Tag: Holiday

Mayor of Denver apologizes for holiday travel after advising residents to stay put

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (D) apologized Wednesday following backlash for his holiday travel to Mississippi after he advised his residents to stay put due to the COVID-19 pandemic.



a view of a city with a mountain in the background: Mayor of Denver apologizes for holiday travel after advising residents to stay put


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Mayor of Denver apologizes for holiday travel after advising residents to stay put

Hancock released a statement saying he acknowledges he instructed people to “stay home and avoid unnecessary travel.” He said he publicly announced how his family canceled its usual “multi-household Thanksgiving” but should have shared that his wife and daughter have been in Mississippi after his daughter took a new job.

“As the holiday approached, I decided it would be safer for me to travel to see them than to have two family members travel back to Denver,” he said in the statement.

“I recognize that my decision has disappointed many who believe it would have been better to spend Thanksgiving alone,” he added. “As a public official, whose conduct is rightly scrutinized for the message it sends to others, I apologize to the residents of Denver who see my decision as conflicting with the guidance to stay at home for all but essential travel.”

“I made my decision as a husband and father, and for those who are angry and disappointed, I humbly ask you to forgive decisions that are borne of my heart and not my head,” he concluded.

The mayor received criticism after it was reported that he flew to Mississippi hours after tweeting out recommendations for people to “avoid travel, if you can” this year for Thanksgiving as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations surge across the country.

Earlier Wednesday, Mike Strott, a spokesperson for Hancock, told The Denver Post in a statement that there was not a contradiction between the mayor’s instructions and his flight as his family changed its plans from its tradition of gathering up to 50 people.

“[Hancock] has told people to rethink their Thanksgiving plans. He has also said that if you do travel to follow health and safety guidelines and the mayor will still follow health and safety guidelines upon his return,” Strott told the newspaper.

Similar to leaders across the country, Hancock cautioned against large gatherings for the holidays throughout November saying “we’re not going to sit here and tell you that Thanksgiving is canceled in Denver,” but people should “think differently” about holiday gatherings.

He is not the only government official to be accused of hypocrisy after California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) faced condemnation for attending a 12-person party after urging people to avoid such gatherings. The governor later apologized for his attendance.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) altered his in-person Thanksgiving plans after he received backlash for saying his 89-year-old mother and two daughters were traveling to Albany to celebrate the holiday.

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Holiday Travel Drops as Americans Rethink a Comforting Ritual

Americans have agonized over Thanksgiving this year, weighing skyrocketing coronavirus numbers and blunt warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention against gathering with family for a traditional, carbohydrate-laden ritual.

The United States reported more than 2,200 virus-related deaths Tuesday alone, the highest daily total since May 6. The country’s seven-day average for new cases has also exceeded 175,000 for the first time.

Around 27% of Americans plan to dine with people outside their household, according to interviews conducted by the global data-and-survey firm Dynata at the request of The New York Times.

Views on whether to risk Thanksgiving gatherings appear to track closely with political views, with respondents identifying as Democrats far less likely to be planning a multihousehold holiday.

Megan Baldwin, 42, had planned to drive from New York to Montana to be with her parents, but last week, she canceled her plans.

“I thought I would get tested and take all the precautions to be safe, but how could I risk giving it to my parents, who are in their 70s?” she said, adding that they were not happy with the decision.

“All they want is to see their grandkids,” she said, “but I couldn’t forgive myself if we got them sick. It’s not worth it.”

Others decided to take the plunge, concluding that the emotional boost of being together outweighed the risk of becoming infected, after a grim and worrying year.

“We all agreed that we need this — we need to be together during this crazy, lonely time, and we are just going to be careful and hope that we will all be OK,” said Martha Dillon, who will converge with relatives from four states on her childhood home in Kentucky.

The AAA has forecast a 10% overall decline in Thanksgiving travel compared with last year, the largest year-on-year drop since the recession of 2008. But the change is far smaller, around 4.3%, for those traveling by car, who make up a huge majority of those who plan to travel — roughly 47.8 million people.

About 912,000 people were screened by the Transportation Security Administration on Tuesday, which was 1.5 million fewer people than were seen on the same day in 2019, according to federal data published Wednesday.

Airlines are struggling from a dramatic decline in demand that has forced them to drop flights and make big capacity cuts, said Katherine Estep, a spokeswoman for Airlines for America, an industry trade group.

