken on Day 10 and a form for recording your temperature twice a day. Don’t have a thermometer? Here’s one for free.

Arriving passengers are sent for testing, where they stand in private cubicles and spit into specimen bottles. (“Make a ‘kruuua’ noise,” the instructions suggest.) Anyone who tests positive is sent to a hospital; their close contacts are quarantined.

Passengers who land in the morning have to wait at the airport all day for their test results. But since my flight arrived late, we were taken to a hotel for the night, where we each got a dinner box and an electronic key card good for one use only. After receiving a negative result the next day, we were allowed to check out.

Once at home or a hotel, quarantined residents open the phone app and walk around the perimeter to map its boundaries. The app may at any time ask you to scan the QR code on your bracelet to verify your location, and officials might conduct random checks by phone or in person. Violating the quarantine order can mean fines or imprisonment.

Those in quarantine are not permitted to go out for groceries or a walk or even to take out the garbage — you order everything online or ask friends for help. You just keep yourself busy inside your tiny Hong Kong apartment, counting down the days.

Breezing Through

Population: 8.4 million | Cases: About 264,000 | Deaths: Almost 24,000

In August, I moved back to New York from Hong Kong with my family. We didn’t know what to expect at Kennedy Airport, but we were ready to navigate whatever safety measures we found.

What we found was nothing, other than one of the quickest trips through the U.S. immigration process we’ve ever experienced in years abroad. No temperature checks. No travel history or contact information paperwork. No order or even suggestion to voluntarily quarantine for two weeks. No apparent enforcement of mask discipline for incoming travelers (though only a few were obviously flouting it).

The only check came at the very end, when the immigration officer perfunctorily asked me whether we had traveled abroad anywhere other than Hong Kong over the previous two weeks. I said no, and he said, “Welcome home.”

Burden of Proof

Population: 9 million | Cases: About 30,000 | Deaths: 444

When I flew back to Tokyo from San Francisco in June, Japan’s borders were closed to travelers from more than 100 countries, so the only people arriving were a smattering of Japanese citizens or foreign residents with special exemptions to leave and return after a family emergency — in my case, the death of my father.

The flight had been relatively empty, but to maintain social distancing, flight attendants asked passengers to disembark in small groups. We filled out some forms, had our temperatures taken and shuffled into a waiting area before being called into cubicles for our nasal swab tests.

Clearing customs took nearly an hour while officials checked my documents, including my father’s death certificate and a letter from the funeral home director. They asked me to prove our family relationship, so I frantically texted my husband to send me a digital copy of my birth certificate.

After I retrieved my luggage, I was escorted to an unused baggage hall where cardboard cubicles had been set up for arriving passengers to wait to be picked up. I would be required to quarantine at home for 14 days and had to attest that I would not use public transit to get back to my family’s apartment in central Tokyo. The cubicles contained makeshift cardboard beds for those forced to wait overnight. When my ride arrived, the escort walked me to the curb to confirm that I was not getting into a taxi, which was considered a form of prohibited public transit.

At home, my family had set up an isolation chamber in the bedroom with my desk and our exercise bike nestled by the window. It was a week before I received a call from a local public health center confirming that I was staying inside. The clerk was about to hang up when I asked her about my test results. “Oh, yes,” she said. “You’re negative.”

Hard to Get Home

Population: 5 million | Cases: About 4,400 (statewide) | Deaths: 53 (statewide)

Australia has restricted the number of international travelers who can arrive each day, so my first impression on arriving at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport was one of eerie emptiness. I counted myself lucky not to be among the many Australians stranded abroad after their tickets were suddenly canceled by airlines enforcing the cap on arrivals.

Passengers shuffled off the plane, joking among ourselves about where we would spend the next two weeks. Australia requires travelers to quarantine for 14 days in government-assigned hotels, which could mean a grim room near the airport or a five-star room overlooking Sydney Harbor.

After living through the pandemic in China, where people wore masks as a matter of course, it was unnerving for me to see Sydney airport workers without masks, which are not compulsory in most parts of Australia. Would we be safe? Would they be safe? Masked medical workers took our details and temperatures, rattling off a series of questions: Any fever, coughing, other possible signs of the virus?

