<a href="https://unsplash.com/photos/w43ggOgPX0w" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Tioman Island, Pahang by Nazarizal Mohammad" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Tioman Island, Pahang by Nazarizal Mohammad</a>

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More Malaysian states, especially those dependent on tourism, are working towards implementing a travel bubble in order to help their economies that’ve been badly damaged by the pandemic.

Langkawi, in the state of Kedah, will open to locals under a travel bubble plan from 16 September, 2021. Other tourist destinations will be allowed to operate when the local vaccination rate reaches 80%.

At the same time, several popular islands in Terengganu are now welcoming fully vaccinated travellers to stay either in hotels, resorts, or homestays in Pulau Kapas, Pulau Redang, Pulau Tenggol, and Tasik Kenyir from 1 September, 2021.

The Pahang administration is awaiting approval from the National Security Council (MKN) to reopen several important tourism spots in the state. Pulau Tioman, Taman Negara, Genting Highlands, and Janda Baik are among the tourist destinations with locals who’ve received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccination and are ready to welcome guests. The state government said they are ready to implement a travel or tourism bubble in the said locations.

On the other hand, Klang Valley businesses, hoteliers, tourism players and retailers are eager to open for business as COVID-19 restrictions ease in preparation for Phase 2 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP). Business owners are ready to move into Phase 2 of the NRP, as more than 80% of the Klang Valley population have received their complete vaccination.

Hoping to establish itself as a safe and ‘green travel bubble’ destination for vaccinated travellers is Sarawak. Malaysia’s largest state has seen intense vaccination efforts under the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme with hopes of achieving its herd immunity goals. At the end of August, Sarawak had fully vaccinated 86.6% of its adult population, making over 1.76 million of its people, including tourism frontliners. The vaccination of teenagers aged 16 and 17 years old will begin in Sarawak on 8 September, 2021.

Meanwhile, the Johor government is hoping to turn three areas in the state that have a COVID-19 immunisation rate of more than 80% into tourist hotspots under the tourism bubble programme. Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi, head of the state Tourism, Youth and Sports Committee, said talks with Tourism Johor had taken place for the federal government to address the subject through the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry.

The Muar district, Mersing islands, and Kota Tinggi’s Desaru Coast were among the three focus areas, he said. The Mersing Islands, commonly known as the ‘Maldives of Malaysia’, have a 100% vaccination rate, with 594 of the island’s population, as well as resort personnel, having been vaccinated.

International travel might also be in the horizon for Malaysians as a special committee set up by the federal government to discuss the reopening of the Malaysia-Singapore border is expected to involve representatives from the Johor state government.

As of today, interstate travel is still prohibited in phase 1 2, 3 states.

States in Phase 1: Johor, Kedah, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya.
States

Federal Tourism Minister Dan Tehan expects an Australia-Singapore travel bubble will open by December, marking the return of quarantine-free travel to one of Australia’s most popular business and leisure destinations.

Speaking at a webinar hosted last night by MP for Wentworth Dave Sharma, Tehan said there was a commitment for a bubble with Singapore to be “ready to go by the end of the year.”

This is the latest indication of travel confidence for the bustling Asian city-state, and comes as Qantas pencils in December 18 for the first regular Sydney-Singapore flight since March 2020, alongside a restart of flights to London and Los Angeles.

As previously reported, the Australian government plans to begin issuing ‘international Covid-19 vaccination certificates’ from October.

These would not only provide proof of vaccination but also allow mutual recognition of vaccines – considered essential to establishing international travel bubbles – as not all countries have approved or issued the same shots.

For example, while both Australia and Singapore approved vaccines from Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna, Singapore didn’t roll out the AstraZeneca shot widely used in Australia, while Australia has not approved the SinoVac/CoronaVac jab issued in Singapore.

Read more: Could the Travel Pass app become Australia’s vaccination passport?

