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

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

1. CDC ISSUES NEW TRAVEL ADVISORIES FOR IRAN, ITALY, JAPAN AND SOUTH KOREA

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued new travel advisories for Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea amid the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) outbreak. The CDC issued a "level 3" advisory for South Korea, which warns to "avoid nonessential travel" to the country. While the US government has not issued a "do not travel" advisory as it did for China, the CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to South Korea. Similarly, the US State Department issued a level 2 travel advisory ("exercise increased caution") for South Korea. Additionally, the CDC has announced a "level 2" travel alert for Iran, Italy and Japan, recommending high-risk travelers such as older adults and those with chronic medical conditions consider postponing nonessential travel to those countries.

2. AIRLINES ARE CANCELING FLIGHTS OUTSIDE OF CHINA AMID CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

Airlines and countries are continuing to restrict travel following the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) outside the borders of Chinese territory, reports Business Insider. With increased cases of COVID-19 being reported in countries including Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea, numerous routes around the world are being cut to prevent the further spread of the disease. The reductions in service are caused by a mix of low-demand and government mandate restricting travel to certain regions. Middle Eastern and Asian countries are among those being the most proactive in attempting to stem the spread of the virus.

3. THE AIRLINES HALTING CHINA FLIGHTS AS VIRUS OUTBREAK SPREADS

The coronavirus outbreak has disrupted flights to and from China as airlines around the globe halt service, reports Bloomberg. Commercial flights to and from Wuhan, where the virus is centered, have mostly stopped. Additionally, many carriers from around the world have suspended flights either to China’s biggest cities or to mainland China, altogether.

4. NEW AMTRAK TRAINS ENTER TESTING PHASE

Amtrak’s new Acela prototype trains are entering a high-speed testing phase at the Transportation Technology Center in La Junta, Colorado, reports Transportation Today. The prototype set will undergo nine months of testing that will include the brakes, train control management systems and railway dynamics. Acela trains are the fastest, all-electric intercity trains available in the United States. The prototypes are the first of 28 new Acela trains scheduled to enter service throughout the Northeast Corridor in 2021. They will accommodate approximately 25 percent more customers than the current Acela service. The trains will also help Amtrak further reduce its carbon footprint.

5. PANYNJ APPROVES THE EXPANSION OF NEW YORK'S JFK AIRPORT TERMINAL 4

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) has reached an agreement with John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Delta Air Lines to expand JFK’s Terminal 4 and strengthen Delta operations at the terminal, reports Airport Technology. The agreement is pending approval from the board, following which a lease amendment with the operator to expand and renovate the terminal is expected to be signed. The $3.8 billion project will include the expansion and renovation of the arrivals and departures hall at Terminal 4 by 500,000ft² and the expansion of the concourse to accommodate 16 new gates. In addition, the current concourses will be renovated and the roadway will be expanded to improve vehicle access. The terminal work is expected to be completed in 2023, with improvements to the roadway aimed to be finalized in 2025.