JANUARY 6, 2021

At Ovation, 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, interactive risk maps, client communications, travel management best practices, webinar recordings and more regarding COVID-19.

Airline trade group Airlines for America (A4A) backed a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation that the US ditch blanket travel restrictions in favor of a mandatory testing regime for all arrivals, reports Skift. If the US adopts the CDC recommendation, it would be the largest country so far to implement mandatory testing on international travelers. Testing rules would apply to all international arriving travelers, as well as replace blanket restrictions on travelers from Brazil, Europe and the UK, wrote A4A President and CEO Nicholas Calio. He called such a regime a “more effective way” of controlling the spread of COVID-19. In addition, the industry recommended a 14-day implementation timeline in order to notify flyers and train staff on the new requirements. A testing-based approach to international travel is seen by many as key to reopening borders. The trade group the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called for this since at least October. Such a move is seen as critical for global carriers that rely primarily on international travel to restart flights and begin recovering from the crisis.

The Canadian government has announced that pre-departure COVID-19 testing and proof of negative results will now be mandatory for all air travelers arriving in Canada beginning January 7, 2021, reports Airport Technology. The aim of the mandatory COVID-19 testing is to curb the spread of the coronavirus in Canada. Despite the new rules, air travelers will still have to submit to the compulsory 14-day quarantine period before being permitted to move freely around the country. Within 72 hours of their departure, all travelers above the age of five will be required to take a coronavirus molecular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. Before boarding, travelers must present their negative test results, with written or electronic proof, to the airlines. The test must be provided by an accredited lab or an "external organization" like a local government, stated the Canadian government on its website. In the absence of a negative PCR test, travelers will not be allowed to board flights within Canada, unless otherwise exempt.

As we enter 2021, the recent arrival of multiple COVID-19 vaccines has many travelers eager to start traveling safely and confidently again. As of today, public health and safety policy continues to be decided at the state, and even jurisdictional, levels. Close to half of the country’s states have instituted some form of restriction on travelers entering from out of state, whether they be quarantine, testing requirements or some combination of both, in hopes of preventing the spread of fresh infection from outside their borders. It is important for travelers to be updated on the latest statewide regulations. While some US states have no restrictions on travel, all their sites have important COVID-19 safety information, including possible face mask mandates in public settings. States without travel restrictions might still have mask mandates. Click "Read More" below for a comprehensive list of state-specific travel restrictions and safety mandates currently in place across the US as assembled by CNN.

Delta Air Lines announced that it will be adding a new in-flight Wi-Fi provider, Viasat, as well as launching a new Delta Wi-Fi access portal with a new interface, as it continues to take steps to improve its customer experience during the COVID-19 pandemic, reports Travel Market Report. The switch will be made during the summer, with Viasat installation coinciding with the delivery of new aircraft to the Delta fleet. While Delta said that the move would improve customer experience in-flight with higher speed and better capability onboard, including better streaming and more personalized content in the in-flight entertainment options, it also continues Delta’s mission of delivering free Wi-Fi in the future. “We are committed to delivering Free Wi-Fi in the future, and this is a significant step on that journey,” Ekrem Dimbiloglu, Delta’s director of brand experience for in-flight entertainment said in a Q&A announcing the news.

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screened 18.8 million people at the nation’s airports over the Christmas and New Year holidays, the highest number of travelers screened over any three-week period since the pandemic began, reports Airline Weekly. Although the number of travelers screened between December 18, 2020-January 4, 2021 was the largest since March, traffic was a fraction of what it was during the same period last year, when 42.3 million travelers went through airport checkpoints. Holiday traffic was up significantly in sharp contrast to the pandemic travel low point in April, when only 1.8 million passed through TSA checkpoints during a three-week period, April 6-23, 2020.

