Tag: Restrictions

White House considers lifting European travel restrictions, Reuters reports

The White House is considering rescinding entry bans for most non-U.S. citizens who recently were in Brazil, Britain, Ireland and 26 other European countries, five U.S. and airline officials told Reuters.

The Trump administration imposed the bans in a bid to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic. It is not considering lifting separate entry bans on most non-U.S. citizens who have recently been in China or Iran, the officials said.

The plan has won the backing of White House coronavirus task-force members, public health and other federal agencies, the people briefed on the matter said, but President Donald Trump has not made a final decision and the timing remains uncertain.

The White House, Department of Homeland Security and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did not comment.

Many administration officials argue the restrictions no longer make sense given that most countries around the world are not subject to the entry ban. They contend lifting the restrictions would be a boost to struggling U.S. airlines, which have seen international travel fall by 70%, according to airline industry data.

Trump may still opt not to lift the restrictions, given the high number of coronavirus infections in Europe. One potential hurdle is the fact that European countries are not likely to immediately allow most Americans to resume visits, officials said.

The European countries that are subject to the U.S. entry restrictions include the 26 members of the Schengen area that allow travel across open borders.

The U.S. restrictions barring most visitors from Europe have been in place since mid-March, while the Brazilian entry ban was imposed in May. Trump implemented the first ban on most non-U.S. visitors from China on Jan. 31 and then added Iran in February.

The restrictions bar entry of most non-U.S. residents who have been in those countries in the previous 14 days, but the U.S. State Department has been granting some “national interest exceptions” to allow travelers from Europe related to “humanitarian travel, public health response, and national security.”

The United States has also approved exceptions for some European business travelers, investors, academics, students and journalists.

Nearly all of Europe still bans most U.S. travelers from visiting, while Britain and Ireland allow American visits but require two-weeks quarantine upon arrival. Brazil allows U.S. travelers.

On Saturday, the CDC issued new travel and testing recommendations for international air travelers recommending they “get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before their flight to reduce spread during travel. Travelers should get tested 3-5 days after travel and stay home for 7 days.”

Airlines for America, a group representing American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines Holdings and others, on Tuesday noted it has “been advocating for the federal government to set a national standard on testing in order to lift travel restrictions.”

In a statement to Reuters, the group called the CDC guidance a step in the right direction, adding that they hoped it would be “followed by a recognition that testing can be used to safely reopen borders without

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White House considering lifting European travel restrictions, source says

The White House is strongly considering lifting sweeping restrictions on travel from the European Union and the United Kingdom, an administration official confirmed on Wednesday.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 20: U.S. President Donald Trump looks on in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on November 20, 2020 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Donald Trump held his first press conference in over a week to make an announcement on prescription drug prices as he continues to challenge the results of the 2020 Presidential election. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)


© Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 20: U.S. President Donald Trump looks on in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on November 20, 2020 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Donald Trump held his first press conference in over a week to make an announcement on prescription drug prices as he continues to challenge the results of the 2020 Presidential election. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Discussions have been ongoing for several weeks now about lifting the restrictions, which ban entry to most foreigners who have been to Europe in the two weeks before their arrival in the US. Reuters first reported on the discussions.

The White House did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment.

An administration official told CNN that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expressed some reservations about lifting the restrictions, but the agency is not expected to block the move.

The discussions come at a time when the US is experiencing its worst surge of coronavirus, and as many European countries also face higher levels of coronavirus cases.

President Donald Trump has yet to sign off on the move, but once he does, the restrictions are unlikely to be lifted until the US and European countries have established a protocol for safe travel.

Trump first banned most travel from the European Union and the UK in March amid an escalating pandemic. The EU soon followed suit, restricting most travel from the US and other countries.

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Exclusive: White House considers lifting European travel restrictions – sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House is considering rescinding entry bans for most non-U.S. citizens who recently were in Brazil, Britain, Ireland and 26 other European countries, five U.S. and airline officials told Reuters.