We passed through immigration and picked up our luggage. Still no hints of where we were being sent. Police officers pointed us to lines of waiting buses; families on one bus, solo travelers on another. We climbed aboard, and after some prodding the driver told us that we wouldn’t know our hotel until we arrived — the authorities didn’t want us phoning our families to meet us there and risk infections.

A stroke of good fortune: The bus stopped in front of a luxury hotel overlooking Hyde Park in the city center. But the soldiers chaperoning us to our rooms were a reminder that this was no holiday. I had enough experience with quarantine already this year — three stretches locked in hotel rooms in Beijing, Hong Kong and once before in Sydney — to know how to cope: keep busy with work, stick to a routine, exercise.

Still, the days began to drag. I waited each day for the tap on the door at meal times.

A Matter of Trust

Population: 10 million | Cases: About 5,300 | Deaths: 57

South Korea certainly takes its virus control measures seriously — though they are not airtight.

After arriving at Incheon Airport, we were guided through a series of checkpoints, including one where we were asked to download an app on which we were to record any symptoms for the next 14 days. Agents made us show that we had downloaded the app before allowing us to proceed to the baggage area.

Most foreign nationals arriving in South Korea have to quarantine for 14 days in a designated facility, sometimes with angry protesters banging drums outside. But I had an exemption for work reasons, and my family was allowed to serve their quarantine in a hotel.

In the airport, an employee gave my wife the address of the government health office closest to our hotel, and directed her and our children to one of the specially designated “disinfection taxis, ” that transport new arrivals to the country.

After arriving at their hotel, my wife and children discovered the biggest hole in South Korea’s system. They were allowed to walk, unaccompanied, to the local health office for their coronavirus tests. They resisted the urge to dash into a convenience store for chocolate milk.

The next day, my wife got a call saying she and our children had tested negative. She would get a call every day for two weeks from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asking if they had any symptoms. And, just to confirm it, she had to fill out the app every day attesting to their well-being. It was essentially the honor system.

At noon on Day 15 of quarantine, my family walked past the hotel’s hallway CCTV camera and out into the open air of Seoul, with no additional tests required.

GREEN MEANS GO

Population: About 1 million | Cases: About 132,000 (nationally) | Deaths: 230 (nationally)

In September, the long-delayed Afghan peace talks were finally held in Doha, the capital of Qatar. The country requires international arrivals to quarantine for at least seven days, but an exception was made for the large Afghan delegation. Instead, negotiators and journalists traveling from Kabul were tested for the coronavirus multiple times before their flight.

All residents and visitors in Qatar are required to use an app called Ehteraz (Arabic for “precaution”) that shows their color-coded health status. Malls, offices, hotels and other public places won’t let people enter unless their status is green, or healthy. If your status is yellow, meaning you’re supposed to be in quarantine, or red, meaning you are infected, the app alerts others nearby.

After the opening ceremony at the Sheraton hotel, negotiators were allowed to move about Doha freely, while journalists were asked not to leave the hotel until seven days had passed. At that point we were tested again, and once the result came back negative, our status on the app turned green and we could go out in public.

A Normal Journey

Population: 9 million | Cases: About 40,000 | Deaths: 6,885

Before I left Hong Kong for London, where a second wave of infections is building, I had to fill out a form telling the British government that I hadn’t traveled anywhere else in the previous 14 days. I assumed this was just the beginning of what would be a highly unusual travel experience.

Wrong. That was just about the last time the virus was a factor in my trip, aside from wearing a mask on the flight and being extra careful about opening the lavatory door with a paper towel.

There were no forms to be filled out upon arrival at Heathrow Airport. No temperature checks, no tests, no instructions — I just waltzed through customs and the baggage claim and looked for the taxi stand, just as with any other voyage. The only apparent restriction was requiring passengers older than 11 to wear masks inside the terminals.

The baffling convenience prepared me for life in London, where mask use is much more sporadic than in Hong Kong. I found myself in an unimaginable situation: wishing my airport experience had been a little more complicated.

