Economy, Vaccine Mandate, Tipped Worker Rule


This is a weekly post spotlighting labor topics in focus by the US legislative and executive branches during the previous week.

In this issue, we cover:

  • Reconciliation Spending Measure/Infrastructure Package Updates

  • U.S. Economy Update

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Employer Mandate Updates

  • Other General COVID-19 Updates

  • Labor Department Confirmation Updates

  • Tipped Worker Final Rule Published

  • Republicans Challenge NLRB

  • Upcoming Congressional Hearing

Both chambers of the U.S. Congress were in session this past week and will be in session next week.  On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives failed to move forward on a planned vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill.  The chamber instead advanced a bill that extended highway programs until December 3.  The Senate followed suit, unanimously approving the highway bill extension and thereby averting another furlough of Federal transportation officials.  December 3 is also the date on which current funding for the Federal Government will lapse, and the date by which the Treasury Department has projected that Congress must act to avert a U.S. Government default on its debt obligations.


Reconciliation Spending Measure/Infrastructure Package Updates.  

On Thursday, October 28, U.S. President Joe Biden announced Democrats had largely agreed on a framework of a $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act that includes investments in childcare, early education, housing, home care, climate change and the child tax credit.  House Democrats released initial text of the bill (H.R. 5376) later that day.  It did not include any family paid leave provisions that the President and other Democrats had sought to initially include.  Notably, portions of the bill have yet to be drafted, and the Senate Parliamentarian will need to be consulted on provisions under the so-called “Byrd Rule”, since the bill will move via the budget reconciliation process.

Among other things, the framework would appropriate $40 billion for workforce development, $60 billion less than the White House initially proposed.  The framework would provide two years of free preschool; provide and expand access to high-quality home care for older Americans and people with disabilities; and ensure about 35 million families continue to receive the expanded Child Tax Credit.  It does not include reauthorization of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), which helps workers that lose jobs due to trade deals find new work.  The framework also does not mention unemployment insurance reform, which was included in the President’s American Families Plan.

At this time, there are no specific pro-union provisions, such as from the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act ­– namely language giving the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) sharper teeth and empowering it to conduct union elections online – in the framework or the House bill text, but this could change and would be subject to the Byrd Rule.  Text of the House bill, thus far, includes $707 million for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for enforcement, standards development, State plans, and other purposes.  The bill includes $350 million to “rebuild capacity” at the NLRB.  The House bill would provide $1 billion over five years for apprenticeship programs; and $5 billion for industry or sector partnership grants.  The House bill also includes language to adjust civil monetary penalties as follow:

  • Amends the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 to increase the maximum penalty to $700,000 for willful and repeat violations; increase the minimum penalty to $50,000 for willful violations; and increase the maximum penalty for both serious and failure-to-abate violations to $70,000;

  • Amends the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to increase the maximum civil penalty to $132,270 for child labor violations; $601,150 for child labor violations that cause the death or serious injury of an employee under the age of 18; $20,740 for willful or repeated minimum wage or overtime violations; and $11,620 for tip violations; and

  • Amends the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act of 1983 to increase the maximum civil penalty for violations of the law to $25,790.

Meanwhile, Progressive Democrats continue to insist the infrastructure bill must advance in tandem with the Build Back Better Act, especially since Senators Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) have not directly stated they would vote for the spending package, nor did they rule out any attempts to make further changes to it.  Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) has also held off on offering a full endorsement.

Given the narrow majority in both chambers of Congress, it remains to be seen if Democrats will remain unified in both chambers in order to advance their social spending bill, without any Republican support.  Ahead of his trip to Europe, President Biden reportedly told the Democratic Caucus:

I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that the House and Senate majorities and my presidency will be determined by what happens in the next week.”


U.S. Economy Update. 

