Tag: Guidance

EU Sounds Cautionary Note on Virus With New Travel Guidance

(Bloomberg) — European Union regulators offered a fresh set of safe-travel recommendations in bid to make it easier for people to cross national borders within the bloc while guarding against another resurgence of the coronavirus.



a group of people walking down a street: Travelers queue to enter the Covid-19 test center, operated by Centogene NV, at Frankfurt Airport in Frankfurt, Germany, on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. A spat has broken out between senior officials in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc over coronavirus rules for travelers arriving in Germany from areas designated as risky.


© Bloomberg
Travelers queue to enter the Covid-19 test center, operated by Centogene NV, at Frankfurt Airport in Frankfurt, Germany, on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. A spat has broken out between senior officials in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc over coronavirus rules for travelers arriving in Germany from areas designated as risky.

The guidelines in the run-up to the end-of-year holidays are the latest attempt to strike a balance between the responsibility of EU governments for health policy and the role of the European Commission in preventing barriers in the bloc’s single market.

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The commission, the 27-nation EU’s regulatory arm, accompanied its latest recommendations with an appeal for prudence. The goal is to avoid a repeat of a rush to looser measures — something that EU countries did several months ago in a bid to salvage the summer tourist season and that fueled spikes in Covid-19 infections.

“Like everything else this year, end-of-the-year festivities will be different,” EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said in a statement on Wednesday in Brussels. “We cannot jeopardize the efforts made by us all in the recent weeks and months.”

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At the same time, the EU’s disease-control and aviation agencies issued a separate set of non-binding guidelines that urge member countries to avoid treating travelers as automatic high-risk sources of Covid-19 because the virus is now “well established” across the bloc.

“In such a scenario, testing and quarantine have only a limited impact on reducing the risk of spread, particularly with respect to travel between areas of similar risk or when moving from less risky ‘green’ areas to ‘orange’ or ‘red’ areas with greater prevalence of the disease,” the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the European Aviation Safety Agency said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

European airline and airport groups, which have been vocal critics of what they say has been a patchwork of measures across Europe to tackle the pandemic, jumped on the ECDC-EASA input to call for an end to quarantines on travelers.

European governments should “immediately abolish quarantine measures and other travel restrictions,” Airlines for Europe and the Airports Council International Europe said in an emailed statement.

Following are the latest commission travel-related recommendations to EU governments:

Where available, encourage people who intend to travel to get the season flu vaccine.Strongly discourage people with symptoms of Covid-19 from travelingWhere possible, increase public transport options and capacities to reduce crowdingRequire the use of masks in public transport and ensure all vehicles are well ventilatedEnsure that workers in transport, tourism and other exposed sectors have protection measuresEnsure that, if quarantine and testing of travelers are requested, these requirements are proportionate and non-discriminatoryAssess how testing can lead to the lifting of quarantine or other

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U.S. hits 12 million COVID-19 cases as many Americans defy Thanksgiving travel guidance

By Gabriella Borter



a group of people standing in front of a building: People wearing protective masks are seen at Rockefeller Center as the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in New York City


© Reuters/JEENAH MOON
People wearing protective masks are seen at Rockefeller Center as the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in New York City

(Reuters) – The United States recorded its 12th million COVID-19 case on Saturday, even as millions of Americans were expected to travel for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, ignoring warnings from health officials about furthering the spread of the infectious disease.

More than 12,010,000 cases of the coronavirus were reported, according to a Reuters tally of public health data, capping a series of days with record-breaking infections, with the Midwest experiencing one of the most dramatic increases in cases per capita.



a group of people walking down a street next to tall buildings: People wearing protective masks take a selfie in front of Rockefeller Center as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in New York City


© Reuters/JEENAH MOON
People wearing protective masks take a selfie in front of Rockefeller Center as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in New York City

The COVID-19 epidemic has claimed more than 255,000 lives in the United States – more than in any other nation – according to the Reuters tally – and the recent escalation has prompted more than 20 states to impose sweeping new restrictions this month to curb the virus.

Reuters data shows the pace of new U.S. infections has quickened, with nearly one million more cases recorded in just the last 6 days before the latest record. This compares with the 8 days it took to get from 10 million cases to 11 million, and the 10 days it took to get from 9 million to 10 million.

