Day: November 4, 2020

Ireland to phase in EU ‘traffic light’ travel system from Sunday

DUBLIN, Nov 4 (Reuters) – Ireland will start implementing the European Union’s “traffic light” system for non-essential EU travellers such as tourists from Nov. 8, easing some of the bloc’s tightest restrictions, Tourist Minister Eamon Ryan said on Wednesday.

Ireland began allowing quarantine-free access in July from European countries with relatively low numbers of COVID-19 cases, a measure that opened up travel with 15 countries for a short period, although that has fallen to zero in recent weeks as infections across the region rise again.

In line with EU guideline, the so-called “green list” will remain but those arriving from regions designated as “orange” — currently a handful of EU countries — will not need to restrict their movements if they produce a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) result from a test taken up to three days before arrival

The requirement for “red” country arrivals to quarantine for 14 days remains, but the government plans that “within a short number of weeks” this too can be waived following a negative test result taken five days after arrival, Ryan said.

Children under six will be exempt and arrivals will have to pay for their own test, Ryan said, adding that its adaptation of the EU system was similar to Germany and the United Kingdom.

EU nations have been encouraged to apply “proportionate” measures for medium-risk orange and high-risk red zones, such as a quarantine or a test rather than a blanket bar on entry.

A green status under the EU model applies to regions with fewer than 25 cases per 100,000 people in 14 days and where the percentage of positive tests is below 4%. Red means infection rates of 50 or more and positive tests of 4% or higher or infection rates of over 150 even with a low positive test rate.

Ireland’s two main airlines, Ryanair and Aer Lingus , have called on government to apply the EU system. Ryanair will stop serving four of its five Irish airports for four weeks from Nov. 14, it said last week, blaming the existing restrictions.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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Australia Appeals Court Says Trivago Misled Hotel Consumers

Law360 (November 4, 2020, 5:00 PM EST) — The Federal Court of Australia has dismissed Trivago’s appeal of a ruling that found the travel website made misleading claims about hotel room prices both online and in television advertising, the country’s consumer watchdog said.

The high court’s appeal division, comprising three judges and known as the Full Federal Court, on Wednesday upheld a primary judge’s decision that Düsseldorf, Germany-based Trivago NV’s website representations misled consumers, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

“This is a win for consumers and is an important warning to comparison sites that they must not mislead consumers about the results they recommend,” ACCC Chair…

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Preston travel well and pull off decisive win at top-of-the-table Reading

Reading’s indifferent form continued as they were thrashed 3-0 at home by Preston, though they remain top of the Championship, three points clear of Swansea.



Scott Sinclair holding a green ball: Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images


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Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

Although the visitors dominated the first half, Reading went close to breaking the deadlock through a header from top scorer Lucas João. Preston’s Daniel Johnson missed a penalty soon after half-time but two goals in a four-minute spell – from Scott Sinclair and Emil Riis Jakobsen – put paid to the home side’s hopes. Preston added a third through Brad Potts in stoppage time to confirm their superiority.

Preston have failed to pick up a point at home this season but this was a fourth successive win in an unbeaten five-match run on their travels. “This seems to be quite common for us on the road,” their manager, Alex Neil, said. “I’m delighted with the win but I’m still a bit perplexed at how poor we’ve been at home in comparison to being away.”

Related: Football League roundup: Wimbledon denied winning Plough Lane return

Watford were forced to come from behind to beat Stoke 3-2 in a thriller at Vicarage Road. Steven Fletcher had put Stoke in front after two minutes but Tom Cleverley restored parity just before the half-hour mark. A João Pedro penalty on 61 minutes put Watford in front but Nick Powell’s fine goal, with nine minutes left, looked to have sealed a share of the spoils. However, in stoppage time Ismaïla Sarr pounced for a dramatic winner.



Scott Sinclair holding a green ball: Scott Sinclair celebrates after scoring Preston’s first goal in their comfortable win at Reading.


© Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images
Scott Sinclair celebrates after scoring Preston’s first goal in their comfortable win at Reading.

“We didn’t feel [Watford’s first] was a goal,” said the Stoke manager, Michael O’Neill. “I’ve seen the replays and it’s clear the initial shot did not cross the line. The technology was triggered by the Watford player’s contact with [our goalkeeper] Angus [Gunn] that puts the ball over the line. We felt the referee missed a handball in the buildup to the third goal as well.”

Sheffield Wednesday were not in action but they briefly moved off the bottom after having their points deduction reduced from 12 to six. The club were hit with the deduction in July for the 2020-21 season after an independent disciplinary commission, appointed under EFL regulations, deemed they should not have included profits from the sale of Hillsborough stadium in statements for the period ending July 2018.

