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 June's Top 5 (most clicked by Lawyers Travel's clients) e-newsletter stories.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has eased travel recommendations for more than 110 countries and territories, reports Reuters. The CDC's new ratings include 61 nations that were lowered from its highest "Level 4" rating that discouraged all travel, the agency confirmed earlier this week. An additional 50 countries and territories have been lowered to "Level 2" or "Level 1," a CDC spokeswoman said. Countries at "Level 1" are ranked lowest for COVID-19 risks and now include Albania, Belize, Iceland, Israel, Singapore, and South Korea.
In order to provide a safe travel environment for all passengers, Amtrak is now requiring that all travelers fill out a short pre-trip check within 24 hours of departure acknowledging that they don’t have any COVID-19 symptoms and that they’ll agree to wear a mask when traveling on Amtrak. According to Amtrak, an email is sent to the primary email address in the reservation within 24 hours of departure. If there is no email in the reservation, the traveler is contacted by the phone number in the reservation. If the traveler does not fill out the form before boarding, the conductor on board may ask them to complete it when the tickets are being collected. The pre-trip check can be found at Amtrak.com/covidcheckeml and in the Amtrak mobile app; it can also be filled out by a contact center or station agent.
The European Union (EU) has decided to add the United States to its safe travel list, after the 27 EU ambassadors recommended that the region allow nonessential travelers from eight new countries and territories, reports CNBC. The recommendation is non-binding, and national governments have authority to require test results or vaccination records and to set other entry conditions; however, this decision makes it possible for American travelers to visit with only needing to provide a negative COVID-19 test while avoiding quarantine. It is now up to the individual EU countries to decide how they will implement the guidelines and allow tourists to enter, and travelers should confirm the rules on their intended destination before flying. Several EU countries have already begun using the system, including Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and the Czech Republic. The recommendations are expected to be formalized by the end of this week, with the rest of the EU nations implementing the system by the beginning of next month.
Air travel has come roaring back and so have the long lines and wait times as travel agencies, airlines, airports, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) work to hire staff and accommodate the influx of travelers, reports The Wall Street Journal. Airline and airport executives say they anticipated that vaccines and easing restrictions would stoke renewed appetite for travel, but the speed and magnitude of the resurgence has exceeded their expectations. "Trying to predict the timing and the speed of travel’s recovery was all but impossible," said Mookie Patel, chief business and finance officer at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Carriers are adding capacity faster than they have in the past, but demand has quickly absorbed those extra seats. Last year, airlines offered steep discounts and deals. Now airfare is on the rise as leisure fares are on track to meet or exceed 2019 levels this summer. The rapid increase has caused some growing pains. Airlines and airports are advising travelers to arrive early at some understaffed airports to avoid long lines at security checkpoints. TSA screeners are working overtime and the agency is deploying them to airports around the country with the greatest need, a spokesman said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will no longer require fully vaccinated travelers to wear a face mask in outdoor areas of transportation conveyances like a ferry deck or on an open-air trolley or while they're outdoors at transportation hubs such as airports, train stations, and bus terminals, reports Travel Pulse. The new guidance comes one month after the CDC announced that people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear masks or practice social distancing indoors or outdoors in many cases. Travelers, regardless of vaccination status, are still required to wear face masks while on public transportation, including airplanes traveling into, within or out of the United States and US territories and while indoors at airports, as the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has extended the federal mask mandate until September.