Travel News Roundup: Dec.11, 2020

Updated: Feb 23

UK Administers First COVID-19 Vaccinations: “British regulators approved the Pfizer shot Dec. 2, and the country has received 800,000 doses, enough to vaccinate 400,000 people. The first shots are going to people over 80 who are either hospitalized or already have outpatient appointments scheduled, along with nursing home workers and vaccination staff. Others must wait, and health officials have said that those who are most at risk from the virus will be vaccinated in the early stages. For most people, it will be next year before there is enough vaccine to expand the program.” By Danica Kirka, AP

Will the Travel Industry Go the Way of Netflix? “The pandemic wreaked havoc on the travel industry in 2020. International travel all but halted for many countries. … The travel industry has been forced to rip up big chunks of its playbook and start fresh. One idea gaining traction? Travel subscriptions.” By Chris Anderson

Thailand Now Allowing Tourists From The Whole World (Yes, Even The U.S.): “Tourists from everywhere are now welcome to visit Thailand, irrespective of their countries’ Covid-19 situation, under a newly amended Special Tourist Visa (STV) long-stay programme. … The more liberal policy represents a government U-turn and is designed to help the ailing tourism industry.” By Gary Leff, View From the Wing

Self-driving Robotaxis Are Taking Off in China: “On Thursday, AutoX, an Alibaba (BABA)-backed startup, announced it had rolled out fully driverless robotaxis on public roads in Shenzhen. The company said it had become the first player in China to do so, notching an important industry milestone.” By Michelle Toh, CNN Business

Why You Should Postpone Your Travel Plans Especially To California and Mexico: “Mayor Garcetti informed everyone that once hospital ICU bed capacity falls below 15%, the state will shut down the region. And right now, most of the regions that are popular with tourists are nearing that mark. He said that the shutdown could come as early as this weekend or early next week. … Unfortunately, it’s not just California that travelers should be avoiding. It’s essentially everywhere right now as hospitals around the world are reaching capacity. In fact, the most popular international destination for American travelers is Mexico and they were just added to the WHO and CDC’s list of places to avoid.” By Johnny Jet

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