JANUARY 27, 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.

An Executive Order signed by President Biden now requires travelers to wear face coverings during interstate travel, reports CNN. The travel order applies to airports and planes, trains, ferries, intercity buses and public transportation. The order is a directive to several agencies to take action to require masks be worn in compliance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. "US airlines have been supportive of a federal mandate as an additional layer of support and welcome today's Executive Order, which will strengthen our flight crews' ability to enforce face covering requirements for the duration of the pandemic, said Nicholas E. Calio, A4A's president and CEO, in a statement. In addition to the mask mandate, Biden also ordered that all travelers, including US citizens, will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before entering the United States from abroad. The order underscores the CDC policy announced last week. Biden also called for a requirement for travelers to comply with "CDC guidelines concerning international travel, including recommended periods of self-quarantine or self-isolation after entry into the United States."

Reports claim President Joe Biden is considering adding legislation requiring COVID-19 tests for all travelers preparing to board a domestic flight, reports Travel Pulse. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) official Dr. Marty Cetron announced Tuesday that the organization was working with the Biden administration regarding the types of tests and where they would be administered if mandatory testing for all domestic flights was enacted. President Biden has already increased calls to “impose additional public health measures for domestic travel” and consider new requirements for people crossing land borders. On Tuesday, new CDC rules took effect requiring nearly all international air travelers aged 2 and older to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of travel or proof of COVID-19 recovery to enter the US. In discussions with airline officials, the CDC has said it is considering requiring domestic testing, too.

President Joe Biden signed an order on Monday barring most non-US citizens who have recently been in South Africa from entering the United States, effective Saturday, reports Reuters. Biden’s order also reimposes an entry ban on nearly all non-US travelers who have been in Brazil, the United Kingdom, Ireland and 26 countries in Europe's Schengen Area. Last week, then-US President Donald Trump revoked those restrictions which were imposed last year effective Tuesday. "With the pandemic worsening and more contagious variants spreading, this isn’t the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said at a news briefing.

Delta Air Lines has announced that it has developed a dedicated COVID-19 testing resource available on its website, highlighting testing locations across its international network that offer one or more of the approved tests. Travelers can also use any laboratory or test provider offering one of the following tests: molecular test, nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), RT-PCR test, LAMP test or antigen test. Antibody tests are not accepted. For those taking connecting flights to the US, the test must be taken within three days of the initial flight and the connection time must not exceed 24 hours. “We are focused on creating innovative solutions for our customers and have developed a new online tool that will make it easier for our customers to find approved testing centers at convenient locations prior to their travel to the US,” said Perry Cantarutti, SVP - Alliances & International. “Alongside this dedicated resource, we are working with our alliance partners around the world to leverage their local test providers as another way to support our customers ahead of the CDC order coming into effect.”

United Airlines has announced that it has launched the "Travel-Ready Center," a new, digital solution where travelers can review COVID-19 entry requirements, find local testing options and upload any required testing and vaccination records for domestic and international travel, all in one place. United is the first airline to integrate all these features into its mobile app and website. "While pre-travel testing and documentation are key to safely reopening global travel, we know it can be confusing for customers when they're preparing for a flight," said Linda Jojo, Executive Vice President for Technology and Chief Digital Officer, United. "Starting today, our 'Travel-Ready Center' gives customers a personalized, step-by-step guide of what is needed for their trip, a simple way to upload required documents and quickly get their boarding pass, fully integrated within our app and website."

American Express Global Business Travel (GBT), the world’s leading business partner for managed travel, has acquired Ovation Travel Group. The purchase includes all Ovation Travel Group brands, including Lawyers Travel. Ovation Travel Group and its employees will become a division of GBT’s Global Customer Partnerships organization, led by the same management team, and Ovation Travel Group's clients and travelers will continue to receive the outstanding, high-touch service for which the business and its people have become so renowned over the last 36 years. They will now also have access to the global reach and technology that comes with the powerful backing of American Express GBT. Paul Metselaar, Ovation Travel Group’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Extraordinary people and a culture of excellence have served as a solid foundation for providing our valued clients and travelers with a truly high-touch, personalized experience. These intrinsic qualities have enabled us to earn their business as their trusted travel partner for more than three decades. GBT’s 100 years of service excellence, its values-driven culture and its commitment to leading the industry complement us on a global scale, giving me huge confidence in the future. I am delighted we are joining the GBT family.”
The Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa is always in a Saturday state of mind. Life is a balance of work and play, productivity and pampering, revving up and slowing down. Their proximity to Washington, DC means that guests can easily access the capital buzz, but their status as the only hotel and spa in Alexandria defines them as a coveted urban retreat. It feels like the weekend all week long with one goal in mind — helping you retreat, relax, reboot...and hopefully return.
The recently renovated Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile provides 4-star downtown Chicago hotel accommodations minutes from Lake Michigan, Navy Pier, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Millennium Park, the John Hancock Center, the Chicago Water Tower and upscale boutiques. Designed by French architect Jean-Paul Viguier, this downtown Chicago hotel is a 32-floor prism of glass, boasting 415 rooms, including 33 luxurious suites. Modern design and refined European approach to hospitality take center stage.

The accent is on comfort within this sleek Chicago luxury hotel. Four hundred and fifteen luxury hotel suites and rooms exemplify "art de vivre," with designer furnishings, spacious marble bathrooms and views of downtown and the John Hancock Observatory.
Guests at The Stewart Hotel gather under high ceilings and flow between its New York-inspired lobby, stunning ballroom, designer event space and spacious suites.

It's not every day travelers will find a meal to come back for in Midtown Manhattan, but they will at Niles Restaurant. Specializing in New American fare, Niles Restaurant matches its modern menu with impeccable service for a stand-out dining experience in the heart of Manhattan.
Thompson Washington, DC is in the heart of the city's rapidly developing Navy Yards area. In addition to its premier location, the hotel is modern and clean, with high ceilings and tall glass windows everywhere that gives it great natural light. Thompson Washington DC is set up to draw in DC's diversity reflecting a sophistication and warmth that can cater to all walks and types. Washington, DC, is the country’s perennial host, regularly welcoming dignitaries and activists in equal parts.
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.