News & Views of the Week

 

 Ní neart go cur le chéile
-There is no strength without unity

This treasured Irish proverb reminds us that in times of adversity, there’s one truth to hold on to;
We are in this together.

 

 

 

As our industry takes a pause for the time being we will place a hold on our weekly newsletter and thiis will be a spot for News in the travel world.

Travelers are ready to get going by the calls we have received and as soon as official word comes out from the CDC that the NO SAIL ORDER is lifted and certain restrictions are being eased we can then get serious to GETAWAY FROM YOUR EVERYDAY.

Our hope is to resume our newsltter soon but until then we will continue to post articles and specials of interest for the future anyway.

Our best to all of you at this time and please remain vigilant, and be safe, stay safe and stay healthy.

Bill and Fred

 

CLIA Ocean-Going Members To Suspend U.S. Operations Through October 31

by

 Matt Turner

Aug 5, 2020 11:07am

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Carnival Sunshine's Arrival in Charleston

(Photo by Carnival Cruise Line) Carnival Sunshine's arrival in Charleston

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) announced on Wednesday that its ocean-going cruise line members have agreed to voluntarily suspend U.S. cruise operations until at least October 31, 2020. 

“Despite the valuable alignment between CLIA’s previous voluntary suspension to 15 September and the CDC’s current No-Sail Order date of September 30, we believe it is prudent at this time to voluntarily extend the suspension of U.S. ocean-going cruise operations to October 31,” CLIA said in a statement on behalf of its members.

It continued: “This is a difficult decision, as we recognize the crushing impact that this pandemic has had on our community and every other industry. However, we believe this proactive action further demonstrates the cruise industry’s commitment to public health and willingness to voluntarily suspend operations in the interest of public health and safety, as has occurred twice prior. CLIA cruise line members will continue to monitor the situation with the understanding that we will revisit a possible further extension on or before September 30, 2020. At the same time, should conditions in the U.S. change and it becomes possible to consider short, modified sailings, we would consider an earlier restart.”

According to CLIA’s most recent Economic Impact Study, cruise activity in the United States supports roughly 421,000 American jobs and generates $53 billion annually in economic activity throughout the country. Each day of the suspension of U.S. cruise operations results in a loss of up to $110 million in economic activity and 800 direct and indirect American jobs. The effect of the suspension is particularly profound in states that depend heavily on cruise tourism, including FloridaTexasAlaskaWashingtonNew York and California.

Visit https://cruising.org.

 

How Safe Are Hotel Pools This Summer?

Three health experts weigh in.

BY CASSIE SHORTSLEEVE

July 9, 2020

1 Hotel West Hollywood

James Baigrie/Courtesy 1 Hotel West Hollywood

In a mask-wearing, socially-distanced world, much has changed about the way we travel. But as states enter later phases of reopening plans amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, with hotels finally welcoming travelers back, some summer staples of travel remain. Namely, the hotel pool.

Offering a respite from a quarantined spring, hotel pools—from architecturally-stunning options like The Rosewood Miramar Beach pool, to family-friendly swims like that at the Chatham Bars Inn—are tempting.

But is this summer indulgence, one that often comes with crowds, confined spaces, and a water environment that isn't always mask-friendly, a safe one? We asked three public health experts about the risk of coronavirus in pools to find out.

Is it responsible to use a hotel’s pool?

Dr. Sten H. Vermund, dean of Yale School of Public Health: Crowding is a factor. Guests may also come from higher-risk venues, such as hotel lobbies and restaurants, or may not have quarantined. One just does not know. If the pool is very uncrowded and social distancing is possible, the risk is low. Masks should be worn [outside of the pool] when not eating.

Dr. William Greenough, a professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine: We know that the prime way the coronavirus is spread is through airborne contact with droplets, hence the rationale for leaning on face masks. Many people use the pool together. If someone is coughing and spitting water a few feet away, you can catch the coronavirus. Keep social distancing in the pool and stay away from people who are shouting and in groups. Playing Marco Polo is probably not a great idea in the COVID-19 era. At a pool, I say eight feet apart is better than six feet apart—and stay upwind of people.

