Category: Travelling

Explained: New Covid-19 restrictions for those travelling to Maharashtra – The Indian Express

Written by Sanjana Bhalerao , Edited by Explained Desk | Mumbai | Updated: November 25, 2020 7:49:00 am

Maharashtra travel rules, Maharashtra lockdown, Maharashtra Covid news, Maharashtra Covid travel rules, Travelling to Maharashtra, Mumbai travel rules, Mumbai covid guidelines, Indian ExpressDoor-to-door screening of residents in the Kalyan-Dombivali municipal area on November 22, 2020. (Express Photo: Deepak Joshi)

The Maharashtra government on November 23 announced new travel rules for the state, under which those coming from Delhi-NCR, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa will need to carry RT-PCR test reports for . The rules come into effect from November 25.

What are the rules for road, rail and air travel, and what happens if a passenger does not have the test reports? All your questions answered.

What are the rules for flyers?

The new travel guidelines said that all domestic passengers travelling from airports in Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa shall carry an RT-PCR negative test report and are required to show it on arrival at the airport. The test should have been conducted three days (72 hours) before their arrival in Maharashtra.

What if a passenger could not get an RT-PCR test done prior to departure?

Passengers arriving without a negative test report will have to compulsorily undergo the RT-PCR test at the airport at their own cost. The passengers will be allowed to go home only after undertaking the test. The airport will arrange the testing centres and charge the passengers directly for testing.

They will be contacted if their test turns up positive and will be treated either in home-isolation or institutional quarantine facilities. For the other passengers on the flight, the government will follow the set protocol, officials said.

Also in Explained | Five reasons the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is better news than the Pfizer and Moderna shots

What is the facility at airports?

Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj international airport has RT-PCR testing kiosks. The price for the test is fixed at Rs 1,400.

What are the rules for Railway passengers?

Passengers coming to Maharashtra on trains originating from or halting at stations in Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa are required to carry RT-PCR negative test reports. Train passengers are required to have undergone the test four days before arrival.

Passengers without the RT-PCR test negative report would be screened for symptoms and body temperature at the alighting railway stations. Passengers without symptoms would be allowed to go home but those who show symptoms will be made to undergo antigen test. They will be allowed to go home if their antigen test comes negative. Antigen tests take 30 minutes to generate the result.

Rules for people entering the state by road

The district collectors of land borders have been given responsibilities to make arrangements for antigen tests and screening of passengers entering the state by road. Passengers with symptoms will be segregated and made to undergo antigen tests. Those testing negative will be allowed to travel further into the state. 📣 Express Explained is now on Telegram

Is there any exemption?

The rule states no exemption for passengers arriving in the state by road, air or train. If a passenger entering the state by road tests positive, they will be sent to Covid Care Centres. Those who do not want to take the test have the option of turning back or be sent to Covid Care Centres.

Why was the rule introduced?

While fresh cases continue to decline or remain stagnant in the worst-affected states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh have been seeing a significant rise in active cases.  The biggest rise in active cases in the last two weeks has come in Rajasthan – an increase of more than 5,600 — followed by Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.

On Monday, Maharashtra recorded 4,152 new cases, of them, 800 were from Mumbai. There are 81,902 actively infected Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra. Officials are fearful that with the unregulated movement of people post-Diwali, there could be a spike in cases.

Is the Maharashtra government planning to halt flights and trains from Delhi?

Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar on Friday had stated that the state was considering stopping flights and trains between Delhi and Mumbai and other parts of the state. Minister for Relief and Rehabilitation Vijay Wadettiwar on Monday said that if needed, in the next eight days, after careful study of the number of cases, they will decide whether there is a need for a complete lockdown or imposition of some curbs or adding new conditions.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar hinted at the possibility of putting in place curbs over the movement of people in view of the threat of a second wave of coronavirus cases post-Diwali.

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For all the latest Explained News, download Indian Express App.