FILE PHOTO: Travellers wearing protective face masks make a selfie inside at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy, after the U.S. banned travel from Europe, as France grapples with the novel coronavirus, March 12, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

The Trump administration imposed the bans in a bid to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic. It is not considering lifting separate entry bans on most non-U.S. citizens who have recently been in China or Iran, the officials said.

The plan has won the backing of White House coronavirus task-force members, public health and other federal agencies, the people briefed on the matter said, but President Donald Trump has not made a final decision and the timing remains uncertain.

The White House, Department of Homeland Security and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did not comment.

Many administration officials argue the restrictions no longer make sense given that most countries around the world are not subject to the entry ban. They contend lifting the restrictions would be a boost to struggling U.S. airlines, which have seen international travel fall by 70%, according to airline industry data.

Trump may still opt not to lift the restrictions, given the high number of coronavirus infections in Europe. One potential hurdle is the fact that European countries are not likely to immediately allow most Americans to resume visits, officials said.

The European countries that are subject to the U.S. entry restrictions include the 26 members of the Schengen area that allow travel across open borders.

The U.S. restrictions barring most visitors from Europe have been in place since mid-March, while the Brazilian entry ban was imposed in May. Trump implemented the first ban on most non-U.S. visitors from China on Jan. 31 and then added Iran in February.

The restrictions bar entry of most non-U.S. residents who have been in those countries in the previous 14 days, but the U.S. State Department has been granting some “national interest exceptions” to allow travelers from Europe related to “humanitarian travel, public health response, and national security.”

The United States has also approved exceptions for some European business travelers, investors, academics, students and journalists.

Nearly all of Europe still bans most U.S. travelers from visiting, while Britain and Ireland allow American visits but require two-weeks quarantine upon arrival. Brazil allows U.S. travelers.

On Saturday, the CDC issued new travel and testing recommendations for international air travelers recommending they “get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before their flight to reduce spread during travel. Travelers should get tested 3-5 days after travel and stay home for 7 days.”

Airlines for America, a group representing American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines Holdings and others, on Tuesday noted it has “been advocating for the federal government to set a national standard on testing in order to

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Exclusive: White House Considers Lifting European Travel Restrictions – Sources | World News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House is considering rescinding entry bans for most non-U.S. citizens who recently were in Brazil, Britain, Ireland and 26 other European countries, five U.S. and airline officials told Reuters.

The Trump administration imposed the bans in a bid to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic. It is not considering lifting separate entry bans on most non-U.S. citizens who have recently been in China or Iran, the officials said.

The plan has won the backing of White House coronavirus task-force members, public health and other federal agencies, the people briefed on the matter said, but President Donald Trump has not made a final decision and the timing remains uncertain.

The White House, Department of Homeland Security and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did not comment.

Many administration officials argue the restrictions no longer make sense given that most countries around the world are not subject to the entry ban. They contend lifting the restrictions would be a boost to struggling U.S. airlines, which have seen international travel fall by 70%, according to airline industry data.

Trump may still opt not to lift the restrictions, given the high number of coronavirus infections in Europe. One potential hurdle is the fact that European countries are not likely to immediately allow most Americans to resume visits, officials said.

The European countries that are subject to the U.S. entry restrictions include the 26 members of the Schengen area that allow travel across open borders.

The U.S. restrictions barring most visitors from Europe have been in place since mid-March, while the Brazilian entry ban was imposed in May. Trump implemented the first ban on most non-U.S. visitors from China on Jan. 31 and then added Iran in February.

The restrictions bar entry of most non-U.S. residents who have been in those countries in the previous 14 days, but the U.S. State Department has been granting some “national interest exceptions” to allow travelers from Europe related to “humanitarian travel, public health response, and national security.”

The United States has also approved exceptions for some European business travelers, investors, academics, students and journalists.

