White House Outlines Policies for Reopening Int’l Travel


Aircraft operators must verify testing and vaccination status and maintain contact information of their passengers arriving from international destinations beginning November 8 under a revised policy released from the White House yesterday. NBAA welcomed the release of the policy to enable foreign travelers to enter the U.S. again after they have largely been prohibited throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under the revised policy that was issued through a presidential proclamation, incoming non-citizen, non-immigrant travelers must be fully vaccinated before boarding an airplane, with limited exemptions.

NATA advises though that the policy also tightens testing requirements. Fully vaccinated U.S. citizens, as well as foreign nationals, must furnish a negative Covid-19 test taken within three days of travel into the county. However, in a change, non-vaccinated individuals now must have taken the Covid test within one day of travel.

The policy provides some exceptions to the vaccination requirement for foreign nationals, including medical and travel for emergency or humanitarian reasons. Those arriving with non-tourist visas from countries with low vaccine availability would be exempt as well. In addition, the vaccine requirements apply to those aged 18 or older.

Further, operators must retain contact information of arriving passengers to enable public health officials to trace travelers who may have been infected or exposed to Covid-19.



Source link

White House, Airlines Say Vaccine Mandate Won’t Impact Holiday Travel


Recent speculation about Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and airline staffing shortages due to upcoming vaccine mandate deadlines would seem to be unfounded. The White House and two major U.S. carriers have just stated that they don’t foresee the Biden administration’s vaccination order for federal and federally-contracted employees causing holiday travel complications.

To clarify, the vaccine mandate for federal employees dictates that they be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 22 without an approved exemption, while the deadline for employees of federal contractors is December 8.

ADVERTISING

Trending Now

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

With the deadlines falling around the busy Thanksgiving and end-of-year travel periods, fears emerged that a substantial number of unvaccinated airline and TSA employees might cause staffing shortages just when loads of Americans are trying to travel.

But, according to Reuters, White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters on Wednesday that, “Vaccination requirements will not impact holiday travel.” He explained, “The requirements for federal workers and contractors will not cause disruptions to government services that people depend on. Agencies have the flexibility necessary to enforce the mandate without impacting critical operations.”

Zients added, “The point here is to get people vaccinated, not to punish them. So, agencies will not be removing employees from federal service until after they’ve gone through a process of education and counseling.”

On Thursday, Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly likewise asserted that the vaccination issue would not disrupt holiday travel. “We are not on a campaign here to force everybody to get vaccinated…We want our employees to know that nobody is going to lose their job on December 9 if we’re not perfectly in compliance,” he explained. He also said unequivocally, “We’re not going to fire anybody who doesn’t get vaccinated.”

On an earnings call yesterday, American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said that he doesn’t expect any employees to leave the company because of the vaccine mandate. “We think we’re not going to see anyone leaving American. I don’t think anyone’s going to want to leave American because either they choose not to get vaccinated or they don’t have a religious or medical (exemption),” he said.


Mature man receiving a vaccination.
Mature man receiving a vaccination. (photo via iStock/Getty Images E+/Geber86)

Parker disclosed, “We don’t anticipate any operational impact,” and said that American is “highly confident” that it will have enough staff to fly its holiday schedule as planned, even if unvaccinated workers with approved exemptions have to comply with new testing requirements.

Since “fully vaccinated” means 14 days need to have passed since receiving the final dose of a vaccine, federal employees, including TSA workers, must receive their second dose (or single dose with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) by November 8. Employees of companies that contract with the federal government, meanwhile, can receive theirs by November 24 at the latest.

The Cargo Airline Association, a trade group that represents FedEx, United Parcel Service and other cargo carriers, on Monday expressed in a letter to the White House that, “It will be virtually impossible to have 100 percent of our respective workforces vaccinated by December 8…Sliding this date into the first half of 2022 will allow association members to meet the demands of the e-commerce revolution during the holiday season.”

