Tag: Quarantines

N.J. scraps COVID-19 state-by-state travel advisory that called for quarantines

After using it for nearly five months to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, New Jersey is abandoning its state-by-state travel advisory formula as cases rise across the country, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Wednesday.



a group of people standing in a room: Holiday travelers at Newark Liberty International Airport on Wednesday.


© Patti Sapone | NJ Advance Media/Patti Sapone | NJ Advance Media/nj.com/TNS
Holiday travelers at Newark Liberty International Airport on Wednesday.

Instead, the state is now asking people who travel from any U.S. state or territory except immediate neighbors New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware to voluntarily self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving.

Murphy is also urging people to avoid all unnecessary travel to and from the state.

“As COVID-19 cases continue to rise at an alarming rate throughout our nation, New Jersey will no longer utilize previously outlined metrics to inform its travel advisory,” Murphy said in a statement. “Given the increased risk of spreading COVID-19 for both residents who travel outside the state and for visitors into the state, New Jersey continues to strongly discourage all non-essential interstate travel at this time.”

If you do travel — whether it be visitors or residents returning home from a trip — New Jersey is asking you to self-quarantine at your home, a hotel, or other temporary lodging for 14 days.

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Murphy said the state Department of health will release more information in the coming days about new travel precautions.

“Individuals should continue to abide by the state’s current guidance until a new policy is issued,” he added.

The move comes the day before Thanksgiving — usually the busiest travel day of the year in the United States. But federal and state officials are asking Americans to stay home this year and celebrate with small gatherings of immediate household members to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s not too late to change your plans for tomorrow,” Murphy tweeted Wednesday. “I know it’s difficult and heartbreaking to break with tradition, but small gatherings this Thanksgiving are the best way to protect your loved ones and ensure we can gather safely in the years to come.”

New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut introduced the travel advisory in June, calling on people traveling from states and territories considered coronavirus hot spots to self-quarantine for 14 days. It came at a time when the tri-state region, among the earliest COVID-19 epicenters, began to see numbers drop, while other parts of the country saw numbers surge.

States qualified for the list if they had a positive test rate higher than 10 pr 100,00 residents or if they had a 10% or higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average.

People traveling for work or essential reasons have been exempt.

With the virus starting to spread again across the U.S. — including the northeast — New York dropped the advisory late last month and began requiring visitors from non-neighboring states get a COVID-19 test instead.

New Jersey pressed on with the advisory but exempted neighboring states. Last week, 46 states

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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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England to cut travel quarantines to 5 days with tests

LONDON (AP) — Just in time for holiday travelers, England is cutting the two-week quarantine facing people arriving from regions not on Britain’s coronavirus safe list, reducing it 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 change will bring the rules governing quarantines in England more in line with other European countries, including Germany.

Under the new rules, passengers 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 up to 48 hours but sometimes can come the same day.

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


“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.”

Since travel was permitted again after the spring lockdown, British tourists have faced an uncertain situation as they leave the country, since the government has been taking countries off its safe list at very short notice. Britain’s travel advice to the two most-visited countries, Spain and France, has changed at short notice, forcing many travelers to cut their vacations short and quickly return to the U.K. to avoid mandatory quarantines.

As well as throwing into turmoil the vacation plans of many British families, the government’s sudden changes have rocked the travel industry.

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of the industry association Airlines U.K., said the announcement on a shorter quarantine period provided “light at the end of the tunnel” for the aviation industry and people wanting to go on holiday.

Mark Tanzer, chief executive of the travel trade group Abta, said the new testing scheme should make overseas travel “more attractive and manageable for both holidaymakers and business travelers.”

The government also announced new financial support for English airports and ground handling firms beginning in 2021.

“This new package of support for airports, alongside a new testing regime for international arrivals, will help the sector take off once again as we build back better from the pandemic,” said Treasury chief Rishi Sunak.

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Tired Of Travel Bans, Quarantines & Experts’ Warnings, More People Are Judging For Themselves When To Travel

Presumed president-elect Joe Biden may already be preparing a new executive order mandating the use of masks in public, but new research suggests that more and more people in the United States – and around the world – are ignoring the edicts and/or advice from governments and their health experts in order to do things they highly value – like travel.