More than 1 million people flew through U.S. airports on Friday, according to data from the Transportation Security Administration, fueling fears of even greater spread of the virus. It was the second-heaviest domestic air traffic day since the start of the pandemic, despite pleas from health officials for Americans to stay home.



a group of people standing in a room: FILE PHOTO: Volunteers hand out Thanksgiving turkeys and bags of free holiday food to those in need at the Central Family Life Center in Staten Island, New York


© Reuters/BRENDAN MCDERMID
FILE PHOTO: Volunteers hand out Thanksgiving turkeys and bags of free holiday food to those in need at the Central Family Life Center in Staten Island, New York

“This is the 2nd time since the pandemic passenger volume has surpassed 1 million,” TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

Friday marked another milestone in the United States as the highest number of new COVID-19 cases was reported – 196,815 infections in a day.

Health officials have warned that the burgeoning wave of infections could soon overwhelm the healthcare system if people do not follow public health guidance, particularly around not traveling and mingling with other households for Thursday’s traditional Thanksgiving celebration.

Still, video footage on Twitter showed more than a hundred people, wearing masks, crowding departure gates at Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix, Arizona, on Friday. Lines for TSA checkpoints and kiosks at Chicago O’Hare airport were also long on Friday and “reminiscent of pre-pandemic times,” local TV station WGN reported.



a person riding a skate board: People wearing a protective masks skate t the skating rink at Rockefeller Center as the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in New York City


© Reuters/JEENAH MOON
People wearing a protective masks skate t the skating rink at Rockefeller Center as the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in New York City

The number of Thanksgiving air travelers was

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Many Americans defy Thanksgiving travel guidance as U.S. nears 12 million COVID-19 cases

By Gabriella Borter



a car parked in a parking lot: A healthcare worker holds a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) informational pamphlet for a resident at a drive-thru testing location in Houston


© Reuters/ADREES LATIF
A healthcare worker holds a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) informational pamphlet for a resident at a drive-thru testing location in Houston

(Reuters) – Millions of people in the United States were expected to travel for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, ignoring warnings from health officials about furthering the spread of COVID-19 as the nation was on the verge of recording its 12 millionth case on Saturday.

More than 1 million people flew through U.S. airports on Friday, according to data from the Transportation Security Administration. That made it the second-heaviest domestic air traffic day since the start of the pandemic, despite pleas from health officials for Americans to stay home and stop the spread of the virus.

Many Americans defy Thanksgiving travel guidance as U.S. nears 12 million COVID-19 cases

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“This is the 2nd time since the pandemic passenger volume has surpassed 1 million,” TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

Friday marked another milestone in the United States as the highest number of new COVID-19 cases was reported – 196,815 infections in a day.

Health officials have warned that the burgeoning wave of infections could soon overwhelm the healthcare system if people do not follow public health guidance, particularly around not traveling and mingling with other households for Thursday’s traditional Thanksgiving celebration.

Still, video footage on Twitter showed more than a hundred people, wearing masks, crowding departure gates at Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix, Arizona, on Friday. Lines for TSA checkpoints and kiosks at Chicago O’Hare airport were also long on Friday and “reminiscent of pre-pandemic times,” local TV station WGN reported.

The number of Thanksgiving air travelers was expected to decline by 47.5% from 2019, but 2.4 million people were forecast to take to the skies, according to a report earlier this month from the American Automobile Association. It said the number traveling by car was expected to fall by only about 4%.

“For those who are considering making a trip, the majority will go by car, which provides the flexibility to modify holiday travel plans up until the day of departure,” AAA Senior Vice President Paula Twidale said in a statement.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has issued a “strong recommendation” to Americans to refrain from all kinds of travel over Thanksgiving.

“We’re alarmed with the exponential increase in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths,” CDC official Henry Walke told reporters on Thursday.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the United States was on track to surpass 12 million on Saturday, with the Midwest experiencing one of the most dramatic increases in cases per capita.

The COVID-19 epidemic has claimed nearly 255,000 lives in the United States – more than in any other nation – according to a Reuters tally of public health data, and the recent escalation has prompted more than 20 states to impose sweeping new restrictions this month to curb the virus.

Reuters data shows the pace of new U.S. infections has quickened,

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Updated CDC guidance: Don’t travel for Thanksgiving

With the coronavirus surging out of control, the nation’s top public health agency pleaded with Americans on Thursday not to travel for Thanksgiving and not to spend the holiday with people from outside their household.

It was some of the firmest guidance yet from the government on curtailing traditional gatherings to fight the outbreak.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the recommendations just one week before Thanksgiving, at a time when diagnosed infections, hospitalizations and deaths are skyrocketing across the country. In many areas, the health care system is being squeezed by a combination of sick patients filling up beds and medical workers falling ill themselves.

