They Live in the U.S., but They’re Not Allowed to Come Home

In early April, Payal Raj accompanied her family to India to renew the visas that permit them to live in the United States. She and her husband waited until they had been vaccinated, carefully preparing their paperwork according to the advice of their immigration lawyers. But the visa itself would soon strand her in India indefinitely, separating her from her husband and daughter in Hendersonville, Tenn.

“Our family is in a crisis,” said Ms. Raj, who is one of thousands of immigrants stuck in India, in part because the Biden administration’s restrictions on most travel from the country mean that temporary visa holders are explicitly barred from re-entering the United States. “Every morning is a struggle.”

The restrictions, issued as a devastating surge in coronavirus cases has overwhelmed India in recent weeks, prohibit Ms. Raj and others like her from returning to their homes, families and jobs in the United States. Even those exempt under the ban are in limbo as the outbreak forces the U.S. Embassy and consulates to close, leaving many with no clear path home.

Ms. Raj’s husband, Yogesh Kumar, an operations manager for a multinational corporation, lives in the United States on an H-1B visa, or a temporary permit for highly technical foreign workers. As dependents, Ms. Raj and their daughter hold H-4 visas, which allow temporary workers to bring immediate family and must be renewed about every three years at an embassy or consulate outside the United States.

American citizens and permanent residents, for instance, can travel freely, while people who are fully vaccinated, test negative or quarantine before and after flying cannot. The administration has not indicated when or under what circumstances it would lift the restrictions.

“They just put the same blanket ban for India that they were using in the Trump administration,” said Greg Siskind, an immigration lawyer who is suing the Biden administration over the State Department’s inability to issue visas in countries experiencing lockdowns. “This was the same style ban that President Biden said last March was ineffective and was a bad idea.”

The United States has restricted entry from a number of countries, but the most recent ban has had a disproportionate effect on Indians in the United States given that Indian citizens claim more than two-thirds of H-1B visas issued each year. Including those on other kinds of nonimmigrant visas, immigration lawyers estimate that thousands of Indians living in the United States have been affected.

Some traveled to India when coronavirus case counts were low to renew their visas or see family. Others went to care for sick or dying relatives. Now some are unable to secure even emergency appointments to renew their visas at the embassy in New Delhi or any of the four U.S. consulates in India.

In late April, Gaurav Chauhan traveled to Agra to care for his father, who was hospitalized with the coronavirus. He is now separated from his wife and two children, who live in Atlanta.

Credit…Payal Raj

As a parent of American citizens who are minors, Mr. Chauhan is exempt from the ban, but he has been unable to make an emergency appointment on the State Department’s website to renew his visa. His employer, a software company, has temporarily allowed Mr. Chauhan, who works in human resources, to do his job overseas. But others in similar situations say they have been asked to leave their jobs.

analysis of State Department data by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.

Such shutdowns should not stop visa processing, Mr. Siskind said, pointing to other immigration agencies that had successfully adapted to remote work and exceptions to in-person document submission.

“One of the issues with the State Department for the last 14 months is their lack of imagination in terms of how to change their procedures in a pandemic,” Mr. Siskind said. “They have, for example, not switched to video interviewing, which is something that they have the statutory authority to do.”

The State Department acknowledged that “services are limited” at U.S. outposts in India but said that it would “make every attempt to continue to honor approved emergency visa appointments.” The department could not provide a specific date for when other visa services would resume.

Abhiram, a professor in Broward County, Fla., whose wife and 3-year-old daughter remain outside Hyderabad after visiting family in January, said he did not fault the government for enforcing travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. But the situation has made him consider whether to stay in the United States.

“Every day my daughter asks me, ‘Daddy, where are you?’” said Abhiram, who asked to be identified only by his middle name. “I do feel sometimes like going back to my home country, rather than dealing with this.”

But for Ms. Raj and her family, home is Hendersonville.

“Our whole day-to-day life was interacting with our neighbors, going and visiting friends, getting together for backyard parties. It’s been wonderful,” she said. “I don’t want to uproot our lives.”