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported the American economy slowed to a two percent annual rate in the third quarter, amid the Delta variant surge and increasing supply chain disruptions and inflation.  This is the weakest quarterly expansion since the recovery from the pandemic recession began last year.  Nevertheless, economists remain hopeful that the fourth quarter annual growth rate will rebound, possibly to four percent, as infections from the Delta variant subside, vaccination rates increase, and Americans spend ahead of the upcoming holidays.  However, this also presumes another variant, or sub-variant, does not take hold, as temperatures drop across the world.


COVID-19 Vaccine Employer Mandate Updates. 

OSHA’s emergency temporary standard (ETS) on vaccine mandates for private sector employers with more than 100 employees appears to be on track to be released publicly next week.  Reports indicate the ETS may allow employers to have unvaccinated employees pay for required weekly tests and masks, with some exceptions, such as where a worker qualifies for a vaccination exemption under Federal law.  Meanwhile, reports also indicate the business community has been meeting with officials in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and pressing for the start date of the mandate be moved until after the holiday season.  They warned the mandate could exacerbate labor shortages and contribute to additional supply chain disruptions.

On Thursday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (Republican) announced the state had filed suit against the Federal Government over its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for Federal contractors.  The lawsuit contends the President lacks authority to issue the mandate and the mandate violates procurement law.  The state is seeking an immediate injunction to the rule, which is scheduled to take effect on December 8.

Ahead of the Federal contractor vaccine mandate deadline, some companies are hiring to offset anticipated workforce losses.  For example, Northrop Grumman is hiring in anticipation of a loss of workers related to the Federal vaccine mandate.  The U.S. Navy is also facing potential labor shortages in its shipbuilding sector, as some workers in Maine, Mississippi and Virginia have been protesting and have pledged they will not get vaccinated, which will result in them losing their jobs.  Notably, Navy shipbuilding plans are already under stress from years of production delays.


Other General COVID-19 Updates. 

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)’s vaccine advisory panel began considering data from Pfizer/BioNTech on clinical trials involving their lose dose COVID-19 vaccine for children under the age of 12, culminating in a decision this week that endorsed the shot for children.  However, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory panel has yet to act similarly.  Separately, on Monday, Moderna reported its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and efficacious for children ages 6 to 11 years old who receive two half doses.  In addition, a new study published on Wednesday found that fluvoxamine, an antidepressant, could potentially reduce the number of COVID-19 patients requiring urgent medical care.

On October 25, President Biden issued a Proclamation revoking existing country-specific suspensions and limitations on entry and implementing a world-wide COVID-19 vaccination requirement for foreign nationals – with entry into the United States beginning on November 8 – with very limited exceptions.  The travel industry has been advocating for the Biden Administration to lift the travel restrictions on foreigners, which have been in place since March 2020.  Airlines will be required to check travelers’ vaccination status before they can board planes bound for the United States.


Labor Department Confirmation Updates.  

On October 25, the Senate confirmed Doug Parker by a vote of 50 to 41 to serve as the next OSHA Administrator.  House Education & Labor Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-North Carolina) issued a statement after his confirmation, saying:

I am deeply concerned with Doug Parker’s ability to run OSHA. He was a key architect of the controversial and discredited COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard in California, which placed dozens of unworkable and bewildering new mandates on employers that often conflicted with current science and did nothing to improve workplace safety outcomes.  Now he will be in charge of implementing President Biden’s coercive national workplace vaccine-and-testing mandate, which will have a devastating impact on workers, business owners, and our economy.  His track record suggests that instead of following the science, he will follow in the Biden administration’s footsteps by creating uncertainty and confusion through politicized policy.”

 On Tuesday, October 26, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee voted 11-11 on Jose Rodriguez’s nomination to serve as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training; and advanced Larry Turner’s nomination to serve as Inspector General of the Department of Labor by voice vote.  With a tie vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) must next schedule an extra vote by the full Senate to discharge Rodríguez’s nomination out of the panel, extending the confirmation process.  At this time, there is no timetable by when this could happen.


Tipped Worker Final Rule Published. 

