Need to cancel your holiday travel plans amid COVID? Here’s the latest on changes and refunds

With California’s pandemic policies tightening, COVID-19 cases escalating and vaccines unlikely to reach most people until spring or later, many families are rethinking their holiday travel plans. “It’s time to cancel everything,” L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a news conference Wednesday night.

a group of people standing next to a sign: A flight crew member at LAX on Nov. 23, just ahead of the Thanksgiving travel period. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

© (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
A flight crew member at LAX on Nov. 23, just ahead of the Thanksgiving travel period. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of health and human services, said Thursday the state is, in effect, telling, not asking, Californians to stop all nonessential travel. That includes canceling holiday travel plans, Ghaly said. The new requirements, to take effect Friday, were in response to stress on critical care services and hospital intensive care units. Details on how the state would enforce such a broad restriction remained unclear Thursday afternoon.

Here’s a quick look at how airlines,

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California’s new COVID order: Leisure travelers must stay home

Stop traveling, the governor says.

With the “regional stay-at-home” order issued Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom is imploring Californians to stay home for the next three weeks and cinching already tight restrictions in areas where the COVID-19 pandemic has hospitals under the heaviest pressure.

Outlining the new restrictions, which include new capacity limits for retailers and other changes, state officials said hotels and other lodgings will be allowedto open for critical infrastructure support only.” But in the immediate aftermath of the governor’s announcement Thursday afternoon, details of the new travel restrictions remained unclear.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s secretary of Health and Human Service, said the state is effectively telling, not asking, Californians to stop all nonessential travel. That includes canceling holiday travel plans, he added.

“The message of the day is, as much as you can, be at home,” Ghaly said.

However, he and Newsom also stressed that

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Welsh Covid travel rule changes unfair on pubs, say critics | UK news

The Welsh government is under fire over changes to its Covid travel rules that critics say will lead to people from Wales crossing the border for nights out in England.

From Friday, a rule that bans people from leaving Wales except for reasons such as work or education will be replaced with one that allows Welsh residents to go to tier 1 and 2 areas in England. At the same time a law comes into force that stops pubs and other licensed premises in Wales selling alcohol and forces them to close at 6pm.

Welsh pub owners said people from Wales were bound to travel into England for a drink and meal. Mark Jones, who runs the Stanton House Inn in Chirk, north Wales, said: “I’m just half a mile from the border. We’re going to close and I know some people from here will go to pubs in England.

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Covid: Travel allowed between Wales and parts of the UK

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Wales’ Covid rules previously banned all but “essential” travel between Wales and England

People will be able to travel from Wales to tier one and two areas in England and Scotland from Friday.

The new regulations prohibit travel into tier three zones in England, tiers three and four in Scotland and the whole of Northern Ireland.

Previously people could
only travel out of Wales if it was “essential”.

But the Welsh Government said it still strongly advised people against travelling to other parts of the UK to help control the spread of the virus.

England’s lockdown ended on 2 December and it now has a
three-tiered system.

The Scottish government has a
five-level alert system
of Covid-19 restrictions.

It means for people in Wales, travel to London will be possible, but not Birmingham or Bristol.

Large parts of the Midlands, North East and North

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CDC: Add COVID Testing to Your Holiday Travel Plans

Stay home this holiday season, but if you must travel, get tested both before and after your trip, CDC officials said at a news conference on Wednesday.

People who insist on traveling should be tested for SARS-CoV-2 with a “viral test” 1-3 days before travel, and 3-5 days after travel. After traveling, people should avoid “non-essential activities” for 7 days.

If someone does not get tested before or after traveling, they should avoid “non-essential activities” for 10 days, CDC officials said. Better yet: just don’t go anywhere.

“Cases are rising, hospitalizations are increasing, deaths are increasing. We need to try to bend the curve to stop this exponential increase,” said Henry Walke, MD, CDC’s COVID-19 incident manager. “Testing does not eliminate all risk, but it does make travel safer.”

Cindy Friedman, MD, chief of CDC’s Traveler’s Health Branch, said travel volume was high during Thanksgiving, and that even a few

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No more day-of tickets under California’s COVID guidelines for ski resorts

The spontaneous skier will have to plan ahead for this season on the slopes.

