Around the globe, virus cancels spring travel for millions

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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — They are the annual journeys of late winter and early spring: Factory workers in China heading home for the Lunar New Year; American college students going on road trips and hitting the beach over spring break; Germans and Britons fleeing drab skies for some Mediterranean sun over Easter.

All of it canceled, in doubt or under pressure because of the coronavirus.

Amid fears of new variants of the virus, new restrictions on movement have hit just as people start to look ahead to what is usually a busy time of year for travel.

It means more

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Japan 2020 travel surplus down 79% as pandemic hits inbound tourism

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Japan’s travel surplus in 2020 shrank to nearly one-fifth of the previous year, the first drop since the balance turned into the black in 2015, as international travel bans amid the coronavirus pandemic had a huge impact on the number of inbound visitors, government data showed Monday.

The travel balance, which reflects the amount of money foreign visitors spend in Japan versus Japanese spending abroad, tumbled 79.2 percent to 562.1 billion yen ($5.3 billion) from a record 2.70 trillion yen in 2019 since annual comparable data became available in 1996, the Finance Ministry said in a preliminary report.

An arrival

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Hawaii vaccine option? + Frontier at OAK, France/Tahiti visitor ban, $250 mask fines, more

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In air travel news this week, Hawaii may soon offer a quarantine exemption to visitors who have completed COVID vaccinations; Southwest will suspend Bay Area flights to Kauai; Frontier starts three new routes out of Oakland; inbound travel is shut down to France and its overseas territories, including Tahiti; TSA gets involved in mask enforcement and threatens $250 fines; airline group reports advance bookings in January were down 70%; American Airlines expands acceptance of VeriFLY app for health data, and Alaska Airlines takes it up as well; and JetBlue makes its premium Mint cabins even cushier as it prepares to … Read More

New Covid variants end travel to Tahiti, Bora Bora and St. Bart’s

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Travelers may have read that now is the “perfect time” to visit Tahiti, but they will be surprised to find it — and the rest of French Polynesia — is suddenly closed to them.

As vaccinations are opening borders to some countries, Covid mutations are causing others to close. The volatile nature of the pandemic’s current stage is a reminder to travel-starved holidaymakers that the risks of traveling right now extend beyond contracting Covid-19.

On Jan. 29, the French government suspended tourism to its overseas territories and collectivities, which includes French Polynesia in the South Pacific Ocean, Saint Martin in

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Wall Street Is Lining Up Behind Allegiant Travel Stock

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Allegiant owes its success to a highly flexible operating model.


Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

Allegiant Travel is closing in on profits for the first time since the pandemic hit, winning some more love from Wall Street.


Allegiant

(ticker: ALGT) a low-budget airline known for its rock-bottom fares to vacation spots like Las Vegas and Orlando, wasn’t quite profitable in the fourth quarter. But it came closer than most, posting a net loss of $29 million. Adjusted for special charges, Cares Act grants, and other items, the carrier eked out $36 million in adjusted Ebitda, or earnings before

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Heartbreak and anger as China discourages travel for Lunar New Year

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(CNN) — Normally at this time of year, hundreds of millions of Chinese people would be packing highways, trains and planes on homebound trips to celebrate the Lunar New Year with their family.

But this year, the largest annual human migration on Earth has been put on hold, following the Chinese government’s call to avoid “nonessential” trips during the holiday period to prevent a resurgence of the coronavirus.

That is a lot to ask. The Lunar New Year, also known as Spring Festival in China, is the most important holiday in the Chinese calendar — the equivalent of Thanksgiving, Christmas

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Even with COVID-19 vaccines, grim outlook puts robust travel recovery out a few … years

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As coronavirus vaccines started rolling out late last year, there was a palpable sense of excitement. People began browsing travel websites and airlines grew optimistic about flying again. Ryanair Holdings Plc even launched a “Jab & Go” campaign alongside images of 20-somethings on holiday, drinks in hand.

It’s not working out that way.

For a start, it isn’t clear the vaccines actually stop travelers spreading the disease, even if they’re less likely to catch it themselves. Neither are the shots proven against the more-infectious mutant strains that have startled governments from Australia to the U.K. into closing, rather than opening,

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TSA announces fines for offenders

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The Transportation Security Administration announced Friday that it will recommend fines ranging from $250 to $1,500 for people who do not abide by the new transportation mask order issued by President Joe Biden on his second day in office.

The agency said it could also “seek a sanction amount that falls outside these ranges,” and noted in the announcement that the higher fines would apply to repeat offenders.

Biden’s order requires people to wear masks in airports, bus and train terminals and on trains, planes, buses and public transportation. 

The TSA has been charged with implementing Biden’s executive order and

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Nature, Wellness, And Giving Back Are Trending For 2021 Travel

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Having “space to breathe is the new luxury,” according to trend data from Traveller Made, a consortium of travel advisors, noting that traveling now or in the coming months are seeking open spaces and remote destinations. Research from Destination Analysts shows that nearly a third of those traveling soon plan to visit outdoor-oriented destinations where social distancing is built into the experience.

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Which COVID-19 tests are required for international travel?

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Which COVID-19 tests are required for international travel?

It depends on where you’re going.

In an effort to limit the spread of new coronavirus variants, many countries are requiring incoming travelers to show a recent negative test.

The U.S., for example, will accept results from either a test that detects the genetic material of the virus — considered the most sensitive type of test — or a rapid test that looks for viral proteins called antigens. The tests must have been taken no more than three days before departing for the U.S.

Health professionals usually give more sensitive lab tests

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