Dr. Fauci Has Good News for People Hoping to Travel This Holiday Season


Anthony Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has some encouraging news for many of us hoping to see our families and friends this holiday season: Vaccinated people can feel comfortable getting together with loved ones for the holidays. Even if you need to travel to do it!

“If you’re a vaccinated person, your family is vaccinated, and you are in a situation where the people that you interact with are vaccinated, you can have a very good holiday,” Dr. Fauci told The New York Times podcast The Daily on November 12. What’s more, he added: “I believe that people can and should travel during the holidays.” 

If the idea of getting on an airplane or other major form of transportation still seems risky, Dr. Fauci assuaged those fears as well. “Getting on a plane is not really that much of a risk. It’s the whole process of traveling and interacting and mingling with people,” he explained. This is why vaccinated people should continue to “follow the CDC recommendations and wear a mask,” he said.

Again, Dr. Fauci’s guidance that it’s okay to (safely!) gather and travel is intended for people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. “It is very, very clear that the overwhelming burden of infection, hospitalization, and death is weighted towards the unvaccinated,” Dr. Fauci explained. Unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than vaccinated people, NPR reported in September, and are of course more likely to spread COVID-19 to others. 

This is all well and good if the loved ones you’re yearning to see are actually all vaccinated. But…what if they aren’t? For instance, many kids are still too young to be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. In that case, Dr. Fauci said, “The best way to protect unvaccinated [children] is to surround them with vaccinated people who are unlikely to spread [COVID-19] to them.” 

There are other safety steps you can take if you’ve decided you’re comfortable seeing unvaccinated loved ones this holiday season. (Or if you have unvaccinated kids you’d like to take to a gathering.) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlines these safety guidelines, which you likely already know by heart: Wear a mask and have those who are unvaccinated wear masks as much as possible. Do your best to keep several feet of distance when unmasked. Have guests get tested beforehand, and even try to hold the gathering outdoors if the weather allows for it where you’ll be. These recommendations might feel annoying and burdensome to follow, especially this far into the pandemic. But they’re still important.

Although COVID-19 infections have been declining in recent weeks, the rate of decline has slowed, as SELF previously reported. And a potential uptick in infection has consequences for vaccinated people too. “As that uptick occurs, and you get more infections, and more dynamics of infection spread in the community—that would put even the vaccinated at more risk,” Dr. Fauci explained. The more infection spreading in a community, the more likely a vaccinated person is to come into contact with it, potentially get a breakthrough COVID-19 case, and possibly continue to spread the virus to others.



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Hurricanes basketball hoping transfers can make quick impact


CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Miami’s new point guard is playing for his fourth different team. He’s the shortest guy on the roster, yet is known for his toughness, and was immediately asked to be a leader on his new squad.

In Miami Heat terms, that describes Kyle Lowry.

In Miami Hurricanes terms, that describes Charlie Moore.

The Hurricanes’ hopes this season might hinge in large part on Moore, a 5-foot-11 guard who has already started games for California, Kansas and DePaul in his college career and now has signed with Miami — his fourth school, in his fourth different major conference. No player on the Miami roster has scored more college points than Moore, one of six Hurricanes newcomers this season.

“We’ve both been to a lot of places,” Miami guard Kameron McGusty said. “He’s been in and played in two different conferences. He’s played in three conferences, actually; this will be his third.”

Not quite. This will be his fourth.

Moore has already been in the Pac-12, the Big 12 and the Big East. Now, he’s taking a shot at the Atlantic Coast Conference, where he and McGusty — who transferred from Oklahoma in 2018 — will be among four sixth-year seniors on the Hurricanes’ roster.

“We just try to use our knowledge that we’ve gained throughout our six years and use all the things that we’ve seen from different teams and different conferences and just help our team prepare and try to help our young guys get on track so they’re ready to help us contribute this year,” McGusty said.

Miami went 10-17 overall and 4-15 in the ACC last season, the Hurricanes’ third consecutive year finishing below .500 in both categories. That followed a three-year run of NCAA Tournament appearances for the Hurricanes, one that tied the longest such stretch in school history.

