JANUARY 13, 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 announced that it is expanding the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test to all air travelers entering the United States. Beginning January 26th, international travelers entering the US will need to test negative within the 72-hour window prior to their departure, and the CDC also recommends that they get tested again three to five days after arrival, self-quarantining for seven days post-travel. Travelers will also need to provide written documentation of their laboratory test result (paper or electronic copy) to the airline or provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19. Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all travelers or documentation of recovery before they board. If a traveler does not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery, or chooses not to take a test, the airline must deny boarding to the traveler. “Testing does not eliminate all risk,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, MD, “but when combined with a period of staying at home and everyday precautions like wearing masks and social distancing, it can make travel safer, healthier and more responsible by reducing spread on planes, in airports, and at destinations.”

All travelers arriving in the UK will now be required to prove a negative COVID-19 test result taken within the 72-hour window prior to their departure, reports Bloomberg. Under rules announced last week, anyone failing to produce evidence they don’t have COVID-19 will be fined 500 pounds ($678). Travelers arriving from countries not on the government’s open travel corridor list will be required to isolate at home for 10 days, regardless of their test results. The measures, set out by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, will come into force beginning Friday, January 15th, for travelers arriving in the UK by plane, boat or train. The plan is aimed at stopping new strains of COVID-19 coming into the UK, as the government accelerates the roll-out of vaccines, Shapps said.

American Airlines has announced that it is moving ahead with its strategic alliance with JetBlue following review by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Both carriers will begin implementing key aspects of their customer-focused alliance in phases, offering more seamless connectivity and better travel choices on routes to and from New York (JFK, LGA and EWR) and Boston (BOS). The carriers also expect this alliance will accelerate each airline’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic as travelers are attracted to the expansion of options and enhanced service. "With this alliance, American and JetBlue will operate the biggest network for our customers in the Northeast, which will allow American to grow our mainline operations as we recover from the pandemic,” said Vasu Raja, American’s Chief Revenue Officer. “We are already planning to launch new international routes to Athens and Tel Aviv this summer, which are just two of many new routes we plan to launch.”

Airline industry analysts are predicting a spike in traveler confidence after rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine caused booking sites to see an uptick in flight searches, reports ABC News. "The availability of vaccines and testing will get people comfortable with traveling," Raymond James airline analyst Savanthi Syth told ABC News. "You'll see the leisure and the visiting friends and relative travel should come back, relatively quickly." Last summer, travel was down by 50 percent, but Syth is estimating this summer there will be a 70 to 80 percent return in leisure travel. Another factor that could generate a surge in travel is predicted cheap fares. Airline analyst Brett Snyder believes airlines will have to keep fares low to fill their planes. "They want to get people going again and get people comfortable, make things move," he said. Snyder referenced US airlines eliminating change fees as things airlines have been willing to do to generate business that would not have happened pre-pandemic.

Delta, Frontier and United Airlines have joined Alaska and American in their announcements to no longer allow emotional support animals to fly free, reports USA Today. The moves follow a Department of Transportation (DOT) rule that lets airlines crack down on the growing number of emotional-support animals in recent years. The government rules announced last month require airlines to accept service dogs that are trained individually to help a person with a disability. The rules let airlines deny free boarding for companion animals. Owners of service dogs will have to submit a government-approved form attesting to the dog's training, vaccines and disposition. Therapy animals trained to visit nursing homes and other settings don't count as service dogs, a United representative specified.
As the waters of Boston Harbor give way to the city skyline, the iconic 60-foot stone archway of the Boston Harbor Hotel offers an entrée to the city unlike any other. Boston’s only waterfront Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond hotel is the essence of “classically current” luxury, welcoming guests arriving by land or sea to historic Rowes Wharf. The lobby interiors sweep travelers into an inviting home away from home, from the sophisticated yet comfortable furnishings and maritime color palettes to the marble flooring and unique flower arrangements.

All 232 guest rooms and suites offer striking views of the Boston cityscape or the waterfront and harbor. Luxuries that include a chic, private health fitness center and a full-service 34-slip marina ensure that guests’ experiences will always be Beyond Compare.
Travelers can experience the invigorating charm and rich history of Rittenhouse Square, one of Philadelphia’s most beloved destinations. The Rittenhouse Hotel is a standout among luxury hotels in Philadelphia’s Center City, offering visitors a Forbes Four Star experience with well-appointed rooms and suites, world-class service and the most desirable location in town. This Rittenhouse Square luxury hotel offers personalized experiences and provides the perfect balance of sophistication and relaxation. Welcome to the Rittenhouse Hotel, a true gem among Center City, Philadelphia hotels.
The Biltmore Hotel Coral Gables is a national historic landmark located in the exclusive Coral Gables area. The 271-room resort includes 133 suites and features spectacular Mediterranean architecture with classic Italian, Moorish and Spanish influences spread over 150 acres of tropical landscape. A favorite of world leaders and celebrities since its opening in 1926, the hotel offers a restored Donald Ross 18-hole, 71-par championship golf course; tennis courts; the largest hotel pool on the East Coast of the United States with private cabanas; a European spa and a renowned fitness center. The Biltmore Hotel Coral Gables is one of South Florida's preferred sites for business travel.
In the Gold Coast neighborhood, this chateau-style hotel is around the corner from Rush Street. Within one block, travelers can reach the Magnificent Mile and Oak Street. Perks at Waldorf Astoria Chicago include complimentary transport within two miles, an award-winning spa, a lap pool and a pilates studio. A personal concierge is on hand to tailor every stay — and the hotel has a no-tipping policy in place.