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Labor published a final rule that withdraws one portion of the Tip Regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) and finalizes its proposed revisions related to the determination of when a tipped employee is employed in dual jobs under the FLSA.  The Department clarified that an employer may only take a tip credit when its tipped employees perform work that is part of the employee’s tipped occupation.  Work that is part of the tipped occupation includes work that produces tips as well as work that directly supports tip-producing work, provided the directly supporting work is not performed for a substantial amount of time.


Republicans Challenge NLRB. 

On October 27, House Education & Labor Committee Ranking Member Foxx, Senate HELP Committee Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), Representative Rick Allen (R-Georgia), and Senator Mike Braun (R-Indiana) sent a letter to NLRB Chair Lauren McFerran concerning NLRB Member David Prouty’s “improper swearing-in,” which they noted resulted in 25 days at work without a presidential commission.  They requested documents and explanations related to the scope of Mr. Prouty’s activities while working at the NLRB prior to receiving a presidential commission.


Upcoming Congressional Hearing. 

On Thursday, November 4, the House Education & Labor Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions is set to hold a hearing titled, “Closing the Courthouse Doors: The Injustice of Forced Arbitration Agreements.”


© Copyright 2021 Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP
National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 306



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Martin’s car and home insurance warning ahead of groundreaking rule changes


7. More than one car in the home? Multicar policies could save or cost you £100s

Multicar insurance policies aren’tincluded on comparison sites, so to find out if you’ll save requires digital elbow grease.

My rule of thumb is first try the opposite to what you have, as insurance has always been about sucking in newbies with special deals. So if you’ve multicar, try standalone policies. Got standalone? Then try multicar.

The three pure multicar discount policies are from Admiral MultiCar*, Aviva* and LV*. All let you set up a policy at your 1st car’s renewal, leaving the other car(s) on its existing insurer until their renewal. See multicar split-year renewals.

There are also multi-policy discounts, reducing the cost if you’ve two cars, or get car and home insurance together. These include More Than (15% off), Axa* (up to 15%), Esure* (10%), Privilege (varies) and Sheilas’ Wheels* (10%). Plus, Direct Line* and Churchill also offer discounts for multiple cars.

Multicar worked for Kam, who told us on Facebook: “I saved £500 by sticking both my and my wife’s car on a multicar policy.”

But Nigel tweeted that splitting was better: “@MartinSLewis I was with multicar until at renewal they wanted over £1,300 for 3 cars. Got 3 individual policies for under £600.”





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Labor Day: Fun facts, travel tips, picnic fare and that rule about white


The first Monday in September is set aside to recognize the social and economic achievements of American workers. It’s also a last hurrah of summer, as family members and friends get in that last trip, party or other warm-weather special event. Here are some fun facts about Labor Day and suggestions on how to make the most of the holiday.

How it started

Observation of Labor Day evolved during the late 19th century, in the throes of the Industrial Revolution, as activists called for a holiday to celebrate workers’ contributions to the nation’s strength and prosperity.

Before it became a federal holiday, Labor Day was recognized by individual states. New York was first to introduce legislation, but Oregon was first to pass a law recognizing Labor Day, on Feb. 21, 1887 — followed that year by Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. By the end of the decade, Connecticut, Nebraska and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 more states got on board.

On June 28, 1894, Congress passed an act, then signed into law by President Grover Cleveland, making the first Monday in September of each year a federal holiday.

Who gets credit?

Two men with similar names have been credited with proposing a holiday for workers.

Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, in 1882 suggested setting aside a day to honor laborers “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”

Another view, bolstered by recent research, says machinist Matthew Maguire proposed the holiday that same year while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York.

The two men didn’t appear to clamor over credit — both attended the country’s first Labor Day parade in New York City in 1894.

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Tribune-Review

President Joe Biden took part in Pittsburgh’s 37th annual Labor Day Parade on Sept. 3, 2018.

 

The three P’s

Labor Day is traditionally celebrated with these three P’s: parades, picnics and parties.

