The European Union Council is set to narrow down the list of epidemiologically safe third countries removing an additional six more countries from it.

Sources of Reuters within the EU have once again made known the list of countries that will most possibly be removed from the list on Wednesday when the EU Council meets to review the list. The following countries will be affected:

  • Albania
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Japan
  • Serbia

The removal from the list means that the Member States will be advised to reinstate entry restrictions on travellers from these countries, which travellers so far have been eligible to enter most EU and Schengen Area countries completely restriction-free.

The entry restrictions that may soon be imposed on these travellers include testing, double testing, quarantine, and even an entry ban on those unvaccinated.

While the EU’s decision is expected to be finalized by the end of the week, some EU and Schengen countries have already removed some or all of these countries from their “white lists”. reported on August 23 that Norway removed Albania from its list of third-countries travellers from where could enter under facilitated entry rules.  Whereas on September 3, Finland had reimposed entry restrictions on unvaccinated visitors from Brunei.

On the most recent update of travel restrictions, published on September 5, Albania, Serbia, and Brunei have been removed from the Czech Republic’s green list, which means that non-vaccinated travellers from these three countries will be obliged to fill in an arrival form and take a COVID-19 test before entering Czechia or no later than five days upon arrival.

Since September 6, on the other hand, residents of Albania, Azerbaijan, Japan, and Serbia aged 12 and older are obliged to show proof of vaccination, or test results, upon entry in Germany. It is also mandatory for them to register at before reaching Germany and carry proof of registration with them when arriving in the country.

The EU had added Japan to its list of safe countries on June 3. However, the country has recently marked an increasing number of COVID-19 cases, though, by the end of August, half of the Japanese population had already received at least the first COVID-19 dose, according to Statista.

Only within the last 24 hours, data by the World Health Organization shows that Japan has recorded 9,145 new COVID-19 cases, and 33 deaths, whereas the rate for newly reported cases in the last seven days per 100,000 population is 87.91.

The residents of seven more third countries will face additional entry restrictions when attempting to enter Germany after the German Robert Koch Institute has added these countries to its list of high-risk areas regarding the Coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday, August 3, the RKI – which is an agency subordinate to the Federal Ministry of Health, responsible for disease control and prevention – has published the new list of countries and territories considered high-risk areas by the German authorities, including the following in this list:

  • Albania
  • Azerbaijan
  • Guatemala
  • Japan
  • The Palestinian Territories
  • Serbia
  • Sri Lanka

The list of high-risk areas was expanded with these countries, after all of them marked increasing COVID-19 number within the last weeks. Data by World Health Organization shows that in the last 24 hours, 17,456 cases have been detected in Japan alone, which is home to a population of 126.3 million.

The decision, which will become effective on Sunday, September 5, means that all visitors from these countries who are eligible to enter Germany, who are aged 12 and older, are obliged to present vaccination certificates, or test results, upon entry. They are also obliged to register at before arriving in Germany and carry proof of registration with them when reaching the country.

In addition, when entering the Federal Republic of Germany after a stay in a foreign high-risk area or virus variant area, special registration, proof and quarantine requirements must be observed,” the RKI notes in its most recent update of the high-risk areas.

At the same time, it calls attention to the fact that due to the frequently changing situation in regards to the Coronavirus pandemic, “it may be necessary to designate new high-risk areas and virus variant areas at very short notice.”

Last week, on August 24, RKI had added the Greek islands of Crete and Tinos to the high-risk list. Throughout last month, other countries as Thailand, North Macedonia, Morocco and Montenegro have also become part of this list.

>> Who Can Travel to Germany This Summer & What Are the Rules

Currently, non-vaccinated travellers can enter only from the following third countries: Armenia, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Hong Kong, Jordan, Macao, Moldova, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Ukraine.

However, even travellers from high-risk areas are permitted to enter Germany if they are fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines accepted by the German authorities as valid proof of immunity.

>> Germany Permits Entry for Travellers Jabbed With 5 COVID-19 Vaccines, Including Covishield

Germany currently is among the EU countries with the highest rates of COVID-19, alongside Spain, France, Portugal, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania and Latvia. Data by World Health Organization shows that Germany has reported 84.8 new cases per day within the last seven days per 100,000 residents, while France 143.85, Spain 80.63, and Portugal 135.01.

