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Biden to end Trump’s travel ban

Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on Wednesday, January 20 at 12 noon EST, and has a series of Executive Orders planned to sign on the same day, including the rescission of President Trump’s travel ban.

According to various reports, Biden will sign around a dozen EOs later in the afternoon after the inauguration, with one of them lifting the ban on immigration to the United States from 13 mostly Muslim nations enacted by Trump when he took office in 2017.

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Twice the ban was overturned by federal judges who said it was religious discrimination, but in June 2018, the Supreme Court upheld the third version of the policy saying that federal law gives the president broad authority to suspend entry to the US. USA

Initially, significant restrictions on travel to the United States were imposed in Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Iraq and Sudan were removed, and Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela were added.

On January 31, 2020, the administration banned certain visas from Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, and Tanzania, and again added Sudan, which would not allow citizens of those countries to permanently settle in the United States.

The ban was just one of several shocking travel decisions Trump made during his four years.

Multiple media outlets reported that incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain confirmed the rescission of the travel ban in a memo to senior staff.

“President-elect Biden will take action, not only to reverse the Trump administration’s gravest damage, but also to begin moving our country forward,” Klain wrote.

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UK will temporarily close trips

The UK will temporarily close all travel corridors from Monday, January 18, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Friday.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

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Concerned about the spread of COVID-19, as well as “new yet unidentified strains” of the virus, Johnson said the ban will run until at least February 15, although anyone flying into the country from abroad can demonstrate a negative test. Test COVID and you will be allowed in.

A new strain of the virus was first discovered in England last month and, while it is no more deadly than the first strain to invade the entire world, it is more contagious. The latest government figures on Friday showed another 55,761 new cases had been reported, up from 48,682 the day before.

“It is vital to take additional steps now that we are making great strides in protecting the population every day,” Johnson said. “It is precisely because we are hopeful of that vaccine and the risk of new strains coming from abroad that we must take additional measures now to prevent those strains from entering the country.”

All travel corridors will close on Monday. After that, arrivals to the UK will need to be quarantined for up to 10 days unless they test negative after five days. Johnson said that once the most vulnerable have been vaccinated in mid-February “we will think about the steps we could take to lift the restrictions.”

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Travel industry applauds Biden’s proposed $ 1.9 trillion stimulus

The Travel Association of America Commends President Elect Joe Biden’s Proposed COVID-19 Relief Plan Worth $ 1.9 Trillion.

The stimulus package proposed Thursday calls for spending $ 20 billion in a national immunization program and allocating $ 15 billion to develop a new grant program for small business owners separate from the existing Paycheck Protection Program.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

The proposal also calls for a $ 35 billion investment in some state, local, tribal and nonprofit financing programs that offer low-interest loans and provide venture capital to entrepreneurs.

“Accelerating vaccine delivery is the key to getting travel back to normal, and we applaud President-elect Biden’s emphasis on a strong federal leadership role to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible,” said the President and Executive Director of US Travel Roger Dow. in a statement issued Thursday. “In addition, we are encouraged by measures to provide additional grants and loans to small businesses in the worst affected industries, including travel. The Paycheck Protection Program will expire in March, but the economic difficulties of the pandemic will persist, for so it is important that companies in difficulty continue to receive help to maintain their operations and keep workers on the payroll. “

Dow continued to recognize that restoring travel will be critical to the recovery of the economy.

“Before the pandemic, travel jobs existed in every congressional district. Travel will play a vital role in America’s economic recovery in the coming months, but businesses will need this sustenance to survive until regular travel can resume. completely, “he added.

“We are grateful to President-elect Biden for his focus on fighting the virus and bringing relief to America’s hardest hit industries, and we look forward to working with the new administration on additional recovery and stimulus measures.”

The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) also expressed support for Biden’s aid proposal.

“We welcome and wholeheartedly support the provisions of President-elect Biden’s COVID-19 relief proposal that will help fuel the recovery of the travel industry and provide support to ASTA members, employees and independent contractors,” he said Eben Peck, ASTA executive vice president of defense, in a statement. . “These include an ambitious national vaccination program, an extension of the CARES Act unemployment programs through September, and grants targeting the small businesses hardest hit by COVID.”