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Spain Turns to Corruption Rehab for Officials Who Can’t Stop Stealing

CÓRDOBA, Spain — Carlos Alburquerque isn’t your typical rehab candidate. He’s a 75-year-old grandfather living in Córdoba, a city in southern Spain. He was a town notary before he retired in 2015. He hasn’t touched drugs or alcohol in years.

But his isn’t your typical rehab program: It’s an 11-month boot camp to reform corrupt Spanish officials and “reinsert” them into mainstream society.

“Repairing the damage is what is left for me in this life,” said Mr. Alburquerque, who is serving a four-year prison sentence for stealing around 400,000 euros, nearly a half a million dollars, in his work drawing up contracts and deeds.

Over the course of 32 sessions in an austere conference room in Córdoba’s penitentiary, Mr. Alburquerque will be monitored by a team of psychiatrists. He will sit in a circle with other convicted officials for group therapy sessions with titles like “personal abilities” and “values.” He is, in some ways, the guinea pig of an experiment meant to answer an age-old question: Buried deep in the soul of a swindler like Mr. Alburquerque, might there be an honest man?

raft of bribes for government contracts were discovered logged in a notebook belonging to the ruling party’s treasurer. The scandal helped topple the party from power in 2018. There was the “Palau Case,” in which the president of a Catalan music hall defrauded it of 23 million euros, using the proceeds for home renovations and lavish vacations, among other extravagances.

In the rocky coastal region of Galicia, police once nabbed a ring of corrupt town officials in a sting called “Operation Pokémon.” Why it was named after a Japanese video game was never clear — but some speculated it was because of the large number of officials involved. (There are hundreds of Pokémon characters.)

On a recent afternoon, Ángel Luis Ortiz, a former judge who now runs Spain’s prisons, let out a long sigh as he looked out from his office into downtown Madrid during a conversation about Spain’s struggles with public embezzlement. The boom-bust cycles of Spain’s economy had led it to a long history of fraudsters and betrayals of public trust, he said.

ranks Spain just below France, and above Italy). It was Spain’s will to rehabilitate the offenders that set it apart from the rest, Mr. Ortiz said — an offer which now extends to some 2,044 white-collar criminals in Spanish prisons.

Nine prisons are running programs so far, which began in March. Prisoners don’t get reduced sentences for joining, but officials say participating is looked on favorably when it comes time to request parole.

Who qualifies? It’s a veritable Who’s Who of Spain.

There’s the king’s brother-in-law, Iñaki Urdangarin, the handsome Olympic handball player and former Spanish duke who is serving a fraud sentence of almost six years, and is participating in the program. Francisco Correa, a businessman nabbed in the Gürtel Case is also enrolled. (Though Spaniards know him better for his nickname, “Don Vito,” a reference to “The Godfather” trilogy.)

Yet for all the volunteers, Mr. Ortiz still thinks his biggest challenge may be convincing Spain’s corrupt officials that there actually might be something wrong with them.

“They are people with money and power — and we are struggling against this idea that they can get away with anything and don’t actually need the help,” he said.

For that, the government turned to Sergio Ruiz, a prison psychiatrist in the southern city of Seville who helped design the program. Dr. Ruiz said that in addition to getting participants to recognize their flaws in group therapy, inmates would eventually be asked to participate in “restorative justice” sessions where they would ask for forgiveness from their victims.

Dr. Ruiz explained he had been surprised at the outset when he searched the scientific literature and found almost nothing on rehabilitating white collar criminals. Psychiatrists had studied murderers ad nauseam, Dr. Ruiz explained. But few had ever bothered to get inside the mind of the shady functionary who swindled the public garbage fund.

So Dr. Ruiz decided to run a study of his own. He asked for volunteers from three groups — white collar prisoners, violent criminals and a “control” group of ordinary Spaniards — and surveyed each on their values and beliefs.

The results surprised everyone, he said.

“We think of these people as ruthless, but that’s not how it is,” Dr. Ruiz said of white collar criminals. “They have the same system of values as any ordinary citizen.”

Instead, Dr. Ruiz said, corrupt minds have a unique capacity to create exceptions to their own rules, what cognitive psychologists sometimes call “moral disengagement.” They have intricate ways of explaining away their misdeeds as somehow benefiting others rather than themselves.

