NHS COVID app outage sees users miss flights after being unable to access COVID passes | UK News

The NHS app and website experienced an outage on Wednesday afternoon, with users unable to access their digital COVID vaccine passes, NHS Digital said.

One traveller told Sky News she had missed her flight to France as a result of the app crashing.

An NHS COVID Pass shows proof of a coronavirus vaccination as well as test results.

NHS Digital confirmed the service had been “temporarily unavailable between 11.45am and 3.15pm”.

‘Potent’ variant-beating antibody discovered – COVID news

But some panicked NHS app users with imminent travel plans were forced to pay for new flights after being unable to board without proof of vaccination.

Caroline Frost, a journalist and broadcaster, told Sky News she had a choice of paying £420 for an express PCR test and a flight later this evening or £80 to fly out tomorrow.

She was due to fly from Heathrow to Nice on business but has now rebooked to leave on Thursday.

“I had all this previous documentation, but there was nothing they could do,” she said.

“There is proof I have been through this many times, I have ticked all the boxes, I don’t have COVID, I have a double vaccination test in my hand, I just don’t have the app.

Caroline Frost returned home after being unable to board her flight
Caroline Frost returned home after being unable to board her flight

“It was a jobsworth moment. She said I sympathise, but there is nothing I can do. She phoned her superior, there was nothing he could do. There we were.

“It was immensely frustrating, and it felt like such a waste of money. And of course, when the app is up and running I am the same person, I’m going to be in the same condition of vaccinated eligibility to travel.”

An NHS Digital spokesperson said: “The NHS COVID Pass service was temporarily unavailable between 11:45 and 15:15 today as a result of a technical issue with a global service provider that affected many different organisations.

“Following an urgent investigation, this has been fixed and COVID Passes are available both via the NHS App and online.”

People travelling abroad or attending events and venues in England may be asked for proof of their COVID-19 status, which is why instant access to the COVID Pass is important.

Callum Melia, from Liverpool, who is currently on holiday in Naples told Sky News he had been unable to visit a number of museums he had prebooked as he could not prove his vaccination status, costing him around £20.

He said: “We found upon arrival we couldn’t access the app and gain entry to the museums.

“This lasted from about 12 – 5.

“We could only gain access to the app once we arrived back at the Airbnb so there was not much else we could do in the meantime.”

Earlier this month, Scotland’s newly launched vaccine passport app was also hit by technical problems, meaning people are unable to register their details on it.

People attending large events and nightclubs in Scotland now need to show proof using the app that they have had two doses of vaccine before they are allowed in, but just hours after the app’s launch, social media users said they were unable to register on it.

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PM refuses to rule out vaccine passports

Last month, Boris Johnson said the government wants to avoid the introduction of COVID vaccine passports in England “if we possibly can”, but added they would be an option to be kept “in reserve”.

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NHS investigating ‘issues’ as some users unable to access COVID pass on app and website | UK News

The NHS app and website is currently experiencing issues with users unable to access their digital COVID vaccine passes, NHS Digital has said.

Panicked NHS app users with imminent travel plans have reacted to the COVID pass outage on Twitter – with some fearing they could miss flights.

An NHS COVID Pass shows proof of a coronavirus vaccination as well as test results.

‘Potent’ variant-beating antibody discovered – COVID latest

“There are currently issues with accessing the Covid Pass on the NHS App and website. We are investigating the issue and will update as soon as we can,” NHS Digital said in a tweet.

People travelling abroad or attending events and venues in England may be asked for proof of their COVID-19 status.

Social media users replied saying they were due to travel today and asked for advice.

“Is there any estimation of how long the fix will take? Due to travel in 4 hours time, but won’t be if the app isn’t working again,” one person tweeted.

Another Twitter user said he had missed his flight due to the problem.

While someone else replied: “Not good. Flying in the morning. Need pass. Stressful.”

The service seems to be intermittent with some people able to download their passes if they keep trying.

Earlier this month, Scotland’s newly launched vaccine passport app was also hit by technical problems, meaning people are unable to register their details on it.