Unfortunately, Pittsburgh’s Labor Day was canceled for the second year, because of lingering pandemic concerns. But that still leaves picnics and parties.

Other popular ways to spend the long weekend include:

• Swimming

• Day trips

• Shopping Labor Day sales

Pack a picnic

If your Labor Day plans include a good, old-fashioned picnic, here are seven of the top foods (or six foods and one beverage) to take along, according to the National Day Calendar:

• Fried chicken

• Pasta salad

• Deviled eggs

• Watermelon

• Sandwiches

• Lemonade

• Brownies

Travel trends

Labor Day weekend is traditionally a top travel time, but this year, to travel or not to travel has been the question. According to Conde Nast Traveler, many Americans have kept this year’s Labor Day plans flexible, because of uncertainty over spread of the delta variant.

“There’s been a lot of interest this summer for travel,” said Jim Garrity, AAA East Central director of public affairs. “People are being a little more cautious because of the changing regulations and virus situation, but our summer travel booking figures are rivaling 2019, so people are anxious to get on the road and travel again.”

Travel data company Arrivalist predicted a 1% drop in Americans hitting the road this weekend, compared to 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, and a 10% decrease compared to 2019.

Trip Advisor reported an early August trend of last-minute travel bookings. The trend emerged last year in response to a rise in refundable and flexible booking options.

Trip Advisor also says that most Americans are traveling domestically this year (perhaps out of necessity), with cars.com reporting that 90% of summer travel is taking place in private vehicles.

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Tribune-Review

It’s no longer a fashion faux pas to wear white after Labor Day. Here, Tracy Showman (left), Suzanne Ward, Ann Richmond and Missy Smeltz wear the de rigueur white apparel at the 2019 Westmoreland Croquet Club Tournament.

 

Wearing white

The old rule of fashion was that white clothing was appropriate only between Memorial Day and Labor Day. How that rule evolved is open to debate, according to Southern Living. Obviously, lighter-colored clothing is cooler than dark duds in the dog days of summer.

One theory says that wearing white was a marker of class distinction. City dwellers wore dark clothing to mask the urban grime they picked up as they moved about. The wealthy, who could afford to summer in the country, wore white to indicate their social standing.

By the 1950s, the rule was touted by fashion magazines and became popular with the middle class — though not everyone was on board. French fashion designer Coco Chanel notoriously wore white all year-round.

Today, it’s more about fabric than color. Labor Day is the time to pack away your white cottons and bring out your white wools.

As fashion designer Michael Kors tweeted in 2013, “Ignore the old rules. White after Labor Day is glamorous.”

Get out and celebrate

Still looking for something to do on this last official weekend of summer? Here are last-minute options for music, family fun, food, shopping for fall decor and more.

Allegheny County Music Festival: Popular Pittsburgh band The Commonheart headlines the annual festival, also featuring Funky Fly Project, Meeting of Important People and Sierra Sellers. Music kicks off at 5 p.m. Sunday at Hartwood Acres Park Amphitheatre.

Food trucks and Hop Farm Brewing Co. will be on site beginning at 6 p.m.

Suggested donation of $20 per car and a 50-50 raffle benefit the Allegheny County Music Festival Fund, which assists children and youth receiving services through the Department of Human Services and the Juvenile Section of the Family Division of the Court of Common Pleas.

Details: alleghenycounty.us

Arts & Crafts Labor Day Festival: The 28th-annual event promises about 200 indoor and outdoor exhibits at the Westmoreland Fairgrounds in Mt. Pleasant Township. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. today and Monday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.

Vendors will offer floral designs, embellished clothing, scented candles, jewelry, soft sculpture, functional and decorative wood, pet items, seasonal home decor, ceramics, flags, adult beverages, gourmet prepackaged and ready-to-eat foods.

The festival also features live music and children’s activities.

Admission is $6.50, $6 for ages 65 and older, $3 for ages 12-15.

