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 June's Top 5 (most clicked by Ovation clients) e-newsletter stories.
1. CDC EASES TRAVEL RECOMMENDATIONS ON 110 COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES
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.
2. AMTRAK REQUIRES TRAVELERS TO COMPLETE PRE-TRIP COVID-19 CHECK WITHIN 24 HOURS OF DEPARTURE
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.
3. EUROPEAN UNION ADDS UNITED STATES TO ITS SAFE TRAVEL LIST
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.
4. CDC AMENDS FACE MASK REQUIREMENTS FOR VACCINATED TRAVELERS ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, TRANSIT HUBS
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.
5. FRANCE, SPAIN JOIN LIST OF COUNTRIES OPEN TO AMERICANS
France and Spain are now open to vaccinated Americans, joining several other European countries who have independently decided to ease pandemic restrictions ahead of the European Union's agreement to reopen its borders to fully vaccinated travelers and those from countries where COVID-19 is under control, reports USA Today. The EU is still undecided on the date for reopening, stating only that it plans to reopen its borders sometime later this summer. With no clear timeline, countries such as Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Greece, France, Romania, and Spain have taken separate measures to begin allowing vaccinated travelers to visit. For instance, France and Spain, are accepting fully vaccinated Americans with proof they've had their final dose of an approved vaccine at least 14 days prior to travel. Others, such as Austria, have said it is admitting Americans as long as they've had at least one round of their vaccine.