People attending large events and nightclubs in Scotland now need to show proof using the app that they have had two doses of vaccine before they are allowed in, but just hours after the app’s launch, social media users said they were unable to register on it.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

PM refuses to rule out vaccine passports

Last month, Boris Johnson said the government wants to avoid the introduction of COVID vaccine passports in England “if we possibly can”, but added they would be an option to be kept “in reserve”.

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Online Travel Update: Airbnb takes steps to accommodate hotel listings; Hopper is ranked the most downloaded travel app in the first half of 2021 | Foster Garvey PC

Fall has definitely arrived in the Pacific Northwest. It was a relatively quiet week in the online travel world. This week’s Update features a story on one of the most widely used Global Distribution Systems – Amadeus – as the company announces its second (unnamed) major customer for its new reservation platform. Enjoy.

Airbnb Takes Steps to Accommodate Hotel Listings
(“Airbnb revives hotel strategy, moves closer to rival OTA model,” September 29, 2021 via Phocus Wire)
While the pandemic may have led Airbnb to pause its hotel distribution aspirations, it appears that the pause may have only been temporary. Airbnb is reportedly testing a new API that allows suppliers to provide and display multiple rate plans (similar to many of Airbnb’s OTA competitors). According to two of Airbnb’s beta partners – RoomCloud (an Italian channel manager and booking engine) and Cloudbeds (an US cloud-based PMS provider), the changes are designed to appeal to hoteliers. Airbnb is also apparently re-starting efforts with its mobile booking platform, HotelTonight, as it seeks to fill multiple open positions within the company, including market managers. Airbnb has refused to provide comment on either effort.

The Most Downloaded Travel App in the First Half of 2021? Hopper
(“Top Travel Booking Apps: Look Who’s Winning the U.S. Now,” September 28, 2021 via Skift Travel News) (subscription may be required)
Those of you who have read my Update for the past year or two know all about Hopper. While Hopper may have started out as just another mobile booking application, it is now successfully leveraging its many fintech tools to appeal to post-pandemic travelers seeking maximum flexibility in their travel plans (as evidenced by the 1.3 million U.S. consumer downloads of the app that occurred in July alone). As noted in last week’s Update, Hopper CEO, Frederic Lalonde, isn’t satisfied just being the most downloaded app, he hopes to create the “West’s first travel superapp.” For those of you wondering, with the exception of Tripadvisor, Expedia and/or Booking Holdings owned applications dominated the remainder of the list of the top ten most downloaded apps.

Other news:

Amadeus Signs Another Hotel Giant to Its Enterprise Software Platform
September 28, 2021 via Skift (subscription may be required)
On Tuesday, Amadeus revealed it had signed on an as-yet-unnamed hotel company to use its hospitality software platform.

Pandemic Twist Emerges on Bookings for Hotels in Tussle With Online Resellers
September 27, 2021 via Skift (subscription may be required)
Several hotel groups have tried to lower costs for roughly a decade by driving more consumers to book directly. During the pandemic recovery, hoteliers have by and large continued to avoid overusing aggregators such as Expedia and Booking.com for much of their online sales.

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Looking to go to Canada? You will need an APP for that – ArriveCan is here

Thinking of heading north of the border? As of Aug. 9, you can!

With the Canadian border reopened to U.S. visitors, it is easy to cross, but you will need to download an app first — the ArriveCan app.

In this digital age, even the Canadian government has gone online. Using the app is a very simple process. Whether you are traveling by air, land or sea, the process is pretty much the same, but there are few things to keep in mind.

We entered Canada by marine travel — aboard our 36-foot cruising sailboat to be exact — but the preparations for this crossing began several weeks earlier. Downloading the ArriveCan app onto our phones was step one. Almost everyone (although I do know a few exceptions) carries around a smartphone. The app uploads your information quickly and easily, streamlining the process, especially if you have all your information and ducks in a row.

If your phone is not a smartphone, the app is accessible online through their website.

The first step in operating the app is to set up an account. It will ask you to enter your name and a valid email. A verification code will then be sent to you via specified email, which you will enter into the application, completing the setup. At this point, your passport photo page or Nexus card can be uploaded. All your information will be stored on the app, making the process flow nicely if and when you need to come back to it.

