Nearly 48M expected to travel this July Fourth | Local News


Prepare to share the road and sand in another week or so.

AAA is predicting a whopper of a travel frenzy this July Fourth.

It predicts 47.7 million Americans will be motoring on the nation’s roads during the holiday. That volume will not only eclipse last year’s number by a mile, when COVID-19 anchored Americans to their homes, but it also will come within 2.5 percent of matching the record set in 2019. Volume will be up by at least 40 percent, AAA estimates.

A large percentage of Independence Day road travelers will head for lakes, rivers and shorelines, including the islands and beaches of the Golden Isles. AAA’s travel figures include 1.5 million Georgians, 33 percent more than in 2020.

“Travel is back this summer as Americans eagerly pursue vacations they’ve deferred for the last year-and-a-half,” said Debbie Haas, vice president of Travel for AAA, the Auto Club Group. “We saw strong demand for travel around Memorial Day and the kickoff of summer, and all indications now point to a busy Independence Day.”

Few know that better than the local tourism industry. An active season is keeping it on its feet.

“We anticipate a very busy Fourth of July holiday this year,” said Scott McQuade, president and CEO of the Golden Isles Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Looking at our bookings for July and the holiday weekend, we expect to be at full capacity on the islands and see overflow traffic extend to the mainland.”

It’s a trend that began earlier this year.

“We have seen record numbers of visitors come into the Golden Isles since March, and we expect that trend to continue throughout the entire summer,” McQuade said.

McQuade said the fact that July Fourth falls on a Sunday this year will be beneficial to the industry and economy.

“When the Fourth of July falls on a weekend, we actually see a boost both the week before and the week after the holiday,” he said. “We expect to see some visitors arrive prior to the weekend for the holiday and other segments arrive for the weekend and extend their stay until the following week.

“This Fourth of July will kick off what we anticipate will be our busiest July on record.”

Those traveling outside of the Golden Isles may stumble upon costly downside to seeking fun and relaxation elsewhere.

According to GasBuddy, gas prices at the pumps in some areas of the country are as high as $3.13 for a gallon of regular unleaded. That reflects an increase of 93 cents over the $2.16 average price during last year’s holiday.

Travel predictions coincide with the release of a grim report requested by the U.S. Congress on the condition of interstates, a highway system that turned 65 this year. The study focused on traffic flow and the deteriorating condition of many roadways, bridges and overpasses due to age, heavy use and lack of investment.

The findings were reported by TRIP, a nonprofit organization that researches surface transportation issues.

“The report released by TRIP confirms what American businesses experience every day — our interstate highway system, which was once the envy of the world, is in serious need of modernization,” said Ed Mortimer, vice president of transportation infrastructure, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Commitment to modernization must be shared by federal, state and local leaders as well as the private sector. The interstate system plays a key national role in economic success and quality of life for every American.”

With 57 percent of its interstates congested during peak hours, Georgia’s interstate system is the 12th worst in the nation, according to the report. California tops the awful-interstate system list with a congestion rate of 87 percent. Florida ranks 5th at 70 percent.

Georgia also ranks 12th in number of interstate fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles driven. In 2019 the rate was .71 percent, high compared to other states but lower than the 1.26 percent rate of the Peach State’s other highways. Wyoming was the deadliest, the death rate along its interstate system reaching 1.36 percent and 1,48 percent on its other highways. Florida ranked 10th with a .72 percent interstate fatality rate and 1.56 percent fatality rate on other highways.

Driving to Atlanta? Flying might be better. In addition to the time-savings, consider this: two interstates serving the capital city are among the nation’s worst bottlenecks for commercial truck traffic. Interstate 285 at I-85 north is the 3rd worst in the nation; I-75 at I-285 north is the 16th worst.

Seth Millican, executive director of the Georgia Transportation Alliance, says it’s time to focus on the interstate system.

“This new data from TRIP dramatically underscores the critical need for significant additional investment in our nation’s highways, bridges, and freight and logistics infrastructure,” he said. “With one of the most successful and fastest growing ports in the United States, Georgia is at the epicenter of that need. Fortunately, through the Georgia Commission on Freight and Logistics, Georgia’s elected leaders are intent on addressing some of those challenges.”





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AAA: Fourth of July travel outlook expected to be busy | Local News


PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – The July 4th weekend will be here before you know it and if you’re planning to head out of town, you’re not alone. Travel is expected to be busy and not just by pandemic standards.

According to AAA, the travel volume will be the second-highest on record. Nearly 48 million Americans are expected to take a trip that holiday weekend, that includes 597,000 Oregonians. AAA says this is a 40% increase from last year.

