Author: [email protected]_84

Coronavirus: Merkel slams state premiers over Christmas hotel opening plan

Chancellor Angela Merkel railed against the plans of some regional governments to let hotels open for family visits over Christmas, warning it risked worsening the coronavirus surge sweeping Germany, participants in a party meeting said.

Infection levels rose overnight compared to the same time last week, despite the partial lockdown introduced for November and since extended and tightened in an attempt to control the spread of the virus.

For more coronavirus news, visit our dedicated page.

Merkel and state premiers agreed last week that some partial easing of the lockdown would be allowed to allow families some low-key Christmas celebrations.

But in a video conference of her conservative party’s top leadership on Monday, Merkel said she could not understand the plans of some northern and western states, where the epidemic is less severe, to allow hotels to open to allow far-flung families to get together.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Meeting participants told Reuters she saw this as particularly risky in large cities and in regions with high infection numbers.

Despite Merkel’s comments, however, the regional leaders have the final say on what happens in their states under Germany’s federal structure.

Her intervention came shortly before a meeting of the “coronavirus cabinet”, at which ministers are expected to discuss further responses to Germany’s greatest public health crisis in a century.

Though Germany has already mobilized unprecedented government aid to help support the economy through the pandemic, ministers warned on Monday that nothing could fully spare companies from the impact.

Read more:

Coronavirus: German minister says partial lockdown could last until Spring 2021

Germany’s Merkel warns of tough measures if cases don’t stabilize in 10 days

“People have to show discipline,” economy minister Peter Altmaier, the architect of the economic response to the pandemic told Deutschlandfunk radio. “We have to do more to reduce social contacts.”

Altmaier added that pandemic aid for companies could not be extended indefinitely.

In an indication of the severity of the pandemic’s economic impact, the percentage of companies using the state-backed furlough scheme rose to 28 percent in November, up from 24.8 percent the month before, the Ifo institute said.


Last Update: Monday, 30 November 2020 KSA 20:16 – GMT 17:16

window.fbAsyncInit = function() { FB.init({ appId : '477847702293720', xfbml : true, version : 'v2.4' }); };

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = ""; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Source Article

Continue reading

Thanksgiving Travel Data Point to Surge in Covid Infections and Deaths

(Bloomberg) — Coronavirus infections are already reaching unprecedented levels throughout the U.S. Now with Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror and Christmas and New Year’s just around the curve, the question is: Just how much worse is the pandemic going to get?

The latest travel data out Monday suggest that things are looking grim. Between 800,000 and 1.1 million people flew in the days leading up to and after the holiday, according to data released by the Transportation Safety Administration. Though those numbers are a fraction of typical Thanksgiving travel patterns, they are far higher than public health officials and epidemiologists hoped to see.

a group of people standing in front of a building: Airline Travelers Ahead Of The Thanksgiving Holiday

© Bloomberg
Airline Travelers Ahead Of The Thanksgiving Holiday

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that the U.S. may be about to see “a surge upon a surge.” On CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said that Americans who traveled this past week should “assume that you were exposed and you became infected.” She urged those that traveled to get tested within the next week.


Load Error

The number of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. topped 200,000 for the first time Friday. There have been more than 265,000 deaths. Last Wednesday, as millions had already begun their holiday travel, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention forecast as many as 21,400 new deaths due to the virus over the next four weeks.

Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, said he suspects those numbers are not high enough.

“Everytime I look at the data, it’s worse,” he said.

Jha says he expects the number of new deaths to be more in the range of 25,000 to 30,000 in the Thanksgiving aftermath.

“Things are going to be so bad over the next month,” Jha said.

Exactly how bad it will get is difficult to say. Americans not only flew, but also drove to Thanksgiving celebrations. Before the holiday, the American Automobile Association predicted significant declines in bus, train and cruise travel, but only a slight drop in car travel. AAA said it would not have travel figures for the holiday anytime soon.

