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(CNN) – More than 20 new destinations have been added to the U.S. high-risk travel category, and an airline crisis over 5G was largely averted this week.
Life is at least good in the sea, where a beautiful 3 kilometer long coral reef has just been discovered off the coast of Tahiti.
Here are the biggest new stories this week from CNN Travel.
“Criminal, completely irresponsible”
Bear spray, a chainsaw and a meth-filled burrito were just some of the unusual items confiscated by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration last year. The agency has released its annual list of Top 10 catches with the aim of raising awareness and also a few laughs.
Tim Clark, president of the UAE flagship Emirates, described the US handling of the 5G mess as “criminal” and “completely irresponsible.” But the doomsday scenario is over, some US airline executives say.
22 new ‘very high’ risk destinations
It would probably be quicker to tell you which destinations have not been added to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s high-risk travel category “Level 4”.
All continents except Antarctica were represented this week as 22 new locations were added to the list, including Australia, Argentina and Egypt. A further 22 were added to the category “high” risk level 3.
The UK, meanwhile, is looking at Covid becoming endemic and easing restrictions accordingly. Covid tests for vaccinated travelers entering the UK could be scrapped as early as next month, reports say.
Movement in the sea
The 3 km long “twilight zone” reef is, according to UNESCO, one of the largest recorded.
Researchers have discovered a pristine, 3-kilometer-long coral reef off the coast of Tahiti, deep in what is known as the ocean’s “twilight zone.” It is one of the largest ever, and divers say it is “magical to witness.”
A rare rainbow-colored blanket of squid was seen swimming on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef this week. Marine biologist Jacinta Shackleton captured her elegant sashay in action.
If the sleek squid inspires you to drape yourself over a deck chair like the colorful, exquisite creature you know you are, we have put together this collection of seven amazing new resorts in the Maldives that you can visit in 2022.
Castles you can visit (and one you can not)
It’s been a great week for medieval fortifications on CNN Travel.
Or maybe Osaka Castle is more your style with its mint green tiles and samurai heritage. It is just one of a crop of beautiful Japanese castles that you can still visit.
Unfortunately, a famous castle has announced that it will not lay its drawbridge down to a much-loved annual event.
The White Castle fast food chain, whose budget “fine dining” evenings on Valentine’s Day have become legendary, has scrapped its in-house parties in February – though you can still order a $ 15 Love Cube meal for delivery.
The superwomen of heaven
Nicole Smith-Ludvik promotes Expo 2020 Dubai from the top of the Burj Khalifa.
What do you get when you combine an A380 superjumbo, the world’s tallest building and a very brave stuntwoman?
Another daring stunt from the Emirates, which for the second time has sent a stunt woman in full stewardess uniform to a tiny perch about 830 meters up by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
This time, they got one of the world’s largest passenger planes – Emirates has 115 A380s in its fleet – to fly past at the same height as the building.
Also in the news this week, Anglo-Belgian teenager Zara Rutherford became the youngest woman to fly around the world solo. The 19-year-old completed his 41-country odyssey on January 20th.
Do not try this at home
Spain’s “Las Luminarias” festival has returned for the first time since the pandemic began, according to Reuters. About 100 horses ran through bonfires, following an annual old tradition.
Spain’s annual “Las Luminarias” festival, in which horses leap through a “cleansing” fire, has returned in January for the first time since the pandemic began. Further south, Anthony Bourdain visited the Andalusia region in 2013 for the “Semana Santa” festivities around Easter. You can listen to the podcast here.
If you missed it
A restaurant in Canada had to close its dining room because it accepted dog pictures instead of vaccine cards.
This better not spell the end of free hotel breakfast.
Tripadvisor has unveiled its most popular global destination for 2022.
Top image: Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory (Saeed Khan / AFP via Getty Images)