FedEx told Reuters yesterday that it’s “engaged with the relevant government agencies” about implementing the vaccination guidelines in a way that won’t interfere with deliveries during the bustling holiday shopping season.





Source link

Valley leaders urge White House to reopen bridges, as travel restrictions ease


HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) – Starting in November, people from the European Union will be allowed to fly into the United States with proof of vaccination. But these new rules laid out by the Biden Administrations do not apply to people in Mexico wanting to cross through land bridges.

Borders have been closes to non-essential travel since March 2020. Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez said this has had an effect on South Texas.

“Traditionally Mexican shoppers in some of our major retail areas represent 40% of our sales,” Cortez said. So, when you have those numbers and sales missing it’s having a huge impact.”

According to U.S Representative Henry Cuellar, the new travel rules set in place will allow Mexican nationals to fly into the U.S. But not opening the borders has not only had a negative impact on the local economy but the entire country.

“I’ve calculated it, since March of 2020 until now that we have lost over $30 Billion because the Biden administration does not want to open up the border restrictions to the land ports,” Cuellar said.

Congressman Cuellar said he has given the Biden Administration ideas on how to open the ports of entry in a safe way, but they have not gone through with any of those options. Now Cuellar is urging the White House to reopen the border before it is too late for local businesses.

“You are going to have businesses shut down. Some of them forever because they just can’t keep this up,” Cuellar said. “I am hoping that they open this up soon, I have given them a map way to open up.”

But it is not just local businesses that have been suffering since the borders have been closed.

“It’s a tragedy because it is not only hurting our economy, but it is hurting the relationships with our families there is a lot of family relationships between Mexico and the United States,” Cortez said. “Unfortunately some of them have not been able to come over and spend time with their families.”



Source link

White House Lifts Ban on International Travel | News


The Biden administration has announced plans to lift the ban on international travel into the U.S. for foreigners who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The ban, first enacted by the Trump administration in January 2020, prevents travel from 33 countries, including members of the European Union, India, China, Brazil, South Africa and Iran. As vaccination rates increase globally, with more than six billion vaccine doses having been administered worldwide, the end of the ban after 18 months of closed borders is a step towards reopening and recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. 

Starting in early November, foreign nationals will be able to enter the U.S. as long as they have proof of full vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test within three days of travel. While no quarantine period will be required upon reaching the U.S., the C.D.C. will require airlines to obtain contact information of travelers as part of a new contact tracing system to limit travel-related spread of COVID-19. 

The new regulations allow for unvaccinated Americans to travel back to the U.S. as long as they have proof of a negative COVID-19 test within one day of flying and test again upon landing. 

Lifting the ban will revitalize the U.S. tourism industry, which has been devastated by the pandemic. Spending from international travel decreased by 79% in 2020, leading to job and revenue loss. It will also allow families separated by international borders to reunite after a year and a half of separation. 

Opening up travel to members of the EU will serve to ease tensions between the U.S. and Europe. The travel ban is among several issues in discussion at the UN General Assembly this week, and European allies of the U.S. have long demanded a lift of the ban. Reopening transatlantic travel is hoped to improve the Biden administration’s relations with Europe. 

The new regulations are the latest of a series of legislative actions by the Biden administration to encourage vaccinations. More than half of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, and vaccinations are picking up pace in the EU. Travelers from countries that were not on the banned list, who currently do not need to be vaccinated to fly to the U.S., will be affected by the new legislation as well, as they too will need to be vaccinated come November in order to enter the country. 

While the new regulations allow a significant number of Europeans to resume travel to the U.S., they bar many travelers from parts of the world where vaccination rates are lower, including Africa and many parts of Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. Vaccine hesitancy and lack of access in these areas will prevent large numbers of foreign nationals from entering the U.S. 

The Biden administration has provided a general outline of the updated international travel policy, but several details of the new protocols are still yet to be released. These include details of the contact tracing system and the process by which foreigners will prove that they have been vaccinated. 