“Currently, cancellations are spiking, and carriers are burning $180 million in cash every day just to stay operating,” she said. “The economic impact on U.S. airlines, their employees, travelers and the shipping public is staggering.”

Demand for travel by train is down more sharply, at about 20% of what it was last year, said Jason Abrams, a spokesman for Amtrak.

Susan Katz, 73, said she canceled plans to spend Thanksgiving with her daughter last Friday, after watching a monologue by Rachel Maddow, the MSNBC host, describing her partner’s bout of coronavirus and

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Medical analyst on Denver mayor’s holiday travel



Duration: 01:35

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is apologizing for flying to see his family hours after encouraging Denver residents to avoid Thanksgiving travel. CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner responds.

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Madison Beach Hotel Makes Merry With A Host of Holiday Experience

Press release from Madison Beach Hotel:

On Fridays and Saturdays in December, hotel guests will receive socially distanced greetings upon check-in with hot apple cider and hot cocoa in the lobby from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Experience the Magic of Madison on December 5 and 6 with Fire & Ice Cocktails and Cocoa On The Beach. Open to all, Madison Beach Hotel will host socially distanced seating at our firepit, hot cocktails, music, and s’mores. Bring a blanket to stay toasty. Weather permitting.

Santa Claus will join us on The Dunes for socially distanced photo opportunities December 5 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Madison Beach Hotel welcomes you to stop by this holiday season and snap photos featuring Long Island Sound as a backdrop. Throughout December, look for “photo spot” signs to create picture perfect images – by The Dunes, by the beach fence, and on the porch. Tag us in your photos #MadisonBeachHotel #MagicofMadison @MadisonBeachHotel and share these breathtaking vistas.

Enjoy Holiday Brunch on Sundays in December from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Wharf is also now accepting reservations for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day Brunch, each special day featuring a merry menu of holiday favorites. Reserve your spot online www.thewharfmadison.com or call for reservations. Indoor and outdoor dining is available.

Finally, the hotel is offering Holiday Gift Cards once again this year. From December 4th through 24th, purchase $100 in gift cards and receive a bonus $20 gift card. Visit www.giftcards.madisonbeachhotel.com.

Please note that masks are mandated for all staff and patrons, in accordance with state regulations and Hilton mandates to ensure consistent safety. The hotel is providing masks for guests that arrive without facial coverings.

The hotel has fully implemented Hilton’s CleanStay program with focus on extra sanitization of 10 high-touch areas in guestrooms, elimination of multi-use products in-room, sealed and sanitized items for guest use, and increased frequency of cleaning all public space areas, including elevators and lobby.

REME HALO® air purification technology has been installed in The Wharf Restaurant and banquet event space for enhanced indoor dining safety.

Madison Beach Hotel is located at 94 West Wharf Road, Madison, Connecticut. For more information and to check availability for your upcoming event, please call our sales office 203-361-9345 or visit Madison Beach Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton. For more information on Curio Collection by Hilton, please visit newsroom.hilton.com/curio.


This press release was produced by Madison Beach Hotel. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

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For holiday travel, England uses tests to reduce quarantines

LONDON (AP) — In a boost to holiday travel that will be cheered by families and businesses, the British government has laid out a plan to reduce England’s 14-day quarantine requirement for travelers from destinations not deemed safe to as little as five days if they test negative for COVID-19.

The change to the quarantine rules, which was announced Tuesday and takes effect on Dec. 15, has been long-awaited by the travel industry, one of the worst-hit sectors during the pandemic. The industry hopes it will spur British families to go on holiday over the Christmas break, especially if children won’t have to miss school upon their return.

Under the new rules, passengers from places not deemed safe can reduce the 14-day quarantine period by paying for a test from a private firm on or after Day 5 of their arrival at a potential cost of around 100 pounds ($133). Results normally take a day or two.

READ MORE: U.K. becomes 5th country to exceed 50,000 coronavirus deaths

“Our new testing strategy will allow us to travel more freely, see loved ones and drive international business,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said. “By giving people the choice to test on Day 5, we are also supporting the travel industry as it continues to rebuild out of the pandemic.”

The change does not apply to the other parts of the United Kingdom. Travelers from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales must continue to self-isolate for 14 days.

Representatives from the four nations are meeting later Tuesday to come up with a U.K.-wide approach over the relaxation of restrictions over the Christmas period. All have indicated they will allow a degree of mixing between family and friends around Christmas, while stressing the need for caution.