By: The New York Times
Title: Welcome Home! Now Go Straight to Quarantine (or Not)
Sourced From: www.nytimes.com/2020/10/28/travel/international-quarantine-rules.html
Published Date: Wed, 28 Oct 2020 09:00:26 +0000

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I’m a U.S. Citizen. Where in the World Can I Go?

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Americans hoping to travel to other countries during the pandemic face an array of challenges, including closed borders, quarantine and testing regulations, possible Covid-19 exposure during transit and delays in getting their passports.

People wanting to learn about restrictions and the prevalence of the coronavirus in specific countries can go to the U.S. State Department’s website, which uses a four-tier ranking system, or they can go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site, which uses three levels to give coronavirus information for travelers.

Like all public interactions in these unprecedented times, air travel itself carries certain risks for contracting Covid-19. About 2,187 Transportation Security Administration employees had tested positive for the virus as of Oct. 21, and nine workers had died from it. Infected agents may have had direct contact with the public at nearly 70 U.S. airports in the first three weeks of October, according to the T.S.A., which posts a list of the affected airports on its website.

When returning to the United States, passengers from some countries are only allowed to land at certain airports where they will undergo enhanced screening. In addition, the C.D.C. advises Americans to avoid contact with others for 14 days after they return from international destinations.

While Americans continue to be barred from many countries, including much of Europe, here is a list of countries, in alphabetical order, that as of Oct. 21 were open to U.S. citizens, or were expected to open soon.

Americans are allowed to enter. No coronavirus test is needed and there are no quarantine requirements, according to the U.S. Embassy in Albania.

Anguilla is allowing limited entry to some travelers after extensive screening, but since the United States is generally considered a high-risk country, Americans will be far down in the queue. In addition to favoring those from lower-risk countries, priority will be given to visitors planning longer stays and to those with investments in the country.

All visitors must have a negative PCR test taken three to five days before arrival. Another test will be given on arrival, on day 10 and — for those coming from higher-risk countries — on day 14. While not a full quarantine, visitors will have limited contact with locals during the testing period. Fees for the application start at $1,000 for two people and go up from there.

Air travelers over age 12 must complete a Health Declaration Form, a traveler accommodation form, and must provide a certificate of a negative coronavirus test taken within seven days of arrival. There may be further screening on arrival, and passengers must pay $100 for an additional test if health authorities decide one is needed. Visitors should self-monitor for Covid-19 symptoms for up to 14 days.

The islands are open to those with a Bahamas Health Visa, and, if over age 10, proof of a negative PCR Covid-19 test taken no more than five days before arrival. Everyone must quarantine for 14 days, and in order to remain on the island show another negative test at the end of the two weeks, taken at their own expense.

Inter-island travel requires a Travel Health Visa. Those traveling from New Providence must have a negative Covid-19 test before applying for the Health Visa, and upon arrival must quarantine on the island for 14 days, or the duration of their stay if it is shorter. A person traveling from Abaco to Elbow Cay, Grand Cay, Green Turtle Cay or Man-O-War does not need a negative test, but must still quarantine for two weeks upon arrival. Travel is not permitted from islands that have been notified of an impending locked down.

People from high-risk countries like the United States must have proof of a negative coronavirus PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival. That information is used to fill out an online immigration and customs form, and a copy of the test result should be taken on the trip. After landing, a health screening will be performed at the airport, and travelers will be confined to limited areas on the grounds of their preapproved hotel, resort or villa for two to three days, at which point they will be retested. If that test is negative, they may leave the property. However, a requirement to self-monitor for symptoms continues for seven days.

In-transit passengers should have proof of a negative coronavirus test before landing.

Americans are allowed to enter. No coronavirus test is needed and there are no quarantine requirements, according to the U.S. Embassy in Belarus.

Bermuda requires most travelers age 10 and up to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test taken within three days of their flight (although tests taken within seven days will be accepted). In addition, mandatory Covid-19 tests are given at the airport, and travelers must quarantine while awaiting the results. Additional tests are given on days four, eight and 14 of a traveler’s stay.A $75 fee covers their cost. Children age 9 and younger don’t have to take virus tests, but pay a $30 fee.

All travelers must complete an online travel authorization form one to three days before their flight, then take and record their temperature with their own thermometer twice a day for the first 14 days of their visit and report it online.