But with three starters back, plus talented new arrivals like Moore, Miami expects improvement. Leading scorer Isaiah Wong (17.1 ppg last season) returns, along with McGusty (13.3) and Anthony Walker (9.6). Moore and fellow transfer Jordan Miller (13.0 ppg in 69 games at George Mason) are among the new faces that will be asked to help from the first tip-off of the season.

“We had a couple of kids transfer out, so we recruited a couple of transfers ourselves,” Miami coach Jim Larrañaga said. “Charlie Moore and Jordan Miller have transferred in to the University of Miami, both great kids, and I think have a very bright future at the University of Miami. They fit in very well with our returning players.”

EXPERIENCE MATTERS

Between redshirt years and the 2020-21 season not counting toward anyone’s eligibility under NCAA rule because of how much the pandemic affected matters, the Hurricanes’ 10 players with previous college experience have combined to play 45 seasons. Miami also has four freshmen on the roster.

WONG’S YEAR

Wong was the fifth-leading scorer among ACC players last season, plus ranked fourth in free throw percentage and 12th in field goal percentage.

“Playing more minutes and getting more playing time, it just got easier and easier, adjusting more to the game,” Wong said. He averaged 7.7 points in about 21 minutes per game as a freshman, then averaged about 35.5 minutes as a sophomore.

K, BYE

There won’t be a farewell game for retiring Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski at Miami this season; the Hurricanes play the Blue Devils only once, and it’s at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Larrañaga reflected on what the ACC will be like this season without now-retired North Carolina coach Roy Williams and the pending departure of Krzyzewski.

“You’re talking about two of the great leaders of college basketball, role models who really set the example of how to run a program, how to develop your players and prepare them for life after basketball,” said Larrañaga, entering his 38th season as a head coach, 36th at the Division I level and 11th at Miami.

WHAT FANDUEL SAYS

FanDuel Sportsbook has the Hurricanes as one of the longest shots on their board to win the national title, with opening odds of 200-1. Of the 30 teams with the best odds according to FanDuel, seven — Duke, Florida State, North Carolina, Syracuse, Virginia Tech, Louisville and Virginia — hail from the ACC.

THE SCHEDULE

Miami starts with five of eight games away from home, then closes with eight of its last 12 — all ACC games — on the road as well. At least the early travel won’t be too daunting, with 13 of Miami’s first 15 games to be played in Florida. The Hurricanes’ Dec. 1 game at Penn State in the ACC-Big Ten challenge will have an emotional tie; Adam Fisher, entering his first season as Penn State’s associate head coach, went back to his alma mater after coaching the last eight seasons at Miami.

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More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25





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‘Hoping for the best’: Australians react to borders reopening soon


Australia’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, has announced the end of the 18-month travel ban.

For many Australians living abroad, this will be the first time since the beginning of the pandemic they will be able to return home.

The end to international border closures will see some states change to a seven-day quarantine system for international travellers.

The plan is for the quarantine system to be brought in for states where more than 80 per cent of the population have received a double dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Which will be the first Australian states to lift the ban?

The first state expected to lift the ban is New South Wales, with Victoria following after.

“If you’re fully vaccinated with a vaccine our authorities deem to be effective and safe, you’ll be able to quarantine at home. We’re going through the pilot as we speak. But the hotel quarantine system for returning Australians is past its use by date. If you’re fully vaccinated, you should be able to quarantine at home,’’ New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

The change in international travel policy has come earlier than expected. Most thought the ban would not be lifted before the summer of 2022.

It’s been brought forward due to the speed New South Wales and Victoria have reached an 80 per cent rate for double doses of vaccines.

“We never anticipated the speed with which that would occur and the demand that was there,’’ noted Berejiklian.

But while some states open up to international travel, others may keep their borders firmly shut.

States such as Western Australia and Queensland look like they are standing firm on their closed borders, meaning travellers will have to face a 14-day hotel quarantine that costs nearly €2,000.

