Opinion: Press pause on your international travel plans — for now


For many, this relative calm, occurring just as the holiday season approaches, means only one thing: an opportunity to leave the United States, to go overseas to that favorite tourist destination — somewhere in Europe where there aren’t so many tourists.

Unfortunately for travelers, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has implored Americans to think long and hard before they leap. Europe, it seems, is in the early stages of a new Covid-19 surge. The list of places labeled by the CDC as “avoid travel” due to risk of infection, updated weekly, includes about half the countries in Europe, with Belgium, Slovakia and Russia added just this week.
Note that “Europe,” from a public health perspective, is not the European Union or a travel agency conceit but rather the 53 countries on the World Health Organization’s map. This large area includes Russia and numbers about 750 million people, giving it nearly twice the population of the US.

Which brings us to the two questions for potential holiday travelers: Is it really this bad or is the CDC just being cautious? And is it going to get worse over there and, gulp, over here, too?

As to the first question — the CDC is not being too cautious. Not at all. The newest Eurosurge is quite real in countries as different culturally and politically as Russia and Germany, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands. Cases overall have been increasing for at least four weeks and are highest in those under 50 years of age, though older people are beginning to see an increase as well.
Travel to the Netherlands during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go
The reasons for the newest increase resemble those of the last big European surge from Marchunder-vaccination, weak enforcement of public health interventions and general refusal to accept the risk as real.
This lack of a clear and singular explanation for this uptick in cases has led to considerable speculation and handwringing. Countries in Eastern and Central Europe, many of them once part of the Iron Curtain, such as Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia, have some of the lowest vaccination rates in the world, likely explaining the rise.
But in Western Europe, countries including Germany and Belgium have vaccination rates similar to the US — yet this does not seem sufficient to contain spread. To try to gain control once again, these countries are giving booster shots, trying even harder to convince the unvaccinated to take the shot and even considering re-instituting some components of the never popular lockdown. To my mind, a plausible explanation is that the same Delta variant is spreading to unvaccinated and unboosted people as weather cools and everyone returns indoors, where social distancing and fresh air are in short supply.
No matter the causes, the trends in Europe (and the Caribbean and some other areas around the world) are not amenable to a quick fix. The surge is here to stay, at least for a little while. In other words, Europe is likely to get worse rather than better in the weeks ahead.
As to the other question of whether the Eurosurge will presage a new global surge … well, it’s complicated. In the US, cases are rising in a few states, as has been true for months. But a more disturbing trend is being seen across large swaths of the country and in New York City as well: an end to the steady decrease of cases registered over the last few months. To turn a once good-news term to the dark side, the curve is flattening — but this time it indicates a stalemate between the virus and humanity, not the inspiring consequences of a hard-fought battle to curb a runaway pandemic.

Given all this uncertainty, international travel in the next weeks seems like a singularly bad idea. Yes, maybe this is all just a cold weather pause, or perhaps some more people need a boost, or maybe the virus is doing something new we have not yet discerned. But from what we know right now, there is a real possibility that whatever is driving the Western European increase will also mess things up in the US.

Once again, just when we think we have this pandemic figured out and are on the right track to extinction, something new gets thrown in our path. Decisions, though, still must be made — and the only thing we have learned, it seems, from almost two years of the pandemic is this: If the experts are confused about what’s going on, the best thing for everyone to do is to stay put.



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U.S. News Announces the 2022 Best Cruise Lines | Press Room


With much of the world reopening to international travel, U.S. News surveyed travelers to understand the effects of COVID-19 on cruiser sentiments. U.S. News unveiled the survey results at the Seatrade Global Conference in October which found that cruisers – both first-time and longtime – are booked at higher levels than before the pandemic. U.S. News survey data also revealed that of the frequent travelers who indicated that they would cruise again, 20% are already signed up for their next sailing.

“Though most avenues of travel have been impacted throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the cruise industry has seen the most challenges,” said Nicola Wood, travel editor at U.S. News. “U.S. News is excited to once again highlight the leading cruise lines and provide in-depth information on ships, onboard activities and itineraries to travelers looking to research and book a cruise vacation.”