Nearly all of Europe still bans most U.S. travelers from visiting, while Britain and Ireland allow American visits but require two-weeks quarantine upon arrival. Brazil allows U.S. travelers.

On Saturday, the CDC issued new travel and testing recommendations for international air travelers recommending they “get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before their flight to reduce spread during travel. Travelers should get tested 3-5 days after travel and stay home for 7 days.”

Airlines for America, a group representing American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines Holdings and others, on Tuesday noted it has “been advocating for the federal government to set a national standard on testing in order to lift travel restrictions.”

In a statement to Reuters, the group called the CDC guidance a step in the right direction, adding that they hoped it would be “followed by a recognition that testing can be used to safely

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Covid in Scotland: Travel restrictions and vaccine hope

Welcome

Copyright: Getty Images

Good afternoon and welcome to BBC Scotland’s rolling coverage of
the Covid-19 pandemic in Scotland this Friday, 20 November 2020.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will be delivering an
update shortly at the Scottish government’s daily briefing, starting at 12:15.

Ms Sturgeon will be joined by national clinical director Professor Jason Leitch.

You can follow the latest developments right here and watch or
listen live by clicking on one of the tabs above – for coverage on BBC One
Scotland, the BBC Scotland channel or BBC Radio Scotland.

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China, Japan to lift restrictions on business travel

Nov. 24 (UPI) — China and Japan have agreed to “fast track” business travel between the two countries after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with his Japanese counterpart in Tokyo.

Wang, who is to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Wednesday, is on a weeklong tour of Japan and South Korea. On Tuesday, Wang addressed the issue of expediting travel, but also raised the issue of disputed islands in the East China Sea, VOA News reported.

“Some Japanese fishing boats that do not have knowledge about the truth have repeatedly entered sensitive waters” near the islands, Wang said, according to the report. “We will certainly continue to safeguard [Chinese] sovereignty.”

Beijing claims the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands as its own. In recent years, Chinese fishing boats have been chased out of Japan-claimed territorial waters, and Tokyo’s military have invested in new units to increase surveillance near the islands.

Expectations have been building in China for improved relations with Tokyo. Before the pandemic, the two countries were moving forward with plans for a summit between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Wang Guangtao, an associate research fellow at the Center for Japanese Studies at Fudan University, has said China could play a greater role in regional affairs, according to South Korean newspaper Hankook Ilbo.

The Chinese academic also said the recently signed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership would allow China and Japan to operate in a free trade zone for the first time, according to Chinese state media Sunday.

On Wednesday, Wang Yi is to visit Seoul, but his trip comes at a time when China’s response during the initial stages of the coronavirus pandemic has soured South Korean opinion of Beijing, reflecting trends in other countries.

According to an October poll from Pew Research Center seven in 10 respondents in Japan and South Korea say China has done a poor job dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. Unfavorable views of China are at a historic high, the poll said.

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Massachusetts imposes new travel restrictions on New Hampshire, Maine

As of Saturday morning, New Hampshire and Maine were removed from the lower-risk travel list for contracting COVID-19, and individuals entering or returning to Massachusetts from either state must now fill out a travel form, quarantine, or have a negative COVID-19 test, according to the Department of Public Health.

New Hampshire and Maine joined 46 other states to be designated high risk for COVID-19. Hawaii and Vermont are the only remaining states considered low risk, meaning individuals do not need to adhere to the travel orders upon arrival or return to Massachusetts. Other exemptions include commuters who cross state lines for work, those arriving for medical treatment, military personnel, and those who are traveling for work or essential services. The state also exempts certain short, same-day trips across the border and back that are designated as “critical life activities.”

Under the current travel rules, anyone entering Massachusetts from states considered high risk are required to fill out a Massachusetts Travel Form and quarantine for two weeks unless they can produce a negative result from a COVID-19 test administered no more than 72 hours before they arrive in the state. Failure to comply with the requirements could result in a $500 per day fine.

