Tag: happening

Hong Kong-Singapore Travel Bubble Isn’t Happening in 2020

(Bloomberg) — A resurgence of the virus is scuppering hopes of a return to normalcy in Hong Kong.

a group of people sitting at a train station: Changi International Airport in Singapore.

© Photographer: ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP
Changi International Airport in Singapore.

A key travel bubble with Singapore was delayed for a second time on Tuesday, some international banks ordered their staff to resume working from home and Carrie Lam, the city’s chief executive, said even parties at sea are off limits.


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It’s a sobering reminder of how quickly circumstances can change. After a long lull with just a handful of cases a day, the deteriorating situation in Hong Kong prompted the government to impose tighter social-distancing rules and to close schools again. The city reported 82 new infections on Tuesday.

While Hong Kong’s resurgent outbreak is far less intense than in the U.S. and Europe, where cases in some places are still hitting daily records, it’s been enough to usher in a raft of new restrictions. With nightclubs and karaoke parlors closed, a hotline for residents to report parties aboard yachts and rented party boats has been set up, Lam told a weekly news briefing Tuesday.

“The reporting hotline newly set up is there because we see that, after party rooms and karaoke parlors have been made to close, there are a number of people who organize events at sea,” Lam said. “We want to target such a breach.”

Bank Staff

While Hong Kong is poised to limit public gatherings to two people, the government hasn’t capped the number of people who can meet in private. A police representative declined to elaborate on the rules on whether the measure would have any effect on private parties hosted by yacht owners, referring only to the earlier Facebook post.

Meanwhile, global banks in the financial hub from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to Standard Chartered Plc are urging more staff to work from home again.

Goldman Sachs will go back to a full work-from-home approach in Hong Kong starting Wednesday except for staff that have to be in the office to perform their roles, according to a staff memo that was confirmed by a bank spokesman.

Standard Chartered has applied a hard split-team arrangement for functions that require work in the office, and shortened branch hours last Friday, according to a spokeswoman. “In view of Covid wave 4, we strongly encourage our staff to work from home where possible,” she said.

But perhaps Tuesday’s biggest setback was the delay until 2021 of the keenly anticipated travel corridor between Hong Kong and Singapore. That’s a blow for the region’s airlines and tourism businesses seeking to start a recovery from the almost year-long pandemic.

The travel bubble that would have involved rigorous Covid testing will be delayed beyond 2020, and the cities said Tuesday they will review the arrangement for 2021 toward late December. The pact, which would have allowed passengers to travel between the centers without a quarantine, was already postponed by two weeks on Nov. 21, a day before flights were due to start.


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What’s Been Happening In The Auckland Hotel Market In 2020

Britomart has seen the Grand Mercure Hotel and SO/ Hotel
both used as quarantine facilities for most of the year,
Meaning there has been a lack of 5 star accommodation in the
area for regular visitors. This has been somewhat alleviated
since the magnificent Hotel Britomart opened its doors
offering superb, environmentally friendly, 5 star accommodation
in the heart of Britomart

On Auckland’s
M Social has been off the market with as it
too has been used to quarantine returning New Zealanders.
The Hilton has been open for regular tourists throughout the
year. The Sofitel closed its doors, but has taken the
opportunity to reorganise, renovate and plans to reopen when
conditions are more favourable. Auckland’s waterfront
hotel stocks have also been bolstered with the opening of
the Park Hyatt. This has to be Auckland’s
best 5 star hotel
now. The location, facilities and
service are all excellent. The area is about to get two more
hotels with Travelodge
and QT
set to open later this year.

At the top
end of town Cordis
has been busy with a major expansion that will make them New
Zealand’s largest Hotel by some margin. Construction is
ongoing with things not scheduled to be completed until
2021. Meanwhile Amora Hotel has rebranded as Parkside
Auckland, and Scenic Hotel Auckland has rebranded as
Airedale Boutique Suites. Grand Millennium and 4 Points by
Sheraton have both been used for quarantine as

suffered a setback with the delay of the new convention
centre caused by a major fire during construction. This also
pushed back the opening of their new 5 star offering Horizon
Hotel until 2021. But The Grand and SkyCity hotel have been
operating all year.