The rankings help travelers select the best cruise by brand, region, traveler type and budget. This year’s rankings are accompanied by an editorial rundown of the most popular river cruise lines for those looking for guidance on a different type of cruise that still offers itineraries with multiple destinations.

The methodology for the Best Cruise Lines rankings factors in expert evaluations of cruise ship quality, reputation among travelers, results from health assessments conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other factors, such as price class and itinerary offerings.

  1. Celebrity Cruises
  2. Holland America Line
  3. Royal Caribbean International

  1. Viking Ocean Cruises
  2. Seabourn Cruise Line
  3. Regent Seven Seas Cruises

  1. Disney Cruise Line
  2. Royal Caribbean International
  3. Carnival Cruise Line

  1. Viking Ocean Cruises
  2. Seabourn Cruise Line
  3. Azamara

  1. Viking Ocean Cruises
  2. Seabourn Cruise Line
  3. Azamara

  1. Disney Cruise Line
  2. Celebrity Cruises
  3. Seabourn Cruise Line

About U.S. News & World Report

U.S. News & World Report is the global leader in quality rankings that empower citizens, consumers, business leaders and policy officials to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives. A multifaceted digital media company with Education, Health, Money, Travel, Cars, News and 360 Reviews platforms, U.S. News provides rankings, independent reporting, data journalism, consumer advice and U.S. News Live events. More than 40 million people visit USNews.com each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C.



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Headlines – Police Press Release – October 29, 2021


Route 32 Traffic Enforcement Effort

Members of the Anne Arundel County Police Department’s Traffic Safety Section along with several officers from the four Police Districts conducted a high-intensity traffic enforcement detail on Route 32 on October 28, 2021, in the morning hours.

Utilizing marked and unmarked cars in the three and a half hour detail, officers made 56 traffic stops and issued 19 citations and 41 warnings for various offenses ranging from cell phone usage, speeding, seatbelts, and move-over law violations. This enforcement effort also included federally certified commercial vehicle inspectors who performed 13 commercial vehicle inspections. Three of the inspected commercial vehicles were placed out of service for safety violations. This enforcement is a continuation of directed enforcement patrols conducted on various county roadways as a result of crashes, aggressive driving, and speed complaints.

Additional enforcement efforts will be conducted on various county roadways focused on deterring aggressive driving, distracted driving, speeding, and occupant protection. Citizens observing any vehicles operated in a careless or reckless manner are asked to contact the police department by calling 911 or the non-emergency number- 410 222-8610. 

 

Northern District

Robbery/Cutting – Linthicum

21-736548

On October 29, 2021, at approximately 11:00 a.m., officers responded to Motel 6 located at 5179 Raynor Avenue in Linthicum for a report of a robbery. An adult male victim and two adult female victims were in their hotel room when an unknown male suspect armed with a handgun and a knife, forced his way into the room and demanded money. The male victim fought off the suspect and sustained a cut to an extremity from the suspect’s knife. The suspect fled without taking anything. The victim was treated for minor injuries. Northern District detectives are investigating and ask anyone with information to contact 410-222-6135. Individuals wishing to remain anonymous are encouraged to call the Anne Arundel County Police Tip Line at 410-222-4700. 

Suspect: Black male wearing a black and gold jacket and black hat

 

Southern District

Fatal Crash – Bristol

21-736584

On October 28, 2021, at approximately 2:00 p.m., officers responded to MD Route 4 northbound near Talbot Road for a reported single-vehicle crash. The investigation revealed that a red 2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo was traveling northbound on MD Route 4 near Talbot Road when the driver of the Chevrolet left the roadway and drove into a cluster of various sized trees. The vehicle overturned and came to rest on its roof amongst the trees. This caused serious injuries to the driver who was extricated by two witnesses to the crash: an off-duty nurse and a retired law enforcement officer. The driver of the Chevrolet was treated by Anne Arundel County Fire Department personnel but was ultimately pronounced deceased at the scene. 

The driver of the Chevrolet was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office (OCME) in Baltimore where an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death. Preliminarily, the primary cause of this crash is the driver of the Chevrolet failing to stay in his lane of travel. At this time, it is unknown what caused the Chevrolet to leave the roadway. The Traffic Safety Section is investigating and anyone with any information is asked to call 410-222-4700.