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Covid-19: England arrivals to be able to cut quarantine with private test – BBC News

It follows Boris Johnson’s announcement that .css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link{color:#3F3F42;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{font-weight:bolder;border-bottom:1px solid #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus{border-bottom-color:currentcolor;border-bottom-width:2px;color:#B80000;}@supports (text-underline-offset:0.25em){.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{border-bottom:none;-webkit-text-decoration:underline #BABABA;text-decoration:underline #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:1px;text-decoration-thickness:1px;-webkit-text-decoration-skip-ink:none;text-decoration-skip-ink:none;text-underline-offset:0.25em;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus{-webkit-text-decoration-color:currentcolor;text-decoration-color:currentcolor;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:2px;text-decoration-thickness:2px;color:#B80000;}}England will come under “toughened” three-tiered regional restrictions when the lockdown ends on 2 December.

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Explained: New Covid restrictions on those travelling to Maharashtra – The Indian Express

Written by Sanjana Bhalerao , Edited by Explained Desk | Mumbai | Updated: November 24, 2020 8:44:11 pm

Maharashtra travel rules, Maharashtra lockdown, Maharashtra passengers covid report, Maharashtra covid travel rules, covid news, express explained, indian expressCovid-19 testing of passengers at New Delhi railway station on November 23. (Express photo: Praveen Khanna)

The Maharashtra government on November 23 announced new travel rules for the state, under which those coming from Delhi-NCR, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa will need to carry RT-PCR test reports for Covid-19. The rules come into effect from November 25.

What are the rules for road, rail and air travel, and what happens if a passenger does not have the test reports? All your questions answered.

What are the rules for flyers?

The new travel guidelines said that all domestic passengers travelling from airports in Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa shall carry an RT-PCR negative test report and are required to show it on arrival at the airport. The test should have been conducted three days (72 hours) before their arrival in Maharashtra.

What if a passenger could not get an RT-PCR test done prior to departure?

Passengers arriving without a Covid negative test report will have to compulsorily undergo the RT-PCR test at the airport at their own cost. The passengers will be allowed to go home only after undertaking the test. The airport will arrange the testing centres and charge the passengers directly for testing.

Also in Explained | Five reasons the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is better news than the Pfizer and Moderna shots

They will be contacted if their test turns up positive and will be treated either in home-isolation or institutional quarantine facilities. For the other passengers on the flight, the government will follow the set protocol, officials said.

What is the facility at airports?

Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj international airport has RT-PCR testing kiosks. The price for the test is fixed at Rs 1,400.

What are the rules for Railway passengers?

Passengers coming to Maharashtra on trains originating from or halting at stations in Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa are required to carry RT-PCR negative test reports. Train passengers are required to have undergone the test four days before arrival.

Passengers without the RT-PCR test negative report would be screened for symptoms and body temperature at the alighting railway stations. Passengers without symptoms would be allowed to go home but those who show symptoms will be made to undergo antigen test. They will be allowed to go home if their antigen test comes negative. Antigen tests take 30 minutes to generate the result.

Rules for people entering the state by road

The district collectors of land borders have been given responsibilities to make arrangements for antigen tests and screening of passengers entering the state by road. Passengers with symptoms will be segregated and made to undergo antigen tests. Those testing negative will be allowed to travel further into the state.

Is there any exemption?

The rule states no exemption for passengers arriving in the state by road, air or train. If a passenger entering the state by road tests positive, they will be sent to Covid Care Centres. Those who do not want to take the test have the option of turning back or be sent to Covid Care Centres.

Why was the rule introduced?

While fresh cases continue to decline or remain stagnant in the worst-affected states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh have been seeing a significant rise in active cases.  The biggest rise in active cases in the last two weeks has come in Rajasthan – an increase of more than 5,600 — followed by Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.

📣 Express Explained is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@ieexplained) and stay updated with the latest

On Monday, Maharashtra recorded 4,152 new cases, of them, 800 were from Mumbai. There are 81,902 actively infected Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra. Officials are fearful that with the unregulated movement of people post-Diwali, there could be a spike in cases.

Is the Maharashtra government planning to halt flights and trains from Delhi?

Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar on Friday had stated that the state was considering stopping flights and trains between Delhi and Mumbai and other parts of the state. Minister for Relief and Rehabilitation Vijay Wadettiwar on Monday said that if needed, in the next eight days, after careful study of the number of cases, they will decide whether there is a need for a complete lockdown or imposition of some curbs or adding new conditions.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar hinted at the possibility of putting in place curbs over the movement of people in view of the threat of a second wave of coronavirus cases post-Diwali.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest Explained News, download Indian Express App.

© IE Online Media Services Pvt Ltd

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Maharashtra issues guidelines for those travelling from Delhi, Goa, Rajasthan, Gujarat – Happytrips

Maharashtra issues guidelines for those travelling from Delhi, Goa, Rajasthan, Gujarat

The Maharashtra state government has announced new guidelines and imposed restrictions for travellers entering the state from Delhi-NCR, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Goa via air, train, or road.

Reportedly, all those entering from the aforementioned four states will have to undergo RT PCR test before boarding any flight to Maharashtra. Further, only those who are able to provide a negative COVID report will be allowed to board a flight.

Also, those travelling by trains will be required to produce COVID-19 certificates before boarding, or will be required to undergo tests at the boarding stations/airports at their own cost.

As per a notification issued by the Maharashtra state government, “The passengers travelling in flights from Delhi, Rajasthan, Goa and Gujarat will have to produce a negative RT-PCR report on landing at airports in Maharashtra. The test should have been done 72 hours prior to the scheduled journey.”

Here is all that you need to know about the new guidelines.

For domestic travel

All domestic passengers from Delhi-NCR, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Goa will need to produce a COVID negative test report on arrival. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has been requested to check the report before allowing the passengers to board the flight.

The test should have been done not less than 72 hours of the scheduled time of landing in Maharashtra.

Those without negative test report, will have to compulsorily undergo RT-PCR test at their own cost at the concerned airports.

The passengers will be allowed to go home only after undertaking the test. All the contact information and address of the passengers who underwent the tests at the airport will be collected by the airport operator.

Those whose report comes positive will be contacted and treated as per the existing protocol.

Maharashtra issues guidelines for those travelling from Delhi, Goa, Rajasthan, Gujarat

Those travelling via road

The concerned District Collectors of land border districts will be responsible for ensuring that the passengers coming from the said states are for symptoms including body temperature.

Those without symptoms will be allowed entry, whereas those with symptoms will have the option to go to their home to recuperate.

Those with symptoms will be made to undergo Antigen Test. If the result comes negative, the passengers will be allowed to travel further.

Passengers found COVID-19 positive shall be sent to COVID Care Centre (CCC) for further care, the cost of which shall be borne by the passenger.

Those travelling via railways

All passengers entering Maharashtra by trains originating from the said states will be required to carry RT-PCR negative test report with them.

The test should have been done not less than 96 hours before their scheduled arrival in Maharashtra.

Those without RT-PCR test negative report will be screened for symptoms and body temperature at the respective railway stations.

Passengers without symptoms would be allowed to go home.

Passengers displaying symptoms will be required to undergo Antigen test. If the result comes negative, passengers will be allowed to go home.

Those found COVID-19 positive, will be sent to COVID Care Centre (CCC) for further care, the cost of which shall be borne by the passenger themselves.

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The realities of travelling while Black – Metro.co.uk

Before the pandemic set in, we were living in a world where travelling between countries and continents had become simpler and more accessible than ever before.

Cheap air travel and increasing global connectivity has meant the world has been getting smaller, and frequent travel – even to far-flung destinations – has become the norm.

But this increasing freedom isn’t equal for everyone, and Black people have additional pressures to consider whenever they choose to get on a flight and travel abroad.

Thanks to the global nature of racism and anti-Blackness, Black people report experiencing discrimination, hostility, even violence, all over the world. And the vulnerability that comes with travelling – the unfamiliar settings, different languages, isolation from your support systems – can exacerbate the impact of racial discrimination.