Car travel was projected to fall 4.3% from last year’s pre-pandemic level, to 47.8 million travelers. With less travel this year by public transportation, AAA estimates driving will account for 95% of all holiday travel. On Monday, AAA said travel may have been less than initially forecast because of climbing infection rates and public health warnings. U.S. gasoline demand decreased 7.3% in seven days ending Nov. 28, according to GasBuddy, the travel and navigation app.

a busy street filled with lots of traffic: Traffic Ahead Of The Thanksgiving Holiday

© Bloomberg
Traffic Ahead Of The Thanksgiving Holiday

Even with a surge in online sales, some Americans still hit the road to shop. Chains with lines out the door included Lululemon Athletica Inc., Bath & Body Works and Urban Outfitters. Shoppers camped overnight in some locations of GameStop Corp., one of the few retailers to do brick-and-mortar releases of

Continue reading

Despite notice error, developer moving on Siesta Key hotel workshop

Timothy Fanning
| Sarasota Herald-Tribune

SARASOTA COUNTY — Developer Gary Kompothecras is pitching a seven-story, 120-room hotel at Old Stickney Point and Peacock roads that may usher in a hotel renaissance on Siesta Key, and he’s seeking the community’s help to craft his project. 

The problem? Neither Kompathecras or his team has formally indicated when they wanted residents to show up to provide feedback, something that has riled stakeholders and made some legal experts question whether this is a violation of Florida’s open government laws. 

A published notice by the developer indicated the meeting date was to be determined. But according to Sarasota County, the meeting is proceeding as planned on Wednesday.

Florida requires local governments and other public agencies to publish notices of meetings, hearings and workshops seven days before the event.

Workshops are also required in the early stages of the local development process and help county staff formulate suggestions for elected officials to consider before they make a final decision on a development proposal. 

Robert Medred, the head of Genesis Planning and Development, applied for the workshop on behalf of Kompothecras, the founder of 1-800 Ask Gary and prominent Republican donor. 

While Medred did publish a notice of the workshop on Nov. 20 in the Herald-Tribune, the notice only indicated that the meeting “will be held via Zoom on November TBD” at 6 p.m.

A review of the county’s public meeting calendar on its website, which was linked in the notice, did not initially list any information about the public workshop. The county only recently included the workshop on its calendar. 

Michael Barfield, a paralegal and Florida public records expert, says that dates are required on notices and to not include them is a violation of Florida’s open records laws. 

“There are rules for giving a date on the notice,” said Barfield. “Otherwise, how would the public know where to show up and when to go?” 

The county, however, disagrees. 

“This is not a Sunshine violation as this is not an advertisement for a public hearing,” said Michele Norton, the county’s senior planning and zoning manager. “It’s an advertising error that requires the applicant to start that advertisement process over, as a date and time are required.”

Norton said that Medred “erroneously posted the wrong advertisement” and would have to re-advertise that the posted meeting will take place on Wednesday. 

But Medred hasn’t started the advertisement process over again and is pressing ahead with Wednesday, the date he initially included on his application that was filed and approved by the county, records show. 

In advance of the meeting, Kompothecras’ development team is also required to send out mailing notice to property owners within 750 feet of the project.

They are also required to send notice of the meeting 10 days in advance. 

Anecdotally, few, if any, of the stakeholders have received any notice, said Mark Spiegel, who represents the Siesta Key Coalition, one of several groups opposing the project. 

More coverage: Siesta Key rejected the roundabout 5

Continue reading

49ers to travel 700 miles for home games as Covid-19 continues to hit NFL | San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers will play two home games in Arizona after new coronavirus regulations put in place by officials in northern California forced the team to find a temporary new home.

The news came as Covid-19 continues to ravage the NFL. The Denver Broncos were forced to play a back-up wide receiver at quarterback on Sunday after their regular signal-callers were affected by the virus, while the New Orleans Saints were fined heavily for failing to follow mask protocols. All NFL team facilities are closed on Monday and Tuesday because of the rise in Covid-19 cases across the United States, in addition to the “understanding that a number of players and staff celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday with out-of-town guests,” according to a league statement released on Friday.

An outbreak in the Baltimore Ravens camp has led to their crucial game against their fierce rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers being delayed until Tuesday. There were 70 positive tests among NFL players and staff in the week ending 21 November, compared to seven in the first week of the season, at the start of September.

