With Melburnians shaking off their shackles, even being allowed in Queensland from 1am today, it’s now Sydney’s turn to buckle down for a bit. Sure, cabin fever sucks, but we’ll hop over to Finland to see the genius way locals are combatting that very feeling. We’re also plotting a return to travel that’s more sustainable -- and familiarising ourselves with how to navigate COVID protection in this new world of travel.
Bali vaccinates everyone in tourism green zones, eagerly awaiting Australian arrivals
“We want the Australians back soon to Bali. We do hope we will see the Australians in Bali in 2021.”
Bali has designated three COVID-19-free “green zones”: Ubud, Sanur and Nusa Dua. The government hopes to have 100% of residents in these areas vaccinated by the end of July, along with 70% of the whole island, to create herd immunity. Foreign tourists will be welcomed from the same month, with special hotels set up to house and test them for the virus upon arrival. The Indonesian province’s deputy governor, known as Cok Ace, told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald that Bali has missed Australians so much. “We want the Australians back soon to Bali. We do hope we will see the Australians in Bali in 2021,” he said. So do we, Cok, so do we!
Become a more sustainable traveller in a post-COVID world
How to identify and avoid “greenwashing”, offset our travel and support First Nations people wherever we go
COVID has plummeted Australia’s carbon emissions to their lowest levels in 30 years, and we’ve all seen the video of the first dolphins in 30 years, taking a day trip up Venice’s Grand Canal. With tourism responsible for 8% of the greenhouse gases that contribute to our very real climate emergency, we figured it’s the perfect time to pause and reflect on how our return to overseas travel can be made more sustainable. To do so, we check in with the good folk at Traveller,learning how to identify and avoid “greenwashing”, offset our travel and support First Nations people wherever we go.
Travelling overseas? How to check your insurance for COVID coverage
It’s more important than ever to engage a travel insurance provider who really has your back
If you had holidays booked in 2020, it’s likely COVID-19 made an absolute meal of them. European summers, plans to attend festivals overseas, family Christmases… all cancelled, and often with not enough compensation. But with international travel creeping back onto the cards for Australians, our confidence in booking flights is returning -- but it’s obviously more important than ever to engage a travel insurance provider who really has your back. Here, we go through a list of scenarios you need to look out for before heading overseas, all of which Freely can offer you protection against.
Fins find a brilliant way to combat cabin fever
Finland has the highest share of remote workers in all of Europe, but many of them aren’t just working from home
Finland has the highest share of remote workers in all of Europe, but many of them aren’t just working from home. Instead, almost 50% have bundled off to their cosy holiday cabins, which often look exactly as you’d expect: nestled in evergreen woods or perched on the edge of an icy lake. This trend has even spurred sales of secondary properties. Nice to know Australia isn’t the only place facing a bit of a housing crisis at the moment.
AROUND THE WORLD
In the UK, metal fans moshed ‘til they dropped at the three-day Download Festival: the first proper live music festival to go ahead since the start of the pandemic. About 10,000 punters secured tickets to watch more than 40 artists, among them Bullet for My Valentine, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes and Enter Shikari. Despite the (surprise, surprise) soggy weather, promoter Andy Copping said there was a “real sense of euphoria” in the air, and that it wouldn’t be Download with a little bit of mud.
Speaking of the UK, England’s long-awaited Freedom Day may have been pushed back a month due to the presence of the Delta variant of COVID, but hopes this third wave will be short-lived are on the rise. Week by week, the growth in new cases has halved, and more than four-fifths of adults have now received at least their first dose of the vaccine. In London this weekend, four football stadiums are opening their gates as part of a drive to vaccinate 100,000 people a day!
In just over a week, Thailand will allow vaccinated tourists to visit the island of Phuket (that’s Pu-ket, for those playing at home) provided they are travelling from low-risk countries. Kids under the age of six will be exempt from the vaccine requirement, but everybody will be made to undertake a COVID test upon arrival and remain at their initial destination for 14 days before heading anywhere else in the country. A bit of a mission, sure, but one we’d be happy to fulfil if it meant we could be gawping at elephants in the Thai jungle sooner rather than later!