Right now, the CDC says that fully-vaccinated people can travel across the country at low risk to themselves. Those who are not vaccinated are advised to practice social distancing, wear a mask, wash your hands and get tested before and after travel.

Whether you’re vaccinated or not, remember masks are required on planes, trains, buses and other forms of public transportation.

According to AAA most people will be hitting the road. In a survey of members in Oregon and Idaho, the most popular road trip destinations are central Oregon, national parks of Utah, Yellowstone, Hawaii, Disneyland and Las Vegas.

The good news for drivers is that gas prices are holding steady. AAA says a rising supply of gasoline is helping to stabilize prices. The national average is $3.07. In Oregon a gallon of regular gas is $3.50 on average. In Washington it’s $3.65.

Copyright 2021 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. 





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Independence Day travel expected to surpass pre-pandemic levels | Local News


The greatest number of Texans on record, approximately 3.7 million, are expected to travel during the Independence Day holiday weekend, according to travel forecast data from AAA Texas.

A closer look at the travel forecast, which the American Automobile Association started in 2000, shows more Texans than ever will drive to their Independence Day destinations, about 3.3 million. That is a 41% jump from last year and a 10% increase from 2019.

Airports will be busier too as AAA Texas forecasts around 338,000 leisure passengers will fly to get away, an increase of 177% from 2020 and just around 3% fewer than 2019. The “Other Travel” category, which includes buses, trains and cruises, is also going to see a recovery by about 75% (+15,000 people) from 2020 totaling around 35,000 passengers but will remain lower by around 83% from 2019 figures.

On a national scale, more than 47.7 million Americans will take to the nation’s roadways and skies during this holiday timeframe, as travel volumes are expected to nearly fully recover to pre-pandemic levels. In fact, this will be the second-highest Independence Day travel volume on record nationally, trailing only 2019. Overall, just 2.5% fewer Americans are expected to travel this year compared to Independence Day in 2019. This represents an increase of nearly 40% compared to last year, when total travel fell to 34.2 million.

While all modes of travel will see increased demand this Independence Day, road trips continue to dominate this summer. Despite the highest gas prices in seven years, more than 91% of holiday travel will be by car. An expected 43.6 million Americans will drive to their destinations, the highest on record for this holiday and 5% more than the previous record set in 2019. With 3.5 million people planning to fly, air travel volumes this Independence Day will reach 90% of pre-pandemic levels and increase 164% compared to last year.

“After deferring opportunities for nearly a year-and-a-half, more Texans than ever are anticipated to travel away from home this Independence Day holiday,” said Kent Livesay, vice president and general manager, AAA Texas. “With this projection in mind, AAA Texas recommends that vacationers work with a trusted travel advisor to plan a memorable getaway that meets your needs and comfort-level.”

Another 620,000 Americans are expected to travel by other modes this Independence Day, an increase of over 72% compared to last year, but 83% lower than in 2019. This includes travel by bus and train, and also the return of cruising. Cruise lines have announced limited sailings resuming from U.S. ports beginning in late June. For those who make the personal decision to take a cruise, AAA Texas reminds them that a travel advisor can help with any cancelation policies, answer questions related to what you can expect on your cruise, and travel insurance options to help protect your health and travel investment before and during your vacation.

INRIX, in collaboration with AAA, predicts drivers will experience the worst congestion heading into the holiday weekend as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers, along with the return trip on Monday mid-day. Major metro areas across the U.S. could see nearly double the delays verses typical drive times, with drivers in Boston and San Francisco likely to experience nearly three-times the delays.

“With travelers eager to hit the road this summer, we’re expecting nationwide traffic volumes to increase about 15% over normal this holiday weekend. Drivers around major metro areas must be prepared for significantly more delay,” says Bob Pishue, transportation analyst, INRIX. “Knowing when and where congestion will build can help drivers avoid the stress of sitting in traffic. Our advice is to avoid traveling on Thursday and Friday afternoon, along with Monday mid-day.”

The 3.3 million Texans expected to travel by car this Independence Day can expect gas prices to be the most expensive since June 2018 with the statewide average at $2.74 per gallon of regular unleaded, at the time of this report.

“Higher gas prices won’t deter road trippers this summer. In fact, we’re expecting record-breaking levels of car travel this July Fourth,” said AAA Texas spokesperson Daniel Armbruster. “Though prices are around $1 more per gallon compared to this same time last year, travelers are likely to look for more free activities or eat out less, but still take their vacations as planned.”





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DIA expected to be very busy this summer, TSA hiring to keep up with demand


DENVER (KDVR) — Officials with the TSA are projecting air travel this summer could reach 2019 volumes, which was one of the busiest years on record.

