Bits and BobsPlus, wrapping up other travel news from around the globe this week.

Tokyo Olympics running out of time

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Will it be cancelled, or will it not? Doubts remain whether the Tokyo Olympics will go ahead in 2021. Pictured: Sumo wrestlers in action.
Will it be cancelled, or will it not? Doubts remain whether the Tokyo Olympics will go ahead in 2021. Pictured: Sumo wrestlers in action. Photo Credit: Unsplash/Bob Fisher

A Friday 22 January report in UK newspaper, the Times, indicated the Japanese government has privately concluded that the Tokyo Olympics will be cancelled because of the coronavirus.

Quoting “a senior member of the ruling coalition”, The Times reported that there is agreement that the Games, already postponed a year, are doomed.

“No one wants to be the first to say so, but the consensus is that it’s too difficult,” the source said.

However, John Coates, the Australian Olympic Committee president and International Olympic Committee vice-president, told the Sydney Morning Herald that plans for the Tokyo Games are “proceeding fully”, saying there had been no discussion among organisers about another postponement or cancellation.

Japan's deputy chief cabinet secretary, Manabu Sakai responded within the same day, denying all claims.

The land of the rising sun is battling a third wave of infections which have doubled over the past six weeks to about 338,000, according to public broadcaster NHK, with 4,623 deaths.

The Tokyo Olympics is due to start on 23 July.

Saliva samples, if accurate, may overtake the current nasal swab test required for Air New Zealand staff.
Saliva samples, if accurate, may overtake the current nasal swab test required for Air New Zealand staff. Photo Credit: Getty Images/tuachanwatthana

Open wide: Air New Zealand tests saliva accuracy

Air New Zealand has begun trials of a coronavirus testing process which it hopes will be more comfortable for its crew, pilots and airport staff.

The purpose of the study is to check if a saliva sample is an accurate, easy and acceptable method of detecting Covid-19 compared to the current nasal swab test.

Air New Zealand chief medical officer Dr Ben Johnston said the study would look at the effectiveness of saliva testing, “which would greatly improve the experience for our people who are committed to keeping New Zealanders safe".

The study will run over two to three months and will take place alongside the existing nasal swab.

Emirates will resume passenger flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Emirates will resume passenger flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Emirates back onboard with Australia

Emirates will resume passenger flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane next week after abruptly suspending services to Australia’s eastern seaboard cities last week.

Emirates said it regretted the inconvenience caused to passengers by the suspensions and blamed “the dynamic restrictions and requirements implemented by the different state authorities in Australia” which had “added complexity and burden to our operations”.

Emirates said all crew operating on Australian flights were already mandated to take a PCR test 48 hours prior to the scheduled flight departure from Dubai.

“With the latest adjustments, these tests will be administered in their homes, and our crew will also observe self-quarantine in their homes from the moment of testing until their flight.

“Combined with the hotel quarantine and tests on arrival in Australia, this effectively means that our crew are in a ‘bubble’ from 48 hours before their flight, until they return to Dubai.”

Home is where the bees are for two Australian chefs.
Home is where the bees are for two Australian chefs.

Life in a greenhouse? These chefs love it

A newly built house beside the Yarra River at Melbourne's Federation Square is being occupied by two chefs for six months.

Chefs Matt Stone and Jo Barrett are living in the solar-powered house, growing and eating all their own food, including honey from bees and crustacean from a pond on site.

The Greenhouse also showcases sustainable building. The kitchen wall tiles are made from old skateboards, while the wall panels are derived from recyclable and biodegradable wheat straw.

The house, called Greenhouse By Joost, is the idea of environmental advocate Joost Bakker who advocates that changing the way one lives will solve the world's biggest problem.

“The way we grow, harvest, transport, sell and eat our food is the most destructive human activity on the planet."

Both chefs will be hosting special guests, influencers, educators who are encouraged to share their experience on social media to lend voice to the cause.

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