Welcome to Friday Around the Planet, where I wrap up the travel-related news from the week to help inform your travel planning as requirements and restrictions in countries around the world rapidly change. 

Before we dive into the travel news we saw this week, if you need a break from *gestures at everything* to remember the wonder of this world, check out this year’s Best in Travel videos which will leave you dreaming of a visit to other people’s hometowns.

For instance, it’s impossible to not fall in love with Puerto Rico when PJ Sin Suela, who is a doctor on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic but also a rapper in his free time, showcases his island home.

(If you need some background music for working from home, might I suggest checking out this Spotify playlist of the sounds of Puerto Rico curated by our editor Alicia Johnson. Disclaimer: You may start dancing at your desk.) 

Now onward with news from around the planet.

Changes this week in COVID-19 travel restrictions

From the COVID-19 travel restrictions front, some good news for skiers from the UK. France will once again allow visitors from the UK. Of note, France has also made some changes to its health pass so make sure you read our article outlining those updated conditions. 

Japan extended its ban on foreign visitors until February. Cuba also updated its entry restrictions to require proof of vaccination as well as a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72-hours before arrival. 

Italy also has more venues and attractions are requiring the so-called “super green pass.” The super green pass requires full vaccination unlike the regular green pass, which allows people to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test to obtain it. 

In the US, the CDC added Canada to its Level-4 list of places it advises Americans not to travel. The CDC adds countries to the list when they have an infection rate greater than 500 new cases per 100,000 people over the past 28 days. Fun Fact: The United States also currently surpasses this threshold…by a lot. 

Meanwhile, some Broadway shows had to cancel shows due to COVID-19 outbreaks as Omicron spiked in December. Now shows have introduced updated entry rules which not only require visitors to be vaccinated but also require a negative COVID-19 test for those who are not yet 14-days out from their final shot. 

By the way, don't forget, if you need information about COVID-19 and travel, check out Lonely Planet's Health Hub, our partnership with Heathline. 

On a lighter note, from the “it could always be worse” front:  I can’t stop thinking about this article from the Guardian about a woman in China who got stuck at a blind date’s house when the lockdowns hit. 

Attractions to add to your calendar

France is bringing an exhibit honoring Yves Saint Laurent to six different museums in the city. The exhibition runs from January 29 through May 15, 2022. 

Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon, Arizona
Havasu Falls on Havasu Creek in the Grand Canyon, Havasupai Indian Reservation, Arizona, USA Getty Images/iStockphoto

If, like me, one of your dreams is to hike through the land of the Havasupai tribe in Arizona to see the blue-green waters of the falls, pencil in June as the soonest the tribe could open its breathtaking Havasu Falls to visitors with a permit. 

Here's what is spurring our wanderlust

On my radar is this off-the-beaten-path member of the US National Parks system in Utah. During winter, the roads through Cedar Breaks National Monument are closed to vehicle traffic due to snow. But, it is still accessible by snowshoe, cross country skiing or snowmobile. After a two-year hiatus, the park is bringing back its guided snowshoe tours through its majestic landscape. The nice part is the 90-minute tours are free with park entry — but you must make a reservation in advance. 

With the Martin Luther King Day holiday weekend upon us here in the United States, check out this list of 5 places where you can remember the civil rights leader in Atlanta, one of our Best in Travel cities for 2022. 

Don’t forget, in honor of Dr. King, Monday is a fee-free day at many US National Parks. I plan to get outside as I continue my new year’s resolution to complete 52 hikes – one a week – during 2022. I have my eye on the Camino de Santiago sometime this year. 

I’m also intrigued by the 600-mile Lost Sierra Trail being built to connect communities in California and a slice of Nevada.

Have something you'd like to see us cover in Friday around the Planet? Reach out to Senior News Editor Melissa Yeager at melissa.yeager@lonelyplanet.com. 

You might also like:
What is a vaccine passport and do I need one to travel?
How to manage vaccine certifications and COVID-19 passports for international travel
PCR tests for travel: everything you need to know

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