Hawaii and Vermont are the only two states considered lower risk.
Hawaii and Vermont are the only two states considered lower risk.Mass.gov

According to the DPH, states are included on the list if they average more than 10 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents.

New Hampshire and Maine respectively averaged 27 and 14 new cases per 100,000 residents on Friday, according the COVID-19 tracking website. Vermont also averaged above 10 new cases per 100,000 residents this week — but not last week. States must exceed the threshold for two straight weeks to be removed from the lower-risk list. Massachusetts averaged nearly 38 cases per 100,000 residents as of Friday.

The new travel rules come less than a week before Thanksgiving, when many are pondering travel despite guidance from public health officials that people should stay home for the holidays. Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that travel increases your chance of contracting and spreading COVID-19, and if you must venture out, they recommend that you get a flu shot, bring along extra masks and hand sanitizer, and be aware of the latest travel restrictions.


Brittany Bowker can be reached at [email protected] Follower her on Twitter @brittbowker.

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Massachusetts reports 2,288 new COVID cases, 34 deaths on Friday as state expands travel restrictions

State health officials confirmed another 2,288 coronavirus cases, bringing the number of active cases statewide to 35,526. That’s based on 71,269 new molecular tests reported on Friday, according to the Department of Public Health.

Health officials also confirmed another 34 COVID-related fatalities on Friday, for a total of 10,238 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

There are currently 904 people hospitalized statewide for COVID-19 or symptoms related to the virus, including 179 patients in intensive care.

The seven-day average of positive tests increased to 3.28% on Thursday, which is up from a low of .8 in September.

The latest numbers come as Pfizer and BioNTech announced they will submit a request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization of their mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate, called BNT162b2.

The emergency use authorization could allow high-risk groups in the United States to receive doses of the vaccine by the middle to end of December, the companies said. The request for authorization comes days after an analysis this week revealed the prototype vaccine to be 95% effective during large-scale Phase 3 clinical trials.

The Department of Public Health tweaked the state’s quarantine guidance this week, allowing people exposed to COVID-19 to leave quarantine as early as 10 days if they test negative beforehand.

People exposed to COVID-19 who get a test eight days into their quarantine and end up negative would be allowed to leave quarantine under the guidance that took effect on Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders said during a news conference at the Massachusetts State House.

Those people must also not have or have had any symptoms and must continue to watch their health during the two-week period, according to the guidance. If they develop symptoms, they should get retested. The rest of the quarantine guidelines remains unchanged.

On Friday, Massachusetts added two more states to the list of states it is requiring visitors — or those returning to Mass. from those states — to quarantine for 14 days or get a negative COVID test. Maine and New Hampshire were added to the list leaving only Vermont and Hawaii the only two states Massachusetts is not restricting travel from.

Here are the number of coronavirus cases in each Massachusetts county:

Barnstable County: 2,488

Berkshire County: 1,201

Bristol County: 17,337

Dukes County: 224

Essex County: 30,674

Franklin County: 571

Hampden County: 13,929

Hampshire County: 2,037

Middlesex County: 40,680

Nantucket County: 262

Norfolk County: 14,569

Plymouth County: 13,505

Suffolk County: 34,270

Worcester County: 22,038

Unknown location: 553

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How to change or cancel flights as the pandemic and travel restrictions cripple the airline industry’s nascent recovery



a large passenger jet sitting on top of a runway: Airline passengers reconsidering their holiday plans can take advantage of new policies offered by most major airlines. MARTIN SYLVEST/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP/Getty


© Provided by Business Insider
Airline passengers reconsidering their holiday plans can take advantage of new policies offered by most major airlines. MARTIN SYLVEST/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP/Getty

  • A surge in COVID-19 cases across the US is encouraging would-be travelers to cancel their holiday flights.
  • Four major US airlines have eliminated change and cancel fees permanently, while others have travel waivers to make it easier to cancel when plans change.
  • Most airlines won’t offer a refund, however, unless a flight is canceled or there is a schedule change, so flyers should be strategic when they cancel. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The airline industry’s hope for an air travel resurgence during the holiday season may be dashed as some travelers are looking to avoid flying amid a coronavirus surge. 