And Dr. Ruiz found dangerous levels of two other traits in the fraudsters.

“Egocentrism and narcissism,” he said.

At first glance, Mr. Alburquerque, the corrupt notary in Córdoba who volunteered to be rehabilitated, doesn’t appear to have much of either. He’s mild-mannered and speaks in hushed tones even in the loud hubbub of the penitentiary. It’s hard to imagine that he pocketed nearly a half-million dollars before he was caught.

“Here, one has to take responsibility,” he said, admitting he had been wrong.

But there’s more to the story, Mr. Alburquerque said.

While sums of money may have disappeared under his watch, he had always made sure his employees were highly paid, unlike many other notary offices, he said. He had even attempted to return much of the fraud money before he was caught. Anyone in Córdoba could attest to the fact that he was a key member of the city, he added.

“I have an advantage over other mortals, but not all, in that I can sleep five hours less than others,” he said of his work ethic. “Always what I’ve done is worked and studied.”

They are words that Yolanda González Pérez, the prison warden, says she’s heard before from other white collar criminals who haven’t fully accepted their crimes.

“They tell themselves ‘I’m not as much of a criminal as the others are,’” she said.

But Mr. Ortiz, the director of the Spanish prison system, isn’t worried. He’s ready to roll up his sleeves with Mr. Alburquerque and other participants who might be willing to rethink their old ways.

Maybe a breakthrough will come early on, when according to a summary of the rehabilitation manual, psychiatrists will begin the process of “therapeutic alliance” to form a bond with the corrupt officials.

Or later on in week five, when the inmates “will finally take on the subject of developing humility and empathy.”

It takes patience to change someone, Mr. Ortiz said.

“We can be working months in these sessions,” he said. “We just keep at it with the prisoners and we’ll see when the fruit is ripe.”

José Bautista contributed reporting from Madrid.

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South Africa Vaccine Rollout Expands to People 60 and Older

CAPE TOWN — Facing a resurgence of Covid-19 infections and plagued by delays with vaccine supply, South Africa began the second phase of its public vaccination campaign on Monday, opening appointments for people aged 60 or older.

Only about 500,000 people in the country have been vaccinated to date, and most doses have gone to health care workers in a trial involving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. South Africa is aiming to open vaccinations for people aged 40 or older in July, followed by the rest of the adult population in November.

South Africa has obtained nearly a million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and anticipates receiving around 4.5 million doses by the end of June.

The country has also ordered 3 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but only plans to begin using these in the public rollout following a verification process by international regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

some 1.6 million confirmed cases, South Africa has been hit harder by the pandemic than any other nation in Africa. Its most recent wave of infections, in December and January, was driven by a more contagious variant of the coronavirus, known as B.1.351, that was first detected in South Africa.

The government has set a goal to vaccinate 5 million people by the end of June, South Africa’s health minister, Zweli Mkhize, said Sunday. Just over 4,000 people were scheduled to receive vaccines on Monday.

The expanded eligibility comes at a critical phase: South Africa is experiencing a sustained rise in cases, and officials have warned of a third wave in the coming weeks, as the southern hemisphere heads into winter.

The slow rollout has underscored global problems of vaccine inequality, especially in Africa, where fewer than 23 million vaccines have been administered, according to the Africa C.D.C. Even vaccines manufactured in South Africa have been disproportionately exported to wealthier nations.

suspended use of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine after ordering more than one million doses, and again in April, following safety concerns surrounding the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“For now, we can go on and protect the most vulnerable,” said Dr. Keith Cloete, the head of the health department in the Western Cape province, where more than 11,000 people have died from Covid-19.

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U.S. to Donate 20 Million Doses for Global Vaccination Effort

The United States will send at least 20 million coronavirus vaccine doses in June to countries struggling against the pandemic, answering calls that the Biden administration isn’t doing enough to help countries that face dire shortages of vaccines and other treatments.

President Biden said on Monday that those 20 million doses, of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines, would be in addition to 60 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine, which the U.S. plans to donate once the vaccine is cleared for use by the Food and Drug Administration. It is not clear exactly how long it will take the F.D.A. to authorize AstraZeneca’s vaccine.