In the last 24 hours, on the other hand, Germany has recorded 14,251 new cases, bringing the total number of cases recorded since

(CNN) — A roller coaster in Japan capable of hitting speeds of up to 112 miles per hour is being shut down indefinitely pending an investigation into whether injuries sustained by passengers were linked to the ride.

A press statement released by the park on August 20 states that the roller coaster will be closed “due to a safety overhaul.”

The statement says that four passengers have reported being injured on the ride between December 2020 and August 2021 and adds that “currently, the causal relationship between injuries and amusement machines has not yet been confirmed.”

According to the regional government in Yamanshi prefecture — where Fuji-Q is located — the four incidents were among men and women in the 30-50 age range. All had significant injuries, including a cervical fracture and a thoracic spine fracture, the latter of which can require up to three months in the hospital.

A representative for the park would not comment specifically on the allegations of bone-breaking injuries and simply told a CNN reporter that “accidents were reported by passengers.”

Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, theme parks across Japan have been open since June 2020. At the time, a directive urged roller coaster riders to “scream in their hearts” rather than out loud in order to reduce the risk of virus transmission.

Fuji-Q Highland was among the parks to take significant measures in limiting its visitors. The park, which is located at the foot of Mount Fuji, only reopened its outdoor attractions, which included roller coasters.

Sansei Technologies, the Osaka-based manufacturing firm that built the roller coaster, issued a similar statement.

“The causal relationship between the injuries of passengers and the amusement machine produced by our group company is not confirmed and we have to wait for the investigation by Yamanashi Prefecture and (the) Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism,” it read.

“We would like to offer our heartfelt sympathy and apologize for the inconvenience we caused to the related parties.”

Dodonpa is a genre of Japanese music that was popular in the 1960s and 1970s, although it’s not clear if that’s how the roller coaster got its name.

According to Fuji-Q, the coaster has 1,244 meters (4,080 feet) of track, with the top of its loop clocking in at 49 meters (161 feet) above the ground. There is currently no reopening date for the Dodon-pa roller coaster.

Top image: A file photo of the Dodon-pa roller coaster taken in 2001 at Japan’s Fuji-Q Highland amusement park. Credit: Yamaguchi Haruyoshi/Corbis/Getty Images

CNN’s Maggie Hiufu Wong contributed reporting.

Traveling to Japan was a big long slog for the USA 7s teams getting ready for the Olympics, but they’ve made it.

The trip from San Diego to LA to Seoul (where they took COVID tests) to Tokyo and then on the Mimasaka took 36 hours. Grueling, for sure, but worth it.

A Warm Welcome

“Considering everything, it actually went quite smoothly,” said Brett Thompson. “I’m sure it was a logistical nightmare, but we got here and our training pitch is beautiful and our gym is perfect—we couldn’t ask for more.”

As captain Madison Hughes was keeping an eye on the team and how they were feeling, and he was happy with what he saw.

“The guys did a really good job of focusing on what we could control during the travel,” he said. “They stayed positive throughout and now it’s about getting dialed in and used to the local time zone and climate.”

“A lot of it was sitting around waiting for tests to come back,” added Danny Barrett. The COVID tests all came back negative and so they moved on to the next thing. Having heard the horror stories, such as South Africa having to go into quarantine because someone not on the team, but who was on their flight, tested positive, they were grateful to get the all-clear.

“We’ve been under pretty strict orders to make sure we’re doing everything in our power to be able to compete,” said Barrett. “Once we got on the ground it’s business as usual. Get in the gym, ride the bike a little bit, lift a bit of weight; get out on the field kind of get moving again, get a ball back in your hands.”

The biggest worry? Food. Would the food be what they’re used to. This topic has cropped up now and then with the team, as nutrition is a big part of their training, and if it gets changed up sometimes that throws off the players. All good in Mimasaka, where the players had only praise for the USOPC staff and their hotel staff for making their stay easy.

So Who Are They Worried About?

Worried? No one. Focused on? Well, there’s that first game.

“Kenya,” said Hughes. “The first game is the big one for me. That’s where it went wrong for us in Rio. We can’t really overlook that first one because if we don’t get the job done there, it becomes pretty difficult.”

We’re taking it like any tournament

And although there’s been no World Series for over a year, there have been 7s tournaments, and, Barrett pointed out, “we saw Ireland in the UK, we saw Kenya out in Spain, and those are two important games. We’ll worry about South Africa once we get through Kenya

A man pushes his bags on the departures level at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on May 27, 2021 in Los Angeles as people travel for Memorial Day weekend, which marks the unofficial start of the summer travel season.

