JULY 22, 2020

At Lawyers Travel, we remain committed to providing excellent service to our valued clients throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic. Click the link below to view our travel resources guide which includes traveler health & safety  information regarding COVID-19.

People traveling to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut from 31 states are now required to self-quarantine for 14 days, after 10 states with significant community spread of COVID-19 were added to a travel advisory Tuesday, reports NPR. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut first announced their travel advisory on June 24th, as they sought to limit potential sources of COVID-19 infection. As of last week, 22 states were on the list of those requiring quarantines, but the advisory now covers well over half the country. Delaware, which was removed last week, is now back on the list. The state effectively swapped places with Minnesota, which has dropped off. The tri-state area's new travel advisory now covers these states: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

Travelers flying into New Jersey airports will now be asked to fill out an electronic survey upon arrival from one of the 31 states that qualify as COVID-19 hotspots, reports NorthJersey.com. Airlines will announce both the quarantine advisory and information about the survey before travelers depart for New Jersey and while they’re on their flight, state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said. The survey will ask people information about where they’re traveling from, their residence and their destination. The information will then be sent to county health departments, who will then call the traveler to request them to self-quarantine and explain where they can be tested for COVID-19. New Jersey's health survey requirement is similar to the requirement New York issued last week; however, New York has stated that it will levy a $2,000 fine against travelers who leave airports in the state without submitting the form. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has said New Jersey won’t institute a fine, though he said Persichilli has the power to “go after” and “sanction” people who do not comply with the quarantine. He has not clarified what that means.

One day after Marriott International introduced its requirements for guests to wear face coverings in all public areas of its hotels globally, both Hyatt Hotels Corporation and InterContinental Hotels Group will now require guests to wear face coverings within indoor public areas of its US and Canadian hotels beginning July 27th, reports Business Travel News. All three companies cited the American Hotel & Lodging Association's Safe Stay guest checklist recommendations, which were released last week. Additionally, Hilton Worldwide confirmed that it too would introduce a face covering policy for guests, but did not provide further details. Loews Hotels already requires face coverings for guests.

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced that Trusted Traveler Programs enrollment centers will remain closed until at least September 8, 2020, to ensure the health and safety of program applicants and CBP personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision was made in consultation with CBP health and safety experts who continue to monitor the increase in COVID-19 cases across the United States. Trusted Traveler Programs applicants who scheduled interviews at enrollment centers on or before September 7th must reschedule their appointments. To reschedule, applicants should log into their Trusted Traveler Programs account on or after September 8th and use the online scheduling tool. In order to minimize the impact of the enrollment centers closure on Trusted Traveler Programs applicants, CBP further extended the period of time that applicants have to complete the enrollment process. Every applicant now has 545 days from the date that CBP conditionally approves their application to complete the enrollment process. In addition, CBP will extend for up to 18 months the program benefits of members who apply for renewal before their current membership expires.

American Airlines has announced that it is advancing its technology capabilities to ease the traveler experience and focus on the well-being and safety of travelers and team members. The carrier has created a new touchless check-in experience for travelers, allowing them to proceed to the gate without touching the kiosk screen, even if they are checking a bag. Travelers who would like to check baggage and are traveling domestically on a single itinerary can indicate how many bags they plan to check on the American Airlines app or website. When they arrive at the airport, the traveler will scan their boarding pass and the kiosk will print the bag tags. This new technology will be in place at more than 230 airports. Additionally, American recently began the rollout of aainflight.com, a new in-flight Wi-Fi portal that provides a unified entertainment and connectivity experience. The portal makes the sign-on process smoother when using Wi-Fi on board across the airline’s domestic network. The new portal enables travelers to use their AAdvantage credentials and stored credit card information to purchase flight passes for internet access on aircraft equipped with Gogo and Viasat internet services.

Delta Air Lines has said it will now require a virtual medical evaluation from travelers if they have a health condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering, reports Travel Pulse. This virtual consultation will be conducted over the phone privately by STAT-MD, a company that "provides in-flight emergency consultation as well as fitness-to-fly ground screening," according to that company's website. Delta will then assess the results and determine whether a traveler can fly without a face covering.

Major airlines are urging the US and the European Union (EU) to quickly restore transatlantic air travel by deploying a joint COVID-19 testing program, reports The Washington Post. The CEOs of American Airlines, IAG, Lufthansa Group and United wrote Tuesday that “given the unquestioned importance of transatlantic air travel to the global economy as well as to the economic recovery of our businesses, we believe it is critical to find a way to reopen air services between the US and Europe.” They said that a testing program for the transatlantic market “could be an excellent opportunity for government and industry to work together” and “safely restore passenger travel between the US and Europe.”

American Airlines and JetBlue Airways have announced a strategic partnership that will create seamless connectivity for travelers in the Northeast and more choice for travelers across their domestic and international networks. In addition, the relationship will accelerate each airline’s recovery as the travel industry adapts to new trends as a result of COVID-19. The partnership includes an alliance agreement that proposes codeshare and loyalty benefits that will enhance each carrier's offerings in New York and Boston, providing strategic growth and driving value for travelers and team members of both airlines.

The FBI is warning travelers to be wary of potentially fake website domains spoofing US airport websites that could result in identity theft and financial loss, reports Travel Pulse. In many cases, cyber-criminals create the bogus websites using an organization's same logo, font and color scheme and only need to make a slight character change or two within the domain to trick unsuspecting users. "They do this to steal personal and business data, and US airports are an attractive target for cyber actors because there is a rich environment of business and personal information," said Cyber Supervisory Special Agent Conal Whetten. Travelers should also be aware of these threats when signing onto airport Wi-Fi networks. The FBI encourages travelers to always be vigilant while online. Tips include never opening an attachment or clicking a link sent from an unknown sender; verifying domains in your browser; using multi-factor authentication when possible; updating anti-malware and anti-virus software; conducting regular network scans and removing unnecessary software protocols and portals.

In his latest LinkedIn Influencer article, CEO Paul Metselaar discusses "Pandemic’s New Normal: How the Vision of Travel Industry Leaders Can Be Applied in Opening Other Economic Sectors."