Tag: push

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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Lyft’s Thanksgiving travel push receives backlash amid worsening pandemic | Lifestyles

As coronavirus cases continue to rise across the United States, Lyft is enticing people to get on the road for Thanksgiving — a message that doesn’t jibe with the recommendations from many local health and government officials.

Lyft, while best known for its ride-hail services, also has a rental car offering in some markets and it’s trying to leverage the upcoming holiday as a marketing opportunity. Through push notifications shared by some customers on social media Wednesday, the company sent the message: “Last-minute Thanksgiving plans? Rent a car and make them happen.” Emails received by some customers contained similar messaging.

Unsurprisingly, some recipients didn’t take too kindly to the call-to-action given the latest surge in the pandemic. “No, @lyft. Read the news,” tweeted one person. Another tweeted that the push was “WILDLY irresponsible. Last time I checked we were in the midst of a worsening pandemic and no one should be going anywhere for Thanksgiving.”

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“We recognize that there are changing local guidelines and regulations related to Covid-19 and Thanksgiving travel, and as always, we encourage our users to follow those guidelines — we should have made that more clear in the email,” a Lyft spokesperson said in a statement to CNN Business when asked about the effort.

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Lyft’s Thanksgiving travel push receives backlash amid a worsening pandemic

As coronavirus cases continue to rise across the United States, Lyft is enticing people to get on the road for Thanksgiving — a message that doesn’t jibe with the recommendations from many local health and government officials.



LAX AIRPORT, CA - AUGUST 20:     Passengers connect with drivers at the Rideshare Lot at LAX as Uber and Lyft drivers held a moving rally as part of a statewide day of action to demand that both ride-hailing companies follow California law and grant drivers basic employee rights and to denounce the corporations efforts to avoid their responsibilities to workers. Uber and Lyft threatened to suspend services in California Thursday night but a court granted Uber and Left a stay to a preliminary injunction requiring both rideshare companies to reclassify their drivers as employees, meaning the rideshare companies will not suspend service in California tonight as they threatened.  Los Angeles on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020 in LAX Airport, CA. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times


© Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images
LAX AIRPORT, CA – AUGUST 20: Passengers connect with drivers at the Rideshare Lot at LAX as Uber and Lyft drivers held a moving rally as part of a statewide day of action to demand that both ride-hailing companies follow California law and grant drivers basic employee rights and to denounce the corporations efforts to avoid their responsibilities to workers. Uber and Lyft threatened to suspend services in California Thursday night but a court granted Uber and Left a stay to a preliminary injunction requiring both rideshare companies to reclassify their drivers as employees, meaning the rideshare companies will not suspend service in California tonight as they threatened. Los Angeles on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020 in LAX Airport, CA. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Lyft, while best known for its ride-hail services, also has a rental car offering in some markets and it’s trying to leverage the upcoming holiday as a marketing opportunity. Through push notifications shared by some customers on social media Wednesday, the company sent the message: “Last-minute Thanksgiving plans? Rent a car and make them happen.” Emails received by some customers contained similar messaging.

Unsurprisingly, some recipients didn’t take too kindly to the call-to-action given the latest surge in the pandemic. “No, @lyft. Read the news,” tweeted one person. Another tweeted that the push was “WILDLY irresponsible. Last time I checked we were in the midst of a worsening pandemic and no one should be going anywhere for Thanksgiving.”

“We recognize that there are changing local guidelines and regulations related to Covid-19 and Thanksgiving travel, and as always, we encourage our users to follow those guidelines — we should have made that more clear in the email,” a Lyft spokesperson said in a statement to CNN Business when asked about the effort.

The company said the campaign has been paused.

While Lyft’s car rental page indicates that safety is a top priority and that “protocols and thorough cleaning processes have been implemented,” the marketing push comes as the United States recently surpassed 11 million Covid-19 cases. On Tuesday, the country had its highest daily death toll in the past six months and places like New York City and a number of counties in California are facing new restrictions.

An emergency physician said Saturday that he is “terrified” about this holiday season, predicting “an unprecedented surge of cases following Thanksgiving this year.” Experts say those who plan to visit family should quarantine for 14 days first.