Vehicle:  

2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo     

 

Driver:

Michael Magtutu (Fatal Injuries)

64-year-old

Chesapeake Beach, MD 

 

Eastern District

Serious Injury, Hit & Run Crash / Curtis Bay

21-736635

On October 28, 2021, at 6:50 p.m., officers responded to the intersection of Fort Smallwood Road and Hilltop Road for a crash involving a motorcycle and a car.

The investigation revealed that a 2019 Yamaha YFZR3 motorcycle was traveling northbound on Fort Smallwood Road approaching Hilltop Road on a steady green signal when a 2020 Nissan Altima traveling southbound on Fort Smallwood Road Avenue attempted to make a left turn onto Hilltop Road in front of the Yamaha. The rider of the Yamaha was unable to avoid striking the Nissan and was ejected from the motorcycle. The driver of the Nissan fled the scene in the vehicle. The vehicle was located unoccupied on Hilltop Road at Stoney Beach Way.

The rider of the motorcycle was transported to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Preliminarily, the primary cause of this crash is the driver of the Nissan failing to yield the right-of-way to the Yamaha. The Altima was located a short distance away unoccupied and investigators are working to identify the driver.

The crash is currently under investigation by the Traffic Safety Section. Anyone with any information is asked to call 410-222-4700.

 

Vehicle 1: 

2020 Nissan Altima

Driver 1:

Unknown

 

Vehicle 2:

2019 Yamaha YFZR3 motorcycle

Driver 2:

21-year-old (Life-threatening injuries)

Pasadena, MD



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Headlines – Police Press Release – October 29, 2021


Route 32 Traffic Enforcement Effort

Members of the Anne Arundel County Police Department’s Traffic Safety Section along with several officers from the four Police Districts conducted a high-intensity traffic enforcement detail on Route 32 on October 28, 2021, in the morning hours.

Utilizing marked and unmarked cars in the three and a half hour detail, officers made 56 traffic stops and issued 19 citations and 41 warnings for various offenses ranging from cell phone usage, speeding, seatbelts, and move-over law violations. This enforcement effort also included federally certified commercial vehicle inspectors who performed 13 commercial vehicle inspections. Three of the inspected commercial vehicles were placed out of service for safety violations. This enforcement is a continuation of directed enforcement patrols conducted on various county roadways as a result of crashes, aggressive driving, and speed complaints.

Additional enforcement efforts will be conducted on various county roadways focused on deterring aggressive driving, distracted driving, speeding, and occupant protection. Citizens observing any vehicles operated in a careless or reckless manner are asked to contact the police department by calling 911 or the non-emergency number- 410 222-8610. 

 

Northern District

Robbery/Cutting – Linthicum

21-736548

On October 29, 2021, at approximately 11:00 a.m., officers responded to Motel 6 located at 5179 Raynor Avenue in Linthicum for a report of a robbery. An adult male victim and two adult female victims were in their hotel room when an unknown male suspect armed with a handgun and a knife, forced his way into the room and demanded money. The male victim fought off the suspect and sustained a cut to an extremity from the suspect’s knife. The suspect fled without taking anything. The victim was treated for minor injuries. Northern District detectives are investigating and ask anyone with information to contact 410-222-6135. Individuals wishing to remain anonymous are encouraged to call the Anne Arundel County Police Tip Line at 410-222-4700. 

Suspect: Black male wearing a black and gold jacket and black hat

 

Southern District

Fatal Crash – Bristol

21-736584

On October 28, 2021, at approximately 2:00 p.m., officers responded to MD Route 4 northbound near Talbot Road for a reported single-vehicle crash. The investigation revealed that a red 2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo was traveling northbound on MD Route 4 near Talbot Road when the driver of the Chevrolet left the roadway and drove into a cluster of various sized trees. The vehicle overturned and came to rest on its roof amongst the trees. This caused serious injuries to the driver who was extricated by two witnesses to the crash: an off-duty nurse and a retired law enforcement officer. The driver of the Chevrolet was treated by Anne Arundel County Fire Department personnel but was ultimately pronounced deceased at the scene. 