“Travel volumes at DEN have rapidly increased over the past several months and we anticipate this
trend will continue throughout the summer. TSA Colorado is primed to deliver the most effective
security in the most efficient manner,” said TSA Federal Security Director for Colorado Larry Nau.

The summer travel season ramps up starting Memorial Day weekend and DIA is already approaching 90% of 2019 volumes.

The busiest times at security checkpoints in Denver are 5 a.m. to 11 a.m., noon to 2.p.m. and 9 p.m. to midnight. The busiest days at the airports are Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays and Mondays.

TSA continues to practice the “Stay Healthy. Stay Secure.” campaign which requires all security officers to wear masks and gloves. All airport travelers are also required to wear masks with the federal mandate lasting until September 13, 2021. Security staff will also continue to clean and sanitize surfaces and bins in the security checkpoints.

Here are some additional tips to remember during the summer travel season:

  • Step 1: Pack Smart
  • Step 2: Secure items in your carry-on
  • Step 3: Travel with hand sanitizer
  • Step 4: Enroll in TSA PreCheck

With increased demand at security checkpoints, TSA is hiring Transportation Security Officers. The position starts at $18.10 an hour with a new hire bonus of $500 upon starting if employed between now and Sept. 30, TSO’s will also receive $500 after one year of service with TSA.

A recruitment event for TSOs will take place June 25 and June 26 in the ballroom at the Crowne Plaza Denver Airport, 1550 E. 40th Ave. in Denver between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. both days. On-site parking is available for free.

To learn more about the positions and the benefits of working for the TSA, visit TSA.gov/TSO.



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Latest Dorset travel updates for A35, A354, A31, A37 as roads expected to be busy – Bridport and Lyme Regis News



Latest Dorset travel updates for A35, A354, A31, A37 as roads expected to be busy  Bridport and Lyme Regis News



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Green list countries update live: Government travel review expected today


Heathrow chief executive criticises costly PCR testing system for travellers

A smattering of Greek islands, the Canaries and Malta could be added to the government’s “green list” on Thursday, raising hopes for an expanded choice of destinations for summer holidays.

International travel for leisure purposes resumed on 17 May in Britain under a traffic light system.

Just 12 destinations are on the UK government’s green “safe” list for travel, which measures the risk of Covid reimportation. The list was first revealed on 7 May, with Portugal the only mainstream holiday country to be included, alongside Gibraltar, Iceland and Israel.

Green list returnees don’t need to quarantine, although they still need to present a negative Covid test before departure to the UK, and a PCR test within two days of arrival.

The red and amber lists are also expected to be shuffled on Thursday.

Follow live for traffic light reshuffle news and reaction.

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Spanish and Greek islands remain on Foreign Office ‘safe’ list

The Foreign Office continues to warn against travel to much of Greece and Spain – but not to some of the islands.

FCDO travel advice is the basis for tour operators deciding whether or not to run package holidays.

The islands of Rhodes, Kos, Zakynthos, Corfu and Crete are regarded as low risk by the Foreign Office, along with the Canary Islands.

There is no indication that FCDO advice will be aligned with the decision on changes to the “traffic light” system, however.

Even if the above-mentioned destinations remain amber, the FCDO advice means that British holidaymakers who travel there should not have their travel insurance invalidated,

This is because insurance policies are normally based on Foreign Office guidance, rather than the newly introduced travel traffic light system. If your destination is exempt from the FCDO’s blanket advisory against non-essential travel, your travel insurance should still cover your trip (although always read the small print).

Helen Coffey3 June 2021 12:04

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Covid-19 could be ‘many times more prevalent’ in Indonesia than reported

The case for Indonesia moving from amber to the red list in the UK government’s next travel update has gained strength after new reports suggest the country’s Covid-19 rates could be much higher than the official figures.

The country of 270 million has recorded 1.83 million positive cases, but epidemiologists have long believed the true scale of the spread has been obscured by a lack of testing and contact tracing.

The results of Indonesia’s first major seroprevalence studies – which test for antibodies – were revealed to Reuters.

One nationwide study between December and January suggested 15 per cent of Indonesians had already contracted Covid-19 – when official figures at the end of January had recorded infections among only around 0.4 per cent of people.

Even now, Indonesia’s total positive infections are only around 0.7 per cent of the population.

The results of the survey were not unexpected given under reporting, said Pandu Riono, a University of Indonesia epidemiologist who worked on the study carried out with help from the World Health Organisation.

Siti Nadia Tarmizi, a senior health ministry official, said it was possible the study was preliminary, but there might be more cases than officially reported because many cases were asymptomatic.