Source link

Hammour House debuts at Expo 2020 Dubai | News


Expo 2020 Dubai has unveiled its one-of-a-kind community art project, known as Hammour House.

The location was unveiled during an exclusive preview attended by sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, commissioner general of the event.

Hammour House will bring together fishermen, scientists, artists, school students and a number of institutions at Expo 2020 Dubai to showcase a selection of visually striking and emotionally inspiring installations on-site.

Inviting communities around the world to connect with the issues of sustainability, Hammour House examines the coral reefs of the UAE and its inhabitants, particularly the orange-spotted grouper, commonly known locally as hammour.

Al Nahayan said: “Hammour House embodies Expo 2020’s theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, which links creativity and engagement, and aims to bring the whole community together to build awareness, and enable action towards addressing our biggest challenges from the viewpoint of the arts.”

During the six-month mega-event, the project will showcase a vibrant tapestry depicting marine life, created by school students using batik technique and sustainable dyes. It will also feature Hammour Fish, a sculpture made from ghost nets (fishing nets lost and/or abandoned at sea), by Australian artist Sue Ryan.

In an exciting creative programme that includes daily knitting experiences and innovative UAE-based artist- and art teacher-led workshops, visitors will have the opportunity to contribute to an ‘ever-growing’ coral reef sculpture, made from recycled materials, which will be showcased on-site at Expo 2020.

The programme also presents musical evenings in collaboration with the Centre for Musical Arts (CMA), where students will compose and perform an exclusive soundtrack, especially for Hammour House.

Bringing together diverse segments of the community and organisations, Hammour House tells crucial stories that respond to Expo 2020’s subtheme of Sustainability (one of three subthemes, alongside Opportunity and Mobility), celebrating the underwater world.

More Information

One of the first global mega-events to take place since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Expo 2020 runs from October 1st to March next year, inviting visitors from around the world to join the making of a new world and experience a six-month celebration of human creativity, innovation, progress and culture.





Source link

CLIA Welcomes White House Plan to Lift International Travel Restrictions Beginning 19 November 2021


 

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Cruise Lines International Association joins our peers across the travel and tourism sector to express our appreciation to the Biden Administration for recognizing the importance of international travel to the U.S. economy and for establishing a path for international visitors to travel to the United States responsibly. The cruise industry is an important driver of international visits to the United States, prompting approximately 2.5 million international visitors to travel to the United States to embark on a cruise in 2019, representing nearly 18 percent of all U.S. cruise embarkations. International cruise visitors in the United States spend $4.5 billion annually on hotel stays, transportation, retail and other U.S. businesses, supporting nearly 60,000 American jobs. Our members look forward to welcoming international travelers, including from the United Kingdom and the European Union, back to the United States while continuing to prioritize public health.

SOURCE Cruise Lines International Association

Related Links

www.cruising.org



Source link

Coronavirus live updates: White House to lift covid-19 travel ban on international visitors


India, home to the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, had halted exports of vaccines in April, as a devastating second wave of the coronavirus ravaged the country recording over 400,000 daily cases. Now, cases have fallen to just over 30,000 a day, and its vaccine drive has gathered momentum.



Source link

White House debates vaccines for air travel


The Biden administration is facing an internal debate over whether to impose vaccine mandates for air travel, with President BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Did President Biden institute a vaccine mandate for only half the nation’s teachers? Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms MORE’s chief medical adviser Anthony FauciAnthony FauciSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Journalist Zaid Jilani describes removal of animal rights ad that criticizes Fauci Watch live: White House COVID-19 response team holds briefing MORE saying he would support a mandate but the White House claiming a new policy isn’t forthcoming.

The potential of a mandate for domestic air travel would be fiercely opposed by Republicans and the travel industry and could add to the pushback Biden has received over his mandate on COVID-19 vaccines and testing for companies with at least 100 employees.

