Tag: Wont

What to do if your seatmate won’t mask up

Christopher Elliott, Special to USA TODAY
Published 7:00 a.m. ET Dec. 4, 2020


Every leading U.S. airline will require passengers to wear facial coverings during flights. Airlines say they won’t let customers without masks board a plane. (May 6)

AP Domestic

On a recent flight from Nairobi, Kenya, to Cairo, Wycliffe Okoth sat next to two women wearing masks – on their chins. He faced one of the most common traveler dilemmas of 2020: What do you do when your seatmate won’t wear a mask, despite airline rules? 

“One of the ladies was of the opinion that COVID-19 does not exist and that governments are only faking it to get donor funds,” says Okoth, an essayist from New York. “The other one believed that COVID-19 is real but is being exaggerated.”

He asked them to wear their masks correctly. One of them complied, but the other refused because she insisted COVID-19 didn’t exist despite more than 64 million cases and 1.5 million deaths worldwide. Finally, he asked a crew member to intervene. The COVID-19 denier grudgingly agreed to mask up, but when the flight attendant left, she slipped her mask off her face again.

“People who defy mask mandates now are doing it intentionally, often with great hostility,” says Katie Foss, a professor at Middle Tennessee State University and author of the book “Constructing the Outbreak: Epidemics in Media & Collective Memory.” 

Here’s one thing we can probably agree on: COVID-194 fatigue is real. The drama playing itself out on planes is emblematic of a broader conflict happening everywhere. 

And oh, what a drama it is.

Although most passengers are complying with the mask rules, some have found creative ways around them. Airlines are selectively banning passengers who refuse to comply with the requirements or threatening them with worse. One flight attendant was captured on video claiming that flight attendants were government officials (they aren’t) and that passengers who didn’t comply would never be able to fly on any airline again (there is no such blacklist). 

What do the experts say about seatmates who won’t wear a mask?

Etiquette experts say the best way to deal with a seatmate who won’t mask up is not to deal with one at all.

“Fighting with someone that you have to sit next to for hours may not be the right idea,” says Adeodata Czink, who runs an etiquette consultancy called Business of Manners. 

Her advice? Ask for another seat. Let the flight crew deal with the scofflaw.

Saying something is a personal choice, says Diane Gottsman, who runs the Protocol School of Texas. 

“You can certainly turn to your seatmate and politely request they adjust their mask to fit properly,” she says. “But you’re clearly taking a risk – especially in tight quarters where you’re not certain how the other person will react.”

How to negotiate with someone who won’t mask up

Nick Leighton, an etiquette expert who co-hosts the podcast “Were you raised by wolves?,” says the negotiation can be

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Covid quarantine hotel staff won’t be banned from other sites, NSW premier says

The NSW premier, Gladys Berejiklian, has backed hotel quarantine employees working across several hotels as authorities race to understand how a cleaner who worked at a quarantine hotel and a regular hotel in Sydney contracted Covid-19.

a tall building: Photograph: Jenny Evans/Getty Images

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Jenny Evans/Getty Images

The state’s chief health officer, Dr Kerry Chant, also acknowledged on Thursday that interim public health advice meant thousands of commuters who caught trains and trams in Sydney should get tested immediately and self-isolate until updated advice is issued within 48 hours.

Health officials are worried about the potential spread of coronavirus given the cleaner travelled on public transport while potentially infectious.

Berejiklian said “at this stage” there was no reason to delay Monday’s easing of Covid-19 restrictions relating to larger venue and event capacities and the reopening of dancefloors. But the premier said she would not rule out altering her position if the health advice changed following further investigations.

a tall building: Authorities are racing to determine how a Sydney quarantine hotel worker, who also worked at a neighbouring property, contracted coronavirus despite having no direct contact with infected returned travellers.

© Photograph: Jenny Evans/Getty Images
Authorities are racing to determine how a Sydney quarantine hotel worker, who also worked at a neighbouring property, contracted coronavirus despite having no direct contact with infected returned travellers.

Related: Stranded Australians promised free quarantine on return face $5,000 government bill

Urgent genomic testing will help authorities better understand how the woman contracted the virus. Chant said the cleaner didn’t come into direct contact with returned travellers so “there isn’t a smoking gun in terms of how we would say the transmission event happened”.