The change in England’s travel rules brings them more in line with other European countries, including Germany. Still, with a maze of travel and quarantine restrictions around the world, few industry experts anticipate a rapid rush for the skies before vaccinations become widely available.

WATCH: Uncertainty in U.K. over COVID-19, relationship with U.S.

“We still have a complex jigsaw puzzle of restrictions around the world that need tourists to have a high IQ to understand,” said Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency. “We need to see global consistency for travel to fully take off.”

Many popular holiday destinations, such as the United States or Canada, remain blocked off for English travelers, and trips to most of Europe require quarantining, except for isolated spots like Spain’s Canary Islands, off the coast of Africa.

British travelers have faced a chaotic, uncertain situation since travel was permitted again after the spring coronavirus lockdown. The Conservative government has taken countries off its safe list at very short notice, prompting many travelers to cut vacations short to Spain and France this summer and quickly return to the U.K. to avoid mandatory quarantines.

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of the industry association Airlines U.K., said the announcement on a shorter quarantine period

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Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Starts to Climb as Coronavirus Outbreak Worsens | National News

More people than ever during the pandemic are traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, despite federal government recommendations against doing so.

The Transportation Security Administration recorded over 3 million people passing through airport security across the country during the three-day period of Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Still, that’s fewer than half the travelers recorded during the same timeframe last year.

The weekend numbers peaked on Sunday at 1,047,934.

“It was the highest since the steep decline due to the pandemic and the second time in three days that checkpoint volume surpassed 1 million,” TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein tweeted.

Cartoons on the Coronavirus

The previous record of airline travelers during the pandemic was the Sunday after Columbus Day weekend in October.

TSA Administrator David Pekoske last week said that he expects the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after to see the largest numbers of travelers.

In updated guidance, the agency recommended celebrating the holiday either virtually or with those in the household, which it defines as “anyone who currently lives and shares common spaces in your housing unit.”

“People who do not currently live in your housing unit, such as college students who are returning home from school for the holidays, should be considered part of different households,” the CDC said.

The guidance does not take issue with the act of flying itself, saying “most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on flights because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes.”

But a plane packed with passengers could be a different circumstance.

The agency said “social distancing is difficult on crowded flights, and sitting within 6 feet of others, sometimes for hours, may increase your risk of getting COVID-19.”

It also notes that air travel can involve close contact with other people through spending time in security lines and terminals.

The U.S. is headed toward documenting 200,000 coronavirus cases in a single day. Fatalities are also trending upward, with the country recording over 2,000 deaths in a single day last week for the first time since May.

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Newington Parks And Recreation Announces Holiday Events

Press release from the Newington Parks and Recreation Department:

Nov. 23, 2020

The Newington Parks and Recreation Department joins with Santa Claus to spread the holiday spirit without spreading germs! Instead of bringing the children of Newington to Santa, we are bringing Santa from the North Pole to the Newington Town Green and our neighborhoods!

“Christmas is my favorite time of the year. It is so unfortunate that we have to celebrate apart from each other. We are doing everything in our power to make sure everyone enjoys the season in a safe manner,” said Bill DeMaio, Superintendent of Newington Parks and Recreation. The tree lighting celebration to kick off the holiday season will be held on Saturday, December 5, with Mayor Beth DelBuono joining Santa to light our town Christmas tree, as well as the Main Street lights! Although spectators will not be able to gather in the center of town as in previous years, make sure to visit the Newington Parks and Recreation Facebook page to watch it Live for the very first time!

Along with the tree lighting ceremony, we are also running a few more activities for families to enjoy this holiday season. Starting today through Friday, December 4, we will be accepting registration for the Holiday House Decorating Contest. Families are encouraged to get in the holiday spirit by getting creative and showcasing their holiday style. If your neighbors have decorated their home, please encourage them to register as well! To register, visit the Parks and Recreation website at www.newingtonct.gov/parksandrec for online registration. You can also mail in your registration form or opt for curbside drop off at the Parks and Recreation office located at 200 Garfield Street. Registration is $10.00 per household or business in town. After registering and decorating your home, make sure to send a picture and the street address to Hadeel Majdoub, Recreation Supervisor, at [email protected] The picture will be posted on the Newington Parks and Recreation Facebook page along with the address, so not only will residents be able to vote for their favorite decorated home and/or business, but you will also be able to drive by and safely see them for yourselves! The prize for the household category is a $100.00 gift certificate to the Newington Parks and Recreation Department which can be used towards any of the hundreds of programs and camps offered through the Department. The business category winner will receive a quarter page ad, valued at $500.00, in our upcoming seasonal program guide which is sent to over 13,000 households! This is just the beginning of what the Newington Parks and Recreation has in store for this holiday season! Voting for the contest will end on Sunday, December 20, at 11:59 PM, so make sure to visit the Newington Parks and Recreation Facebook page and “Like” your favorite decorations before then! Winners will be announced the following day, on Monday, December 21, so make sure to visit our Facebook page to see who the winner is!

