Tag: plans

Westlake resident plans “micro” events for hotel customers during the pandemic

WESTLAKE, Ohio – Everyone has had to make adjustments in their lives during the pandemic. Some of the adjustments have been big such as unemployment. Other adjustments have been smaller such as getting used to wearing a mask.

But then other adjustments can now be termed “micro” and a Westlake resident seems to have become the queen of making those adjustments work for many people.

Nicole Bakker calls her efforts “micro event experiences.” Don’t call her an event planner.

She works for both the Kimpton Schofield Hotel at the corner of East Ninth Street and Euclid Avenue in downtown Cleveland as well as their restaurant, Betts, that is open on the ground floor of the hotel.

“I work for both the restaurant and the hotel. I am the only employee working for both, not just catering, but involving all departments and employees–and their guests,” she said.

Bakker noted she has an extensive background in hospitality.

“I have been in hospitality pretty much my whole life. I have worked from the kitchen to the front of the house to event planning, to marketing to social media to weddings to corporate and even to in-home—doing personal or corporate events in backyards for anywhere from five to 3500 people.

Her mission is clear and certainly takes a lot of planning and creativity but she said people are beginning to come back now to celebrate the times of their lives.

“I have some interaction with every person coming through the door and they are all celebrating something,” she said. “Now the people are re-scheduling and they just want to celebrate and make it happen. The picture from earlier in the year is gone. Everyone who walks into the hotel is really excited to be here. It’s gotten a lot more lively and people are more thankful to be celebrating.”

What, specifically, is important to them now?

“Quality,” she said. “That makes all the difference now. Due to the pandemic, people know what they want.”

But there has been one big change and that’s what Bakker does best.

“All things are much more intimate now, smaller, more personal, with groups up to only about 50 people,” she said.

Are they disappointed to not have more?

“No, they were disappointed in March but now they are grateful they can get out and celebrate. They have more appreciation for more intimate events and the purpose of the event. I hear it all the time. ‘It’s only going to be our closest friends and family,’ and they are happy about it. They are grateful to just be out.”

Bakker said it is not 60 people for brunch now, but only 10, “With people they really want to celebrate with.” This is the definition of micro events.

It doesn’t seem those planning an event in this unusual time could go wrong at the Kimpton Schofield/Betts Restaurant. Experience, understanding and enthusiasm are their outstanding calling card.

For more information on the hotel and/or the restaurant visit https://www.theschofieldhotel.com/ or call (216)

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New road and rail plans for Christmas travel spike



a person standing in front of a building


© Getty Images


Road and rail networks are facing changes as the government prepares for a spike in travel when Covid restrictions are eased over Christmas.

Across the UK, up to three households will be allowed to stay together in a “Christmas bubble” from 23-27 December.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said 500 miles of roadworks have been cleared on motorways and A-roads to ease any congestion.

And, he added, there are plans to run longer trains on the rail network.

Mr Shapps said that rules may also be eased to allow more types of coaches to run.

“We recognise that people will want to be with their friends and family over Christmas,” he said. “For those that choose to form a Christmas bubble, we’re lifting travel restrictions across the UK for five days.”

Further details will be published next week, once the picture on passenger demand is clearer.

The government will be monitoring demand for road and rail travel using ticket booking websites and journey planning services such as Google Maps to try to get a grasp on the public’s travel plans ahead of time and increase capacity accordingly.

The expectation is that the start and end of the five-day travel window will be very busy.

Earlier this week, the transport secretary urged people to book tickets well in advance where possible, and prepare for restrictions on passenger numbers.

Referring to domestic travel during the festive period, Mr Shapps urged those travelling on public transport to pre-book tickets as the capacity of services remains reduced to allow for social distancing and as a result of staff self-isolating.

Some advance fares, such as for Avanti West Coast, which operates trains on the West Coast Main Line, go on sale on Tuesday.

These cheaper tickets are usually available 12 weeks in advance, but their release has been delayed during the pandemic due to short-notice timetable changes.

Mr Shapps also highlighted Network Rail’s plans for a series of upgrades and routine maintenance across Britain between 23 December to 4 January.

He told the BBC: “I would appeal to people to think very carefully about their travel plans and consider where they are going to travel and look at the various alternatives available.”

People who live in areas placed in the highest tier of restrictions in England, tier three, should avoid leaving their region entirely, he said.

The majority of the network has also been cleared of engineering works in a bid to avoid disruption.

Those that are scheduled for the festive period will be reviewed if passenger demand is high. But government sources say it is unlikely that the major works on the East Coast Main Line and London King’s Cross will be altered.

