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Pandemic travel news: The latest on Omicron restrictions

(CNN) — Well. It was good while it lasted, eh?

This week, we all got a little more familiar with the Greek alphabet as the Omicron variant wreaked havoc with travel plans everywhere.

Here are the latest developments you need to know about from the past seven days:

Travel restrictions are now a crazy game of Whac-A-Mole

Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the air, the coronavirus variant also known as B.1.1.529 showed up and travel suddenly became very complicated again. We’ve been keeping track of the restrictions country by country.

Fiji reopened to tourism

It wasn’t all closures this week, though. On Wednesday the Pacific island of Fiji reopened its borders to international travelers for the first time in nearly two years. Tourism accounts for 40{32bc5e747b31d501df756e0d52c4fc33c2ecc33869222042bcd2be76582ed298} of the island’s economy, and now that 90{32bc5e747b31d501df756e0d52c4fc33c2ecc33869222042bcd2be76582ed298} of the population is vaccinated, it’s getting back to business.
Elsewhere, the land border between Singapore and Malaysia reopened for vaccinated people on November 29.

English pub-goers were snowed in for three days

More than 60 people were trapped by snow at England’s Tan Hill Inn, the UK’s highest pub, after Storm Arwen hit the country. They were caught there for three nights, but kept in good spirits with plenty of food, drink and even entertainment, in the form of an Oasis cover band.
If you’re worried about getting caught out in harsh weather yourself — let’s face it, endless rounds of “Wonderwall” aren’t for everyone — CNN has put together some wilderness survival tips as part of our Life, But Better series. If you ever need to fashion head protection out of underwear and fishing gear, we’ve got you covered. Or you can have a look at our blizzard-specific tips.

(Some) Christmas markets are still going ahead

There’s nothing quite like Glühwein for dispelling gloom. A number of well-known festive markets have been canceled this year, but CNN Travel has put together this round-up of those that are still going ahead.

Buying a cheap house in Italy has pitfalls, but can be worth it

An ever-growing number of Italian towns and villages are offering up the chance to buy homes for as little as a Euro thanks to some innovative regeneration schemes.

However, it’s not all sipping Chianti in the garden — these buildings are usually dilapidated and need a significant amount of care and attention to bring them back to life.

When it comes to offering advice on this topic, no one is better placed than those who’ve actually done it themselves. CNN Travel contributor Silvia Marchetti spoke to three sets of buyers who made the leap.

Poland and Niger are now in the US ‘very high’ risk travel category

As usual, there were a lot of high climbers this week. Joining a group of southern African countries as new additions on the Level 4 highest-risk list — you know the ones — are Niger, Poland, Papua New Guinea and Trinidad and Tobago.

Five destinations dropped from Level 4 to Level 3: Those are Bermuda, Costa Rica, French Polynesia, Guyana and Saint Lucia.

And now for dumplings

Take a break from the worries of the world by turning your mind to dumplings, those hot ‘n’ plump little pockets of joy. We’ve rounded up no fewer than 35 of our doughy favorites from around the world.

All hail Queen Riri

The singer was honored during a larger ceremony marking Barbados’ new status as a republic.

The Caribbean island of Barbados cut its ties to the British monarchy this week and finally became a republic. Prime Minister Mia Mottley is the country’s first female leader, while the newly appointed Sandra Mason is the country’s first president. To complete the all-woman triumvirate, one of the republic’s first acts was to designate global superstar Rihanna a national hero.

In case you missed it

A new report named the world’s most expensive cities to live in this year.

It was the first time ever that the winner topped the list.

You can now go inside a secret bunker which helped change the course of World War II.

It’s 30 years since the international trailblazer Pan Am flew its last flight.

But this is what the future of first class travel could look like.

‘Baby dragons’ have been found under Europe.

CNN’s Karla Cripps, Jack Guy, Tamara Hardingham-Gill, Marnie Hunter, Silvia Marchetti, Lilit Marcus, Barry Neild and Kristen Rogers contributed to this report.