For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

Business travel is in many ways the lifeblood of the travel industry. Even if you only travel for leisure, the highly profitable business traveler affects every seat in the plane and every room in the hotel. But that traveler is dialing back, perhaps permanently. Now what?

Scott Hornick, partner, Oliver Wyman

Oliver Wyman

“Something in the range of a 10% to 25% reduction in business travel long term,” according to Scot Hornick, a partner at consultancy Oliver Wyman’s, which conducts a Traveler Sentiment Survey of 2,500 business travelers. The trends identified help the firm inform its clients in the travel sector and supporting industries.

But business travel is far from monolithic, and Hornick points out stronger travel resumption plans among infrequent business travelers who have little travel to cut back on as well as “muddy boots” travelers, who ply skilled trades at work sites and don’t have the option to “zoom it in.” 

Even for those who can work remotely, the pandemic gave pause to some business travel habits that now seem extravagant at best and absurd at worst. “No longer would you see the investment banker flying across the Atlantic for a breakfast meeting at Heathrow and then flying right back,” says Hornick. 

All of which could leave some very pricey seats and rooms yawning for occupants. “We’re going to see travel companies take higher-end travel products and try to capture more leisure travelers with them,” says Hornick. “You may not have the same number of business class passengers as before, so how can you induce leisure class travelers to buy up to that product?”

united-polaris-seats-1

Tired of walking past Business Class seats to get to you crummy coach seat for a vacation flight? Airlines may soon have some offers you can’t refuse.


Kent German/CNET

Still, Hornick points out that the business travel trend line is much better than it was in 2020. Among respondents who said they will travel more in the future, 20% cited an effectiveness of teleconferencing, 18% said they simply can’t do their job remotely, and another 18% cited a job change into a role that requires more travel.

Oliver Wymans’ Scot Hornick shared many nuanced insights into the trajectory of business travel with CNET’s Brian Cooley. Hear them all in the video. 

GEORGE TOWN: Only those who have been fully vaccinated, including those from states under Phase One of the National Recovery Plan (NRP), will be allowed to visit Langkawi, says Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

However, the Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister said those who come from enhanced movement control order (MCO) areas would not be entitled to the pioneer travel bubble project relaxation, which starts on Sept 16.

“Local tourists have options to visit Langkawi – either via flight or land routes.

“Those who are travelling by road to visit Langkawi must use the services of a tourist agency, or at least use transportation services from the start of their journey to the Langkawi ferry jetty.

“However, those who travel by air or come from Kedah and Perlis are not required to use the services of travel agencies,” she said during a virtual press conference on Thursday (Sept 9).

Nancy said visitors should also show proof of purchase of tourism products such as ferry tickets or hotel receipts when applying for police permission to travel.

She said the types of vacations allowed in the travel bubble project are a day visit, overnight stay, vacation with accommodation booking made in advance and travel packages through a travel company licensed and registered with the ministry.

She said the number of passengers per vehicle allowed while travelling to Langkawi was subject to the vehicle capacity.

She said among the tourism activities allowed are staying at hotels and homestays, including the usage of facilities such as surau, swimming pools, gymnasium, lounge, hall and business events.

She said beach activities, water sports, snorkelling, scuba diving, fishing tours, edutainment centres, recreation parks, extreme/adventure/nature parks, farms, aquariums, zoos and other leisure, recreational and social activities would also be allowed.

“They will also be allowed to play golf, cycle, angling, yachting and others while vacationing on the island,” she said, adding that geo-travel activities such as bird watching, caving, hiking and jungle trekking were also allowed.

She said there was no age limit to visit Langkawi but those below 18 must travel with their parents who are fully vaccinated.

She added that insurance coverage and Covid-19 screening is not compulsory.

Madrid (CNN) — The grip of the Delta variant of Covid-19 on the United States and the world continues to have travel ramifications as the summer travel season winds down.

Spain is the latest nation to tighten access to its borders.

In a change from policy earlier this summer , Spain is allowing tourists from the United States only if they are fully vaccinated, the health ministry told CNN on Tuesday.

The new rule took effect this week.

It states that visitors from the United States on so-called “nonessential travel,” such as tourism, must show “a vaccination certificate that the (Spanish) Ministry of Health recognizes as valid.”

The change affects US citizens and other third-country nationals traveling from the United States to Spain for tourism, the health ministry told CNN.

