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Is international travel allowed yet? See when Spain, Mexico, Australia plan to reopen borders

Tori Holland



Is international travel allowed yet? See when Spain, Mexico, Australia plan to reopen borders

Americans with a bad case of wanderlust may have to wait until later this summer to vacation abroad – and while some countries, including Spain, have announced target dates to reopen, the pickings will be slim for a while.

Parts of Mexico and the Caribbean have targeted dates in early to mid-June for reopening from coronavirus restrictions, but Europe will lag, opening first to other citizens of European Union and Schengen Area countries before welcoming international visitors at a later date.

At least one EU member nation has announced a target window, however: Spain’s prime minister announced Saturday that his country will reopen to foreign tourists sometime in July, though he did not specify a date.

It’s worth noting that the U.S. State Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have not rescinded or downgraded their travel warnings. The State Department’s global travel alert, first issued in March, is still in effect. For its part, the CDC still has its highest travel warning in effect for the United Kingdom, Ireland and most of Europe as well as China and Iran. 

While this is by no means an exhaustive list, here’s an update on some of the countries that are most popular with American travelers:


When will the border open? Not until at least June 23, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday. He confirmed that his country’s land border with the U.S. will remain closed for an additional 30 days. Trudeau and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security made the announcement two days before the order closing the border to nonessetial travel was set to expire

There’s a major loophole, though: The U.S. Embassy in Ottawa said the order does not apply to “air, rail, or sea travel at this time, but does apply to commuter rail and ferry travel.”

‘It was the right thing’:  Trudeau announces extension of US-Canada border closure

“We’re going to be very, very careful about reopening any international travel, including in the United States, before we feel that it is time,” he said in April while announcing the previous extension.

What can travelers expect once they’re allowed in? Trudeau said Canada is “looking at stronger measures to make sure that we’re following up appropriately with people who come over” in order to prevent a second wave.


When will the border open? On Tuesday, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf announced that the land border with Mexico would remain closed through June 22.

But like the U.S.-Canadian closure order, the Mexican version does not apply to air, rail or sea travel, except for commuter rail and ferry travel.

Mexico said late last week that it would lift quarantine restrictions in less-affected regions starting Monday and begin reopening the rest of the country June 1. But on Saturday, the Ministry of Health recorded 2,500 new cases, the country’s largest spike to date.



When will it reopen its borders? Sometime between June 15 and July 1, according to a “tentative” estimate by the Aruba Tourism Authority. “The aforementioned reopening target date is subject to change as we may consider additional precautionary measures as needed,” it cautioned.


When will it reopen its borders? Possibly by July, Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said during a national address on Sunday.

“We are looking at a possible date for commercial travel on or before July 1 of this year,” he said before cautioning, “These dates may change depending on the circumstance. I want to repeat, however, that this date is not final.”


When will it reopen its borders? Not until at least June 1, according to the latest bulletin from the Jamaican Tourist Board’s latest bulletin on April 30, which noted Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness had ordered the borders closed until the end of May.

Puerto Rico

When will it reopen its borders? Tourists are already welcome back in the U.S. territory.

What can tourists expect? According to Puerto Rico’s tourism board, all incoming commercial flights have been diverted to San Juan, where incoming guests must undergo a health screening upon arrival, including a brief interview and temperature check. Once admitted, all passengers are required to self-quarantine for 14 days regardless of whether they are symptomatic. In addition, an islandwide curfew remains in effect from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. through May 25.

U.S. Virgin Islands

When will it reopen its borders? Hopefully, by June 1, according to a Monday press conference by Gov. Albert Bryan Jr., who said he’d been working on a rollout plan with the departments of tourism and health and other groups.



When will it reopen its borders? On Saturday, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced that the country would be open to international tourism starting in July, Madrid-based newspaper El Pais and Reuters reported.

“Spain needs tourism and tourism needs security,” Sanchez said.

According to The Financial Times, tourism accounts for 12% of Spain’s gross domestic product, it welcomes 80 millions tourists each year.

When will the rest of Europe reopen its borders? Not until after June 15 and probably later than that for non-EU citizens.

Earlier this month, the European Union proposed that Schengen Area members and associated countries keep their borders closed to non-EU nationals until June 15 so they could continue to coordinate the continent’s response to the pandemic. Nearly all of the 30 countries involved have adopted the proposal.

In mid-April, the European Union Commission presented a phased roadmap that will first restore free movement between member countries and then relax external border restrictions during the second stage.

Good news for British citizens yearning to travel: The EU also said that citizens of the United Kingdom will continue to be treated as EU citizens until the end of the transition period and would be able to travel once internal borders are relaxed.