Travel expert and founder of the PC Agency Paul Charles has predicted that Indonesia is a prime candidate for moving to the red list, alongside Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Additional reporting by agencies

Helen Coffey3 June 2021 11:46

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Red list arrivals to be separated at Heathrow

Heathrow airport has reopened one of its dormant terminals specifically for arrivals from “red list” countries. The west London airport is currently the main arrival point for travellers to the UK.

With passenger numbers a small fraction of normal levels, Heathrow has been using only half of its four terminals.

Terminals 3 and 4 have been mothballed: keeping a security presence, catering and other operations there was simply uneconomic with so few passengers.

At the same time, some passengers have been obliged to queue for up to six hours at Heathrow with those from red list nations mingling with lower risk travellers.

Starting on 1 June, direct arrivals from red list locations will be separated from other passengers, arriving terminal 3.

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “While opening this facility will be very challenging logistically, our hope is that it will enable Border Force to carry out its duties more efficiently as passenger volumes increase in line with the green list.”

The airport plans to move red list arrivals to Terminal 4 “as soon as operationally possible”. If passenger numbers start to increase significantly, Heathrow hopes to bring Terminal 3 back into normal service.

Read our full report on what it means for travellers here.

Helen Coffey3 June 2021 11:30

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Holidaymakers three times as likely to book green list destinations

The government’s advisory against all international leisure barring holidays to green list countries seems to have had an effect.

New research suggests British holidaymakers are almost three times as likely to book a trip to a green destination than to an amber one.

Two in five UK adults said they were considering an overseas holiday in the next 12 months, according to a survey by BVA BDRC, shared with Travel Weekly.

More than half of these (51 per cent) are likely to book a green destination compared with 18 per cent who said they’d consider amber destinations.

Meanwhile, one in four respondents said they would not book anywhere under the current traffic light system.

Asked whether they were confident an overseas trip could go ahead, 32 per cent responded ‘yes’ to a booking for July, 39 per cent for August, 44 per cent for September and 46 per cent for October.

Almost two‑thirds (63 per cent) blamed government restrictions for their lack of confidence.

Helen Coffey3 June 2021 11:10

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Ryanair boss calls for holiday destinations to be added to green list

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has called for the government to lift restrictions on travel to the US and holiday hotspots in Europe.

Claiming it was “absolutely imperative” that “big tourist destinations” like Greece and Spain be put on the UK’s travel green list, he told Sky News: “The restrictions should be lifted, we should be allowing British families to travel to the US and Europe, and also to return without having to complete useless PCR forms for people who’ve already been vaccinated.

“Nothing is absolutely safe but it is scientists and doctors’ jobs to urge caution and care and worry.

“The vaccines are effective against the Indian variant, it’s a scariant being used by the science and medical professions to urge caution.

“It’s time that we got on with our lives.”

Europe’s largest airline has also called for the transport secretary to axe the “nonsensical” requirement for green list arrivals to take two PCR tests when they return to the UK, as well as abolishing restrictions for those who are fully vaccinated.

Ryanair urged Grant Shapps to abolish travel restrictions for fully vaccinated passengers, and to get rid of the current requirement to present a negative day two PCR test for green list arrivals, which the airline says “only adds cost and stress to UK citizens despite returning from low-risk EU destinations”.

Helen Coffey3 June 2021 10:55

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Italy ‘very much open’ and hopes to be on green list

Italy is “very much open” to British tourists and hopes it will be considered for the UK green list, according to the ambassador.

The Italian ambassador to the UK, Raffaele Trombetta, has said that “Italy is open to British tourists” and that its vaccination programme is progressing well.

When asked by Sky News whether he thought Italy should be put on the green list for travel, Mr Trombetta said: “I do actually.

“We are doing quite well now with our vaccination programme.

“More than 55 million doses have been distributed to people with a high percentage of Italian people who have received both doses.”

He added: “And this is going on and by the end of this month we estimate that a large majority of our population will have been vaccinated.

“Italy is open to British tourists.

“And we know how much British people like going to Italy.

“So very much open and very much hope that the UK government, when they have to review the list they will also consider Italy for the green list.”

According to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Italy’s current 14-day case notification rate per 100,000 people is 135.77. For comparison, Malta, which is a very strong contender for the green list in today’s review, has a current rate of 9.33.

Helen Coffey3 June 2021 10:44

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Boris Johnson says government ‘will not hesitate’ to remove countries from green list

The Prime Minister has said the government “will not hesitate” in removing countries from the scant green list if necessary.

Speaking on Wednesday about the imminent update to the traffic light travel lists, Boris Johnson was otherwise tight-lipped.

