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At Ovation, 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.

https://www.ovationtravel.com/covid-19-resources-guide

Ovation's weekly client e-newsletter, the Informed Traveler, keeps readers updated on travel industry news and trends.

Following is a recap of August's Top 5 (most clicked by Ovation clients) e-newsletter stories.

1. CDC DROPS 14-DAY SELF-QUARANTINE RECOMMENDATION FOR TRAVELERS

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has removed the directions for two-week quarantines from the “After You Travel” section of its COVID-19 travel guidance on its website, reports The Washington Post. Instead, the CDC has now posted “after-travel” recommendations based on individual countries and local or state governments. A map of country-specific health information can be found on the CDC website, and includes a map of reported cases in the United States. In an email, CDC spokesman Scott Pauley told The Washington Post: “This updated guidance is based on risk of exposure during travel, asking travelers to think about what they did, where they were, and who they came into contact with to evaluate their risk of exposure to COVID-19.” The CDC’s updated travel guidance states that all returning travelers should social distance, wear a cloth face covering, wash their hands often and watch for symptoms. The agency still recommends travelers who visit areas with a high number of COVID-19 cases, attend large gatherings or sail on a cruise ship quarantine for 14 days and get tested for the virus. Additionally, travelers must also adhere to any restrictions in place at their destinations. This includes the states currently mandating two-week quarantines for arrivals such as Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey.

2. A GUIDE TO THE COUNTRIES OPEN TO AMERICAN TRAVELERS

As the US State Department begins to lift international travel restrictions for Americans, only some countries and territories are allowing Americans across their borders, reports Forbes. For many countries, the US largely falls into a COVID-19 “hot spot” category and is barred. For some of the countries allowing Americans entry, there are certain restrictions. For example, Americans traveling to the UK and Ireland must still self-isolate 14 days. Britain is debating testing at airports to curb quarantine. Other places have various screening measures such as filling out screening questionnaires ahead of travel; and showing, or taking, a negative PCR test on arrival. Click "READ MORE" below for more details regarding travel to open countries.

3. A GUIDE TO US STATE TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS AS OF AUGUST

As summer travel has slowly picked up during the COVID-19 pandemic, many states have mandated that inbound travelers adhere to quarantine rules upon arrival, while some have testing or pre-testing options so that travelers can skip the self-isolation period, reports CNN. Several states have identified specific areas of the country from which travelers are subject to restrictions, while others have imposed none at all. 

4. US STATE DEPARTMENT LIFTS INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL ADVISORY

The US State Department has lifted its Global Level 4 Health Advisory urging Americans to reconsider all international travel due to COVID-19. The Global Advisory, initially put in place on March 19, 2020, advised US citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. "With health and safety conditions improving in some countries and potentially deteriorating in others, the Department is returning to our previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice (with Levels from 1-4 depending on country-specific conditions), in order to give travelers detailed and actionable information to make informed travel decisions. This will also provide U.S. citizens more detailed information about the current status in each country. We continue to recommend U.S. citizens exercise caution when traveling abroad due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic," the agency said. US citizens considering traveling abroad should review the entire Travel Advisory for their destination(s) on Travel.State.gov. A full list of recent updates to Travel Advisories can be found at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/.

5. NYC TO IMPOSE COVID-19 CHECKPOINTS TO ENFORCE QUARANTINE ORDER, MAYOR SAYS

Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York City would start implementing checkpoints across the five boroughs to help enforce Governor Andrew Cuomo's quarantine order for travelers from viral hotspots, citing the ongoing national COVID-19 threat, reports NBC New York. The measure announced Wednesday is the first significant effort by New York City specifically to help enforce the 14-day quarantine for travelers from 34 states and Puerto Rico. Travelers who land at New York airports are required to fill out a form for contact tracing purposes. The same requirements apply for travelers coming to the state by car, train or bus. Starting today, the city has implemented COVID-19 checkpoints at key entry points into the city, de Blasio said. They will vary daily, though the mayor said one will appear at Penn Station on Thursday. Another is planned for Port Authority. Travelers will be given the state contact forms to fill out. Failure to submit the form can result in mandatory quarantine and a $2,000 fine, while failure to comply with the overall order can incur up to a $10,000 civil penalty. The city hopes to implement "full-fledged checkpoints" where viable and hold them at other locations where they're unlikely to create major traffic backups.