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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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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Is it safe to travel for the holidays in 2020 during the pandemic?

The end of the year is sneaking up, and people are weighing travel plans to join friends and family for the holidays — all against the backdrop of a deadly pandemic.



a group of people walking down the street: There's a lot more to consider when planning holiday travel in 2020.


© Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images
There’s a lot more to consider when planning holiday travel in 2020.

Gathering with others — probably the most universal holiday tradition — has never required so much meticulous forethought.

Should you travel for the holidays in 2020? What precautions will make it safer? Who will be there and how careful have they been?

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that travel increases the chances of contracting and spreading Covid-19. Staying home is the best way to protect against getting and spreading the virus, yet many people are likely to travel before the year is over.



a sign on the side of a snow covered car in a parking lot: Driving is not without risks, but your interactions with others can be more easily controlled than with air travel.


© Jason Connolly/AFP/Getty Images
Driving is not without risks, but your interactions with others can be more easily controlled than with air travel.

CNN spoke with medical experts on how to reduce the risks around holiday travel and when you really should skip it altogether.

Should you travel for the holidays this year?

“Probably not, if you are anxious or vulnerable,” says Dr. Richard Dawood, a travel medicine specialist and director at Fleet Street Clinic in London.

But traveling is fine if you’re willing to be cautious, follow the rules and adapt easily to changes of plan, he said.

“I think the threshold for travel at this time should still be higher than before the pandemic,” says Dr. Henry Wu, director of Emory TravelWell Center and associate professor of infectious diseases at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.



a statue of a man and a woman standing in front of a building: Staying in a hotel may give guests more control of their environment than staying with friends or relatives.


© Benno Schwinghammer/picture alliance/Getty Images
Staying in a hotel may give guests more control of their environment than staying with friends or relatives.

“If you do choose to travel, try to keep gatherings small and take precautions,” such as wearing a mask and practicing social distancing and good hand hygiene, Wu said.

Who should skip it?

People who are especially vulnerable to severe Covid-19 illness are safest staying home.

“Are you older, are you frail, do you have chronic underlying illnesses?” are the questions to ask, says Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious diseases specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

People who are considering meeting up with vulnerable relatives or friends should really weigh the implications of introducing illness to them, Wu said.

“There are well-documented Covid-19 clusters associated with family gatherings, including ones that resulted in deaths,” he said.

Are some locations safer than others?

Gatherings are likely safer in areas around the world where infections remain low, although the standard precautions still apply.



a group of people sitting at a table: Joining hands around a crowded holiday table is best skipped this year.


© Shutterstock
Joining hands around a crowded holiday table is best skipped this year.

For example, it may be possible to have a “relatively normal” Thanksgiving gathering in parts of the United States where infections are very low, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“But in other areas of the

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A taste for travel? Finnair to sell plane food in shops

HELSINKI (AP) — Finnish carrier Finnair will start selling business class airplane food in supermarkets in a move to keep its catering staff employed and to offer a taste of the airline experience to those missing flying in the COVID-19 times.

The state-controlled airline said that in a pilot scheme the handmade meals, called “Taste of Finnair”, would initially be offered at one store as of Thursday.

The ready-made dishes include options like reindeer meatballs, Arctic char and Japanese-style teriyaki beef and are suited for Nordic and Asian palates and would cost about 10 euros ($12), Finnair Kitchen said. Finnair is one of the main airlines flying between Europe and Asia.


The move comes are airlines around the world try to employ their idled resources during the pandemic and tap into people’s desire to fly when most planes are grounded. Some are offering simulated flights, fake trips where the aircraft takes off and lands in the same location, or even just time to sit in the plane.

Kimmo Sivonen, store manager at the K-Citymarket Tammisto which will sell the Finnair meals, told the newspaper Ilta-Sanomat that the dishes have been modified to have less salt and spices than those offered in the air, where people’s sense of taste is dulled by high altitude.

Takeaway food sales have boomed in Finland since spring after an estimated 60% of local work force started working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For their part, Finnair and the supermarket hope the meals will appeal to people’s yearning for travel.

“I think everyone has a bit of wanderlust these days and we can now satisfy that need a bit,” K-Citymarket’s Sivonen said.

Finnair Kitchen Vice President Marika Nieminen said that the airline’s catering unit has been looking to expand outside traditional flight meal services since the spring, when the pandemic forced almost global airlines to halt most of their flights. Finnair temporarily laid off a large part of its 7,000 workforce and its flight traffic was down 91% in September from the previous year.