The cleaner developed symptoms on Saturday – mostly signs of fatigue – but was only tested on Wednesday night. After her positive result, her family also was tested late on Wednesday night, with all five members returning negative results. They will be required to isolate for 14 days.

Authorities believe the cleaner was infectious when she worked at the Ibis Hotel in Sydney’s Darling Harbour on 27 November – which is not a quarantine hotel – as well as when she later worked three shifts at the Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour on 28-30 November. The hotels are next door to each other and are owned by the Accor group.

The Novotel is a police-guarded quarantine hotel for returned travellers. If a guest subsequently tests positive for Covid-19 they are sent to a health hotel managed by NSW Health.

Chant said “there’s a very narrow window when actually anyone is infectious in the police hotels”. She said once urgent genomic sequencing showed what strain of the virus the cleaner had authorities could “do the detective work” to understand how she became infected.

Colleagues who worked with the woman at the hotels and anyone who caught the same public transport services have been asked to get tested immediately and self-isolate.

Chant said the woman wore a mask on her more than hour-long daily commute from Minto to the Darling Harbour hotels.

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Hong Kong-Singapore Travel Bubble Won’t Happen This Year

A plan to allow quarantine-free travel between Hong Kong and Singapore, delayed last month as Covid-19 cases began surging in Hong Kong, has now been pushed back beyond the end of the year.

The travel bubble, announced on Nov. 11, was set to begin on Nov. 22, but authorities delayed it by two weeks after Hong Kong was hit by dozens of new cases.

On Tuesday, after Hong Kong announced a host of stringent new measures to curb the growing outbreak, Singapore’s civil aviation authority said the two governments had agreed to delay the start of the travel bubble again, until after the end of 2020. It said they would review an exact start date in late December.

Hong Kong has seen a surge in infections in the past two weeks, after keeping daily new cases largely to the single digits and teens since late August. The city reported a recent high of 115 new cases on Sunday.

City officials said Monday that bars and many other indoor services would close, students would move to online instruction and civil servants would begin working from home.

The city has kept its caseload relatively low throughout the pandemic, requiring people to wear masks in public and quarantine on entry from abroad. It also pursues aggressive testing and contact tracing.

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New Study Estimates Up To 36% Of Airline Business Travel Won’t Return

A new study by IdeaWorks and reported by the Wall Street Journal is the first detailed look at the effect of Covid-19 on longer-term airline business travel. The study breaks down the reasons people have traveled for business, assesses the effects of technology, work at home changes, and overall risk tolerance, and validates this with a wide range of industry and travel experts. As a result, this study is robust and more complete than any done since the pandemic began.

The four largest US Airlines should take note and all airlines will be affected in some ways if this estimate proves to be accurate.

Multiple Reasons For Business Travel

The study determined the reasons people travel by air for business, and then used data sources to size each category as a percentage of the total. In September, United CEO Scott Kirby said “I think it may take a year or two until you get back, but we’re firmly in the camp that believes business demand is going to come back.” He stepped back a bit from this a month later, but like others he may have been thinking about business travel in too limited a way. I have heard some industry people say things like “As soon as a business loses a million dollar client, they’ll be back on a plane to repair the relationship”. This may be true, but travel to support sales and revenue generation is just 25% of the total business travel population. Intra-company meetings make up a surprising 20% of all trips, and 5% are even people who commute by air for their job.

By looking at the multiple reasons that people travel, this study was able to better assess the reasons it may or may not return. This could be because of technologies like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, but also could be because more people will work at home or some may have changed their personal risk profile. Since people travel for different reasons, it is logical to assume that their approach to future travel would be affected in different ways. Consider a commuter who has flown every week from a home in Florida to a job in NY, for example. Going forward, they may still make this trip but will they make it as often? If the company is more comfortable with technology and more workers are at home anyway, would an every week trip still be necessary? The point is is that for each category, it’s not as if it is all or nothing. Yes, people will again travel for business reasons but not at the rate they used to

Using this idea and testing it with multiple industry-knowledgeable people, the study concludes that between 18% and 36% of the total business traffic base will not return to the skies. This is based on ranges for each category of business

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Airline cancels passenger’s flight to Milan. Why won’t Orbitz help her get her refund? | Travel Troubleshooter

After TAP Air Portugal cancels Alexandra Rose’s flights from Washington, D.C., to Milan, the airline promises her a refund. Then it stalls. Why won’t her online agency help her get the refund she’s owed?

