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How Top Travel Destinations Have Been Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic

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It’s clear by now that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a devastating blow to international travel, but research from travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth sheds new light on just how hard the impact has been.

Analyzing travel insurance policies purchased through Squaremouth over the past year (September 12, 2019 – September 11, 2020) for all future travel and comparing the six months prior to the pandemic (September 12, 2019 – March 11, 2020) to the six months since it was declared (March 12, 2020 – September 11, 2020), the site found that international trips account for only 47 percent of all insured travel over the last six months compared to 86 percent before the start of the pandemic.

The United States is the only top destination to experience an increase in travelers for trips booked amidst the coronavirus crisis (plus-7.48 percent) as Americans still feel most comfortable taking domestic getaways. The remaining nine top destinations in the six months prior to the pandemic have all seen dramatic dropoffs by comparison:

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

—Mexico (minus-75.15 percent)

—Italy (minus-93.89 percent)

—France (minus-90.78 percent)

—Canada (minus-74.92 percent)

—Spain (minus-93.16 percent)

—United Kingdom (minus-84.27 percent)

—Bahamas (minus-83.53 percent)

—Israel (minus-86.55 percent)

—Costa Rica (minus-91.64 percent)

Squaremouth has also seen a significant change in the top 10 international destinations since the pandemic began as travel restrictions in places like Europe continue to limit the places Americans can go. Since March, more travelers are targeting accessible destinations like Mexico and the Caribbean, with destinations like the U.S. Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos and Jamaica overtaking European favorites such as Italy, Spain and Germany.

Fortunately, earlier data from Squaremouth found that Americans do want to travel internationally in 2021, with 65 percent of trips booked for next year being to international destinations.



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Travel

MDHHS provides COVID-19 guidelines for holiday travel and gatherings

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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) – The holidays are usually a time of connection and fellowship for families across the state. With the current state of the world and the pandemic, the holiday season will look differently.

But, The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) wants to ensure that families do not miss out on being together.

On Wednesday, the MDHHS issued its own set of guidelines on how to travel and gather safely during the holidays.

“Celebrating the holiday season with family and friends is one of our most cherished traditions,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “Even though the way we celebrate may have to be different, the guidance issued today shows there are still many ways to spend quality time with family and friends safely during this festive season.”

Though staying home is advantageous, here are some ways to remain safe while traveling for the holidays or meeting in-person:

  • Wear a mask and keep your nose and mouth covered when in public places.
  • Avoid close contact by staying at least 6 feet apart from anyone who is not from your household
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid contact with anyone who is sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

Please note: It is recommended that you stay quarantined on the holidays if you have contracted COVID-19 or are showcasing some COVID-19 related symptoms.

Indoor festivities should avoid crowded, poorly ventilated or fully enclosed indoor spaces. The capacity limit should be 10 people or less. Remember to be extremely cautious around food and drinks; limiting the amount of people in areas where food is prepared, and have one person serve all shareable food and consider using single-use items for condiments, plates, and utensils.

To read tips on how to celebrate the holidays during COVID-19, click here.

Copyright 2020 WILX. All rights reserved.

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Coronavirus: CDC adds guidelines for air travel, transportation

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released new guidelines for those planning to travel by plane, trains and automobiles, and it’s basically a call to wear masks.

What’s going on?

The CDC said it recommends passengers and personnel wear masks on most modes of transportation, including airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, buses, taxis and ride shares.

  • “People should wear masks that cover both the mouth and nose when waiting or, traveling on, or departing from public. People should also wear masks at an airport, bus or ferry terminal, train or subway station, seaport or similar area that provides transportation.”
  • “People should wear masks when traveling into, within, or out of the United States on conveyances.”

The CDC said there are some exceptions to the rules, and that the following people don’t have to wear a mask:

  • People under the age of 2.
  • Anyone with a written instruction not to wear masks.
  • People with a disability or mental health condition that could stop them from wearing a mask.
  • Anyone who, if wearing a mask, might “create a risk to workplace health, safety, or job duty as determined by the relevant workplace safety guidelines or federal regulations.”

The problem:

Transportation industry leaders said the guidelines fall short of expectations since the coronavirus is still spreading in record numbers across the country, according to The Washington Post.

Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, praised the recommendations. However, she’s not happy there’s still a debate about whether people should wear masks.

Larry Willis, president of the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, told The Washington Post that the CDC guidelines are just recommendations — not necessarily rules.

  • “But at the end of the day, these are still just recommendations. … To really give teeth to these requirements, there actually has to be a federal mandate,” he said.
  • “The White House has made its hostility to common sense CDC guidelines, including their mask requirement, a central part of their message” he added.

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Philippines allowing foreign travel to resume

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MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines has lifted a ban on non-essential foreign trips by Filipinos, but the immigration bureau didn’t immediately see many departures. Travelers to other countries must prove they have confirmed roundtrip tickets, insurance and a negative virus test among other requirements. Aside from tedious pre-departure requirements, many countries still restrict the entry of travelers from nations with high number of coronavirus infections, including the Philippines. The Department of Health has reported more than 360,000 confirmed cases, the second-highest in Southeast Asia, with at least 6,690 deaths. The government has gradually eased travel restrictions to bolster the economy.

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