Australians abroad react to the news

“With my job, even though I’m working remotely, I’m not allowed to do it from abroad, and also not allowed to take more than two weeks off sequentially – so even if I could have afforded the return trip, I wouldn’t have been able to with hotel quarantine and my work,” says Campbell, from Melbourne and currently living in London.

“I haven’t been back for over two years now and I’ve missed the death of my last grandmother, and the birth of my first nephew. Missed friends getting married, having kids, buying houses.”

“All the big life events that help you maintain friendships across borders. Video calls lose their shine after two years and My connections with my family and friends in Australia have slowly been degrading. I’m hopeful I’ll be able to go back over Christmas, but without any certainty from the government, it might still be unachievable,” he explains.

“Being unable to travel back to Australia has been one of the most stressful experiences of the last two years. I’ve been horrified by the lack of care towards Australians who live overseas, especially in the height of the pandemic last year,” Kate, from Victoria living in London says.

Kate lost a member of her family during the pandemic and was unable to attend the funeral.

“Watching my family hugging on the funeral live stream without being there with them was the hardest part. I used to comfort myself knowing I was only 24 hours away from my family, but with the closed borders getting home in an emergency was pretty much impossible.”

Reacting to the news, Russell from Adelaide living in London, hopes to return to his family soon. “With my parents getting older and a sister in law with leukaemia, it’s important for me to know that I can get home at the drop of a hat if needed. Always hoping for the best but prepared for the worst.”

Coming out of lockdown

Australia has had some of the strictest and longest-lasting lockdown measures.

New South Wales, Victoria and Australian Capital Territory have only just begun to ease strict lockdown restrictions after several weeks spent trying to curb a third wave of COVID-19 infections.

Prime Minister Morrison defended the need for the strict lockdowns.

“I’ll tell you what shutting those borders did, it saved over 30,000 lives in Australia. We also took action to save livelihoods. And our economy has come back strongly, even with the restrictions we have in place now.”



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Travel industry hoping for bounce back this summer


With a majority of adult Americans at least partially vaccinated, many are making summer travel plans.  There’s good news if you’ve been itching to get out of town this summer, especially overseas.

The European Union has decided to remove its COVID-related tourism ban. The move will allow vaccinated Americans to travel to the 27 EU countries. The details are still being worked out, but it’s hopeful that U.S. residents could be welcomed as early as next month.

Delta has already found a way to get Americans to Italy without facing a two-week quarantine. The airline is offering what it calls COVID-free flights. The flights are currently operating from Atlanta and J.F.K. in New York to Rome. Plans call for additional flights from Atlanta to Venice, New York to Venice, and Boston to Rome.

FULL CORONAVIRUS IN GEORGIA COVERAGE

In a sign that domestic travel is picking up, Southwest Atlanta’s second-largest carrier says it plans to be at 85% of capacity by the end of June. Rental homes, hotels, and resorts are all filling up through the Labor Day weekend.  Forbes magazine calls Las Vegas, Miami, and Orlando as top destination spots.  

Don’t expect to avoid the crowds by going to a national park. U.S. News and World Report list the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Yellowstone as its top places to visit this summer.

Plans for sticker shock if you’re renting a car. COVID-related inventory issues have created a massive rental car shortage. This is leading to long lines and high prices.  Experts say travelers should expect to pay at least $100 a year, even for a small car.  Some people in Florida recently found themselves shelling out more than $300 just to get a ride.

WATCH: FOX 5 Atlanta live news coverage

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Hotel industry leaders hoping for spike in summer travel – Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather


News

If you’ve set foot in side the Outrigger Resort in Waikiki, you’ll notice social distancing, touchless elements and plexiglass at check-in, and enhanced cleaning in rooms. Along with masks in common areas, Hawaii has been setting an example when it comes

Wednesday, May 5th 2021, 6:10 PM HST by Tom George





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CDC sets new travel guidelines for fully vaccinated people, flyers hoping to get back to normal soon – Action News Jax


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — New guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say fully vaccinated people can travel safely within the United States.

