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Since March, we’ve all watched as the coronavirus forced the closures of nearly every border around the globe. Countries around the world are starting to welcome back tourism by reopening their borders to international travelers. After nearly six months of lockdown, South Africa is one of the latest countries on that list.

‘We are ready to open our doors again to the world,” South African president Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement announcing the decision, “and invite travelers to enjoy our mountains, our beaches, our vibrant cities, and our wildlife game parks in safety and confidence.”

High-risk travellers: are those who come from countries with higher numbers of COVID-19 infections and reported deaths compared to South Africa.

Medium risk travellers: are from countries with relatively equal number of infections and death toll to South Africa

Low risk travellers: obviously originate from countries with lesser number of infections of COVID-19 and death toll than South Africa.

Leisure travellers from high-risk countries will not be permitted, amongst them includes the United States of America and the United Kingdom.

“Travellers intending to visit the country will be expected to produce a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test that is not older than 72 hours from the time of departure from the country of origin to South Africa. This test must be conducted by a certified medical practitioner and should have the name and signature of the practitioner who conducted such test,” said Pandor.

Upon arrival in the port of entry, the traveller will be screened for any COVID-19 symptoms or for contact with people who have been infected with the COVID-19 virus.

Travellers will also need to provide proof of accommodation address should they need to self-quarantine at the time of arrival in the country.

Should the traveller display any COVID-19–related symptoms or been in contact with an infected person(s), they will be expected to take a mandatory COVID-19 test. This test will be at the traveller’s cost. If the COVID-19 test comes back positive, the traveller will be subjected to a 10 day quarantine at a designated site. The accommodation at a quarantine site will be at the traveller’s cost.

However, South Africans are able to travel to any country that currently allows travellers from the country to visit.

Tourism in Africa: Here are the countries on the continent that are currently open to tourism.

Here is the list of high-risk countries:

  • Albania
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Columbia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Greece
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Honduras
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Jamaica
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Luxemburg
  • Maldives
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • North Macedonia
  • Oman
  • Palestine
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Slovakia
  • Suriname
  • Switzerland
  • Ukraine
  • United Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • USA
  • Venezuela

Data for the mentioned countries will be reviewed every two weeks, and categories may change based on the data.

All visas that may have expired during the lockdown period remain valid until January 31, 2021.

Three airports will be opened and operational for international air travel. These airports are OR Tambo International (in Johannesburg, Gauteng), Cape Town International (in Cape Town, Western Cape) and King Shaka International ( in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal).

 

As air travel continues to slowly pick up amid the ongoing pandemic, many airlines are completely reimagining their route networks. For United Airlines, that means announcing seven new long-haul routes, including three new destinations in Africa. United says it’s adding international flights where there’s existing demand, especially tapping into traffic from travelers from the African diaspora visiting their friends and families

Tourism in Africa: Here are the countries on the continent that are currently open to tourism.

The new routes include:

  •     Newark, New Jersey—Johannesburg: beginning spring 2021

  •     Washington, D.C.—Accra, Ghana: beginning late spring 2021

  •     Washington, D.C.—Lagos, Nigeria: beginning late spring 2021

Tickets will be available for purchase on united.com and the United app in the coming weeks, the airline says.

“Now is the right time to take a bold step in evolving our global network to help our customers reconnect with friends, family, and colleagues around the world,” Patrick Quayle, United’s vice president of international network and alliances, said in a statement.

Throughout the crisis, United has been taking an “opportunistic approach” to expanding its network, driven by demand, says Patrick Quayle.

United highlighted that when its new nonstop Accra service launches, the airline will be the only U.S. carrier offering the nonstop flight from Washington, D.C., home to the second-largest population Ghanaians in the United States, according to United.

In addition to Africa, United is adding nonstop flight routes to Israel, India, and Hawaii.

The new routes include:

  •     Chicago—Tel Aviv, Israel: beginning September 2020

  •     Chicago—New Delhi, India: beginning December 2020

  •     San Francisco—Bangalore, India: beginning spring 2021

  •     Chicago—Kona (Big Island), Hawaii: beginning summer 2021

  •     Newark—Kahului (Maui), Hawaii: beginning summer 2021

Last week, the carrier announced that it would end change fees for all domestic flights in premium and regular economy cabins. On Wednesday, it also expanded that policy to flights to Mexico and the Caribbean.

Puerto Rico is all set to welcome back tourists from July 15, but with all health and safety measures in place. It is part of the island’s four-phased reopening plan.

The vibrant island has a distinct vibe, which is the result of a mashup of cultures–African, Spanish, French, Dutch and British blood pumps through the veins of the islands’ diverse population.

With this step, Puerto Rico will join the expanding list of Caribbean islands opening up for tourism. However, Puerto Rico never closed its borders to the citizens of the United States, or foreign nationals who hadn’t been to Iran, China, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Brazil, or any of the European Schengen area in the previous 14 days.