Brazil is allowing people to arrive by air for visits of up to 90 days as long as they can show proof of health insurance that includes coronavirus coverage before boarding their flights.

The country is open to U.S. citizens who can present a negative PCR test result taken no more than 96 hours before departure. (The clock begins from the moment the test was performed.) Passengers must also complete an immigration form.

Costa Rica is open to residents of Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming. Residents of Washington, D.C., are also allowed to visit. Plans call for all Americans to be allowed on Nov. 1.

A driver’s license is required to prove residency. Tourists from authorized states may enter if their flight includes a stop in a state that is not on the approved list, as long as they don’t leave the airport.

Until Oct. 26, the entry requirements include a negative PCR Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival, a completed electronic Health Pass, and proof of medical insurance that covers up to $50,000 in coronavirus expenses and $2,000 in hotel costs. After Oct. 26, no test will be required, although travelers with a fever, dry cough, sore throat or other similar symptoms were asked to postpone their trip.

American tourists may visit only with proof of paid accommodation. Travelers must present a negative result for a Covid-19 PCR test taken within the previous 48 hours. If they have an older test result, the person can enter, but must self-quarantine until they can show another negative test, which would be taken at their own expense. Those without negative results must self-quarantine for 14 days.

Travelers from the United States are allowed to enter with a negative Covid-19 test taken within the previous 72 hours. Health ministers may order additional testing or quarantine.

Because the United States is considered a high-risk country, travelers need to fill out an online health questionnaire and, before boarding their planes, show proof of a negative PCR test taken 24 to 72 hours before arrival. They also need to show notification of health clearance to travel.

Upon landing, travelers will be screened and given a rapid Covid-19 test at the airport, and must await the results in a government-approved facility. If the test is negative, they must still quarantine for five days in an approved facility at their own expense. At the end of the five days, another test will be given.

Aruba is open to U.S. residents, but those from nearly half of the states are considered high-risk, and, if they are over age 15, must upload proof of a negative PCR test taken between 12 and 72 hours before flying. Residents of the other states have the option of uploading a test or having one taken at the airport for $75. Travelers must quarantine at their lodgings for up to 24 hours while awaiting results. All visitors must complete an Embarkation/Disembarkation card. Mandatory insurance is also required.

Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius are closed to those who have been in the United States within the previous 14 days. It may be possible to visit Saba and Sint Eustatius by requesting permission from the government. When it is granted, a negative coronavirus test and a mandatory quarantine will be required.

Although commercial flights between the United States and Curaçao have not been announced, the country says it is open to residents of the United States who have a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure. Residents of Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey or New York, with state-issued ID to prove residency, need not quarantine if they have not been outside of those four states in the previous two weeks. Visitors from all other states must quarantine for 14 days. Travelers must complete an online immigration card and a Health Department passenger locator card before travel. Insurance is required.

Dutch St. Maarten is open to those over age 10 arriving from the United States with a completed health declaration form and proof of a negative test taken within five days of travel.

Authorities randomly administer a quick breath test to between 3 and 10 percent of arriving passengers and to those who show symptoms of the coronavirus. Through the end of the year, the country is providing free emergency travel assistance to visitors staying at hotels that will cover Covid-19 testing, lodging and flight change penalties in the event of an infection.

Americans are allowed to enter with proof of a negative PCR test taken no more than 10 days before entry. Travelers without the test may take one at their own expense upon arrival. They must quarantine at their accommodation pending a negative test result, according to the U.S. Embassy in Ecuador.

Those visiting the Galápagos Islands should arrive in Ecuador with proof of a recent negative PCR Covid-19 test, then take a second test at their own expense upon arrival and wait at their lodging for the results. For those over age 18, a second negative test is required to proceed to the Galápagos.

Americans over age 6 are allowed to enter with written proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within 96 hours of arrival. Proof of health insurance is required, according to the U.S. Embassy in Egypt.

U.S. citizens over age 10 must have proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within five days of arrival, and then must self-quarantine for seven days.