“We know America will never be fully safe until the pandemic that’s raging globally is under control,” Mr. Biden said during a news conference at the White House. “No ocean’s wide enough, no wall is high enough, to keep us safe.”

Mr. Biden’s announcement on Monday afternoon came not long after a World Health Organization news conference at which the director general, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that countries with high vaccination rates had to do more to help countries that were being hit hard by the coronavirus, or the entire world would be imperiled.

Britain, which have seen a decline in cases and deaths in recent weeks, relaxed restrictions as the virus battered India and other Asian countries.

Variants like B.1.617, first discovered in India and recently designated a variant of concern by the W.H.O., are contributing to the spread of infections and worry many researchers.

Dr. Tedros called for well-supplied nations to send more of their vaccine supplies and allocations to harder-hit countries, and for vaccine developers and manufacturers to hasten delivery of hundreds of millions of doses to Covax, an international initiative dedicated to equitable distribution of the vaccine, noting an appeal by Henrietta Fore, UNICEF’s executive director.

Ms. Fore released a statement on Monday saying that Covax would soon complete delivering 65 million doses, but that it should have delivered at least 170 million and that the effort could be short by as much as 190 million doses by the time Group of 7 leaders gather in England in June.

convincing the remaining unvaccinated people to get the shot.

Last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its guidance to allow people who have been vaccinated to forgo their masks indoors and outdoors in many situations. The decision caused confusion in states and individuals, some who were eager to return to a semblance of normalcy and others who said they planned to stay masked indefinitely.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of C.D.C., said on “Meet the Press” on Sunday that the agency’s suggestions were “not permission to shed masks for everybody, everywhere.”

On Monday, Dr. Tedros’s message was more straightforward.

“No one is safe until we are all safe,” he said.

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New York Will Adopt C.D.C. Guidelines on Masks for the Vaccinated

The governor of New York said Monday that the state will lift some mask requirements in accordance with the new mask guidance for vaccinated people that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday.

“No masks, no social distancing,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, said of the policy that will go into effect for vaccinated people on Wednesday. Masks will still be required in nursing homes, schools, health care facilities and on public transit. Unvaccinated people should continue to wear a mask, he said in a news conference at Radio City Music Hall in Midtown Manhattan.

The move dovetails with the previously scheduled lifting of most capacity restrictions at offices, museums, restaurants and stores on Wednesday. It was significant, however, given the longstanding restrictions imposed on one of the hardest hit cities in the United States.

In addition, the city’s subway system returned to 24-hour service on Monday. There has been more than one year of overnight closings during the coronavirus pandemic to provide more time to clean and disinfect trains, stations and equipment. It was the longest planned shutdown since the subway opened in 1904.

no longer necessary for fully vaccinated people to mask or maintain social distance in many settings. The change set off public confusion and drew objections from some local officials and labor unions, including the country’s largest union of registered nurses. A number of major U.S. retailers have already lifted mask requirements, essentially turning to an honor system that relies on unvaccinated people to keep their masks on in public.

Businesses in New York can still set individual policies and some will still require masks.

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Lockdown Ends in England, for Now, at Least

LONDON — Pubs opened for drinks indoors, lights went on in theaters and airports buzzed with a steady stream of travelers on Monday, but the latest easing of Covid-19 restrictions in England was accompanied by growing fears that a variant of the virus could delay a full return to normality.

The lifting of a wide range of coronavirus rules Monday coincided with a small but worrying spike in cases of a variant, first identified in India, that threatens a lockdown-lifting road map frequently described by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as “cautious but irreversible.”

Already, the second part of that pledge is sounding less secure than it once seemed. In recent days the authorities have scrambled to ramp up testing and inoculation in parts of the country seeing a sharp rise in cases of the more transmissible variant. More than 6,200 people were vaccinated over the weekend in Bolton, a badly hit town near Manchester in the northwest of England.

The opposition Labour Party has accused Mr. Johnson of bringing on the trouble by delaying a decision to close borders to flights from India last month, while government scientific advisers have expressed their concerns about moving too fast to remove curbs.

