JULY 8, 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.

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced that it has postponed the previously announced reopening of Trusted Traveler Programs Enrollment Centers until at least August 10, 2020 to ensure the health and safety of program applicants. Prior to the postponement, Global Entry and other trusted traveler program enrollment centers had been scheduled to reopen on Monday, July 6th. The decision was made in consultation with CBP health and safety experts who are closely monitoring the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in several states. Trusted Traveler Programs applicants who scheduled interviews at enrollment centers in July and early August should reschedule their appointments on or after August 10th by logging into their Trusted Traveler Programs account and using the online scheduling tool. In an effort to minimize the impact of the closures, CBP is giving each applicant at least 485 days from the date that their application is conditionally approved to complete the enrollment process. CBP’s Enrollment on Arrival program for Global Entry will remain operational. Travelers who have already initiated the Global Entry application process can still complete their enrollment upon arrival at several US airports a complete list of which is available on the CBP.gov website.

Chicago is now requiring visitors from 15 states with high COVID-19 infection rates to quarantine for 14 days, reports USA Today. Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the new policy last Thursday in a tweet: "To preserve the gains Chicago has made, we're issuing an Emergency Travel Order directing travelers entering or returning to Chicago from states experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases to quarantine for a period of 14 days." The order applies to the city of Chicago itself. Affected states include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. All 15 of those states are also on the quarantine list issued by New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. An FAQ on the city's website said any state with more than 15 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents per day on a 7-day rolling average was eligible to be added to the quarantine list. Chicago's criteria is more permissive than that used by New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, which put states with 10 new cases per day on its lists. Other states may be added as Chicago officials conduct weekly reviews.

Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI) and a network of research, policy and public health experts joined forces to create a new COVID-19 Risk Level map, reports Travel Pulse. The interactive online tool, which launched last week, enables users to easily see the levels of community spread in different areas of the US, down to the state or county level. "The public needs clear and consistent information about COVID-19 risk levels in different jurisdictions for personal decision-making, and policy-makers need clear and consistent visibility that permits differentiating policy across jurisdictions”, explained Danielle Allen, Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. Regions fall into one of four color-coded risk-level categories—Green, Yellow, Orange or Red—based upon the number of daily new COVID-19 cases reported. These designations are intended, not only to alert potential visitors to the risk level of a certain area, but also to help these jurisdictions themselves by offering guidance on COVID-19 suppression measures in line with their level of community spread. Click "READ MORE" below to view the interactive map.

Three government agencies recently issued health guidance to airlines and airports as a means of aiding the transportation system’s COVID-19 recovery efforts, reports Transportation Today. Department of Transportation (DOT), Homeland Security (DHS) and Health and Human Services (HHS) officials said "Runway to Recovery: The United States Framework for Airlines and Airports to Mitigate the Public Health Risks of Coronavirus" – is designed to enhance traveler, crew and other airport worker protections amid the pandemic during the economic recovery. The guidelines address, among other initiatives, educating and communicating with travelers and employees; travelers wearing face coverings everywhere in the air transportation environment; promoting social distancing; enhancing disinfection and cleaning procedures; requiring health assessments from travelers and employees; and collecting traveler contact information to enable notification in the event of suspected or confirmed exposure to COVID-19. Officials said the guidelines combine the expertise of the agencies, noting each contributed specialized expertise regarding infectious diseases, public safety and transportation operations.

In an interview with Delta Air Lines, Dr. Michael Saag, Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, explains how airplane cabin air is filtered and other steps Delta is taking to ensure the cabin is clean, safe and the air is healthy to breathe. Click the video below to watch the entire interview.

As Delta Air Lines adds flights to its schedule, select Delta Sky Clubs are reopening their doors with additional layers of protection to keep travelers safe and at ease. Clubs in Chicago O’Hare (E Concourse), Denver, Miami, Nashville, Orlando, Phoenix and San Francisco will join Clubs that are already operating as they reopen throughout July, with additional Clubs reopening as travel increases over the coming months. To make the experience safer, Delta will adhere to an updated list of health protocols by reducing touchpoints, including updated food services, added plexiglass partitions, hand sanitizer dispensers and more. “Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our employees and guests,” said Claude Roussel, Managing Director — Delta Sky Club. “Our Delta CareStandard extends to every step of the travel journey​ -- including Delta Sky Clubs. From seating capacity to cleaning procedures to individually packaged food options and a modified bar experience, we’ve thought through and improved every touch point to ensure you feel safe and at ease during your Club visit.”

United Airlines has announced that it is cutting back on the August flight schedule it announced just last week because travel demand is sliding again as COVID-19 cases continue to surge across much of the country, reports The New York Times. United management told employees this week that it expected to fly about 35 percent as many flights next month as it did last August, down from the 40 percent it announced a week ago, the airline said in a securities filing released after the market close. The airline said its flight schedule for the rest of the year was likely to look much like its reconfigured August plan because the recovery would remain choppy. The airline does not expect demand to recover fully until a “widely accepted” treatment or vaccine for the virus is available. United had operated about 12 percent as many flights in June as it did last year and expects to operate about 25 percent as many flights in July compared with the same month last year.