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.
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.
With new vaccine mandates in place -- and more possibly on the way -- individuals planning on visiting public buildings, bars, restaurants, entertainment venues, and certain travel destinations may need to prove that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 upon entry. For individuals who don't feel comfortable carrying around their paper vaccination card, there are many alternative options available. Digital vaccination records may be the most convenient way to prove vaccination status going forward, and while the US hasn't adopted an official "vaccine pass," there are currently a variety of options available. CNN has provided a guide on some of the best ways to store vaccination records including: scanning the card to a mobile device; storing vaccine information on a trusted app such as CLEAR, CommonPass, and VeriFly; and utilizing a state-approved digital vaccination pass.
As demand continues to grow for passport applications and renewals, the US State Department has stated that processing wait times could be between 12 and 18 weeks. For travelers who need an expedited passport, CIBTvisas has resumed its expedited passport processing services and can fulfill US passport requests in as little as five days. There is a limited number of expedited submission opportunities available, and appointments will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis. Travelers requesting these services will need documented proof of travel within the next 14-days. For assistance with the expedited passport process or to schedule an appointment, travelers can contact their Ovation travel consultants or follow the steps below:
- Schedule an appointment at a US Post Office Passport Acceptance facility using the following link: https://tools.usps.com/rcas.htm and choose “New Passport Only” or “New Passport with Photo Services.”
- Call CIBTvisas at 877-304-8071 after securing an appointment to coordinate a date for the expedited service.
The price for expedited passport service is $500 plus the US Passport Office fees of $170 per passport.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has added seven destinations to the COVID-19 Level 4 travel alert, which designates countries as having “Very High” COVID-19 levels, reports USA Today. According to the CDC's guidance, travelers should avoid travel to those destinations, but those who must travel should make sure they are fully vaccinated. Aruba, Eswatini, France, French Polynesia, Iceland, Israel, and Thailand are now among the nearly 80 destinations on the CDC's Level 4 list. The CDC recommends all travelers (regardless of vaccination status) wear masks, self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, and get tested three to five days after they travel. On top of those travel precautions, the agency also recommends that unvaccinated travelers get tested one to three days before leaving the US and that they self-quarantine after travel for up to 10 days.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that the current federal requirement for masks on public transportation will remain in effect until at least January 18, 2022, reports CBS News. The announcement comes as the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spread across the country. "Extending the federal mask mandate for travel makes sense for the current health environment and has the travel industry's full support," US Travel Association executive vice president of public affairs and policy Tori Emerson Barnes said.
The Canadian government within the next few months will require all commercial air travelers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the government's Treasury Board, a committee of Cabinet members, announced on Friday. Business Travel News reports that in addition to air travelers, the requirement will extend to rail passengers traveling between Canadian provinces and cruise ship passengers as well. The requirements will allow "alternative measures, such as testing and screening" on a case-by-case basis for those who are unable to be vaccinated, according to the board's announcement.