Following EU recommendations

The change came after the European Union last week removed the United States from a list of about 20 non-EU countries that are exempt from the “nonessential travel” rule.

The recommendation is nonbinding. But Spain, an EU member, adopted the change, stating it was for “public health reasons due to Covid-19.”

The US Embassy in Madrid tweeted about the new rule, saying that “US travelers to Spain for nonessential purposes (including tourism) will be required to show proof of vaccination.”

Spain has other exemptions for US citizens, such as working diplomats or others who reside in Spain. They can still enter the country just by showing a negative result from a PCR or antigen test or a certificate of recovery from Covid-19, the health ministry said.

But tourists now must come fully vaccinated.

Other recent actions in Europe

A picture taken on September 14, 2020 shows the Ponte Vecchio bridge (Old Bridge) a medieval stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge over the Arno River, in Florence. (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP) (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images)

US tourists wanting to see the Ponte Vecchio, the famed medieval arch bridge in Florence, now have to follow Italy’s stricter travel measures to enter.

Getty Images

On September 4, the Netherlands started requiring that US visitors be fully vaccinated, and it still imposes a quarantine.

Italy, one of the first European countries to open its borders earlier this year, has also introduced new measures affecting arrivals from all destinations, including the United States. On August 31, it began requiring all visitors to have a negative results from a PCR or antigen Covid test taken within 72 hours of travel, regardless of whether they are vaccinated.

And Sweden has decided not to allow US tourists to visit at all, even if they are fully vaccinated.

CDC warnings

Meanwhile, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning travelers away from Spain and some of its European neighbors during this Delta variant spike.

The CDC posts an evolving list of travel notices on Covid-19 risk that ranges from Level 1 (“low”) to Level 4 (“very high”).

Destinations that fall into the “Covid-19 Very High” Level 4 category have had more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days, according to CDC criteria. The CDC advises to “avoid travel to these destinations. If you must travel to these destinations, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel.”

Canada will reopen to fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents next month.

“On August 9, 2021, at 12:01 a.m. EDT, fully vaccinated citizens and permanent residents of the United States (U.S.), currently residing in the U.S., will be permitted to enter Canada for discretionary (non-essential) travel,” Canada said in a statement.

A COVID-19 vaccination must be complete 14 days prior to entry. 

Children under the age of 12 or who are not yet eligible for vaccination in the U.S. or unvaccinated dependent children will be allowed to enter the country with a fully vaccinated parent, step-parent, tutor or guardian who is eligible to enter Canada.

Entry to the country will be denied to U.S. travelers who are not fully vaccinated and all other foreign nationals.

On Sept. 7, Canada intends to allow fully vaccinated travelers from any country to enter “provided that Canada’s COVID-19 epidemiology remains favourable.”

Canada leads G-20 countries in vaccination rates, with approximately 80% of eligible Canadians vaccinated with their first dose and over 50% of those eligible fully vaccinated.

Travelers who wish to enter must have a vaccine that is accepted by the government of Canada, which includes the Pfizer-BioNtech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccines, and they must be able to show proof of vaccine in English or French or with a certified translation in addition to the original copy.

There are additional requirements to enter Canada, including that travelers must:

  • Provide COVID-19 related information such as proof of vaccine through ArriveCAN’s app or web portal before departing for Canada.
  • Meet pre-entry testing requirements.
  • Be asymptomatic when arriving.
  • Submit a quarantine plan.
  • Be ready to quarantine if necessary.

On Aug. 9, the government will also implement other COVID-19 travel-related changes. For domestic and international flights, airlines will no longer be required to take the temperature of boarding passengers, and the required three-night, government subsidized hotel stays for travelers arriving by air will be eliminated, too. A quarantine requirement for children under 12 will also be removed.

The country also announced plans to open its waters to cruise ships starting Nov. 1. 

When will U.S.-Canada border open to Canadians?

Land border restrictions on nonessential travel between Canada and the U.S. have been in place since March 2020, and in June were extended through July 21.

It is unclear when the U.S. will lift restrictions.

“To reduce the spread of COVID-19, the United States extended restrictions on non-essential travel at our land and ferry crossings with Canada and Mexico through July 21, while ensuring access for essential trade & travel,” the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement provided Monday by DHS spokesperson Angelo Fernández.

“DHS also notes positive developments in recent weeks and is participating with other U.S. agencies in the White House’s expert working groups with Canada and Mexico to identify the conditions under which restrictions may be eased safely and sustainably,” the DHS statement continued.