Details: familyfestivals.com

Heinz Field Kickoff and Rib Festival: The five-day festivities continue from noon- 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday and noon-7 p.m. Monday at the home of the Pittsburgh Steelers on the Steel City’s North Side.

The extravaganza includes food, music, rides and games, a Steelers Experience and appearances by Steely McBeam.

Admission is free; some elements require paid tickets.

Details: heinzfield.com

Labor United Celebration: Westmoreland County Parks and Recreation Department celebrates “the proud tradition of labor in Western Pennsylvania” with the annual two-day event in Northmoreland Park in Allegheny Township. Hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday.

Festivities include live music, Zerbini Family Circus, bingo, arts and crafts marketplace and flea market with more than 150 vendors.

Parking and admission are free. Purchase of the $4 all-day activity pass includes unlimited access to midway rides, petting zoo, horse-drawn trolley rides, circus, kiddie train rides, bounce houses and other activities.

Details: co.westmoreland.pa.us

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, smcmarlin@triblive.com or via Twitter .





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Mortgage rates jump to highest level since April, and how does the IRS ‘wash sale’ rule work?


Don’t miss these top stories.

Is 90 the new 60? William Shatner, Jimmy Carter and others defy perceptions of the ‘oldest old’

Shatner’s journey into space could herald a new era when nonagenarians will become an increasingly vital group. Read More

‘Return is the wrong word. That world is gone’: Unilever chief HR officer foresees a new, flexible era for office workers post-COVID

‘The COVID times have shown us that we can try to be more flexible than we’ve been in the past,’ said Leena Nair, chief human resources officer at Unilever Read More

My girlfriend says I should tip waitstaff at restaurants. I say they’re just doing their job, like construction workers and fast-food employees. Who’s right?

‘As long as all service staff are doing their job and getting paid an hourly wage, there is no reason to tip anyone.’ Read More

My father died and his girlfriend stopped paying the mortgage. She wants her son to swoop in — and buy the house in foreclosure

‘His girlfriend had just continued to make payments, until — I believe — they came up with this foreclosure plan to buy it from underneath my brother.’ Read More

Mortgage rates jump to highest level since April — and inflation concerns could push them higher

The recent upswing in mortgage rates is expected to continue, so long as the markets are assuming that high inflation isn’t going anywhere. Read More

You can now get a plug-in hybrid Ford Escape

The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the Ford Escape SUV is finally at the dealers, about two years after the standard version went on sale. Read More

It’s possible to travel without a credit card—here are your options

Not everyone wants a credit card, or can get one. These are some best options for paying for flights, lodging and international travel. Read More

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As the end of the year approaches, some investors will turn to tax-loss harvesting. Here’s what you need to know first about the ‘wash sale’ rule. Read More

As Port of Los Angeles goes 24/7, brace for shortages of bikes, toys — and more —this holiday season

Efforts to unclog the supply chain ahead of the holiday season would have been better coming three or four months ago, one expert said Read More

‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ Star Nene Leakes Lists Georgia Mansion for $4M

Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Nene Leakes is letting go of her Duluth, GA, home. The country club property, which she dubbed “Casa Leakes,” is available for $4 million. Read More



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business trip

Study Offers Peek into ‘New Rule Book’ for Corporate M&E


While the return of in-person corporate meetings and events continues to gather steam, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic continue to shape companies’ priorities and policies around such interactions, according to a new study from AOK Events. 

The London-based corporate events organizer in August and September 2021 conducted a survey of its clients whose yearly buying power for events exceeded £50 million. The results indicated what AOK called a “new rule book” for the events sector due to the “probability that there will be no return to pre-pandemic business-as-usual.”

Among the biggest changes in the new paradigm is a shift in companies’ main objectives when it comes to their events strategy and budgeting. The survey asked respondents to indicate the three main objectives for their events spend in summer 2019 and the present time up through the end of 2021 to compare how those aims have changed since the pandemic.

