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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.
The Public Health Agency of Canada has announced that it will open its border to fully vaccinated US travelers on August 9, reports Travel Weekly. US citizens and permanent residents who have received their full vaccination dosage at least two weeks prior to travel can visit Canada without quarantining, although they will still be required to present a quarantine plan in case it is needed. Vaccinated travelers must still provide a negative COVID-19 test taken prior to arrival, but fully vaccinated travelers will not need to be tested again after arrival, unless they are randomly selected to take a test as part of a new border testing surveillance program at both airports and land borders. Travelers will need to submit their travel information to the ArriveCAN app or web portal. Additionally, Canada is ending its requirement for arriving international travelers to spend three nights in a government-authorized hotel. Canada will also allow international flights starting August 9, to land at five additional airports: Edmonton, Halifax, Ottawa, Quebec City, and Winnipeg. Currently, international flights are allowed to land only at airports in Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver.
The MIT Technology Review has released a guide regarding the status of vaccine passports in each state of the US. While President Joe Biden has said that there won't be a national app, states are free to choose whether or not they want to implement some sort of digital vaccination app. According to the MIT Technology Review, 4 states - California, Hawaii, Louisiana, and New York - have active vaccine certification apps, while 19 states have banned the systems to some degree. Most states have addressed the technology in some way, either in legislation or in comments from a lawmaker, a public health official, or the governor. Click "Read More" to view each state's status regarding vaccination passports.
US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has said she is pressing the US government to ease COVID-19 restrictions that bar much of the world from traveling to the United States, reports Reuters. Dozens of US business groups, lawmakers, and officials from foreign governments have already been asking President Joe Biden to relax the travel restrictions put in place under the former administration. The White House says it is continuing discussions with the European Union, Britain, Canada, and Mexico on how to eventually lift restrictions, but US officials say they still have no timetable on a decision. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has joined Raimondo in pushing for lifting restrictions, according to sources familiar with the discussions, but others in the administration remain hesitant.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that fully vaccinated travelers from the United States and the European Union will be allowed to enter Britain without quarantining upon arrival beginning August 2, reports The Washington Post. Vaccinated US and EU travelers will only need to take a COVID-19 test before flying and then two days after arrival. They must also provide proof of inoculation with a vaccine authorized by the US or European agencies, UK transportation minister Grant Shapps added. Currently, travelers from the US must quarantine for 10 days, but can opt to take an additional COVID-19 test after day five to be released. Only those who have been vaccinated by Britain’s own health system are eligible for a “COVID pass” that would allow them to skip quarantine.
Hilton Hotels has announced that it has made daily housekeeping optional across most of its brands in the US, reports Travel Weekly. Effective immediately, daily housekeeping will be performed only upon request. The policy is in place for most US hotels, with exceptions to luxury brands Waldorf Astoria, Conrad, and LXR. Housekeeping services will also be done automatically on the fifth day of any extended stay at a US hotel. "Our guests have told us that they have varying levels of comfort with someone entering their rooms after they have checked in," said Hilton in a statement. "We encourage our guests to call the front desk to request room cleaning, and our team members stand ready to assist with extra towels or amenities." Meanwhile, Hilton properties in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa are currently "operating housekeeping as requested," while hotels in the Asia-Pacific region are still providing daily housekeeping. Though on-demand housekeeping services have become commonplace during the pandemic, Hilton is one of the first major hospitality groups to make it companywide policy.