St. Barts requires visitors age 11 and older to show a negative test taken within 72 hours of arrival and to sign a sworn statement that they have no symptoms and haven’t been in contact with a confirmed coronavirus case in the previous 14 days. Those without a test result will be denied boarding. Visitors staying longer than a week must take an additional test at a cost of about $155 on the eighth day of their trips.

French St. Martin is open with restrictions that differ depending upon the arrival airport. A negative PCR test taken within the previous 10 days is required for those over age 10 coming from the United States to Princess Juliana Airport. Those flying into Grand Case L’Esperance Airport must have taken the test within 72 hours of their departure. An online health authorization must also be completed.

Guadeloupe and Martinique are currently not allowing visitors from the United States.

Travelers to French Polynesia, including the islands of Tahiti and Bora Bora, must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within the previous 72 hours in order to board their flights if they are age 6 or older. Those arriving at the airport will be given a test kit for the virus that contains an oral and nasal swab, and on the fourth day in the islands, the visitor must complete the self-test. Tourists must also complete an electronic entry form attesting that they have travel insurance that would cover coronavirus expenses, or agreeing to personally assume all costs.

U.S. citizens can enter with proof of a negative Covid-19 test and after passing an airport screening. They must quarantine for up to 14 days. Curfews are in effect, as are restrictions on intercity or interstate travel.

Authorities are asking nonessential travelers not to visit the Republic of Ireland. Visitors from the United States must complete a public health Passenger Locator Form and self-quarantine for 14 days. Northern Ireland also has a mandatory two-week quarantine for those coming from the United States.

Tourists age 12 and older arriving from the United States must upload a negative Covid-19 test that was taken at an accredited facility within 10 days of their arrival date. All passengers must complete a Travel Authorization screening form that should be submitted for approval up to five days before travel.

Those staying within the “resilient corridor,” where operators have been trained in Covid-19 protocols, may leave the property to visit coronavirus-compliant attractions within the corridor, via approved transportation. Those who aren’t staying within the resilient corridor must quarantine for 14 days.

Asymptomatic visitors to Kenya from the United States who have proof of a negative Covid-19 test within the previous four days do not need to quarantine for 14 days unless they are from California, Florida or Texas.

Americans are allowed to enter without restrictions, however, the State Department has the country under its highest alert.

“We urge you to postpone or cancel travel to Kosovo this summer. Kosovo remains under a Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel due to Covid-19. The health situation is deteriorating, and public institutions are struggling to keep up with demand,” the U.S. Embassy in Kosovo says on its website.

Visitors over 1 year of age must have proof of a negative PCR test taken not more than 72 hours before the flight. Screenings will be done at the airport and some travelers may be asked to voluntarily submit to another test.

The country requires tourists to have a confirmed booking at a tourist facility. People may stay in multiple resorts after obtaining the approval from the Ministry of Tourism, otherwise the entire vacation needs to be at the same hotel, except when transiting. A representative of the hotel is expected to meet guests at the airport.

The United States is not on the list of green countries for travel to Malta, however, anyone can enter the country if they first spend 14 days in an approved country. That means that American can travel to Croatia or the United Arab Emirates, for instance, and after spending 14 days there, travel to Malta.

The U.S. State Department has lowered its warning about travel to most regions of Mexico to Level 3, or “Reconsider Travel,” but land crossings between the United States and Mexico remain closed until at least Nov. 21. U.S. visitors can arrive by plane. Tourists may be subject to temperature checks and other health screenings, and those showing symptoms may be asked to quarantine voluntarily.

American tourists are allowed to enter with a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding their flights. There is no quarantine for arriving passengers, however, on their fifth day in the country, visitors must be available for Covid-19 tests, and they must be reachable on the seventh day to obtain the result.

General tourism has not resumed, but trekkers and mountaineers with a visa may visit if they have a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival; a hotel where they must quarantine for at least seven days; and $5,000 in insurance for coronavirus-related treatment. Tourists must take another virus test, at their own expense, on the fifth day of their quarantine.

North Macedonia is open to Americans with no testing or quarantine restrictions.

Passengers must complete an electronic affidavit before checking in for their flight, and be able to present a negative Covid-19 test result upon landing. If the test result is more than 48 hours old, or if the traveler doesn’t have a test result, a rapid Covid-19 test will be performed at the airport, at a cost of $50.