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Put simply, racism while travelling can feel even more terrifying and unsettling than the racism you face at home. And this has an impact on the way Black people choose to travel and experience other countries and cultures.

A US study from 2015 found that racism while travelling is a widespread and deeply damaging phenomenon for Black communities.

‘It is clear that many African Americans continuously suffer racism while they travel and this negative experience substantially limits their mobility and tourism activity,’ wrote researchers.

As a result, they found that Black people have to plan their holidays much more carefully than white people, avoid certain areas and countries altogether, and travel less frequently than other racial groups. This isn’t a phenomenon limited to Black people from America.

Nanjala Nyabola is a writer and political analyst based in Kenya. Travel is her passion and exploring the world is an integral part of who she is.

Nanjala has written a collection of essays inspired by her travels – Travelling While Black – that examines what it’s like to travel when guidebooks aren’t written with you in mind. Through her experiences, she brings to life the legacy of ‘othering’ and colonialism that impact how Black people are perceived and treated around the world.

‘Human mobility is actually an incredibly important part of who we are as human beings,’ Nanjala tells Metro.co.uk.

Nanjala in Nepal
Nanjala trekking in Nepal (Picture: Nanjala Nyabola)

‘If you can understand why a middle-class person would go on holiday, for example, you can start to understand why the dynamics of travel, and making it possible for people to move around, are so important.

‘I have always felt that the conversation on migration is far too limited. People look at the folks who are on the other side of these issues as abstract, and as statistics or ideas, and not as actual human beings who have complexity behind them, and have complicated lives behind them.

‘So, my aim is to use my experiences of travel to try to get people to have more nuanced conversations about human mobility.’

Nanjala’s essays range from exploring her work with migrants, to confronting archaic perceptions of Africa, to her personal experiences of racism while travelling and on holiday.

In one essay, Nanjala shares a terrifying experience in which she almost died while attempting to reach Everest Base Camp while trekking the Himalayas in Nepal. She unpacks how the hostility her trek leader felt towards her led to her being denied adequate water until she fell dangerously ill with dehydration. At one point she couldn’t breathe and could feel her mind shutting down.

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‘I want people to think about these microaggressions and these instances of overt violence, or covert violence, not as, individual events – to not think “oh, that’s just one random bad person” – but as part of something bigger and more systemic,’ Nanjala explains. ‘When we allow these smaller things to be normalised, we create a context in which more extreme inequality becomes normalised.

Nanjala and her book cover
‘I feel like we should be travelling in a way that contemplates equality’ (Pictures: Hurst)

‘My story of my time in Nepal is just a reflection on how race can show up in unexpected places, and lead to very serious consequences.

‘In the face of racism, people often tell you to just leave it, just move on, but it’s very hard to do that when it becomes a life or death issue, which it does for a lot of people.

‘I write about myself in Nepal, but I imagine if the migrants who were in the dinghies in the Mediterranean or the Channel had a chance to tell their stories, the way that they would speak about themselves, not as statistics, but as human beings, I imagine these are some of the things that would come up for them as well.’

What struck Nanjala the most about her experience of racism and neglect on the side of a mountain, was the way she could see herself being dehumanised. The man who was denying her water and who was indifferent about her care, didn’t seem to see her as a person.

‘People have stories,’ she says. ‘Where I was stuck with this guy, I looked at him and thought to myself, “you don’t think I’m a story. I’m just the person that you need to get to Base Camp and get off your case”. But I have family and friends and a life, and I deserve to not have this happen to me.’

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Nanjala outlines other similarly dehumanising experiences she has had while travelling over the years. From being singled out for excessive and aggressive security checks at airports, to the impossible hoops that African citizens are forced to jump through in order to obtain visas to access other countries – she had to provide three months of bank statements and proof that she owned a house just so she could go to her friend’s wedding.

‘In Nairobi, people were having to sleep on the street in order to get an appointment for a UK visa. This happened in Lagos as well,’ says Nanjala.

‘People who have passport privilege who can walk into an embassy and walk out with a visa on the same day, often don’t understand that particular element.