The driver of the Chevrolet was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office (OCME) in Baltimore where an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death. Preliminarily, the primary cause of this crash is the driver of the Chevrolet failing to stay in his lane of travel. At this time, it is unknown what caused the Chevrolet to leave the roadway. The Traffic Safety Section is investigating and anyone with any information is asked to call 410-222-4700.

Vehicle:  

2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo     

 

Driver:

Michael Magtutu (Fatal Injuries)

64-year-old

Chesapeake Beach, MD 

 

Eastern District

Serious Injury, Hit & Run Crash / Curtis Bay

21-736635

On October 28, 2021, at 6:50 p.m., officers responded to the intersection of Fort Smallwood Road and Hilltop Road for a crash involving a motorcycle and a car.

The investigation revealed that a 2019 Yamaha YFZR3 motorcycle was traveling northbound on Fort Smallwood Road approaching Hilltop Road on a steady green signal when a 2020 Nissan Altima traveling southbound on Fort Smallwood Road Avenue attempted to make a left turn onto Hilltop Road in front of the Yamaha. The rider of the Yamaha was unable to avoid striking the Nissan and was ejected from the motorcycle. The driver of the Nissan fled the scene in the vehicle. The vehicle was located unoccupied on Hilltop Road at Stoney Beach Way.

The rider of the motorcycle was transported to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Preliminarily, the primary cause of this crash is the driver of the Nissan failing to yield the right-of-way to the Yamaha. The Altima was located a short distance away unoccupied and investigators are working to identify the driver.

The crash is currently under investigation by the Traffic Safety Section. Anyone with any information is asked to call 410-222-4700.

 

Vehicle 1: 

2020 Nissan Altima

Driver 1:

Unknown

 

Vehicle 2:

2019 Yamaha YFZR3 motorcycle

Driver 2:

21-year-old (Life-threatening injuries)

Pasadena, MD



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New Orleans Pelicans travel to take on the Timberwolves | National news from the Associated Press


New Orleans Pelicans (0-2, eighth in the Western Conference) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (1-0, fifth in the Western Conference)

Minneapolis; Saturday, 8 p.m. EDT

LINE: Timberwolves -6.5; over/under is 227.5

BOTTOM LINE: The Minnesota Timberwolves host the New Orleans Pelicans.

Minnesota went 15-27 in Western Conference games and 13-23 at home during the 2020-21 season. The Timberwolves averaged 8.8 steals, 5.5 blocks and 13.7 turnovers per game last season.

New Orleans went 31-41 overall and 18-24 in Western Conference play during the 2020-21 season. The Pelicans averaged 26.0 assists per game on 42.5 made field goals last season.

INJURIES: Timberwolves: None listed.

Pelicans: Josh Hart: out (quad), Zion Williamson: out (foot).


The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar.

© 2021 Data Skrive. All rights reserved.



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ESPN Tips Off its 20th NBA Season with Full Court Press for “Premiere Week”


  • Lisa Salters Rejoins Breen, Van Gundy and Jackson as Sideline Reporter for NBA Finals, Marquee Games throughout Season Including Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks October 20
  • NBA Today Hosted by Malika Andrews Launches, New NBA Countdown Team Debuts, Hoop Streams with Cassidy Hubbarth Returns
  • Naismith Basketball Hall-of-Famer Hubie Brown Begins 50th NBA Season
  • Senior NBA Analyst Jay Williams to Appear Across ESPN Platforms

ESPN’s 20th season of NBA coverage begins the week of October 18 with a full-court press for a jam-packed “premiere week” as the league’s 75th Anniversary Season gets underway. ESPN will provide wall-to-wall, cross-platform coverage all week long surrounding its live game telecasts on Wednesday, Oct. 20, and Friday, Oct. 22. For ESPN’s 2021-22 NBA game schedule, visit ESPN Press Room. ESPN’s season-opening game schedule and commentator assignments are below:

Date Time (ET) Game Commentators Platform(s)
Wed, Oct 20 7:30 p.m. Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, Lisa Salters ESPN, ESPN App
10 p.m. Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns Mark Jones, Richard Jefferson ESPN, ESPN App
Fri, Oct 22 7:30 p.m. Brooklyn Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Cassidy Hubbarth ESPN, ESPN App
10 p.m. Phoenix Suns vs.