For external events, objectives such as supporting a new product or service launches and engaging with media and supplier partners have surged in importance, rising 33 percent and 48 percent, respectively. Conversely, entertaining clients declined by 11 percent, largely due to the need for such entertainment to be accomplished in-person. 

For internal events, the pandemic has forced companies to conduct a balancing act of ensuring the health and safety of their employees while continuing to conduct business. Amid those competing priorities, teambuilding and maintaining company culture skyrocketed as a priority, increasing by 38 percent from 2019 to 2021. 

As to the road ahead, survey responses indicated that companies are preparing to ramp back up budgets for external events sooners that internal events, with 80 percent of respondents projecting their external events budget would increase in 2022 and beyond, compared with 68 percent projecting their internal events budget to rise during the same timeframe. 

That contrast indicates a re-emerging demand for event-based client entertainment over the near term, particularly related to Christmas-related events, along with the likelihood that internal events will continue to operate on a largely virtual or hybrid basis for the long term, AOK said.



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Travel rule change delayed by lateral flow test shortage


“Travellers need a testing system they can rely on, meaning that tests are easy to access, affordable, and that they will receive a reliable service from their provider. The government must ensure that any changes to the system – including replacing PCR tests with lateral flow tests – ensure this”.



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TUI and Jet2 issue holiday updates to customers after travel rule changes


Holiday bookings are expected to soar after the government announced an overhaul of the international travel rules for England.

Travel firms TUI and Jet2 have issued statements to customers with an update on their flight schedules for the autumn period.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced eight countries are to be removed from the red list next week, including tourist hotspot Turkey, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka.

READ MORE: All the new travel rules for holidaymakers as traffic light system simplified

It was also announced that from October 4, the traffic light system will be replaced with a single red list of destinations from where travellers arriving into the country will have to quarantine in a government-supervised hotel.

People who are fully vaccinated will no longer need a pre-departure test before returning from non-red list destinations, and from the end of October, they will be able to replace the day two PCR test with a cheaper lateral flow test – which has raised concern amid Covid variants.

Jet2



Jet2 has welcomed the latest travel announcement

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, says he has seen a surge in bookings amid the latest travel announcement.

Mr Heapy welcomed the changes to expensive testing, saying holidaymakers had been ‘unfairly penalised’.

He also announced some additions to their flight schedule as Turkey is set to be removed from the red list next week.

Mr Heapy said: “We have seen demand step up over the last few days, and there has been an immediate and massive surge in bookings for flights and package holidays on the back of this welcome news for holidaymakers in England. We expect the Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive to update their advice too and we look forward to this.

What do you make of the travel rule changes? Have your say below

“Although it has been a long time coming, we are extremely pleased that the government has finally committed to reopening international travel properly. Holidaymakers will be frustrated that these changes come too late for the peak summer holiday period, but we know how delighted they will be that their holidays are no longer subject to a set of restrictions that are completely out of step with other areas of everyday life.

“Having to take a pre-departure test in resort, along with an expensive PCR test after returning to the UK, has unfairly penalised hardworking customers and families for far too long. A

“lthough the removal of these burdens is welcome news and a step in the right direction, more can still be done.



Jet2 will be restarting flights and holidays to Antalya and Dalaman from Thursday 23rd September

“The Traffic Light system has been confusing and completely unfit for purpose since day one. We welcome a new approach which is easy for everyone to understand and provides certainty.”

Mr Heapy said Jet2 will be restarting holidays to Turkey in time for the winter sun.

He said: “With Turkey coming off the Red List, we will be restarting flights and holidays to Antalya and Dalaman from Thursday 23rd September.

“We are delighted to be restarting this programme and with great deals to be had, we know there will be phenomenal demand for late-summer sunshine, October half-term breaks and winter sun. The same applies to the 40-plus destinations we are operating to.

“The desire to get away for a well-earned holiday in the sunshine has never diminished, however harsh and unfair restrictions have remained a barrier for some. Now many of these restrictions have been removed, the rush in bookings for flights and package holidays to sun, ski and leisure city destinations tells us just how much holidaymakers have been longing to get away.