Capstone Hotels have been busy in
Auckland this year taking over management of Delamore Lodge,
Parkside Auckland, and Waitakere Resort (Formerly a Heritage

Auckland Airport
have been largely used to rehouse returning
visitors this year with Jet Park, Novotel Auckland Airport,
Holiday Inn Auckland Airport and Naumi Hotel all being used
as isolation/quarantine hotels.

Manukau has been used as a quarantine facility for
most of the year. While further south construction is
underway on a new Hilton in Karaka of all places. Just off
the southern motorway at the NZ Bloodstock Sale Grounds. On
Auckland’s south east coast the rundown Formosa Country
Club has been purchased by the New Zealand Super Fund and
will reopen as Rydges Formosa Golf Resort will open in late
November offering 50 one bedroom Villas.

With the
America’s Cup almost upon us it looks like our borders
will still be closed to most international visitors meaning
the much anticipated boom will be more of a wet fizzle.
Hotels in the area will be hoping a travel bubble with
Australia has been opened in

© Scoop Media

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Insiders call it the ‘Secret Season,’ when travel bargains are everywhere: It’s happening now.

I need a break. And you do too.

diagram: (Ross May / Los Angeles Times; Getty Images)

© Provided by The LA Times
(Ross May / Los Angeles Times; Getty Images)

After a summer spent hiding inside the house to avoid pestilence, scorching temperatures and soot-filled air, we crave liberation and escape.

The good news: We’re entering the Secret Season, the answer to a frustrated traveler’s prayers. It offers bargains, uncrowded destinations and mild temperatures. It’s the ideal time to take a drive and get away from it all for a few days.

We’ve targeted three out-of-state (but relatively close) destinations where tourism is at low ebb this time of year, making it easier to socially distance. If you’re nervous about staying in a hotel, check out the websites of places you’re considering to read about their COVID-19 safety protocols, then make a phone call to find out more. Some people pack disinfecting cleaning supplies to be on the safe side.

Then grab your gear and hit the road. Our first pick is Scottsdale, Ariz., a big proponent of the Secret Season, which lasts through December. Locals in this resort town say fall offers some of the best weather of the year, ideal for hiking and other outdoor activities.

When you visit, take an easy drive two hours north of Scottsdale to see fall’s vibrant colors in Sedona, where the reds and golds of the season complement the red rock landscape.

You’ll find some of the nation’s top resorts in Scottsdale, where the nightly room rate often tops $1,000 during the spring season. But during the Secret Season, you’ll find 60%-off deals at some high-end resorts. Others have BOGO — buy-one-get-one-free deals — or three-nights-for-the-price-of-two specials.

Check out these bargains:

Hotel Adeline: If you like Midcentury Modern, you’ll love sleek and stylish Hotel Adeline, a boutique newcomer in Old Town Scottsdale. The 215-room, pet-friendly hotel had a $13-million makeover and now sports a restaurant and a lively pool with bar and cabanas. Rates start at $116 per night.

a view of a building: The hip Valley Ho hotel in Scottsdale, Ariz., has a "Slip Into Fall" deal from $240 a night. (Mark Boisclair / Valley Ho)

© (Mark Boisclair / Valley Ho)
The hip Valley Ho hotel in Scottsdale, Ariz., has a “Slip Into Fall” deal from $240 a night. (Mark Boisclair / Valley Ho)

Hotel Valley Ho: Anytime is martini time at the oh-so-hip Hotel Valley Ho in downtown Scottsdale, where the pool is shaped like a martini glass, complete with an olive. This Midcentury Modern hotel has a “Slip Into Fall Deal” that includes a $50 daily hotel credit and a bottle of wine, with rates from $240 a night.

Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa: This award winner, in neighboring Paradise Valley, isn’t near downtown shops or restaurants but it has panoramic views and offers a great place to escape, relax and rewind. Hike, bike or run on the many trails near the resort. Secret Season visitors from California can take advantage of a “Welcome, Neighbors” special (booking code PROCA3) that allows guests to stay for free on their third night. Rates from $373 per night.

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess: Get a BOGO deal this

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