“We’re going to try to allow people to travel, as I know that many people want to, but we’ve got to be cautious and we’ve got to continue to put countries on the red list, on the amber list, when that is necessary,” he said.

“I want you to know we will have no hesitation in moving countries from the green list to the amber list to the red list, if we have to do so.

“The priority is to continue the vaccination rollout, to protect the people of this country.”

The government currently only advises leisure travel to green list countries, although as of 17 May it is perfectly legal to travel abroad on holiday to any country you wish (provided, of course, they’ll let you in).

Helen Coffey3 June 2021 10:35

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Pound rises against the euro

The pound is currently up 1.2 per cent against the euro compared to the start of May as the government prepares to announce which countries will be added to the green list later today.

Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO at travel money specialist FairFX, said:



As anticipation builds around which countries will be added to the green list in the Government’s travel review later today, it could be good news for holidaymakers looking for some sun this summer. The pound is currently up 1.2 per cent against the euro compared to the start of May, and many will be hoping for that trend to continue as more Eurozone destinations are added to the list.

For those looking to travel overseas, keeping an eye on the latest travel announcements and locking in rates while the pound is strong is the best way for holidaymakers to get more bang for their buck and maximise their holiday money.

Helen Coffey3 June 2021 10:20

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Portugal could move from green to amber

Portugal, the only mainstream holiday destination on the green list that is currently accessible to Britons, is reportedly under review and could turn amber in today’s update.

Boris Johnson warned last night that the Government “will not hesitate” in moving countries off the green list.

With Covid rates on the rise, Portugal is one of the key green destinations currently being assessed by the government, reports the Telegraph.

However, although the country reported its highest number of infections yesterday since March, it still boasts a low number of cases per 100,000 residents over the last 14 days – one of the key factors in determining countries’ classifications under the traffic light system. It currently stands at 55.60, according to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

The final decision will be heavily influenced by scientists from the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC), who are meeting with government today to discuss recommendations.

Helen Coffey3 June 2021 10:12

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Testing capacity could be overwhelmed, warns expert

If the green list expands as expected later today, it could spell trouble for the UK’s testing capacity, a travel expert warned.

Which? travel editor Rory Boland told Sky News that “too many people are not getting their test back on time.”

Holiday favourites such as Malta, the Spanish Balearic Islands and some Greek islands have been named as contenders to go green.

But Mr Boland said this could further stretch a private testing system that is already struggling to meet demand.

“Providers to us were saying that it’s simply not set up to deal with the numbers of people who need to use it,” he said.

“So if we see the Canary Islands, Spain, Greece – some big destinations that hundreds of thousands of people want to go to – turn up on the green list, it’s hard to see how that system is going to cope.

“It is at risk of being overwhelmed.”

Helen Coffey3 June 2021 09:52



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Green list countries update live: Government travel review expected today


Heathrow chief executive criticises costly PCR testing system for travellers

A smattering of Greek islands, the Canaries and Malta could be added to the government’s “green list” on Thursday, raising hopes for an expanded choice of destinations for summer holidays.

International travel for leisure purposes resumed on 17 May in Britain under a traffic light system.

Just 12 destinations are on the UK government’s green “safe” list for travel, which measures the risk of Covid reimportation. The list was first revealed on 7 May, with Portugal the only mainstream holiday country to be included, alongside Gibraltar, Iceland and Israel.

Green list returnees don’t need to quarantine, although they still need to present a negative Covid test before departure to the UK, and a PCR test within two days of arrival.

The red and amber lists are also expected to be shuffled on Thursday.

Follow live for traffic light reshuffle news and reaction.

1622714110

Ryanair boss calls for holiday destinations to be added to green list

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has called for the government to lift restrictions on travel to the US and holiday hotspots in Europe.

Claiming it was “absolutely imperative” that “big tourist destinations” like Greece and Spain be put on the UK’s travel green list, he told Sky News: “The restrictions should be lifted, we should be allowing British families to travel to the US and Europe, and also to return without having to complete useless PCR forms for people who’ve already been vaccinated.

“Nothing is absolutely safe but it is scientists and doctors’ jobs to urge caution and care and worry.

“The vaccines are effective against the Indian variant, it’s a scariant being used by the science and medical professions to urge caution.

“It’s time that we got on with our lives.”

Europe’s largest airline has also called for the transport secretary to axe the “nonsensical” requirement for green list arrivals to take two PCR tests when they return to the UK, as well as abolishing restrictions for those who are fully vaccinated.

Ryanair urged Grant Shapps to abolish travel restrictions for fully vaccinated passengers, and to get rid of the current requirement to present a negative day two PCR test for green list arrivals, which the airline says “only adds cost and stress to UK citizens despite returning from low-risk EU destinations”.