The US as a whole is expecting a further rise in Covid-19 cases in the next few weeks after people travelled to visit family and friends for the Thanksgiving holiday. The virus has killed more than 265,000 people in America, the highest total for any country.

As for the 49ers, they will host the Buffalo Bills next Monday and Washington on 13 December at State Farm Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals, 700 miles from their base in Santa Clara county. The team said it will have information on practice arrangements later.

The AFC East-leading Bills will be returning to Arizona for the second time in a little over three weeks, following a 32-30 loss to the Cardinals on 15 November.

“The Cardinals organization, State Farm Stadium and League officials have been supportive and accommodating as we work through the many logistical issues involved in relocating NFL games,” the 49ers said in a statement.

Santa Clara county announced new rules on Saturday that include a three-week ban on practices and games for contact sports. The Niners were on a plane getting ready to travel to Los Angeles, where they beat the Rams 23-20 on Sunday, when the players and coaches heard about the rules.

The rules will also affect the San Jose Sharks of the NHL and college teams at Stanford and San Jose State. Along with the ban on contact sports, the new rules require anyone who has traveled more than 150 miles from the county to quarantine for 14 days.

Source Article

Continue reading

Burlington Country Club cracks down on non-members using grounds for recreation

Burlington Country Club — a popular spot for walking and wintertime sledding during the off-season for golfing — is cracking down on non-members who come on the property for outdoor activities. 

The country club recently posted signs saying the club’s grounds were closed to the public. This has always been the case, but it hasn’t been as heavily enforced, said Burlington Country Club General Manager Jason Shattie. 

“It started becoming a problem with vandalism, disrespect of the property, and it’s a huge liability risk for the country club,” Shattie said Monday.

Shattie also said that members pay fees which go toward the upkeep of the grounds and facilities. It’s an equity issue to allow non-members, who do not pay fees, onto the property to use the grounds, he said. 

More: When are Vermont’s ski areas opening in 2020? A mountain-by-mountain roundup.

Vermonters have been encouraged to take part in outdoor activities to stay physically and mentally healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some lamented on social media about the crack-down, especially during a time when so many are heading outside. 

More: When your plow driver is quarantined: How COVID could leave Vermonters snowed in longer

Shattie said the move is not related to the pandemic — it’s just meant to solve an issue that has become more acute over time.

Burlington Country Club, which also has a pool and a clubhouse with a dining room, is open year-round for members. 

Contact Elizabeth Murray at 802-651-4835 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @LizMurrayBFP.

This article originally appeared on Burlington Free Press: Burlington Country Club cracks down on non-members using grounds for recreation

Continue Reading

Source Article

Continue reading

The Heart of Europe to handover 2,000 units within Phase I as it re-creates the charm of the French Riviera through St. Tropez Hotel

Construction of the project’s innovative landmarks, including the Floating Seahorse Villas, Sweden Beach Palaces, Germany Island Villas, Honeymoon Island, Portofino Hotel and Côte d’Azur Resort are progressing in full speed with all the Phase I projects having topped out while engineers are currently putting finishing touches on the exterior facades and interior décor – making them ready to receive tourists from all over the world – when large-scale tourism traffic starts to pick up.

“At the beginning of the year, we made a commitment to deliver part of the Phase 1 of the Heart of Europe to the owners by the end of 2020,” Josef Kleindienst, Chairman of Kleindienst Group, said. “At that time, we were not fully aware of the devastating effects of the Coronavirus pandemic and its magnitude.

“However, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we were determined to go ahead with our planned development and as the lockdown was announced in March, we shifted our entire team to the Heart of Europe islands and continued to construct. During the lockdown, we were isolated from the mainland and confined to the island and focused on construction.

“Now, I am pleased to announce that, we are ready to hand-over residential units to home-owners so that they can fit out the interiors. This reflects our strong commitment to the investors and as they start taking over, I am also excited to announce that we have started construction of the Phase II of the project – and plan to complete the development of the island by 2022.”

Since about 90 percent of the developments of the island are hospitality units, hotels and resorts will be opened when large-scale tourism traffic starts to pick up, he says.