Travel industry consulting firm Oliver Wyman this week issued a report based on recent surveys of travelers in the U.S. and eight other nations showing that a growing percentage of people believe it’s now okay to travel despite what various governments and big-name health agencies like the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control are saying

Additionally, popular travel website TripAdvisor
TRIP
.com this week reported that more than half – 56% – of Americans plan to travel over the upcoming Thanksgiving holidays. That’s still down 14 percentage points from a year ago, that’s an obvious result of concerns related to the pandemic. But it’s still a dramatically high percentage in light of the widespread advice of government, political, health and cultural leaders telling Americans to seriously tone down their Thanksgiving celebrations by eschewing the traditional big dinner with lots of family and friends, and by staying home.

Taken together, the results of those two surveys would seem to indicate that more and more travelers are willing to accept somewhat higher health risks in order to do those things they really want to do (or, put another way, to not do as they’re told).

Bruce Spear, an Oliver Wyman partner who lead the analysis of his company’s October survey of mostly business travelers from the U.S., Canada, Australia, China, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom also suggested that news this week of significant success in final stage trials of a Covid-19 vaccine by Phizer and BioNTech will encourage even more people to take a individualistic and less submissive position on determining when it’s safe to travel.

“Personal judgment is now the leading factor for deciding to travel, ahead of government restrictions, advice from the World Health Organization or even having a vaccine,” Spear said.

Of course, none of this new data and analysis means that the travel industry is about to explode out of its worst ever – by far – demand slump.

Oliver Wyman’s survey showed that 18% of its respondents believe that its safe for them

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Hong Kong, Singapore to allow travel to each other without quarantines from November 22

HONG KONG/ SINGAPORE (Reuters) – A travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore will begin on Nov. 22, the two cities announced on Wednesday, as they moved to re-establish overseas travel links and lift the hurdle of quarantine for visiting foreigners.

FILE PHOTO: People look at a Singapore Airlines plane, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at a viewing gallery of the Changi Airport in Singapore October 12, 2020. REUTERS/Edgar Su

Hong Kong’s Commerce Secretary and Singapore’s Transport Minister said the scheme would begin with one flight a day into each city, with a quota of 200 travellers per flight. This would be increased to two flights a day into each city from Dec. 7.

If the COVID-19 situation deteriorated in either city the travel bubble would be suspended, they said.

Singapore’s Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said he believed the travel bubble was the first of its kind in the world and enabled both cities to open up borders in a controlled manner, while maintaining safety.

“While we may be starting small, this is an important step forward … It will be a useful reference for other countries and regions that have controlled the epidemic, and are contemplating opening their borders.”

Travellers from both cities must travel on designated flights and must undertake COVID-19 tests. No quarantine would be required in either place and there would be no restrictions on the purpose of travel.

For Hong Kong, which has banned non-residents since March, the deal with Singapore is its first resumption of travel ties with another city. Travellers from mainland China and neighbouring Macau still face 14 days in quarantine.

Eligible Hong Kong residents in Guangdong province and Macau will be exempt from quarantine in Hong Kong under a quota scheme from Nov. 23, Hong Kong authorities announced on Wednesday.

Singapore already has pacts on essential business and official travel from China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, and opened unilaterally to general visitors from a handful of countries including Brunei, New Zealand and Vietnam.

Cathay Pacific 0293.HK and Singapore Airlines SIAL.SI would be the carriers offering the initial designated travel bubble flights, according to authorities.

Writing by Farah Master in Hong Kong; Editing by Michael Perry and Muralikumar Anantharaman

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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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U.S. Airlines Seek Covid Testing to Sidestep Travel Quarantines

(Bloomberg) — A coalition of airline and travel industry groups is urging top U.S. officials to develop standards for rapid testing and other measures to sidestep the growing quarantine restrictions imposed by states.



a group of people sitting at a table in front of a window: A passenger wearing a protective mask walks through the American Airlines Group Inc. area at O'Hare International Airport (ORD) in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on Saturday, June 13, 2020. The market for jet fuel, along with an increase in flight bookings since early May, is signaling that at least some Americans are ready to take to the skies again after foregoing the pleasures of travel.


© Bloomberg
A passenger wearing a protective mask walks through the American Airlines Group Inc. area at O’Hare International Airport (ORD) in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on Saturday, June 13, 2020. The market for jet fuel, along with an increase in flight bookings since early May, is signaling that at least some Americans are ready to take to the skies again after foregoing the pleasures of travel.