It was at this point we found ourselves having to wait and upload the remaining information at a later time. The app is set up to verify entry into Canada 72 hours before arriving. If you try to submit prior to 72 hours, the app will politely instruct you to come back later within the 72-hour window (I know, because we tried).

What information will you need? It is best to gather all your information together, but what do you need to upload?

The app begins by asking for your contact information. Scroll through to input your arrival date, the purpose of travel (for example, it may be for pleasure, work or school-related), port of arrival if traveling by water or air and airport and airline if flying.

The next category of questions relates to being vaccinated against the COVID-19, ending with a spot to upload a photo of your vaccination card. Continue by swiping forward.

Everyone traveling to Canada is required to show proof of vaccination (the only exception at this time is small children accompanied by an adult). It is advised to keep your vaccination card close at hand, for not only will a border patrol agent inquire after it, but as of Sept. 13, it is required to enter all restaurants, pubs, museums, gyms and other indoor public spaces within the British Columbia Provence.

One tip: make a paper copy of your card and have it laminated to save on wear and tear of the original.

The remaining questions inside the app pertain to obtaining a COVID test before traveling. The accepted test to Canada is the molecular PCR test (not an antigen test or rapid test). This is the only real snag we hit up against for the test must be taken and results delivered within that 72-hour window.

The snag? Finding a testing center that could administer the test and deliver results within our time frame. Combine this with finding a center that also tested asymptomatic folks purely wishing to travel north of the 49th parallel.

Luckily we initiated this search several weeks before our departure, for not only was it by appointment only but the center we chose was also booked solid for two weeks. Feeling a bit anxious around this one step in the process, we booked our appointments early. Where we live (and our boat is moored), the testing center easiest for us was TestDirect, located at the Bellingham Airport. They have a second site located in Burlington, as well.

Seven minutes after our appointment time, our test was complete, and we were headed back to the boat to untie from the dock. We sailed as far north as we could while we waited for our test results. TestDirect promised results in 24-48 hours. To our delight, we had ours back the following morning. With two negative test results, it was time to head over the border!

To finish our ArriveCan application, we completed the remaining questions regarding our COVID tests, symptoms of COVID-19 and quarantine questions. Currently, fully vaccinated visitors are not required to quarantine on arrival. However, the app does ask where you will quarantine if needed during your stay. These questions are the same regardless of your method of travel or length of stay. Planning a quick day hop to shop in Vancouver’s downtown district? Be prepared to answer the same questions.

Now it is time to hit that “Submit” button. After submitting, you must receive a confirmation code or receipt of your application. You will be emailed a copy, but I advise you also snap a quick screen-shot of the 6-digit code for easy reference.

If you are flying, you will need to present this confirmation at check-in with your airlines. If you travel by land across the border, an agent will ask to see your ArriveCan receipt. And for marine travel, it is still customary to phone in to border patrol, where you will be asked for your confirmation number. In any of these circumstances, the agent will be able to efficiently look up your information and grant you entry into Canada.

On Sept. 17, the Victoria Clipper set sail after almost a year and a half of suspended service, resuming its fast ferry service between Seattle and Victoria, B.C.

As luck would have it, we secured a mooring in the inner harbor right in front of the Empress Hotel. With our front row seats down on the dock, we witnessed the return of the Victoria Clipper, heralded into the harbor with a parade of the world-famous water taxis. Accompanying the taxis was an orchestra of hoops, hollars and even bagpipe music. Downtown Victoria businesses, dependent on the tourism trade, were certainly pleased to see the Clipper return as well as family members who had not seen loved ones in over a year.

To book a passage on the Clipper, you will need to complete the ArriveCan app and bring your confirmation code with you at the time of boarding. The upside is that once your information is uploaded, it is in the application system. You are ahead of the game for future trips to Canada. All you will need is a current COVID test.

Yes, the spontaneous road trips to White Rock, B.C., for a quaint afternoon lunch or high-tea may be a thing of the past, but with a little pre-planning, your phone and the ArriveCan app, wherever you travel in Canada will be smooth sailing.

