Just 18 states and territories NOT on N.J.’s updated COVID-19 travel advisory. Quarantine list hits new high.

New Jersey’s coronavirus travel advisory list expanded Tuesday to its highest number of COVID-19 hotspots since Garden State health officials started asking travelers arriving from those states and territories to quarantine for 14 days.

There’s now 38 states and territories on the quarantine list, with Michigan, Ohio and Virginia re-added on Tuesday. The list is updated weekly in a multi-state agreement with New York and Connecticut, and includes locations that reported a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or 10% or a higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

New Jersey, itself, has recently come close to meeting those qualifications with a seven-day rolling average of 826 cases as of Tuesday. The state would need to average 888 new cases a day over a week to hit the 10 per 100,000 resident positive test rate.

Just seven states outside of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut have not been included on the travel advisory since it started in June, and some states have been added and dropped from the list multiple times.

The quarantine is voluntary and there are exceptions for business travel and people just passing through, but “compliance is expected,” according to New Jersey officials.

Here are the 18 states and territories not on the quarantine list:

American Samoa

Arizona (removed on 9/29/20)

California (removed on 9/15/20)

Connecticut

Hawaii (removed on 9/15/20)

Maine

Maryland (removed on 9/15/20)

Massachusetts

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New York

Northern Mariana Islands

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Vermont

Virgin Islands (removed on 9/8/20)

Washington (removed on 8/11/20)

Washington D.C. (removed on 8/4/20)

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: Live map tracker 5/8 Newsletter 5/8 Homepage

Here are the 38 states and territories on the quarantine list as of Tuesday:

Alabama (added 6/24/20)

Alaska (re-added 9/1/20)

Arkansas (added 6/24/20)

Colorado (added 9/29/20)

Delaware (re-added 9/8/20)

Florida (added 6/24/20)

Georgia (added 6/30/20)

Guam (added 8/25/20)

Idaho (added 6/30/20)

Illinois (added 7/28/20)

Indiana (added 7/21/20)

Iowa (added 6/30/20)

Kansas (added 7/7/20)

Kentucky (added 7/28/20)

Louisiana (added 6/30/20)

Michigan (added 10/13/20)

Minnesota (re-added 9/22/20)

Mississippi (added 6/30/20)

Missouri (added 7/21/20)

Montana (re-added 9/1/20)

Nebraska (added 7/21/20)

Nevada (re-added 9/22/20)

New Mexico (re-added 10/6/20)

North Carolina (added 6/24/20)

North Dakota (added 7/21/20)

Ohio (re-added 10/13/20)

Oklahoma (added 7/7/20)

Puerto Rico (re-added 9/15/20)

Rhode Island (re-added 9/22/20)

South Carolina (added 6/24/20)

South Dakota (added 8/11/20)

Tennessee (added 6/30/20)

Texas (added 6/24/20)

Utah (added 6/24/20)

Virginia (re-added 10/13/20)

West Virginia (added 9/8/20)

Wisconsin (added 7/14/20)

Wyoming (added 9/22/20)

Arizona and Virginia were removed Sept. 29. California, Hawaii and Maryland were removed Sept. 15. The Virgin Islands were removed Sept. 8. Washington was removed Aug. 11. The District of Columbia was removed Aug. 4.

People flying into New Jersey are asked to fill out an electronic survey with information about their hometown, where they traveled from and their destination. The information is then sent to county health departments, who will call the traveler to request them to self-quarantine and explain where they can be tested for COVID-19.

Travelers can access the survey by

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He’s worked in the Northeast’s top kitchens, but nothing could have prepared Justin Urso for opening a hotel restaurant during COVID-19

Justin Urso, 32, has a stellar resume: Catalyst, Deuxave, and L’Espalier in Boston; Del Posto and Maze in New York City, where he worked under Gordon Ramsay. But nothing could have prepared him to open The Dial inside Central Square’s new 907 Main Hotel in September, when few people are visiting town and locals are reluctant to dine out. The restaurant has a global menu, though, and Urso is banking on people traveling to try his food.



a person posing for the camera: Chef Justin Urso opened The Dial restaurant at 907 Main in Cambridge's Central Square in September 2020.


