Sandals Resorts International (SRI) has announced the introduction of Sandals Holiday Assurance.

The new initiative offers the guarantee of a free replacement stay should a holiday be impacted by Covid-19 while on resort.

It also provides guests with complimentary on resort Covid-19 testing.

Clients who have holidays booked before December, including those made through third parties, can rest assured that if they should test positive for Covid-19 whilst in resort and are required to quarantine, they will be provided with an accommodation credit voucher for the value of their room cost.

This can be redeemed against a replacement stay within 12-months of the issue date.

Agents can book their clients’ holidays via Unique Caribbean Holidays (the UK tour operator for Sandals and Beaches Resorts) with complete confidence, knowing that their holiday is fully assured with Sandals Resorts.

Certain restrictions, terms and conditions do, however, apply.

According to SRI executive chairman, Adam Stewart, the new Sandals Holiday Assurance programme is designed to take the worry out of travel, giving guests certainty that their investment in an all-inclusive luxury holiday is safeguarded from interruptions outside of their control.

“We want to put the fun and joy of planning and anticipating a great holiday back into travel. While we recognise the real concerns that may weigh on our guests’ minds, we’re taking extraordinary measures to remove worry from the equation, so travellers’ can delight in the entire travel journey – from booking to departure,” said Stewart.

In addition, UK guests travelling to any Sandals or Beaches Resort will benefit from complimentary on-resort Covid-19 PCR or antigen testing, based on the requirements of the local governments in the islands where Sandals and Beaches Resorts operate.

This also includes the required antigen test for British guests to return into the UK, which is carried out at all Sandals and Beaches resorts within 72 hours prior to guests’ departure.

Results are usually received from within 24-hours.

More Information

Sandals Resorts International is the parent company of the leading luxury all-inclusive resort brands Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts.

Sandals is recognised as the World’s Leading All-Inclusive Company by voters at the World Travel Awards.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) – It has been a busy travel weekend for millions of Americans. Whether you are traveling by road or plane, or just celebrating the new college football season, all of us are dealing with the threat of COVID-19.



graphical user interface, website: Labor Day travel concerns


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Labor Day travel concerns

Health officials are warning Labor Day travel could likely lead to another spike in COVID cases.

After the Fourth of July, ADPH reported COVID-19 patient hospitalizations doubled weeks after holiday celebrations.

The Transportation Security Administration reports this year, more than 10 million people were screened on the Fourth of July weekend.

The number of travelers is way down from just two months ago. TSA reports around 2.1 million people were screened by TSA officers on Friday. On Sunday, just over 1.6 million people were screened.

ADPH spokesperson Dr. Karen Landers says everyone unvaccinated needs to be extra cautious.

“We have been hovering just under 3000 hospitalizations and we have had well over 50 children on any given day hospitalized. The most important aspect that we need to remind people is when you are getting together keep in mind that if you are unvaccinated your COVID risk is really the same in terms of contracting COVID,” said Landers.

Dr. Landers said another spike needs to be avoided at all costs because hospitals are at full capacity. Right now more than 600 people are on ventilators in Alabama.

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Some cities will likely see more visitors over Labor Day weekend than others.

A travel report from the vacation planning app TripIt analyzed flight booking data submitted by users to determine which locations are trending around the federal holiday.

The number of flight bookings on the platform went up by 18% for July 2021 – which is a number that’s nearly three times as many the app received the same time last year, according to TripIt.

TripIt’s Labor Day 2021 Domestic Flight Destination Rankings

  1. Las Vegas
  2. Denver
  3. Chicago
  4. New York
  5. Seattle

WHY LABOR DAY WEEKEND TRAVEL IS TRICKIER THIS YEAR

The five U.S. cities that topped TripIt’s bookings this year are Las Vegas, Denver, Chicago, New York and Seattle. 

While it’s not immediately clear if the shifting state of the coronavirus pandemic has played a role in recent flight bookings, New York went up 10 places in TripIt’s ranking this year and Seattle went up one place.

UNVACCINATED AGAINST COVID-19? DELAY TRAVEL THIS LABOR DAY WEEKEND: CDC 

Sunnier cities in California, Florida, Hawaii and Arizona notably went down in rank this year, according to TripIt.

