Welcome to Friday Around the Planet, a roundup of some of the travel-related news and inspiration you might have missed over the past week.
After 29 months of pandemic-related obstacles (but who’s counting), I’m just days away from taking my first transatlantic flight since 2019.
Let me tell you, my heart is buzzing with anticipation equal to that of my first trip across the ocean many moons ago. And, in a true sense of déjà vu, I’ll be landing in Paris, the first city I ever visited in Europe.
Barring any other cosmic interruptions (ahem… looking at you archeologists opening the sarcophagus found in the Notre Dame Cathedral) I’m eager to bring you along on the journey.
In the meantime, as I count down the days until departure, the opening of the new Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie & du Vin is adding fuel to my wanderlust. The 1,750 square meters of exhibition space not far from the Unesco Climate Burgundy vineyards and the Route de Grand Crus celebrates the “Gastronomic meal of the French” and offers everything from cooking classes to wine tasting. It opens to the public after more than a decade of planning on May 6.
Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie et du Vin in Dijon, France © Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie et du Vin
News about COVID-19 restrictions
We’re still keeping tabs on COVID-19 restrictions and rollbacks, the most notable this week being the rollback of the mask requirement on public transit in the United States.
Following a federal court ruling in Florida saying the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention overstepped its authority when it required masks on public transportation, airlines across the United States dropped inflight masking requirements.
The US Department of Justice appealed the ruling but for now, the federal mandate is not enforceable. Keep in mind local municipalities and individual companies can have their own requirements and you may also need to wear one if you are traveling internationally to a destination outside the US that requires them.
The CDC also made changes in how it issues travel advisories. It will now reserve its highest level – which comes with an advisory of not to travel – for special circumstances. According to the CDC, those include “rapidly escalating case trajectory or extremely high case counts, emergence of a new variant of concern, and healthcare infrastructure collapse.”
Some other COVID-19 restriction news:
Broadway shows will continue to require masks through May
Australia ended COVID-19 pre-arrival testing requirement
The Well-Traveled Path: Returning to international travel with a purpose
Sustainable returns to tourism
As tourism returns following the pandemic, some places crushed in the past by overtourism are taking steps to emerge from the crisis in a more sustainable way.
A couple “over-loved” destinations took steps to accomplish that this week.
Flocks of visitors descended on Venice over the Easter holiday weekend returning tourism nearly to its pre-pandemic levels. Ahead of the summer travel season, the lagoon city moved forward with a plan to regulate the amount of arriving tourists. Starting in June, people have to book to enter the city. Here’s more on how to book your visit.
The Honolulu city council approved an ordinance requiring a 90-day minimum stay for short-term rentals. They’ll still be allowed in resort areas such as Waikiki, near Ko Olina, and Turtle Bay, and specific areas surrounding them.
Openings of interest
Along with the Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie & du Vin, there are several other notable openings happening around the world.
In Venice, for the first time in its 500-year history, visitors will be able to enter the Procuratie Vecchie. Arguably one of the most photographed buildings in the city, it stretches the entire length of the north side of the Piazza San Marco or St Mark’s Square and opened on April 13 following an extensive five-year renovation project.
Procuratie Vecchie in Venice © Getty Images/Collection Mix: Sub
In New York City, a one-of-a-kind exhibition curated by his sisters celebrates artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and features more than 200 works and artifacts, most of which have never been shown publicly until now.
Also in NYC, Museum of Modern Art has dedicated a collection gallery to works by artists born in present-day Ukraine. Titled “In Solidarity,” the exhibition opened on the fifth floor in March.