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With COVID stalling vacation plans, here’s what Canadians can do with unused travel rewards

Many Canadians have had their travel dreams slip out of reach this year as the COVID-19 pandemic closed borders and forced many airlines to reduce their services.

With vacation plans on hold, credit card users’ travel rewards are piling up, which is leading some consumers to use their points in other ways.

Personal Finance Expert Melissa Leong says there are two main choices Canadians have when it comes to their travel reward points right now.

“You either save them because, like me, you love travel, or you have family out of town and know you are going to use them at some point. When it comes to travel reward points you get your best bang for your buck if you use it towards travel,” she said in a phone interview.

“The second option is that you could use them [on something else]. Other people have different priorities at this time and they may find more use for putting those points towards gift cards, groceries or applying points to pay off actual debt.”

The author of Happy Go Money, who said she has decided to hoard her own travel rewards, warned credit card users should check if their points expire.“If they don’t expire, hoard them. If they do, then you might want to use them,” she said.

Clinton Braganza, senior vice president of customer loyalty and partnerships at Scotiabank, says his team has seen travel point redemption fall by about 40 per cent year-over-year and a 60-per-cent increase in customers using their rewards points to pay down their credit cards.

“Travel has played a significant role in rewards cards year-over-year,” Braganza said in a phone interview. “But many people who usually redeemed their points on travel are now migrating over to everyday spending.”

“This really speaks to the pragmatism of Canadians during these times.”

Other credit card issuers have adapted their rewards programs to meet customers’ changing spending habits during the pandemic, which Jason Rasmussen, vice president of TD Credit Cards, says is centred around online shopping.

Jennifer Douglas, head of North American retail and small business payments at BMO, says changes in consumer spending habits amid the pandemic have put a spotlight on the need for banks to adapt.

“This pandemic has really amplified the need for banks to think more broadly and beyond travel…what we really tried to do is put ourselves in our customers’ shoes during this time,” Douglas said in a phone interview.

Jamie Golombek, managing director of tax and estate planning at CIBC Private Wealth Management, says Canadians could start thinking about redeeming their unused credit card points towards gifts for friends and family over the holidays.

“Given the holiday season, now may also be an opportune time to use some of your points to purchase a gift card or other merchandise as many programs do offer special deals this time of year, where the redemption value may be higher,” Golombek said in an email.

“Just go online and see what your card is offering.”

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Daniel Andrews texts reveal hotel quarantine plans

Later that Friday, Mr Andrews texts her to ask: “how are we going on hotels” to which she replied that she would provide an update that night. Despite Ms Ratcliff’s role she was never called to give evidence to the inquiry.

Ms Ratcliffe and Mr Andrews appear to have been aware of the risks the program posed to workers, discussing the need for “protections for workers” in their texts.

Trucking boss Lindsay Fox has diverged from big business leaders to back Premier Daniel Andrews. Eddie Jim

The evidence filed on Friday also revealed that former Secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Chris Eccles called former police chief Graham Ashton at 1.17pm on the day the program was conceived.

During a six minute window that day, former Commissioner Ashton went from being in the dark to texting “mate my [advice] is that ADF will do passenger transfer and private security will be used.”

In an affidavit filed on Friday, Mr Andrews said he was not aware that Mr Eccles and Commissioner Ashton spoke that day and that he did not recall speaking to the Premier and Cabinet secretary between national cabinet and giving a press conference outlining the program later that day.

He also said he was not aware that Ms Ratcliffe spoke to Police Minister Lisa Neville in the aftermath of the National Cabinet meeting and did not know what they discussed.

Mr Andrews told a parliamentary committee earlier on Friday that he denied the claim he and Ms Ratcliff were the only ones left in a decision-making chain which led to the decision to use private security to guard the quarantine hotels.

The hotel inquiry was due to report by November 6 has been extended until December 21 but despite hearing from 63 witnesses and receiving more than 60,000 documents, no one could identify who made the decision.

During the separate four hour grilling by a parliamentary hearing on Friday, Liberal MP Bridget Vallence pointed to evidence by Mr Eccles, who stepped out of national cabinet on March 27 around 12pm and spoke to Ms Ratcliff and also called the Secretary of Jobs, Simon Phemister.

COVID economic stimulus
Frydenberg Morrison state premiers Daniel Andrews  David Rowe

By 12.30pm, Mr Phemister was meeting senior staff and contemporaneous notes show private security and police were planned to be used.

