(CNN) — The European Union recommended on Monday that Americans should be banned from nonessential travel to its member states after a rise in Covid-19 cases in the United States.

Countries within the 27-nation bloc, which includes France, Italy and Germany, have been advised to reinstate coronavirus-related restrictions and halt the arrival of tourists from the US and five other countries.

The guidance, which also now applies to Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, and the Republic of North Macedonia, is non-binding for EU member states. That means it remains up to each individual EU country to decide whether to allow “nonessential travel to the EU for fully vaccinated travelers.”

Europe had begun opening up to US travelers in May with destinations dependent on tourism dollars from across the Atlantic eager to recoup heavy losses incurred during successive lockdowns.

The European Council, the EU’s governing body, recommended in June that the bloc lift restrictions on nonessential travel from 14 countries, including the United States.

However, Covid-19 cases in the US have surged in recent weeks, as the highly infectious Delta variant spreads among unvaccinated Americans. Covid-19 cases among children are also hitting levels not seen since winter.

“What is going on now is both entirely predictable, but entirely preventable. And you know we know we have the wherewithal with vaccines to turn this around,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US government’s top infectious diseases expert. “We could turn this around and we could do it efficiently and quickly if we just get those people vaccinated.”

Nationally, 52.1% of the population was fully vaccinated as of Saturday, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Florida on Saturday had the highest Covid-19 hospitalization rate in the country, with 75 patients per 100,000 residents in hospitals with the virus, according to data from federal health officials and Johns Hopkins University. It also reached yet another pandemic high of Covid-19 cases Friday, reporting 690.5 new cases per 100,000 people each day from August 20 to August 26, state data showed.

Fewer than 50% of people in South Carolina, Louisiana and Texas are fully vaccinated. Studies have shown that full vaccination is necessary for optimal protection against the Delta variant.

Several hospitals in those four states — Florida, South Carolina, Texas and Louisiana — are struggling with oxygen scarcity. Some are at risk of having to use their reserve supply or risk running out of oxygen imminently, according to state health officials and hospital consultants.

CNN’s Saskya Vandoorne and Barry Neild contributed to this story.

July 14, 2021 3:20 a.m.

Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.6 percent in June.

Information from the Oregon Employment Department said that is a drop from 5.8 percent in May.

State Employment Economist Gail Krumenauer said despite the recent declines in Oregon’s unemployment rate, a large group of the unemployed have had difficulty regaining employment. The number of Oregonians unemployed for 52 weeks or more remains elevated at about 40,000 in June, compared with an average of about 8,000 during the three years prior to the recession.

In Oregon, nonfarm payroll employment grew by 7,500 in June, following monthly gains averaging 10,100 in the prior five months. The update said monthly gains were largest in heath care and social assistance which added 2,400 jobs. The “other services” category gained 1,700 jobs. Transportation, warehousing and utilities and leisure and hospitality both added 1,000 jobs. Wholesale trade went up by 800 jobs. Only one major industry shed more than 300 jobs in June. That was construction which fell by 900 jobs.

Krumenauer said leisure and hospitality accounts for the bulk of Oregon’s jobs not recovered since 2020. It employed 169,500 in June and only added 1,500 jobs in the most recent three months. The industry is still 46,800 jobs or 22 percent, below its peak month of February 2020. The category accounts for 45 percent of overall nonfarm payroll jobs yet to recover from Oregon’s pre-re-recession peak.

The update said local government employed 208,900 in June, which was 21,400 jobs below its pre-pandemic employment level of 203,300 in February 2020. With jobs still down by 9 percent, this industry has experienced the second largest percent reduction in that time, behind only leisure and hospitality.

While most major industries still employ fewer workers than in February of 2020, two industries increased their employment levels throughout the past couple of years. Transportation, warehousing and utilities added 4,400 jobs or 6 percent, since prior to the recession. State government gained 1,500 jobs, or 4 percent in that time.

To get more information about unemployment programs, go to https://unemployment.oregon.gov/

 

 

 

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – The state is set to hit a new benchmark on Thursday, allowing people vaccinated on the mainland to fly in without testing or quarantining.

It’s the latest stage of the state’s Safe Travels Program as Hawaii continues to see a flood of tourists from the continent.

Those vaccinated on the mainland will be able to upload a picture of their vaccination card to the state’s safe travels website as an accepted form of documentation for the program.

Under current rules, a negative COVID test within 72 hours of arrival is required for mainland passengers vaccinated on the mainland. The pre-test requirement was dropped for inter-island travel and those vaccinated in Hawaii.

The governor announced that change last month in hopes of having at least 60% of the state’s population vaccinated by early July. So far, 58.3% of people are fully vaccinated while 62.7% have gotten at least one dose.

The next benchmark to drop all restrictions and return to a pre-pandemic lifestyle would be a 70% vaccination rate.

“If we want to go all the way, all the way to 70%, it’s still a quarter of a million shots to go. At the rate that we’ve been going, about 3,000 shots per day, that could still take more than 2 months almost 3 months,” Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green said on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Spotlight Hawaii.

The state’s current emergency proclamation is set to expire on August 6.