© Handout
Chef Justin Urso opened The Dial restaurant at 907 Main in Cambridge’s Central Square in September 2020.

You’re the chef at a hotel restaurant that opened during a pandemic. How’s that been going?

Well, I mean, it’s been quite an ordeal. Just before COVID-19 hit, we were probably about three weeks to a month away from opening. And then COVID happened, and obviously our site got shut down. And then, once construction was allowed to resume, we went from being able to have five to 10 people working in a space together to only having one person in a room at a time, so then that delayed our construction.

So we’re open now, and we couldn’t be happier. I know times are tough, but as our owner has said, “Sometimes the best thing to do to get through a storm is to drive right through it.” So that’s what we’re doing; we’re full steam ahead and making the best of a bad situation. Opening has certainly been challenging with COVID, with all of the added safety measures — not that they’re a challenge, but it’s something new to get used to and train everyone on. . . . On top of all of the added stresses of opening a restaurant, it’s adding one more on top, but I think our team has done a fantastic job.

What sort of safety protocols did you have to learn? I think people would be really curious to know.

Aside from obviously wearing gloves and masks at all times, we stop service every hour to wipe down and sanitize all surfaces, which you can imagine during a restaurant service has its challenges, but safety is the number-one priority. So we literally stop every hour on the hour and sanitize every surface in the kitchen, and any high-touch points like the slicer, fry handles, underneath any refrigerator doors. All of our employees have to do wellness checks when they walk in the door. They get a temperature taken and fill out a questionnaire every single day.

Also, we recently installed some air-filtration systems. They’re from a company called Aura Air, and they’ve got four different types of filters: a HEPA filter, a copper filter, a UV filter, and an ion sterilization process. So our space is about as safe as you can make it during COVID, but it’s certainly all been things that we’ve had to learn.

What’s your your take on indoor dining? That’s a source of debate and concern for people. How you think

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Covid-19 Travel Bubbles Were Set to Restore Flying but Haven’t Taken Off

A few months ago, travel bubbles were the big idea for reopening skies across the Asia-Pacific region. Countries would strike deals with each other to allow air travel with certain restrictions, many officials said, and those would expand to regional pacts.

It’s proving hard to do, even for countries that have largely managed to keep a lid on the coronavirus.

Take Singapore, a city-state whose economy is so dependent on its airport, officials liken it to the lungs. Passenger volumes are languishing at 1.5% of pre-coronavirus levels, threatening its status as an aviation hub and the investment that comes with it.

The region’s other airports are similarly quiet, according to the latest data from August. Hong Kong International Airport saw 1.4% of passenger traffic compared with August 2019. At Japan’s Narita airport, international travelers in August were just 3.3% of the same month last year. At South Korea’s Incheon International Airport, passenger volumes were 3.6%.

Across the region—which is home to many of the world’s top coronavirus-conquering countries—strict travel caution is seen as key to keeping the virus in check. Governments from China and Vietnam to Thailand and New Zealand, where the pandemic is under control, are loath to risk introducing new sources of infection from abroad, calculating that a Covid-19 resurgence would be worse than the economic harm caused by keeping borders shut.

As a result, countries have largely avoided opening up even to other low-risk countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Restarting relatively free travel to Europe and the U.S., where cases are high, remains a nonstarter for most.

Negotiations for travel bubbles have turned out to be slow and complex. It isn’t just about comparing infection rates, officials have found, but also working out tricky details, such as swapping 14-day quarantines with tests, agreeing to mutually acceptable testing standards and designating laboratories to issue fit-to-fly certificates.

