MAY 26, 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 Biden administration has been weighing changes to the travel restrictions that ban much of the world’s population from entering the United States, reports Reuters. Biden administration agencies have been holding meetings for more than a month and reaching out to industry officials about when and how they could begin to unwind the travel restrictions. Asked whether the US would allow vaccinated Europeans to enter, a White House spokesperson said there were no changes in travel restrictions planned at the moment. US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told a news conference that any decision to lift restrictions "ultimately is a public health decision and there is an interagency process and obviously the CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)" is taking a leading role. Buttigieg added: "There are two ways of looking at this - one is to look at countries, the other is to look at travelers," in terms of trying to maximize safety and allow for more travel. A coalition of US and European travel, airline, union, business, and airport groups has called for a full reopening of the US-UK air travel market “as soon as safely possible" - and hopes both governments will lift restrictions by early June.

This past weekend, US air travel reached its highest level since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, as Transportation Security Administration (TSA) continues to bolster staffing for the busy summer travel season set to kick off this weekend, reports The Washington Post. As more Americans get vaccinated, they are showing a pent-up demand for traveling and visiting long-distance friends and family, officials said. As a result, they said, waits at some checkpoints have grown from their pandemic lull. The travel bump “is a positive sign that our nation is beginning to recover from this challenging pandemic,” said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas during a news conference. Acting TSA administrator Darby LaJoye said waits at some TSA checkpoints are increasing along with passenger volumes. He said the TSA has hired more than 3,000 employees since January and expects to add another 1,000 by July 4. The agency expects to hire a total of 6,000 officers by Labor Day, he said. LaJoye said air travelers should arrive early to allow time to get through airport security.

American Airlines has announced that it is working with mobile health partner Daon and its app VeriFLY to help travelers verify they are vaccinated and ready to fly before they even step foot in an airport. Travelers using the VeriFLY app now have the option to securely upload their vaccine documentation for travel to the Bahamas, El Salvador, and Guatemala. The VeriFLY team will review that all documentation meets the destination requirements. As countries continue to set standards for COVID-19 vaccination requirements, VeriFLY will integrate those standards into its verification processes to simplify the traveler's journey and provide peace of mind that they met their destination’s requirements.

Heathrow Airport in London, UK, is planning to set up a dedicated terminal for travelers arriving on direct flights from red-list destinations that have a greater risk of COVID-19, reports Airport Technology. The move comes after the government and the airport authorities faced criticism for making travelers from red list countries line up with other travelers in the arrivals hall. Beginning in June, travelers arriving from red list countries will transit through terminal 3, which was shut down by the airport authorities for the past year. Travelers will be then moved to a hotel, where they will be quarantined for ten days. In a statement, Heathrow said: “Our hope is that it will enable Border Force to carry out its duties more efficiently as passenger volumes increase in line with the green list. Red list routes will likely be a feature of UK travel for the foreseeable future as countries vaccinate their populations at different rates." The UK recently implemented a traffic light system, namely red, amber, and green, which segregates countries that have a high risk of COVID-19. Countries with the amber tag are at moderate risk and the countries in the green category are at the least risk. Officials will be reviewing the list every three weeks and countries can be moved at short notice.

Ovation has published four new "Ready to Go" reference guides to help travel managers make informed decisions about their programs and to help keep traveling employees safe as organizations return to travel. The new reference guides include:

  • Airport Safety Pro Tips: Review these tips designed to help keep travelers safe while at the airport.
  • General Safety Pro Tips: To help keep travelers safe as they get ready to hit the road.
  • Hotel Safety Pro Tips: To help maintain traveler safety at the hotel.
  • Travel Policy Principles: We’ve identified a few key areas of a travel policy that may be worth revamping as we look forward to the return to business travel.
The Claremont Club and Spa, A Fairmont Hotel, has been a Bay Area icon, providing rich history and elegance since 1915. Each of the 276 classically contemporary guest rooms and suites provide the perfect setting to make the most of the resort's exceptional location. Many showcase unrivaled views of the San Francisco Bay and skyline. Claremont Club and Spa allows guests to experience luxuries and wellness at their award-winning resort, combined with the renowned, exceptional service the Fairmont is recognized for. Valued guests, colleagues, and members will always be looked after with the highest degree of safety, care, and comfort.
Downtown Miami is in the midst of an urban renaissance, with Hyatt Regency Miami located at its core. With 615 guestrooms, the Hyatt Regency Miami offers elegant accommodations with convenient amenities and service in a dynamic setting. The hotel offers unparalleled convenience, next to the heart of Brickell, one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Miami. Hyatt Regency Miami puts guests steps from the Miami Riverwalk and less than two miles from the Port of Miami. Guests can walk to the Metro mover station connected to the hotel and ride to destinations like Coral Gables or the Wynwood Arts District. Guests can shop at the Brickell City Centre, less than a mile away, they can visit Little Havana for authentic Latin flavors or explore the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science. There is something for everyone at this landmark Hotel in the heart of it all.
The Kimpton Hotel Monaco Washington, DC is excited to announce that they have reopened. Centrally located in Downtown DC, just steps from the White House, US Courts, National Mall, and many DC firms. At Kimpton Hotel Monaco Washington DC, life gets painted with a vibrant brush and a colorful palette. Nothing is ordinary in the grand downtown building, built in 1839 as the city's original General Post Office. It's since been beautifully modernized to flawlessly meld the old and the new. From the moment guests enter the welcoming living room, they’ll find that the style is eclectic, bold, and playful, and the service highly personable.

The hotel is offering Ovation travelers a rate of $179 plus tax plus 1000 Bonus IHG Points per night for stays until June 30th.
Allow Loews to provide a taste of the LA city lifestyle with unbeatable guest room views of the Los Angeles city skyline and popular landmarks such as the Hollywood sign, Capitol Records, and more. Easily walkable to corporate headquarters and global offices, or a short drive from West Hollywood and Beverly Hills. The hotel’s standout amenity, an outdoor pool hovering high above famous Hollywood & Highland, looks out across the Hollywood Hills and features a bar with seasonal snacks and beverages so you can indulge during down time. Located on the lobby level, Bodega Café offers coffee, beverages, grab-and-go items, and seasonal snacks. Travelers can settle into their home away from home where guests are welcomed like family.
Sitting atop Bunker Hill, Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza features luxurious accommodations and modern conveniences to exceed the desires of today’s business and leisure travelers. This hotel in downtown Los Angeles rises 17 stories and reflects the sophistication of downtown Los Angeles while offering an outdoor heated lap pool, spa services, fitness center, two restaurants, and an exclusive Executive Club Floor and Lounge. Iconic LA staples like Grand Central Market, The Broad Museum, and Angels Flight Railway are just a few steps from the hotel.
Park Hyatt New York is a luxury five-star hotel in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, located directly across from Carnegie Hall and one block away from Central Park. Spacious guest rooms and suites offer floor-to-ceiling views of the city and spa-like amenities.

Blending form and function, 211 spacious rooms (including 93 suites) offer heated, natural-stone flooring and deep tubs made of marble. Many of the suites offer partial views of Central Park and showcase custom furnishings by Yabu Pushelberg. For a memorable view of Central Park, guests can stay in The Manhattan Sky Suite.
Shaped by the local culture and rebellious, independent spirit fueling Boston since its founding, Revere Hotel Boston Common is the downtown hotel for the adventurous and authentic business traveler. Stay in boutique-style rooms with balconies overlooking the city skyline and the Back Bay neighborhood. Guests find themselves a home away from home where every experience is meticulously crafted, yet never scripted.

Introducing the REVERE CLUB - A new experience for Boston's elite business travelers, the Revere Club grants access to a private lounge offering free drinks and snacks throughout the day, a $20 food and beverage credit during their stay and an exclusive weekly cocktail reception.
The hotel’s heritage building sits six blocks from the Washington Convention Center and less than a mile from the White House, Smithsonian Museums, and the National Mall. Farragut North and West metro stations are within three blocks. The hotel offers a complimentary modern fitness center with state-of-the-art Life Fitness equipment for guests as well as grab-and-go lunch options and Starbucks® coffee in the Marketplace. Ovation travelers will receive an additional 5000 Hilton Honors points per stay from May 24, 2021 – December 31, 2021.
Virgin Hotels Dallas has reimagined what a boutique hotel in Dallas can look like - and what it can do. Discover the hotel's Chambers, which puts guests in the driver’s seat. See how global trends inspire the cocktails and cuisine at Commons Club or take in a breathtaking local view of the city skyline from The Pool Club, their 4th floor rooftop. Travelers can bring along their furry friend for the ride and enjoy pet perks with no deposits or weight restrictions.
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.