When will the border open? Not for at least three more months, according to an April 23 statement by the country’s chief medical officer, Brendan Murphy. And the only mention of international travel in Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s reopening plan comes in the final stage, when the country will consider allowing in other Pacific islanders and international students.


When will the border open? The country where the pandemic began in December, briefly reopened its borders to non-citizens before closing them again in late March due to an influx of new cases. It has not said when it plans to relax those restrictions.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: International travel after COVID-19: Spain to be among first to reopen

After being a professional journalist for 5 years and understanding the ups and downs of health care sector all over the world, Tori shifted her focus to the digital world. Today, she works as a contributor for News Brig with a knack for covering general and health news in the best possible format.

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General News

Lauding ‘force’ against protests, Sen. Cotton raises profile

Tori Holland



Lauding 'force' against protests, Sen. Cotton raises profile

WASHINGTON (AP) — Freshman Sen. Tom Cotton has risen to the ranks of potential 2024 Republican presidential contenders by making all the right enemies. By lining up behind President Donald Trump’s law-and-order recipe for controlling civic unrest, he’s making even more.

“One thing above all else will restore order to our streets: an overwhelming show of force to disperse, detain and ultimately deter lawbreakers,” the 43-year-old Arkansan wrote this week in a New York Times opinion column.

That infuriated Democrats and liberals, whom he swiped at by writing that protests rocking cities are “carnivals for the thrill-seeking rich as well as other criminal elements.” For good measure, he tweeted Thursday that “liberal arts professors” won’t have to “live with the consequences of chaos and destruction.”

Later Thursday, after the Times released a statement saying Cotton’s essay did not meet its standards, he accused it of “surrendering to the mindless woke mob.”

Taciturn as he strides through Capitol hallways, seldom acknowledging reporters’ questions, Cotton is known for tough stances on issues that thrill Trump’s conservative supporters. He’s been a hard-liner on immigration, Iran and most recently China, including accusing that country of developing the coronavirus in a secret lab. He’s edged away from that charge but asserts he was among the first to warn of “the looming pandemic.”

Cotton’s office declined to make him available for this article. But a person close to him, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the lawmaker’s thinking, said Cotton would consider serving in the Cabinet for a second Trump term if he’s reelected in November and running for president himself in 2024.

An Army combat veteran and Harvard Law School graduate, Cotton’s ambition is no surprise in Washington or Arkansas. Notice has been taken of his unusually high profile for a first-term senator and his frequent appearances on the network of choice for Trump and his followers.

“Cotton is out there every night, and he’s winning the Fox GOP primary for 2024,” said Scott Reed, senior political strategist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“Everything he’s doing looks like what a very ambitious person who wants to run for president at the next available time does,” said GOP consultant Liz Mair, who says she’s “not a fan.”

Cotton was on Fox again Thursday, saying the outrage about his call for physically overpowering protesters “exposes the hypocrisy of all these woke progressives” who can’t tolerate opinions they don’t like.

And with some protests over police killings of black men veering into violence in New York and elsewhere, Cotton reprised his role as one of Trump’s chief defenders in Congress.

He disputed Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s comment that this week’s turbulence didn’t create an urgent need to use troops in cities, saying that was Trump’s call. And to former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ stunning assertion that Trump was dividing the country and violating the Constitution, Cotton said, “He’s wrong on this one.”

None of that went over well with Democrats.

“I’m appalled that anyone, let alone a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, would advocate for the use of military force to silence dissent,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., a fellow member of that panel.

Representing a state that has turned increasingly Republican in recent years, Cotton faces reelection in November with no Democratic opponent. He plans to use some time helping GOP Senate candidates including Bill Haggerty in Tennessee and Joni Ernst in Iowa, which holds each presidential cycle’s first caucuses.

In an ad that aired earlier this year in Ohio — a swing state in presidential contests — Cotton tied together two foes: China and Trump’s all-but-certain Democratic presidential opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.

“China is the greatest threat to America’s security and our values,” the announcer says, accusing China of running concentration camps and stealing millions of American jobs. “Career politician Joe Biden is weak on China.”

As the spot ends, it shows a split screen of Cotton wearing his combat fatigues and Trump in a Make America Great Again hat. “Senator Cotton is standing with President Trump to take on China and keep America great,” the announcer says.

“Sen. Cotton has taken the Trump approach of playing to the fears and darkest, most negative things that appeal to Trump supporters,” said Michael John Gray, chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party. “His ambition’s been bigger than Arkansas from the moment he sought a seat in the House.”

Cotton served six years in the Army in the early 2000s, leading a combat platoon in Iraq and being deployed to Afghanistan. He also spent time in the Old Guard, whose tall, ramrod-straight members keep watch over the Tomb of Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery just outside Washington.