Los Angeles Lakers

Ryan Ruocco, Doris Burke ESPN, ESPN App

*ESPN’s season-opening game coverage is presented by State Farm as part of AT&T 5G Opening Week.

ESPN game commentators
Mike Breen, the voice of the NBA Finals and Curt Gowdy Media Award-winner, and analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson return to call ESPN’s first NBA game of the season on Wednesday, October 20, at 7:30 p.m. ET as the Boston Celtics visit the New York Knicks. The trio have set records both collectively and individually as the most prolific voices of the NBA Finals and will be together for the top games during the regular season and NBA Playoffs. ESPN recently re-signed Jeff Van Gundy with a new, multi-year agreement and has all three commentators signed long-term. Lisa Salters will rejoin the trio as ESPN’s lead sideline reporter for its coverage of the NBA Finals, Conference Finals, NBA Playoffs, NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC presented by Oculus from Facebook series and NBA Christmas Day presented by State Farm games.

Naismith Basketball Hall-of-Famer Hubie Brown will begin his 50th season in the NBA between coaching and broadcasting. The legendary Brown returns for his 17th consecutive season as an ESPN NBA game analyst. Another Hall-of-Famer, Doris Burke, who is a Curt Gowdy Media Award-winner, returns to ESPN for game coverage throughout the season. Van Gundy, Jackson, Brown and Burke lead ESPN’s deep roster of game analysts, which will also include Richard Jefferson and Vince Carter this season. In addition to Breen, Mark Jones, Dave Pasch and Ryan Ruocco, who return as ESPN’s core play-by-play broadcasters, Brian Custer and Beth Mowins will call the action for select games. ESPN sideline reporters include Salters, Cassidy Hubbarth, Malika Andrews, Jorge Sedano, Rosalyn Gold-Onwude and Katie George. ESPN NBA game commentators will appear on site, health and safety permitting.

Jay Williams adds multi-platform NBA role
Jay Williams will add to his multi-platform ESPN role, beginning with “premiere week.” The former Duke standout will serve as senior NBA analyst and appear regularly across ESPN studio programming, including Get Up, First Take and SportsCenter. Williams will continue his role on ESPN Radio’s national morning show with Keyshawn Johnson and Max Kellerman.

New NBA Countdown team debuts
ESPN recently announced its new NBA Countdown team, featuring high-profile analysts Stephen A. Smith, Curt Gowdy Media Award-winner Michael Wilbon, Jalen Rose, and host Mike Greenberg. The quartet will also be joined frequently by Naismith Basketball Hall-of-Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson. The team will make its debut live from Madison Square Garden ahead of the Celtics vs. Knicks game on Wednesday, October 20, at 7 p.m. during ESPN’s first night of regular season coverage. There will also be on-site updates within the 6 p.m. edition of SportsCenter leading into NBA Countdown. The show will generally emanate from ESPN’s Seaport District Studios in New York, N.Y. with select shows coming from ESPN’s Los Angeles Production Center.

The team of Kendrick Perkins, Richard Jefferson, Chiney Ogwumike and Michael Eaves will handle responsibilities for the Wednesday editions of NBA Countdown in February once ESPN’s NBA on ABC package is underway. NBA Countdown on ESPN is presented by Mountain Dew. For more information on ESPN’s new NBA Countdown approach, visit ESPN Press Room.

NBA Today Launches
As recently announced, ESPN’s new, weekday afternoon studio show NBA Today will debut during “premiere week.” NBA Today is hosted by Malika Andrews and will emanate from ESPN’s Los Angeles Production Center at L.A. Live. The show makes its debut on Monday, October 18, on ESPN2 and will make its ESPN debut on Tuesday, October 19, in conjunction with the first day of the NBA regular season. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is scheduled to join the NBA Today team on Tuesday, October 19 for an interview to tip off the league’s 75th Anniversary Season. Zach LaVine is slated for Wednesday and Damian Lillard is scheduled for Thursday. Also on Wednesday, October 20, NBA Today will reveal 25 members of the NBA 75 list of all-time greatest players.

