Here are 10 things we learned in pandemic travel this week:
1. There’s going to be a honeymoon boom
Bad news for lovers of sweatpants and corporate logo T-shirts: You might be forced into formal wear sooner than you think.
Time to get those suits and gowns to the dry cleaners ready for those destination weddings.
2. There’s still time to escape a return to the office
How far are you prepared to go to avoid microwave chit-chat with your colleagues? Sicily perhaps? Maybe Sri Lanka?
4. Ireland will finally reopen on Monday
Fully vaccinated travelers from non-EU countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, won’t have to undergo any testing or quarantine. (A 14-day self-quarantine or hotel quarantine will still apply to those without valid proof of vaccination or who are arriving from an “emergency brake” country).
5. Two old rivals are back in business
From 1884 to 1889, the 555-foot-tall Washington Monument — a white stone obelisk in the District of Columbia built to commemorate first US President George Washington — was the tallest structure in the world.
And then along came Gustave Eiffel and his fancy new 984-foot wrought-iron tower on Paris’ Champs de Mars. The Eiffel Tower held the title for 41 years, until the honor returned to the New World with the completion of New York’s Chrysler Building.
Both iconic structures reopened to the public this week, with the Washington Monument welcoming visitors on Friday and the Eiffel Tower getting back into business on Friday.
6. Qatar is open to fully vaccinated travelers
The ultramodern skyline of Doha, the Qatari capital.
Courtesy Qatar Tourism
7. Caribbean paradise vacations just got a little easier
The pool at Anguilla’s Cap Juluca, a Belmond Hotel.
Richard James Taylor/Belmond Cap Juluca
The classy Caribbean islands of Anguilla and St. Kitts & Nevis have swung their luxury doors open a little wider.
Anguilla is now allowing entry to fully vaccinated visitors — and only the fully vaccinated. That means doses of Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 completed at least 21 days before arrival.
St. Kitts & Nevis has reduced its self-quarantine period — or “Vacation in Place,” as they style it — from nine days to three, with testing on day four. Results should be within 12 hours.
8. Thousands of Australians are still stranded overseas
While the rest of the world was enduring lockdown after lockdown, Australia has been one of the pandemic success stories. By closing its borders, it was able to largely block out Covid-19.
The price paid for keeping the virus at bay is that thousands of Australian families have been separated since early 2020. There are around 34,000 stranded Australian citizens who have registered with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as being stuck overseas and wanting to come home.
9. Venice has — once again — banned cruise ships from the city center
Cruise ships are the bad-boy ex that Venice just can’t seem to quit.
The latest twist is that cruise ships will now be banned from sailing through Venice city center from August 1.
Rather than sailing past St. Mark’s Square and up the narrow Giudecca Canal, they’ll be rerouted through the Venice lagoon, and dock on the mainland, at the industrial port of Marghera.
10. Oil wrestling is back, baby
CNN’s Ivan Watson explores the ancient sport of oil wrestling which dates back hundreds of years.
Last year’s contest was canceled because of the pandemic, but you can’t hold greased men down.
The competitors, clad only in olive oil and leather pants, grappled for three days in the hope of winning the title of Baspehlivani, or chief wrestler. Antalya’s Ali Gurbuz retained his title for another year.
CNN’s Alexis Benveniste, Julia Buckley, Silvia Marchetti, Hannah Ritchie and Dimitris Sideridis contributed to this story.