What we know as the pandemic roller coaster ride continues

Dear Travel Fan,
This week has been a reminder that the pandemic roller coaster ride is far from over. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, as domestic travel numbers approached prepandemic levels, word of the Omicron variant began to spread. Starting Monday, the United States and other countries had closed their borders to travelers from parts of Africa. And in the ensuing days it became clear that the variant had already spread to other parts of the world. Now, President Biden has tightened the requirements for travel into the United States, shortening the testing window to one day.
As has been true throughout the pandemic, we’ve been focusing on getting you the news and advice you need: Pairing up with our International desk, we looked at how the crazy quilt of rules for fliers may have helped spread the new variant. We talked to experts about how you should assess whether to cancel a trip or get on the plane. And we answered the key questions about travel insurance and whether you would be wise to purchase it now.
There remains a lot we don’t know, chiefly, how dangerous Omicron is and how seriously it threatens global health and the economy. We’ll be doing our best to keep you up-to-date. If you want to see the latest rules for where Americans can go, you can check out our list.
Because we are also dedicated to bringing you the world’s bounty, we take a deep dive into American oyster traditions this week, from New Orleans to Virginia’s Eastern Shore to New York. You can follow the writer Myles Poydras as he journeys along America’s oyster trails, in search of what the bivalve means in each place. And our World Through a Lens photo essay goes to an unusual beauty pageant in the United Arab Emirates — this one crowns the world’s most beautiful camels. Those eyes, those eyelashes!
Has Omicron changed your thinking about traveling? We’d like to hear. Email us at: travel@nytimes.com.
If you are still planning to head out on a voyage, wishing you safe and happy journeys,
Amy Virshup