Travel is picking up as more people get vaccinated and, although restrictions have loosened recently as passengers get ready to take the skies, medical experts are reminding people that safety is still a top priority.

Naomi Tillman hasn’t been on a plane since 2018 and says it’s time for a vacation, but she hopes her flight to Houston is a safe one.

“Hoping that everybody wears their mask and stays social distanced,” she said.

The Jacksonville Aviation Authority said on Monday, that an estimated 7,500 passengers were set to fly out of Jacksonville International Airport, the highest single day for travel from the airport in more than a year.

But this news should not come as a shock.

Easter weekend set a pandemic record for travel, with the TSA reporting over 1.5 million screenings at airport checkpoints last Friday, the highest number since March 12, 2020.

Even though fully vaccinated people can travel safely, Action News Jax medical expert Dr. Michelle Aquino says you should still think twice.

“It just says you probably are safe if you’re traveling, but if you cannot travel right now, that will probably be better for the greater good of everyone,” she said.

According to the Florida Department of Health, just under 3 million people in Florida have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

As she’s nervous about close encounters with other people, local mother Bernadette Bailey said she’s prepared for any situation.

“I’ve got everything — my gloves, my hand sanitizer, and I can double mask if I need to,” she said.

Even though the CDC says travel is a low-risk activity for people who have been vaccinated, our medical expert says if you don’t have to fly, you shouldn’t until it’s safe for everybody.

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NFTA officials among those hoping 2021 will get travel back on track | Local News


There are many people waiting for tourism and travel take off again, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority is chief among them.

While airlines, railroads and bus companies have been ensuring passengers abide by COVID-19 guidelines to the extent their mode of transportation will allow, the number of travelers, as one would expect, have plummeted in recent months.

Buffalo-Niagara and Niagara Falls International Airports were among those seeing declines throughout 2020 and Helen Tederous, director of public affairs for the NFTA, said the low numbers were expected and it’s not likely to get better — until a major change happens at the border.

“Really what is causing challenges, in addition to the restrictions, is the closure of the U.S.-Canadian border …” she said. “If we’re talking about the Niagara Falls airport, that’s 83 percent of our customers. It’s causing some challenges. We did have a few flights that were a little bit more full than others, but really a marginal increase. So we had an increase, but a slight increase.”

Officials announced this past week that the border will remain closed to non-essential traffic till at least the end of February.

Travel at Niagara Falls Airport is down 90 percent, Tederous said, with Buffalo Niagara down 75 to 85 percent. On top of this, Spirit Airlines left Niagara Falls International Airport in September, which also played a role in declining flyers.

Initially, there were some worries about people adhering to the COVID-19 guidelines established, Tederous has found people are abiding by the guidelines as much as possible. At certain times they do have to provide reminders for people as well as having signage directing people to follow these pieces of guidance. Announcements every 15 minutes about wearing masks have been a consistent feature at the airpots since the pandemic. For 2021, NFTA is remaining cautiously optimistic about how travel will be proceeding.

“We are certainly hoping for the best,” Tederous said. “Of course we want a sense of balance that we want a community for our passengers to be traveling safely. We’re working with the airlines on those health concerns that people What were looking for is happier times. We’re optimistic that the U.S.-Canadian borders will be open for us and that we’ll be back to normal as soon as possible.”

Amtrak hasn’t faired much better with passenger services down across the country. Service on their Empire Service and Maple Leaf trains saw a 39,6 percent ridership decline with 382,846 riders in 2019 to 231,078 in 2020. Niagara Falls stations saw great ridership declines from 34,965 to 15,983, according to Amtrak officials.

Some of these declines, specifically with Maple Leaf service come from the reasons plaguing local airports, the closure fo the United States-Canada border since Maple Leaf trains typically travel through Ontario before terminating at Toronto’s Union Station.



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Good riddance 2020; What I’m hoping for from travel in 2021





Good riddance 2020; What I’m hoping for from travel in 2021










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