Ms Vallence said given Mr Eccles and Mr Ashton told the inquiry it was not their decision – as did Mr Phemister – that only left Mr Andrews and Ms Ratcliff in the decision-making chain.

“Not at all,” Mr Andrews told the hearing.

“You’re making a number of assumptions about a six minute window of time and the impact that window of time and various contact between different people did or didn’t have on the operationalisation of the decisions of the national cabinet.”

Mr Andrews was again asked about what was discussed when Mr Eccles, left national cabinet and talked to his chief of staff, but said there was nothing

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Japan Debates Travel Push; Astra Plans New Trial: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) —

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As the coronavirus resurges in Japan, politicians and experts are growing more divided on the impact that a subsidy program encouraging people to travel is having on the spread of Covid-19. AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid-19 vaccine looks like it’s headed for an additional global trial as the drugmaker tries to clear up uncertainty and confusion surrounding favorable results in its current study.

New infections in New York reached a seven-month high, while hospitalizations rose to their highest level since June. In Europe, the total number of cases in Germany topped 1 million, and the number of patients in intensive care rose to record levels. Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans to do more to rein in the pandemic and called on Europe’s ski resorts to close.

Elsewhere, London will avoid the toughest coronavirus restrictions when England’s partial lockdown ends next week, the number of severely ill French patients in intensive care fell to the lowest level in more than three weeks. Argentines mourning the death of soccer icon Diego Maradona ignored virus restrictions.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases top 60.8 million; deaths top 1.4 millionBiden warns of ‘long, hard winter’ for virus in somber addressLondon avoids toughest curbs as Tories protestAirline claims that flying is safe stir doubts among expertsThe best and the worst places to be in the coronavirus eraCovid vaccine rush in China raises fears of booming black market

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on coronavirus cases and deaths.



chart, histogram: U.S. death toll tops 1,600 a day, highest since mid-May


© Bloomberg
U.S. death toll tops 1,600 a day, highest since mid-May

India’s Zydus Plans Launch of Vaccine by March (11:05 a.m. HK)

Zydus Cadila’s Covid-19 vaccine is likely to enter phase III trials next month and a launch is expected by March if things go according to the plan, The Economic Times reported.

South Korea to Decide on Social Distancing Rules Soon (11 a.m. HK)

South Korea will decide soon whether further tightening of social distancing rules is needed as the nation reported more than 500 daily cases for second day, a health ministry official said.

Debate Erupts Over Japan Travel Campaign (10 a.m. HK)

As the coronavirus resurges in Japan, politicians and experts are growing more divided on the impact that a subsidy program encouraging people to travel is having on the spread of Covid-19.

The popular “Go To Travel” campaign, which discounts trips to boost regions hit hardest by a lack of tourists, is one of the government’s most prized projects for spurring the economy, and has been heavily backed by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

U.K. Moves to Get Vaccine Approved Before EU (8:03 a.m. HK)

Health Secretary Matt Hancock asked the U.K. medical regulator to potentially bypass its European Union counterpart and approve the supply of AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid vaccine to speed its deployment.

AstraZeneca Eyes Extra Global Vaccine Trial (8:02 a.m. HK)

AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid-19 vaccine looks like it’s headed for an additional global trial as

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Despite coronavirus issues, Ohio State football practiced Thursday and still plans to travel to Illinois

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Whatever coronavirus issues Ohio State football is dealing with have not shut down preparations for Saturday’s game at Illinois.

The Buckeyes practiced as scheduled on Thursday, though it was unclear if the structure of that workout had to be altered due to the reported increase in COVID-19 cases within the program. One source told cleveland.com the positive tests, or associated isolation due to contact tracing, are affecting players, coaches and support staff.

Ohio State did publish a series of photos from Thursday’s practice on Twitter. Players showcased as attending practice included quarterback Justin Fields and offensive linemen Josh Myers, Thayer Munford and Nicholas Petit-Frere.

Another photo showed coach Ryan Day holding the Illibuck trophy that will be at stake in Saturday’s game. A video about the team meal featured starting linebacker Baron Browning. Another video featured starting defensive end Jonathon Cooper.

Reports first surfaced Thursday evening about an increase in positive tests within the program. Ohio State has not confirmed anything, other than Thursday’s practice occurring and Friday’s travel plans remaining intact.

Ohio State typically releases a status report on Friday mornings at approximately 10 a.m. That report does not differentiate between injury, illness or disciplinary absences. Due to the daily COVID-19 testing throughout the Big Ten, that report has also been more fluid than usual because new absences could pop up after the report comes out.