Dr. Susan Hassig, an epidemiologist at Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine: Yes, I think it is as long as you abide by all of the other parameters. You should be masked until you get into the water, stay away from others in the water, and keep your lounge chair at least six feet away from others.

How do the risks for catching coronavirus in pools differ from those in the ocean?

Vermund: Most beaches have stronger winds than a protected hotel pool. Wind spirits away droplets more quickly and increases dilution in the air—a good thing. Both chlorinated water and saltwater are unfriendly to the virus. We cannot say that ocean or lake or swimming pool water is safer. However, chlorine is anti-viral, so we can be confident that well-maintained pool water should kill coronaviruses.

Greenough: Chlorine is protective and a pretty safe way of disinfecting most bacteria and viruses—that's why it was adopted. Most pools are required to chlorinate by law, but it doesn't hurt to ask if they’re testing pH and chlorination daily or twice daily. I don't know of any data that says saltwater would harm the virus, but the dilution factor of the ocean is huge.

Hassig: I don't know that they differ much. The same sorts of criteria apply. It's not the water you need to worry about; it's the people who are also trying to enjoy that space. Masking and keeping distance is key. The virus isn't going to survive in saltwater—it’s going to denature over an extended period of time. It's not going to survive in chlorinated or brominated water [a treatment similar to chlorine] either, which act very quickly on it.

What do we know about COVID-19 and sunshine?

Vermund: Sunshine inactivates virus, but it takes time. On stainless steel or plastic, SARS-CoV-2 lives up to three days, and on cardboard or paper, up to one day. One can presume that full sunlight might reduce that by two-thirds, but that’s just a guess. A droplet or aerosol in proximation to others will still be risky.

Greenough: We know that high-intensity ultraviolet kills the virus and we use that to sterilize rooms in the hospital, but solar UV is not anywhere close to that. It’s likely—as a guess with little science behind it—that surfaces in the bright sun are less likely to spread the virus than cool, dark, moist areas, but surfaces are still likely to be a hazard even in sunshine.

Hassig: Theoretically, sunshine contains UV frequencies of light, so it could have some potential dampening effect, but it's only going to have an effect on virus that’s outside of the human body. It may potentially have some minimal protective components on things like rails of the pool ladder, for example.

Is an outdoor pool safer than an indoor pool?

Vermund: Yes, but only if physical distancing is taken seriously. “In-your-face” is risky in either context.

Greenough: Only because an indoor pool may be more crowded and may be in a smaller place.

Dr. Hassig: They probably are reasonably equivalent as long as there isn't a large gathering of people.

What precautions should you keep in mind if renting chairs, ordering food, or using pool facilities?

Dr. Vermund: A wipe-down of potentially contaminated surfaces is always a good idea.

Dr. Greenough: At a hotel, you like to see measures like clear partitions and plexiglass between paying customers and staff, people wiping down rental chairs, and staff observing all of the necessary precautions as they relate to food—signs that management is diligently trying to suppress the spread.

Dr. Hassig: Ask the hotel what their policies are in terms of the disinfection of the non-water parts of the pool. They obviously have a responsibility to chlorinate the pool, but you should be asking about other measures they’re taking.

 

 

9 New Health and Safety Measures to Expect on Upcoming Cruises

Jul 16, 20209 New Health and Safety Measures to Expect on Upcoming CruisesCruise lines are rolling out several health and safety measures for operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Credit: 2020 Artem/stock.adobe.com

Not all ocean cruise lines have detailed exactly how they plan to resume safe and health-conscious operations in the months to follow, but many — from American Cruise Lines and Norwegian Cruise Line to Virgin Voyages and Windstar Cruises — have revealed preliminary protocols for operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While protocols are not identical, they do cover a lot of common ground that guests can expect once back onboard. Many of these items will only be temporary precautions against coronavirus until there are viable treatments or a vaccine, but some will stick around as best practices well into the future.

