JUNE 24, 2020

At Lawyers Travel, we remain committed to providing excellent service to our valued clients throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic. Click the links below to view our travel information and traveler health and safety resources regarding COVID-19.

Lawyers Travel invites travel managers, travel buyers, procurement and administrators to join our webinar on Wednesday, July 8, 2020 at 12:00pm EST. Hear from top travel suppliers (airline, hotel and car rental) as they discuss their health, safety and cleanliness protocols as business travel returns.

What travelers can expect when getting back on the road and the cleanliness procedures presented by:

Delta Air Lines
  • Check-in, bag drop, security
  • At the gate and boarding
  • On board and at your seat
Hyatt Hotels
  • Check-in and checkout
  • Food & beverage
  • Housekeeping and room service
Enterprise Holdings - Enterprise, National and Alamo 
  • Vehicle cleanliness
  • Curbside rentals
  • Shuttle bus protocols

Please click "READ MORE" below to register for the event.

The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announced today that travelers from states with high coronavirus infection rates must self-quarantine for 14 days on arrival, reports CNBC. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said travelers coming from states with a high infection rate will be subject to the quarantine. The infection rate is based on the number of infections per 100,000 residents on a seven-day rolling average. People who don’t voluntarily quarantine for 14 days will be subject to fines and a mandatory quarantine. He said the fines will be $2,000 for the first violation, $5,000 for the second and up to $10,000 if they cause harm. “As of today, the states that are above that level are Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah, Texas,” he said. “That’s as of today. The states themselves can change as the infection rate changes and we will update daily what states are above that infection rate.”

As travel restrictions gradually begin lifting, several of the Trusted Traveler Programs are beginning to reopen offices after months of being suspended, reports Travel Pulse. Here’s a look at the current status of a few of those official processing operations:

TSA PreCheck
COVID-19 has prompted some TSA PreCheck enrollment centers to discontinue or modify their service hours, but most of them remain open. Applicants whose interviews have to be canceled are notified and given the opportunity to rebook. TSA officials said that the PreCheck program has not suffered from processing delays or acquired a backlog of applications due to COVID-19 and that the approval process typically takes between two and three weeks. Officials do, however, recommend that applicants make an appointment instead of going to an enrollment center as a walk-in so that they can know what to expect in terms of possible service disruptions and to help the centers observe limited-capacity and social-distancing guidelines.

Global Entry
Operations at all Enrollment Centers have been suspended through at least July 6, 2020. Applicants can still submit for conditional Global Entry approval via the Trusted Traveler website but won’t be able to schedule an interview until offices reopen. Officials say the fastest way to obtain Global Entry is by applying for conditional approval on their website and then completing the process at a participating airport upon returning from abroad. Through this approach, a pre-booked interview is not required. In addition, existing members who submit renewal applications prior to their enrollment’s expiration will be given an eighteen-month extension of their benefits, rather than the usual six months. New Yorkers are still ineligible to renew or apply for Trusted Traveler Programs because of a state-specific ban imposed by the Trump administration back in February.

US Passports
On June 15, fourteen passport processing centers nationwide reopened with limited service as part of a first-phase operational restart. A few employees are returning to work to process pending applications on a first-in-first-out basis, starting with some applications that were received as far back as February. Officials said they hope to work their way through the backlog at a rate of about 200,000 applications per week, but that it may take up to eight weeks before they are even able to start in on newly-submitted applications. Anyone submitting a new application can expect processing to be delayed by two, three, or even, four months. Expedited services will remain available only to those needing to travel to address life-or-death circumstances.

Higher levels of optimism in the business travel sector have started to appear according to new research issued by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). According to the GBTA's most recent survey conducted from June 9-14, 2020, nearly half (49%) of the 1,708 member companies plan to resume domestic travel in the near future (1-3 months) and one in five (22%) plan to resume all travel in the next one to three months as well. Finally, the poll reveals a small uptick in the number of companies allowing some essential travel (44% compared to 37% in the previous GBTA poll released on May 20, 2020).

European Union (EU) countries planning to reopen their borders after months of COVID-19 restrictions are prepared to block Americans from entering because the United States has failed to control the virus, reports The New York Times. European nations are currently haggling over two potential lists of acceptable visitors based on how countries are faring with COVID-19. Both lists exclude the United States and other countries that were deemed too risky because of the spread of the virus. Travelers from the United States and the rest of the world already had been excluded from visiting the EU — with few exceptions mostly for repatriations or “essential travel” — since mid-March. But a final decision on reopening the borders is expected early next week, before the bloc reopens on July 1st.

Airports across the country have inconsistent standards for facial coverings, prompting the Airports Council International (ACI) and other industry groups including the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA to ask government officials to establish national guidelines for air travel, reports Travel Pulse. “I can’t emphasize that enough – we would welcome regulations on a temporary basis that you should wear a mask in an airport when you’re transferring through it,” ACI North America President Kevin M. Burke said at a hearing of the House Homeland Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security last week. “If in fact you have to wear it on an airplane, you should be wearing it during your trip through the airport. You can infect as many people without a mask going through an airport as you would getting on an airplane.” Many airports have differing policies on face coverings; many airlines, particularly those represented by the Airlines for America (A4A) trade group, said this past week that travelers could be put on a carrier’s do-not-fly list if they refuse to wear a face mask on flights that require them.

As a focus on health and safety standards becomes the top priority due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has released its key objectives to improve and safeguard transportation systems in the United States. TSA Administrator David Pekoske presented his new objectives intended to guide the agency and its workforce over the next two years on managing new global security risks to safeguard all modes of transportation. The “Administrator’s Intent 2.0,” addresses tangible security threats across seven broad categories: insider risk, surface transportation, checkpoint strategies, workforce support, cybersecurity, outcome-oriented policy management and utilization of TSA’s security authorities. The agency is looking to educate its employees on the possible threats and create a vigilant workforce trained to protect the traveling public. The objectives were also developed with input from government and industry partners.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has launched its Terminal Wellness Project, which uses thermal camera technology to identify travelers with high body temperatures, reports Airport Technology. This measure is part of the city’s efforts to tackle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The airport has deployed cameras at two locations in the Tom Bradley International Terminal, at the main entrance on the departures level and inside the terminal near some international arrivals. The cameras are expected to quickly identify travelers who have a body temperature of over 100.4°F, which follows the current US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for fever detection. The trial is a voluntary program and signage is present in the airport to alert travelers where the trial is located. If a participant is detected to have a high body temperature, a medical professional will carry out a secondary screening with a handheld, non-contact thermometer. Departing travelers with high body temperatures will be asked to not travel while the arriving travelers will be redirected to on-site CDC staff.

Along with new sanitization standards, several hotel companies are implementing new procedures and protocols around their meetings and events related to COVID-19, reports Business Travel News. These hotel companies include Accor, Choice Hotels, Hilton, Hyatt, Loews, Marriott and Radisson Hotel Group. Each hotel has its own set of guidelines regarding sanitization and safety for meetings and events; although, there are many similarities between them. The new protocols and procedures include things such as social distancing at arrival and gathering areas, setting chairs at least six feet apart, temperature checks, providing pre-packaged food instead of buffets, sanitizing high-touch areas and more.