The Dutch government has ramped up its testing-related entry restrictions for passengers from certain countries. With case numbers and death rates alarmingly high, as well as the presence of a new mutation of coronavirus, the UK is among these high-risk territories.
As of today, the Netherlands will require passengers arriving from Ireland and South Africa to have tested negative for COVID immediately before their departure. This is in order to minimize the spread of new strains of coronavirus entering the country from these high-risk areas.
Previously, passengers only had to produce evidence of a negative PCR or RT-LAMP test within 72 hours of their arrival in the Netherlands. Those traveling to the Netherlands from the affected countries are advised to allow extra time at the airport to take the pre-departure test. In case of further details, please read the whole article on simple flying by clicking here.
Delta Air Lines and the United States Department of the Treasury have reached an agreement for additional funding. The Payroll Support Program Extension Agreement (PSP Extension Agreement) gives Delta access to almost $3 billion in funds, which are only allowed to be used for employee wages, salaries, and benefits.
The relief payments come in two different types. There are first $2.0 billion in grants and another $830 million in an unsecured 10-year loan. The first installment of $1.4 billion has already been given to Delta as of January 15th. The remaining balance will be delivered to the airline before the first quarter ends.
The loan Delta has comes with an annual interest rate of 1.00% for the first five years, through January 15th, 2026, and the applicable secured overnight financing rate plus 2.00% in the final five years. Of the $1.4 billion already delivered to Delta, the airline received 70% in the form of a grant and 30% in the form of an unsecured loan. For more details, please visit simple flying by clicking here.
According to USA today, America’s borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed for another month. The Department of Homeland Security announced via tweet Tuesday that the U.S., Canada and Mexico have agreed to keep the borders closed through at least Feb. 21 as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to worsen.
Tuesday’s border closure extension is the final one issued by the Trump administration. In a subsequent tweet, DHS noted that it could be subject to further review by President-elect Joe Biden and his pick to head the agency, Alejandro Mayorkas.
The closures apply to all land and sea borders. Technically, Americans can still fly to either country, though Canada has made that option more difficult, as well.
According to the official website for the Government of Canada, people entering from the U.S. must prove they are traveling for an essential purpose, along with not presenting COVID-19 symptoms and planning to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. And as of Jan. 7, the country is now requiring a negative COVID-19 test for anyone arriving by air.
Mexico is now bracing for new COVID-19 spikes – and possibly, new lockdowns – as a result of higher-than-anticipated holiday travel. For more details, please click here and read the full text on USA Today.
Airbnb and subsidiary HotelTonight are canceling all booked reservations in the Washington, D.C., metro area during President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, the company announced in a statement shared by Airbnb spokesman Ben Breit.
All reservations during inauguration week will be canceled. Biden’s inauguration is next Wednesday. The decision comes as the company has been made aware of emerging reports that armed militias and hate groups are attempting to travel to disrupt the inauguration, it said in the statement.
Vrbo, another major home-rental platform, left decisions about canceling bookings up to its hosts. An announcement posted to its website noted Vrbo “does not tolerate acts of harassment, violence, or discrimination. We expect all members of our community to demonstrate respect and tolerance in all interactions with one another, both online and offline.” Fore more details, please click here and access USA TODAY.
Travel Industry Applauds Biden’s Proposed $1.9 Trillion Stimulus
According to Travelpulse.com, the U.S. Travel Association is praising President-elect Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan.
The stimulus package proposed on Thursday calls for investing $20 billion in a national vaccination program and allocating $15 billion to develop a new grant program for small business owners separate from the existing Paycheck Protection Program.
The proposal also calls for a $35 billion investment in some state, local, tribal and non-profit financing programs that offer low-interest loans and provide venture capital to entrepreneurs. For more details, please click here and access travelpulse.com.
According to Simple Flying, Emirates is suspending the majority of its Australia service for “operational reasons” and will see its final services operating to Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane in the coming days. This sudden stop in service follows the country’s prime minister reducing permitted arrivals by 50% until February 15th due to the discovery of the new UK strain in Brisbane.
According to Executive Traveller, 19 flights per week will disappear as a result of the move. Prior to the stoppage, the airline was running daily flights between Dubai and Sydney and Melbourne, as well as a five-times-weekly service to Brisbane.
Although Emirates will be stopping most of its service from Dubai to Australia, there will still be one flight left operating. This will be Emirates’ EK420/421, a twice-weekly service to Perth.