The White House sees the mandate on such businesses as politically popular, but it has run into opposition from GOP governors who have threatened to sue.

The administration could see a mandate to be vaccinated to fly as an issue that might find some support, but it also risks being seen as government overreach.

A flurry of questions was directed at White House officials this week after Fauci expressed his support for an air travel mandate.

“I would support that if you want to get on a plane and travel with other people that you should be vaccinated,” Fauci said on theSkimm podcast.

The idea isn’t off the table, White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiWhy does Biden’s vaccine mandate not apply to welfare recipients and others? Overnight Health Care — FDA panel backs boosters for some, but not all White House to host global COVID-19 summit next week MORE said on Thursday when asked about Fauci’s remarks.

“We haven’t taken options off the table, but I don’t have any updates to share with you at this point.  Our focus is on implementation of the big steps we announced last week,” she said.

White House chief of staff Ron KlainRon KlainHouse is no easy road for Biden, Democrats on .5T package White House welcomes fight with GOP governors over vaccine mandates Second Qatar Airways plane arrives in Kabul after 200 passengers left Thursday MORE on a podcast this week said a vaccine mandate for domestic air travel is being considered.

“It’s something we continue to look at, we want to kind of weigh the number of people that these requirements could vaccinate versus the burden on the vaccinated, having to show proof every time you go on to an airplane, having to wait on longer lines at TSA. But I think it’s something we’ll look at as we continue to progress,” Klain said on the Pod Save America podcast.

Klain argued vaccines to travel don’t make quite as much sense as vaccines to go to a workplace, since it would impose heavy burdens on those showing the verification and checking it.

“We think the most efficient vaccine requirements are ones that where people are kind of in a permanent situation, on the job, in the military, where they verify once and then they’re verified in that scenario,” the chief of staff said.

Yet a number of restaurants, bars and music venues have imposed their own vaccine mandates, suggesting the requirement for plane travel, which confines people to close quarters, might make sense.

Jeff ZientsJeff ZientsUS to buy hundreds of millions more vaccine doses for the world: report Employers scramble to secure vaccine verification systems Biden steps into legal fight with vaccine mandates MORE, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, has said no measures are ruled out. He told reporters last week, when asked if the administration would impose a vaccine requirement or testing for domestic flights: “we’re not taking any measures off the table.”

Pressure to impose a mandate has already come from Congress.

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) introduced legislation for all domestic airline and train travelers to show proof of vaccination or a present negative COVID-19 test in order to travel.

Former President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaOur remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Clinton lawyer’s indictment reveals ‘bag of tricks’ Chelsea Manning tests positive for COVID-19 MORE’s Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood said in a recent interview that the administration should push airlines to mandate vaccines for travelers and if they won’t, the White House should impose those mandates itself.

White House officials reportedly debated the idea of vaccine mandates for just international travelers before Biden’s announcement last week. The announcement, which puts the spotlight on the private sector to get their employees vaccinated or require testing, was sharply criticized by Republicans with some vowing to take Biden to court. 

Republican governors like Georgia Gov. Brian KempBrian KempOSHA faces big challenge with Biden vaccine mandate DOJ launches civil rights investigation of violence in Georgia prisons DeSantis: Local governments will face K fines for imposing vaccine mandates MORE (R), Arizona Gov. Doug DuceyDoug DuceyOSHA faces big challenge with Biden vaccine mandate DeSantis: Local governments will face K fines for imposing vaccine mandates We can’t tax-and-spend our way to ‘recovery’ MORE (R) and South Dakota Gov. Kristi NoemKristi Lynn NoemSouth Dakota lawmakers release petition to impeach state attorney general OSHA faces big challenge with Biden vaccine mandate Overnight Health Care — Departing FDA vaccine regulators argue against COVID-19 booster shots MORE (R) have threatened legal action while congressional Republicans like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyDemocrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol ‘Justice for J6’ rally puts GOP in awkward spot MORE (Calif.) argue people shouldn’t be coerced into vaccines.