Frederic J. Brown | AFP | Getty Images

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has eased travel recommendations for more than 110 countries and territories, including Japan just ahead of the Olympics.

The CDC’s new ratings, first reported by Reuters and posted on a CDC website on Monday, include 61 nations that were lowered from its highest “Level 4” rating that discouraged all travel to recommending travel for fully vaccinated individuals, the agency confirmed on Tuesday.

An additional 50 countries and territories have been lowered to “Level 2” or “Level 1,” a CDC spokeswoman said. Countries ranked lowest for COVID-19 risks now include Singapore, Israel, South Korea, Iceland, Belize and Albania.

Among those now listed at “Level 3,” are France, Ecuador, the Philippines, South Africa, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Honduras, Hungary and Italy.

The U.S. State Department said it had updated its recommendations to reflect the recent methodology update, but noted not all ratings were revised because of other factors including “ commercial flight availability,  restrictions  on U.S. citizen entry, and impediments to obtaining COVID test results within three calendar days.”

The State Department eased its ratings on 85 countries and territories, including Japan.

On May 24, the State Department had urged against travel to Japan, citing a new wave of coronavirus cases before the Tokyo Olympics are set to begin on July 23.

The State Department warning raised concerns and prompted the White House to reaffirm its support for Tokyo’s plan to hold the Games this summer and for U.S. athletes competing there despite a new wave of infections and a low vaccination rate in the host country.

Foreign spectators have been banned, and organizers are expected to make a decision late this month on domestic spectators.

Revised criteria

The CDC said the change came after it revised its criteria for travel health notices. The CDC said it also revised its rating for the United States to “Level 3” from “Level 4.”

The agency said the new criteria for a Level 4 “avoid all travel” recommendation has changed to 500 cases per 100,000 from 100 COVID-19 cases per 100,000.

The agency added that many countries have lower ratings “because of the criteria changes or because their outbreaks are better controlled.” The CDC said it expects more countries to get lower, more favorable travel ratings.

Other countries being lowered to “Level 3” include Honduras, Indonesia, Jordan, Libya, Panama, Poland, Denmark and Malaysia.

Many of the countries that now have lower ratings remain on the U.S. government’s list of countries subject to severe travel restrictions – and most have been subject to the restrictions since early 2020.

The United States bars nearly all non-U.S. citizens who have within the previous 14 days been to China, the

Passengers wearing protective face masks walk at Fiumicino Airport on the day EU governments agreed a “safe list” of 14 countries for which they will allow non-essential travel starting from July, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Rome, Italy, June 30, 2020. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

The European Union is set to add Japan to its small list of “safe” countries from which it will allow non-essential travel, but will hold off opening the door to British tourists for now, EU sources said on Tuesday.

Ambassadors from the EU’s 27 countries are expected to approve adding Japan at a meeting on Wednesday, while Britain will be left off because of a rise in COVID-19 cases due to an infectious coronavirus variant first identified in India.

Under current restrictions, people from only seven countries, including Australia, Israel and Singapore, can enter the EU on holiday, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated.

Individual EU countries can still choose to demand a negative COVID-19 test or a period of quarantine.

The EU last month eased criteria for adding new countries to the list, by changing to 75 from 25 the maximum number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the previous 14 days. The trend should also be stable or decreasing, with variants of concern taken into account.

EU health experts considered both Japan and Britain at a meeting on Monday, but representatives from a number of countries voiced opposition to adding Britain now.

Cases of the Indian variant doubled last week and the government has said it is too early to say whether Britain can fully drop COVID-19 restrictions on June 21.

Depending on the course of the variant, Britain could still enter the safe travel list on June 14, when a larger number of countries are expected to be considered, EU sources said.

The list is designed to ensure consistency across the bloc, although that has been lacking.

France and Germany have imposed quarantines on UK visitors and Austria banned British tourists, while Portugal and Spain have started welcoming them.

Britain requires all EU visitors, except those from Portugal, to undergo quarantine.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

(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 sadly shuttered due to Covid.


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.

Celebrity Edge is poised to be the first major cruise ship to sail from the United States in over a year as Covid-19 restrictions continue to ease in the country.

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.

People enjoy a sunny day on the Sa Conca beach in Castell-Platja D'Aro near to Girona, on March 31, 2021.

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

JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images

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.