As not all measures listed are applicable to every line, travel advisors should examine the details of their clients’ brand of choice for exact specifications. Generally, all measures apply to crew as well as guests, though staff tend to be held to stricter guidelines.

Pre-Boarding
Even before embarkation, clients will be given a health questionnaire to self-certify their fitness to sail and/or be subject to a thorough screening before joining the ship. Plans include a combination of the following measures: providing proof of negative COVID-19 testing, utilizing thermal cameras for temperature checks, promoting online check-in, sanitizing luggage and staggering terminal arrivals and vessel boarding.

American Cruise Lines, for example, will implement the “denial of boarding to anyone with flu-like symptoms or who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 30 days,” according to its website.

Capacity Limits
Once on the ship, there will likely be fewer fellow passengers. In most cases, guest capacities will be temporarily reduced, thus decreasing the overall density of people. 

One line that is not reducing vessel capacity, due to its already voluminous passenger space ratio, is Windstar Cruises

“Our belief is that our ships — we have a lot of outdoor space — are naturally socially distanced,” said Betsy O’Rourke, chief marketing officer of parent company Xanterra Travel Collection. 

Social Distancing
Strategies for physical distancing, besides reducing the amounts of people on the ship and per public space, encompass spacing out dining tables and theater seats, as well as providing virtual ticketing for shows.

Specific to Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, “everyone onboard must maintain a distance of 4.9 feet from others in the public areas of the ship, including the restaurants and fitness rooms,” according to its website.

Face Coverings
The topic of face coverings is a controversial one, and travelers have already voiced a general dislike for wearing them on a cruise. As a result, some lines have either said masks will not be mandated onboard or that they are waiting to make a final decision closer to relaunch.

In contrast, Virgin Voyages’ website reads, “we follow the same guidance as is recommended on land — so if people are advised to wear masks there, we will do so at sea, as well.”

Other brands are more concerned about guests donning face coverings as they travel to the ship or once touring ashore, but not necessarily onboard.

Revised Dining
It probably goes without saying at this point that there will be no self-service buffets, at least to start.

“All food and beverages at all restaurants, lounges and bars will be served to guests by crew members wearing face masks, hats, aprons and disposable gloves,” according to Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s website.

For now, there will be a greater emphasis placed on full-service food delivery including convenient options for room service.

Sanitation and Filtration
Cruise ships have always upheld high standards of cleanliness, especially while combating norovirus, but coronavirus is prompting lines to up the ante. Medical-grade fogging and UV light will be employed to scrub ships beyond increased disinfection of high-touch surfaces.

Expect to hear more about air filtration, HEPA-style purification systems, chlorine-cleaned cooling coil drains and water purification.

Naturally, guests must also participate in thorough hygiene, so extra sanitizing stations and touch-less faucets are being added.

“All guests will be strongly encouraged to engage in frequent hand-washing, including when entering food and beverage venues, and hand sanitizer will be prominently placed and easily accessible throughout the ship,” according to Norwegian Cruise Line’s website.

Quarantine Zones
While the goal of cruise protocols is to mitigate disease, cruise ships are nonetheless increasing the availability of medical staff such as dedicated public health officers, equipment (including ventilators), treatments and facilities, as well as setting aside isolation cabins for quarantine as needed.

In the case of a confirmed COVID-19 case, Ponant, for example, will provide “care and evacuation to a local facility [and] onboard risk analysis that may lead to decisions on the cruise progress.”

Shore Excursions
Plans also include onshore procedures for touring, especially staggering the disembarkation and re-embarkation of guests on excursions, screening their temperature upon return and reducing the capacity of disinfected busses and launches by half.

“We will feature new protocols for all motor coach sanitation and safety,” according to American Queen Steamboat Company’s website. “A reduced number of guests being transported on each motor coach (targeting 52% of capacity) will allow adequate space between individuals.”