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Planning on Thanksgiving holiday travel? Many in the D.C. area are staying put.

The Washington region is in the midst of a Thanksgiving travel season like no other.

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Amid an alarming spike in new coronavirus cases, governors and local health officials are urging people to stay home. Health experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have “strongly recommended” people avoid traveling during the holiday.

Most seem to be heeding that advice.

“It’s been a long outbreak — almost 11 months now — and people are tired. We understand that,” said Erin Sauber-Schatz, head of the CDC’s Community Intervention and Critical Population Task Force. “People want to see their relatives, their friends and [celebrate] the way they’ve always done it, but this year, particularly, we’re asking people to be as safe as possible and limit their travel.”

Even before the CDC issued its updated recommendations, surveys by AAA Mid-Atlantic showed many people already had decided not to travel.

About 83 percent of D.C. residents said they planned to stay home this Thanksgiving holiday. When asked why they had decided not to travel, 65 percent cited the coronavirus pandemic. A similar number of Virginia residents, 84 percent, said they would be staying put.

In Maryland, where Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Monday urged residents not to let their guard down and to remain vigilant about wearing masks and social distancing, 89 percent of those surveyed said they would not be traveling. The Maryland Department of Transportation on Monday asked residents to avoid nonessential travel.

[Hogan announces targeted enforcement of coronavirus restrictions in bars and restaurants]

It’s a significant shift from previous years, when the Thanksgiving exodus would begin a week earlier as people plotted how to avoid the inevitable crush of holiday traffic. Regular commuters were warned to leave their offices early on Wednesday to avoid getting caught in holiday getaway traffic. The Capital Beltway became a sea of brake lights.

This will be the first Thanksgiving in more than a decade that fewer people plan to travel for the holiday when compared to the previous year, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.

But not everyone is staying home. Roadways and airports might be more crowded than in previous months, but the volume will be a far cry from previous years, officials said.

The Transportation Security Administration reported it screened more than 1 million passengers Friday and again Sunday — something that has happened only three times since the pandemic began in March.

“We’re seeing more people on a daily basis than we have in the last few months,” said Christina Saull, spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which manages Dulles International and Reagan National airports.

Even so, Saull said passenger volumes are down about 60 percent compared to 2019, when trade group Airlines for America projected 30.6 million people would travel over a 12-day period around Thanksgiving.

Saull said travelers are largely following requirements to wear masks and practice social distancing. She said free masks are available at airport information desks. Many airlines also are making masks available.

In a briefing

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Madison Beach Hotel Makes Merry With Host of Holiday Experiences

On Fridays and Saturdays in December, hotel guests will receive socially distanced greetings upon check-in with hot apple cider and hot cocoa in the lobby from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Experience the Magic of Madison on December 5 and 6 with Fire & Ice Cocktails and Cocoa On The Beach. Open to all, Madison Beach Hotel will host socially distanced seating at our firepit, hot cocktails, music, and s’mores. Bring a blanket to stay toasty. Weather permitting.

Santa Claus will join us on The Dunes for socially distanced photo opportunities December 5 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Madison Beach Hotel welcomes you to stop by this holiday season and snap photos featuring Long Island Sound as a backdrop. Throughout December, look for “photo spot” signs to create picture perfect images – by The Dunes, by the beach fence, and on the porch. Tag us in your photos #MadisonBeachHotel #MagicofMadison @MadisonBeachHotel and share these breathtaking vistas.

Enjoy Holiday Brunch on Sundays in December from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Wharf is also now accepting reservations for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day Brunch, each special day featuring a merry menu of holiday favorites. Reserve your spot online www.thewharfmadison.com or call for reservations. Indoor and outdoor dining is available.