Helen Coffey3 June 2021 10:55

1622713454

Italy ‘very much open’ and hopes to be on green list

Italy is “very much open” to British tourists and hopes it will be considered for the UK green list, according to the ambassador.

The Italian ambassador to the UK, Raffaele Trombetta, has said that “Italy is open to British tourists” and that its vaccination programme is progressing well.

When asked by Sky News whether he thought Italy should be put on the green list for travel, Mr Trombetta said: “I do actually.

“We are doing quite well now with our vaccination programme.

“More than 55 million doses have been distributed to people with a high percentage of Italian people who have received both doses.”

He added: “And this is going on and by the end of this month we estimate that a large majority of our population will have been vaccinated.

“Italy is open to British tourists.

“And we know how much British people like going to Italy.

“So very much open and very much hope that the UK government, when they have to review the list they will also consider Italy for the green list.”

According to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Italy’s current 14-day case notification rate per 100,000 people is 135.77. For comparison, Malta, which is a very strong contender for the green list in today’s review, has a current rate of 9.33.

Helen Coffey3 June 2021 10:44

1622712929

Boris Johnson says government ‘will not hesitate’ to remove countries from green list

The Prime Minister has said the government “will not hesitate” in removing countries from the scant green list if necessary.

Speaking on Wednesday about the imminent update to the traffic light travel lists, Boris Johnson was otherwise tight-lipped.

“We’re going to try to allow people to travel, as I know that many people want to, but we’ve got to be cautious and we’ve got to continue to put countries on the red list, on the amber list, when that is necessary,” he said.

“I want you to know we will have no hesitation in moving countries from the green list to the amber list to the red list, if we have to do so.

“The priority is to continue the vaccination rollout, to protect the people of this country.”

The government currently only advises leisure travel to green list countries, although as of 17 May it is perfectly legal to travel abroad on holiday to any country you wish (provided, of course, they’ll let you in).

Helen Coffey3 June 2021 10:35

1622712045

Pound rises against the euro

The pound is currently up 1.2 per cent against the euro compared to the start of May as the government prepares to announce which countries will be added to the green list later today.

Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO at travel money specialist FairFX, said:



As anticipation builds around which countries will be added to the green list in the Government’s travel review later today, it could be good news for holidaymakers looking for some sun this summer. The pound is currently up 1.2 per cent against the euro compared to the start of May, and many will be hoping for that trend to continue as more Eurozone destinations are added to the list.

For those looking to travel overseas, keeping an eye on the latest travel announcements and locking in rates while the pound is strong is the best way for holidaymakers to get more bang for their buck and maximise their holiday money.

Helen Coffey3 June 2021 10:20

1622711542

Portugal could move from green to amber

Portugal, the only mainstream holiday destination on the green list that is currently accessible to Britons, is reportedly under review and could turn amber in today’s update.

Boris Johnson warned last night that the Government “will not hesitate” in moving countries off the green list.

With Covid rates on the rise, Portugal is one of the key green destinations currently being assessed by the government, reports the Telegraph.

However, although the country reported its highest number of infections yesterday since March, it still boasts a low number of cases per 100,000 residents over the last 14 days – one of the key factors in determining countries’ classifications under the traffic light system. It currently stands at 55.60, according to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

The final decision will be heavily influenced by scientists from the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC), who are meeting with government today to discuss recommendations.

Helen Coffey3 June 2021 10:12

1622710357

Testing capacity could be overwhelmed, warns expert

If the green list expands as expected later today, it could spell trouble for the UK’s testing capacity, a travel expert warned.

Which? travel editor Rory Boland told Sky News that “too many people are not getting their test back on time.”

Holiday favourites such as Malta, the Spanish Balearic Islands and some Greek islands have been named as contenders to go green.

But Mr Boland said this could further stretch a private testing system that is already struggling to meet demand.

“Providers to us were saying that it’s simply not set up to deal with the numbers of people who need to use it,” he said.

“So if we see the Canary Islands, Spain, Greece – some big destinations that hundreds of thousands of people want to go to – turn up on the green list, it’s hard to see how that system is going to cope.

“It is at risk of being overwhelmed.”

Helen Coffey3 June 2021 09:52

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Greek ferry strike

For those already embarking on amber list travel, ferry services to the Greek islands have been disrupted after a seamen’s union went ahead with a strike that a court had declared illegal.

Union members blockaded the entrance to ferries in the main port of Piraeus, preventing anyone from boarding.

Hundreds of passengers with their suitcases gathered at the port, saying the ferry companies had not informed them of the strike, and heated arguments broke out between passengers and striking workers.