Lt. Gov. Green says the governor plans to stop issuing emergency proclamations relating to the pandemic after that time.

Copyright 2021 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

Virtuoso, a global network of luxury travel agencies, no longer considers Trump Hotels a preferred partner.

The Texas-based company, which includes 20,000 luxury travel advisers, said the change was effective March 8; it applies to the six Trump hotels that were considered partners.

“Trump Hotels are no longer part of the Virtuoso network,” spokeswoman Misty Belles said in a statement. “We consider many variables when reviewing both existing and new network participation. Out of respect for all involved parties, and as a general policy, we do not share comments regarding our non-renewal and exit decisions.”

The split, which was first reported by Zenger News, means the hotels are not listed on Virtuoso’s website, and the network’s advisers will no longer be able to access previously negotiated benefits for travelers.

Travelers may turn to advisers to take advantage of preferred hotel rates, perks, VIP treatment and special access, or just to get expert help with planning where to go and what to do on a vacation. Virtuoso promises to connect clients to “carefully curated travel providers.”

In April 2016, Virtuoso touted its affiliation with the soon-to-open Trump International Hotel in D.C. An announcement said only guests who reserved a stay with a Virtuoso travel adviser would get “exclusive benefits” including a room upgrade; daily full breakfast for two; $100 spa credit; welcome amenity; early check-in and late checkout.

“Trump International Hotel, Washington, D.C. will soon take its place among the most esteemed landmarks of our nation’s capital,” the announcement said.

An agency that is part of Virtuoso’s network can still book a client at a Trump-branded hotel through other channels, said Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst at Atmosphere Research Group. But they won’t get the privileges that comes with preferred partners because Virtuoso no longer has a direct relationship with the hotels.

“It’s a big deal because Virtuoso is very well-respected in the industry,” Harteveldt said. “It serves a very elite base of customers and its actions are often studied by others. With Virtuoso doing this, some travel agencies that may have been debating whether or not to do it could decide well, if Virtuoso has done this, we too will end our professional relationship with the Trump hotels.”

It was not clear if any other travel agencies had cut ties with the company; several declined to comment or did not respond to questions. Representatives for Trump Hotels could not be reached for comment.

Since Jan. 6 — when former president Donald Trump encouraged a mob of his supporters that later attacked the U.S. Capitol — a number of Trump’s former business partners and clients have cut ties with his company. These have included lenders, bankers, insurers, lawyers and the PGA of America, which canceled a major golf tournament planned at one of Trump’s courses.

In some cases, these former clients or lenders explicitly cited the

Commercial air travel last year dropped to its lowest level since the government began keeping statistics, according to a new report issued by the Department of Transportation.

The report indicates that airlines operated 40% fewer flights during the entirety of the year than they had in 2019, as the coronavirus pandemic paralyzed several sectors of the economy.

Airlines operated 4.7 million flights in 2020 compared to 7.9 million flights the prior year – a difference of some 3.2 million flights and the lowest number since the department began tracking the metric in 1987.

The agency’s data indicates that the number of flights operated in the U.S. was on the decline in early 2020, falling from more than 673,000 in December 2019 to 583,000 in March 2020. The number of flights operated in April 2020 dropped precipitously, as pandemic lockdowns went into effect: The Transportation Department reported 194,000 flights operated that month, a decline of more than 66%.

The department’s data indicates that airlines canceled 6% of their scheduled domestic flights in 2020 – more than three times the 1.9% of flights canceled in 2019, reflecting the general volatility of travel as consumers remained wary of booking flights months into the pandemic.

New claims for unemployment fell last week, the government reported on Thursday, the latest sign that the labor market’s recovery, however slow and unsteady, is continuing.

A total of 710,000 workers filed first-time claims for state benefits during the week that ended Feb. 20, a decrease of 132,000, the Labor Department said. In addition, 451,000 new claims were filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a federal program covering freelancers, part-timers and others who do not routinely qualify for state benefits, a decline of 61,000.

Neither figure is seasonally adjusted. On a seasonally adjusted basis, new state claims totaled 730,000, a decline of 111,000.

Although initial jobless claims are nowhere near the eye-popping levels seen last spring, they are still extraordinarily high by historical standards. There are roughly 10 million fewer jobs than there were last year at this time.

Analysts also cautioned against reading too much into a single week’s changes. The combined average of new state and federal unemployment insurance claims over the first eight weeks of this year is actually slightly higher than it was over the last eight weeks of 2020.

“The numbers look encouraging on the face of it,” said Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics. But when you take step back and look at the broader picture, he said, “it does reflect an environment in which the labor market remains quite fragile.”

Much of last week’s decline in applications for state benefits can be traced to big drops in two states, California and Ohio, where there had been reports of increased fraud.

Coronavirus caseloads have been dropping amid efforts to get vaccines to people who are most vulnerable. But until employers and consumers feel that the pandemic is under control, economists say, the labor market won’t fully recover.

Allison Schrager, an economist at the Manhattan Institute, said: “Until people feel this is sustained and that there’s not another huge wave coming, I can’t imagine we’re going to see big changes in jobless claims for a while.”