AUGUST 11, 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.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has added seven destinations to the COVID-19 Level 4 travel alert, which designates countries as having “Very High” COVID-19 levels, reports USA Today. According to the CDC's guidance, travelers should avoid travel to those destinations, but those who must travel should make sure they are fully vaccinated. Aruba, Eswatini, France, French Polynesia, Iceland, Israel, and Thailand are now among the nearly 80 destinations on the CDC's Level 4 list. The CDC recommends all travelers (regardless of vaccination status) wear masks, self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, and get tested three to five days after they travel. On top of those travel precautions, the agency also recommends that unvaccinated travelers get tested one to three days before leaving the US and that they self-quarantine after travel for up to 10 days.

The Biden administration is developing a plan to require foreign visitors to the US to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as part of eventually lifting travel restrictions currently in place, reports Reuters. The White House wants to re-open travel, but is not ready to immediately lift restrictions because of the rising COVID-19 case load and highly transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant, a White House official said. Interagency working groups are planning "to have a new system ready for when we can reopen travel," the official said, adding that it includes "a phased approach that over time will mean, with limited exceptions, that foreign nationals traveling to the United States (from all countries) need to be fully vaccinated." Some countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom, have relaxed or lifted restrictions for vaccinated Americans to travel. The White House has held discussions with airlines and others about how it would implement a policy of requiring vaccines for foreign visitors.

As the US continues to fight against the Delta variant of COVID-19, more and more businesses and government agencies are pushing policy changes to mandate vaccinations against the virus, reports Yahoo. Last week, New York City announced that it would be the first US city to require proof of vaccination for a range of activities, including indoor dining, music concerts, and gyms. According to Travel Weekly, two NYC hotels have also announced their own vaccine mandates despite hotels not being included in New York's new policy. Equinox Hotel stated that it will require proof of vaccination for all guests starting September 13, while Public Hotel will begin its vaccination mandate on September 5. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico has decided to require COVID-19 vaccinations for all guests and employees at hotels and Airbnbs. Vaccine mandates are also being considered in many other industries. Across the country, concert venues, universities, and private companies have begun rolling out their own policies mandating vaccines. The number is expected to grow when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gives full approval to the COVID-19 vaccines currently being administered after receiving emergency use authorization. 

Delta Air Lines has announced that it will increase service to London to nearly 30 weekly flights this fall, as travel to the UK reopened to fully vaccinated US residents without quarantine on August 2. Delta plans to restart three weekly flights to London Heathrow from Seattle on October 7, followed by four weekly flights from Detroit starting October 11. Service from New York's John F. Kennedy Airport will increase from daily to twice-daily on October 6. The carrier also will continue its current daily service to Heathrow from Atlanta. To travel to London, travelers will need to:
  • Provide both proof of vaccination and a negative test (PCR, LAMP, or antigen) taken within three days of departure
  • Take a PCR test on or before two days after arrival

To re-enter the US, travelers must provide proof of a negative test within three days of departure.

Alitalia, Italy's largest airline, will cease operations in mid-October, and its successor, Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA), will be taking over some of its operations and routes, reports Condé Nast Traveler. ITA is set to launch on October 15, just one day after Alitalia ceases operations. ITA will have bases in both Rome and Milan, and will acquire 85 percent of the Alitalia flight slots at Milan Linate airport and 43 percent of those at Rome's Leonardo da Vinci airport. The airline says it will focus on regional routes within Europe first, such as Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, London, and Paris. Longer haul international routes are expected to be offered in the initial months after launch (as long as COVID restrictions roll back). ITA plans to fly from Rome and Milan to New York, and from Rome to Boston, Miami, and Tokyo. Additional international routes—including Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, and São Paulo could be added by summer 2022.
Breakfast is served in style at the Conrad Washington, DC’s newly launched Blue Willow. Featuring a menu of delicious modern American cuisine, dishes focus on the array of flavors from the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Enjoy Maryland Crab Quiche with a side of fresh greens, Sausage & Gravy with Surryano ham crackling and Blueberry Danish French Toast with vanilla custard and blueberry syrup, among other delicious breakfast staples, smoothies, specialty coffees, and loose-leaf teas. The stunning restaurant features floor-to-ceiling windows that allow for natural light to illuminate the stunning Blue Willow wall – a custom installation featuring a mosaic of broken Blue Willow china. If dining al fresco is more the guest's style, they can enjoy their meal outdoors on the third-floor South Terrace. Whichever guests prefer, they can choose the Conrad for their next visit to DC and enjoy a unique breakfast option unlike any other in the city.
The Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park offers sophisticated, modern luxury in the heart of downtown Chicago. Overlooking Lake Michigan, Grant and Millennium Parks, and the legendary skyline, the Fairmont Chicago is the perfect backdrop for an urban escape. The Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park boasts some of the city’s most spacious and impeccably appointed guest rooms. This hotel features 687 guest rooms and suites, including hypoallergenic, allergy-friendly Fairmont PURE rooms.
Relish revisiting the Roaring Twenties amidst modern Manhattan's glamor at the InterContinental New York Barclay. Preserving its rich history through signature Federalist style décor, the hotel continues to evolve to bring guests modern luxuries of hospitality while making the health and safety of guests and employees a top priority.