California public health officials released COVID-19 guidelines Tuesday evening for ski resorts and no longer are day-of lift tickets permitted. To ski or snowboard, you must have a valid, pre-purchased lift ticket, season pass, or advanced ticket reservation. Parking lots are also limited to lift pass holders only. 

Under the new guidance, ski resorts are allowed to operate in any tier of the state’s coronavirus blueprint, so long as the businesses initiate specific modifications. The counties with ski resorts — Nevada, El Dorado, Placer and Mono — are all in the purple tier as of Wednesday.

MORE: Stay-at-home order could be re-enacted in California if alarming virus trends

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CDC recommends postponing holiday travel as Covid surges

The Centers for Disease Control on Wednesday urged Americans to postpone holiday travel after a busy Thanksgiving weekend that likely led to a further surge in coronavirus cases.

a person standing in front of a building: Travelers walk through Terminal 3 at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on Nov. 29, 2020.

© Nam Y. Huh/AP Photo
Travelers walk through Terminal 3 at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago on Nov. 29, 2020.

“Cases are rising, hospitalizations are increasing and deaths are increasing,” said Henry Walke, the CDC’s Covid-19 incident manager during a press briefing. “We’re asking Americans to help prevent these increases and avoid travel.”

People who do travel should be tested one to three days before and three to five days after their trips, while avoiding public activities for seven days, the agency said.

The agency released similar guidance against travel over Thanksgiving, but officials said travel volume remained high.

“Even if only a small percentage of those travelers were asymptomatically infected, this can translate into hundreds of thousands of additional infections

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200 relocated Andhra staff forced to find accommodation amid Covid

These employees relocated to Vijayawada on the insistence of the state government in 2017 from Hyderabad after almost three years post united AP bifurcation.

They were provided with free accommodation from July 2017 to July 2020, which now stands cancelled unless they pay for it.

“Seven of us stayed in a triple bedroom accommodation provided by the government. They took care of us well but the government now has told us to find our own accommodation,” an employee told IANS.

Incidentally, free accommodation ended for the employees four months ago in July itself, requiring interested employees to pay rent to stay on.

“For four months I paid Rs 5,500 and continued to stay from August to November end, only recently I found my own accommodation,” said the employee.

Rs 5,500 translates to Rs 37,500 when shared by seven employees in a three-bedroom accommodation in a place like Vijayawada.

However, the

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TUI secures third bailout in COVID travel slump survival battle

By Arno Schuetze, Michael Nienaber and Klaus Lauer

FRANKFURT/BERLIN, Dec 2 (Reuters)TUI secured a third bailout on Wednesday, striking a deal with private investors, banks and the German government for an extra 1.8 billion euros ($2.2 billion) as the world’s largest holiday company tries to ride out the coronavirus-linked travel slump.

London-listed TUI has already received 3 billion euros in state loans this year and the latest government aid prompted calls from opposition lawmakers for Berlin to ensure that it came with strings attached.

TUI TUIGn.DE, which last year took 23 million people on holiday, lost 1.1 billion euros in the second quarter after the COVID-19 pandemic brought global travel to a halt.

The travel slump has wiped out TUI’s revenue and strained its balance sheet as it burned through between 550 million euros and 650 million euros a month.

TUI’s largest shareholder, Russian billionaire Alexey

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The Growth And Challenges Of Vacation Rentals In The Age Of Covid

The prevailing themes for the travel industry in 2020 has been, and will end up being, safety, survival, and recovery. For so many in the industry, the coronavirus has spelled doom and disaster, both for its widespread human cost and for its damage to the foundation of tourism. For some, the product they offer actually fits into the aforementioned themes.

Airbnb for instance, by virtue of its service, kept the guest a little bit safer by adding a personal touch to the stay – complemented by hand sanitizer, of course. As travel restrictions tightened, the flexibility of Airbnb also added some ease to the nerves of the local traveler. Rounding out the benefits, Airbnb put a generous foot forward by relaxing its refund policies, despite suffering losses of approximately 50% of its total revenue.

Moreover, Airbnb has been growing in popularity

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