(CNN) — Well, guys, July has arrived and still Covid-19 and its variants are refusing to pack their bags and take a summer break.
This is not a drill.
In the Empire State, New Yorkers will be able to celebrate the holiday with not one but two Statues of Liberty.
Visitors will also be able to finally get back inside the Statue of Liberty itself. Its interior reopened Thursday, right up to the pedestal.
The famous monument’s “little sister” is leaving Paris for New York City ahead of Independence Day. A gift from France to America, it will first be displayed on Ellis Island, and will then stay in Washington, DC for 10 years.
Celebrity Edge departed from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on a seven-night voyage with ports of call in Mexico and the Bahamas. We’re happy to report there were no lines at the buffet and plenty of lounge chairs available by the pool.
Over in Hawaii, the pre-travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated travelers will end July 8, which coincides with the Aloha States’ vaccination rates hitting 60%.
On the same date, other new rules will come into effect. Indoor gathering sizes can go from 10 people to 25, and restaurants can have up to 75% capacity.
Starting July 5, fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents arriving into the country after traveling abroad will be able to leave the mandatory two-week quarantine early if they test negative for Covid on entry.
Newfoundland and Labrador, the country’s easternmost province, has also reopened its borders to other Canadians, meaning that the delights of UNESCO World Heritage site Gros Morne National Park and Fogo Island can once again be enjoyed by all citizens in the country.
A marine iguana chills on Tortuga Bay beach in the Galapagos.
PABLO COZZAGLIO/AFP via Getty Images
European countries have been popping open like the doors on an Advent calendar. Two of the latest to join the party are Switzerland and Sweden, which both opened their borders this week to travelers from the US and other approved nations.
The EU Digital Covid Certificate officially launched July 1, having already been introduced on a voluntary basis in several of the EU‘s 27 member nations.
The “vaccine passport” is a way for EU citizens to prove they’ve been vaccinated, had a recent negative PCR test or recovered from coronavirus and should allow people to skip quarantine and testing while moving around the bloc.
Florence: No nightime loitering, please.
Gabriel Bouys/AFP via Getty Images
The UK has expanded its travel “green list” to include popular European tourist destinations including Malta, Madeira and the Balearic Islands, as well as Atlantic and Caribbean destinations including Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Antigua, Barbuda, Dominica, Barbados and Grenada.
This means that British holidaymakers will no longer have to self-isolate upon returning home from these places, but — as always — the list is subject to change.
Middle East and Africa
Phuket’s Karon Beach the day before the “Phuket Sandbox” tourism scheme launched.
Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP/Getty Images
The “Phuket Sandbox” program is necessary to restart the country’s economy, Thailand Minister of Tourism Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn told CNN in an interview on the eve of the reopening.
Off the island, however, the country continues to battle its third and worst Covid-19 wave since the start of the pandemic. On Thursday, Thailand reported a record-high 57 Covid-19 deaths and 5,533 new cases, mostly in Bangkok.
Recent Covid outbreaks have put 10 million Australians in lockdown and now, from July 14, the country will be halving international arrivals to just over 3,000 a week. The new measure will be in place until at least the end of the year.
Cautionary tale of the week
“Unbelievably, we saw two men sunbaking naked on a beach on the South Coast,” New South Wales Police Commissioner Mick Fuller told a news briefing on Monday.
“They were startled by a deer, ran into the national park and got lost. Not only did they require assistance from SES (State Emergency Service) and police to rescue them, they also both received a ticket.”
CNN’s Forrest Brown, Karla Cripps, Marnie Hunter, Lilit Marcus, Kocha Olarn, Lorraine Poupon, Angus Watson and Xiaofei Xu contributed to this story.