News for Travelers October 30th
An aggregate of recent articles about what’s happening in the world of travel updated every few days. Tips are always appreciated.
- Cruising – Itineraries, cruise lines, new sailings, policy
- Air Travel – Business news, precautions, international flights
- Resorts – Openings, precautions, industry groups
- Countries – Visitor policies, promotions, quarantines
- Organizations – International, industry, policies
Todays CDC Update
The percentages of visits for Inflammatory Lung Illness decreased during week 43 compared with week 42 among those 0–4 years, 5–24 years and 25–49 years and remained stable (change ≤0.1%) in the adult age groups ( 50-64 years and ≥65 years). Nationally, during week 43, an estimated 2,771,109 specimens were tested for SARS-CoV-2 for diagnostic purposes and 186,441 (6.4%) were positive. This is a decrease compared with week 42, during which 6.7% of specimens tested were positive. The percentages of specimens testing positive decreased among all age groups.
Nationwide during week 43, 1.9% of patient visits reported through the U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet) were due to influenza-like illness (ILI). This percentage is below the national baseline of 2.4%. On a regional level, the percentage of outpatient visits for ILI ranged from 1.1% to 3.3% during week 43. All regions reported a percentage of outpatient visits for ILI below their region-specific baselines. Three human infections with novel influenza A viruses were reported by three states (Colorado , Nebraska , and Michigan ) during week 43. Two infections were with influenza A(H3N2) variant (H3N2v) viruses and one infection was with an influenza A(H1N2) variant (H1N2v) virus.
The CDC under pressure from a number of organizations and businesses is now recognizing that concerns regarding the economic health of the nation are an equally important consideration. As a result they have now issued guidance for passengers using public transportation “CDC strongly recommends appropriate masks be worn by all passengers and by all personnel operating the conveyance while on public conveyances (e.g., airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, ride-shares) and within locations where people board such conveyances (e.g. airports, bus or ferry terminals, train stations, seaports).”
Boeing to cut thousands of additional jobs as it prepares for long air travel slump in pandemic.
Nearly 200 airports in UK and Europe could go bankrupt due to collapse in air travel in next six months.
TripAdvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer, a longtime critic of Google, told CNBC he welcomes the DOJ’s antitrust lawsuit against the Alphabet search unit. “Google is using its dominance in internet gatekeeping at the expense of other businesses,” Kaufer said, echoing comments from Expedia CEO Peter Kern. Most online booking sites agree that Google’s biased ranking of its own search results as well as increased paid results when consumers are looking into travel has significantly impacted their ability to drive traffic.
Reports from Indonesian maritime staffing agency CTI on its Facebook page indicate that several Carnival Cruise Line groups have departed Jakarta as they head to St. Maarten to board the Carnival Horizon, Carnival Pride and Mardi Gras.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis wants to see international visitors return to Florida and for cruising to resume. During a press conference, DeSantis said that he has been in touch with the White House on the topic, Forbes reported. This news from Florida is less than a month after Governor DeSantis ended statewide measures to stop the spread of coronavirusr.
Lanai Hawaii is under a new stay-at-home order after a dozen cases of Covid-19 were reported following tourism reopening. The governor of Hawaii has issued the order requiring residents and visitors to remain home or in their hotels except for essential reasons such as grocery shopping.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday during a news conference at City Hall that New Yorkers should not travel out of state for Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays. He added “For those who do travel, recognize how important it is to get tested and recognize there is a very strict quarantine in New York State and if you go elsewhere you will have to observe a two-week quarantine coming back”.
The Canadian government on Oct. 29 extended the ban on most cruise ships from sailing in Canadian waters until Feb. 28, 2021. The ban impacts ships with overnight accommodations carrying more than 100 people. Since Winter is off-season for cruising the ban will have little impact on cruising schedules. The cruise industry is however anxiously waiting to see if the CDC no-sail order will expire as scheduled at the end of October or again be extended.
Some Odds & Ends About Travel From Around The Net
American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) wrote to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on behalf of the more than 12,000 New Yorkers who work at travel agencies. The association expressed its concerns in a letter over the state’s quarantine procedures for those visiting and returning to the state from abroad which were part of a new executive order by the governor.
Etihad Airways becomes the first GCC carrier to operate a commercial passenger flight to and from Israel. Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a political and economic alliance of six Middle Eastern countries— Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman.
The flight will bring travel and tourism leaders from Israel to the United Arab Emirates to plan new travel opportunities in the region. It also follows Israeli national airline El Al’s first symbolic commercial flight between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi on August 31st.
Singapore Airlines will return to New York on November 9th, when it launches non-stop flights between Singapore and John F. Kennedy International Airport. Update – the airlines is now considering the Governor of New York’s new order regarding international visitors.