Savor masterfully handcrafted cocktails at The Parlour, now open for breakfast and evening service.
Visit South Beach for business. Stay for the sand and sea. With 65,000 square feet of function space, direct beach access, spacious suites, and more, Loews Miami Beach Hotel offers the quintessential blend of work and play.

From boardroom to beach, the renowned resort provides premier service and luxury touches at every turn. An oceanfront paradise where sophisticated style meets beachfront chic, taking care of business and soaking up the sunshine have never been easier. Spend the day at the hotel’s iconic pool deck. Relax in 790 beautifully appointed guestrooms, including newly redesigned presidential suites. Savor Miami-inspired flavors at five restaurants, including the award-winning Lure Fishbar. Indulge at SOAK Cabanas or recharge at Exhale Spa.

Additional amenities include a fitness center, state-of-the-art Kids Club, and premium shopping at Splash and Splish boutiques.
Offering an experience of class and character, this historic hotel has been updated with modern amenities, high-tech features, and elegant design. With unbeatable views, luxurious accommodations and historic charm, the sophisticated Los Angeles hotel is an ideal choice for travelers who appreciate the finer things in life.

The hotel is providing the hospitality experiences they are known for but must also do so safely. The hotel will continue working with experts and following guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and government officials and regulators as they evolve these protocols based on the latest information. These protocols and procedures focus on balancing customer service with the urgent need to apply knowledge about COVID-19 and adapt environments accordingly. This plan is being implemented at Millennium Hotels & Resorts throughout the United States, with additions and changes being made based on local jurisdictions.
Be doubly rewarded with a stay at Park Hyatt Washington, DC this summer, a centrally located and elegant West End property. Book the Ovation Rate for a standard King to be upgraded to a spacious 544 sq/ft Park Junior Suite. The Ovation Rate also earns World of Hyatt members double loyalty points for stays through 09/30/2021. Upgrades subject to availability.
The birthplace of the original martini and host to early 20th Century icons like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Enrico Caruso, The Knickerbocker is the original purveyor of the luxury lifestyle experience in New York City.

Nestled within the hotel’s 16-story Beaux-Art façade, accommodations boast a sleek and contemporary style, with customized floorplans, soaring 12-foot ceilings, and 6-foot windows creating an indulgent sense of space. Bespoke furnishings, oak wood finishes, richly textured fabrics, and intelligent lighting add to the sublime ambiance.

Guests staying in The Knickerbocker’s New York City suites will find all the comforts of home at their fingertips, from state-of-the-art technologies to exclusive dyptique bath amenities.
What really is a perfect hotel? The Tillary Hotel is the epitome of customization. It caters to every guest, ensuring that as soon as they step foot on property, they feel at home. The expected essentials amped up with a few delightful surprises, the hotel has it pulled all together with must-have services and free amenities like building Wi-Fi, unlimited in room coffee and tea, unlimited local and international calls, and a state-of-the-art Fitness Center. The Tillary Hotel has rooted itself deep within the Brooklyn community by supporting local business and collaborating with Brooklyn talent on a constant basis. The character reflects the Brooklyn culture with a Brooklyn attitude. Best of all, guests are a short Uber ride away from the Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets and epic concerts. And even shorter ride to Soho should guests choose to spend the day in Manhattan. Unless, of course, guests choose to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge.
Ovation Travel Group is wholly owned by American Express Global Business Travel (GBT). GBT is a joint venture that is not wholly owned by American Express Company or any of its subsidiaries (American Express). “American Express Global Business Travel”, “American Express", and the American Express logo are trademarks of American Express and are used under limited license. “American Express Meetings & Events” is a division of GBT.