“Holidays mean so much to everyone, and we cannot wait to take our customers away on them.”



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TUI



TUI has already seen “an uptick in bookings for Turkey in October”

Andrew Flintham, managing director of holiday company TUI UK, said he had already seen “an uptick in bookings for Turkey in October” and expected a boost in customer confidence with the new rules.

The airline issued a statement to customers on its website saying their teams are ‘working through’ the new information following the government’s announcement.

They will update the ‘Covid hub’ on testing packages and entry requirements in the coming days.

Details on cancellations and where they’re currently operating to can be found below.

TUI flights:

Balearics (Ibiza, Majorca, Menorca)

Canaries (Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma and Tenerife)

Croatia (Dubrovnik, Pula and Split)

Cyprus (Larnaca and Paphos)

Greece (Corfu, Crete, Halkidiki, Kefalonia, Kos, Parga, Rhodes, Samos, Santorini, Skiathos, Thassos and Zakynthos)

Italy (Naples)

Madeira and Porto Santo

Mainland Spain (Alicante, Malaga and Reus)

Morocco (Agadir and Marrakech)

Portugal (Algarve)

St Lucia

Non-TUI flights:

Antigua

Barbados

Gibraltar

Greece (Athens, Peloponnese and Mykonos)

Grenada

Iceland

Italy (Naples, Puglia, Sardinia, Sicily, Tuscany, Venice)

Jersey

Mainland Spain (Almeria and Barcelona)

Malta

Portugal (Lisbon)

Switzerland

UAE (Dubai)

Due to ongoing uncertainty around travel the following destinations are cancelled:

Up to and including September 30:

TUI flights:

Turkey

Non-TUI flights:

Mauritius

Up to and including October 9:

TUI flights:

Aruba, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Florida, Jamaica, Mexico and Tunisia

Non-TUI flights:

Canada, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Maldives, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, UAE (Abu Dhabi) and USA

Up to and including October 31:

TUI flights:

Austria, Italy and Slovenia (TUI Lakes and Mountains)

Bulgaria (Varna and Bourgas)

Italy (Calabria, Sardinia and Sicily)

Mainland Spain (Almeria and Girona)

Malta

Montenegro

Thailand

Non-TUI flights:

Austria

Italy

Turkey

For more information on TUI flight schedules, head to their travel information page here.

For the latest news and more from the Manchester Evening News, sign up to our email updates here.





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Digital Rupee Trial, No Tech to Implement Crypto Travel Rule + More News


Digital Rupee Trial, No Tech to Implement Crypto Travel Rule + More News 101
Source: AdobeStock / mrinal

Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.

CBDC news

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) could commence preliminary central bank digital currency (CBDC) trials before the end of the year, the bank’s governor Shaktikanta Das told CNBC. He has added that the central bank was “being extremely careful” in its handling of a potential digital rupee even as its counterparts around the world are exploring their own sovereign digital currencies.

Regulation news

  • The Australian Department of Home Affairs said it agrees with submissions from industry that the government currently does not have the technological capability for implementing a travel rule for cryptocurrencies, according to ZDNet. A travel rule would require financial institutions to pass certain information onto another financial institution to provide more transparency regarding cryptocurrency movement, but Home Affairs assistant secretary Daniel Mossop stated that, “We are not at the point where, globally, there is such a technological solution.”
  • Officials from the Australian Federal Police and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission will be able to target suspected criminals online thanks to the ‘Identify and Disrupt Bill’ that passed through the Australian Senate, the InnovationAus reported. The new warrants include authorizing police to hack the personal computers and networks of suspected criminals, seize control of their online accounts and identities, and disrupt their data.

Adoption news

  • Meme cryptocurrency DogeCola has announced it has launched its non-alcoholic beverage. In addition, the DogeCola community will make a contribution through regular donations, to fight against plastic pollution, described as “a serious issue of global concern which requires an urgent and international response involving all relevant actors at different levels.”