Other bubbles underway

As to other travel bubble destinations, which unlike ‘low-risk’ countries would not require any hotel or home quarantine, Tehan also said there had also been some “very serious discussions with some of the Pacific Island nations.”

Fiji is likely to be top of this list, as it’s already preparing to welcome back Australians from December.

Tehan also name-checked South Korea, Japan, the UK and USA as keen travel bubble candidates, with New Zealand also prepared to restart the trans-Tasman bubble under its own terms and on its own timeline.

More promisingly, Tehan reaffirmed that Australians would be largely free to fly off to anywhere in the world after the 80% vaccination milestone was reached in November, in accordance with the government’s Covid-19 Response Plan.

“The national plan is incredibly important, because once we get to that 80% vaccination rate, and it’s 80% in a particular state and 80% across the nation – so if one state is lagging that does not hold up the national plan – that will allow international outbound travel to resume,” he said.

However, only destinations operating under a designated travel bubble arrangement would permit Australians to return without undergoing any form of quarantine.

Also read: How to add a Covid-19 vaccination card to your smartphone

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Together, the milestones are predicted to boost consumer confidence and propel further development of new spacecraft to support a global transportation system via low-Earth orbit.

But many space policy experts and members of oversight committees in Congress are concerned that the government isn’t prepared for it — especially the office at the Federal Aviation Administration that is responsible for regulating the new industry, but is widely viewed as overworked and understaffed.

Whether ensuring public safety, managing growing space traffic or mitigating environmental hazards, there is no framework for regulating private space travel. And while many experts say the industry is still too new to settle on details, they contend federal agencies are already way behind.

“There are many open questions,” said Laura Seward Forczyk, founder of Astralytical, an aerospace consulting firm. “There will come a time when the U.S. government, the FAA, will decide that it needs to regulate this sector in a way that is close to the airline industry. It is not going to be perfectly safe initially — no one expects it to be — but it needs to become safer as it becomes less experimental.

“All of these flights are still labeled as test flights,” she added. “These passengers at some point are going to expect a level of safety that is not currently achievable. When it becomes achievable, I don’t know.”

Keeping passengers alive is a main concern — both in the spacecraft as well as in commercial airplanes sharing some of the same airspace. In the months and years ahead, as spaceports and space flights carrying tourists or cargo become more frequent, they will require designated corridors for takeoff and landing.

The FAA has authority to regulate commercial spacecraft through its Office of Commercial Space Transportation. But there is now a moratorium on regulating the industry until 2023 to encourage innovation.

“The FAA had rightly given these initial commercial space operations wide berth,” Rep. Peter DeFazio, a Oregon Democrat who chairs the House Aviation Subcommittee, said at a recent oversight hearing on the FAA’s role in space.

But he thinks the time is fast approaching to get serious about what those regulations should look like. “I have serious concerns that some parts of the industry are talking about yet another extension of the moratorium,” DeFazio said.

Yet some leading advocates for commercial space endeavors worry that if regulators move too quickly they could hamstring the industry as it improves its designs.

“The fear is if we are writing regulations based on old vehicles that weren’t very safe, then there’s a potential implication here that these vehicles will also not be safe because the regulations are also not safe,” said Karina Drees, president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, an industry association representing space companies. “We are still very much in data collection mode.”

“We want regulation,” she added in an interview. “We just want safe regulation. The vehicles are just now coming online. How does anyone in government know how to regulate

Seoul [South Korea], July 16 (ANI/Global Economic): Even after imposing social distancing level 4, the number of new COVID-19 confirmed cases in Korea has exceeded 1,600, drawing attention to whether the government will implement the ‘Travel bubble’ signed with Saipan.

There are greater interests in ‘Travel Bubble’ with Saipan announced by the government, because it will be a ‘revenge consumption’ that can explode demands for overseas travel suppressed due to COVID-19.

According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and the Marianas Visitors Authority on the 15th, Korea and Mariana signed a Travel Bubble agreement on the 30th of last month to resume overseas travel suspended due to COVID-19. ‘Travel bubble’ refers to the resumption of international travel of general people without 14-day quarantine between countries where COVID-19 quarantine is trusted.