Hong Kong and Singapore have reached an in-principle agreement to establish a bilateral air travel bubble, potentially helping to revive cross-border air travel between the two aviation hubs.
Royal Caribbean has confirmed it will restart cruising from Singapore on Dec. 1st with the 4,180-passenger Quantum of the Seas offering three- and four-night “Ocean Getaways” – or cruises to nowhere – for Singapore residents only and operating at half capacity.
Celebrity Cruises announced it will be suspending their full 2020/21 Winter program in Australia and Asia. Additionally, Azamara will be suspending their 2020/21 Winter sailings throughout Australia & New Zealand, South Africa and South America.
CDC – COVID-19 Key Updates for Week 42, ending October 17, 2020 Reported
Nationally, indicators that track COVID-19 activity continued to decline or remain stable or are showing only a slight uptick (change of ≤0.2%). One region continued to report a minor increase in the percentage of specimens testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 and four regions have reported some increases in the percentage of doctor/hospital visits for influenza-like illness (ILI). Mortality attributed to COVID-19 declined for the fifth week but still remains above the epidemic threshold.
Australia reopens borders to New Zealand travelers – The first commercial flight between the two countries in six months arrived at Sydney International Airport yesterday as a trans-Tasman travel bubble is launched.
Two weeks after the dual-nation Caribbean island reopened the border between Dutch St. Maarten and French St. Martin, the French side has released traveler protocols, that require arriving visitors to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 120 hours of arrival.
Aviation authorities in Europe announced that Boeing’s 737 MAX planes could receive regulatory approval to resume flying in November.
Carnival Corporation’s AIDA Cruises, will resume cruising in Italy on Oct. 17, becoming the second Carnival brand to resume sailing after Italy-based Costa Cruises restarted in early September.
The United Nations World Tourism Organization has signed a deal to work with Expedia Group to strengthen ties between the public and private tourism sectors. UNWTO and Expedia will work together to promote entrepreneurship and professional education focused on the field of travel consumer protection.
Virgin Atlantic to add new India routes starting in December. Virgin Atlantic announced it will be launching service to Delhi and Mumbai from Manchester as the airline ramps up flying from its home base.
Dream Cruises of Genting Cruise Lines has taken steps to prepare to sail next month from Singapore by beginning a recruitment drive looking for Singapore workers.
The latest survey from the World Travel & Tourism Council has revealed that 99 percent of U.S. and Canadian travelers identified as past frequent travelers are “eager to travel again.” The survey questions offered responses from “not planning to travel”, “concerned about travel safety”, Haven’t decided when to travel again”.
Greek islands added to British quarantine safe list. The decision comes after a decrease in confirmed cases of coronavirus in the popular Greek destinations, and means guests returning from the islands to the UK will no longer have to self-isolate for 14-days.
Honolulu (AP) Oct 9th — Despite increasing coronavirus cases across the U.S., Hawaii officials hope to reboot tourism next week by loosening months of economically crippling pandemic restrictions, including a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all arriving travelers. This plan, which was postponed after the virus surged in the summer, will allow Hawaii-bound travelers who provide negative virus test results within 72 hours of arrival to sidestep two weeks of quarantine.
Many travel sector stocks enjoyed strong gains Friday Oct. 9th on renewed hopes that therapeutic and vaccine developments will propel booking demand in the near future.
Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas will begin sailings from Singapore in December 2020. To provide assurance for safe cruising, the Singapore Tourism Board has developing a mandatory CruiseSafe certification program, which sets out stringent hygiene and safety measures throughout the passenger journey – from prior to boarding, to after disembarkation. Royal Caribbean has become the first to join.
Cruise ships going to Turkish scrapyard – workers are currently working overtime to salvage from five cruise ships for scrap metal. Among the ships is the Carnival Fantasy, a just refurbished cruise ship along with the Carnival Imagination.
Photograph by REUTERS/Umit Bektas shows the tree Carnival and two Pullmantur ships in the salvage yard in Turkey. The two Pullmantur ships are the old Royal Caribbean Monarch of the Seas and Sovereign of the Seas sold to Pullmantur several years ago.
Tourist numbers collapse – The nine top travel destination countries in the past six months compared to the same period prior to the pandemic have seen drop-offs in bookings. Each of these countries depend on tourism for a measurable part of their GDP. Comparison numbers:
- Mexico (minus-75.15 percent)
- Italy (minus-93.89 percent)
- France (minus-90.78 percent)
- Canada (minus-74.92 percent)
- Spain (minus-93.16 percent)
- United Kingdom (minus-84.27 percent)
- Bahamas (minus-83.53 percent)
- Israel (minus-86.55 percent)
- Costa Rica (minus-91.64 percent)