“So many of Kitchen’s employees are temporarily laid off and we can now create new work and employment for our people,” Nieminen said.

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Hawaii governor announces different travel guidelines for visiting different islands

Escaping to paradise is going to take a little planning.

Hawaiian Gov. David Ige has announced various safety steps that arriving travelers must heed at three major islands amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, as the Aloha State relaxes its quarantine requirements for out-of-state visitors Thursday.

Before the Oct. 15 launch of the long-awaited pre-travel testing program, Ige approved enhanced protocols that will impact travelers visiting Kauai, Maui and the Big Island, KHON2 reported Tuesday

Hawaiian Gov. David Ige has announced various safety steps that arriving travelers must heed at three major islands as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Hawaiian Gov. David Ige has announced various safety steps that arriving travelers must heed at three major islands as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
(iStock)

“Kauai County has established a voluntary testing program on day three after arrival, and Maui County also established a voluntary post-arrival testing program. Hawaii Island will require an antigen test for all arriving trans-pacific travelers who are participating in the pre-travel testing program,” the governor said in a news conference.

MAJOR CRUISE SHIPS ARE DISMANTLED, SCRAPPED FOR PARTS AMID PANDEMIC, PHOTOS SHOW

Officials for Hawaii County said these tests will be given at all three airports on the Big Island; anyone who tests positive must take a PCR test and quarantine under the results return.

“The truth of the matter is, we knew that once they leave the airport, it will be almost an impossible task to ensure that we can get all of them to take the test and to get the test to go to them,” Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said of the important step for incoming visitors.

“I want to remind all travelers that following safe practices – at home, while traveling and upon returning – is the only way to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” the governor also stressed.

“I want to remind all travelers that following safe practices – at home, while traveling and upon returning – is the only way to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” the governor also stressed.
(iStock)

Officials for Kauai and Maui counties have also agreed to adopt the pre-travel testing program, allowing inter-island travelers from Oahu to skip the quarantine period if they can provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within three days of traveling, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

“Those going from Honolulu to Maui and Kauai will be able to get a pre-travel test 72 hours prior to departure and avoid quarantine,” Ige said.

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Ige and Kim continue to discuss inter-island travel rules for Hawaii County as they focus on the launch of the trans-Pacific travel program, Maui Now reports.

“As you know, over the last week or two, there has been an increase in the number of cases on Hawaiʻi Island, which I know that the mayor is concerned with,” Ige also revealed of the delay.

Also Tuesday, the governor signed an emergency proclamation extending the mandatory 14-day quarantine for all arriving travelers to Nov. 30, though the pre-travel testing program is still slated to begin tomorrow.

“I want to remind all travelers that following safe practices – at home, while traveling and upon returning – is the only way to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Ige stressed, per the outlet. “Wear a face mask, wash your hands frequently and

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Hawaii eases travel restrictions; Facebook to encourage flu shots; 38M global cases; 215K US deaths

Travelers planning a trip to Hawaii will no longer have to quarantine for 14 days if they tested negative for the coronavirus at least 72 hours before their departure from the mainland, starting Thursday.

What is R-0 and why is it so important in the fight against coronavirus?

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UP NEXT

“I want people to come if they are fully prepared to test, know that they are healthy and are prepared to wear a mask,” said Lt. Gov. Josh Green, who has taken a leading role in developing the Safe Travels program that was postponed after a spike in coronavirus cases.

Meanwhile, in Iowa, about 10,000 people are expected to show up at President Donald Trump’s rally at the Des Moines International Airport on Wednesday, defying advice from White House experts on limiting social gatherings to 25 people in a “yellow zone” for transmission of the virus.

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Some significant developments:



a group of people on a dirt road: A sign requiring face masks is posted on Monday as people walk inside Bob's Pumpkin Patch in Half Moon Bay, Calif.


© Jeff Chiu, AP
A sign requiring face masks is posted on Monday as people walk inside Bob’s Pumpkin Patch in Half Moon Bay, Calif.

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 7.8 million cases and 215,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins data. There have been more than 38 million confirmed cases around the world and 1 million deaths.

🗺️ Mapping coronavirus: Track the U.S. outbreak, state by state.

This file will be updated throughout the day. For updates in your inbox, subscribe to The Daily Briefing newsletter.