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CDOT’s COtrip Planner travel app aims to make it easier to navigate road closures

Navigation apps are hardly novel, but the Colorado Department of Transportation says its new offering for smartphones has something that Google Maps and others often lack: Real-time road information — direct from the source — that’s particularly vital for winter mountain driving on Interstate 70 and beyond.

The free COtrip Planner app, which launched Oct. 1 in the Apple and Android app stores, adapts the same road-condition and closure information that CDOT long has provided via its COtrip.org website. The website also has a more user-friendly refresh, and both integrate Google’s recognizable mapping interface as their backbones, with CDOT live conditions available as overlays.

The COtrip changes were the result of a $2.1 million state contract that also included an upgrade of CDOT’s Advanced Traffic Management System. That system feeds live data to its operations centers and plays a key role in management of highway incidents.

App users can plot out driving routes and see traffic buildups, weather conditions affecting travel, construction projects and partial or full road closures — along with stretches where chain laws are in effect. A “trucker mode” shows information specialized for big-rig drivers.

The app’s “TellMe” function allows hands-free use, with the app announcing upcoming conditions and incidents along the route or in the area. The app also allows users to view live road cameras on CDOT’s network across the state.

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CDOT launches new interactive travel app

Travelers can customize routes from point A to point B to see if their trip may be impacted by road or lane closures.

COLORADO, USA — The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) launched an update to its COtrip.org website this week that will help drivers plan their route ahead of time, and be prepared for road or lane closures or adverse road conditions.

“Now, travelers can customize routes from point A to point B to see if their trip may be impacted by any road or lane closures,” said Bob Fifer, CDOT’s branch manager of the Intelligent Transportation Systems & Network Services. “Motorists will have an easier time identifying road closures, road conditions and construction impacts, all while replacing outdated technologies.” 

RELATED: Crews complete demolition of I-70 viaduct in Denver

The new website incorporates the following new features:

New Google Map

Travelers can use the map as they would any Google map and click on the icons for more information. Icons are displayed on the map by checking or unchecking the boxes in the layers toolbar. Layers include things like construction, rest areas and traffic speeds. There are also layers specific to commercial motor vehicle drivers.

Travel Alerts

Drivers can log-in in or sign up here for their own COtrip account to subscribe and manage their travel alerts. They can also save their favorite routes and cameras, and customize their travel preferences.

Social Media

COtrip traveler information is automatically posted to the @ColoradoDOT Twitter feed. New roadway hashtags and Twitter threads were rolled out in Spring 2021, making it easier for users to track and stay updated on closures and incidents from CDOT. Follow the account for real-time travel information and road conditions. 

511 Telephone Service

The 511 telephone service is an interactive, voice-activated traffic information system travelers can access by calling 511 (within Colorado) or 1-800-288-1047 (nationwide). 

The system will continue to provide a real-time option for travelers to get road conditions and traffic information. Learn more about 511 and how to use this service here.

RELATED: Interstate 25 gap project enters final year of construction

“The updated website will be a great new tool for the public, however, we also wanted to bring the same information to your mobile device.” said Fifer. “With that in mind, we are pleased to announce that we are also launching a brand new mobile app on Oct. 1. Now travelers will be conveniently informed no matter where they go. We are committed to continuously improving access to highway information and technologies.” 

COtrip Planner App

The new COtrip Planner mobile app provides statewide, real-time traffic information, and works on smartphones and tablets that operate on iOS and Android platforms. You can download the app in the Apple Store or Google Play Store starting on Oct. 1.

The app will be fully implemented in three phases

The COtrip Planner app also includes a feature called TellMe, which detects the user’s current location, speed and direction of travel to announce upcoming road conditions and traffic incidents as they travel along their route. 

“We want Coloradans and visitors to our great state to have all of the information they need to plan a safe trip, no matter where they go on our state highways and interstates,” said Fifer. “We hope all drivers will take advantage of the website and mobile app before getting into their vehicles for a safe and more convenient trip as both tools will help to eliminate any ‘surprises’ on the roadway.”

 SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Feature stories

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NYC Set to Pass Food Delivery App Laws Securing Workers Minimum Pay, Bathrooms and More

City lawmakers are acting to aid workers in the booming multi-billion dollar app-based food delivery industry, scheduling a vote for Thursday on a landmark slate of bills intended to ensure bathroom access, minimum pay and more.

The proposals were sparked by the activism of Los Deliveristas Unidos, an labor organization of immigrant delivery couriers who kept New Yorkers fed during the pandemic. Supporters say the New York City effort to provide minimum working standards for app-based couriers is the first of its kind in any major U.S. city, and hope the measures will influence local governments nationally.

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday announced his support for the measures, which come as the city fends off dual lawsuits from delivery giants over previous New York CIty regulations on their business.

“The exploitation of delivery drivers is unacceptable,” Bill Neidhardt, a de Blasio spokesperson, told THE CITY. “City Hall wholeheartedly supports these bills to protect delivery workers and deeply appreciates the grassroots organizing of Los Deliveristas Unidos to make this possible.”

But unlike prior Council bills tied up in court battles, the new package has the full support of at least one app company, Grubhub.

The package of six bills would allow food couriers access to restaurant bathrooms, put limits on how far they can be asked to deliver, set minimum payments per trip and ensure that tips get to workers.

Delivery workers rallied outside City Hall while the City Council debated ways to provide more benefits, June 8, 2021.

Delivery workers rallied outside City Hall while the City Council debated ways to aid them, June 8, 2021.
Claudia Irizarry Aponte/THE CITY

For the first time, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan) declared his support Tuesday night.

“The basic human dignity of delivery workers, many of whom are immigrants, has been ignored for too long across the country,” said Johnson in a statement. “New York City is taking the lead in transforming this industry with a legislative package that will give deliveristas the rights they deserve.”

Sergio Ajche, a Guatemalan food delivery worker from Brooklyn and one of the leaders of the grassroots immigrant labor collective Los Deliveristas Unidos, said he’s feeling “happy and optimistic” over the expected approval of the bills.

“We have the support of a good group of elected officials, and that helps us muster strength to keep fighting. These six bills will help workers, but they’re not enough,” Ajche told THE CITY in Spanish. “Only time, each passing day will inform us what else we should change and demand. Every day more delivery workers are getting together and the movement grows. We’re making progress.”

‘Fierce Determination’

The City Council vote comes nearly a year after THE CITY first reported workers beginning to unite over the perilous and exploitative nature of app-based delivery work, including lack of bathroom access, alleged wage theft, insufficient pay, and reports of muggings and robberies.

Restaurant staff denying bathroom access became a galvanizing issue in the early days of the pandemic, as indoor dining shut down, as did most other restroom options — and the takeout business boomed.

The bill from Councilmember Carlina Rivera (D-Manhattan) would require most restaurants to allow delivery workers picking up an order to use the bathroom if requested.

The measure also would grant the city Department of Consumer and Worker Protection the power to fine bars and restaurants that deny restroom access to couriers up to $50 on the first offense and $100 for every subsequent violation.

Rivera told THE CITY she’s been working with the Deliveristas for nearly two years to come up with a package of bills.

“Though this battle has been long and hard-fought, the fact that the Council will be voting on our legislation just a few short months after introduction is a testament to the organizing power and fierce determination of our city’s Deliveristas,” Rivera said.

Storm Showed Dangers

The working conditions of app-based food couriers came under further scrutiny earlier this month when the remnants of Hurricane Ida barrelled down on New York City, dumping a record amount of rain, paralyzing mass transit and leaving drivers stranded on roadways.

Workers hauled outside in hip-deep water for meager pay as orders continued coming in. Images of food delivery couriers wading through the deluge quickly began circulating on social media, reigniting public conversation over hazardous conditions workers face.

Delivery workers in Astoria toiled in waist-deep water for less than minimum wage as the remnants of Hurricane Ida poured over the region on Sept. 1, 2021.