Under the agreement with Saipan, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport is planning to implement Travel Bubble with Saipan at the end of this month or early next month when the summer vacation season begins. It is highly likely to be implemented in the last week of this month.

However, as the number of new confirmed cases in Korea has recently surpassed the largest ever 1,600, and social distancing regulations in the Seoul metropolitan area has increased to level 4 due to the spread of delta variants, there are some predictions that implementation of Travel Bubble with Saipan will be delayed.

It is because there is a circuit breaker clause in the travel bubble agreement between the two countries. ‘Circuit Breaker’ means that if the COVID-19 situation worsens in either of the two countries, the other one can delay or suspend the implementation of travel bubble.

For example, Singapore and Hong Kong tried to implement the travel bubble at the end of last year, but it was delayed due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Hong Kong.

However, a Mariana tourism agency official said in a telephone interview with Newsis, “The Saipan government is also monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Korea, but it will not suspend or delay the travel bubble as the government has already discussed the worst situation.””Saipan is relying heavily on tourism industry, so Saipan wants Travel Bubble with Korea and it is the last hope,” the official said. “Saipan is seriously carrying out the Travel Bubble agreement with Korea.””The government signed the agreement after considering the worse situation than Korea’s current situation,” the official said. “We are confident that Saipan can respond well even if Korea’s COVID-19 quarantine system collapses.””We are attracting customers for Travel Bubble through travel agencies,” said an official of Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in Korea. “The Travel Bubble with Saipan is expected to be implemented in last week of this month.”With the Travel Bubble, Korean airlines will resume Saipan route from 24th. (ANI/Global Economic)

China’s Chang’e 5 spacecraft returned fresh moon rock samples late last year, but the main science of the mission is still just getting underway.

Applications to borrow lunar samples delivered to Earth by Chang’e 5 in December are under review and will be decided soon, according to Jing Peng, deputy chief designer of the Chang’e-5 spacecraft system at the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST).

“There was a conference one week ago in China regarding the applications for lunar samples,” Peng said, speaking on Thursday (June 17) at the Global Space Exploration (GLEX) conference held last week in St. Petersburg, Russia. The June 11 meeting reviewed 85 applications from 23 universities and scientific research institutes in China, according to China’s Lunar Sample Management Office. International applications will also be considered.

Related: The latest news about China’s space program

Samples available for loan can also be viewed and requested online at the Lunar Sample Information Database, hosted by the National Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC). Available samples include breccias, which are made of various fragments cemented together, as well as fine-grained soil, volcanic basalts and glass beads.

Peng said that while he has not been involved in analyzing the samples, colleagues at the Chinese Academy of Sciences have told him that the “age of the samples may be younger than the samples returned by the Apollo program. I think there will be more results in the near future.” Confirming that rocks from this region are much younger would provide valuable new insights into the history of our nearest neighbor. Although Apollo moon rocks have allowed scientists to decipher the moon’s early history in detail, without younger samples on Earth, more recent lunar activity is something of a blur.

In his presentation, Peng described the Chang’e 5 mission as China’s most sophisticated space project to date. Peng detailed the exactly challenges of the complex, 23-day mission, including getting to and from the moon, landing in the targeted area in Oceanus Procellarum, blasting off from the lunar surface, docking two spacecraft in orbit around the moon, and executing a “skip” reentry, in which the return capsule first bounced off the Earth’s atmosphere to slow down before reentering and landing.

Other key technologies Peng highlighted included automatic sampling using a scoop and a drill, transferring samples between spacecraft, and developing miniaturized, lightweight and durable components capable of performing exacting tasks.

The Earth and moon viewed by Chang'e 5 from Sun-Earth Lagrange point 1.