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

Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

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


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The research covers the current market size of the Global Business Travel Insurance Market and its growth rates based on 5 year history data. It also covers various types of segmentation such as by geography North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific etc., by product type Global Business Travel Insurance Market, by applications [Application] in overall market. The in-depth information by segments of Business Travel Insurance market helps monitor performance & make critical decisions for growth and profitability. It provides information on trends and developments, focuses on markets and materials, capacities, technologies, CAPEX cycle and the changing structure of the Global Business Travel Insurance Market.

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Chef Keiji Nakazawa says he left Japan for Hawaii because he got bored using the same supply of perfect raw fish every day at his legendary Tokyo sushi counter.

There’s a well-trodden path for sushi masters who decide to open restaurants abroad: Line up an investor, set things up for the kickoff, stick around for a few weeks or months to establish a clientele and, ultimately, return to your flagship in Japan after replacing the staff with a combination of trusted apprentices and local hires. What this means in practice is that almost no sushi restaurants in the U.S. are helmed by veteran sushi masters from Tokyo.

A swing at Kahana Bay Beach Park on Oahu’s north shore.

For the opening of Sushi Sho, Nakazawa’s Waikiki outpost, the chef, 57, settled in Hawaii and has been here for more than four years. Working with him at the counter is Takuya Sato, 51, another Tokyo veteran, who left his two-Michelin-star restaurant in Nishiazabu and moved his family to Hawaii.

“The real reason we still need to be here in Hawaii is not to make the sushi,” Nakazawa says. “Others could do that. It’s to create the atmosphere of Sushi Sho.”

Recent Japanese immigrants in Hawaii are known as shin-issei, a coinage that translates roughly as “new first-generation.” The influx of shin-issei over the past decade, building upon a foundation laid by earlier generations, has saturated Honolulu in authentic Japanese culture, and not only at high-end places like Sushi Sho. Retailers like Don Quijote carry almost every type of Japanese beauty, culinary or household product imaginable; intimate bar counters, like the one at Fujiyama Texas, offer kushikatsu, deep-fried skewers, served in an atmosphere that transports diners to the noirish streets of Osaka; and Japanese-run thrift stores sell meticulous rows of vintage aloha shirts and cater to the Japanese fascination with handbags.

Chef Keiji Nakazawa of Sushi Sho in Waikiki.

Chef Keiji Nakazawa preparing a piece of kohada sushi garnished with powdered vinegared egg yolk.

At Sushi Sho, Nakazawa and the chefs who flank him are supported by a team of line cooks who supply small, fresh, warm portions of sushi rice as they form nigiri by hand. Nakazawa’s embrace of local ingredients is unorthodox for sushi masters from Tokyo, even among those who venture abroad. A typical service might include shrimp from Molokai, scallops from Boston, deepwater fish caught off the coast of the Big Island, abalone raised in Kona and several varieties of fruits and vegetables grown in Hawaii.

A love of artisanship connects Nakazawa to a handful of other shin-issei in Hawaii. Sitting behind his sushi counter is a special bottle of Ken Hirata’s Hawaiian shochu, an exclusive small batch of the Japanese liquor made using cacao yeast. Hirata, 52, visited Oahu during his first trip abroad as a teenager. By his early 40s, he’d moved to Oahu’s North Shore to distill shochu using local ingredients. Likewise, Tama Hirose, 56, the co-head of Islander Sake Brewery, spent 18

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The U.S. Department of State updated its travel advisory for Japan on Monday, marking the country as a major COVID-19 risk.

There are four levels to the U.S. travel advisories, and the CDC set Japan for the worst – Level 4: Do Not Travel.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Japan, the country is under a state of emergency.

“The Government of Japan expanded the national state of emergency declaration, which now covers Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo, Kyoto, Aichi, Fukuoka, Hokkaido, Okayama, and Hiroshima prefectures. In addition, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Gifu, Mie, Ehime, Okinawa, Gunma, Ishikawa, and Kumamoto are now designated as under modified states of emergency to curb increasing infection rates and diminishing health care capacity. These declarations remain effective through May 31, with the exception of those in Gunma, Ishikawa, and Kumamoto which remain in place until June 13, and may be extended again.

U.S. Mission Japan (May 18, 2021)

The travel advisory does not mean that travel between the U.S. and Japan is completely banned. People can still fly to Japan and back, but there are some pandemic rules in place.

Anyone 2 years and older flying from Japan to the U.S. must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. 

People flying from the U.S. to Japan may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel.

Japan is not allowing travelers for short-term, tourism purposes. Visa-free travel to Japan is also suspended.