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, who said he spoke with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary

In a normal, pre-COVID-19 summer, scores of pleasure boats are anchored in Lake Champlain off the Burlington waterfront by July 4, with most of them from Canada. But the anchorage is nearly empty this year because of the ongoing border closure.

People who rely on those boaters directly and indirectly hope Canadians are back soon enough to avoid losing a second summer to the pandemic.

“We can’t wait to welcome our visitors from Canada so that they can really embrace our new location in Burlington because I know that they are going to like it as much as we do,” said Elizabeth White, the director of development for Dream Yacht Charter. The company, which rents live-aboard sailing vessels to tourists across the world, moved its Lake Champlain operations to Burlington from upstate New York in 2020.

But it’s unclear when the border — an easy sail about 40 miles (64 kilometers) north to where Quebec’s Richelieu River drains the lake north into Canada — will fully reopen.

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In the early days of the pandemic, the U.S. and Canadian governments closed the more than 5,500-mile (8,800-kilometer) border to nonessential traffic. Now with increasing vaccination rates and dropping infection rates, many are annoyed the two governments haven’t laid out detailed plans to fully reopen the border.

Canada is easing its restrictions. Starting Monday, fully vaccinated Canadians or permanent legal residents may return to Canada without quarantining. But among the requirements are a negative test for the virus before returning, and another once they get back.

The Canadian and U.S. governments aren’t expected to reevaluate the border closure until July 21.

Commercial traffic has gone back and forth normally between the two countries since the start of the pandemic. Canadians are able to fly into the United States with a negative COVID-19 test and Americans can visit Canada to see relatives or close friends as outlined by a strict set of guidelines. But to do that, people entering Canada must quarantine for two weeks on arrival and the quarantine is enforced by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The U.S. Travel Association estimates that each month the border is closed costs $1.5 billion. Canadian officials say Canada had about 22 million foreign visitors in 2019 — about 15 million of them from the United States.

But there is a human angle to the closing that’s missed in the economic figures.

Since shortly after the border closed in March 2020, people from both countries traveled to Derby Line, Vermont, and Stanstead, Quebec, to hold impromptu family reunions from their own side of the border on a residential street. While they can talk across the border, they can’t touch and they can’t pass things back and forth.

In the state of Washington, a grocery store in Point Roberts was in danger of closing

Originally set to debut in 2020 but put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Legoland New York will finally fully open to guests on July 9. 

The theme park had been open to visitors in a limited capacity and at a discounted price since late May as finishing touches were put on some of the park’s rides and attractions.

Legoland New York Resort is composed not only of a theme park, but also the Legoland New York Hotel, set to open for reservations beginning August 6. 

Legoland New York is located in Goshen, in New York’s Hudson Valley, about 60 miles northwest of New York City. Currently occupying 150 acres, but with potential to expand to 500 acres, Legoland New York is the biggest of their worldwide parks.

Legoland New York Theme Park Filled With Attractions For Families

With seven themed lands, from Lego Castle and Lego Ninjago World to Bricktopia and Miniland, the New York theme park offers rides, attractions, dining, and shopping for young and old alike, though it’s geared toward families with children ages 2 to 12.

The park’s website has an interactive page where guests can enter the height of the guest to learn which rides are open to the smallest visitors. Age minimums are also spelled out. 

For example, a gentle train ride on the Duplo Express is open to all-sized visitors, but guests under 34 inches tall must be accompanied by an adult. The Dragon roller coaster is available to guests who are at least four years old and 42 inches tall.

Legoland fans might recognize some rides and attractions that are similar to or also found at Legoland California and Legoland Florida, such as Driving School, where children can earn their own special driver’s license, and Fire Academy, where guests race to put out a “burning building” with giant water guns. 

Miniland is a Lego replica of several different locations across the United States, so guests will recognize famous landmarks and buildings from New York City, Las Vegas, and even the local town of Goshen. It is composed of more than 22 million Lego bricks. 

Exclusive to the New York property is the Lego Factory Adventure Ride, where visitors are “shrunk” to minifigure size and move through a pretend Lego factory on a trackless vehicle. 

Also available are the much-loved Legoland treat Granny’s Apple Fries — apple strips dusted with cinnamon sugar and served with a vanilla cream dipping sauce.