The Earth and moon viewed by Chang’e 5 from Sun-Earth Lagrange point 1. (Image credit: CNSA/CLEP)

The mission was also demanding in terms of the large amounts of fuel needed to overcome gravity to escape bodies like the Earth and the moon. The Long March 5 that launched the 18,078-lb. (8,200 kilograms) spacecraft weighed more than 940 tons (850 metric tons). However the final payload delivered by the Chang’e 5 return capsule was just 3.82 lbs. (1.73 kgs) of lunar samples.

While science is being conducted on the ground, the Chang’e 5 orbiter — which released the return

Lalhnehpuia Chhakchhuak

As difficult as that name might be to pronounce, it’s time to get used to it.

He’s a 6-1 guard, from Zarkawt in Aizawl, Mizoram from the North East of India, who recently committed to North Park University in Chicago, Illinois.

By doing so, he became the sixth NBA Academy India student-athlete to commit to playing basketball in the U.S after Harshwardhan Tomar (KEBA Preparatory School), Jagshaanbir Singh (Golden State Prep, Point Park University), Pranav Prince (First Love Christian Academy), Amaan Sandhu (First Love Christian Academy), and Riyanshu Negi (DME Sports Academy).

MORE: NBA Academy India Player Stories – Lalhnehpuia Chhakchhuak

“I am looking forward to this opportunity at North Park University that will keep me on the pathway I have set out on,” said Chhakchhuak as part of the official release. “This wouldn’t have been possible without the guidance of the coaching staff at the NBA Academy India and the constant support of my family.”

Value of NBA Academy exposure on & off the court

Lalhnehpuia, or Naua as his friends at the Academy like to call him, joined the NBA Academy as part of its second batch in 2018.

He has represented the NBA Academy India at the Academy Games in 2018 and 2019, as well as Point Loma Nazarene Team Camp in San Diego in 2019.

The point guard credits a lot of his improved basketball play, especially his shooting, and personality development to his three-year stint with the Academy.

When he joined, he was a shy boy from the North East who was unsure about the reception he would receive. Calling it a ‘changing’ moment, he recalls feedback he received during one of the sessions of the Academy’s ‘Performance Lifestyle’ curriculum.

“I found that I had to be more vocal and a bit more open towards my teammates,” he shared on the call with Indian media. “It’s like a burden off. As time passed, I started developing a good relationship with teammates. So, we started to bond more closely and that gave me more confidence.”

MORE: NBA Academy India’s male alumni studying abroad

The Academy’s trips, including those to Australia and Atlanta, Georgia for the Academy Games in 2018 and 2019 respectively, played a huge role as well.

“It boosts my self-esteem when I get to travel and represent the country. When we travel, it really builds team chemistry since we travel as a team, so I became a lot closer to my teammates. Yeah, it was very good for my change in personality,” Lalhnehpuia said in an exclusive with NBA.com India’s Yash Matange.

NBA India Games experience

One such trip from the NBA Academy India’s base, at Jaypee Greens Integrated Sports Complex in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR), was to Mumbai

The three largest US carriers — American (AAL), United (UAL) and Delta (DAL) — have announced they are currently hiring or will do so before the end of the year. Southwest (LUV), which cut less of its staff during the pandemic than its three larger rivals, said it is preparing its own hiring process as well.

“I think the current carriers are eager to get as many flights back in the air as possible,” said Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, one of the major airline unions. The labor group expects the number of flight attendants on the job to rise from 80,000 today to 100,000 within two years. “At the beginning of 2020, all [of the airlines] said they’d be hiring thousands,” Nelson said. “Really what we’re doing is catching back up where we’re supposed to be.”

The hiring initiatives come sooner than many expected.

“I would say it’s somewhat surprising that they’re talking about it now, but it’s certainly an indication of the confidence there will be a substantial recovery by the year’s end,” said Philip Baggaley, chief credit analyst for airlines at Standard & Poor’s.

Leisure travel on the rise

Air traffic is still not back to pre-pandemic levels — business travel is still a fraction of what it was, as is international travel. It is expected to take years for those lucrative sectors to return to normal. But leisure traffic and bookings are already approaching pre-Covid levels, lifting fares and increasing the immediate need for staff.