Biden also announced that the Transportation Safety Administration will double the fines on travelers who refuse to wear masks. Psaki pointed to that update as one of the “bold, ambitious steps” the administration is taking when asked about support for vaccinations or negative tests for domestic air travel.

“Right now, our focus is on implementing those. Part of that was also doubling fines for people who were not wearing masks on planes – a step that we feel would help keep people safe on flights and reduce the spread,” she said on Thursday. 

The administration recently extended the federal mask mandate for all transportation networks through January. The mask mandate initially had a May expiration date but has been extended twice.

Republican lawmakers have bashed that policy. In July, Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken Rand Paul: ‘Hatred for Trump’ blocking research into ivermectin as COVID-19 treatment Masks and vaccines: What price freedom? MORE (R-Ky.) introduced legislation to repeal the travel mask mandate and prohibit the federal government from imposing it. In June, other Republicans led by Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant More than 10,000 migrants await processing under bridge in Texas Senators slow Biden with holds at Pentagon, State MORE (Texas), introduced a resolution calling for the mandate to be lifted.

The travel industry is already on high alert over the potential of a vaccine mandate for domestic air travel.

U.S. Travel Association president Roger Dow said this week it would be “extraordinarily difficult” to put such a mandate in place.

“[The] challenge is you’ve got upwards of 65 percent of the population vaccinated and you have 35 to 40 percent that for some reason may not be able to be vaccinated but yet they’re willing to do a COVID test and to show that when they walk in the door, that they are COVID-free,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

He said the trade group is “comfortable” with having people traveling to the U.S. being required to be vaccinated as a way to bring back international travel.

Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian also said recently he doesn’t see vaccine mandates for domestic travel coming to the U.S. and that trying to figure out which travelers are vaccinated would “actually bottleneck the domestic travel system.” 

Airlines for America, which advocates for all major U.S. airports, said that while no policy change for domestic travel is coming soon, they would be concerned if that changes.

“We have been informed that there is no imminent policy proposal regarding domestic travel, and echo concerns expressed by government about the implementation and enforcement of such a policy. We remain in communication with the Administration and continue to lean into science to guide policies that prioritize the safety and wellbeing of the traveling public,” the group told The Hill in a statement.

The trade group has pushed for the U.S. to allow travelers who are fully vaccinated or present a negative COVID-19 test to travel to the U.S. as a way to lift international travel restrictions. The industry overall has pushed for the administration to ease restrictions on most non-Americans, especially those from the United Kingdom, who are currently barred from traveling to the U.S.

Zients has said the administration is working on a new system for regulating international travel and that it is considering vaccine requirements for foreign nationals traveling to the U.S.

Karl Evers-Hillstrom contributed to this report.

 

 

 





Source link

COP26: Boris Johnson to travel to UN and White House to push for climate action ahead of crunch summit | Climate News


Prime Minister Boris Johnson will visit President Joe Biden next week in a bid to drum up support ahead of the COP26 Summit on climate change.

Mr Johnson will travel to New York for a meeting at the UN on Monday, before travelling to Washington to meet Mr Biden at the White House for the first time for discussions on climate, COVID and international security.

It is hoped the meetings will help galvanise momentum in the lead up to COP26 – crunch climate talks the UK is hosting in Glasgow in November.

Speaking ahead of the visit, the prime minister said: “World leaders have a small window of time left to deliver on their climate commitments ahead of COP26.

“My message to those I meet this week will be clear: future generations will judge us based on what we achieve in the coming months.”

U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden are greeted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson before posing for photos at the G-7 summit, in Carbis Bay, Britain, June 11, 2021. Patrick Semansky/Pool via REUTERS
Image:
Mr Johnson and Mr Biden made a series of climate promises when they met at the G7 in Cornwall in June

While in New York Mr Johnson will make a speech at the UN General Assembly and meet a group of world leaders to discuss actions that can be taken to help mitigate the impact of global warming on developing countries.