Experts: COVID-fueled stress eating will add to childhood obesity struggles

Pediatricians and public health experts predict a potentially dramatic increase in childhood obesity this year as months of pandemic eating, closed schools, stalled sports and public space restrictions extend indefinitely.

About one in seven children have met the criteria for childhood obesity since 2016, when the federal National Survey of Children’s Health changed its methodology, a report out Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found. While the percentage of children considered obese declined slightly in the last 10 years, it is expected to jump in 2020.

“We were making slow and steady progress until this,” said Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, a Northwestern University economist and professor. “It’s likely we will have wiped out a lot of the progress that we’ve made over the last decade in childhood obesity.”

The trend, already seen in pediatric offices, is especially concerning as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week expanded its definition of those at elevated risk of severe COVID-19 disease and death to include people with a body mass index of between 25 and 30. Previously, only those with a BMI 30 and higher were included. That could mean 72% of all Americans are at higher risk of severe disease based only on their weight.

– Jayne O’Donnell and Adrianna Rodriguez

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spar with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer over stimulus aid

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called CNN anchor Wolf

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UK travel industry calls for urgent government action

Planes on the apron at London City Airport which has been closed after the discovery of an unexploded Second World War bomb.
Planes at London City Airport. Photo: PA

UK travel group ABTA said the government is not doing enough to support the sector, which has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

It criticised the government for “ever-changing quarantine rules and a dwindling number of destinations for holidaymakers to visit,” and demanded tailored support, including further grants.

ABTA said it is “vital that the Global Travel Taskforce launched this month to consider a testing regime, and other measures to support recovery of the travel industry, acts decisively and urgently to help increase consumer confidence and get the industry moving again.”

The taskforce was set up by the government and is meant to report to prime minister Boris Johnson no later than early November, setting out recommendations for how the UK can support the recovery of international travel.

According to new figures released by ABTA, only 15% of people took a foreign holiday between February and July 2020 compared to 51% over the 12-month period, and 64% the previous year.

READ MORE: EU gets approval to slap $4bn worth of tariffs on US imports in Boeing dispute

More than half (53%) of the people surveyed said they took fewer overseas holidays this past year compared to the previous year, with 87% of those saying they took fewer holidays because of coronavirus. 

Government restrictions were a contributing factor to a hesitation to travel, with 93% of people concerned about potential last-minute changes to foreign office travel advice and four in five people (80%) concerned about having to quarantine when they return to the UK.

The findings are from research based on a sample of 2,000 consumers and related to holiday booking habits in the 12 months to July 2020.

Meanwhile, figures also revealed that more than half of people (52%) believe that the travel industry should reopen in a greener way. 

A new report by ABTA identified the sustainability challenges faced by the industry, including the need to accelerate decarbonisation and to ensure that tourism generates greater benefits for destinations and local communities.

READ MORE: Turbulent times ahead for airlines as UK travel quarantine measures kick in

Mark Tanzer, ABTA’s CEO said: “There is no doubt that people’s confidence and trust in the industry has taken a huge hit — and we must work hard to earn that trust back. Not only is that by being creative and flexible in terms of the holiday and customer experience we offer, but also by making sustainability a fundamental principle of travel.”

Earlier this week a survey was reported to show that nearly two-thirds (64%) of business leaders see domestic and international travel as “key to their future prospects.”

The research, commissioned by London City Airport, also indicated that 48% believe the government’s quarantine restrictions are the biggest barrier to business air travel.

In other news showing the toll the pandemic has taken on the travel industry, British Airways chief executive Alex Cruz has quit the top job with immediate effect, to be replaced by

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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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Google, a Longtime Ally of Travel Sites, Is Now a Powerful Rival

Google has long been one of the biggest drivers of new business for travel websites like

Expedia

and Tripadvisor. Some of them say the

Alphabet Inc.


GOOG 0.16%

unit is also a big competitive threat.

Berlin-based HomeToGo GmbH is an example of the bind facing many travel businesses. The vacation-rental website depends in part on Google to direct people to its service, but it says business has been affected by the search company’s placing a box of listings from third-party travel sites atop many pages of search results for vacation rentals.

In Google searches conducted this past summer, the rate at which people clicked when HomeToGo was the top regular result fell as much as three-quarters when Google’s vacation-rental listings box was present above, compared with when it wasn’t, according to calculations HomeToGo provided to The Wall Street Journal.