NBA Today airs live from 3-4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and will travel to the site of marquee live events during the season and postseason. Analysts Richard Jefferson, Kendrick Perkins, Chiney Ogwumike and Vince Carter and reporters Adrian Wojnarowski, Zach Lowe and Ramona Shelburne will round out the cast of NBA Today. For more on NBA Today, visit ESPN Press Room.

Hoop Streams is back
Hoop Streams, ESPN’s digital NBA pre-game show, will return for its third season. Hoop Streams precedes marquee NBA games on ESPN and ABC throughout the regular season and postseason. Hoop Streams, hosted by Cassidy Hubbarth, will make its season debut during “premiere week” leading into ESPN’s first night of NBA game coverage on Wednesday, October 18, starting at approximately 6:30 p.m. The show is available on the ESPN App, and ESPN’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube platforms. Hoop Streams previews the game action and provides expert commentary from analysts and reporters on the most compelling stories in the league.

Reporters
ESPN senior NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski leads a versatile team of reporters providing breaking news coverage across ESPN platforms. Wojnarowski will regularly appear on NBA Today, NBA Countdown, SportsCenter and other platforms contributing news and context. ESPN senior writer Ramona Shelburne and The Undefeated’s Marc Spears will also regularly contribute to ESPN’s studio programming during “premiere week.”

ESPN.com
On Monday, Oct. 18, Senior NBA Writer Zach Lowe will spotlight the five most intriguing players to watch this season. Then, ESPN.com will outline the season outlook for all 30 teams in its opening night Power Ranking, projecting the highs and lows for contenders and lottery-bound teams alike.

Later in the week, Senior NBA Writer Brian Windhorst examines four title aspirants seemingly stuck in suspended animation – the Sixers, Nets, Clippers and Nuggets – and how they are navigating ambition with reality. In addition, as LeBron James embarks on season 19, ESPN.com charts all of the milestones within reach for the multi-time champion and MVP.

Marketing
The NBA on ESPN Brand Marketing team’s goal for the 2021-22 NBA season is to implement a custom music strategy to story tell key moments, further embed culture into ESPN’s NBA platform and get fans excited for weekly matchups. The team partnered with music label EMPIRE, to remix ‘Say Go’ by rapper D ‘Smoke for the opening week topical and is also scheduled to release a custom song and social hype video with rapper Money Man.

-30-



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International tourists press US for November date


play

  • White House officials remain mum on a date or even when a date will be announced to broadly reopen U.S. borders to vaccinated international visitors.
  • Austria’s ambassador to the United States, Martin Weiss, told a traveler who reached out via Twitter on Friday that the target date is Nov. 1.
  • If the date isn’t Nov. 1 or soon after, travelers who already purchased tickets for those dates will be scrambling to rebook flights and change other travel plans, a costly prospect.

“Early November.” That’s as specific as the White House was last week when it announced plans to broadly reopen U.S. borders to vaccinated international visitors. It’s been a week since then and no date has been specified.

With November only a month and a few days away, travelers in Europe, the United Kingdom and other places the travel ban covers, are desperately seeking a specific dateso they can make or adjust travel plans and time off from work.

►What US travelers need to know: New COVID rules for international flights don’t just impact foreign tourists

►Come explore with us: Sign up for our Travel newsletter

Travelers are pleading for information on Twitter, regularly singling out government officials in the United States and abroad. 

“Give us a date,” a woman from Cologne, Germany, said in a Monday tweet calling out President Joe Biden, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and the White House. 

White House officials remain mum on a date or even when a date will be announced, and airline and tourism officials say they have no details.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says only it expects to have an order requiring airlines to collect passenger information for COVID-19 contact tracing – a key part of the government’s border reopening plan – by mid-October, spokesperson Scott Pauley said.

Government agencies give you the ’round robin’

San Francisco photographer Elena Graham, whose partner lives in Norway, is frustrated that she can’t get any answers. 