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Lyft’s Thanksgiving travel push receives backlash amid worsening pandemic | Technology

As coronavirus cases continue to rise across the United States, Lyft is enticing people to get on the road for Thanksgiving — a message that doesn’t jibe with the recommendations from many local health and government officials.

Lyft, while best known for its ride-hail services, also has a rental car offering in some markets and it’s trying to leverage the upcoming holiday as a marketing opportunity. Through push notifications shared by some customers on social media Wednesday, the company sent the message: “Last-minute Thanksgiving plans? Rent a car and make them happen.” Emails received by some customers contained similar messaging.

Unsurprisingly, some recipients didn’t take too kindly to the call-to-action given the latest surge in the pandemic. “No, @lyft. Read the news,” tweeted one person. Another tweeted that the push was “WILDLY irresponsible. Last time I checked we were in the midst of a worsening pandemic and no one should be going anywhere for Thanksgiving.”

“We recognize that there are changing local guidelines and regulations related to Covid-19 and Thanksgiving travel, and as always, we encourage our users to follow those guidelines — we should have made that more clear in the email,” a Lyft spokesperson said in a statement to CNN Business when asked about the effort.

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Airbnb says Google’s competing travel sites push its listings down in search results

  • Airbnb, in its S-1 filing, wrote that it believes its search results have been adversely affected by the launch of Google Travel and Google Vacation Rental Ads.
  • The company’s public comments follow several other travel executives’ who allege Google favors its own products in its Search results.
  • Google faces a lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Justice, which alleges it uses its search monopoly unfairly to suppress competition.



Brian Chesky wearing a suit and tie: Brian Chesky, chief executive officer and co-founder of Airbnb Inc., speaks during an Economic Club of New York luncheon at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., on Monday, March 13, 2017.


© Provided by CNBC
Brian Chesky, chief executive officer and co-founder of Airbnb Inc., speaks during an Economic Club of New York luncheon at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., on Monday, March 13, 2017.

Airbnb says Google’s search business has prevented the home-sharing company from reaping internet traffic, according to documents the company filed as it prepares to sell shares to the public.

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Airbnb allows users to book short-term rentals and experiences while traveling. Under the “Risk Factors” in Airbnb’s S-1 filing, the company said Google has favored its own products over the company’s, resulting in fewer online visitors to its website. In the last year, the Alphabet company has added more search features akin to travel websites, including for vacation rentals.

“We believe that our SEO results have been adversely affected by the launch of Google Travel and Google Vacation Rental Ads, which reduce the prominence of our platform in organic search results for travel-related terms and placement on Google,” the prospectus states.

Airbnb explains SEO, or search engine optimization, as the practice of tailoring content to appear more prominently in search results without paying for placement.

“We focus on unpaid channels such as SEO,” the prospectus states. “SEO involves developing our platform in a way that enables a search engine to rank our platform prominently for search queries for which our platform’s content may be relevant. Changes to search engine algorithms or similar actions are not within our control, and could adversely affect our search-engine rankings and traffic to our platform.”

The company warns that continued problems with search rankings could force it to spend more on marketing.

“To the extent that our brand and platform are listed less prominently or fail to appear in search results for any reason, we would need to increase our paid marketing spend which would increase our overall customer acquisition costs and materially adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.”

The Justice Department filed its long-expected antitrust lawsuit against Alphabet last month, alleging the company has unlawfully maintained a monopoly in search by cutting off rivals from key distribution channels. Alphabet rebutted the argument, saying it has plenty of competitors and that its services help consumers.

Airbnb and Alphabet have one mutual board member, Ann Mather.

Airbnb’s statements follow other travel executives who have criticized Google’s effect on the travel industry. TripAdvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer, a longtime critic of Google, told CNBC last month that he welcomes the DOJ’s antitrust lawsuit against the Alphabet search unit, saying the company uses “its dominance in internet

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Major airline groups push for end to coronavirus quarantines, travel bans

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States, state governments and some foreign countries should replace quarantines and travel bans on airline passengers with COVID-19 testing of travelers before departure and upon arrival, airline and business groups said on Thursday.