If the rapid test result is positive, the Panamanian government will arrange and pay for a hotel stay for a mandatory seven-day quarantine, at which time the visitor will be retested.

Airport screenings are also in place.

Visitors need to present a negative molecular Covid-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. Those who are awaiting test results must quarantine for 14 days, or until a negative result is provided to the Puerto Rico Health Department. Similarly, those who arrive without a test will be directed to a local site for testing at their own expense and must quarantine until a negative result is obtained. Those who decline testing must quarantine for 14 days. An online travel declaration form must also be completed.

The country plans to allow tourism to resume on Oct. 31. Visitors must have a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of travel, and complete an entry form. For the first week, travelers must stay at their hotel, but may move about the property. On the seventh day, they must undergo another coronavirus test. If negative, some excursions will be allowed. Those planning longer stays will receive another test on day 14, and if they are healthy, they may move freely.

Those age 5 and older must email proof of a negative test taken within the past seven days. They also need confirmed reservations at a certified accommodation provider, quarantine facility or verification that they plan to stay on a boat during their visit. Travelers must take a printed copy of their test results, the automatic-response email they will receive, and the travel authorization letter they will also receive. A completed travel registration form must be submitted at least three days before departure.

Screenings will be conducted at the airport. Those without symptoms must take a certified taxi to their accommodations, and are required to remain on the grounds for 14 days except for transfers to another such property, or to participate in certain approved activities. After two weeks, people may travel freely within Saint Lucia.

Visitors from the United States must have a pre-arrival travel form completed and show a negative test for the virus taken within the previous five days. Another test will be given upon arrival.

Travelers also must have proof of five nights of paid accommodation at an approved hotel, and must quarantine there for five days. Another test must be done between day four and day five of quarantine and come back negative. At the discretion of health officials, visitors may be monitored for nine to 16 days.

All travelers must track their temperature for two weeks and report any changes to health authorities.

In-transit passengers must have proof a negative test taken five days before travel and must stay at the airport or at a government approved hotel while awaiting their connection.

Serbia is open to Americans with no testing or quarantine restrictions.

Passengers arriving on an international flight to Tanzania must complete a Health Surveillance Form and undergo screening, including a possible Covid-19 test.

The country is open to Americans with no travel restrictions. Health screening and possible testing may be conducted at the airport.

Although it isn’t supposed to be required of foreign tourists, some airlines may require a Hayat Eve Sigar (HES) code for most people attempting to purchase airline tickets for domestic or international travel, according to the U.S. Embassy in Turkey. The code is obtained by sending a text. Information can be found on the Embassy website or on the website of Turkish Airlines.

The Turks and Caicos Islands is requiring a negative test result taken within five days of travel for anyone over age 10. Visitors also must have insurance that covers any Covid-19 related medical costs. A Travel Authorization Form that will ask health questions must be completed by all passengers before boarding a plane to the islands.

Travelers over age 12 must have proof of a negative coronavirus PCR test taken within 96 hours of their flight in order to board a commercial aircraft to the country. Many passengers are also tested upon arrival, and some may need to self quarantine or may be sent to a quarantine facility. International health insurance is also required.

Residents may travel outside of the U.A.E. for “general reasons,” but must obtain a negative Covid-19 test result and quarantine upon their return.

Visitors can travel to Abu Dhabi by road, but must present a negative result from a test taken in the previous 48 hours. Those who stay for more than six days are required to take an additional test. Travelers arriving in Abu Dhabi are required to wear a GPS bracelet for 14 days.

Anyone arriving from the United States must be prepared to isolate for 14 days, or face a penalty of up to $1,250. Passengers transiting in an airport are exempt, as are those going directly from one port to another; for instance, from Heathrow to Eurostar.

The U.S. Virgin Islands are open to visitors. Those age 5 and older must have a negative Covid-19 test taken within five days of arrival, or show a positive test for antibodies within the previous four months.

The results should be submitted via a travel health form, and the original test result must be presented upon arrival. Airport screenings are also in effect.

Those who don’t have a test result must quarantine for 14 days or the duration of their stay, whichever is shorter. They can also get out of quarantine by producing the needed test result.