Even Mr. Johnson, who is normally only too keen to ridicule pessimists as “doomsters and gloomsters,” urged Britons to be cautious in the face of the threat from the new variant, saying that there was a risk of “significant disruption” to plans for easing rules.

Nor did Mr. Johnson plan to visit a pub or restaurant on Monday to celebrate in front of the TV cameras, his office said.

In recent weeks Mr. Johnson has been able to claim credit for a highly successful vaccine program that, combined with lockdown restrictions, has cut cases and death rates to a fraction of their peak numbers. That has enabled England to start easing the burden on many of the parts of the economy that were worst affected by a lockdown in January.

Under the changes that came into force on Monday, pubs and restaurants can serve indoors as well as outside, people can hug each other and mix inside their homes in limited numbers.

Museums, theaters and movie theaters, sports stadiums, hotels and indoor playgrounds opened their doors again in England, though Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have slightly different timetables and conditions for relaxing rules.

A legal ban on all but essential foreign travel ended too, though travelers to any other than a small number of destinations will have to quarantine on their return.

Altogether, that represents the first real breath of freedom for many in England since the third national lockdown was declared in early January. Though restaurants and pubs have been able to serve food and drink outdoors for several weeks, the weather has been unseasonably cold and often rainy, leaving many diners and drinkers shivering in damp beer gardens.

While the government will fight hard not to have to reverse the changes introduced on Monday, there are growing doubts about whether it can proceed with the next stage of the road map. That change, scheduled to take place on June 21, would scrap almost all remaining restrictions.

But with a surge of cases in some communities, including Bolton, the government is refusing to rule out any measures, possibly including the imposition of new restrictions on specific Covid-19 hot spots.

“We must be humble in the face of this virus,” the health secretary, Matt Hancock, told Parliament on Monday, adding that there were now 86 areas with five or more cases of the variant whose higher transmission rate “poses a real risk.” While the overall case numbers, at 2,323, remain low, they have been multiplying rapidly.

Mr. Johnson continues to hear criticism for failing to clamp down fast enough on travel from India, even sparing it for some weeks after placing restrictions on travel from Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Under Britain’s travel system those arriving from “red list” countries that are deemed high risk are required to quarantine in hotels.

“Our borders have been as secure as a sieve,” said Jonathan Ashworth, who speaks for the opposition Labour Party on health issues. “The delay in adding India to the red list surely now stands as a catastrophic misstep.”

Pakistan and Bangladesh were red listed on April 9 but India was not added until April 23, and Mr. Johnson’s critics have suggested he was reluctant to upset India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, with whom he is trying to strike a trade deal.

Mr. Hancock rejected that claim and said that significantly more people arriving from Bangladesh and Pakistan tested positive for Covid-19 than those arriving from India. In Parliament on Monday he accused the Labour Party of selective hindsight, saying that last month the Indian variant had not been identified as one of concern.

But some experts believe that the government should have reacted faster to the emergence of the variant. “Many of us in the U.K., we’re appalled at the huge delay in classifying it as a variant of concern,” said Peter English, a retired consultant in communicable disease control.

“You can’t stop diseases from crossing boundaries — they inevitably will,” he said, adding: “But you can slow the spread, and while that’s happening, you can learn more about it.”

Mr. English said that there was not yet enough data available to determine how effective vaccines are in combating the variant, but added that more financial support should be given to those on low incomes who need to self-isolate.

In general, Britons are being offered vaccination based on their age, with those oldest treated first. Appointments are to be extended this week to 37-year-olds, Mr. Hancock said.

However, in areas affected by the Indian variant, health chiefs appear to be offering vaccines to some younger people, using the flexibility in guidelines that, for example, suggest the vaccination of those living in a multigenerational household.

On Monday, Mr. Hancock also said that of 19 cases in Bolton hospitals, most of the patients were eligible for vaccination but had not had one. That prompted a debate in and beyond Mr. Johnson’s Conservative Party about whether the lifting of lockdown restrictions should be reversed to protect people who refuse a vaccine.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, composer and theater impresario, told the BBC that vaccine hesitancy was not only foolish but selfish. He added that he could not reopen his shows without an assurance that all restrictions would be eased as planned from June 21, allowing for full seating without distancing.