A delivery worker in Astoria toiled in high water as the remnants of Hurricane Ida poured over the region Sept 1.
Obtained by THE CITY

Toño Solís, a delivery worker and member of the Deliveristas, told THE CITY that he earned just $5 for an hour-long trip to deliver a meal in Brooklyn from Astoria the night of the downpour, including tip.

He made just $115 during the 9.5 hour workday, roughly $12 an hour, with tips — lower than New York’s $15-an-hour minimum wage. The apps treat couriers as independent contractors, not employees, leaving them exempt from minimum wage requirements.

Council bill sponsors say the crisis for workers runs deeper.

“We shouldn’t have needed a pandemic, or a hurricane, for us to recognize that Deliveristas are essential workers who deserve essential rights,” said Councilmember Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn), who’s advancing a measure to regulate drivers’ pay.

How these so-called gig workers get classified by employers has become a major issue nationally. A New York State proposal that would have allowed gig workers to unionize but stopped short of reclassifying them as employees failed to gain support in Albany.

Last month, a California trial court dealt a blow to tech companies over a successful 2020 ballot proposition that allowed gig workers to be reclassified as independent contractors, ruling that it was unconstitutional.

A survey of 500 York City app-based food delivery workers released last week found that workers on average earn less than the state’s minimum wage and that pay is often unreliable, with money coming in late and tips whittled down or missing.

Food delivery workers reported earning an average of $7.87 an hour before tips and about $12.21 an hour with tips included, far less than the $33 food delivery company DoorDash claims its Manhattan couriers earn.

The bill introduced by Lander, who is running for city comptroller, would establish minimum per-trip payments for delivery workers, similar to protections that the city’s Uber and Lyft drivers already have in place.

Delivery cyclists ride down Broadway in Manhattan to protest a lack of protection during the coronavirus pandemic, Oct. 15, 2020.

Delivery cyclists rode down Broadway in October 2020 to protest a lack of protection during the coronavirus pandemic.
Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

The city Department of Consumer and Worker Protection would be obligated to study working conditions and then issue rules establishing minimum per-trip payments, which would not include tips. Another bill would require that food delivery apps disclose to customers what portion of their tip is distributed to workers, how the tip is paid to them and what amount of each tip is used to make up workers base pay.

Yet another measure would prohibit online delivery companies from charging workers any fees to receive wages and tips, as well as require them to pay couriers at least once a week and offer at least one payment option that doesn’t require a bank account.

Regulating an ‘Indispensable Industry’

Hildalyn Colón Hernández, director of policy at the Workers Justice Project, a Brooklyn-based center that represents the Deliveristas, said the Council’s package can serve as a “framework” for other municipalities.

The City Council’s package received an endorsement from at least one of the food ordering companies, Grubhub.

Chicago-based Grubhub, one of the major tech companies involved in the app-based delivery sector, said through a spokesperson that “Grubhub supports the proposals the City Council is currently considering that would provide a number of new protections.”

But the possibility of a legal showdown with other app firms looms large.

A federal lawsuit filed earlier this month by delivery giants that include DoorDash, Uber Eats and Grubhub claims earlier Council action to cap fees they charge to restaurants amounts to unconstitutional overreach.

Last week, San Francisco-based DoorDash filed a lawsuit against the city over a new law approved in August that requires delivery companies to provide customer data to the restaurants that fulfill the orders.

Uber Eats declined to comment. Relay, a smaller New York City-based food delivery company that works with restaurants, did respond to requests for comment.

One of the thornier items, according to people familiar with the discussions, is a proposal by Councilmember Justin Brannan (D-Brooklyn) to allow delivery workers to set limits on how far they’re willing to travel for a delivery. They’d also be able to select which routes they want to take without fear their rating on the apps will decrease.

In an emailed statement, DoorDash said it had concerns with Brannan’s bill because it could lead to couriers to decline to deliver to some neighborhoods, leading to discrimination. DoorDash spokesperson Campbell Millum said the company recognized the “unique challenges” facing delivery workers in the five boroughs and would work with city officials.

“We will continue to work with all stakeholders, including the City Council, to identify ways to support all delivery workers in New York City without unintended consequences,” Millum said in an emailed statement.