An independent league arbitration panel did not agree with Wednesday’s claim that a points deduction should not have been imposed but the punishment was halved, effective immediately.

However, Wycombe’s comeback win at Birmingham sent Wednesday back to the foot of the table. Gareth Ainsworth’s side were trailing 1-0 to Marc Roberts’ 40th-minute header but Scott Kashket equalised with 14 minutes to go and they secured a deserved winner in the second minute of injury time as Fred Onyedinma’s header went in off Kristian Pedersen. It takes their undefeated run to three

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Winnipeg woman isolating in hotel to be allowed to help ailing father at embattled care home

A Winnipeg woman is taking it upon herself to help her ailing father at a city long-term care home that is most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.



a large brick building with grass in front of a house: Maples Personal Care Home


© Google Maps
Maples Personal Care Home

Eddie Calisto-Tavares told 680 CJOB that her dad is a resident at the embattled Maples Personal Care Home, which recently saw a large outbreak, with dozens of residents — including her father — testing positive for the coronavirus.

She’s now isolating at a hotel in order to be allowed into the care home to care for him.

“He’s very weak. I found him on the floor when I arrived at the home,” she said. He was “very confused, very weak, he couldn’t get up, and very, very cold,” she said.

“One of the symptoms of COVID I’ve noticed on him is that he doesn’t have a fever but he’s very cold — his body is like ice.”

Calisto-Tavares said leaving him abandoned wasn’t an option, as her father has severe dementia and no longer remembers how to speak English.

“This is the third time he’s been isolated from family throughout (the pandemic),” she said.

“In his world, if he doesn’t see anyone that he either recognizes (by) the voice, or potentially the face, then he feels very abandoned.”

Read more: 69 residents at Maples Personal Care Home test positive for COVID-19

Calisto-Tavares said the staff at the care home are trying their best to manage with the resources they have, and she has no intention of shaming or blaming them for any part of the situation — but she needed to do something to help her father.

“I wrote to management, I told them exactly what I would do. I’d move into a hotel, I have a car, I don’t go into society. I just go between the hotel and the home and I’m there to check and see what his needs are, to hold him, to tell him we love him, and just to translate for him,” she said.

The government, she said, needs to make a greater effort to get the virus under control — and should have been ready for this months ago.

“In the next two weeks, how many more of my fathers will be happening all over Manitoba, not just at the Maples?”

Global News has reached out to Revera Living, the company that owns Maples Personal Care Home (as well as Parkview Place, which has also seen an outbreak with a high number of cases) for comment.

Read more: Red Cross called in to help at Winnipeg personal care homes as coronavirus cases mount

According to the latest outbreak numbers, Maples Personal Care Home has seen 166 positive cases, 120 of which are residents.

Eight people have died at the home due to the virus.

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Expedia Earnings Beat Estimates on Uptick in Summer Travel

(Bloomberg) — Expedia Group Inc. reported earnings that were better than analysts expected, reflecting an uptick in summer travel before Covid-19 cases began surging again, and the benefits of cost cuts earlier this year.



a close up of a screen: The Expedia


© Bloomberg
The Expedia

Revenue fell 58% to $1.5 billion — the third consecutive quarterly contraction — for the three months ended Sept. 30, the Seattle-based online travel giant said in a statement Wednesday. Analysts had projected $1.39 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Gross bookings were $8.6 billion, down 68% compared with a year earlier but an improvement from the previous quarter’s 90% drop.

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Expedia withdrew its full-year forecast in March when lockdowns halted flights and travel globally. The pandemic hit at an already turbulent time for Expedia, which cut 3,000 jobs in February. Home-rental unit Vrbo, which competes with Airbnb Inc., has weathered the pandemic relatively better, benefiting from demand for long-term stays in rural locales as people sought respite from virus hot-spots in cities and took advantage of work-from-home flexibility.

“Travel demand continued to be significantly impacted by the virus in the third quarter, but the increased travel in the quarter along with progress on our cost initiatives led to improved financial results,” said Chief Executive Officer Peter Kern, who took over in April. “As the last several weeks have demonstrated, the travel industry and the world still face a prolonged and bumpy path to recovery, with increasing COVID-19 cases and uncertainty around vaccine and therapeutic timelines.”

Surging virus cases in the U.S. and Europe could derail Expedia’s recovery due to its dependence on hotels, airlines and corporate customers. Some experts predict this second, winter wave could be worse than the first.