American Airlines has announced changes to its policies and procedures for travel with emotional support animals and service animals, aligning with regulations recently issued by the US Department of Transportation (DOT). According to the carrier, the new policies and procedures are intended to support travelers with disabilities and the service animals that travel with them, as well as the team members who work to keep travelers safe. The DOT’s new rule defines a service animal as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability. When the rule goes into effect January 11th, American will no longer authorize new travel for animals that do not meet that definition, such as emotional support animals. Existing bookings involving emotional support animals will be honored through February 1st, when the airline’s new policies go into effect. Animals that previously traveled as emotional support animals and no longer qualify as service animals may travel as carry-on pets or as cargo pets, as long as they meet the requirements. American joins Alaskan Airlines as one of two current US carriers to update its service animal policies.
The Embassy Suites Washington, DC - Convention Center hotel is centrally located in the heart of Washington, DC. This all-suite hotel is within easy walking distance of the National Mall, Smithsonian museums, the White House and the US Capitol. Also, just steps across the street, is the CityCenterDC for trendy dining and upscale shopping. Guests can easily walk to Capital One Arena or ride the nearby Metro (three blocks) to Washington DC attractions. At Embassy Suites Washington, DC - Convention Center, every day starts with a complimentary made-to-order breakfast.
Recently renovated guest rooms and suites are ready to delight the senses at Kimpton EPIC Hotel Miami. Drawing inspiration from the sea, the designers created an elegantly minimal, organic vibe. For all the refinement, form never outshines function, so many details are tailor-made for each guest’s comfort. The hotel is ideally situated along the Miami River in the epicenter of downtown Miami. The building itself is a sleek, 54-story, elliptical-shaped high-rise featuring 411 guest rooms and suites, including two luxury corner Presidential Style Suites, 24 one-bedroom corner suites and 24 junior suites. All of the rooms feature custom furnishings and fine fabrics, as well as private balconies with glimmering views of Miami and Biscayne Bay. Kimpton EPIC Hotel artfully blends urban sophistication with a playful lifestyle spirit offering the best of today’s modern-day resorts with the convenience of being close to the extraordinary attributes of Miami. Situated right alongside the buzzing Brickell business district and the lively Biscayne Bay area, Kimpton EPIC Hotel's Downtown Miami location offers an eclectic mix of culture and fun.
Sitting atop Bunker Hill, Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza features luxurious accommodations and modern conveniences to exceed the desires of today’s travelers. This hotel rises seventeen stories and reflects the sophistication of downtown Los Angeles while offering an outdoor heated lap pool, spa services and an exclusive Executive Club Floor and Lounge.

Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza's features 453 newly updated non-smoking guest rooms and suites, with an inviting palette of soft grays, ivories, midnight blues and rich chocolates which capture the elegance of cosmopolitan living at its best.

Perfectly equipped for leisure and business travelers alike, each guest room and suite offers modern conveniences and spectacular views of Bunker Hill or California Plaza Watercourt. Travelers can relax in luxurious accommodations while reveling in the glamour of the City of Angels.
The Knickerbocker is a haven of refined elegance, created by John Jacob Astor in 1906 and now reimagined into a sophisticated urban sanctuary mere blocks from Fifth Avenue, MoMA, Rockefeller Center and Central Park. Here is where famed Italian tenor Enrico Caruso and renowned American playwright George M. Cohan made their homes and where names like Rockefeller and Fitzgerald gathered in what was once known as the 42nd Street Country Club.

Filled with fabled legends, The Knickerbocker once played host to legendary political bigwigs, actresses, oil tycoons and sports figures - and it’s rumored the martini was invented here in the hotel. While historic details like the hotel’s gorgeous Beaux-Arts facade remain unchanged, a soothing new luxury aesthetic is offered within.

The stunning transformation of this treasured Manhattan monument invites discerning travelers to discover 330 luxe guestrooms and suites boasting incredible views and bespoke furnishings.

An air of posh authenticity embraces New York City’s premier luxury lifestyle hotel with cuisine by Charlie Palmer, style by dyptique and a robust fitness program curated by New York Knicks star Larry Johnson.