“With that said, this is just the beginning of the process and we are working with partners in Congress to leverage these proposals and provide additional support to our members, including specific funding for travel businesses and new long-term loan programs for the most affected. businesses in line with the RESTART Act last year “.

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FBI Considering Adding US Capitol Rioters To TSA’s No-Fly List

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced Tuesday that people linked to the failed insurrection in Washington DC could be added to a banned list before next week’s presidential inauguration.

During a news conference, FBI Washington DC Deputy Director Steven M. D’Antuono said the agency is working to identify and arrest the people who participated in the deadly Jan.6 attacks.

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As part of the FBI’s punishment plans, the perpetrators could be added to the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) no-fly list. The agency’s Terrorist Detection Center (TSC) assesses the watch list to make sure those listed meet the required criteria.

“If a person is considered to pose an immediate threat to other airline passengers or to the aircraft, local law enforcement agencies and forces at the airport have jurisdiction to detain or arrest the person, which would effectively prevent them from flying.” said the FBI. in a sentence.

Members of Congress are also asking the FBI to add people who entered the U.S. Capitol building to the list of banned people, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who said: “We It worries that these people will return to the planes and do more violence. “

Travelers heading to or from the Washington DC area in the coming days will notice additional police and canine units at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, and Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport.

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Airbnb blocks and cancels DC bookings during grand opening

Airbnb decided to cancel and block reservations during opening week in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, the company said in a statement on its website.

“We are aware of reports that emerged yesterday afternoon about known armed militias and hate groups trying to travel and disrupt the inauguration,” the company said in its statement.

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HotelTonight reservations will also be canceled. Those who have reservations during this time will receive full refunds. Hosts will also be reimbursed.

Airbnb said it is working with the host community’s Metropolitan Police and members of Congress as well as DC officials and noted that Mayor Bowser, Governor Hogan and Governor Northam have made it clear that visitors should not travel to Washington on this moment.

In its statement, Airbnb said:

“We continue our work to ensure that members of hate groups are not part of the Airbnb community. As we have learned through the media or law enforcement sources the names of the individuals who were confirmed responsible for the violent criminal activity at the United States Capitol on January 6, we have investigated whether the named individuals have an account on Airbnb. Through this work, we have identified numerous individuals who are associated with known hate groups or who are involved in criminal activity on Capitol Hill, and they have been banned from the Airbnb platform. “

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US Extends Border Closures with Mexico and Canada

The borders between the United States and Mexico and Canada have been closed for at least another month due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

According to WWNYTV.com, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday that the US-Canada border would remain closed to non-essential travel until at least February 21.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

The current travel restrictions have been in effect since March, when the COVID-19 outbreak began in North America. The 30-day extension maintains the order that expires on January 21.

Regarding the border between Mexico and the United States, government officials also requested to extend non-essential travel restrictions. The border closure was initially instituted on March 21 and is now scheduled to last until February 21.

“Due to the development of the spread of COVID-19 and because several states are in orange (threat level),” the Mexican Foreign Ministry told Fox San Diego. “Mexico proposed to the United States the extension, for another month, of the restrictions on non-essential land traffic on their common border.”

While decisions to extend border closures have been sympathetically accepted by most Americans due to the high number of confirmed coronavirus cases, Mexicans have complained that no one is preventing US citizens from traveling south of the border.

The news comes hours after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it would begin requiring a negative COVID-19 test of all air passengers entering the United States, effective January 26. .

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Travel industry reacts to CDC’s new air travel requirements

The travel industry has responded quickly to news that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will begin requiring a negative COVID-19 test of all U.S.-bound air passengers. January, hailing the strategy as a key security measure but expressing concern that the mandate could further hamper travel and ultimately delay the industry’s recovery.

In a statement released Tuesday night, U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes said a testing requirement must be met with the removal of travel restrictions. and quarantine mandates.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

“We welcome the announcement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of a COVID-19 testing requirement for inbound international travelers. A testing requirement provides another level of security for international travel and must be accompanied by other policies. based on risk, including lifting travel restrictions and eliminating any post-arrival quarantine requirements, “Barnes said.