In Hong Kong, officials have talked about 11 potential travel bubbles, but none have materialized. The city’s persistent cases of local transmission, in mostly single digits daily, have put a wrinkle in discussions with mainland China. Tourism-dependent Thailand hasn’t committed to bubbles amid worries that even a careful infusion of travelers could reverse its success in controlling the spread. Australia’s opening to New Zealand isn’t a bubble but a narrow one-way street.

Where fast-track options have emerged for business travel, the trips often involve multiple tests, some quarantine and lots of advance paperwork. Those wanting to fly for work from Japan to Singapore must be sponsored by a company in the city-state, get tested before departure and after arrival and declare an itinerary beforehand—and stick to it.

Short-term business travelers from South Korea to Japan can skip the two-week quarantine, but the list of conditions is long, including as many as four tests for a round-trip—within 72 hours before departure and at the airport upon arrival in both countries. Travelers can’t use public transport during the visit and for two weeks after returning. Tracing apps should be activated at all times.

Travelers

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CDC Says 13-Year-Old Girl Spread COVID-19 to 11 Relatives During Summer Vacation

In the last few months, children have vacillated between unlikely vectors and walking biological weapons depending on who you asked and on what day. The CDC is underlining the fact that yes, children can spread coronavirus by sharing a new report on a 13-year-old girl who passed COVID-19 on to 11 of her relatives across four states.

The transmission in question came after the unidentified girl traveled with her family to a summer family gathering in a large house. The child had been tested after being exposed, with her test falsely coming back negative ahead of the trip. After the teen took the test, she started to experience nasal congestion, which was the only symptom she had.

The family, which included people that were aged 9 to 72 years old, came together from disparate parts of the country with 14 people staying in the house that contained the teen. The family reportedly did not practice social distancing or wear masks. “Fourteen relatives, including the index patient, stayed in a five-bedroom, two-bathroom house for 8–25 days,” the CDC’s report stated. “These relatives did not wear face masks or practice physical distancing.” 11 people contracted the virus and two needed to be hospitalized, though all have recovered.

Another branch of the family visited the home, but wore masks and remained outside the house. None of those people contracted the virus. As numbers in the US continue to rise, flu season adds a complicated wrinkle and the vaccine still appears far off, it’s important to remember that there are practices, such as wearing a mask, that can reduce the risk of spreading or contracting coronavirus.

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New York City Roosevelt Hotel closing due to COVID-19 pandemic

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New York’s iconic Roosevelt Hotel is saying goodbye after being a midtown Manhattan mainstay for nearly 100 years. 

The New York City hotel, which has been around since 1924 and has made cameos in movies including “The Irishman” and “Maid in Manhattan” is closing its doors by the end of this year due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Due to the current, unprecedented environment and the continued uncertain impact from COVID-19, the owners of The Roosevelt Hotel have made the difficult decision to close the hotel, and the associates were notified last week,” Kellie McCrory, a hotel spokesperson told USA TODAY in a statement. “The iconic hotel, along with most of New York City, has experienced very low demand, and as a result the hotel will cease operations before the end of the year. There are currently no plans for the building beyond the scheduled closing.”

The hotel is owned by Pakistan International Airlines and has been home to many historic American moments from serving as the headquarters for Gov. Thomas Dewey’s election campaign in 1984 when he incorrectly announced he’d defeated Harry Truman to being the first place Guy Lombardo and his orchestra performed in 1929.

The Roosevelt Hotel, named after President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, isn’t the first hotel to fall victim to the pandemic.

‘Do you belong here?’ Lawsuits allege Hilton, other hotels discriminated against Black guests

Last month, Hilton announced it would close its 478-room hotel in Times Square as of Oct. 1. Two hundred employees lost their jobs due to “unforeseeable business circumstances prompted by COVID-19,” according to a filing to state regulators.

As an early epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, New York has experienced a dramatic drop in tourism. While the city has recovered some since the spring, restaurants were just allowed to reopen limited indoor dining at the end of September, and Broadway is closed until next year.