‘What we really have to keep coming back to, is that all of this stuff is made up. This stuff is constructed to serve a political purpose and a social purpose. That social purpose is often exclusion of the other. We need to actually be able to sit in the discomfort of that and ask ourselves – is there any point in making people humiliate themselves just to be able to come to our country for two days? Or is there a kinder, more human way of doing this?’

Travel and holidays are basically off the agenda in 2020, unless you’re willing to do a complicated dance around the ever-changing quarantine requirements, closed borders and expensive Covid testing.

It is hoped by many that this enforced break in global travel will change the way we move around the world for the better, that it may make us more appreciative, more conscious of the environmental impacts. Maybe this is an opportunity to also address the racial inequalities that exist in travel and tourism too.

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‘Travel can be an entry point for reminding us of the things that bring us together. And I think that is incredibly important,’ says Nanjala.

‘I feel like we should be travelling in a way that contemplates equality. I have nothing against tourist resorts, people work there, and it’s good for tourism in many ways – but I think we should strive to travel in a way that is respectful to the society that you’re entering into.

‘That means looking for a connection, rather than a disconnection. I think that can be a really important thing in a very divided world. And it can bring a new sense of similarity and connectedness that many of us will not have, because of the critical way in which we consume information about other places in the world.’

Travelling While Black was released on November 19, published by Hurst.

The State of Racism

Illustration of multicultural group of people
We need to be able to talk about racism.

This series is an in-depth look at racism in the UK in 2020 and beyond.

We aim to look at how, where and why individual and structural racism impacts people of colour from all walks of life.

It’s vital that we improve the language we have to talk about racism and continue the difficult conversations about inequality – even if they make you uncomfortable.

We want to hear from you – if you have a personal story or experience of racism that you would like to share get in touch: metrolifestyleteam@metro.co.uk

Do you have a story to share? We want to hear from you.

Get in touch: metrolifestyleteam@metro.co.uk.

MORE : Why it’s important to be ‘anti-racist’ rather than simply not racist

MORE : Creatives of colour have to make art that’s ‘palatable to white audiences’

MORE : Benjamin Zephaniah: ‘The racist thugs of my youth are grown up and wear suits now’

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Slow business for workshops as car owners are travelling less – The Star Online

BUKIT MERTAJAM: It’s life in the slow lane these days for mechanics.

Their business has not seen any pick up as most of their customers are either working from home or facing a limited budget to keep up with their maintenance schedule.

Furthermore, motorists are not using their cars as much due to travel restrictions.

“My workshop has been quiet for the past few days, ” said mechanic Teh Wei Ping, 42.

“Some car parts are taking longer to break down due to owners hardly using their cars, ’’ he said, adding that business has dropped by about half compared to last year.

With more Malaysians working from home in the age of Covid-19 and cutting down on travel, he said that motorists were stretching the schedule to service their car.

“Those who come in for monthly service are now doing so every two or three months, ” he said.

For example, it is no longer the case of people getting an ordinary engine oil change every 5,000km.

However, Teh noted that the number of car owners who contacted him for battery-related problems increased during this period.

“There are multiple cars at some houses and not all of them were driven during the movement control order period, so the batteries had to be replaced or recharged.

“But the profit for this is very low. So, it is difficult for us to make ends meet, ” he said.

In Butterworth, tyre shop owner Yong Hee Chern, 33, found that some people were driving around with worn-out tyres as they cannot afford to replace them.

Although an ordinary set of car tyres can last from 40,000 to 50,000km, Yong said they should be replaced within three years regardless of the mileage.

“When tyre tread gets worn out, the tyres lose traction during braking and won’t grip the road well, especially when it rains.

“But because many people are not travelling long distances for holidays or festivals, they feel it is not necessary to get new tyres.”

Car tyres, he said, come with the date of manufacture and he could not hold the stock for too long or the tyres would lose value.

Yong said the profit from other services such as wheel balancing and alignment adjustments had also dropped.

“When the MCO was enforced in March, we were closed for two months.