“I just feel so strongly at the moment, particularly the people who are not getting vaccinated and everything, just how selfish it is because so many people depend on this June 21 date, they really depend on it,” he said.

Megan Specia contributed reporting from London.

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What are the UK travel rules from May 17?

(CNN) — As of today, going on holiday is no longer illegal for travelers from England, Scotland and Wales.

While the move has been met with relief from those eager to take a foreign holiday, many have been left confused by the new travel regulations, along with the risk-based “traffic light” system that’s now in place.

Here’s everything you need to know about the UK travel rules.

Can UK residents now travel abroad for a holiday?

From May 17, residents of England, Scotland and Wales are allowed to go on vacation now that restrictions which made it illegal to travel abroad for non-essential reasons have ended.

However, government officials have warned that the experience will be very different due to ongoing concerns around Covid-19.

“This is a new way of doing things, and people should expect travel to be different this summer — with longer checks at the borders, as part of tough measures to prevent new strains of the virus entering the country and putting our fantastic vaccine rollout at risk,” UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said in a statement on Monday.

What are the green list countries?

The UK’s traffic light system for designating safe travel destinations, lists 12 countries or territories it classifies as “green” — meaning anyone traveling there will not have to quarantine on return.

These are: Portugal (including the Azores and Madeira); Australia; New Zealand; Singapore; Brunei: Iceland; Faroe Islands; Gibraltar; Falkland Islands; South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; St. Helena, Ascension & Tristan da Cunha and Israel.

It’s worth noting that entry to Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei and the Faroe Islands is heavily restricted, so a destination’s appearance on the list doesn’t automatically mean that UK travelers can go there.

Which countries can I visit if I live in England?

English travelers are permitted to visit 12 “green” destinations without having to quarantine on their return, provided they take a pre-departure test, as well as a PCR test on or before day two of their arrival back in the UK.

That said, some countries currently listed as green, such as New Zealand and Australia, are not permitting

While travelers are also allowed to visit countries designated “amber” or “red,” the restrictions are much stricter, making them far less attractive options.

Those who choose to visit places on the “amber” list, which include France, Greece, Spain and Italy, will have to quarantine for 10 days, take a pre-departure test and also get a PCR test on day two and eight of their isolation.

However, “amber” destinations qualify for a test-to-release scheme, which means holidaymakers can take a PCR test after five days’ quarantine. If they receive a negative result, they will be permitted to go out into the community.

Travelers from England who choose to visit “red” list destinations are required to check in to one of the UK’s quarantine hotels, at a cost of £1,750 (around $2,445) per adult when they return. They must also follow the same testing regulations as those arriving from “amber” destinations.

Which countries can I visit if I live in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

Scotland and Wales’ May 17 “green lists” are initially the same as England’s, but they might change according to the two countries’ needs.

From May 24, people in Northern Ireland will be able to make non-essential trips to other parts of the Common Travel Area, which includes the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

The Northern Ireland government has yet to announce a relaxation of its international travel rules.

How is the UK deciding which countries go on its lists?

The UK government has said the decision-making is based on factors including a country’s Covid-19 transmission risk, its variant of concern transmission risk and its genomic surveillance capability.

The UK’s Joint Biosecurity Centre has undertaken risk assessments for each destination, using data including total number of vaccination doses administered per 100 people. You can read more about the data used here, and about the methodology here.

Should I book a summer holiday in a country on the amber list?

The amber list contains some of the UK’s most-loved tourist destinations, such as Italy, Greece, Spain and France.

The government guidance is that UK residents should not be booking holidays to “amber list” countries, or planning any nonessential travel, but it is no longer illegal to do so.

The amber list is subject to change, which means countries may move to green or red at any time.

Can I go on holiday in the UK?

Travelers from England, Scotland and Wales are allowed to go anywhere within those countries and overnight stays are permitted at hotels, B&Bs and hostels.

Nonessential travel in and out of Northern Ireland is still banned and tourist accommodation is yet to reopen.

