Weekly travel update: Australia’s partial lockdown and Americans warned off Japan

CNN  — 

Sunscreen expired? Suitcase gathering cobwebs? Fear not.

As the world slowly starts to open back up, CNN Travel is here to help you make plans for 2021 and beyond through these weekly round-ups of travel news.

Come here to learn about the countries relaxing entry rules, the attractions reopening the doors and the places that have shuttered because of Covid-19 outbreaks.

Destinations opening up

At the start of the pandemic in 2020, cruise ships were at the very heart of the Covid storm. Ports closed to virus-hit vessels and on-board cases spiraled.

The multi-billion dollar industry is, however, showing signs of recovery.

Later this month, Celebrity Edge will be the first major cruise ship to sail from the United States in over a year. The ship, part of the Celebrity Cruises line, has been cleared to sail from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The ship, part of the Celebrity Cruises line, has been cleared to sail from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with paying passengers in June 2021. Royal Caribbean, Celebrity’s sister company, recently announced plans to run its first trial cruise with volunteers in June.

Meanwhile in Europe, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises will resume operations on June 20 with a range of itineraries in Italy, Portugal and France.

A sunny day on Sa Conca beach on Spain's Costa Brava in March 2021.

The European Union agreed last week to allow entry to vaccinated travelers from countries with low infection rates, although the “safe” list is in flux.

However, EU bloc members have also been announcing their own restriction easing.

Spain will open to vaccinated travelers from outside the EU on June 7 and France is expected to do the same on June 9.

The Netherlands is welcoming tourists from “safe countries with a low Covid-19 risk,” Greece is allowing vaccinated travelers or those with a negative result from a Covid-19 PCR test taken more than 72 hours prior to arrival, while Iceland, a member state of the European Economic Area, opened its borders to vaccinated travelers back in April.

Croatia is also welcoming vaccinated travelers, as well as those who present a negative PCR test or proof that they’ve recovered from Covid-19 within the past 180 days, and no less than 11 days before they arrive.

Earlier this month, Cyprus reopened to vaccinated travelers from 65 countries, including the US and the UK, while Portugal began allowing entry to visitors from England, Scotland and Wales after being added on to the UK’s “green” list of countries where quarantine-free travel is permitted.

The EU Digital Covid Certificate – a “vaccine passport” that would facilitate internal travel within the bloc – is expected to come into effect on July 1.

Little Island is a new, free public park on the Hudson River.

As well as all the recent reopenings, there are a bunch of new attractions opening around the world, too.

ADI Design Museum, tracing the history of Italian design, has opened in Italy’s most stylish city, Milan.

A magical new museum inspired by the fairytales of Hans Christian Andersen and designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma will open the writer’s hometown of Ortense, Denmark, on June 30.

And with retail back open in London, legendary department store Harrod’s can finally show off its brand new food hall dedicated entirely to chocolate. It sells what’s reported to be the world’s most expensive chocolate bar: a sugary treat by organic cacao specialist To’ak which goes for £350 (around $500).

Meanwhile in New York, the city’s newest park, Little Island – built on pillars in the Hudson River – is finally open, having been delayed by the pandemic.


A masked guard walks in front of the Olympic Rings in Tokyo in May 2021.

The Tokyo Olympics, postponed in 2020 during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, are scheduled to run from July 23 to August 8 – but Covid cases have recently spiked in Japan.

In the latest blow to the 2021 Summer Games, the US State Department advised its citizens against traveling to Japan, putting the country at Level 4, its highest cautionary level.

Australia has been one of the world’s success stories in terms of its handling of the pandemic, but it’s currently experiencing a taste of lockdown life due to a week-long Covid shutdown in Victoria.

Concerns over the presence of the Indian Covid-19 variant in Britain is growing in some European countries. Austria has banned direct flights to the UK from June 1 to 20, while Germany is currently only allowing entry from the UK for German citizens and residents and a few other exceptional cases. France has also banned non-essential travel from the UK, starting May 31, and imposed a seven-day quarantine for UK visitors.

Looking ahead

On the US West Coast, Disneyland’s Avengers Campus, a new land at Disney California Adventure Park, is opening June 4.

Disneyland and California Adventure parks will start to welcome out-of-state guests on June 15.

A few days later, Disney’s first hotel with Marvel Characters – Disney’s Hotel New York - The Art of Marvel – will open June 21.

In the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi will end mandatory quarantine for international travelers on July 1.

And in Paris, the Eiffel Tower – which in happier times welcomed 7 million visitors a year – will reopen on July 16. Visitor numbers will be limited to 10,000 a day.

Strangest Covid measure of the week

Suzanne Carter says she's spent around £5,000 ($7,000) on airplane accessories.

Self-styled “avgeeks,” or aviation enthusiasts, saw their passion for planes cruelly curtailed by the pandemic.

However, the most resourceful have been taking up new hobbies to keep them going during these past 15 months.

CNN Travel spoke to Elliot Sharod, who’s been searching out the best flight deals, Adam Longbottom, who taught himself to fly using a simulator, and Suzanne Carter, who turned her home into an airplane-themed Airbnb.

CNN’s Forrest Brown, Julia Buckley, Michael K. Callahan, Lilit Marcus and Francesca Street contributed to this report.