US airline employment was at a post-9/11 high just before the pandemic hit, with 757,000 workers — both full and part-time — in February 2020, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. That was the equivalent of nearly 500,000 full-time employees.

The nation’s 11 publicly traded airlines reported they cut 18% of jobs during the course of 2020, through buyouts, early retirement packages, and employees who took voluntary unpaid leaves but kept benefits and, in some cases, part of their pay. Those on voluntary leaves with benefits were counted as part-time workers in the government’s employment figures.

The low point in employment came in October, when a government prohibition on airlines making involuntary layoffs, a provision in the first round of federal financial support, came to an end. But many of those laid-off workers came back when a second round of federal help was passed in December, and a third round has helped keep them on payrolls.
More importantly, as vaccination rates rose and travelers started returning to the skies, the airlines began calling back workers who had been on voluntary leave. The total number of part-time and full-time employees had risen 6% through March, according to the BTS, and is expected to climb higher through the rest of this year, although the airlines have not given hard targets for how many workers they plan to hire back.

“We’re going to have needs throughout the network,” said

(CNN) — June has arrived, and peak travel season would usually be around the corner. But 2021, like 2020, is a little different.

As global restrictions are a rat’s nest of constantly changing rules, CNN Travel is here to help you make plans for this summer 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

Hoping to travel to one of the 27 countries in the European Union or to non-EU European destinations? Well, it’s a little complicated.

The EU has a white list of countries from which nonessential travel into the bloc is approved: These are Israel, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Australia.

But while the bloc is trying to create more universal requirements for tourism, each country retains sovereign powers over its borders, so conditions of entry differ from country to country, as does timing.

The EU Commission has introduced a digital Covid-19 certificate for travel (open to non-EU citizens) which is already being used on a voluntary basis by Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Croatia and Poland. The system will be fully enforced from July 1.
All foreign tourists can now visit Greece without the need for quarantine on arrival, provided they have a negative PCR test. The government plans to declare 80 islands — including most of the country’s top tourism destinations — Covid-safe by the end of June.
The Greek government is welcoming back tourists with the promise of ‘Covid-free’ islands. But the revival of tourism in Mykonos, the country’s best-known party island, rests on the government’s decision to lift bans on music scenes and crowds. CNN’s Sam Kiley reports.

France has just introduced a new color-coded “traffic light system” for when it opens to international travelers on June 9.

Those on the “green list” — vaccinated travelers from the European Union, Australia, South Korea, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand and Singapore — can enter restriction-free. Nonvaccinated travelers will need to do a Covid test.

Vaccinated travelers from the “orange list” — which includes the US and the UK — will need to do a test, while the unvaccinated will be allowed in only for essential purposes.

Indoor dining will be reintroduced on June 9, too, and the national curfew moved to 11 p.m. If you want to visit the Eiffel Tower, though, you’ll have to wait for its reopening on July 16.

Ireland, which has had one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns, will reopen to the EU, UK and US on July 19. Non-EU unvaccinated travelers will have to arrive with a negative test, then self-quarantine until they take a second post-arrival test.

Irish hotels reopened this week, and indoor hospitality will resume on July 5.

Slovenia has also reopened to tourism with its own

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WESTMINSTER, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–
After a school year like no other, Destinations Career Academy of Colorado (CODCA), an online public school serving 6-12 grade students throughout the state since 2011, will celebrate its graduates both virtually and in-person with a commencement ceremony on May 28 beginning at 10:30 am.

The in-person ceremony will be held at Colorado School of Mines in a safe, socially-distant way, and individual time slots will be given to students to be recognized by staff. There is no requirement or obligation to attend.

“While other schools may have struggled with online learning throughout the year, CODCA never missed a day of instruction, which kept our students motivated, excited, and moving forward,” said CODCA Head of School Teri Cady. “And not only did our students stay the course, but they also have earned valuable college and career readiness skills that will put the far ahead of their peers at the next level, in whatever path they choose.”

