14:16 GMT31 October 2020
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    It has been a long time since tourism and travel were as complex of a task as during the time of the coronavirus pandemic. Destinations one would never have thought of before might now look like attractive options, especially for travellers required to self-isolate upon their return or arrival in certain countries.

    UK operator Lupine Travel has reported that long-haul tours for Brits are back on the table and in high demand.

    Among the “unique destinations at affordable prices” offered by the travel agent are the city of Mosul in Iraq, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Congo, Yemen, and other countries one would not necessarily consider for a holiday trip with the family.

    COVID-19 restrictions on travel have affected Lupine Travel like many other tour operators in Britain and around the world, but the UK company has praised the trip to Mosul, as testing was available at Erbil Airport upon arrival.

    Lupine Travel, founded in 2008, originally offered tours to North Korea, Chernobyl, and on the Trans-Mongolian Railway. Now the list of their travel destinations includes over 30 countries, such as Syria and Mali.

    “On our tours there is an opportunity to witness the epic national sport of Buzkashi and explore the 4th largest city, Mazar-e-Sharif, where you can visit the famous Blue Mosque. We will also visit many historic sites and experience daily life in the souks, tea houses, squares and parks”, the tour operator promises those wanting to visit Afghanistan. 

    For those seeking to experience the scenes of Chernobyl and see the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster, there is an option to visit the abandoned reactors and the town of Pripyat in Ukraine.

    Completed sarcophagus over the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant's Reactor Number 4. January 1, 1987.
    © Sputnik / Игорь Костин
    Completed sarcophagus over the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant's Reactor Number 4. January 1, 1987.

    Lupine Travel also invites those interested in exploring one of "the most isolated and secretive countries in the world" by taking up a tour to North Korea. The trip includes staying in Pyongyang and seeing the giant bronze statue of Kim Jong-il. 

    North Koreans walk past Ryomyong Street, the newest residential development on Tuesday, April 11, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea.
    © AP Photo / Wong Maye-E
    North Koreans walk past Ryomyong Street, the newest residential development on Tuesday, April 11, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea.
    “If there's a remote place we don't currently go to, please get in touch as we maintain a list of requested destinations and prioritise these based on interest”, says the operator, inviting travellers to suggest destinations that perhaps no tourist has ever visited before.

    Britain’s “quarantine list” keeps changing based on the number of COVID-19 cases in different countries. 

    In addition, if one travels to England from a “safe” country but makes a transit stop in a country, territory, or region that is not on the list in the 14 days before they arrive, they would also need to self-isolate.

    Tags:
    COVID-19, travel, tourism
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