Those who plan to visit any of the Scottish islands are advised to take two lateral flow tests before their trip.

Will I have to quarantine when I come home?

Quarantine rules depend on whether the country you’re traveling to/from is on the “green,” “red” or “amber list.”

If you are arriving into the country from a “red” list country, you will have to quarantine in a designated hotel upon arrival for 10 days at your own expense. Bookings must be made through this online portal. The charge for a single adult is £1,750.

There are designated quarantine hotels in England and Scotland. If your final destination is in Wales or Northern Ireland, you will need to book a hotel in England or Scotland.

If you are arriving from an “amber” list country, you will have to quarantine at home for 10 days. The other people in your household do not need to quarantine with you, unless they were also on your trip, or they have Covid symptoms, or they test positive.

If you are arriving from a “green list” destination, quarantine is not a requirement.

The quarantine requirements work in tandem with testing. It’s compulsory to take a Covid test on or before day two of your quarantine, and on or after day eight.

If you are arriving in England from an “amber” country, it’s possible to end your quarantine early via the Test to Release system. This involves paying for a private test, if it’s negative, you can end your quarantine period. It’s not possible to do this until you’ve been in England for at least five days.

If you’re arriving from a “red” or “amber” destination, your passenger locator form must contain details of your quarantine destination.

You can get public transport to your place where you intend to quarantine, but the official guidance is to only do so “if you have no other option.” For the full rules, see here.

During your quarantine, you will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

When will the rules change?

The UK government has said the “red”, “amber” and “green” list will be “continuously monitored” and updated every three weeks, so it’s worth keeping tabs on a destination before you depart. There’s no guarantee that a “green” country will stay that way.

As for the system more generally — the guidance says travel restrictions will be formally reviewed on June 28, no later than July 31 and October 1, 2021.

Will I need to be vaccinated to travel?

Some countries, such as Iceland, are now open to international travelers who can present proof of vaccination.

In the absence of this, sometimes a recent negative Covid-19 test, or proof of recovery from Covid-19 will also suffice.

The rules frequently change from country to country and it is advisable to check destination-specific requirements before booking travel and closer to departure.

Will I need a Covid test to travel?

Yes. Travelers heading to approved destinations will need to take a pre-departure test, as well as a PCR test on or before day two of their arrival back in the UK.

A test may be needed by the country you’re traveling to. Most destinations that are open to arrivals now require a recent negative PCR test before visitors can enter.

Of the countries on the UK “green” list that are currently welcoming tourists or are feasible to reach from the UK, all require a negative PCR test. Some also require visitors to quarantine.

When can UK citizens fly to the United States?

The US is currently on the UK’s “amber” list. As explained above, the UK does not advise nonessential travel to “amber” countries.

Plus, UK residents have been banned from entering the United States since March 2020 and this ban is still in place.

When the initial “green list” destinations were announced, the World Travel & Tourism Council expressed disappointment that the US was not included and accused the UK government of being “too cautious.”

Airlines have also been clamoring for the reintroduction of the transatlantic travel corridor, one of the world’s busiest air routes during pre-pandemic times.

It’s unknown when the United States might make it onto the “green list” but it’ll likely coincide with a lifting of US restrictions on UK travelers.

When will all restrictions be lifted?

The UK has been gradually lifting its Covid-19 restrictions in tandem with its vaccine roll out. Restarting international travel on May 17 is part of Step 3 of England’s lockdown easing, which also includes reopening indoor venues like museums and holiday accommodation including hotels.

England’s Covid-19 roadmap initially pinpointed June 21, 2021 as the date in which all Covid-19 restrictions could be lifted.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have not bookmarked a specific date for the ending of their respective restrictions.

The June 21 date has always been TBC, and the UK government has been keen to emphasize that it’s not set in stone. There are currently concerns about a new Covid-19 variant originating from India, now circulating in the UK.

It’s unknown when the traffic light system will be lifted, but official guidance says travel restrictions will be reviewed on June 28, and again no later than July 31 and October 1, 2021.

Plus, it’s a two-way thing — even if restrictions were to end in the UK, other countries may maintain limitations on UK visitors.