“Everyone passes you to another department,” she said. “The CDC says it’s the State Department. The State Department says its Health and Human Services. They say it’s Homeland Security. It’s like round-robin.”

Graham and her partner, who has not been to the United States since 2019, started shopping for an airline ticket from Norway to San Francisco after the Sept. 20 announcement of the border reopening.

They were initially hesitant to book but decided to buy a ticket for Nov. 9 when they watched prices spike. 

“We felt some urgency to book something,” she said.

They paid $1,000 for a one-way ticket with more flexibility and have had their fingers crossed since. Graham’s partner already took time off in November and sublet his apartment. They originally planned to get him to the United States via another country after quarantining therefor two weeks, a so-called third country trip.

“It’s just hard to even get your hopes up or believe that you’ll be together when there’s nothing definitive,” Graham said. 

►’Without our loved ones, we are lost’: Travelers relieved at US plans to reopen borders

The couple already had travel plans dashed this year. Graham was able to visit Norway last year when the country reopened travel to partners and was planning to return this year since the U.S. borders were still closed to her partner. But Norway tightened entry restrictions in January, laying out a detailed plan for when they would lift again.

“They would put out a target date. It would get to that date (and nothing changed.) It went that way for the entire year,” she said. “It feels a bit traumatic and very hard to feel any sort of trust in something so vague.”

When will the US travel ban lift? Online speculation centers on Nov. 1

Travelers trying to reunite have become online sleuths, looking for any sign of a reopening date. Late last week, a blogger tracking the UK-US reopening for travelers shared a screenshot of a direct message conversation with United Airlines that said the U.S. plan to “lift geographic travel ban restrictions” beginning Nov. 1. 

United spokesperson Nicole Carriere said there is no update to the timing beyond the government’s announcement of early November.

However, Austria’s ambassador to the United States, Martin Weiss, told a traveler who reached out via Twitter on Friday that the target date is Nov. 1.  

Travel analyst Henry Harteveldt, co-founder of Atmosphere Research, said the longer the government goes without setting a date, the harder it will be for travelers and airlines.

“There’s literally no time to waste,” he said. “There will be chaos and confusion the longer they wait.”

If the date isn’t Nov. 1, for example, some travelers who purchased tickets in the first week of November will be scrambling to rebook flights and change other travel plans, a costly prospect. And airlines will be inundated with calls.

“It’s really disappointing to me about how poorly this has been managed and communicated,” Harteveldt said. “I appreciate that there are a lot of details that have to be factored into the process, but we should know by now what date in November international visitors will be permitted to travel to the United States.”

When the US travel ban is lifted what will the entry requirements be?

  • Whatever the November date, travelers will need to show proof of full vaccination prior to boarding U.S.-bound planes. 
  • A COVID-19 test will also continue to be required within three days of departure and proof of negative results must be shown. 
  • Enhanced contact tracing and masking will also be required, but there will be no quarantine mandate.
  • Airlines will ask to see proof of vaccination before boarding. The U.S. will likely accept vaccines approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization.
  • American citizens won’t have to show proof of vaccination to board international flights home to the United States but will still be required to show proof of a negative coronavirus test taken no more than three days before departure.
  • Unvaccinated Americans will be required to take a COVID-19 test one day before departure – instead of the three-day requirement today – and provide proof they have a second test to take after arrival.

US entry requirements: US to drop travel ban for vaccinated international travelers starting in early November

► Unvaccinated Americans face new hurdles: What travelers need to know about US border reopening





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Pack your patience if planning air travel this holiday weekend – The Oakland Press


About 1.5 million Michigan residents are expected to take a trip over the July 4th holiday weekend, the third-most on record, and 22% more than last year’s Independence Day period.

“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 kick-off of summer, and all indications now point to a busy Independence Day.”

While experts say most of that travel will be by car, they are warning travelers to pack their patience if they are planning to reach their destination by plane.

Here are some tips for air travel for the busy weekend:

Get to the airport two hours before your flight.

More than 2 million people per day are regularly passing through airport security checkpoints. Many people are out of practice traveling – meaning it may take them longer to check in their bag, get through Transportation Security Administration lines, board and so on.



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