DeFi news

  • Chain-agnostic protocol AllianceBlock has today unveiled a new technical roadmap. Per the press release, the roadmap outlines the upcoming milestones that will bring AllianceBlock’s vision of bridging the gap between decentralized finance (DeFi) and traditional finance (TradFi) closer by remedying issues that exist in both spheres and linking the two worlds of finance together.
  • Blockchain lending company Algofi has announced the launch of a decentralized lending market on the Algorand (ALGO) blockchain, as the company aims to become the first crypto-native bank to bridge the gap between traditional and decentralized finance, they said. The initial lending protocol will launch for users everywhere in Q4 of 2021, with additional fiat on- and off-ramp solutions, and more, forthcoming.

Exchanges news

  • Digital asset exchange Gate.io has launched a cloud mining offering, “bringing the benefits of traditional cryptocurrency mining without the massive costs involved with setting up a mining operation,” they said. Packages start at USD 47 for a Starter mining contract, and users can opt to choose one of several different cloud mining offerings based on their budget, they added.

NFT news

  • Gamified NFT project that financially supports mental health charities Piñazza has announced it has launched the first series of its two-part non-fungible token (NFT) drop called the Piñazza Piñas. Everyone who mints a Piña will receive a free future airdrop of a Piñazza Pizza NFT, so owners get two opportunities to receive a drop that they can later trade with the community, the team said.

Career news

  • Crypto exchange Coinbase has appointed Kate Rouch, formerly Facebook‘s Global Head of Brand and Product Marketing, as their Chief Marketing Officer. They have added that, “Kate’s experience at a company with the scale and impact of Facebook will be invaluable as we continue building our brand, growing our teams and working to bring millions more people into the cryptoeconomy.”
  • DRIFE, decentralised ride-hailing platform that allows passengers to pay in crypto, has announced Siddharth Bhatia as its new Chief Scientist. Bhatia previously worked with Google Research, Amazon, and Microsoft Research, and will now work to help enhance the technology powering the DRIFE platform, said the press release.



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Covid news LIVE – Families reunite as travel rule changes as 17 more countries could be added to green list


NURSE REUNITED WITH FAMILY ARRIVING FROM US AS QUARANTINE-FREE TRAVEL BEGINS

A nurse who embraced her family at an airport after 20 months apart has hailed the “best present ever” after rule changes mean they will not have to quarantine for 10 days.

Elaine Burt, 55, a senior nurse with the NHS, shared an emotional embrace with her sister Michelle Bolger, 50, and her nephews Kaie, 17, and Taran, 12, who were all double vaccinated in the US, as they arrived at Glasgow Airport on Monday morning from Boston via Amsterdam.

Mrs Bolger told reporters: “It’s been so long … it’s been really hard, but we’re here, we made it”, as she arrived in the country to visit her mother Jean, who has been unwell.

She said: “We booked the flight just a week past Monday. It’s been a rollercoaster trying to get here.

“We still have to test on day two but it’s great, absolutely amazing, I didn’t think I would see this day. We’ve done everything by the book just to get here and we’re just excited.”





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Travel news: Holiday madness in Balearics amid amber rule change – ‘just stressful’ | Travel News | Travel


For fully-vaccinated Britons, the Balearics moving to amber is not much of a problem, as from tomorrow they will be exempt from quarantining on their return.

Another holidaymaker currently there and planning to stay said: “We only booked a few weeks ago, when Ibiza was put on the green watch list, but my husband and I are fully vaccinated and our kids are both under 12- so it turning to amber made no difference to us.”

She continued: “I find it difficult to comprehend how people were allowed to travel freely last summer with no tests and no vaccination programme, yet this year we are very restricted.”

Minister of Tourism for the Balearic Islands, Iago Negueruela, said that despite the UK’s decision, the Balearics “remain open”.





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