Follow Karen Schwartz on Twitter: @WanderWomanIsMe


By: Karen Schwartz
Title: I’m a U.S. Citizen. Where in the World Can I Go?
Sourced From: www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-travel-restrictions.html
Published Date: Wed, 28 Oct 2020 19:22:42 +0000

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Essential Things You Need to Bring on Your Next Hunting Trip

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Hunting is not just your ordinary trip to the woods – you need to be prepared. Regardless of how old you are, your first time hunting will be a disaster if you don’t come fully prepared! Your first priority should be getting a license and learning about all the protocols and regulations of the area you are going to hunt in – but what truly makes or breaks the whole experience is the gear or the lack of it! You’ll need to make a checklist of all the essentials you’ll need to bring on the trip and your hunting adventures can begin! 

Here’s a list of basic things you must bring on your hunting trip to make the best of it!

Clothing

The one thing that you should check out before going on your hunting trip is what kind of weather conditions will occur that day. This will be of great importance when you start packing, as you’ll know what kind of clothes to bring, and never be unpacked and left cold ever again

Layered tops

It doesn’t matter if it’s spring or autumn, your best bet will be to bring multiple clothing items – and layer them as you wish. This way, if you get chilly at some point, you can just put your jacket on and vice versa. This will save you from overheating or freezing, and also you’ll have some spare clothes just in case if you get wet.

Backup clothes

Socks seem a bit insignificant, right? Well, not really, if you fall into a river and get your feet wet, you’ll suffer some consequences if you can’t dry them immediately. That’s why it’s best to bring multiple pairs of socks, and the same goes for the rest of your clothes – you never know if this situation may occur, so it’s best to be prepared and think about your health!

Gear 

If you think hunting is just bringing a weapon of choice and calling it a day… maybe you should educate yourself a bit more before you run to your local woods. It takes a lot of items to actually make the hunting trip possible, some or more optional and some are a must!

Binoculars

When you are out in the woods, there are lots of things surrounding you, trees and small animals roaming all over the place. It’s hard to keep up with every detail, especially if you don’t have a trained eye for those things! Reading some hunting optics reviews will give you advice that if you want a successful hunting trip, you must increase your eyesight. Binoculars can even help you see in the dark!

Enough ammo

This isn’t the movies, you won’t have an endless array of bullets at your disposal. That’s why it’s best to bring as much as you’ll need – especially if you are a beginner and still learning how to hunt. If you run out of ammo, it will ruin the overall experience, and you’ll go home unsatisfied.

Additional items

Once you have all your clothes and the desired weapon of choice, you’ll need to grab some additional things you probably haven’t really put on top of your priority list. It’s all in the details, even small items can save you from trouble in the given moment!

Food and water

This isn’t the old days, you don’t have to hunt your dinner – bring it with you! If you are on your hunting trip, chances are you’ll get pretty hungry soon, with all the activity you’ll be doing. That’s why it’s best to be prepared and pack meals for the trip, and also pack lots and lots of water or beverages of choice. Doesn’t matter if you are going to camp out there, or just going for a couple of hours, it’s always best to be prepared!

First aid kit

Your first priority should be your health and safety! You never know what could happen on your hunting trip, it’s never a bad thing to have a small first aid kit with you at all times. Even if you get a little bit hurt, you can treat the wound on the spot and continue with your hunting adventures without thinking about getting an infection! Also, remember to bring sunscreen and put it on before you go, even if it’s not as sunny – protect your skin!

Hunting has been around since the dawn of time – the only thing that keeps changing is the gear. With today’s options, you can hunt in the worst weather conditions, day and night, and still have a good time. But choosing the proper items is key in ensuring you get the best experience – and also to ensure your own safety whilst you do it!

The post Essential Things You Need to Bring on Your Next Hunting Trip appeared first on Travel Experta – Family Travel Blog.

By: Marina Villatoro
Title: Essential Things You Need to Bring on Your Next Hunting Trip
Sourced From: feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheTravelExperta/~3/gmLRTHcj-aI/essential-things-you-need-to-bring-on-your-next-hunting-trip.html
Published Date: Fri, 23 Oct 2020 18:21:28 +0000

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