“After reopening, we tried to clear existing stock and business slowly recovered, ” he said.

For now, his regular customers were mostly on a shoestring budget.

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Belgians travelling to Spain need to show proof of a negative coronavirus test – The Brussels Times

Belgians travelling to Spain need to show proof of a negative coronavirus test



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Travelling back to the past – The Hindu

It’s better to go back to a time when humans would not deprive fellow beings of their right to exist

“We stand now where two roads diverge. The road we have been travelling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road — the one “less travelled by” — offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of our earth.” So said Rachel Carson in Silent Spring.

I am also reminded of Gieve Patel’s poem On Killing a Tree as I witness the mass felling of trees all around me. As the poet says, each tree “has grown slowly consuming the earth/Rising out of it, feeding/Upon its crust, absorbing/Years of sunlight, air, water…”

And to kill a tree, “The root is to be pulled out—/Out of the anchoring earth;/…hidden for years inside the earth.”

In front of my home there is a road with centuries-old gigantic mango trees on both sides. Each tree is an ecosystem in itself. The road is supposed to be have been constructed by Tippu Sultan’s Army during the invasion of Malabar in the 18th century and the trees were also planted by his men. Now this road is being widened, felling all those trees.

Kerala has been witnessing the fury of the elements for the past three years — a devastating flood in August 2018 that killed more than 500 people and washed away many homes; a massive landslip in August 2019 that buried 55 people alive; another one in August 2020 that buried 75 people alive — as a result of such insensitivity to Nature in the name of development.

Still such insensitivity continues. The “development” juggernaut still rolls over everything that is natural and sustainable. Trees are uprooted, paddy fields are filled, granite quarrying continues to shatter the Western Ghats, habitats of the diverse flora and fauna shrink, biodiversity vanishes and yet nothing is learnt or done to live sustainably.

The roots which have been hidden inside the earth for centuries are being pulled out. The trunks that grew absorbing centuries of sunlight, air and water are being killed.

H.G. Wells’ Time Traveller in The Time Machine invents a time machine and travels into the future, crash-lands into the year 802,701 and finds a decadent human race. He says: “The great triumph of humanity I had dreamed of took a different shape in my mind. It had been no such triumph of moral education and general cooperation as I had imagined. Instead, I saw a real aristocracy, armed with a perfected science and working to a logical conclusion the industrial system of today. Its triumph had not been simply a triumph over Nature, but a triumph over Nature and fellow-man.”

I wish to invent a time machine that travels not into the future, because I know the humans have no future at all if they don’t stop the so-called development that kills the sustainable environment. Hence, I wish to invent a time machine that travels back to the past.

I don’t wish to travel back centuries. I want to travel just 35 years back, into the beginning of 1980s when I was in my teens, when plastic carry bags or covers were not seen or heard in my village; when we used to go to grocery shops with cloth bags in our hands, when we had endless paddy fields in our villages, when we had fresh vegetables cultivated in our own backyards without pesticides that cause cancer; when our water sources were replenished by punctual monsoons; when our roadsides were not polluted with poultry waste dumped unseen at night; when poultry farms and junk food were not even heard of; when plastic was not seen everywhere choking the atmosphere and the pristine village landscape.

I wish to travel back to my teens when we had many open places in my village; when every household had its own cattle; when we the children of each village played in the many open places which were our playgrounds and pasture of our cattle; when we used to see lapwings and hear their intermittent sweet chirps in the open places adjacent to the paddy fields; when we used to regularly see water hens in the paddy fields and near the waterbodies; when we used to hear the howling of the foxes and the hooting of the owls at night; when we had all around us innumerable indigenous trees and plants and creepers that used to absorb the summer heat; when land was not real estate for us; when the spacious compounds in the village were the habitats of foxes, wild lizards and many other flora and fauna that were the integral part of our biodiversity.