CNN’s Francesca Street, Maureen O’Hare and Barry Neild contributed to this report.

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Inside Paris’ new $195 million art museum

Written by Leah Dolan, CNN

Paris’ former stock exchange, the Bourse de Commerce, will reopen its doors this week having undergone a $195 million transformation into a new landmark museum for contemporary art.

Three years in the making, the redesign was led by Japanese architect Tadao Ando and supported by a team of Parisian architects, including NeM Architects Agency. The expansive space, stretching over 10,000 square meters (more than 100,000 square feet), will house the contemporary art collection of French billionaire François Pinault.
An interior shot from inside the newly renovated and redesigned building.

An interior shot from inside the newly renovated and redesigned building. Credit: Patrick Tournebœuf/Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection

Pinault, who is the founder of luxury conglomerate Kering (parent company of fashion houses Gucci and Saint Laurent, among others), has spent 20 years working toward opening a private museum in Paris for his collection. “It began as a dream, a dream that seemed out of reach. Then this dream became an ambition,” he said in a press statement.

“Today, that ambition has become reality. For years, I have longed to be able to show my collection in Paris, the city I love.”

The museum’s inaugural exhibition, titled “Ouverture,” (in reference to the introductory symphonic piece sung at the beginning of an opera) will present works by a number of international artists, including Kerry James Marshall, Marlene Dumas, Luc Tuymans and Cindy Sherman.

Design work on the project began back in 2017.

Design work on the project began back in 2017. Credit: Patrick Tournebœuf/Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection

Pinault described the debut as a “manifesto of the values” he has long championed, namely, “the thirst for freedom, the rebuttal of injustice, the acceptance of diversity.”

Situated walking distance from the Louvre, the protected building dates back to the 18th century and has undergone a number of renovations over the years. Its original circular shape was established in 1767, when it became a grains exchange for the city, a hub for the storage and sale of wheat.

Bourse de Commerce - Pinault Collection, Paris.

Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection, Paris. Credit: Patrick Tournebœuf/Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection

Ando has added a central concrete cylinder to the inside of the museum, beneath the building’s signature cupola, as “a hyphen to link the past and the present, to produce a vision of the future,” he said.

The entire project has been “built on the idea of setting dialogues between the present of contemporary creation and the past,” said Martin Bethenod, deputy chief executive officer of the Pinault Collection.

Harmony between heritage and modernity is built into every inch of the Bourse de Commerce’s redesign, right through to the museum cafe. Even the menu of the eatery — called the Halle aux Grains — will pay homage to the building’s past life, featuring modest ingredients like cereals, grains, seeds and pulses.

Watch the video above to see inside the impressive new space.

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Israel is targeting Hamas naval forces. So what can Hamas do by sea?

When it comes it Hamas’s military capabilities, much of the focus has been on the labyrinthine tunnels it uses to launch attacks against Israel or the arsenal of missiles it aims at Israeli cities.

But Israeli military experts and officials say there is another, less-discussed and murkier threat: clandestine naval commandoes entering or hitting Israel by sea.

It sounds like a scene from a Cold War thriller: An undercover commando unit infiltrating a country with underwater vessel in order to target an energy facility, a populated town, or wreak havoc in some other way.

But that was possibly the goal, according to the Israeli military, of a naval unit being directed by Hamas.

Shaul Chorev, a retired Israeli admiral who is Head of Haifa University’s Maritime Policy and Strategy Research Center, said Israel in recent years has been increasingly concerned about Hamas’s naval commando units. He said that undercover and surprise sea attacks were one way the militant group had sought asymmetric warfare capability, to overcome Israel’s superior military power, including its mighty air force and Iron Dome defense system used to shoot down rockets fired by militants in Gaza.

“The fear is that these commando units can be used to target infrastructure like power stations or to try and infiltrate Israel by sea,” he said.

He said Israelis still shuddered at the memory of an episode in July 2014, during Israel’s invasion of Gaza, when four Hamas operatives armed with automatic weapons, explosives and grenades, surreptitiously swam ashore near Kibbutz Zikkim, on Israel’s southern coast, and tried to target an Israeli tank before being killed.

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