“With an international testing requirement in place, international visitors and returning residents would be tested at much higher rates than the general public and would pose a much lower risk of transmitting the disease. Therefore, it would make sense to eliminate international travel restrictions and quarantine requirements at the same time, “he added. “With a layered approach based on health and safety risk in all aspects of travel, it is possible to protect public health and allow travel to resume safely.”

Zane Kerby, president and CEO of the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), warned that the new requirement “will not guarantee that COVID-19 will not spread” and could lead to “stranded passengers, missed connections and canceled flights.”

“ASTA supports an accurate and rapid response testing regime for airline travelers in lieu of mandatory quarantines and travel bans. However, requiring a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departure will not guarantee that the COVID-19 does not spread, “Kerby said in a statement issued Wednesday. “It is very possible to become infected within 72 hours of receiving a negative test result. As the CDC has already recognized, on its own, the new testing regulation will not stop the spread of the virus due to the wait time between testing. test and flight, incubation period and false positives “.

“Implementing such a requirement without a reliable rapid response test threatens to create a logistics crisis. When travelers are stranded because they cannot get a test at the destination in time for departure (if at all), this will trigger a ripple effect throughout the supply chain: stranded passengers, missed connections and canceled flights, “he added. “The inability to obtain proof and the uncertainty of being stranded will cause many travelers to postpone their plans, resulting in further mental, emotional, and financial harm. At the very least, the CDC should communicate its list of exempt destinations for assessors to and consumers can make informed decisions about their travel plans. “

“Also, now that vaccines are available, we have a solution to ensure that travelers are protected. ASTA remains committed to promoting more resources for vaccine distribution, increasing the capacity and timeliness of testing in our own backyard, and a federal mandate that requires masks in all public places, “said Kerby.” The CDC director has said that wearing a mask is the most important step you can take to protect yourself from the virus. That is why we have asked the incoming Biden Administration to require passengers to wear masks on all flights, domestic and foreign. Requiring virus testing when the global infrastructure for testing does not exist will further affect travel economics without addressing the issue at hand. “

Doctor testing patient for COVID-19.
PHOTO: Doctor testing a patient for COVID-19. (photo via Morsa Images / E +)

Travel advisers are equally concerned about the CDC announcement. Jemica Archer of TruBlue Travels said she is “absolutely amazed that this measure is being implemented so quickly” and predicts that it will be “detrimental” to travel companies.

“We were starting to recover for the 2021 travels. I started getting emails from clients about cancellations or their concerns about not being able to return to the country. I think it will be detrimental to the travel industry. Based on this news, I expect to see more cancellations and I probably won’t see my business recover in 2021, “he added.

Meanwhile, Ryan Doncsecz of VIP Vacations Inc called the CDC’s latest effort a “major hurdle and possibly a devastating last blow for travel agencies,” and predicted that an “already very small clientele will shrink once again.”

“To help save our industry, the CDC has now called on tourism boards in other countries to help initiate a plan on how to help effectively implement testing in these destinations that may already be struggling to manage and process. trials. Hopefully our resort partners will see the need to offer trial at the destination as well, but by no means do I expect others to continue to collect additional bills that were previously not associated with their hotel deals, “said Doncsecz, who continues being cautiously optimistic.

“I am very concerned about the outcome of this, but I hope that an attitude of solidarity will be maintained among travel professionals who express their concerns not only about their careers, but also about the financial support of so many travel-related jobs, combined With the backing of ASTA and others, corporations can help CDC see how negatively this will affect so many people around the world, “he concluded.

Internova Travel Group CEO JD O’Hara echoed the sentiment expressed by US Travel and called on those in power to lift restrictions on inbound travelers.

“We support the new ruling by the Centers for Disease Control to prevent the spread of the virus, especially if the testing regime will replace quarantine requirements and bring us one step closer to opening the world to travel,” he said in a statement. . “The trials will allow for safer air and cross-border travel and will be critical to our industry rebound. We therefore urge the Administration to move forward with lifting entry restrictions on travelers from the UK, Europe and Brazil. A collaborative approach with Clear and transparent communication between the government and airlines, hotels, destinations and travel advisors is essential as we continue to work together towards a safe return from travel. “

AAA is promoting the development of a comprehensive testing infrastructure to drive a safe recovery.