During all this time, a 14-day quarantine rule was applied on anyone who was flying into Puerto Rico, along with other stringent lockdown measures, which meant that tourists were discouraged from visiting the island.

Reportedly, Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vázquez recently announced that from now on, travellers who can show negative COVID-19 test results, which were obtained 72 hours prior to arrival, will not be required to undergo quarantine.

Here’s what you should know:

When You Arrive At The Airport

Arriving travelers may be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days no matter whether they have symptoms or not. The National Guard will be assisting with health screenings of all arriving passengers, including rapid COVID-19 tests.

Barbados2020: Essential Travel Guide To Barbados

Getting Around

Ridesharing options like Uber have mandated face coverings for both the drivers and the passengers.  The front seat will be prohibited.

Certified transportation carriers will properly disinfect vehicles and have hand sanitizer available. In addition, drivers will wear gloves when handling doors and luggage.

Things To Do

Restaurants will open with a maximum occupancy of 25% in their dining rooms. Similar to the airport, temperature checks will be performed before entering. Anyone with a temperature of 100.3 will be denied entry.

Employees will be required to use face coverings, and buffets, salad bars, and self-serve options, as well as reusable menus, are prohibited.

Attractions, with the exception of outdoor recreation spaces, including public beaches, natural reserves, and golf courses are closed.

Shopping malls will enforce social distancing and some stores even require appointments before entering.

If you’re planning to attend a casino,  wellness checkpoints will be conducted at entryways, which includes temperature checks and hand sanitizer.

Gaming stations and slot machines will be cleaned every hour of after each guest.  Social distancing will be strictly enforced.  Face coverings by employees and guests are required.

For more information and to stay up-to-date with the latest in Puerto Rico, click here for its visitor health and safety guidelines.

 

The Best Travel Podcasts For Anyone Longing To Hit The Road Again. While travel may be on hold now and we don’t know exactly for how long. Satisfy your wanderlust for new places by listening to top rated travel podcasts that transport you through experiential narratives and uplifting travelogues.

We’ve gathered a list of travel podcasts from the perspective of  Black travellers and expats

Here are five Black expat podcasts you should be following:

Vivienne Okafor is a travel content creator, content strategist and coach. She is a Nigerian-American, a healthcare consultant and an avid traveler. Vivienne  loves to explore a variety of destinations and to share all of her travel tips on her blog.  In this interview she shares what it’s like to be a travel blogger, what travel will look like post Covid-19 Pandemic and a lot more.

Fashion has always been a world-building up multiple trends in order to validate your resume of fashion addicts and to see how your creativity can reinvent those trends and make them yours.

There is a meaning behind everything, and sometimes we don’t necessarily pay attention to the cultural or spiritual aspect of what we wear. Fashion has demystified apparat, trendiness took out their real estate and the values that they encouraged. 

We will talk about some accessories that we’ve seen on our favorite cover magazine or celebrity and give their ethnic aspect in Africa and for others in the world.

Cowries

Cowries are now the trendiest accessory you can have in your closet this year. Traveling from Africa, Asia, their necklaces and jewelry are on every continent.
In the past, it was used as a currency in West Africa, one of the most successful in the world, especially during the great empires of Ghana, Mali, and Songhaï.

Cowries had a strong spiritual value and cultural aspect, horns, fetishes were set with cowries used by both healer and sorcerer. These objects and costumes covered with them are found in Casamance among the Diola and in Eastern Senegal among the Bassari, where the traditional religion is still alive.

 

On the symbolic level, the cowries are frequently connected with the feminine.

Their shape being associated with that of the female sex, cowries can be used during fertility rites. Unfortunately, in most countries, cowries have lost its ritualistic and symbolic value, even though in some tribes it is still used and seen as a protective charm or divination tool by divine tellers, but now we can all give them another sense through fashion and we are loving it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beyoncé (Singer, Songwriter), wearing a Lafalaise Dion headpiece

 

                        

               Gold

Gold is the most precious metal in the world but guess which continent produced and register the largest goldmine? Africa. Egyptians Gods and pharaoh were always represented with gold, it was one of the most symbolic object to define royalty.

African history with gold despite of the blood spilled caused by covetousness, still remain one of the most common used material in our communities. You have seen gold in weddings, married couples were certainly dancing with their golden costume and jewelry. Gold implies wealth in our societies and nowadays shines on rings, necklaces, gourmets, etc

Meanwhile, it still has its same aspect in Akan tribes having a symbol of power, spiritual force by creating statuette that were worshipped and used as another language for educational purpose to the youngest. In Mali, the Dioula people use it as a lucky and protective charm. You will hear stories of gold being a present from the gods in countries like Ghana, Mali and South Africa that still have a strong relationship with gold and are the countries producing the most in the world.

10 African Fashion Brands That Magnify Men’s Wear

Mansa Musa, was the tenth Mansa of the Mali Empire and made Mali the largest producer of gold in the world, and Musa has been considered one of the richest people on earth.