Post-Cruise
Finally, in recognition of the importance of COVID-19 contact tracing, some companies vow to keep guests informed weeks after sailings of any potential contact with infected passersby.

Virgin’s website states that it is "aiming to set up a post-voyage notification process through which Sailors and Crew can inform us if becoming unwell within 14 days of leaving the ship (the COVID-19 incubation period).”

 

It’s not all the fun and sun in the resorts as Conde Nast let’s us know the sun and fun can also be in town in Cabo.

 

Downtown San José del Cabo Is Luring Visitors Out of the Resorts

These new shops, bars, and restaurants provide plenty of reasons to venture beyond Los Cabos' top hotels.

BY JEN MURPHY

February 27, 2020

Downtown San Jose Del Cabo

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For years, travelers have been coming to Los Cabos unaware that this region on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula comprises two different towns. And we can’t say we blame them. It’s only since the post Hurricane Odile–hotel boom that the area around the laidback, colonial town of San José del Cabo has started to steal the spotlight away from luxury resort-lined Cabo San Lucas.

Now, new properties like Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve and Viceroy are luring travelers east. And while these hotels have every imaginable amenity (mezcal bars, indie boutiques), the creative community in the town of San José gives travelers plenty of reasons to explore further. Food lovers have already discovered the exceptional farm-to-table cooking at Flora Farms, Acre, and Huerta Los Tamarindos, all on the outskirts of town. But in the town proper, a serious cocktail scene has emerged to complement restaurants with Baja Peninsula–inspired menus. Visit on a Thursday night when the town’s galleries and shops stay open late for the popular weekly Art Walk—a big block party with live music and car-free streets.

Where to eat

La Lupita Taco & Mezcal
Chef Thomas Keller counts himself among La Lupita’s many devoted fans. The secret to the lively joint’s addictive tacos: made-from-scratch tortillas. La Lupita uses Mazahua corn, grown more than 8,200 feet above sea level, and nixtamalizes (a process where the corn is soaked, cooked, washed, and hulled) and grinds it in-house, then slaps it into sizzling warm tortillas. Fillings range from al pastor and tender short ribs with goat cheese to grasshoppers. No matter what you order, cold cervezas and potent mezcal cocktails pair perfectly.

Jardín Secreto
Poured concrete-and-brick interiors give this newly opened downtown restaurant a minimalist edge, while firepits and tropical vegetation create a cozy vibe. As the name suggests, the menu specializes in garden-to-table cuisine. Wood-fired pizzas are the specialty. Ask your server to match your pie to a bottle of Baja wine.

La Revolución Comedor de Baja California
Set within a historic building in the heart of San Jose, La Revolucíon is the brainchild of Baja California cooking pioneer Benito Molina and cocktail maestro and co-founder of the annual Cabo Cocktail Festival, Osvaldo Vásquez. The intensely local, hyper-seasonal menu has a handful of hefty entrees, like the 2.6-pound Tomahawk, but otherwise is meant for sharing. Don’t miss the octopus and pig skin taco and suckling pig turnovers.

La Revolucion San Jose del Cabo

The tacos at La Revolucíon are a can't-miss on a trip to Los Cabos.

Courtesy La Revolucion / Bruno Calderon

WATCH

 

A Day in Madrid

MORE CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER VIDEOS

Lugareño Cocina
Tucked away in the courtyard of the Villa Valentina home store complex, this three-meal-a-day, family-run spot is consistently great no matter what time of day. The menu takes inspiration from every corner of Mexico. For a hearty breakfast, try Benito’s poached eggs with masa gorditas, pulled pork, tomatillo, and avocado sauce. Vegetarian options are plentiful, but the meat dishes, particularly the eight-hour smoked rib, are standouts.

Where to drink

The Breakdown
This year-old coffee shop serves freshly ground, single-origin pour-overs, nitro-infused cold brews, and killer horchata all day long and until 9 p.m. on Art Walk nights. Beans are sourced from Mexico City roasters Buna Coffee and the eco-thoughtfulness extends to the biodegradable straws. Come early to score still-warm pastries from Cabo institution Soleil Panadería, as well as breakfast burritos and berry-topped French toast. Stay late on Sundays for guest DJs spinning on the patio.