“Suddenly Google puts a less-good product more prominently above everything, and you’re thinking, ‘Is this fair competition?’” said Patrick Andrae, HomeToGo’s co-founder and chief executive.

Going Down

HomeToGo gets fewer clicks on its links in Google search results whenever Google’s vacation-rental finder box appears on the results page too.

HomeToGo’s click-through rate in each search position, by presence of vacation-rental box

HomeToGo’s click-through rate in each search position, by presence of vacation-rental box

HomeToGo’s click-through rate in each search position, by presence of vacation-rental box

HomeToGo’s click-through rate in each search position, by presence of vacation-rental box

Critics like HomeToGo say that Google’s travel boxes and other kinds of specialized search products increasingly keep users within the Google ecosystem, encouraging them to use Google products rather than clicking to other sites to transact business.

Google says it sends a growing volume of traffic to other websites and that, when it comes to travel information, its search engine faces tough competition from travel sites. A spokeswoman says Google developed new ways to display search results to satisfy users’ desire for quick access to helpful information. “Removing these results would create a worse experience for consumers and send less traffic to travel companies,” she said.

As antitrust regulators on both sides of the Atlantic investigate allegations that Google and other Silicon Valley giants have leveraged their heft to squash competitors, one area of focus is on the companies’ alleged abuse of their role as internet gatekeepers to punish or extract concessions from potential rivals, according to people familiar with the matter.

The U.S. Department of Justice is moving toward bringing an antitrust lawsuit against Google, potentially in the coming days, the Journal has reported. Google’s search practices are likely to be a key focus of such a lawsuit, the Journal report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The European Union’s top antitrust authority has issued Google more than $9 billion in fines, in part following allegations by shopping websites that say Google pushed down their search results with its own box of product ads. Google has appealed those decisions. EU officials have said investigators are now looking into the company’s use of

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The Memo: Trump travel plans reveal weakness in battlegrounds

President TrumpDonald John TrumpLabor secretary’s wife tests positive for COVID-19 Russia shuts down Trump admin’s last-minute push to strike nuclear arms deal before election Trump makes appeal to suburban women at rally: ‘Will you please like me?’ MORE is returning full steam to the campaign trail this week — but his schedule reveals the weakness of his position.

Trump will travel to Iowa for a rally Wednesday and to Georgia, as well as Florida, on Friday.

Trump carried Iowa by more than 9 percentage points against Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump makes appeal to suburban women at rally: ‘Will you please like me?’ Only William Barr stands between Trump and the end of democracy in America Texas county says more than 95 percent of eligible voters are registered for this election MORE in 2016, while no Democrat has won Georgia in a presidential election since former President Clinton in 1992.

The fact that those states are competitive is a warning sign about the president’s chances.

The travel decisions come at the same time as speculation mounts about the financial health of the president’s campaign. According to recent reports, the Trump campaign has pulled $17 million of planned ad spending from Iowa, New Hampshire and Ohio.

Campaign aides pushed back against the suggestion of a cash crunch during a conference call with reporters Monday. The move pertaining to advertising was characterized by them as a straightforward call to not take up the option of airtime that had been reserved months ago.

During that same call, aides including campaign manager Bill StepienBill StepienThe Memo: Biden landslide creeps into view Trump relishes return to large rallies following COVID-19 diagnosis Trump tests negative for COVID-19 on consecutive days, doctor says MORE portrayed Trump as the campaign’s biggest asset, especially when it comes to rallies.

The president seems to have had his spirits lifted following his release from hospital, at least to judge from footage of him dancing briefly to The Village People’s “Y.M.C.A.” at a rally in Sanford, Fla., on Monday.

At the same event, Trump said to cheers that he felt “so powerful” after his struggle with COVID-19 that “I will walk in there, I’ll kiss everyone in that audience. I’ll kiss the guys, and the beautiful women and everybody.”

Those comments again stirred up safety concerns as cases of coronavirus rise in many parts of the country. Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump makes appeal to suburban women at rally: ‘Will you please like me?’ Pro-Trump campaign ad uses stock footage from Russia, Belarus Harris raises alarm on abortion rights while grilling Barrett MORE has mostly avoided big rallies, a decision that his supporters hail as prudent from a public health perspective. Team Trump alleges the dearth of Biden rallies shows a lack of enthusiasm for the former vice president’s candidacy.

Trump is a big believer in the power of rallies to move the needle. He and his aides hearken back to the 2016 campaign as proof.

“In

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