To help get passengers cleared to travel to their chosen destinations, various airlines (American, United, Delta, etc...) have started to offer pre-departure testing at select locations around the United States as well as offering access to at-home testing options. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is now doing its bit to help people travel safely by offering its own COVID-19 testing at three separate terminals.
England has been imposing 14-day quarantines on travelers arriving from most parts of the world since the middle of the summer but, from 16 December, that quarantine is period set to be reduced to just five days for travelers who test negative for Covid-19 on day five. Now the government is going a step further by offering a full exemption from quarantine for select business travelers and select professions.
Recently, I took a trip back home to Los Angeles, and in the spirit of being a good traveler, I decided to take a Covid test before I flew out just to check that I wasn't asymptomatic and at risk of infecting all around me. With the Sofitel Heathrow T5 being very convenient and now offering Covid tests bundled with a room rate ("test and rest"), that's where I chose to take the test.
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American Airlines has recently started offering Covid-19 tests (that customers have to pay for) on a number of its routes from the United States to the Caribbean and Central America. Now the airline is joining forces with British Airways to trial an enhanced free Covid-19 testing program for passengers traveling on select flights between the United States and Europe.
In news that's only just breaking, biotech developers Pfizer and BioNTech say that they have developed a coronavirus vaccine that was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing Covid-19 in research participants.
Today and tomorrow (and possibly for a few days after tomorrow), a large part of the world will be concentrating on events going on back home in the US. I, however, can't help but focus on the fact that from 00:00:01 this Thursday morning, England will be entering into its second lockdown of the year. As I happen to be sheltering in England right now, that's a prospect that I'm not looking forward to.
Arora Group is a corporation that owns a number of airport properties in the UK which are all operated under the banners and branding of well-known hotel chains like Marriott, IHG, and Accor. In the coming days and weeks, the London Heathrow hotels owned by Arora will begin offering room rates which, amongst other things, will include a test for Covid-19.
The UK currently imposes a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine on anyone arriving into the country from somewhere that isn't on its list of low-risk locations and, for the past few months, various travel industry leaders have been lobbying the government to offer alternatives to quarantine. The principal suggestion for an alternative has revolved around the government testing arriving passengers for Covid-19 and then allowing those who test negative to bypass self-isolation but, as of earlier today, that course of action has been firmly ruled out.
Hawaii Governor David Ige yesterday announced a measure that sure to be music to the ears of the Hawaii hospitality industry as well as to thousands of people who have been waiting for a sign that they can, once again, visit the Aloha State. From 15 October, visitors to the islands will be allowed to skip quarantine if they can produce a negative Covid test.