In terms of which airports might be the busiest over Labor Day weekend, TripIt reports that travelers will likely see larger crowds at San Francisco International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Denver International Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

TSA REPORTS LOWEST NUMBER OF TRAVELERS SCREENED IN SINGLE DAY SINCE MAY 

Some cities will likely see more visitors over Labor Day weekend than others, according to a travel report from the vacation planning app TripIt, which analyzed flight booking data submitted by users.

Some cities will likely see more visitors over Labor Day weekend than others, according to a travel report from the vacation planning app TripIt, which analyzed flight booking data submitted by users.
(iStock)

The digital travel resource also predicts that Labor Day travelers will see the highest traffic on the Thursday and Friday before the holiday.

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently urged unvaccinated Americans to avoid non-essential travel as the country tries to get a handle on the COVID-19 delta variant, which has a high transmission rate.

As of Sept. 1, more than 1.4 million Americans were screened through TSA checkpoints, according to the agency’s daily passenger throughput.

Aviation communities have suffered the biggest job losses of nearly any sector during the pandemic, a new study shows.

Unemployment around the main airports of Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton rose at double the rate of the rest of the UK.

While the number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits nationally rose by 79 per cent between March 2020 and July 2021, the constituencies containing the UK’s top 20 airports saw unemployment rise by 105 per cent.  

The analysis was compiled by the Future of Aviation all-party parliamentary group which called for an extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until March 2022 and additional financial support for the winter.

Henry Smith, the group’s chair, said: “Our overly cautious approach to reopening has put the brakes on the aviation sector’s recovery from COVID-19, with passenger numbers remaining at low levels which has left the UK lagging behind our European neighbours. 

“Our aviation, travel and tourism communities have borne the brunt of this with the increase in unemployment well above the national average.

“After a second lost summer and with over half of aviation and tourism employees relying on the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme, we run the very real risk that these figures will increase. 

“With their recovery continuing to be held back by an overly cautious approach and onerous and expensive testing requirements they will be the last industry to recovery from the pandemic and the consequences of failing to protect these jobs will be unthinkable. 

“We will not see a full recovery from the pandemic without an aviation and travel sector that is fighting fit.

“That is why it is essential that the Chancellor continues to provide employment support to the aviation, travel and tourism industries and we end the overly cautious approach to travel that has put the brakes on our recovery.”

The data shows rises of
157 per cent in Hayes and Harlington, the home of London Heathrow Airport
142 per cent in Crawley, the home of London Gatwick Airport
151 per cent in Saffron Walden, the home of London Stansted Airport
148 per cent in Luton South, the home of London Luton International Airport
99 per cent in Edinburgh West, the home of Edinburgh International Airport

 

For some people, summer 2021 held the long-awaited promise of reuniting with loved ones and exploring places new. For others, it has been a more anxious process of slowly returning to normality following one of the weirdest years in living memory.

Here, we talk to the people who braved restrictions, vaccines and quarantines to get away for a summer break.

Ziryan’s road trip seeing friends and family in Italy

In June I spent 12 days in Italy. I travelled alone to see my girlfriend Sofia, who is Italian, after nine months apart.

We met at Bolognia airport – she lives just 30 minutes away in the city of Modena. We spent all day at her place on Saturday, before travelling on Sunday to the seaside town of Cesenatico, located south on the Adriatic Sea.

On the way, we stopped in the city of Cesena to see Sofia’s sister and her partner. We spent some time exploring the city and seeing some of the medieval ruins in towns nearby.

We spent two whole days in Cesenatico, where we sunbathed all day eating seafood and relaxing. On Wednesday, we headed to Sestino where Sofia has more family. I’ve missed them a lot over the past year.

Leaving Sestino on the following Sunday, we spent our remaining days in Modena, where we took a day trip to the city of Ravenna before saying our goodbyes on Wednesday.

Did your Italy road trip feel different to travel pre-2020?

I don’t personally feel like it was very different. That sounds strange to say, but I think I’ve acclimatised to the COVID lifestyle. I can’t really see how my summer has massively changed. The main thing was wearing a mask in the heat.

How do you think Italy handled COVID safety requirements?