Finally, the hotel is offering Holiday Gift Cards once again this year. From December 4th through 24th, purchase $100 in gift cards and receive a bonus $20 gift card. Visit www.giftcards.madisonbeachhotel.com.

Please note that masks are mandated for all staff and patrons, in accordance with state regulations and Hilton mandates to ensure consistent safety. The hotel is providing masks for guests that arrive without facial coverings.

The hotel has fully implemented Hilton’s CleanStay program with focus on extra sanitization of 10 high-touch areas in guestrooms, elimination of multi-use products in-room, sealed and sanitized items for guest use, and increased frequency of cleaning all public space areas, including elevators and lobby.

REME HALO® air purification technology has been installed in The Wharf Restaurant and banquet event space for enhanced indoor dining safety.

Madison Beach Hotel is located at 94 West Wharf Road, Madison, Connecticut. For more information and to check availability for your upcoming event, please call our sales office 203-361-9345 or visit Madison Beach Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton. For more information on Curio Collection by Hilton, please visit newsroom.hilton.com/curio.

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About Madison Beach Hotel

Madison Beach Hotel is a AAA Four Diamond Award-winning boutique resort and was chosen as Hotel of the Year by Hilton, the highest hotel award across all Hilton brands. The hotel, with 32 rooms offering luxurious accommodations with sweeping ocean views, private balconies, and beach, is part of Curio – A Collection by Hilton. Opened in May 2012, Madison Beach Hotel features The Wharf Restaurant with both dining room and porch seating, concierge spa, state-of-the-art fitness center and private yoga studio, and more than 5,000 square feet of private

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From quarantine facility to holiday destination: Will hotel reputations suffer from Covid-19 association?

New Zealand hotels used as managed isolation and quarantine facilities may run the risk of their brand being associated with Covid-19, says a marketing expert.

All people entering the country are required to spend 14 days in managed isolation or quarantine at a designated facility across the country.

The Government has contracted hotels to provide the service, with 32 of these facilities currently set up in New Zealand: 18 in Auckland, three in Hamilton, three in Rotorua, two in Wellington and six in Christchurch.

Auckland hotel M Social, one of the 32 Covid-19 managed isolation hotels for arrivals into the country.

Supplied/ M Social

Auckland hotel M Social, one of the 32 Covid-19 managed isolation hotels for arrivals into the country.

“Two ways hotels have tried to increase revenue is by targeting domestic tourists and serving as quarantine hotels,” said crisis management expert Daniel Laufer, associate professor of marketing at Victoria University of Wellington.

READ MORE:
* Covid-19: Air New Zealand crew isolating after testing positive in China
* Managed isolation, quarantine costing $2.4m a day, figures show
* Coronavirus: Time to look at our Covid-19 quarantine hotel contingency plan

“Serving as a quarantine hotel is beneficial for a hotel in the short run, however there is also a risk to the brand after Covid-19.”

Tourists might be wary of staying at a hotel that served as a quarantine facility, Laufer said.

“This may be particularly problematic for hotels housing people with Covid-19, such as the Jet Park Hotel,” Laufer said.

Jet Park Hotel in Auckland and Hamilton were being used solely by the Ministry of Health and were closed until December 31, 2021. However, Jet Park Hotel Rotorua remained open, and was not hosting returning travellers.

Jet Park was contacted for comment, but directed Stuff to the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment.

At one end of the spectrum, some hotels might not end up hosting anyone with coronavirus, so there would be minimal publicity and not a lot of risk to the brand, he said.

The risk was higher for hotels where the association was specific and repeated.

Auckland’s Jet Park Hotel, which is being used as a quarantine hotel, and will be closed to the public until December 2021.

Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Auckland’s Jet Park Hotel, which is being used as a quarantine hotel, and will be closed to the public until December 2021.

“Whenever a new case of Covid-19 arises, health officials such as Dr Ashley Bloomfield highlight during press conferences the transfer of new Covid-19 cases to the Jet Park Hotel.

“The Government is 100 per cent right in disclosing to the public, but at the same time when there’s a constantly repeated brand, that has an impact.”

A more famous brand that suffered the fallout of being associated in people’s minds with coronavirus was Corona beer.

However, Corona, which derived its name from the Sun’s corona, had held up and was recently named the world’s most valuable beer brand by Brand Finance. It was one of the most popular alcoholic drinks bought in New Zealand during the level 4 lockdown.

Usually such association was beyond the control of brands, but if the publicity was negative enough a company might consider changing its name.

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