Rising COVID-19 cases and new lockdown orders from governors across the US that limit how many people can be at Thanksgiving dinner are forcing travelers to rethink their holiday plans. And for some, that means staying off of airplanes, despite the industry’s push to show that flying is safe. 

For those looking to stay home, airlines are being more flexible this year out of any year prior when it comes to changing plans. In the US, four major airlines eliminated change and cancel fees permanently in an effort to increase bookings despite the ever-changing landscape of the pandemic. 

American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and Alaska Airlines have done away with the fees, normally a huge revenue driver, while others have waivers to allow limited changes with restrictions. 

But even though airlines are using words like change and cancel, the policies often have restrictions about which travelers are often unaware. While there might not be a change fee, for example, customers will have to pay any difference in airfare.

Here’s what you need to know about changing or canceling a booking as coronavirus continues to impact travel.

Four major US airlines are eliminating change and cancel fees for domestic and limited international travel

United Airlines was the first major international airline to eliminate change fees over the summer for its flights within the US or to the Caribbean and Mexico. Passengers with economy tickets and above, excluding basic economy, can make changes or cancellations as many times as they’d like. 

Award ticket holders can similarly make changes or cancel their flights. In order for the miles to be redeposited without a fee, however, the passenger must cancel greater than 30 days from the day of departure. 

Passengers with basic economy tickets who book or have booked their flights before December 31, 2020, are able to change their flights under United’s earlier change fee waiver. 

Travelers can rebook or cancel on United’s website, mobile app, or by calling 1-800-864-8331.

American Airlines’ new policy is a bit broader and includes the US, Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean, as well as all “long-haul international” trips that originate in North or South America, though American hasn’t yet defined which routes classify as long-haul international. Ticket

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Illinois COVID 19 restrictions: Bowling alleys, indoor recreation, face second full shutdown

CHICAGO (WLS) — New statewide COVID-19 mitigation starts Friday, and will shutter indoor dining in restaurants, cut capacity in retail stores, and shut down indoor recreational activities including bowling. Owners tell ABC 7 they don’t know how long they’ll be able to survive.

“My grandfather and his brother built Waveland Bowl in 1959, so I’m third generation. My kids both work here. It’s all I’ve done my entire life,” said Waveland Bowl President Gary Handler.

The lanes, the pins, to Handler, they’re home.

“In my 40 years, I’ve been through a lot of catastrophes and recessions but nothing has ever compared in any way or form to this,” Handler said.

That home is turning to heartbreak. Handler is staring down the lane at another state mandated COVID-19 shutdown for his business. The first one lasted for four months, and right now there are no guarantees.

“I’m not angry. I’m sad. It’s hard, we got 40 people who rely on this place. Forty families that are going to be going back on unemployment. Me too,” Handler said. “There’s only so long that even a healthy, profitable business like Waveland Bowl is going to be able to survive.”

Handler said he’s not trying to spare his bowling alley from the shutdown, but he’s asking for your support once they reopen.

“That crunch you know, I love it. I live for it,” said high school bowler Jamie Elliott. That support is something he is eager to give.

“I just think that everyone in every community should work together to keep these places alive,” Elliott said.

But uncertainty is also felt a few blocks over at Timber Lanes Bowling Alley.

“This is not the way I ever wanted to end it. I’m 65 years old. I’m at the point of retirement, but I’m not ready to retire yet,” said proprietor Robert Kuhn. “I still want to be involved in this business. It’s hard.”

Kuhn said his business is solid financially for now, but at some point, they’ll need to make a tough decision.

“We can’t even think about what we’re going to do in the future because we don’t know,” he said. “It just gets depressing. You know, you come in here and there’s nobody here.”

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