Contributing: Curtis Tate

‘No way this room was sanitized’: Despite assurances, hotels get mixed reviews on COVID-19 cleanliness, masks

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Canadians Support COVID-19 Travel Quarantine Change: Poll

A majority of Canadians support reducing the current 14-day quarantine period for international travelers entering Canada, according to a new poll.

Conducted by EKOS Research and commissioned by Unifor Local 7378 and CUPE Local 4055 — two unions representing approximately 1,500 airline workers — the poll is part of a campaign to encourage the federal government to reduce or eliminate border quarantine requirements prior to the Christmas travel season. The poll is now available on the newly launched website, www.betterborders.ca.

Using a sample size of 1,244 respondents, the national poll asked Canadians if they would support a change to COVID-19 rapid testing at the borders. It found 57 per cent support a reduction or elimination of the 14-day quarantine period with proof of a negative COVID-19 test on arrival. Seven per cent of respondents favour eliminating restrictions entirely.

Support is highest in Alberta with 66 per cent of respondents supporting a reduction or elimination of the 14-day quarantine. Support did not fall below 50 per cent in any of the major provinces or in the ‘Atlantic Bubble’ region.

According to Barret Armann, President of Unifor Local 7378, the government should borrow from international best practices to modify current requirements.

“Rapid testing is the scientific measure that can keep Canadians safe from COVID-19; we’ve seen this demonstrated in places like Germany where testing upon arrival for international travellers is a safe, scientific alternative to quarantine,” said Mr. Armann.

Poll results also show Canadians are willing to pay an airfare surcharge to cover the cost of testing. They believe the federal government has not moved fast enough in approving rapid testing. They say that encouraging air transportation is critical to the successful restart of the economy. Those polled also said travel restrictions have made Canadians want to distance themselves from international visitors to Canada.

Mr. Armann said the unions have been asking the Canadian government for some time to outline its plan for border measures.

The union president said Canadians are ready to embrace change led by the federal government with a clear plan that keeps Canadians safe, is science-driven, and is sustainable. “With such a plan, testing upon arrival could be in place across Canada by Christmas,” said Mr. Armann.

Report for download: Public Attitudes to Air Travel and Rapid COVID-19 Testing

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201013005064/en/

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Barret Armann
President – Unifor Local 7378
[email protected]
778-928-7456

Jeff Binks
Unifor Local 7378
403-805-3313

French Language Interviews
Michelle Chiasson
Unifor Local 7378
[email protected]
403-928-4393

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Vacation Home Demand Soars During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Home sales are booming in popular vacation spots, as the pandemic leads more Americans to seek places to work or relax within driving distance of home.

In traditional vacation destinations such as Key West, Fla., Ocean City, N.J., and Traverse City, Mich., online house shopping and pending sales are up relative to the country overall, according to a new analysis by

Zillow Group Inc.

Similar to the recent rise in interest for suburban and rural homes that are a car ride from major cities, the growth in demand for homes in vacation towns shows how Covid-19 is reshaping home shoppers’ priorities, said Jeff Tucker, senior economist at Zillow.

“Home shoppers are particularly motivated to shop for a home in these markets because right now they have the freedom to probably work from home in many cases and even have their kids go to school from home,” he said. “They would get a lot more time to actually enjoy the natural amenities in these locations.”

In the 20 U.S. metro areas with the highest share of vacation homes, page views of for-sale listings on Zillow in August rose more than 50% from a year earlier, while nationwide page views rose 37% in the same month.

In 12 of those markets, including Hilton Head, S.C., and East Stroudsburg, Pa., in the Poconos region, pending sales in the week ended Sept. 26 were up more than 30% from a year earlier. Nationally, pending sales rose 22% year-over-year in the same week, Zillow said.

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The pandemic-driven recession has deepened the country’s economic divisions. Many higher-wage workers who are able to work from home can put money they would have spent on entertainment or international travel toward buying a home. Home sales around the country have risen to the highest level since 2006, buoyed by record-low interest rates.