In other words, what the team releases Friday, if anything, may be a best-case scenario regarding its roster for Saturday’s game.

Any players who tested positive will be unable to play in any of the final three regular-season games, per the Big Ten’s policy mandating 21 days out of competition. After the Illinois game, Ohio State is scheduled to play at Michigan State on Dec. 5 and at home against Michigan on Dec. 12. The Big Ten championship game follows on Dec. 19.

It is also important to remember that, depending on testing thresholds, Ohio State could reach a point where whether it plays or practices is out of its control.

Per Big Ten protocols, teams experiencing cases among more than 5% of team members and more than 7.5% of the program “population” — a combination of players, coaches, managers, trainers and other staff — must halt operations. Any canceled games cannot be made up. Ohio State already missed one game due to Maryland’s outbreak.

Positive tests in the 2.5-5% range for a team and 3.5-7.5% for the population mean a program must alter its practice and meeting schedule and “consider viability of continuing with scheduled competition.”

New Ohio State face masks for sale: Here’s where you can buy Ohio State-themed face coverings for coronavirus protection. A 3-pack is available on Fanatics for $29.99.

Ohio State Buckeyes Adult Face Covering

Fanatics has released Ohio State Buckeyes Adult Face Coverings. This 3-pack of adult masks, retails for $29.99.

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Denver mayor apologizes over Thanksgiving travel plans

By Lauren M. Johnson, Kay Jones and Jeremy Harlan | CNN

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is asking for forgiveness after coming under fire for his upcoming holiday plans.

Hours after encouraging Denver residents to avoid Thanksgiving travel, the city’s mayor office confirmed he is flying to Mississippi to spend the holiday with his daughter and wife, according to his office.

“I recognize that my decision has disappointed many who believe it would have been better to spend Thanksgiving alone,” Hancock said in a statement released by his office. “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.”

The apology comes after he posted a tweet on Wednesday morning stating that avoiding travel is a way to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 over the Thanksgiving holiday.

The city also encouraged residents to only host Thanksgiving dinners with members of their immediate household.

In a statement previously sent to CNN, Hancock’s spokesperson, Mike Strott, that Hancock “will follow all necessary health and safety guidance and quarantine” upon his return to Denver.

According to the latest data provided by the city’s health department, there are 33,971 total reported cases of Covid-19 in Denver since the start of the pandemic.

Hancock isn’t the only local leader who’s not heeded their own advice.

Earlier this month, California Gov. Gavin Newsom received backlash after he and his wife attended a birthday party at the French Laundry restaurant with a dozen others from several different households despite state health guidelines recommending against such gatherings amid a surge in Covid-19 infections.

Newsom apologized for his attendance, acknowledging that he should be practicing what he preaches.

“I made a bad mistake,” Newsom said. “Instead of sitting down, I should have stood up, walked back to my car and drove home.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo canceled his plans after facing criticism for planning to have a holiday meal with his 86-year-old mother and two of his daughters amid escalating numbers of Covid-19 cases.

The governor had previously warned New Yorkers who plan on holding Thanksgiving celebrations as usual that it was dangerous given that the virus can spread in large indoor gatherings.

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Denver mayor says he ‘should have’ shared Thanksgiving travel plans after urging people to ‘avoid unnecessary travel’

Denver’s mayor apologized for traveling out of state to visit family members only hours after telling residents of the Colorado city to “avoid travel.”

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, a Democrat, who was seen boarding a flight to Houston, Texas, on Wednesday said that although he warned residents of the Colorado capital to refrain from traveling amid the coronavirus pandemic, he decided “it would be safer” to travel to Mississippi to visit his daughter than have her come to Denver.

“I fully acknowledge that I have urged everyone to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel,” Hancock wrote. “I have shared how my family canceled our plans for our traditional multi-household Thanksgiving celebration. What I did not share, but should have, is that my wife and my daughter have been in Mississippi, where my daughter recently took a 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.”

Hancock was chastised online for his hypocritical decision and apologized for the travel plans after critics noted his office previously instructed residents to stay home for “all but essential travel.”

Hancock admitted that he allowed his emotions to get the better of his travel plans, which fly directly against his own health guidelines.

“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,” Hancock added.