Dalton Gin Bar
The rooftop of La Revolucíon was crowned with this classy gin bar in early 2018. Low-watt lighting and classic cocktails evoke a bygone era, but head mixologist Osvaldo Vásquez has put a decidedly modern twist on the drinks. The gin and tonic, for example, gets dressed up with epazote herb, Mexican lime zest, Aztec Rud Bitters, and dehydrated hibiscus flower. Time your arrival to sunset and check the calendar to see what guest DJs and indie bands are on the roster.

Dalton Gin Bar San Jose Del Cabo

Be sure to plan your visit to Dalton Gin Bar around sunset.

Courtesy Dalton Gin Bar / Bruno Calderon

Where to shop

Shima Shima
This jewel box of a boutique in the Arts District overflows with Mexican-made finds. Crayola-colored pom pom necklaces and textiles woven by Otomi women in the Tenango Valley of Hidalgo make one-of-a-kind gifts, while wide-brimmed beach hats and flowy beach cover ups are vacation essentials you can use immediately.

Caravane Cabo
A design lover’s dream in the center of the Art District, Caravane is part showroom, part concept shop. The owners of this three-year-old spot honed their curation creating interiors for some of Cabos’ top hotels. Now, they showcase their favorite artisanal finds in this colorful multi-room space. Custom concha chairs painted to look like avocados have become an Instagram sensation. Top sellers include hand-woven flat-weave rugs by Mexico City-label Bi Yuu featuring designs inspired by Mexican modernist architecture, and modern takes on the Acapulco chair crafted by incarcerated men in Oaxaca.

Choya Rose
Locally loved restaurant Casa Don Rodrigo recently added a boutique dedicated to Mexican-made art, furnishings, and handicrafts. Hand-woven straw bags decorated with sequined Day of the Dead skulls and alebrijes—brightly colored, wooden folk art sculptures from Oaxaca—are great souvenirs.

 

From Conde Nast this is a place down under that is not to be believed.  And you can contact Fred to go there cuz he’s been there and done that.

 

 

This week we share with you the various openings from around the world.  Keep in mind please that all of these are subject to change and local government additions or deletions.

 

 

Jamaica reopens borders with protocol in place

Jun 15, 2020

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Jamaica began welcoming international travelers on June 15 with an extensive set of protocols for visitors, including health screening before entry and upon entry.

To gain entry, visitors must complete a pre-arrival authorization that asks about their possible exposure to Covid-19. They also are screened via thermal checks and symptom observation. Any visitor who exhibits symptoms or is ill is subject to quarantine.

Previously, Jamaicans who returned to the island underwent temperature checks and screenings, and upon arrival they must quarantine at home for 14 days and are monitored by phone.

"Tourism is our lifeblood, and with the help of international experts and a dedicated task force, we've developed protocols that allow us to safely reopen our borders," said director of tourism Donovan White.

The health protocols will be revisited every two weeks.

The country's tourism industry directly employs 130,000 workers and indirectly impacts an additional 120,000 jobs from other industries and fuels more than one-third of the country's economy.

 

Bermuda set to open to international air travelers July 1

By Eric Moya 

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Jun 12, 2020

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Bermuda, Horseshoe Bay Beach

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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Bermuda has announced it will reopen to air travelers beginning July 1.

Passengers arriving at the island's L.F. Wade International Airport must present proof that they tested negative for Covid-19 within 72 hours of departing for Bermuda. 

Transport minister Zane DeSilva told Bermuda's Royal Gazette that visitors will undergo a second test upon arrival and will be required to quarantine in their accommodations until they receive their results. "Depending on the volume of tests, the results are expected to be received within 24 hours, but in most cases, the turnaround time will be less than eight hours," he said.

