At Lawyers Travel, we remain committed to providing excellent service to our valued clients throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic. Click the link below to view our travel resources guide which includes traveler health & safety information, interactive risk maps, client communications, travel management best practices, webinar recordings and more regarding COVID-19.
Lawyers Travel's weekly client e-newsletter, the Informed Traveler, keeps readers updated on travel industry news and trends.
Following is a recap of July's Top 5 (most clicked by Lawyers Travel's clients) e-newsletter stories.
People traveling to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut from 31 states are now required to self-quarantine for 14 days, after 10 states with significant community spread of COVID-19 were added to a travel advisory Tuesday, reports NPR. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut first announced their travel advisory on June 24th, as they sought to limit potential sources of COVID-19 infection. As of last week, 22 states were on the list of those requiring quarantines, but the advisory now covers well over half the country. Delaware, which was removed last week, is now back on the list. The state effectively swapped places with Minnesota, which has dropped off. The tri-state area's new travel advisory now covers these states: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI) and a network of research, policy and public health experts joined forces to create a new COVID-19 Risk Level map, reports Travel Pulse. The interactive online tool, which launched last week, enables users to easily see the levels of community spread in different areas of the US, down to the state or county level. "The public needs clear and consistent information about COVID-19 risk levels in different jurisdictions for personal decision-making, and policy-makers need clear and consistent visibility that permits differentiating policy across jurisdictions”, explained Danielle Allen, Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. Regions fall into one of four color-coded risk-level categories—Green, Yellow, Orange or Red—based upon the number of daily new COVID-19 cases reported. These designations are intended, not only to alert potential visitors to the risk level of a certain area, but also to help these jurisdictions themselves by offering guidance on COVID-19 suppression measures in line with their level of community spread. Click the link to view the interactive map - https://globalepidemics.org/.
As travelers prepare to fly during COVID-19, it is important to have a clear idea of each airline's safety measures. Business Insider published a list of some specifics of each major US airline's COVID-19 policy — everything from whether middle seats are blocked from sale, to cancellations and change fee waivers (for many airlines, fee waivers ended June 30). Below are details of American, Delta and United's current policies during the pandemic, all of which are subject to change:
- Cancellations and flexible booking: American Airlines is waiving change fees for flights booked by June 30, as long as the travel date is on or before September 30. It's the same for cancellations, which earn travelers a future travel credit. Whether travelers rebook or cancel for future credit, the new flight date must be on or before December 31, 2021.
- Mask policy: Unless someone is eating or drinking, the airline requires face coverings at all times for everyone except "very young children" or those with certain medical conditions.
- Middle seats and plane capacity: At the end of June, the airline returned to booking flights to full capacity.
- Boarding: American hasn't released official information on its updates page about changes to the boarding process.
- Food service: American is limiting food and drink service in the main cabin and encourages travelers to bring their own snacks and beverages.
Delta Air Lines
- Cancellations and flexible booking: Delta is waiving change fees for flights booked by June 30.
- Mask policy: Face coverings are required for all employees and travelers starting at check-in.
- Middle seats and plane capacity: Delta will extend its limited booking capacity through September 30, which includes a 60% seating cap in Main Cabin, Delta Comfort+ and Delta Premium Select.
- Boarding: Delta has implemented social distancing procedures in the boarding process.
- Food service: The airline encourages travelers to pack their own food.
- Cancellations and flexible booking: United is waiving change fees for flights booked before June 30.
- Mask policy: All travelers must wear a face covering during the flight unless they're eating or drinking, though "certain travelers" are exempt.
- Middle seats and plane capacity: The airline plans to adjust seat selection to leave empty seats between travelers when possible; for fuller flights, travelers can reportedly change the flight for free or choose a travel credit instead.
- Boarding: United plans to board people in smaller groups, the majority of travelers entering from the back of the plane.
- Food service: For domestic flights with durations of two hours and 20 minutes or more, United will distribute snack bags to every traveler that include one sanitizing wipe, bottled water, stroopwafel and pretzels.
In an interview with Delta Air Lines, Dr. Michael Saag, Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, explains how airplane cabin air is filtered and other steps Delta is taking to ensure the cabin is clean, safe and the air is healthy to breathe. Click the link to watch the entire interview - https://news.delta.com/how-clean-will-air-be-my-next-flight-hear-it-medical-expert.
Both American Airlines and United Airlines will fill flights to full capacity starting July 1st, reports Travel + Leisure. American Airlines announcement reverses the airline’s decision to limit flights to 85 percent capacity, a policy that had been in place since April. Once onboard, American will allow passengers to move to a different seat within their ticketed cabin if it’s available. As for United, a representative for the airline said it would continue its policy of notifying travelers 24 hours before their flight if it is likely to be full and allowing them to either rebook on a different flight or receive a travel credit. Conversely, some US airlines have extended policies that limit onboard seating. Delta Air Lines will extend caps on seating and blocking middle seats through September 30th, limiting seating in the main cabin to no more than 60 percent. Southwest will keep middle seats open through at least September 30th, and Alaska Airlines will do the same through July 31st.