“Expedia carries relatively high exposure to business travel under normal circumstances. We expect these volumes to remain depressed for as long as governments and firms advise against business travel,” said Dan Thomas, leisure sector senior analyst at Third Bridge Group.

The pandemic-induced travel lull has been indiscriminate across the industry and Expedia’s competitors have not been unscathed. TripAdvisor Inc. and Airbnb eliminated about a quarter of their workforce, and Booking Holdings Inc. was forced to apply for government aid.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were $304 million, down 67% from a year earlier. The adjusted loss per share was 22 cents, beating the average analyst estimate of an 84 cent loss.

The shares gained about 4% in extended trading in New York after closing at $98.50.

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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Friend of man who died after falling from Queensland hotel balcony sent a text message to friends

Best friend of man who died after falling 15m from a hotel balcony sent a desperate two-word text message to friends – as it’s revealed what he did in the minutes leading up to his death

  • Seth James Luhrs, 24, fell to his death from a seventh-floor hotel balcony in 2018
  • He had been staying with friends at a hotel in Cairns when he fell 15 metres
  • Mr Luhrs was sharing room with Sean Clift and the pair took drugs, inquest heard
  • Mr Clift bought drugs off a friend and sent a worrying message later that night

The best friend of a man who died after plunging from a seventh-floor hotel balcony sent a worrying message to friends after the fatal fall, an inquest has heard.

Seth James Luhrs, 24, had been staying with friends at the Rydges Esplanade Hotel in Cairns on April 1, 2018, when he fell 15m from his seventh-floor balcony and hit steel awnings on the first floor.

Mr Luhrs travelled with a group of friends to spend the Easter long weekend in Cairns and was sharing a room with Sean Clift, 21.

Seth James Luhrs (pictured), 24, died after plunging from a seventh-floor hotel balcony in 2018

Seth James Luhrs (pictured), 24, died after plunging from a seventh-floor hotel balcony in 2018

An inquest into the 24-year-old’s death on Wednesday heard Mr Luhrs and Mr Clift had taken LSD and MDMA, the Cairns Post reported.

Another friend, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the court Mr Clift bought LSD off him but he warned the pair not to take it because it was strong.

‘I want the tabs,’ Mr Clift told the friend when he entered his hotel room.

After the pair took the drugs, Mr Clift sent the friend multiple text messages begging him to return to the hotel.

He then sent a worrying message: ‘Seth’s dead.’

Mr Clift told the court he did not mean it literally and said it was ‘nothing serious’ because he thought ‘dead’ meant too drunk.

Footage of the moment three police officers entered the hotel room after the fall was played in court, showing Mr Clift sitting on his bed just before 2am.

In the video Mr Clift can be heard telling police he had just woken up and ‘didn’t know what the f**k was going on’.

Mr Luhrs had been staying with friends at the Rydges Esplanade Hotel (pictured) in Cairns on April 1, 2018, when he fell 15metres from his seventh-floor balcony

Mr Luhrs had been staying with friends at the Rydges Esplanade Hotel (pictured) in Cairns on April 1, 2018, when he fell 15metres from his seventh-floor balcony

Detective Senior Constable Jeremy Carter said they believed it was Mr Clift who had fallen at first because the night manager caught him walking around the foyer in just his underwear. 

Two years before his death, Mr Luhrs had been diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, an ongoing condition that caused joint inflammation.

Mr Luhrs older brother, Zeb, told the court the condition did not change his brother’s ‘happy-go-lucky’ mindset.

An inquest into the 24-year-old's death on Wednesday heard Mr Luhrs and Mr Clift had taken LSD and MDMA

An inquest into the 24-year-old’s death on Wednesday heard

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Colin Cowherd decides which NFL teams are headed for the Playoffs or Vacation | THE HERD

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New England has one of America’s top winter road trips

A rural route in New England full of quaint country stores and plenty of natural beauty was recently named a top winter road trip in America by Travel + Leisure magazine.

The travel publication named 50 miles on VT-100 from Stowe to Rochester, Vermont, among 14 beautiful winter drives around the U.S. It is the only New England route in the list.

“The arrival of winter means a reduction of tourists (and traffic) in many popular domestic destinations, so it can be the ideal season to explore America’s open roads,” wrote the publication. “Plus, cruising through a sparkly white winter wonderland is the perfect activity to set the mood for the season, like exploring a real-life snow globe.”