Around 100 world leaders are confirmed to attend COP26, which represent a once in a generation opportunity to make progress to keep global warming below 1.5C.

The prime minister’s trip to Washington is his first since Mr Biden took office.

He will also meet Vice President Kamala Harris and senior members of the US House of Representatives and Senate.

These discussions will be an important opportunity to build on the climate commitments made by leaders, including the Mr Johnson and Mr Biden, at the G7 Summit in Cornwall.

At the meeting in June, the G7 agreed to take action to tackle climate change and drive green growth around the world, including by mobilising $100 billion in climate finance and phasing out the use of coal internationally.

They will also discuss the situation in Afghanistan and how to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in the region.

At a virtual meeting of G7 leaders, Mr Johnson, President Biden and other leaders agreed to work together on a collective international response.

This work will be bolstered by the UN Security Council Resolution, driven by the UK, US and France, which calls for urgent humanitarian access to Afghanistan.

:: Subscribe to ClimateCast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Spreaker.

The UK has committed £286m in aid to Afghanistan this year.

Earlier this week the UK, US and Australia announced the formation of a new defence pact – AUKUS – to promote stability and security in the Indo-Pacific region.

Watch the Daily Climate Show at 6.30pm Monday to Friday on Sky News, the Sky News website and app, on YouTube and Twitter.

The show investigates how global warming is changing our landscape and highlights solutions to the crisis.



Source link

Boston’s ‘Skinny House’ just sold for more than $1.2 million


(CNN) — It’s tiny, but mighty.

Boston’s “Skinny House” — an iconic structure and must-see tourist attraction known as the narrowest home in the city — just sold for more than $1.2 million.
“People are amazed it was built to be, really, this skinny,” said Travis Sachs, executive vice president at CL Properties, who worked with the real estate agency’s president, Carmela Laurella, to sell the home.

“It’s maybe six feet and change across,” Sachs added. “So, if you stand with your hands spread apart, you could really be wall-to-wall.”

The "Skinny House," in the middle, is seen here on August 13, 2021.

The “Skinny House,” in the middle, is seen here on August 13, 2021.

Elise Amendola/AP

The home, roughly 1,165 sq. ft. over four levels, was built in 1862 according to some records, while the city’s record says 1890, Sachs said. With views of both the water and the city, it’s nestled in Boston’s North End, a largely Italian area home to some of Boston’s most historic buildings and dozens of restaurants.

Tourists pass by the home daily as part of Boston’s Freedom Trail — a 2.5-mile path that stops at more than a dozen historic sites, including Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, right across from the “Skinny House.” The site, dating back to 1659, was the final resting place for people including activists, artisans, tradesmen as well as two Puritan ministers associated with the Salem witch trials.

“When I was just there just to photograph the house with my photographer, I must have had about 75 tourists come through and just photograph the house as part of their walking tour,” Sachs said.

CL Properties

And the home has its own rich history, marked today by a plaque at the front labeling the building as a “Spite House.”

Here’s why: Legend says that in the early 1800s, the lots of land where the home is located were owned by a family. One of the brothers that owned one part left for war and came back to find his brother had built a house. So the brother who had just returned decided to build the “Skinny House” right in front of his brother’s home — blocking the entry to the building in the back, the view and the light.

“It’s as spiteful as it gets,” Sachs said.

CL Properties

The 2-bed, 1-bath home at 44 Hull Street saw tremendous demand when it was listed on the market last month and went under agreement less than a week later, according to a Facebook post by the real estate agency.

“Which is wild, especially being that it’s Covid times and usually people want bigger houses than going small,” Sachs said, adding that after multiple different offers, it sold September 16 to a family of four for $50,000 more than the asking price.

The home was last sold in 2017 for $900,000, Sachs said.



Source link