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US Issues Level 4 Advisory Warning Citizens to Avoid International Travel

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The United States Department of State announced Thursday a Level 4 travel advisory for all international travel due to the ongoing coronavirus-spread.html” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>coronavirus outbreak.

The Level 4 travel advisory is the most serious restriction and warns American citizens to avoid all travel abroad. For U.S. residents who are currently in other countries, they are being asked to return home or prepare to remain in place for the foreseeable future.

The U.S. was at a Level 3 travel warning before the update from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which encouraged American citizens to reconsider travel to other countries.

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The decision to change the travel advisory comes around a week after U.S. President Donald Trump suspended all travel from Europe for 30 days, sans the United Kingdom. The updated warning now restricts travel to all countries.

As for how airlines are reacting to the coronavirus outbreak, Delta announced Wednesday it would cut passenger capacity by 70 percent across its system—including an 80-percent reduction on international service—until the demand for the routes begins to rebound.

United Airlines revealed Tuesday it would reduce its number of flights scheduled for next month by a total of 60 percent, including a 42-percent drop across the U.S. and Canada and an 85-percent decrease in international flights.

The U.S. Travel Association announced Tuesday it projects an coronavirus-could-inflict-800-billion-hit-on-travel-industry.html” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>$809 billion hit on the U.S. economy and the loss of 4.6 million travel-related jobs in the country.

Last week, President Trump revealed that four major cruise lines suspended outbound trips for 30 days in another effort to slow the rapid growth of the coronavirus. Several other companies have followed suit and canceled sailings for the foreseeable future.

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WTTC Unveils Safe Travels Protocols for Airlines, Tour Operators and More

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The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has unveiled a new round of safety measures aimed at airlines, airports, tour operators and meeting and event organizers in an effort to propel the post-COVID-19 recovery.

WTTC previously released its Safe Travels protocols for the hospitality sector as well as outdoor retail businesses.

Developed following close consultation with WTTC members such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Emirates Group and Etihad, among others, guidance for the aviation industry includes enhanced cleaning procedures, personal protective equipment (PPE) and retraining for staff, signage to limit interaction and queuing at touchpoints and the implementation of more contactless processes.

WTTC is also recommending that airlines limit movement within the cabin as much as possible by boarding passengers from the back of the plane to the front and from the window seats out to the aisle seats.

“COVID-19 is a gamechanger for the travel and tourism sector, requiring us to enhance our approach to health and safety to protect our travelers and workforce,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO at IATA, in a statement. “Aviation is the business of freedom and it is vital to enable its restart on a safe basis. IATA is delighted to lend its framework and collaborate with WTTC on the Aviation Protocols as part of its Safe Travels initiative. This is an excellent example of the industry solidarity and cooperation that will be so vital to ensuring a strong recovery for travel and tourism.”

Meanwhile, tour operators are being asked to enhance disinfection and deep cleaning practices for coaches and other vehicles as well as to roll out pre-allocated seating plans with no rotation and explore staggered timing for access to venues, hotels and restaurants, among other measures.

Convention centers and meetings and event organizers are encouraged to implement physical distancing, reduce venue capacity limits, consider pre-arrival risk assessment questionnaires for participants and create isolation units outside the venue where possible for anyone showing COVID-19 symptoms.

“For the first time ever, the global private sector has rallied around our Safe Travels protocols which will create the consistency needed to allow a re-invigorated Travel & Tourism sector re-open for business,” stated WTTC President & CEO, Gloria Guevara. “Among the most important of these measures are those which will enable the aviation sector to take-off. Aviation’s return is critical to help repower the global economic recovery.”

“WTTC aviation protocols were created in close collaboration with ACI and IATA. We thank them and their leaders Angela Gittens and Alexandre de Juniac for their guidance, as it is vital we restore consumer confidence to get people traveling and flying safely,” she added. “The expertise from large and small tour operators contributed to define the new experience via tour operators and visiting event venues again, and were defined in the coordination of experts from this segment, through these robust global measures which have been embraced by businesses around the world.”

Visit WTTC.org to view a complete breakdown of the latest Safe Travels global protocols.

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source

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