Q: I booked a ticket through Orbitz on TAP Air Portugal to fly from Washington to Milan in May. The flight was canceled in April because of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

I have been having an extremely difficult time getting Orbitz to help me. They have insisted repeatedly that I am not due a refund even though I am aware of the Department of Transportation (DOT) enforcement notice that all tickets have to be refunded if the ticket was canceled by the airline during COVID-19, if the customer desires a refund.  

I have also confirmed with TAP directly that I am due a refund. But they insist Orbitz must request it for me. 

After many hours on the phone with Orbitz over multiple weeks, I finally got Orbitz to email TAP to request a refund in May but I am not confident they sent this email to the right email account or if sending an email was even what was needed to appropriately request a refund from TAP because they have been giving me such a runaround. As of today I have heard nothing further from either TAP or Orbitz and feel I need help to effectively get this refund I am owed.

— Alexandra Rose, Washington, D.C.

A: You’re right. If TAP Air Portugal canceled your flight, you should get a full refund within a week. The DOT rule applies not only to airlines but also to online travel agencies such as Orbitz. 

So what happened? Well, after the outbreak, the European airlines petitioned the EU to allow them to keep the money for canceled flights and offer ticket credits. They said their survival was at stake, and they may have been correct about that. 

At the same time, a variety of European carriers began to slow down the refund process. Again, that’s totally understandable. They wanted to keep the money to pay their bills. This included creating new barriers to refunds. Could TAP Air Portugal have given you a refund for your flight when you asked? Without a doubt. Were they using Orbitz to slow down the process? Without a doubt. 

Orbitz was a willing accomplice. When it helps you get a refund, it loses any commissions and incentives the airline paid it. So you might say it is equally unmotivated, and in all likelihood, overwhelmed by other refund requests. 

Although I understand the positions of both your airline and online travel agency, it’s also helpful to appreciate your position. TAP Air Portugal canceled your flight and you were owed a refund. You weren’t getting it. If the tables were turned — if you canceled your flight because of a circumstance beyond your control — I’m not sure if TAP Air Portugal or Orbitz would be as patient as you’ve been, or as

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Bill Gates predicts half of all business travel won’t return once COVID-19 is gone, report says


Bill Gates: Companies will have a “very high threshold” for traveling to conduct in-person meetings.

Screenshot by CNET

Microsoft founder Bill Gates predicts that half of all business travel won’t return after the coronavirus pandemic ends and that people will also work far less often from a physical company office, Business Insider reported. Gates made the remarks Tuesday at The New York Times DealBook conference, BI said.

“My prediction would be that over 50% of business travel and over 30% of days in the office will go away,” Gates reportedly said, adding that from now on, businesses will have a “very high threshold” for traveling to conduct in-person meetings.

Microsoft has already announced a permanent work-from-home policy for eligible employees, who can also choose from a hybrid model where they spend some days in the office. Twitter, Facebook and other tech companies have announced similar policies. 

The Microsoft founder didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

It’s also possible many tech conferences could stay in their online format, rather than hosting tens of thousands of people at a brick and mortar convention center.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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USWNT’s Lindsey Horan tests positive for coronavirus, won’t travel to Netherlands

U.S. women’s soccer midfielder Lindsey Horan tested positive for the coronavirus and will miss the rematch of the 2019 World Cup final against the Netherlands on Nov. 27, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced Wednesday.

Lindsey Horan standing in front of a crowd: Lindsey Horan, 26, has made 86 appearances for the U.S. national team and was a member of the 2019 world championship squad. (David Vincent/Associated Press)

© David Vincent/AP
Lindsey Horan, 26, has made 86 appearances for the U.S. national team and was a member of the 2019 world championship squad. (David Vincent/Associated Press)

Horan, 26, received the diagnosis as part of pre-trip testing procedures. No others tested positive, the USSF said. The players are expected to begin arriving in the Netherlands on Friday.

Horan, who plays for the Portland Thorns in the National Women’s Soccer League, is “doing well” and “observing the appropriate quarantine protocols,” the USSF said.

Jaelin Howell, a junior midfielder at Florida State, will replace Horan, who has scored 19 goals in 86 U.S. appearances and was a member of the 2019 World Cup squad that defeated the Netherlands in the final, 2-0.

On Sunday, Howell, 20, scored twice in the Seminoles’ 3-2 victory over North Carolina in the ACC final in Cary, N.C.

