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 July's Top 5 (most clicked by Ovation clients) e-newsletter stories.
1. CANADA TO WELCOME FULLY VACCINATED US TRAVELERS ON AUGUST 9
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.
2. A STATE-BY-STATE GUIDE REGARDING THE STATUS OF VACCINE PASSPORTS IN THE US
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.
3. UK LIFTS QUARANTINE RESTRICTIONS FOR VACCINATED US AND EU TRAVELERS
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.
4. US GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS PUSHING TO LIFT US TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS
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.
5. CDC, US STATE DEPARTMENT ISSUE HIGHEST TRAVEL ADVISORIES FOR PORTUGAL, SPAIN
Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US State Department have issued their highest travel advisories for Portugal and Spain due to rising COVID-19 cases, reports Travel Pulse. The decision comes amid COVID-19 outbreaks occurring mostly among unvaccinated individuals, and while both organizations are encouraging people to avoid visiting, they have advised travelers to make sure that they are fully vaccinated if they must travel. Both Portugal and Spain have reopened to US travelers, with Spain no longer requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result, and Portugal requiring visitors to show a recent negative test result or proof of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days. The recent travel advisories come just one week after US officials warned Americans to avoid travel to the UK due to rising cases of COVID-19.