“As a trusted brand, AAA is focused on the safety of our members and all travelers. Access to testing is a critical component in supporting safe return to travel, as well as achieving critical mass in vaccines. AAA encourages the development of testing infrastructure to enable safe return to travel, “AAA Senior Vice President of Travel Paula Twidale said in a statement.

“Traveling is a very personal decision. For travelers unsure how to navigate today, AAA travel agents are available to help them make an informed decision to travel safely.”

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CDC will require COVID-19 testing of all air travelers entering the U.S.

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that they will begin requiring a negative COVID-19 test from all air passengers entering the United States beginning on January 26.

With the US already in the midst of a surge domestically, testing requirements to prevent importation of fresh infections should help slow the spread.

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With new variants of the virus appearing around the world, some more highly transmissible than previous ones, the agency has viewed pre-travel and post-trip testing as an important layer of precaution to slow the introduction and spread of new strains.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

“This strategy is consistent with the current phase of the pandemic and more efficiently protects the health of Americans,” the CDC wrote in its statement.

International travelers bound for the U.S. will need to test negative within the 72-hour window of departure, and the CDC also recommends testing again three to five days after arrival, quarantining for seven days after the trip.

Passengers will need to provide their documented lab results to the airline prior to boarding, either electronically or on paper, or they can provide documented evidence of having recovered from COVID-19. Airlines are instructed to confirm the “negative” status of each passenger, and those who do not provide documentation of their negative test or recovery, or who choose not to test, should be denied boarding.

“Testing does not eliminate all risks,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, MD, “but when combined with a home stay period and daily precautions such as wearing masks and social distancing , they can make travel safer, healthier and more “responsible by reducing the spread at airplanes, airports and destinations.”

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Travel companies suspend donations to certain legislators after violence on Capitol Hill

Marriott International Inc. and Airbnb are among other major corporations that are withholding political donations to lawmakers who voted against the certification of President-elect Joe Biden.

“We have taken into consideration the destructive events on Capitol Hill to undermine a legitimate and fair election and we will pause political donations from our Political Action Committee to those who voted against the election certification,” said the Marriott spokeswoman. , Connie Kim, in a statement.

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The decision comes after Marriott CEO Arne Sorensen condemned the violence on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021.

“I recognize that we have associates who have very different views on the outcome of this election and the direction of the United States,” Sorenson wrote in an open letter on the Marriott website. “We serve guests who also have a wide range of opinions and perspectives. In the United States, we can use our voice and our vote to share our opinions. But what we cannot do is trample on the Constitution; we cannot use violence and terror. to force an agenda. It’s not who we are, and I would say it’s not what the vast majority of Americans want. “

Airbnb is also taking action. The company released a statement on the political action committee donations that read as follows:

“We have taken into consideration destructive events on Capitol Hill to undermine a legitimate and fair election and will pause political donations from our Political Action Committee to those who voted against the election certification,” said the spokeswoman for Marriott, Connie Kim.

Other major corporations have taken similar actions, including the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Microsoft, and Facebook.

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TripAdvisor adds a new tool to detect overcrowding in US cities.

Travelers hitting the road during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak are concerned about overcrowding, but TripAdvisor has launched a new platform to help avoid those problems in cities across the United States.

Engineers from Tripadvisor, Slack, Amazon Web Services and nine other technology companies developed the platform, called Crowdfree.me, to help tourists avoid crowds both at businesses and in public places like parks and beaches.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

TripAdvisor spokesman Brian Hoyt said the technology uses historical traffic data and anonymous cell phone location pings to create a map showing how busy an area is based on time and day of the week.

The data is updated once a day and the newer information is weighted more than the oldest data.

Using the congestion feature, users will be able to click on a location and see how busy it is through a heat map overlay that indicates the density of crowds in public areas through a color-coded system.

The platform also incorporates location security scores from Neura’s ViruSafe, allowing users to identify public spaces and businesses where COVID-19 risk rates are highest. Hoyt confirmed that the system does not store personally identifiable information.

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