Eighteen states have some type of quarantine for people arriving from Covid-19 hot spots, but “this patchwork of rules is confusing and discourages travel,” the group of 20 industry associations said in a letter Thursday.



a motorcycle parked in front of a car: Passengers wear protective masks sit on a Boeing 737-800 during an American Airlines flight departing from Los Angeles International Airport on June 13.


© Bloomberg
Passengers wear protective masks sit on a Boeing 737-800 during an American Airlines flight departing from Los Angeles International Airport on June 13.

The federal government should step in to impose national protocols, such as rapid tests for the coronavirus, contact tracing and centralized risk assessments, said the letter to the heads of the departments of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security and Transportation.



a group of people sitting at a table in front of a window: A passenger wearing a protective mask walks through the American Airlines Group Inc. area at O'Hare International Airport (ORD) in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on Saturday, June 13, 2020. The market for jet fuel, along with an increase in flight bookings since early May, is signaling that at least some Americans are ready to take to the skies again after foregoing the pleasures of travel.


© Bloomberg
A passenger wearing a protective mask walks through the American Airlines Group Inc. area at O’Hare International Airport (ORD) in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on Saturday, June 13, 2020. The market for jet fuel, along with an increase in flight bookings since early May, is signaling that at least some Americans are ready to take to the skies again after foregoing the pleasures of travel.

“Travel quarantines are decimating our industry,” the group said.

Establishing requirements for testing before travel would be easier to enforce and lower risks compared to the current system, they said.

So far, the U.S. government has balked at other requests from the industry to perform temperature checks on passengers or to issue a requirement for wearing face masks.

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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Travel industry calls on Trump administration to prevent the need for quarantines by creating a testing plan

Travel industry groups called on the Trump administration to pursue an approach to COVID-19 testing that would obviate the need for quarantines and travel bans in order to safely re-open travel. 

Airlines for America, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the U.S. Travel Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among others, wrote a letter to Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Transportation Department Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine Lan ChaoCentury of the Woman: Can Leading Women Have it All? Female lawmakers, officials call for more women at all levels of government to improve equity The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association – Country reacts to debate night of mudslinging MORE and acting Homeland Security Department Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfVoting rights group files suit against Trump, administration officials alleging voter intimidation Business groups, universities file lawsuit over new rules targeting H-1B visas US extends Mexico, Canada border closures MORE on Thursday. 

The groups noted that in the U.S., 18 states currently have some type of quarantine in place and said that the patchwork of rules is “confusing and discourages travel.”

“Furthermore, there are alternatives to quarantines, such as testing and screening of passengers at or ahead of departure, that can significantly reduce the risk of importation of COVID-19 and may actually be more effective due to the difficulties in enforcing compliance with quarantine requirements,” they wrote. 

The groups suggested that, as an alternative to an automated quarantine system, state governors and international governments should work together to implement comprehensive, cost-effective pre-departure testing procedures and contact tracing protocols.

“There is widespread agreement in the aviation and travel industries that appropriate COVID-19 pre-departure testing protocols can serve as an alternative to quarantines while increasing confidence in the health and safety of the air transportation system,” they wrote. 

Other groups on the letter included the Airports Council International-North America, the American Society of Travel Advisors, the Association of Flight Attendants and the Cargo Airline Association.

The letter was also copied to Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D), New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D), New Mexico Gov. Michelle Grisham (D), New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoState officials plead for more info on vaccine distribution plans Overnight Health Care: NIH chief: Trump has not met with task force in ‘quite some time’ | CDC reports 300,000 more deaths than expected this year | UK to start challenge trials for vaccine Cuomo: Travel within Tri-State area should be avoided due to COVID-19 spike MORE (D), Ohio Gov. Mike DeWineMike DeWineWhy isn’t the Trump campaign airing TV ads in Ohio? Sunday shows – Trump’s positive coronavirus test reverberates Ohio governor: I hope Trump’s positive coronavirus test serves as ‘cautionary tale’ to those who don’t wear masks MORE (R), Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) and D.C. Mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserDC cancels 2021 Cherry Blossom Parade over COVID-19 fears Federal court rules DC church can resume services outdoors despite city restrictions DC-area health officials urge COVID-19 testing for anyone

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Quarantines won’t be enforced for travel to N.Y., Pa. and Ct. even though N.J. meets coronavirus criteria

New Jersey has not landed on its newest travel advisory for states even though it meets the criteria for a 14-day quarantine because of an uptick of coronavirus cases, officials said Tuesday.