Last month, she participated in a U.S. training camp in greater Denver. Howell is seeking her first appearance with the senior squad after 29 games with the under-20 team.

The only other college player invited this week was Stanford’s Catarina Macario, who will train with the team but isn’t likely to be eligible to play in the match. A naturalized citizen from Brazil, she is awaiting FIFA eligibility.

The match against the Netherlands is the first for Coach Vlatko Andonovski’s team since the SheBelieves Cup in March.

Read more on soccer:

D.C. United’s coaching search enters second stage

USWNT, turning to stars who left for England, will have a familiar roster against the Netherlands

The World Cup may be two years away, but young USMNT shows immediacy in thrashing of Panama

For some USMNT candidates, there is more than one nation to consider

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Pa. adds travel restrictions, but police won’t be pulling over out-of-state drivers

Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine issued an order Tuesday that outlined new rules for travelers and strengthened the state’s existing mask mandate to combat the spread of COVID-19.

The latest mitigation efforts include a travel test, requiring travelers to be tested within 72 hours before entering Pennsylvania. Masking orders now call for wearing a face covering indoors at all times away from home, and outdoors if you can’t keep 6 feet from people outside your household.

There was no mention of enforcement of these new requirements, and Levine acknowledged that officials will continue to rely on voluntary compliance and an honor system among residents.

Here’s what we know regarding any potential enforcement:


The secretary said no one will stop travelers to ask about testing as they get off an airplane.

THE FACTS: Lehigh Valley International Airport posted the secretary’s order on its website Wednesday. Section 2 states the order will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 20, and will remain in effect until further notice. It states, “Individuals traveling into and returning to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from any other State or Commonwealth or an international location, must produce evidence of a negative SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19) test from a specimen collected within 72 hours prior to entering the Commonwealth, or quarantine for 14 days upon entering.”

Colin Riccobon, spokesman for the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority, referenced Levine’s statement that travelers would not be stopped in the airport. He said an official statement on the travel advisory is expected later Wednesday.


The secretary said the travel-test order also applies to Pennsylvanians who drive out of the state and return, excluding commutes for work. But don’t expect state or local police to target out-of-state drivers.

THE FACTS: Allentown police Chief Glenn Granitz Jr. said,” Secretary Levine acknowledged that officials are relying on voluntary compliance. Allentown police will not be stopping out-of-state vehicles to inquire about testing.”

Bethlehem police will be taking the same approach.

“Bethlehem police will not be doing anything different than we have been since the start of the pandemic,” said Capt. Keane Knappenberger. “There will not be checkpoints for out-of-state travelers, or door-to-door canvassing to check for gatherings. If we are called to a location, we will be educating the public about social distancing and mask wearing as we have been doing since the beginning.”

State Police enforcement

State police have played a role in enforcement of COVID-19 mitigation requirements, but it’s been limited.

THE FACTS: State Police Liquor Control Enforcement officers continue to visit licensed liquor establishments to ensure businesses are abiding by mitigation requirements that include social distancing, masking and other health and safety requirements of the liquor code. They continue to write warnings and notices of violation, and more information is available on the enforcement page of the state police COVID-19 portal.

While travel is not recommended in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, state police patrols are not stopping vehicles coming from out of state.

“This [concern] came about in the

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Car travel won’t see a huge drop this Thanksgiving, with AAA expecting to rescue 413,000 US drivers roadside

a view of a city street filled with lots of traffic: Those in urban areas can expect much heavier traffic the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving. Reuters

© Reuters
Those in urban areas can expect much heavier traffic the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving. Reuters

  • Travel rates this Thanksgiving will be down across the board, but those who elect to travel will largely do it by driving, according to AAA.
  • Traffic and road congestion will be lighter than in years previous, but those in urban areas can expect heavier-than-normal delays in bottleneck areas.
  • Traffic in urban areas is expected to peak the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Traditionally, the days around Thanksgiving are the ones that would see some of the heaviest travel in the United States. But thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, travel will be a lot lighter this year.

With positive COVID-19 cases on the rise and renewed, tighter quarantine restrictions, AAA believes anticipates at least a 10% decrease in travel from 2019 — the “largest one-year decrease since the Great Recession in 2008,” it said.