Citing the survey released last week by the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the Workers Justice Project, Brannan said the report was a “scathing indictment on this unregulated, unsafe, yet completely indispensable industry.”

He added: “We cannot sit back and allow companies worth billions to profit off the backs and bikes of exploited workers.”

‘The Flags of Many Countries’

Councilmember Carlos Menchaca (D-Brooklyn), who introduced the payment bill, said the measures highlight “the grotesque nature of the style of capitalism that’s connected to these apps.”

“That for me, has been just one example of what they’ve been trying to get away with,” Menchaca added. “And they’re no longer going to get away with here.”

Another bill to be voted on would require that the third-party delivery platforms supply workers with insulated delivery bags. The app-branded thermal bags can cost up to $60, workers told THE CITY, and are an unofficial requirement for the job to keep food hot before it reaches the customer.

Los Deliveristas Unidos plan to host an event at City Hall Park Thursday as the Council readies to vote, offering bicycle tune-ups, assistance with NYPD bike registration and help filling out applications for state pandemic financial assistance.

A growing number of riders originally from Bangladesh and other countries will be joining the largely Mexican and Central American Deliveristas, members say.

“Our vision is that this movement includes the flags of many countries — there’s no race or color,” Ajche said. “It’s for every delivery worker who identifies with our movement.”

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Kerala Tourism launches mobile app for travellers | Travel News

The Kerala Tourism Mobile App is yet another entry to elevate the tourism sector in the state. The app was formally launched by actor Mohanlal in the presence of Public Works and Tourism Minister PA Mohamed Riyaz on Saturday.

The new app is designed to help users explore new possibilities and introduce others to the new places they find. In this way, local tourism destinations in every nook and corner of Kerala will be noticed internationally. Passengers can make inquiries using the possibility of a voice assistant. The information will be received as voice answers while avoiding the difficulty of typing.

Some of the features include exploring tourist attractions on your own, share information & visuals of new-found destinations, find clean & safe restrooms anywhere in Kerala, find restaurants and local tastes easily have real-time information about everything around you and details on nearby service providers for accommodation.

The app also provides information on the nearby attractions from the place of your stay, directions, exclusive pictures, and videos of Kerala. The Travel Desk provides you travel tips, details on maps, souvenir shops, and other essential information. Reach out to the information centres for queries regarding Visa on arrival or about your travel.

Other features include a guide on Ayurvedic centres, Theyyam calendar, Monsoon Festival calendar, Festival calendar, 1000 festivals of Kerala. A detailed page each on beaches, backwaters, hills, wildlife, and waterfalls. There are e-brochures on each of the districts of the state. Once you download them, everything you need to know about the place will be available to read.

“There are a lot of unknown tourist destinations in Kerala that can be found through this app. I have been to various places in Kerala for shooting purposes. Each place is unique. This app will make our journey more easier and informative. Hoping that this app will cause a new revolution in the tourism industry,” Mohanlal said at the inauguration.

The innovative Tourism mobile app, which will be launched in the nature of a gaming station with added augmented reality possibilities, hopefully, will be well received.

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Selective launches itinerary and risk app

Selective Travel Management is launching a new app for travellers
to view their itineraries, find risk information and report their location to their company
in the event of an incident. It will also allow travellers to speak with the TMC’s

The new app, called Tripscape, will also offer weather infromation,
currency converters and local guides. Tripscape can also record expenses and offer parking reminders.

Graham, Selective’s managing director, said, “Post-Covid, corporate travellers
are taking to the skies again, catching up on lost time as they reassert the
unique value of face-to-face meetings in our global marketplace. Confidence is
returning, but corporate travellers nevertheless remain cautious and are, in
particular, wary about the potential for last-minute travel disruption.”

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Roundup: Rfider links COVID-19 test with digital health pass for travel, Vietnam’s tourism app features health declaration form and more briefs

New Zealand-based Rfider links COVID-19 test with digital health pass for travel

New Zealand software firm Rfider has enabled a COVID-19 test in Singapore to connect with a digital health pass for international travel.