I think Italy has handled it much better than the UK, where I live.

People seemed more observant of the rules and took it all a little more seriously. Rules like having to wear masks in busy outside spaces – this was mandatory in the city centres.

In shops, public transport stations and places like museums, temperature checks were often carried out.

The only thing that threw me was how busy the outdoor cafes and bars were in the evening. They were packed, which seems contrary to everything I’ve just said. But overall, the Italians are taking it pretty seriously.

Did you have to isolate or take a test?

When I arrived in Italy I had to provide proof of a negative test which I had the day prior.

Once there, I had to register over the phone with a health board for the region of Emilia-Romagna.

48 hours before returning to Manchester I had to splash out on a €90 COVID test.

Returning to the UK, I had to do three separate COVID tests and a period of isolation. This was the most stressful part – I was called every day by test and trace.

It cost a fortune to get all the

Being fully vaccinated looks likely to increase the chances of travelling abroad this summer. Boris Johnson said this week he was confident double jabs would be a “liberator” and did not rule out that they could enablequarantine-free overseas holidays.

However, most under-30s have received just one jab. Four young people share their feelings about their chances of taking a trip abroad.

‘We’ve made a lot of sacrifices but we haven’t got any of the benefits’

Remy Haggard, 26, London.
Remy Haggard, 26, London

For Remy Haggard, a 26-year-old risk and intelligence analyst in London, the focus on vaccinations for travel is misplaced. Double vaccine requirements discriminate against young people, he says. “People who are the least vulnerable, yet again, have to wait the longest and suffer the most setbacks by way of opportunities.”

Instead he thinks testing should be prioritised and required of all travellers, vaccinated or not. “There’s been a lot of mixed messaging on transmission. Vaccinated people can still be carriers of variants. And the testing should be affordable and regulated, not done by rogue private companies.”

Haggard also thinks the pandemic has entrenched generational divides. “As millennials, typically living in flatshares, on relatively low incomes, we haven’t had some of the privileges of our parents’ generation, people who bought their homes much cheaper 30 years ago and now have homes that they can work from,” he says. “We’ve made a lot of sacrifices but we haven’t got any of the benefits.”

‘It feels incredibly unfair on young people’

Because she has an underlying medical condition, Georgia Bevan, 22, is fully vaccinated, but her boyfriend and friends are not, meaning a foreign holiday is probably off the cards for this summer.

“I completely understand the reasoning behind allowing those who have had both vaccinations to evade quarantine on arrival, but it feels incredibly unfair for those who haven’t had their chance to receive their second vaccine,” she says. “Young people have been neglected throughout, especially students. They’ve missed out on so many experiences and their mental health has taken a massive toll.”

Bevan, from Kent, who graduated mid-pandemic and now works in executive search, worries that many young people won’t be able to have a break this summer even in the UK. “Many young people can’t afford to holiday in the UK now,” she says, as prices have skyrocketed in many seaside destinations. She adds that as foreign travel entails testing or vaccination requirements, she would “feel safer going abroad than with everyone rushing to Cornwall or Devon”.

Bevan thinks it is time for things to open up again. “For months we’ve been told how as soon as vulnerable people – that includes me – have been vaccinated, things will open up. The majority of vulnerable people are double vaccinated – it’s time to start travel again.”

‘I believe I have a social and moral responsibility to protect others’

Ash, 24, West Lothian
Ash, 24, West Lothian

Despite being fully vaccinated, Ash, 24, won’t be travelling abroad this year. She lives with her mother, who

This holiday weekend means lots of travel, but coming out of the pandemic, it’s higher than before. There’s more than 47 million people across the country traveling this weekend, with about 2.5 million of that in the central region.

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“It’s very exciting, especially after 2020 and the hit that the aviation industry took,” Natalie Chaudoin, director of public relations for the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport, said.

Chaudoin said the airport is reaching its record levels of passenger travel that it saw in 2019. She expects the momentum to continue even beyond the Fourth of July holiday.

“Our capacity levels for this month are at 93% so that’s very good,” she said. “It leaves us very hopeful. We love to see the return of people traveling through. It’s good news for everyone, it’s good for our community.”