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Nearly one in five respondents cancelled their Thanksgiving travel plans due to COVID-19



a group of people standing around a bag of luggage: Travellers check in at Washington's Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, on November 24, 2020. Experts are worried that traveling for the holiday season will result in a new COVID-19 spike. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)


© NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
Travellers check in at Washington’s Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, on November 24, 2020. Experts are worried that traveling for the holiday season will result in a new COVID-19 spike. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

  • According to Insider polling from November 20 to 21, nearly one in five respondents canceled their pre-made Thanksgiving travels plans as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Additionally, nearly 19% of respondents reported Thanksgiving travel plans which include either driving or flying.
  • Around the country, ICU beds in hospitals are increasingly reaching capacity and experts are concerned that the odds of a post-Thanksgiving coronavirus spike are “extremely high.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

As COVID-19 cases continue to soar across the US, many Americans have chosen to stay home for Thanksgiving to help prevent spreading the virus any further. 

According to recent polling from Insider and SurveyMonkey, 19% of survey respondents previously had plans to travel for Thanksgiving which have since been canceled. Another nearly 19% of respondents noted that they currently have plans to drive or fly to reach their final holiday destination. 

On November 19, the Center for Disease Control recommended Americans stay home for the holiday to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

But while close to one in five people are estimated to have canceled their preexisting travel plans as a precautionary measure, polling shows that 57% of respondents will be celebrating Thanksgiving with at least one additional household.

This breakdown comes from a SurveyMonkey Audience poll taken between November 20 and November 21. The poll collected 1,110 respondents who were asked about their plans for the Thanksgiving holiday, COVID-19, as well as a number of other questions.

Gallery: These Are the 7 New COVID Hotspots in the U.S. (Best Life)

With just one day remaining until Thanksgiving, many ICU beds in hospitals have reached capacity, especially in rural areas where some hospitals have sent their sickest patients to cities where there is more bed space.

The US has a greater number of cases and deaths than any other in the world, and as of November 25, 2020, there have been 259,979 deaths in the United States attributed to the virus, according to the Coronavirus Research Center at the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.

Many experts are concerned that if enough Americans ignore the CDC recommendations and travel, the country may see a large increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

Dr. David Rubin, the director of PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, told the Associated Press that the risks of a post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 spike are “extremely high.”

“I can’t speculate on what people are going to do,” he said to the Associated Press. “But I can say that to the degree that there isn’t a collective buy-in here, it sort of blunts the impact of the measures themselves.”

According to previous Insider reporting and data from the Transportation Security Administration, more than three million people traveled through US airports between November

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Insider Poll: How COVID-19 is influencing Thanksgiving travel plans

  • According to Insider polling from November 20 to 21, nearly one in five respondents canceled their pre-made Thanksgiving travels plans as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Additionally, nearly 19% of respondents reported Thanksgiving travel plans which include either driving or flying.
  • Around the country, ICU beds in hospitals are increasingly reaching capacity and experts are concerned that the odds of a post-Thanksgiving coronavirus spike are “extremely high.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

As COVID-19 cases continue to soar across the US, many Americans have chosen to stay home for Thanksgiving to help prevent spreading the virus any further. 

According to recent polling from Insider and SurveyMonkey, 19% of survey respondents previously had plans to travel for Thanksgiving which have since been canceled. Another nearly 19% of respondents noted that they currently have plans to drive or fly to reach their final holiday destination. 

On November 19, the Center for Disease Control recommended Americans stay home for the holiday to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

But while close to one in five people are estimated to have canceled their preexisting travel plans as a precautionary measure, polling shows that 57% of respondents will be celebrating Thanksgiving with at least one additional household.

This breakdown comes from a SurveyMonkey Audience poll taken between November 20 and November 21. The poll collected 1,110 respondents who were asked about their plans for the Thanksgiving holiday, COVID-19, as well as a number of other questions.

With just one day remaining until Thanksgiving, many ICU beds in hospitals have reached capacity, especially in rural areas where some hospitals have sent their sickest patients to cities where there is more bed space.

The US has a greater number of cases and deaths than any other in the world, and as of November 25, 2020, there have been 259,979 deaths in the United States attributed to the virus, according to the Coronavirus Research Center at the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.

Many experts are concerned that if enough Americans ignore the CDC recommendations and travel, the country may see a large increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

Dr. David Rubin, the director of PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, told the Associated Press that the risks of a post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 spike are “extremely high.”

“I can’t speculate on what people are going to do,” he said to the Associated Press. “But I can say that to the degree that there isn’t a collective buy-in here, it sort of blunts the impact of the measures themselves.”

According to previous Insider reporting and data from the Transportation Security Administration, more than three million people traveled through US airports between November 20 through November 22, the weekend before Thanksgiving. Though more than experts would prefer, the AP reported that travel is down by more than 50% compared to 2019.

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling

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