Second or vacation homes are rising as a percentage of all mortgages. Mortgage-rate locks for second-home purchases made up 5.3% of all locks for purchases in the week ended Oct. 9, up from 3.9% at the start of the year and 4% in the same week last year, according to the American Enterprise Institute.

U.S. home prices have risen 3.1% since February, according to Zillow. Some vacation spots have posted stronger gains, including Ocean City, up 6.4% in the same period, and Sevierville, Tenn., up 4.9%, according to Zillow.

In the Panama City, Fla., metro area, Zillow page views in August were up 74% from a year earlier. Pending sales in the week ended Sept. 26 rose almost 24% year-over-year, Zillow said.

“We’ve always been a drive-to destination, which during this pandemic has been vital for people” who want to travel while staying distanced from strangers, said Jonathan Spears, a team leader at Scenic Sotheby’s International Realty, which sells homes in the Panama City area. “We’ve never seen a market like this, and it’s specifically due to

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EU nations get ready to adopt travel rules during COVID-19 pandemic

Samuel Petrequin, The Associated Press
Published 8:33 a.m. ET Oct. 13, 2020

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BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union countries are getting ready to adopt a common traffic light system to coordinate traveling across the 27-nation bloc, but a return to a full freedom of movement in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic remains far from reach.

In addition to causing the deaths of at least 151,000 EU citizens and plunging the EU’s economy into recession, the coronavirus has also landed a blow to a cherished cornerstone of EU citizenship, the free movement of people.

When the virus struck in March, several EU countries decided to close their borders to non-citizens without talking to their neighbors, creating huge traffic jams and slowing down the delivery of much-needed medical equipment.

The cacophony, which also played havoc with millions of tourists caught off guard by the virus, prompted the EU’s executive arm to push for a more unified approach. The EU commission last month came up with proposals that have been discussed and amended before their scheduled approval by EU nations on Tuesday.

“This new system will make things easier for citizens. I am glad that we found this solution together,” EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.

Heard of these? These weird pandemic travel rules go beyond masks: How about washing your elbows?

In this Monday, March 16, 2020 file photo, a German police officer checks authorization for a woman to enter Germany at the German-France border in Kehl, Germany. European Union countries are set to adopt a common traffic light system to coordinate traveling across the 27-nation bloc, but a return to a full freedom of movement in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic remains far from reach. (Photo: Jean-Francois Badias, AP)

The key measure is a common map of infections drawn up by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. It will sort European regions into green, orange and red zones according to the severity of coronavirus outbreaks, taking into account new confirmed cases per 100,000 people and the percentage of positive tests.

Under the latest proposal, red zones should be areas where COVID-19 cases are more than 50 per 100,000 people during a 14-day period and the percentage of positive tests reaches at least 4%. Regions with a lower positive rate but where the total number of cases is more than 150 per 100,000 will also be classified red.

In light of the very high level of infections across the continent, it means that most of the bloc should be classified as red or orange.

The harmonization stops short of providing common rules for the EU’s orange and red zones. Travelers from green areas won’t face limits on their journeys, but national EU governments will continue to set their own restrictions such as quarantines or mandatory testing upon arrival for people coming from orange or red zones.

The commission has

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CDC says teen gave COVID-19 to 11 relatives across 4 states during a family vacation.

A COVID-19 outbreak that infected 11 people across four states began with a 13-year-old girl who transmitted the virus during a three-week family vacation over the summer, according to a Centers for Disease Control report.

In Illinois – one of the states involved – a Cook County Department of Public Health spokeswoman said that the community where some of the family members live is not currently at risk from this particular outbreak, which occurred months ago.

But the case shows that kids and teens can contract and spread the virus, public health experts say. It also serves as a cautionary tale before the holiday season, a traditional time for many large family get-togethers.

“(The) outbreak highlights several important issues that are good to review before the holidays., a Cook County Department of Public Health spokeswoman said in an email.

The CDC noted that the case underscores the risk of exposure during gatherings, as well as the benefits of social distancing.

“SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) can spread efficiently during gathering, especially with prolonged, close contact,” the CDC report said. “Physical distancing, face mask use and hand hygiene reduce transmission; gatherings should be avoided when physical distancing and face mask use are not possible.”

The three-week family gathering involved five households from four states, according to the CDC report, which was released earlier this month. The report in a footnote mentioned public health departments in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Illinois and Georgia; it did not give any other information about where the family gathering took place or the states where various relatives lived.

The report said the initial patient, a 13-year-old girl, was exposed to COVID-19 during a large outbreak in June. A rapid antigen test four days after her exposure came back negative, before her symptoms began. Two days later she had some nasal congestion, her only symptom. That day she traveled with her parents and two brothers to attend a large family gathering, which began the following day, according to the CDC report.

She was one of 14 relatives ranging in age from 9 to 72 who shared a five-bedroom, two-bathroom home for eight to 25 days, the report said. The relatives did not wear face masks or practice physical distancing, according to the report.

Eleven other family members contracted the virus; one was hospitalized and another went to the emergency room for treatment of respiratory symptoms, but both recovered, according to the report.

“This outbreak highlights several important issues,” the report said. “First, children and adolescents can serve as the source for COVID-19 outbreaks within families, even when their symptoms are mild. Better understanding of transmission by children and adolescents in different settings is needed to refine public health guidance.”

Six additional family members did not stay at the home but did visit on different occasions, maintaining physical distance from relatives from other households. None of those individuals developed symptoms, and four tested negative for the virus, the CDC found.

“None of the six family members who maintained

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CDC says teen gave COVID-19 to 11 relatives across 4 states during a family vacation. Experts see a cautionary tale for holidays

A COVID-19 outbreak that infected 11 people across four states began with a 13-year-old girl who transmitted the virus during a three-week family vacation over the summer, according to a Centers for Disease Control report.

In Illinois — one of the states involved — a Cook County Department of Public Health spokeswoman said that the community where some of the family members live is not currently at risk from this particular outbreak, which occurred months ago.

But the case shows that kids and teens can contract and spread the virus, public health experts say. It also serves as a cautionary tale before the holiday season, a traditional time for many large family get-togethers.

“(The) outbreak highlights several important issues that are good to review before the holidays., a Cook County Department of Public Health spokeswoman said in an email.

The CDC noted that the case underscores the risk of exposure during gatherings, as well as the benefits of social distancing.

“SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) can spread efficiently during gathering, especially with prolonged, close contact,” the CDC report said. “Physical distancing, face mask use and hand hygiene reduce transmission; gatherings should be avoided when physical distancing and face mask use are not possible.”

The three-week family gathering involved five households from four states, according to the CDC report, which was released earlier this month. The report in a footnote mentioned public health departments in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Illinois and Georgia; it did not give any other information about where the family gathering took place or the states where various relatives lived.

The report said the initial patient, a 13-year-old girl, was exposed to COVID-19 during a large outbreak in June. A rapid antigen test four days after her exposure came back negative, before her symptoms began. Two days later she had some nasal congestion, her only symptom. That day she traveled with her parents and two brothers to attend a large family gathering, which began the following day, according to the CDC report.

She was one of 14 relatives ranging in age from 9 to 72 who shared a five-bedroom, two-bathroom home for eight to 25 days, the report said. The relatives did not wear face masks or practice physical distancing, according to the report.

Eleven other family members contracted the virus; one was hospitalized and another went to the emergency room for treatment of respiratory symptoms, but both recovered, according to the report.

“This outbreak highlights several important issues,” the report said. “First, children and adolescents can serve as the source for COVID-19 outbreaks within families, even when their symptoms are mild. Better understanding of transmission by children and adolescents in different settings is needed to refine public health guidance.”

Six additional family members did not stay at the home but did visit on different occasions, maintaining physical distance from relatives from other households. None of those individuals developed symptoms, and four tested negative for the virus, the CDC found.

“None of the six family members

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