 


Bags

Bags and handbags have been noted throughout history as far back as ancient Egypt – hieroglyphics depict men carrying bags tied around their waist (similar to a modern-day fanny pack).
Peasants and farmers in early civilizations were known to carry seeds and grains in small bags and African priests have been known to carry beaded bags as a sign of luxury and power. They were shaped through fashion and adapted to every need from the smallest to the largest (Handbags, Backpack).

 


Ghana must go” is a brand that we all have seen one day at the airport or we even ourselves carried to travel, this popular bag was used by several West African citizens, especially Ghanaians, to contain their belongings as they were forced to leave Nigeria during the 1980s. Now it’s getting appropriated by western fashion companies during their fashion shows.
Handbags have become a fashion accessory, that men and women cannot live without.

 

 

Shoes

Some people still believe that Europeans are the ones that introduced shoes in Africa, that we were a land of naked and barefoot.

Let me warn you before you start realizing your ignorance. They were often reserved for ceremonial functions and for royalty. Traditional materials to make shoes, as discerned by anthropologists, were rawhide, leather, and metal; to mention a few. Interestingly, archaeologists have discovered that Ancient Egyptians made shoes for the right and left foot; unlike earlier European shoes.

The Hausa seem to have the most documented shoe history of the continent. Their leatherwork is considered legendary throughout West Africa and their intrinsic work has constructed the likes of boots and sandals. Ghana, in particular the Akan’s community, had

the Ahenema which is a local slipper that commands respect, majesty, and authority in society. The shoes were made using plant material, with climbing plants making the upper and gradually started to use leather in the shoes which were referred to as ‘chawchaw’ which were for the kings and a few queens in the kingdom.

                                                                                                                         

 

 

Sunglasses

It’s actually hard to precisely know who made the first eyewear in history. Some will talk about the Inuit’s who made rustic ivory sunglasses to protect their eyes from sunlight. Furthermore, it served judges in Ancient China during the trial, made of “smoke-colored quartz” it was used to prevent the prosecution and defense from being able to read the judges’ expressions and not be altered or influenced by accidental facial reactions. Egyptians have the most ancient lenses but we don’t really know if they had sunglasses.
Nowadays sunglasses are a must to have a classy, trendy and are a celebrity go-to accessory but it was either to protect your eyes or used as a microscope.

Why do you wear your accessories, would tell us more? Subscribe to our mail address we want to read everybody!

 

Written by Yao Boni.

I recently did a DNA test with 23andMe and then travelled to Senegal, West Africa based on the results.  If you’re thinking of doing a DNA test, this is my experience.

“Your reports are ready”.

My heart skipped at the sight of the four bolded words in the subject line of my email inbox. I hurriedly moved my fingers across the trackpad of my laptop, then double-clicked the message to open it.

By the time March rolls around, most people are ready for their first vacation of the year. You’ve recovered, both financially, and emotionally from the holidays and the weather is finally starting to pick back up. in short, the Ancestors trying to tell you its time to #TreatYoself

March is often the cheapest time to travel numerous destinations all over the world. Airlines and hotels are starting to feel the post-holiday hit and they’re looking to entice people to visit just before the spring break and summer wave of travellers begin.

From France, Guyana, and even Egypt, here are the best places to travel to this March for less than $350 round-trip!

San Juan, Puerto Rico For As Low As $92 Round-Trip

If you’re looking to round up some of your friends for a quick getaway, then San Juan is the perfect destination as there are plenty of

There are round-trip flights to San Juan from the United States for as low as $95. To no surprise, most of these flights under $100 round-trip leave out of Florida.

But one deal you don’t see too often is Philadelphia to San Juan for less than $100 round-trip. Spirit Airlines and Frontier have round-trip flights to San Juan for just $92 round-trip.  Use March 10 through March 17 as your travel dates in Skyscanner.

Other Deals To San Juan

Port Au Prince, Haiti For As Low As $180 Round-Trip

There are various flights leaving the United States to Port Au Prince for less than $350 round-trip, including Los Angeles, Dallas, Charlotte, Miami, and Minneapolis, according to Skyscanner.

The cheapest flights leave Fort Lauderdale on March 11 and return March 18 on Spirit Airlines for just $180 round-trip.Cheapest places to travel to in march 2020

Cairo, Egypt For $320 Round-Trip

For this deal, you have to be in New York City. Serbia Airlines have round-trip flights for $320 from March 7 through March 19.

There’s a layover in Serbia’s capital city Belgrade according to Skyscanner.

Barbados2020: Essential Travel Guide To Barbados

Georgetown, Guyana For $342 Round-Trip

Located in South America, bordering Brazil and Venezuela is the beautiful country Guyana. We found a rare deal to Georgetown for just $342 round-trip from Florida, according to Skyscanner.  There’s a long layover in Panama City but it’s worth the rare deal.

From Fort Lauderdale, use March 18 through March 26 as your travel dates.Cheapest places to travel to in march 2020

From Miami, flights to Guyana are the same price. The only difference is the dates. Use March 17 through March 24 as your travel dates.

Source: Travel Noire