This year, CODCA will graduate 105 students. Approximately 17 students will graduate with a cumulative GPA above 3.5.

Collectively, the graduating class reports it has been accepted to colleges and universities across Colorado and beyond, including Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University, University of Hawaii, and Grand Canyon University.

Dominique Belasquez and Susanna Hericks are CODCA’s 2021 co-valedictorians. Dominique plans to attend School of Mines in the fall and Susanna will be taking a gap year to travel. The Salutatorian is Garrett Swetky and he has already secured a job in construction. The two keynote speakers will be Shaun McAlmont, Stride’s President of Career Learning, and Colorado State Treasurer Dave Young.

“This year was a whole new kind of struggle and we all couldn’t have gone through it without the continued support of our teachers at CODCA,” said Dominique Belasquez. “I’ll forever be grateful that they helped me move onto the next level of my education.”

Prior to the pandemic, students enrolled in virtual school for a number of reasons—some were looking to escape bullying, some may have fallen academically off track, and others were looking for an alternative to the traditional classroom setting.

CODCA students access a robust online curriculum in the core subjects and a host of electives and attend live virtual classes taught by state-certified teachers.

Details of the graduation ceremonies are as follows:

WHAT: Destinations Career Academy of Colorado 2021 Graduation Ceremony

WHEN: Graduation Ceremony – Friday, May 28th, 2021, 10:30 AM for names A-K

WHEN: Graduation Ceremony – Friday, May 28th, 2021, 1:30 PM for names L-Z.

CONTACT: For any questions about the celebrations, please contact Adelita Shepherd at [email protected] or Renee Breur at [email protected] For media inquiries, please contact Ken Schwartz at [email protected]

About Destinations Career Academy of Colorado

Destinations Career Academy of Colorado (CODCA) is an accredited, full-time public school program of the Julesburg School District that serves Colorado students in grades 6-12. As part

BRUSSELS – As strict lockdowns are loosened across Europe, and many EU citizens dream about holidays in the sun, the 27-nation bloc has yet to agree on how to quickly implement a virus certificate scheme to boost summer travel and tourism.

European affairs ministers gathered Tuesday in Brussels to assess progress in discussions with European lawmakers. A deal between the Parliament and EU countries is required in May to ensure the system will be up and running by the end of June, but several sticking points remain.

When it proposed the scheme in March, the EU Commission said coronavirus certificates would be given to EU residents who can prove they have been vaccinated or those who tested negative for the virus or have proof they recovered from it.

EU lawmakers and nations agree on that, but the Parliament insists that COVID-19 certificates should be enough to allow EU citizens to move about freely and that EU countries shouldn’t be allowed to impose extra restrictions on certificate holders such as quarantines, tests or self-isolation measures.

That’s a major roadblock, since border controls are a national responsibility.

A senior EU official, speaking anonymously as is custom before Tuesday’s meeting, said EU nations had different opinions on the topic and that the bloc was working to find a universal solution. The official said the pressure was on since vaccinations were increasing across Europe and more people wanted to travel.

The European Commission hopes that about 70% of the EU’s adult population will be vaccinated by the end of the summer.

The Parliament has also raised concerns about the price of the PCR coronavirus tests that could be included in the certificates, which will be available in a digital or paper format with a QR code. EU citizens will get the pass for free but the price of tests vary widely across the bloc.

EU lawmakers said member states should “ensure universal, accessible, timely and free-of-charge testing” to avoid discrimination against those who have yet to be vaccinated.

Lawmakers agreed with the European Commission that all vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency, the EU’s drug regulator, should be automatically recognized. So far, that includes vaccines from AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. They also offered EU countries the possibility of including other vaccines listed by the World Health Organization for emergency use, which would include China’s Sinopharm vaccine.

The EU has already begun working on the technical aspects of the vaccine certificate scheme, with testing starting this week in several EU nations.