In a June 12 statement outlining the plan, the Bermuda Tourism Authority said the resumption of air travel "reflects Bermuda's success in managing the impact of the pandemic," noting the island has the world's 12th-highest rate of testing per capita and has had 11 consecutive days of no new cases of Covid-19 as of June 11. 

 

 

 

Turks and Caicos Islands to Reopen July 22

DESTINATION & TOURISM  CLAUDETTE COVEY  MAY 29, 2020

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Stunning white beach in Turks and Caicos on CarribeanPHOTO: Turks and Caicos Islands is known for its beautiful beaches. (Photo via travnikovstudio / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

With safety protocols in place, the Turks and Caicos Islands will begin welcoming travelers on July 22, 2020.

“We are eager and excited to reopen our borders and safely welcome travelers back to the picturesque Turks and Caicos Islands later this summer,” said Pamela Ewing, director of tourism for the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board. “In the meantime, we are taking every precaution to ensure the Islands are safe and to enhance the exceptional experience and care afforded by the destination and our world-class hospitality partners. Our intention is to cautiously reboot the tourism sector, laying the foundation for short- and long-term recovery.”

Details of the safety protocols will be announced within the next several weeks.

Meanwhile, the destination’s airline partners will resume flights from the U.S., Canada and Europe when the Providenciales International Airport opens on July 22, tourism officials said.

The Grand Turk Cruise Center, however, will remain closed until Aug. 31, 2020, “subject to guidance from relevant health authorities,” tourism officials said.

Other Caribbean destinations are also set to begin welcoming travelers again. The U.S. Virgin Islands will reopen to leisure travelers on June 1, with Saint Lucia welcoming visitors back on June 4.

The Turks and Caicos Islands comprise 40 islands and cays, only nine of which are inhabited. Over the years, the destination has gained a reputation for its pristine beaches, which are arguably some of the most beautiful in the world.

 

 

Hawaiian Airlines to resume some flights to U.S. mainland

Jul 02, 2020

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HONOLULU (AP) -- Hawaiian Airlines will resume some flights between Honolulu and U.S. mainland cities next month, after halting them because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement released Wednesday, the airline said it will soon offer daily nonstop service between Honolulu and Boston, New York, Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Jose, and Oakland.

It will also increase inter-island flights and service from the mainland to Maui, Kauai and the Big Island.

The airline has been operating on a once-daily schedule of flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.

The new flights will begin in August when the state will allow travelers who have tested negative for Covid-19 to enter Hawaii without having to quarantine for two weeks. 

 

What the New TSA Requirements Mean for Travelers

Jun 17, 2020What the New TSA Requirements Mean for TravelersSocial distancing will be enforced by TSA as travelers go through security.
Credit: 2020 Transportation Security Administration

Travelers should expect changes in their airport experience, from check-in and security to boarding, as well as while in-flight.

With the right information, travel advisors can help prepare their clients for these changes.

“I think the most important thing is to familiarize yourself with the new policies, so you know what to expect when you get to the airport,” said Zach Wichter, aviation industry reporter for The Points Guy.

One of the major changes in the security screening process is that travelers will now scan their own paper or electronic boarding pass, instead of handing it to a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer. After scanning, travelers will show the officer their boarding pass for a visual inspection.

Masks are allowed to be worn during the screening process, but passengers may be asked to adjust the mask to verify their identity.

TSA is also enforcing rules about food.

RELATED: We Planned a Mexico Trip From Start to Finish — Here's a Realistic Look at the Travel Experience 

“You will be asked to remove your food from your carry-on bag and put it in a bin,” said Lisa Farbstein, a spokesperson for TSA. “With that said, to reduce touchpoints, we recommend placing food into a clear bag at home. Put that clear bag of food into your carry-on bag. Then, at the checkpoint, put the clear bag into the bin. Otherwise, your food will touch the bin. You don’t have to put your food in a clear bag, but it’s the smart way to do it.”