AAA predicts that all forms of travel — whether via cars, planes, buses, trains, and cruises — will decrease this year compared to last year. Bus, train, and cruise travel will fall from 1.5 million passengers last year to 353,000 this year, a 76.2% decrease; air travel will fall from 4.6 million passengers to 2.4 million, a 47.5% decrease; and car travel will dip slightly from 49.9 million to 47.8 million, a 4.3% decrease.

Road trips dominate

“Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including health concerns and high unemployment, are impacting Americans’ decisions to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday,” Julie Hall, AAA’s public relations manager, told Business Insider. “Those who decide to travel are likely to drive shorter distances and reduce the number of days they are away, making road trips the dominant form of travel this Thanksgiving.”

So if you’re the type of dread holiday travel traffic, you can expect less of it this year.

But those living in major urban areas won’t be so lucky. AAA projects increased delays at typical bottleneck areas of “up to 30% above normal pandemic congestion levels,” Hall said, citing transportation analytics company Inrix’s prediction that Wednesday afternoon will have the highest traffic volume.

table: AAA and INRIX's predictions for the busiest corridors during this Thanksgiving. Screenshot via AAA

© Screenshot via AAA
AAA and INRIX’s predictions for the busiest corridors during this Thanksgiving. Screenshot via AAA

Just be sure your car is travel ready so it won’t break down on the way. AAA said it “expects to rescue more than 413,000 Americans at the roadside this Thanksgiving.”

Video: Amtrak Says Passengers Can Travel Safely, Comfortably On Northeast Corridor This Thanksgiving (CBS Philadelphia)

Amtrak Says Passengers Can Travel Safely, Comfortably On Northeast Corridor This Thanksgiving



Know the risks

Knowing the risks involved is important to those choosing to travel this holiday. 

AAA highly recommends planning ahead. Check with state and local authorities where you are, along the route you’re planning on taking, and at your destination to find out about any potential restrictions that could be in effect.

And follow public health guidelines! Wear a mask consistently,

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Giants benching WR Golden Tate, who won’t travel with team for Week 9 game

Joe Judge is putting his foot down.

The Giants took a train to Landover, Md., on Saturday afternoon, and wide receiver Golden Tate did not join them. The veteran wideout will not play in the Giants game against the Washington Football Team on Sunday at FedEx Field.

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This comes in the wake of Tate’s public displays of frustration about his role in the Giants offense.

To recap: After a 12-yard catch in Monday night’s loss to the Buccaneers, Tate looked to the Giants sideline and could be heard shouting: “Throw me the damn ball!”. Then, after he scored on an impressive 18-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, he looked at ESPN’s camera and shouted something similar.

Tuesday, Elsie Tate — his wife, an Instagram influencer — ripped the Giants on Instagram (since deleted) for underutilizing him. She called it “excruciating to watch.” At some point, Tate liked a tweet calling for the Giants to cut him.

Tate and Judge spoke at length on Wednesday, when Tate was told not to show up to the Giants facility. He returned Thursday and Judge said it would be “business as usual” … but it wasn’t really.

Tate participated in individual drills, but didn’t run routes during the portion of practice that allowed for media viewing. Friday, he was seen with the scout team, acting as Washington receiver Terry McLaurin.

Giants cornerback James Bradberry was asked about Tate’s presence on the scout team, and awkwardly smiled. “It’s a little … different,” he said.

Judge didn’t directly address the Tate situation with the media this week, though he did say that “I’m not going to tolerate and put up with any kind of selfish behavior from anybody.

So, what does this mean for Tate’s future with the Giants?

On top of this issue, Tate struggled performance-wise, too. He only has 22 catches for 226 yards and two touchdowns in seven games this season, and has generally been a massive disappointment since general manager Dave Gettleman signed him to a four-year, $37.5 million contract in 2019.

Tate was already a near-lock to be cut this offseason, which will get the Giants out of the final two years of his contract and save them $6.1 million, with a $4.7 million dead cap penalty.

It seems unlikely at this point that the Giants will cut him this season — they’d save a little less than $4 million right now if they did — though if he continues to act this way, perhaps that will alter the Giants’ decision about his stance with the organization.

With Tate out, starter Sterling Shepard will likely slide over as a slot receiver, with undrafted rookie Austin Mack getting his first start on the outside opposite Darius Slayton.

Expect the Giants to call up one or two receivers from the practice squad for Sunday, with their options being Corey Coleman, Alex Bachman, Binjimen Victor

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