The union had declared a 24-hour strike to protest against a draft labour bill being debated in parliament, which workers say will erode their rights.

Other unions have declared strikes for June 10 as part of a general strike.

“Today’s strike, as you know, had been deemed illegal,” shipping and island policy minister Giannis Plakiotakis said.

“The choice of one union to move outside the legal framework is a wrong tactic, which turns against passengers and doesn’t serve the union movement.”

He said the ministry intervened, with the union eventually relenting and allowing passengers to board. The ferries set sail after several hours’ delay.

Helen Coffey3 June 2021 09:43

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Traffic light travel myths

Despite the fact that the UK’s traffic light travel system, which categorises countries as red, amber or green with restrictions to match, was first announced on 7 May and launched on 17 May, many travellers are still confused by the myriad rules.

“There are still many misapprehensions about the traffic light system,” writes The Independent’s travel correspondent, Simon Calder.

For example, while it could be easy to assume that a green rating means you can travel to that destination, this isn’t necessarily true.

“It merely means you need not quarantine when you return to the UK,” writes Simon.

“Most of the places on the existing green list – including Australia, New Zealand and Singapore – certainly don’t want British visitors right now. Or, you can reach them only by going through an amber list nation: a good example is the Faroe Islands, accessible only via Copenhagen in amber list Denmark.

“Anyone hoping to visit a green list country must check that they will be admitted. In some locations, that means having completed a full course of vaccination.”

Read Simon’s full myth busting report here.

Helen Coffey3 June 2021 09:32

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Airlines launch flight sales

In a nod to the green list possibly expanding later today, several airlines are offering deals.

Wizz Air has announced a 24-hour sale on all routes, offering passengers 15 per cent off flights booked today departing on or before 30 June 2021.

Meanwhile, Jet2holidays is selling a range of package deals; for example, seven nights in a self-catering apartment in Funchal, Madeira, for £399pp including flights and transfers, departing 28 June from Birmingham.

Helen Coffey3 June 2021 09:24

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Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia could turn red

Travel expert and founder of the PC Agency Paul Charles has thrown his own predictions for the green list into the mix.

He tweeted: “We’re likely to see a thin green list announced Thursday – destinations which should go green are Malta, Finland, Grenada, Antigua, Turks and Caicos, Santorini, Mykonos.”

He also said that Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia – many of which have previously fared well during the pandemic – are “all being considered” for the red list.

“Summer is being squeezed, affecting recovery of jobs and livelihoods in the travel sector,” he added.

Helen Coffey3 June 2021 09:15





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Busy Memorial Day weekend travel expected


LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As COVID-19 numbers decline and travel picks back up again, airports around the country are expecting record high numbers.


What You Need To Know

  • Louisville Muhammad Ali International Aiport is expecting more than 29,000 flyers this weekend
  • Airport officials suggest arriving an hour and a half to two hours before departure
  • Longer lines at TSA should be expected
  • SDF capacity numbers are currently at 79% compared to 2019 levels

Holidays are one of the busiest times for air travel and Memorial Day weekend proves to be no different. The Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport is expecting more than twenty nine thousand flyers.

“People are wanting to get out, the demand for travel is clearly there. We see the numbers continuing to increase and the fact that overall capacity in June will be close to 91 percent of where we were in 2019, that’s a really really good sign for us here,” Natalie Chaudoin, director of public relations for Louisville Regional Airport Authority said.

Louisville Muhammad Ali International Aiport is currently at 79% for capacity numbers compared to 2019 levels.

Airport officials say the addition of two new airlines providing direct flights to several major cities couldn’t have come at a better time.

“It’s been a great week for SDF, we have two new airlines that launched Thursday and Friday with Spirit and Breeze, not to mention Allegiant’s launch of nonstop flights to Charleston on Friday so it’s just been a really good week, a nice way to kick off that summer travel period,” Chaudoin said.

SDF is asking passengers to arrive at least an hour and a half to two hours before their departure as air travel once again picks up speed.

“Make sure they give themselves plenty of time to get checked in and get through TSA security just because a lot of folks are used to it if you have traveled. Obviously numbers have been down in 2020, things have been going a little quicker but with those numbers creeping back up, it’s going to be like 2019 travel levels,” Chaudoin said.




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Memorial Day weekend travel expected to increase 60% compared to 2020 | News


On Memorial Day weekend, Americans are traveling again. 

 

Thanks in part to declining COVID-19 case rates and increased vaccination rates, AAA (The Automobile Association of America) predicts a 60% increase in Memorial Day weekend travelers in 2021 compared to 2020. Despite the encouraging increase, it’s still about 6 million fewer travelers than pre-pandemic norms. 