“We are also getting ready to commercially open more than 1,500 hospitality units in five hotels and resorts – when the tourists start to travel – after the situation normalises. The recent announcement of the COVID-19 vaccine is encouraging and if most people are vaccinated in the first half of 2021, we will open the world-class leisure destination to local, regional and international tourists ahead of the Expo 2020 that starts in October 2021,” Josef Kleindienst says.

St. Tropez – an exclusive boutique hotel offering 200 keys – is gradually taking shape at the Heart of Europe, the most sustainable luxury leisure tourism destination in the world. Part of the four-hotel Côte d’Azur Resort, it will add to the growing attractions of the Heart of Europe, once complete in a few months.

Overlooking the Arabian Gulf, St. Tropez offers magnificent sea views – of a large body of crystal clear blue waters at an inter-connected destination of six islands that makes up the Heart of Europe, which will be one of the most sought after holiday destinations in the world.

St. Tropez promises to deliver luxury suites where every window overlooks mesmerising seascapes that shine under the sun. Guests will be able to surround themselves in the spellbinding beauty of the azure blue

Continue reading

Meet Two HBCU Grads Taking Over The Vacation Rental Market

Real estate investing has long been a proven approach to helping individuals diversify their assets, build generational wealth and achieve financial independence— and that’s especially the case when it comes to two HBCU grads: Carrington Carter and Calvin Butts, Jr.

The pair, who are the founders of the premium vacation rental company, Getaway Society, are not only taking over the $113 billion global vacation rental market, but also providing a pathway for Black entrepreneurs and investors to follow in their footsteps.

And their partnership started off rather serendipitously. What began with Carter vacationing in the Poconos, later led to the college friends joining forces to turn their love for traveling into a profitable business where they currently own and manage properties in the Poconos, Martha’s Vineyard, Gatlinburg, and Hilton Head. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, they have seen exponential growth in all of those markets, and there business has only continued to grow.

This comes as no surprise, with Black U.S. leisure travelers spending on average $109.4 billion on travel in 2019 – the most recent year reflecting normal travel spend prior to COVID-19. Needless to say, there’s a huge vacation rental market to be tapped into, and the Hampton University graduates are just beginning to scratch the surface. “We spend a lot of money on travel,” says Carter. “We spend a lot of money on experiences. You’re also starting to see a cultural shift, whether it’s brought on by social media, or whether it’s an age thing, where people are starting to spend a lot of money on experiences versus material things. The vacation rental industry and the travel industry are starting to benefit a lot from that.”

After putting their financial resources and knowledge together, they broke ground on their first Getaway Society property in the Pocono Mountains in 2014 — and it’s been up ever since. “We continue to grow in this space,” says Carter. “One of the things that we like about the vacation rental home market, is the many different types of ways that you can use these houses. Whether it’s a family trip, whether it’s a multigenerational family… fraternity trip, sorority trip, bachelor, bachelorette.”

Butts adds that their growing success also has a lot to do with the current social climate, “This is now the preferred way of travel for a lot of folks. Given the fact that folks are traveling in larger groups, and people looking for more privacy, and are looking to have events and need more space. If you think about where we are in this current pandemic — the need for safety, cleanliness, privacy and less exposure to others is now very important.”

Carter and Butts, Jr. haven’t stopped at vacation rentals either. The pair also co-own McKinley Carter Enterprises, a real estate investment and property management company, as well as East Chop Capital, a private equity firm that helps people create and grow businesses, as well as obtain financial education on how to raise money and find investors. “Calvin and

Continue reading

This Real Estate Market Could Be a Moneymaker for Vacation Rental Investors

The first person I knew in the United States to take COVID-19 seriously was a Manhattan blogger who owned vacation rental properties in upstate New York. By February, she had pulled her children out of school and gone to the Adirondacks, a move her peers first found dramatic but turned out to demonstrate excellent foresight.