New Jersey entered into the joint travel advisory with New York and Connecticut. But New York officials announced travel wouldn’t be restricted between Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — all three of which meet the criteria as of Tuesday.

New York has not met the criteria.

Two states, meanwhile, were added to New Jersey’s travel advisory: Arizona and Maryland. There are currently 40 states on the list of the joint quarantine travel advisory with New York and Connecticut.

“Given interconnected nature of region a quarantine is not practically viable,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo spokeswoman Caitlin Girouard said in a tweet.

She added New York discourages non-essential travel.

New Jersey has met the criteria used for the last four months to put states on its joint quarantine travel advisory with New York and Connecticut. The advisory applies to any state or territory with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or those with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

New Jersey’s seven-day rolling average hit 923 on Sunday, based on provisional numbers state health officials release each day. With the state’s 8.8 million population, anything over an average 888 new cases daily would push the state above the 10 cases per 100,000 threshold.

New York health officials, who collect the data and supply the list to all three states, use numbers from all 50 states’ COVID-19 data websites and check those against the COVID Tracking Project website, New York officials said. New Jersey met the criteria to be on the list on Sunday.

New Jersey reported 1,036 more positive tests and 13 additional deaths Tuesday, marking the third day in a row of more than 1,000 new cases.

Murphy has said he doesn’t think people should be traveling for leisure when he was asked about whether New York would put the Garden State on the travel advisory list.

“My takeaway is simple,” Murphy said Monday during his regular COVID-19 briefing. “My advice is to not travel, frankly.”

Cuomo, meanwhile, said early Tuesday afternoon he planned to speak with Murphy and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont later in the day to discuss the increases in both states. But he insisted New York wouldn’t try to restrict travel to its state from New Jersey or Connecticut.

“There is no practical way to quarantine New York from New Jersey and Connecticut. There are just too many interchanges. There are just too many interconnections,” Cuomo said during a telephone news conference.

“It would have a disastrous effect on the economy,” he said. “We’re going to be working with Connecticut and New Jersey to see how we can help them with their spikes.”

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Business travel has always been exempt from the quarantine advisory.

The quarantine, for New

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Advice On Gatherings, Travel Quarantines

MARYLAND — As Maryland’s positivity rate for the coronavirus hovers around 3 percent with more than 134,000 total cases, health experts have offered guidance for those looking forward to holiday celebrations: It’s not a good idea.

In an interview on Wednesday with CBS Evening News’ Norah O’Donnell, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases based in Maryland, raised concerns about the virus spreading in the fall. He said people should be careful “about social gatherings, particularly when members of the family might be at a risk because of their age or their underlying condition.”

That includes holiday gatherings like Thanksgiving, which is right around the corner.

“You may have to bite the bullet and sacrifice that social gathering unless you’re pretty certain that the people that you’re dealing with are not infected,” Fauci said.

The Maryland Department of Health MDH in late July issued a public health advisory for out-of-state travel. Under the advisory, Marylanders are strongly advised against traveling to states with positivity rates of 10 percent or higher. Anyone traveling from these states should get tested and self-quarantine while awaiting results.

The public health advisory applies to personal, family, or business travel of any kind.

The Centers for Disease Control urged residents to avoid large gatherings and typical Thanksgiving celebrations in favor of smaller dinners and virtual gatherings.

Holiday travel isn’t advised because it poses a higher risk of spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Staying home is best, the experts said.

Related:

If you do travel, the CDC wants people to be aware of the risks.

High-risk activities include:

  • Going shopping in crowded stores just before, on or after Thanksgiving.

  • Participating in or being a spectator at a crowded race.

  • Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household.

Moderate-risk activities

  • Having a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community. You can lower your risk by following CDC’s recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs.

  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing.

  • Attending a small outdoor sports events with safety precautions in place.

Lower-risk activities

  • Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household

  • Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others

  • Having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family

  • Shopping online rather than in person on the day after Thanksgiving or the next Monday

  • Watching sports events, parades, and movies from home

Travel risks:

  • Consider the mode of transportation. “Traveling by plane, train or bus can mean standing in lines and sitting less than 6 feet from people for long periods of time.”

  • If you’re traveling by car and must stop for gas, food or bathroom breaks, decrease your risk by consistently wearing

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