 

Still, Americans are hitting the road or the skies this weekend, including right here in the Inland Northwest. 

 

While getting gas, Agustin Salgado tells of his family’s plan to head to Silverwood Theme Park for the weekend. 

 

“We’re going to go over to Silverwood Park, enjoy time with family,” he says. 

 

Packed into a large van, Agustin has quite a few family members with him on the trip, smiling and taking photos while he talks to us. He says it’s the first time in a while they’ve been able to get together, and says he thinks the COVID-19 vaccine played a major role in allowing this trip to Silverwood to happen. 

 

“Most of us are already vaccinated, just two kids who aren’t eligible.”

 

However, as more people hit the road for the holiday, gas prices have soared to the highest Memorial Day totals in seven years, and it can feel like pulling teeth at the pump. Especially for another traveler, Trevor, who is towing a trailer up north for a music event. 

“Yeah, I don’t even want to look and see what’s going on back there when I’m filling this thing up,” he says with a laugh, “It’s pretty brutal.”

 

Still, with full tanks, Agustin and Trevor head on their ways. 

 

While a vast majority of Americans traveling this weekend are choosing to do so by driving, about two and a half million are expected to fly to their Memorial Day destinations. But even as cases decline, vaccinations increase, and many state and local governments give the green light to drop mask requirements, airports are a different story. 

 

Mask mandates remain in place while flying or in airports (and other forms of public transportation such as buses), as evident by the numerous signs and masked up employees at Spokane International Airport. One Minnesota woman, traveling to Spokane along with her family on their way to visit Coeur d’Alene, says it was the first time she has flown in over a year, but didn’t notice much of a difference. 

 

“Since this is my first time since before (the pandemic) it felt good,” Gina Peterson says, “I wasn’t nervous or anything. It felt pretty normal other than wearing a mask.”

 

However, for some, the masks are still a nuisance. 

 

“I’m pretty tired of the mask mandate, I’ll tell you that,” Logan Peters says as he waits to depart on a trip from Spokane to a wedding in Nebraska. Even though he isn’t a fan of the mask requirement, it isn’t crushing his excitement for the trip. 

 

“It’s great, get a few days off work, right?”

 

The CDC recommends that if you are unvaccinated but traveling this weekend to practice social distancing, wear a mask, wash your hands, and get tested for COVID-19 before you travel.



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With More Than 50% Of Eligible Americans Vaccinated, Heavy Travel Expected For Memorial Day Weekend – CBS Boston


BOSTON (CBS) – With more than half of American adults vaccinated against COVID-19, many people are feeling safer traveling for of Memorial Day Weekend.

AAA estimates that more than 37 million people will travel this weekend, and the majority – more than 90 percent – will do so by car.

READ MORE: ‘I Seriously Thought I Was Going To Lose My Baby’: Brockton Officers Save 1-Month-Old Girl

“It is simply much easier to control your environment when you are in your own vehicle, so people can minimize their points of contact along the way by driving,” said Mary Maguire, Spokesperson for AAA Northeast.

Travel overall is estimated to increase by 60% compared to the 2020 numbers.

Experts’ advice: leave early. The busiest traffic is likely to be on Friday afternoon and evening, and Monday evening on the way back.

The other pro tip: gas up close to home. Gas prices are at a seven-year high right now, and popular rest stops are likely to be incredibly busy with others traveling.

Derek Polonsky of Weston followed both pieces of advice, and spoke with WBZ as he filled his car with gas before driving to his Cape Cod Home on Thursday evening.

READ MORE: All In-Person Learning Required, Distancing Dropped As Part Of DESE’s Fall Guidance For Schools

“Memorial Day is always hell on wheels, so that’s why we are leaving on Thursday night and coming back Tuesday afternoon,” he said.

While most traffic is expected on the roads, experts recommend that you show up to the airport early as well. More people will be flying over the weekend than have likely for the entire pandemic, so security and check in lines are back.

“For a long time during the pandemic there was nobody at the airport,“ Cortez Stafford told WBZ as he waited to check into his flight to Atlanta. “You could go in, get through security quickly… Now you have to get to the airport a little sooner.”

Still, long lines are a price many say they are willing to pay in exchange for a return to normal life.

“It’s exciting, you know?” said Jessica Greer as she waited in line for her flight to Cleveland. “I’m happy. It’s exciting this pandemic is starting to wane. I’m all for it.”

MORE NEWS: Man Drowns At Houghton Pond In Milton After Going Into Water To Retrieve Ball

While many states are reopening fully and dropping their mask mandates, masks are still required in airports and on airplanes. In Massachusetts, even after the states mask mandate expires on Saturday, masks will still be required on all public transportation.



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