As the pandemic began to stalk New York’s five boroughs, more acquaintances began to ask for her real estate agent husband’s services — to the point where, once he’d rented out their own properties to Big Apple escapees, he became a specialist in upstate New York rental homes. And not for short-term rentals. Many families, including their own, decided to stay in the wooded, vaguely wild rural region of upstate New York until… well, who knows?

In communities like the Adirondacks, most vacation rentals are typically booked solid in peak months and slow in the off-season, with marketing efforts geared toward extending peak season numbers into the shoulder season. That’s no longer the case. Vacation travel is floundering and pummeled by COVID-19’s peaks and people’s reactions to it — just ask Hawaii, where at least two peak times have come and gone, with the islands’ hotel rooms 80% unoccupied due to near-total lockdowns.

But that doesn’t mean units must sit empty. They just need to change their rules.

The pivot away from short-term rentals

The silver lining to the slowdown in travel bookings can be the less pricey per-night, but much steadier, long-term rental.

Articles have come out everywhere, from Vogue to Business Insider to The New York Times, about wealthy, privileged folks fleeing the cities to wait out COVID-19 in luxury resort areas such as Aspen, Colorado, and Tulum, Mexico. However, as social distancing and remote work become the norm, more people are looking for a long-term alternative to cities, and they don’t need jet set destinations. Some folks are buying, but many are choosing — for financial reasons, or just caution — to rent.

Length of stay, regulations, and market pricing issues

Family circumstances led to me fixing up and renting out a relative’s Maui condo six months into the pandemic. As an owner, landlord, or manager in Hawaii right now, the first thing to know is that when stay-at-home and mandatory quarantines hit, short-term rentals are pretty much not allowed.

Even in most of the developments that do typically allow them, COVID-19 quarantine orders banned renting to anyone quarantining. And other states have implemented similar measures. Yet plenty of people decide to wait out the bans at a hotel or a relative’s house and then look for a two- or three-month lease.

For people who can only accept long-term leases, the flurry of three-month requests is a major annoyance. But for many vacation rental property owners, it was a great turn of events that helped make up for months without bookings earlier in the year — provided the county and complex allows it.

The issue is when would-be renters expect to pay

Continue reading

Hoboken Winter Recreation Programs Benched Amid Ongoing COVID Concerns

HOBOKEN, NJ – While area schools are altering programs to mitigate COVID risk for kids, the City of Hoboken has made the decision to blow the whistle on winter recreation programs.

“As we continue through the next stage of the second wave, and with cases surging in New Jersey, we have made the difficult decision to indefinitely postpone all City-run recreation programs for the winter, including all indoor sports and flag-football,” said Mayor Ravi Bhalla. “We have seen some recent COVID-19 cases coming from recreation leagues, and given the expected increase in cases, we feel it would be irresponsible from a health perspective to continue with indoor sports where social distancing is not practical.”

Hoboken Public Schools have resumed virtual learning this week, and are tentatively scheduled to return to classrooms on December 7. Other schools serving Hoboken students are operating under different plans based on the COVID impact to their classrooms. Parents and guardians are recommended to check in with their student’s specific classroom as virus responses continue to evolve.

Sign Up for Hoboken Newsletter

Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

You have successfully signed up for the TAPinto Hoboken Newsletter.

Follow us on Facebook and sign up for TAPinto Hoboken E-News alerts to be the first to read about all things Hoboken!

Download the FREE TAPinto App!  Click here for AndroidClick here for iOS for breaking news, traffic/weather alerts and special offers.

Know a story we should share with readers? Email editor Steve Lenox and tell him about it.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = ""; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'))

Source Article

Continue reading

Western Maine tourism, recreation get a funding boost

FRYEBURG — The federal government is making an investment in the tourism and recreation industries in western Maine, an area popular with hikers, campers and outdoor adventurers.

The University of Maine has received $286,800 to provide workforce training for the industries, U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, a Republican, and Angus King, an independent, said.

The money is through a partnership between the Northern Border Regional Commission and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Collins and King said in a statement that UMaine’s work “will preserve and protect western Maine’s rich history and beautiful landscapes by expanding workforce and professional development opportunities for Mainers.”

Use the form below to reset your password. When you’ve submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

« Previous

Next »

Source Article

Continue reading