In a statement, the company said it has been chosen by Invitrocue, a Singapore-based bioanalytic solutions provider, to empower its saliva-based antigen and PCR-based COVID-19 tests with a technology that allows tracking, tracing and verification. 

Through Rfider’s platform, the Invitrocue tests provide users with a unique ID that helps prevent counterfeiting and enables test results authentication. 

It is also able to securely send the test reports to their mobile devices to be used as a travel pass. 

Rfider says its technology has established compatibility with the Verity platform for such a purpose. Created by self-sovereign identity applications developer Evernym, the said platform is behind the digital health pass of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which is now being trialled at over 40 airlines globally, including the Australian flag carrier Qantas

“We are pleased to be working with Rfider to make this possible. With this partnership, individuals will be able to store their health data securely on their mobile device and privately share it with trusted providers and authorities with the tap of a button,” Evernym VP of Product James Monaghan said.

The Rfider technology, according to chief executive John Pennington, helps cut down the time to deliver test reports to workers at hospitality and tourism venues, which in turn, ushers in the recovery of in-person events around the world. 

Dr Stephen Fang, executive director of Invitrocue, said its partnership with Rfider enabled them to “scale the deployment” of their testing platform and deliver results to users and even to decision makers in “real-time”. “It is a step-change in not only the way testing is conducted but how we can get better data faster,” he added.

Health declaration form integrated in Vietnam’s tourism app 

Vietnam’s mobile tourism app called “Du lick Viet Nam an toan” now features a health declaration form.

According to a news report, the inclusion of the health declaration form, which connects to a system managed by the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control, is part of health authorities’ efforts to enhance their pandemic response. Adding the new feature also removes the need for users to switch to another platform just to fill out the form.

Launched last year in October by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the mobile app contains a digital map that shows information on restaurants, hotels, apartments, entertainment places, transport providers, hospitals and pharmacies.

The tourism app also provides the most updated information about the COVID-19 situation in any destination, including details about infection cases and the number of recovered patients.

Developers are working to add other features, such as COVID-19 safety verification, COVID-19 vaccine certification, health records, travel insurance and e-tickets.

The news report noted that due to the prevailing travel restrictions and border closures, there were only about 105,000 international tourist arrivals recorded in the country in the first eight months of 2021, a 97% decline compared to the same period in 2020. 

Indian medical news portal goes mobile

Medical Dialogues, an online medical news portal in India, has launched its mobile app for Android and iOS devices. 

The Google news-registered portal provides medical news, guidelines, interesting cases and news about the healthcare industry. It claims to have over two million visits each month. The news site has a HONcode certification for bringing authentic health information on the internet.

Its development, according to the company, comes following demand from over 600,000 medical fraternities who are registered users of the portal.

Aiming to empower and update doctors with medical knowledge, the app contains new features such as video library, webinars for doctors and interactive modules like quizzes, surveys and polls.

“As the pioneer of risk management in the country, doctors have to be associated with the medical updates under the COVID-19 guidelines as the virus is taking a new shape every week. Doctors need to be updated with the latest information about COVID-19. With maintaining the dictum of offering the best service, Medical Dialogues has launched the app for healthcare and medical professionals,” Dr Prem Aggarwal, co-founder of Medical Dialogues, said.

Vietnamese-American charity group extends free teleconsultations to COVID-19 patients in Vietnam

Vietnamese-American charity organisation Good Samaritan Medical Dental Ministry has collaborated with the provinces of Dong Nai and Tien Giang in Vietnam to deliver free remote doctor consultations with COVID-19 patients at home.

According to a news report, a telemedicine system will be used to connect the patients with doctors in the US and Vietnam for virtual consultations. 

The report noted that Dong Nai and Tien Giang are among southern provinces in the country that reported high incidences of COVID-19 infections. In Dong Nai, for instance, around 23,000 citizens have contracted the disease with over 200 people already dead.

The charity group said they could accommodate between 200 and 300 COVID-19 patients for consultations “every four hours”. They also offered help to deliver blood oxygen monitoring devices and oxygen concentrators from the government to patients needing them.

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