Here’s what Travel + Leisure wrote about the route:

“Every road through Vermont is scenic, but the rural Vermont Route 100 (VT-100) is the best of the lot, especially if you take time to pause in the Green Mountain villages of Wilmington and Weston and tour the Mad River Valley and Moss Glen Falls. Almost every village on the route offers a quaint country store, but Weston’s Vermont Country Store is the ultimate pitstop for practical souvenirs — ever since the store’s 1946 debut as a catalog, everything in its inventory ‘must be useful, work, and make sense’ — and unique regional treats, since many items are made in Vermont. And it may be winter, but the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Waterbury is nevertheless a must-visit.”

The publication encouraged travelers check state COVID-19 travel restrictions before planning road trips.

View the entire list of 14 beautiful winter drives around the U.S.

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Vermont health chief advises avoiding holiday travel

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The state’s top health official is advising Vermonters not travel for the holidays if they can avoid it, and says any visitors from outside the state, including returning college students, will need to quarantine amid a rise in coronavirus cases in parts of the country, including the Northeast.

“We know that social gatherings often among trusted family and friends are a driving force behind much of the virus’ spread right now across the nation,” Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine said Tuesday during the state’s bi-weekly virus briefing. “Adding the element of travel to the mix only adds to the risk.”

Any out-of-state visitors that Vermonters are inviting to their homes should wear a mask in common places, use a separate bathroom, eat separately, stay 6-feet apart and otherwise not be in close contact with other household members, he said.

“Without taking these steps you could easily be exposed to COVID by one of your visitors who unknowingly brought the virus into your home because they didn’t know they were infected and might be their pre-symptomatic period,” Levine said.

Vermonters who leave the state need to quarantine when they return so plan ahead, he said.

“Celebrating the holidays at home will be different for many people this year, but maybe like Halloween we can come up with some new holiday traditions and innovations,” he said.

___

THE NUMBERS

Vermont reported 27 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday for a statewide total to date of 2,267. Four people were currently hospitalized in intensive care with COVID-19. Of the new cases, 18 were in Chittenden County, two each were in Bennington, Essex, Washington and Windham counties and one was in Addison County.

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Clearwater taps longtime employee Jim Halios as Parks and Recreation director

CLEARWATER ― After nearly one year under an interim director, Clearwater’s Parks and Recreation Department has a new leader.

Jim Halios, currently the assistant to City Manager Bill Horne, will take over Clearwater’s second largest department on Monday, Horne announced this week.

Halios, 45, began working for Parks and Recreation in 2002, overseeing the city’s tennis operations. He later served as a recreation supervisor, landscape maintenance coordinator, a manager over the city’s urban forestry division and an administrative manager before becoming the assistant to Horne in 2019.

Horne selected Halios after three finalists were interviewed by City Council members, a group of community partners and department leaders. The other two finalists were: Catherine Dunlap, a recreation proprietor at Walt Disney World, and Russell Bosanko, a parks and recreation manager with Snohomish County in Wisconsin.

“Jim continued to emerge as the preferred candidate through all that interaction,” Horne said. “I wanted someone who could traverse the different stakeholder interests that the parks and recreation director has to deal with: relationship building, sound management, understanding what the community is expecting as far as services.”

The parks and recreation department has a higher profile in Clearwater than many municipalities, involved in everything from the operation of the Clearwater Jazz Holiday to its sports tourism that includes hosting international softball tournaments. Its $31 million operating budget is the city’s second largest, behind only the police department.

Halios succeeds Kevin Dunbar, the department’s director of 20 years who was fired in December following three consecutive city investigations that each uncovered mismanagement and lapses in oversight. The investigations followed the discovery in early 2018 that a recreation supervisor stole more than $100,000 in cash from the city over five years.

The first human resources audit found, among other things, that Carpenter’s theft was made easier by the fact that Dunbar had no system in place to check whether certain payments were accurately entered into the city’s payment software.

The search for Dunbar’s replacement was then delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, Horne said.

Halios said between changes in leadership and adjustments in operations in response to COVID-19, he hopes to bring an end to what has been “an uncertain time.”

Halios said he plans to continue to strengthen Clearwater’s sports tourism industry, which Dunbar helped shape by attracting international softball competitions. But Halios will have to do that in the climate of coronavirus, which could mean changing the way events are conducted and visitors interact.

“It’s going to require our staff to take a different approach to things and to really think outside of the box,” Halios said.

One of the more high profile initiatives Halios will be handling is the proposed $79 million renovation of Spectrum Field and Carpenter training complex, the spring training home of the Philadelphia Phillies. The city and team originally planned to apply for $40 million in Pinellas County bed tax money to support the project, but county officials have already indicated they wouldn’t support that amount.

Negotiations over the application have

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