While full parking lots, garages, and security lines may be good for the airport, it does mean extra time in lines for travelers. Chaudoin encourages travelers throughout the weekend and the rest of the year to prepare to arrive an hour and a half ahead of their flight, to be safe.

“Now is the time as the vaccine has rolled out, people have gotten their shots, they have somewhere they want to go,” Chaudoin said.

Those included Stacy and Liv Johnston, arriving at the Louisville airport Friday afternoon to visit family in LaGrange, Ky., all the way from Oregon.

“We decided since things were getting a little bit better, we decided to make it happen this time,” Liv Johnston said.

The pair were supposed to visit Mother’s Day of 2020, but didn’t due to the pandemic. Now this holiday weekend, they’re finally able to see family they haven’t seen in over four years.

“It is really nice, it really is. It was fun to even see everyone on the plane,” Stacy Johnston said. “No headaches. Everything seemed to go really smooth.”

The two say they were surprised to see how many others had the same idea this weekend, with air travel up 164% this weekend from this time last year, according to AAA.

“We are expecting record numbers for travel this Independence Day weekend,” Lynda Lambert, a spokesperson for AAA, said. “That means we are back to near pre-pandemic levels.”

Lambert said AAA’s research shows people have confidence in the safety of travel once again. With vaccinations also increasing, Lambert said the number one factor for the high travel is likely “pent up demand because no one could travel last year.”

“Everything exponentially is growing as more and more people get vaccinated and restrictions are lifted. So memorial day was great and Fourth of July looks even better,” Lambert said.

AAA has also found of the 47.7 million travelers for the holiday weekend, 91% are on the roads, rather than flying to their destinations.

“Everyone’s just so stir crazy from last year,” Rebecca Thermer said. “Both flights were fully booked.”

Thermer and her son Caius landed at

Heading to the airport this week for the first time since the pandemic began 15 months ago?

Air travel will look different in some key ways due to COVID-19, but in others its very similar to summer 2019 as vaccinations increase and travel restrictions ease across the country.

Travelers taking off for the long July Fourth holiday weekend will notice one thing the second they reach the airport curb: Crowds are back.

The number of people screened by the Transportation Security Administration at airports across the country has topped 2 million on 10 days in June,  the first time that has happened since February 2020, and the numbers are expected to increase as the summer travel surge intensifies in July and August.

Travel volume fell below 100,000 passengers in the early months of the pandemic and didn’t top 1 million again until October

Unfriendly skies:TSA resumes self-defense training amid uptick in unruly passengers

The spike in passengers means long lines are back from check in through the security checkpoint, and social distancing is mostly a distant dream at the gate, during boarding and deplaning and in baggage claim.

6 things rusty travelers need to know about flying July 4th weekend

♦ Check, recheck and triple check your reservation and flight status. Airlines still adjusting to the travel resurgence have been changing their flight schedules, sometimes with little notice, frustrating travelers with itinerary changes including a stop where there was none or vastly different departure times. Last-minute flight cancellations and delays have also been a problem due to a variety of factors, including staffing shortages and summer storms, so have a Plan B should your plans go awry.  Can’t reach your airline via phone? Reach out to them on Twitter for a (typically) faster response.

Please hold: Airline customer service wait times skyrocket

♦ Brush up on TSA rules so officers don’t confiscate that giant bottle of sunscreen (or fireworks) and you don’t slow down the line.

The TSA has been using social media to remind fliers about prohibited items ahead of the holiday, including fireworks and knives. 

Rusty travelers who have questions about whether they can bring a particular item to the airport, whether in a checked bag or carry on, can ask the TSA on Facebook or Twitter.

♦ Uber and Lyft rides might be hard to find, and pricier than you remember. Blame a lingering driver shortage from the pandemic. So order one in advance, where available, if you need a ride to or from the airport or enlist a friend or family member.

♦ Masks are a must in the airport and on the plane. Mask restrictions have eased across the country, including at many retailers, since the CDC updated its guidance for vaccinated Americans in May. But the federal mask mandate for transportation has been extended into September. Airlines allow passengers to briefly remove masks while eating or drinking but get ready for frequent reminders that they stay on

Car travel is expected to be higher than it was in 2019, AAA said.

