UK’s new travel testing plan will boost flying, minister says

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s transport minister said on Wednesday that his coronavirus testing plans would get more people flying in the months ahead, sounding an optimistic note at a time when travel companies are struggling to survive.

FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps in London, Britain, September 30, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

A 14-day quarantine for arrivals from most countries could be replaced by an as-yet unspecified shorter isolation period followed by a negative test result under plans that Transport Minister Grant Shapps set out last week.

“I believe the measures I’ve outlined will result in significantly more people flying in the months ahead,” Shapps told a virtual ABTA travel industry association event.

Airlines have cut back their already anaemic flying schedules for autumn due to mounting travel restrictions in Europe.

Shapps said the government was working hard to get the new arrivals regime in place and much of the work had already been done, with another approach also being considered for pre-departure testing. Final details due in early November.

British Airways said in a statement it backed pre-flight testing, “where travellers arriving in the UK all have a negative test up to 72 hours before flying”.

But the International Air Transport Association has said the plan does not go far enough, because 80% of travellers will not fly it there is any quarantine in place.Virgin Atlantic chief executive Shai Weiss told the event that a travel testing regime was urgently needed.

After a 1.2 billion pound rescue and nearly 5,000 job cuts, Virgin is prepared for a severe downturn which continues into next year, but he warned that beyond that there would be airline failures.

“At some point if borders do not open up … there’s only a certain amount of time that you can survive,” Weiss said.

ABTA, representing 4,300 UK travel brands, urged the government to provide more support. Shapps said his focus was on enabling travel through “test and release”.

He said a recovery plan for the aviation industry would be set out later this autumn.

Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Kevin Liffey/Jane Merriman and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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Airlines and Airports Say EU’s New Travel Plan Won’t Revive Flights

(Bloomberg) — Airlines and airports said European Union moves to help restart flights in the region through a more coordinated approach to coronavirus-related travel curbs are wholly inadequate.



a close up of an airplane: A traveler at Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy, France.


© Bloomberg
A traveler at Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy, France.

The measures, adopted Tuesday, fail to propose the replacement of quarantine requirements with coronavirus tests and won’t stop states refusing entry from other EU countries, the International Air Transport Association said in a joint statement with Airports Council International and lobby group Airlines4Europe .

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The proposals backed by European Affairs Ministers seek to set a common threshold for entry restrictions, with unfettered travel allowed between areas with fewer than 25 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people for the previous 14 days, and under 4% of tests showing positive results. None of the 27 EU states is below that threshold. Neither are the rules binding on governments.

“We are pretty disappointed,” IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac said in a webcast briefing. “We were expecting the European Council at least to be open to replacing quarantines by testing.”

IATA also backs the reopening of borders between countries with similar infection rates and longer delays between the announcement of new measures and their introduction.

Countries across Europe have been sharpening restrictions after a resurgence in the pandemic, with 700,000 new cases recorded last week, the most since the start of the outbreak. That grinds against pleas by airlines to remove curbs they say are stopping people from traveling despite pent up demand.

De Juniac reiterated calls for further financial support for airlines and said he expects that some carriers won’t survive the winter at current occupancy levels. Companies in Latin America and Africa are especially exposed given a lack of state support there, he said.

ACI head Luis Felipe de Oliveira said he doesn’t expect government-owned airports to go bust but that privately controlled hubs in Canada, Europe, Asia and Latin America may be vulnerable.

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Covid Travel: Airlines and Airports Say EU’s Plan Won’t Revive Flights

A traveler at Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy, France.

Photographer: Nathan Laine/Bloomberg

Airlines and airports said European Union moves to help restart flights in the region through a more coordinated approach to coronavirus-related travel curbs are wholly inadequate.

The measures, adopted Tuesday, fail to propose the replacement of quarantine requirements with coronavirus tests and won’t stop states refusing entry from other EU countries, the International Air Transport Association said in a joint statement with Airports Council International and lobby group Airlines4Europe .

The proposals backed by European Affairs Ministers seek to set a common threshold for entry restrictions, with unfettered travel allowed between areas with fewer than 25 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people for the previous 14 days, and under 4% of tests showing positive results. None of the 27 EU states is below that threshold. Neither are the rules binding on governments.

“We are pretty disappointed,” IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac said in a webcast briefing. “We were expecting the European Council at least to be open to replacing quarantines by testing.”

IATA also backs the reopening of borders between countries with similar infection rates and longer delays between the announcement of new measures and their introduction.

Countries across Europe have been sharpening restrictions after a resurgence in the pandemic, with 700,000 new cases recorded last week, the most since the start of the outbreak. That grinds against pleas by airlines to remove curbs they say are stopping people from traveling despite pent up demand.

De Juniac reiterated calls for further financial support for airlines and said he expects that some carriers won’t survive the winter at current occupancy levels. Companies in Latin America and Africa are especially exposed given a lack of state support there, he said.

ACI head Luis Felipe de Oliveira said he doesn’t expect government-owned airports to go bust but that privately controlled hubs in Canada, Europe, Asia and Latin America may be vulnerable.

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Shawnee Co. Parks and Recreation and Tonantzin Society partner to plan a mural at Santa Fe Park

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Santa Fe Park will soon be the site of a beautification project.



a large lawn in front of a house: A restroom at Santa Fe Park which was the target of vandalism in Summer 2020 will soon be the site of a new mural.


© Provided by Topeka WIBW-TV
A restroom at Santa Fe Park which was the target of vandalism in Summer 2020 will soon be the site of a new mural.