For liquids, a single hand sanitizer bottle (up to 12 ounces) per person is allowed in carry-on bags. The bottle must be taken out of the bag to be screened separately. However, advisors should be sure to remind clients not to bring prohibited items, such as other liquids greater than 3.4 ounces, and to follow rules about removing items from carry-on bags during screening. 

Otherwise, they still may be asked to go back outside security to dispose of things such as water bottles, or to take out items (including laptops) to be put through the scanner again.

In order to reduce touchpoints, TSA is also advising travelers to store items including belts, wallets, keys and phones in carry-on bags. This prevents the requirement of placing loose items in bins. 

Social distancing will also be enforced with visual markers and staggered lanes. Other steps TSA has taken to help stop the spread of the virus include the use of face protection by all TSA officers. Travelers are also encouraged to wear masks; however, they are not required to do so.

In airports, travelers can also expect to see more routine cleaning and disinfection of popular touchpoints in the security screening areas, as well as newly installed plastic shielding in many locations.

“I think the most important thing will be whether or not TSA rigorously enforces social distancing while passengers are waiting to go through the checkpoint,” The Points Guy’s Wichter said. “We know that proximity is a big factor in the spread of COVID-19, so it will be important to make sure people are able to stay apart in places where lines used to be pretty condensed.”

While travelers should become familiar with the abovementioned changes, the overall security experience will not be very different.

In the short term, it could be temperature or COVID checks at airports, but seems likely to evolve into some kind of proof of immunity or immunization for travel in the future.

“I don’t think these policies will have a major effect on most travelers,” Wichter said. “For now, these minor tweaks coupled with low passenger volumes should mean that security is very similar to how it was pre-COVID.”

However, Wichter says travelers should expect to see a health screening component in the future.

“Most, if not all, of the experts I’ve spoken to believe there will be some mandatory health screening in the future for all travelers,” he said. “Exactly what that looks like — and what will be effective — remains an open question for now. In the short term, it could be temperature or COVID-19 checks at airports. But it seems likely to evolve into some kind of proof of immunity or immunization for travel in the future.”

No decision has been made on temperature checks at this time, says TSA’s Farbstein. However, individual airlines such as Frontier Airlines have started to implement health screenings, and many individuals airlines are requiring employees and passengers to wear facial coverings from check-in to deplaning. 

The Details
Transportation Security Administration
www.tsa.gov/coronavirus

 

Medical Expert Explains Why Airplane Cabin Air is Clean

AIRLINES & AIRPORTS  DELTA AIR LINES  DONALD WOOD  JULY 07, 2020

Delta Air Lines electrostatic disinfectant sprayer.PHOTO: Delta Air Lines electrostatic disinfectant sprayer. (Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines)

The number of travelers taking to the skies continues to rise and Delta Air Lines is working hard to ensure the safety of its passengers.

According to an interview with University of Alabama Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases Dr. Michael Saag, airplanes with proper health protocols such as Delta's CareStandard are safe for travelers.

Saag said as long as passengers on board the planes are properly spaced apart and wearing masks, the risk of transmission is very low. As a result, Delta continues to block middle seats and has capped capacity at 60 percent in Main Cabin and 50 percent in First Class.

Air circulation is also important to reducing the possibility of spreading coronavirus, as Delta refreshes the air in its cabins every two-five minutes. The filtration systems on board planes remove 99.99 percent of particles.

In addition, air flows down in planes, reducing transmission of the viral infection.

“The details matter,” Saag said. “If passengers are spread apart and wearing masks, then it is very safe on an airplane.”

To reduce touchpoints for passengers, they are handed antibacterial wipes upon entering the plane to disinfect their seats and the surrounding area, as well as presented with water and snacks in a bag to avoid the need for expanded food service.

The carrier is expanding its health and safety diligence to its Delta Sky Clubs, as the airline reopens the airport facilities in Chicago, Denver, Miami, Nashville, Orlando, Phoenix and San Francisco. Additional Clubs will open as travel continues to increase in the coming months.

Delta also recently resumed serving beer and wine to its first-class and Comfort+ passengers after many airlines decided to stop serving alcoholic beverages.