The July 4th weekend is expected to be the busiest travel period since the start of the pandemic, with more Americans taking to the roads and skies.

AAA forecasts 43 million Americans will hit the roads over the holiday — 5% more than the volume the organization saw in 2019.

“What’s interesting is compared to 2019 travel, volume by car is actually up,” Jeanette McGee, director of AAA’s external communications told ABC News. “It just proves that the road trip is back stronger than ever.”

McGee said major metropolitan areas like Atlanta, Boston and San Francisco will see traffic three to five times higher than a typical day. McGee said drivers should avoid traveling at peak times.

“If you’re headed out for the holiday weekend, you’re going to want to avoid traveling between 3 and 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday,” McGee said. “You’re going to have commuters mixing with people getting out of town. So, the best day to travel is going to be Sunday, and if you’re returning on Monday, definitely do so earlier in the day.”

Before hitting the road, be prepared for high prices at the gas pump — according to AAA, prices will be the highest since the same period in 2014.

“Gas prices are expensive, and they are not letting up,” McGee said. “The national average is $3.09 and we expect it to increase ahead of the holiday weekend.”

Rental car prices are also expected to be high, with the global microchip shortage still affecting vehicle supply.

“Rental cars are definitely expensive this summer, and it’s really important that if you’re planning a trip that you reserve early,” McGee said.

According to Hopper, an online travel booking tool, rental car prices are up 100% relative to where they were at the beginning of the year.

“They were about $50 in January and they’re about $110 each day, currently,” Hopper economist Adit Damodarn told ABC News. “We thought that those prices would start to slow down, but the catalyst for kind of bringing those prices back down would be increasing the supply of rental cars.”

While air travel is not expected to exceed 2019 numbers, experts said airlines will carry the most passengers since the start of the pandemic.

Domestic destinations like Las Vegas, Miami and Orlando are the most popular, according to Hopper. The Caribbean and Mexico are the most popular international destinations, according to Damodarn.

“July 4 is the most searched weekend of summer 2021 thus far,” Damodarn said. “It’s going to be the busiest travel weekend since the start of the pandemic.”

For quite some time now, no matter where you are from, traveling has been banned. Well, not entirely banned, but traveling abroad, something we never considered as impossible, is now precisely that, impossible, but things are changing, and since there is a vaccine now, everything should get back as it once was in every sphere of our life, traveling included.

The problem is that vaccination of the whole population requires time, and it is not something that can be done overnight. Because of that, the only thing we can do is take all the necessary precautions to remain safe while traveling. That is why we will now take a closer look at European travel insurance, what coverage insurance companies offer, and whether holiday insurance is really necessary for a European holiday.

Inquire about the cost of treatment

Before deciding on whether you need insurance during the holiday, keep in mind that not all countries have the same price for the same treatments, and, in some of them, even tick extraction can be too expensive, so having insurance can save you a lot of money. Insurance needs to cover all the treatment costs or refund the money you needed to pay from your own pocket.

Of course, it stands only for emergency interventions and not for planned treatments abroad. Because of that, collecting the information about medical costs in the country you plan to visit can help decide whether to get insurance and, if so, what kind, or go without it. It can be crucial for older people or those with some chronic conditions to choose the full insurance plan, while young and healthy people can go with a basic one.

The price also depends on the package you take and insurance coverage, which is another fact to be aware of. These days, Annual Travel Insurance with multi-trip coverage is becoming more popular. It gives the possibility to change your plans and save money if you travel two times per year or more. Even though many people often overlook the possible risks during the trip, it is always better to be prepared for every situation than to end up sick in a foreign country without both money for the treatment and insurance coverage.

The pandemic changed it all

Even if you decide that you need insurance, keep in mind that it is challenging to find the one that will cover the COVID-19. That is because no matter where someone is planning to travel, the current risk of infection is way too high, and today, no one advises traveling on the contrary, and not covering these expenses connected to COVID-19 is just one way to prevent travel.

It is necessary to read everything carefully and be sure what costs are covered and what not before going anywhere abroad. Because of the worldwide pandemic, the government measures in order to stop the virus from spreading are changing daily, and every country is dealing with this issue in their own way, so it is