Shawnee Co. Parks and Recreation was approached by the Tonantzin Society with interest to have local artists paint a mural on the park restroom.

It comes after the building was the target of vandalism earlier in the summer.

At their Monday meeting, Shawnee Co. Commissioners approved of a request to allow Parks and Rec to use $1,500 from their operating budget for supplies and materials artists can use to paint the mural.

Commissioner Aaron Mays said he is pleased to see the community offer their talents

“Really wanna just point out the fact that this is community members coming together to turn something very ugly into something beautiful in the neighborhood it’s really good to see that,” he said.

Mike McLaughlin, Parks and Rec’s Communications and Public Information Supervisor said the project has added meaning because the idea came from residents.

“That’s a great, positive response to something negative that happened that we’d like to put behind us it’s the kind of thing where if you respond to negative with positive you just lift the community,” he said.

“We love it when people take some responsibility for their own parks and make them nice and keep them nice and this is a way for this community to say, ‘hey we care about our parks no matter what somebody else does’.”

McLaughlin said he’s seen what power of art can do for a community.

“Anytime that people in the neighborhood take responsibility of the neighborhood parks, it’s a good thing they keep it up nicer they keep it cleaner, they take care of it,” he said.

“They show the rest of the community that this is ours, this is our neighborhood we care about it and it instills a sense of pride and it brings some celebration here at a time in our lives when we can use some celebration.”

He said areas with murals have been less prone to graffiti.

“Most of the time when somebody comes along and paints nice artwork it stays there people have respect for it they respect the effort and appreciate it they don’t come along and paint graffiti over top of it again it’s something that’ll be nice to celebrate and something we think will stay around for a long time.”

Copyright 2020 WIBW. All rights reserved.

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Why You Should Plan Your Ski Vacation Early

The country may yet to see snowy slopes and winter flurries, but savvy skiers and families are already planning out their next ski vacation. Sure, there are only a handful of US ski resorts open, and most of them are already offering a whole new set of attractions that doesn’t involve making snow angels.

But making arrangements this early do have a couple perks. To name a few:

Beating the rush

Imagine having to book your ski trip at the last minute, and you’re halfway down the road only to realize you left behind your skis! Or how about taking a chance on budget accommodations that look good on paper (or on the web) then arriving only to get disappointed? This happens when you plan your holidays on panic mode (Read: less than a month before peak season). When you plan your getaway early, you still have enough time in your hands to research on the best accommodations and create an itinerary everyone can agree upon. It also allows you to plan out your wardrobe and decide what gears you’ll need.

The early bird scores the best accommodations

When you book your vacation early, you get first dibs on prime chalets, apartments or hotel rooms. You can even request a room just a stone’s throw away from the slopes! Booking early also means you get to pick your flight schedules, slots in daycare and ski schools for your kids, and the best table at your favorite restaurant.

And big discounts, too!

Many ski resorts offer a slew of early bird incentives for those who plan way ahead. Enjoy huge savings on lodging, airfare, bulk ski passes and lift tickets when you book way ahead of the others.

Come peak season or early ski season and prices start ballooning to premium rates.

Flexible payment terms

On top of discounts, ski resorts, too, may offer early bookers down payment options on ski passes and other fees. For instance, you can pay half of the price now then pay the remainder by September. This allows you to save up for the getaway you and your family have been dreaming of since the end of season, without accruing debts and credit card interest charges.

You can always take a chance on finding last minute bargains. But you could miss out on a lot of advanced reservation promotions that could save a great deal! And while planning out your winter getaway while everyone else is set to hit the beach and get a tan may strike others as odd, you’ll be treating yourself to a well thought off ski vacation you and your whole family will certainly cherish and enjoy.…

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How to Plan a Christmas Vacation on a Budget

Christmas is just a few days away and it’s time to plan your vacation if you aren’t staying back home this year. However, it’s important to note that this is one of the most preferred holiday seasons of the year as people will be getting leave from schools, colleges, and offices. So, you will have to make sure that you plan your vacation in a way that you can avail the best of your holidays and money. If you are wondering how to have an amazing Christmas vacation without spending a lot of money, here are some tips for you.

Pick a place that’s not too far away from your native place.

Remember that the farther you choose, the more money you will have to shell out. So, unless you want absolutely want to visit a particular place, choose a nearby town or city that you like. This way, you will be able to have a nice and memorable vacation without travelling too much. But, if you are planning to travel abroad, you should start early so that you don’t end up saving a lot on your tickets.

Start booking early to get the cheapest airline tickets

A lot of people visit their friends and families during Christmas so most flights are either fully booked or have expensive tickets. So, if you don’t want to be left behind, you should start booking your tickets as early as September so that you don’t have to shell out a lot of money. To do this, however, you will have to pick the place you are visiting quickly.

Choose a place that is known for its Christmas celebrations.

Since you will be travelling during one of the most colourful times of the year, it will be nice to visit a place where this festival is celebrated with fervour. If you are planning to take a break from family dinners and lunches, then your best bet is to pick a city or town where you can still enjoy Christmas eve along with getting to know new people.

Pack light so that you don’t have to carry a lot of luggage around.

During this time of the year, airports will be packed with people and there will be fewer taxis on the road. So, unless you want to spend a lot of time tugging your luggage around, it’s better to travel light. Just make sure you pack in your bare essentials and your winter clothes. This way, you will be able to save a lot of time.

These are some of the ways in which you can plan an amazing Christmas vacation with spending a lot of your festival bonus.…

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