As of July 9, one-day admission tickets to the park are $79.99 for adults and $69.99 for children ages 3 to 12. Operating hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through Labor Day, with Tuesday and Wednesday closures and more limited hours beginning later in September through November.

New York’s Legoland Hotel Has Themed Rooms

The on-site, 250-room Legoland New York Hotel is just steps away from the theme park. Choose from themed rooms: Kingdom, Pirates, Lego Ninjago, or Lego Friends. Each room has a separate

Make-A-Wish America President and CEO Richard Davis announced that the foundation will resume granting wishes involving large gatherings and air travel within the United States and federal territories for fully vaccinated children and their families beginning September 15.

Make-A-Wish previously suspended air travel and large gathering-involved wishes following the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We’ve approached this responsibility with a focus and diligence for your family’s health and safety,” Davis said in a video shared on Twitter Thursday, noting the decision was made in consultation with doctors and medical professionals throughout the National Medical Advisory Council and after monitoring public health organizations like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

BOOSTER MAY BE NEEDED FOR J&J SHOT AS DELTA VARIANT SPREADS

According to Davis, critically ill children and their families will need to be two weeks past completion of either a one-dose or a two-dose vaccine. While Make-a-Wish will not require proof of vaccination, parents will be required to sign a form confirming that they and their children are compliant with the policy. 

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Despite the announcement, none of the available COVID-19 vaccines are currently approved for children under the age of 12. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is currently approved for use in individuals 12 years and older, while the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines are approved for individuals 18 years and older. 

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Following criticism on social media that the foundation’s decision excludes unvaccinated children, Make-A-Wish clarified in a statement to FOX Business that it will “not require anyone to get vaccinated to receive a wish.” 

“We understand that there are many families whose children aren’t eligible for the vaccine yet, and we also know that there are families who aren’t choosing to get the vaccine. We respect everyone’s freedom of choice,” a Make-A-Wish spokesperson said. “We will continue to grant wishes for all eligible children, including children who have not been vaccinated.”

The spokesperson noted that it will work with unvaccinated families who do not meet the current criteria for air travel and large gatherings by either delaying the wish or choosing an alternative wish that involves car travel or a local event.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS

According to Make-A-Wish, over 6,500 wishes have been granted to wish children and families, both unvaccinated and vaccinated, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Any child fighting a critical illness is eligible for Make-A-Wish,” the spokesperson continued. “While it does not reflect the majority of children we serve, we do occasionally serve children whose medical provider has determined that the child will not survive their illness. In time-sensitive situations involving an end-of-life diagnosis, a process is available to allow air travel

As vaccination levels continue to rise in the U.S. and around the world, countries that had been off limits to foreigners for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic are beginning to reopen – and some are specifically opening to vaccinated travelers.

On Wednesday, the European Union announced it had agreed on measures to welcome fully vaccinated travelers and those from countries where COVID is under control. However, it did not say when its 27 member countries would be rolling out the welcome mat.

► Europe reopening to American vacationers:  What we know

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last month that fully vaccinated Americans could resume travel at low risk to themselves, though the agency still recommended against travel due to rising COVID case counts

However, in mid-April, the State Department also announced it would raise the alert level for a significant number of countries to factor the CDC’s COVID data more heavily into its rating system.

The agency said approximately 80% of countries now carry the “do not travel” label (level 4), its most severe warning.

The State Department said the pandemic continues to pose “unprecedented risks” to travelers. “In light of those risks, the Department of State strongly recommends U.S. citizens reconsider all travel abroad.”

►’Do not travel’ list:  The US State Department is raising the alert level for most countries due to COVID

You’ll still need a negative COVID test to fly back to the US

If Americans do decide to travel abroad, no matter which country they decide to visit, they’ll still need to be tested for COVID within three days of an international flight back to the U.S. – even vaccinated travelers. You can find available testing sites in your destination country and turnaround times on the website for the U.S. embassy there.

Some resorts are also offering COVID testing on site to help satisfy the U.S. requirement. 

► Beware:  These Americans were stranded in Mexico after testing positive for COVID

About the list of countries allowing vaccinated travelers

Rules are evolving, so we’ve chosen to focus on countries that did not admit Americans before COVID-19 vaccines began to roll out and now are open or opening to vaccinated Americans. Keep in mind that countries’ rules and plans are evolving quickly, so before planning, check with your destination to find out the latest requirements. 

The information below pertaining to vaccination and testing requirements comes from official sources such as government agencies (such as embassies and immigration ministries and the U.S. State Department) or official tourism websites. 