The CDC’s Dr. Erin Sauber-Schatz cited more than 1 million new cases in the U.S. over the past week as the reason for the new guidance.

“The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is at home with the people in your household,” she said.


It comes as COVID-19 cases in the U.S. reached another daily high Thursday with over 185,000 new infections, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The previous high of 177,224 was set Friday.

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A complete breakdown of the CDC’s Thanksgiving guidelines can be found here.

If families do decide to include returning college students, military members or others for turkey and stuffing, the CDC is recommending that the hosts take added precautions: Gatherings should be outdoors if possible, with people keeping 6 feet apart and wearing masks and just one person serving the food.

Whether Americans heed the warning is another matter. The deadly comeback by the virus has been blamed in part on pandemic fatigue, or people getting tired of masks and other precautions. And surges were seen last summer after Memorial Day and July Fourth, despite blunt warnings from health authorities.

The United States has seen more than 11 million diagnosed infections and over 250,000 deaths from the coronavirus. CDC scientists believe that somewhere around 40% of people who are infected do not have obvious symptoms but can still spread the virus.

The CDC advises to take the following questions into consideration if you are thinking about traveling for Thanksgiving. If the answer to any question is “yes,” the CDC advises against traveling.

  • Are you, someone in your household, or someone you will be visiting at increased risk for getting very sick from COVID-19?
  • Are cases high or increasing in your community or your destination? Check CDC’s COVID Data Tracker for the latest number of cases.
  • Are hospitals in your community or your destination overwhelmed with patients who have COVID-19? To find out, check state and local public health department websites.
  • Does your home or destination have requirements or restrictions for travelers? Check state and local requirements before you travel.
  • During the 14 days before your travel, have you or those you are visiting had close contact with people they don’t live with?
  • Do your plans include traveling by bus, train, or air which might make staying 6 feet apart difficult?
  • Are you traveling with
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CDC Gives Last-Minute Guidance on Holiday Travel

(Bloomberg) — With Thanksgiving a week away, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged Americans to skip holiday travel this year.

The recommendation released Thursday by the CDC was a break from earlier messaging in which U.S. officials have largely declined to issue firm guidance for holiday gatherings, leaving it to American families to decide for themselves whether to risk infection at large dinners with the coronavirus pandemic still raging.

The agency’s website suggests that virtual Thanksgivings pose the lowest risk, and that outdoor gatherings, smaller gatherings and shorter gatherings all help to reduce risk of viral transmission.

“The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is at home with the people in your household,” said Erin Sauber-Schatz, who leads the CDC’s Community Intervention and Critical Population Task Force, at a briefing with reporters.

The agency now projects a grim increase in deaths due to the virus over the next four weeks, with 7,300 to 16,000 new deaths likely to be reported in the week ending December 12, 2020.

Thanksgiving holds a unique place in the collective American psyche: The one national holiday when everyone traditionally takes a breather and gets together with family. But convincing 300 million people to break with that ritual is proving to be a hard sell, especially with disparate messages from the nation’s leaders.

The Trump administration has sent mixed signals. The White House announced Tuesday that President Donald Trump would remain in Washington for Thanksgiving, instead of traveling to his Palm Beach resort, Mar-a-Lago, his usual holiday destination. But officials didn’t say why he changed his plans.  Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Wednesday urged Americans to dine only with their immediate household — a warning that Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have not given.



Alex Azar wearing a suit and tie: President Trump Delivers Update On Operation Warp Speed


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President Trump Delivers Update On Operation Warp Speed

“Gathering indoors with people who aren’t members of your household is a high-risk activity for spreading the virus,” Azar said, after previously stopping short of such a warning.

That cationary tone, though, comes after many Americans have already made their plans and are on the verge of traveling.  Entering the U.S. holiday season, the nation is experiencing its worst surge of the virus yet. Cases are spiking nationally to record levels. The U.S. recorded 148,000 new cases on Tuesday after hitting a record daily total of 190,000 on Nov. 13. U.S. deaths from the coronavirus have surpassed 250,000, including 1,425 on Tuesday. Hospitalizations are at a record level. 

Those numbers are likely to get worse. The virus spreads easily indoors, particularly when people are eating, talking, not wearing masks and sitting closely together.  And contact tracing efforts are increasingly finding clusters of infections linked to small, private social gatherings, as opposed to the super-spreader events of earlier in the pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  updated their guidance on Thursday, suggesting that Americans limit in-person contact and not travel. 

“CDC is recommending against travel during the Thanksgiving period,” said Henry Walke, CDC’s

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