Cotton grew up on his family’s farm and attended Harvard University and its law school.

While a student there in 1996, he wrote an article in the school’s paper, The Harvard Crimson, lauding the political skills of a fellow Arkansan: then-President Bill Clinton, whom he called “the most sincere campaigner of our time.” He also praised the intelligence of Hillary Clinton, later to become Trump’s vanquished Democratic presidential rival, saying Bill Clinton “would have never made it past county commissioner” without her.

But what Cotton described as Bill Clinton’s “easy-going, affable” style has not seemed to rub off on Cotton’s manner in the Washington.

“He’s definitely accumulated the right national security and foreign policy experience to put him on track to run in 2024,” said Ron Bonjean, a GOP political consultant and former top congressional aide. He added: “He’s not a backslapper. He’s a really serious guy.”

Cotton served one House term before being elected to the Senate in 2014, defeating Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor. Within weeks of becoming a senator, he incensed Democrats.

He drafted an open letter to Iranian leaders, signed by 46 GOP colleagues, warning that a nuclear deal that President Barack Obama was seeking would not be binding and could be dismantled by the next president.

Trump pulled the U.S. out of that agreement in 2018.


AP reporter Andrew DeMillo contributed from Little Rock, Arkansas.

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General News

San Antonio family of six found dead in their SUV in apparent suicide

Evan Lewis



San Antonio family of six found dead in their SUV in apparent suicide

A San Antonio family and their two cats were found dead in an SUV parked in their garage Thursday, local police said.

The bodies of the husband and wife and their four young children — aged 11 months to four years — were discovered in the vehicle along with their cats in a basket as police conducted a welfare check at the residence.

Authorities arrived at the home Friday morning around 10:30 a.m., finding a note on the front door with military jargon and a cryptic message, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said.

An officer interpreted the note to read “bodies or people inside of the home, animals were in the freezer, and do not enter,” according to McManus.

Police entered the home to a strong noxious odor that was later identified as carbon monoxide, but officers, fearing explosives were inside, backed off and called EMS. Police used a robot to sweep the residence before clearing it of explosives and entering into the garage to find the grisly scene.

“There’s no words can describe it,” McManus said, of making the discovery.

The husband and wife were both in their 30s and they were a “military family,” McManus said. They had moved into the home in the Stone Oak neighborhood in January, though neighbors told police they “never saw them” out and about, according to McManus.

Police were still investigating a motive Thursday night and the identities of the family had not been revealed.

Cops were first alerted that something was off by the husband’s employer. He had been working from home and was required to call into work every morning.

He had called on Wednesday, but not on Thursday, and after repeated attempts to reach him, the employer alerted police, McManus said.

“So it happened sometime overnight, I’m guessing, based on the timeframe of everything,” he said.

McManus said authorities will be pouring through the residence for clues into the night.

“This is just the very beginning of the investigation,” McManus said. “Although it appears to be a suicide they’ll be a lot of combing through the house to find any evidence they can of what happened in greater detail.”

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General News

Stranded in Central America, migrants demand passage to U.S. border

Evan Lewis



Stranded in Central America, migrants demand passage to U.S. border

PANAMA CITY/TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) – Panama has stepped up border controls in the vast and wild Darien Province that neighbors Colombia, authorities said on Thursday, after some members of a group of 1,900 migrants from as far afield as Africa tried to break out of a detention center to trek north.

The migrants were stranded when lockdown measures imposed across Central America weeks ago to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus stopped their long journey toward the United States.

Panama’s national border agency said it had imposed unspecified new security measures, saying migrants turned violent during repeated attempts to leave the La Penita migration station in recent days.

The agency said in a statement that internal restrictions on movement would make it impossible to cross into Costa Rica

“Security in the area has been strengthened with specialized units in order to guarantee the safety of the community,” a national border source said, speaking on the condition of anonymity, adding that the situation was now under control.

Reuters was unable to contact the migrants or representatives for their version of the events.

Representatives for border patrol, the migration and Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for further details. It was not possible to reach officials in Darien Province.

Another group of 78 African, Cuban and Haitian migrants stranded in Honduras for similar reasons, on Thursday were taken into custody by migration authorities, a representative for the migration institute said.

A Haitian migrant, who declined to be identified, told local television that another group of at least 20 migrants would march from the southern city of Choluteca to the capital Tegucigalpa and demand permission to travel to Guatemala.

Reporting by Elida Moreno in Panama City and Gustavo Pelencia in Tegucigalpa; Writing by Stefanie Eschenbacher; Editing by Leslie Adler

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