They said the move would boost U.S. international air travel, which is down 78% year-over-year for the most recent seven-day period, according to airline industry data.

The groups, which include the International Air Transport Association, Airlines for America, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, airline unions and the U.S. Travel Association, called on the Trump administration, state governors and international partners “to pursue a risk-based and data-driven approach to COVID-19 testing which would obviate the need for quarantines and travel bans so that the travel network can be safely re-opened.”

The groups added that “travel quarantines are decimating our industry.”

Currently, 18 U.S. states have some type of quarantine for arriving travelers, the groups said. Hawaii last week began allowing airline passengers who tested negative for COVID-19 to avoid a two-week mandatory quarantine upon arrival.

The United States still has in place entry bans on nearly all non-U.S. citizens who recently were in China, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, Iran and countries in the so-called Schengen border-free area of Europe.

Nearly all of Europe still bans most U.S. travelers, while the UK allows Americans to visit but requires a two-week quarantine upon arrival.

“The continued restrictions on international travel and differing state and international quarantine policies are hampering the recovery of the U.S. economy,” the letter added.

The Trump administration has been holding high-level discussions with countries including the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Canada and Italy about the possibility of establishing “flight bubbles” that would allow travel or reduce quarantines if passengers agreed to COVID-19 tests before departure and upon arrival.

Under discussion are whether a quarantine would still be required, with some health experts in the Trump administration calling for a one-week quarantine, and what test would be used. Rising coronavirus infections in some countries, such as the United States, pose a hurdle to lifting restrictions.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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Half-term cancellations push UK travel operators to brink

UK travel operators are warning of further job losses and bankruptcies, after a surge in cancellations of half-term holidays has left them scrambling for cash.

Travel companies across the industry said they were struggling to finance refunds as customers have increasingly lost confidence in their ability to travel overseas without the government imposing quarantine restrictions on their chosen holiday destinations.

“As far as travel is concerned we are basically back in full lockdown,” said Simon Cooper, chief executive of the online package holiday operator On The Beach, which typically sends around 1m people on holiday each year. “Consumers have decided that just because [a destination] is open today it might not be open tomorrow, so what’s the point?”

Simon Williams, chief executive of Humboldt Travel, which specialises in trips to Latin America and Antarctica, said he had been forced to take out loans to cover customer refunds as airlines had delayed paying compensation to tour operators.

Under UK law, flights should be refunded in seven days, while tour operators must pay customers back within 14 days.

“We are refunding everyone in full even though sometimes we are not being refunded in full and that obviously causes big cash flow issues, which is why so many travel companies have collapsed and will collapse,” Mr Williams said.

Since March, 19 UK travel companies have ceased trading, according to the Association of British Travel Agents, including the backpacker specialist STA Travel and Specialist Leisure Group, which ran Shearings Hotels and Caledonian Travel, prompting 3,000 job losses. Hays Travel, the firm that took on all of Thomas Cook’s former travel shops after its collapse last year with the loss of 21,000 jobs, has said it will axe almost 900 staff.

The latest restrictions across the UK, combined with frequent changes to the so-called travel corridor, those countries not on the quarantine list, have only increased the industry’s woes as more consumers scrap rather than defer trips.

“The reality is that the longer this goes on the more people will want to cancel their trips,” said Sonia Davies, chief executive of Scott Dunn, a high-end travel agent, who added that she was “mentally bruised” after having to make two-fifths of 300 staff redundant.

Confirmed trips departing from the UK this Friday are less than 30 per cent of last year’s number, according to travel analytics company ForwardKeys. Departures on other days varied between 10 and 25 per cent of 2019’s levels.

Thomas Cook, now an online-only group, said searches for holidays had dropped 12 per cent following the introduction of tiered lockdowns in the UK. Richard Slater, the owner of Henbury Travel, an agent in Macclesfield, said 90 per cent of the trips he had booked for October half-term had been either been postponed or cancelled.

Even staycations have taken a hit. According to a survey this month for VisitBritain, just 10 per cent of consumers

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