If you would like to find out how much of the local population is at least partially vaccinated in a country you plan to visit, you can find the latest data on USA TODAY. Johns Hopkins University, which has tracked COVID infection and death statistics since the earliest days of the pandemic, drills down even further, with percentages for both the partially and fully vaccinated.

Europe

When will Americans

BERLIN — The German government has agreed to let travelers who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or recovered from infection avoid testing and quarantine when entering the country, unless they come from areas where variants of concern are prevalent.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved a change to existing rules that will also allow non-vaccinated people to end their quarantine early if they test negative.

The measures are designed to make summer travel easier, particularly for families when parents are vaccinated and children aren’t.

German media have reported that doctors in the country are coming under growing pressure from people hoping to go on summer vacation to give them vaccines even though they aren’t entitled to them yet.

Europe travel:EU races to iron out COVID-19 vaccine certificate details in time for summer travel

Health Minister Jens Spahn said the country expects to roll out its digital immunity certificate by the end of June, making it easier to prove a person has been fully vaccinated.

The certificate can be stored in an app that can be used instead of the yellow World Health Organization vaccine booklet. The goal is for it to be compatible with a vaccine certification system being developed by the European Union.

“If we mange to do this for the EU in the coming weeks, then we’ll likely set a global benchmark,” said Spahn, adding that other countries have yet to even agree a system at the national level.

Asked whether Germany would recognize travelers’ certificates for vaccines not authorized for use in the 27-nation EU, Spahn said this would depend on whether the shot reduces the risk of infecting others.

Vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency, such as that made by Germany’s BioNTech and U.S. partner Pfizer, have been shown to both protect from serious illness and significantly decrease transmission of the virus.

“The vaccines approved outside of Europe need to prove that they can reduce the infection risk to a similar extent,” said Spahn. “If that’s the case then I have no problem with equating them (with EMA-approved shots), but I want to have proof.”

Like other EU countries, Germany has significantly accelerated its rate of vaccination after a sluggish start at the end of last year. Over the past week, 5 million doses were administered in the country, a number the government aims to double as the vaccine supply grows.

Official figures show that a third of Germany’s 83 million inhabitants had received at least one dose by Monday, while almost 10% had received both doses.

Several German states are planning to relax pandemic restrictions in regions where the number of confirmed infections is below the threshold of 100 weekly cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Bavaria’s governor said open-air cultural events with up to 250 people and pre-booked swimming in outside pools will be allowed again in those regions from May 21.

The head of Germany’s disease control agency warned against complacency, noting that the country still has about 1,000 COVID-related deaths

Travelers pass through security screening at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Nov. 29, 2020, in SeaTac, Washington. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

As more people get vaccinated against COVID-19 and cases in many areas start to flatten or trend downward, there’s expected to be a boost in summer travel.

Pilot of ‘no touch’ technology, virtual queue for TSA lines comes to Sea-Tac

The U.S. Travel Association reports that more than seven in 10 American travelers (72%) are planning a summer vacation or getaway in 2021, which is up from 37% in 2020.

According to TSA checkpoint travel numbers, there have been more than one million travelers each day in the past two months. The numbers are much higher than 2020 traveler throughput, but not yet reaching levels seen in 2019 before the pandemic hit. On May 9, as an example, there were 1,707,805 travelers in 2021, compared to just 200,815 in 2020, and 2,419,114 on the same day in 2019.

With more Americans now vaccinated against COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its domestic travel guidance. In March, the CDC had recommended against spring break travel, but now recommends delaying domestic travel until you are fully vaccinated. For international travel, the CDC says not to go unless you are fully vaccinated.

“The COVID-19 situation, including the spread of new or concerning variants, differs from country to country, and even fully vaccinated travelers need to pay close attention to the situation at their destination before traveling,” the CDC states.

The CDC also offers recommendations for unvaccinated people if you must travel. All travelers, vaccinated or not, should self-monitor their symptoms, wear a mask, and take other precautions to limit the spread of the virus. Some destinations, including Hawaii, do have their own requirements for arriving travelers so be sure to check the rules before you go.

TSA lines stretch into parking garage at Sea-Tac Airport

At Sea-Tac Airport, there’s been a few times when TSA lines have extended into the skybridges and parking garage, in part due to lower TSA checkpoint staffing. The Port of Seattle recommends travelers get to the airport early in order to avoid these long lines.