I wish to travel back to my teens when we used to eat mango fruits fallen or plucked from the indigenous mango trees that were plenty around us; when we used to eat jack fruits plucked from our own jack fruit trees that were plenty in the villages; when there were plenty of wild flowers in the creepers that used to climb on the bamboo thorn fences; when there were butterflies and bees around these flowers; when there were innumerable dragonflies in the villages; when children used to run after the butterflies and dragonflies; when children used to play in the harvested paddy fields; when children used to go to school by walking and enjoying the cool shade provided by the canopy of the centuries-old gigantic trees that stood on both sides of the road; when there were no heavy traffic to knock down the pedestrians; when we used to play even on the roads as there were only an occasional bus service; when bullock carts were the only vehicles that were seen always on our roads and they never knocked down people; when bicycles were considered the most desired private vehicle and having one used to be our great ambition.

I wish to travel into a time (past or future) when people won’t deprive the diverse flora and fauna of their right to exist. I wish to travel into a time (past or future) when people will abandon the plans for roads and airports and railways to save trees and forests, to save diversity of life on earth and to live sustainably.

lscvsuku@gmail.com

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Will Australians be able to travel again once a coronavirus vaccine is available? – ABC News

The news of two potential COVID-19 vaccines showing promising results in late stage trials has been welcomed by many, including those itching to start travelling or return home.

Earlier this month, the Federal Government released Australia’s vaccination policy, which said that while vaccinations will not be mandatory, a proof of vaccination may be required for people entering or returning to the country.

It was the first time the Government had given a firm indication of what future international travel might look like.

Further details of international travel requirements are still emerging, but experts have given some insight into what we might expect when those overseas journeys become possible again.

It’s been done many times before

A hand holds two Australian passports in Central Park, New York.A hand holds two Australian passports in Central Park, New York.
Australian travellers returning from a yellow fever-risk country are already required to have a proof of vaccination.(ABC News: Melanie Vujkovic)

Certain vaccinations had already been required for travel before the coronavirus pandemic, depending on the passenger’s origin or destination.

For example, travellers must have an international certificate of vaccination or prophylaxis (ICVP) to enter countries that have mandated a yellow fever vaccination, or to leave places with a high risk of polio.

In Australia, travellers returning from a country where yellow fever is a risk — including places in Africa, South America and Central America — are required to have a valid ICVP.

Epidemiologist Raina MacIntyre, from the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales, said she believed a proof of vaccination for COVID-19 “will become a requirement” for future travel.

“Some countries which cannot vaccinate everyone will remain as COVID-19 hotspots into the future, and this is why vaccination will be a prerequisite for travel … much in the way that yellow fever vaccination is required,” she told the ABC.

However, viral diseases such as the mosquito-borne yellow fever and Japanese encephalitis are bound to geographical locations, whereas COVID-19 is not.

Photo of sitting stationary on the Sydney airport runway.Photo of sitting stationary on the Sydney airport runway.
Some experts believe proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be a requirement for travel in the future.(ABC News: John Gunn)

Paul Griffin, an infectious diseases physician and microbiologist at the University of Queensland, said allowing international travel would likely have the potential to invite COVID-19 cases into the country, despite the availability of a vaccine.

“COVID-19 at the moment is so ubiquitous,” he said.

“If we were to allow for international travel and were to get vaccinated, basically, any internal mitigation strategies will be completely overrun by COVID cases.”

He said it made sense to protect people who were travelling through vaccinations, but it cannot be the only method of mitigation to ensure the disease doesn’t continue to spread.

Not all nations can wait on a vaccine

Jordan and Julia Erisman on a quad bike overlooking the coast.Jordan and Julia Erisman on a quad bike overlooking the coast.
Jordan (left) and Julia Erisman feel safe during their overseas honeymoon due to the extra safety measures required to travel.(Supplied)

Nations heavily reliant on tourism and migration have seen an influx of cases since opening up their borders to travellers — the island of Tahiti in French Polynesia is one of them.

Its economy faced a financial crisis during the pandemic and that prompted the Government to open its borders to international tourists in July.

Within a month, it had recorded 70 new cases of COVID-19, with bars and restaurants visited by tourists identified as hotspots for transmission, but the French territory continued to encourage people to visit.

American couple, Julia Erisman and her husband Jordan, told the ABC they were able to make their honeymoon in Bora Bora last week due to the extra safety measures put in place by the French Polynesian Government.

The precautions included a negative COVID-19 test result prior to travelling, and then another test four days after arriving.

“We feel safer here than back at home.”

In Singapore, Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said the country “can’t afford to wait around” for a vaccine, according to local media reports.

The island nation has no prospect for domestic air travel and its partially state-owned aviation industry has been struggling.

From November 22, Singapore will allow quarantine-free travel between Hong Kong, but arrivals will be required to take a COVID-19 test and provide a negative test result 72 hours before departure.

Visitors will also have to download the country’s contact tracing app.

Singapore has opened its borders to tourists from certain countries including Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, mainland China and Vietnam.

Besides Australia, other nations with closed borders to tourists include Vietnam, Chile and Fiji.

Vaccine not a silver bullet to open up travel

A health professional with gloves injecting in a person's arm.A health professional with gloves injecting in a person's arm.
Experts say there are still many factors up in the air before we know when we can travel again.(AP: Ted S. Warren)

While there are a number of promising vaccination candidates, they are yet to be approved, Dr Griffin said.

“We’ll need that information before we can say exactly how it’s going to be implemented and what sort of restrictions will be tied to that,” he said.

“And it’s not going to be the sole solution, it’s going to need concurrent mitigation strategies, even simple things like masks where people can’t socially distance.”

Dr Griffin said there also needed to be sufficient vaccine coverage in a traveller’s country of origin and at their destinations before things can begin to open up.

“It’s going to take a long time to get from rolling out a vaccine … to getting to the stage where the coverage is sufficient that the risk is diminished,” he said.

There are also no guarantees the broader population will be receptive to being vaccinated for COVID-19, which can further hinder progress towards reopening or accepting foreign visitors.

In August, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth said those who refused vaccination would need “some sort of incentive”.

Hassan Vally, associate professor at the Department of Public Health at La Trobe University, told the ABC there were also other factors to consider, including how much protection a vaccine can offer.

“We still don’t know how long immunity lasts and so regardless of whether you’ve had a natural infection or whether you’ve been vaccinated, we’re unsure as to how long that offers protection for,” he said.

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People of Edinburgh banned from travelling to IKEA under new lockdown restrictions – Edinburgh News

<img alt aria-hidden="true" class="i-amphtml-intrinsic-sizer" role="presentation" src="data:image/svg+xml;charset=utf-8,”>People living in Edinburgh will not be able to visit IKEA in Midlothian from Tuesday November 24 onwards.
People living in Edinburgh will not be able to visit IKEA in Midlothian from Tuesday November 24 onwards.

Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed residents in Edinburgh, which is in lockdown level three, will not be able to visit the Midlothian store.

Those from Edinburgh are not allowed to visit shopping locations such as IKEA, Costco and Straiton retail park as the Scottish Government has said people cannot travel outside their own level three local authority area for non-essential shopping.

An MSP pointed out on Thursday that Edinburgh residents travelling to these places would be breaching the travel ban introduced as these sites are not in the City of Edinburgh.

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Those in level three or four council areas are not allowed to leave their local authority, and will be breaking the law if they do.

This means that those in Edinburgh cannot travel to Midlothian, East Lothian, West Lothian or any other surrounding areas for non-essential shopping.

For the Scottish Government’s full coronavirus travel guidance, click here.

Despite named IKEA Edinburgh, the store is located in Midlothian which, alongside East Lothian, will move down to level two from Tuesday, November 24.

The issue was raised in Parliament yesterday by Christine Grahame, Midlothian South MSP who said that such travelling for shopping would spread the virus in lower risk areas.

Questioning the First Minister, she said: “My constituency is now level two thanks to the efforts of folk there, but adjacent Edinburgh is level three.

“How will travel from Edinburgh to such places [IKEA] be monitored?”

Nicola Sturgeon said people should only be travelling into another level for “essential shopping if it is not possible in your local authority area”.

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