Dodgers broadcast team won’t travel to upcoming away games due to positive COVID tests


The Dodgers announced Wednesday that their broadcast team will not be traveling to the upcoming away games in Philadelphia and Washington due to positive COVID cases.

The Dodgers released a statement saying, “Due to a few members of the Dodgers’ broadcast team having recently tested positive for COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, the Dodgers have decided not to travel their broadcasters to the upcoming games in Philadelphia and Washington.”

The team said the games will be broadcast from Los Angeles similar to how they were in 2020 and in 2021.





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Israel drops on-arrival Covid tests for passengers


Israel is further relaxing its Covid-19 travel restrictions by removing the requirement to take on-arrival PCR tests from 20 May.

The country’s Ministry of Health said that travellers arriving at Ben Gurion airport will no longer have to take a PCR test from this date. 

The Israeli government also confirmed that from 10 May, international passengers travelling to Israel will now be allowed to take an antigen test before departure, instead of the current requirement to take a PCR test.

“Any passenger who chooses the antigen option will be required to perform the test in the 24 hours prior to their departure to Israel,” added the health ministry.

The relaxation in travel rules has been made due to the ongoing decline in deaths from Covid-19 as well as a drop in the number of cases being recorded in Israel. 

The country had already relaxed its vaccination entry requirements for international travellers in February and previously removed European countries from its red list in January.

Sharon Ehrlich Bershadsky, director of the Israel Government Tourist office in London, added: “It was important that we made the entry process as simple as possible for travellers whilst keeping health and safety a top priority.”



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Fiji travel update: Fully vaccinated will no longer require pre-departure tests


Fiji travel update: Fully vaccinated will no longer need pre-departure COVID tests

All fully vaccinated travellers visiting Fiji will no longer have to provide a pre-arrival negative COVID-19 test prior to entry, which will be effective from May 1. This move comes in the wake of facilitating travel of visitors, as well as reducing their expenses, as per a statement released by the Fiji Government.As per the reports, this change will apply to all visitors entering Fiji by air or sea, who were earlier required to take PCR or rapid antigen test (RAT) prior to their arrival.

However, travellers need to note that they will be required to book an in-country pre-Covid RAT test, prior to entering Fiji. As per the reports, the test must be done within 48-72 hours of arrival. Starting May 1, the vaccination requirement for entry into the country has also been widened, and in line with this, all above the age of 16 years will now have to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination prior to their entry into the country.


Referring to this, the government added that requiring all tourists aged 16 years and above to show proof of vaccination prior to visits to Fiji will further help in reducing the risk of community transmission of COVID and allow the island nation to tap the tourism market.

The moves are in line with Fiji’s continued effort to strengthen its in-country testing programme, and wider community surveillance efforts that are designed for safety of Fijians and visitors alike.

Also, the Covid-19 Risk Mitigation Task Force will keep on reviewing Fiji’s entry requirements and safe measures, while focussing on strengthening community surveillance, complemented by the already high vaccination rates.

If reports are to go by, there have been no admissions of COVID-19 positive people to hospitals in the country, although 21 new cases have been recorded this week.





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Kamala Harris tests positive for COVID-19


Washington — Vice President Kamala Harris tested positive for COVID-19, her office announced Tuesday.

Harris, 57, received positive rapid and PCR tests, but is exhibiting no symptoms, according to her press secretary Kirsten Allen. She will isolate and work from the vice president’s residence. Allen added that Harris is taking Pfizer’s Paxlovid antiviral pills, which can reduce the risk of becoming severely ill, at the direction of her physicians.

Harris has not been a close contact to either President Biden or first lady Dr. Jill Biden because of their recent travel schedules, the statement said, and will return to the White House once she tests negative. She has been vaccinated and received two booster shots.

“Today I tested positive for COVID-19. I have no symptoms, and I will continue to isolate and follow CDC guidelines. I’m grateful to be both vaccinated and boosted,” Harris tweeted.

Mr. Biden and Harris spoke on the phone Tuesday afternoon, and the president “wanted to check in and make sure she has everything she needs as she quarantines at home,” according to the White House.

The vice president’s positive diagnosis comes more than a month after her husband, second gentleman Doug Emhoff, tested positive for COVID-19. 

Several other members of the White House staff, including Harris’s communications director Jamal Simmons and Jill Biden’s press secretary Michael LaRosa, also received positive tests earlier this month, as did top Washington officials including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Attorney General Merrick Garland and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

The vice president was set to meet with Mr. Biden in the Oval Office on Tuesday morning to receive a daily intelligence briefing, though she did not participate in the meeting, her spokesperson said. 

A White House official told CBS News that Harris did go to the White House on Tuesday morning and was tested for the coronavirus in her West Wing office as part of her regular routine. Harris then left the White House in her motorcade after receiving a positive test.

She last saw the president on April 18, the day of the White House Easter Egg Roll, after which she departed for California, where she spent the week attending events. Harris returned to Washington on Monday from Los Angeles.

In addition to being first in the presidential line of succession, Harris also plays a crucial role in the 50-50 Senate, casting tie-breaking votes.

“I think if you take a step back and look at the vice president, she is boosted, especially twice,” White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha told reporters Tuesday. “We have a very, very contagious variant out there. It is going to be hard to ensure that no one gets COVID in America. That’s not even a policy goal.” 

While the nation saw a steep drop in new coronavirus infections following a mid-January peak driven by the highly contagious Omicron, there has been a slight uptick in cases over the past few weeks due to the emergence of the new BA.2 sublineage of the Omicron variant. 

As part of its efforts to protect Americans from the virus and bolster access to treatments, the White House announced Tuesday it is expanding availability of Paxlovid. First authorized by the Food and Drug Administration in December, the pills were in short supply, but delivery of the antiviral has since been accelerated.

The White House is also launching more “test-to-treat” sites, where Americans can be tested and, if they are found to have the coronavirus, receive free oral antiviral pills in one visit.

Weijia Jiang and Kathryn Watson contributed to this report.





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How to use Biden’s free coronavirus tests for international travel


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When the Biden administration began distributing free coronavirus tests, the special deliveries did not help international travelers fulfill requirements to enter the United States because they did not offer the option to test under virtual supervision or receive a report to show border officials. As is the case with many things during the pandemic, that has changed within a couple of months.

Depending on which brand of free test you receive, you may be able to use it on your next international trip, after all.

That’s what I did on my recent return from Costa Rica, and the whole arrangement felt like uncovering a travel hack that saved me time, stress and a little money. Here is how it works.

Should the U.S. lift its entry test rule? 5 health experts weigh in.

Which tests work for U.S. travel restrictions

To meet the CDC’s requirements for entering the country, travelers can book an in-person test at a pharmacy, hire a professional to administer a test at their hotel or bring an approved self-test on their trip to take with a telehealth proctor over a video call.

Self-tests that can be bought over the counter and taken without a proctor are not accepted for travel to the United States, but manufacturers including Floflex, Detect and On/Go now sell a supplemental video telehealth services to make the tests CDC-compliant.

The free tests I got from the government were from iHealth. For $24.99, I could purchase their virtual meeting service with a telehealth proctor to verify my test and issue a digital report with the results. (In the past, I have spent about $70 for a two-pack of the popular BinaxNOW tests that includes video proctoring.)

The government contracted several manufacturers to supply free tests, and you can’t choose the brand of test you will receive. That means you need to wait and see what you get before finding out if yours sells an online proctor service.

Vacations are painfully expensive now, but you can spot ways to save

How to order free coronavirus tests from the government

Americans can order free rapid antigen tests through COVIDTests.gov. Each U.S. household — which includes people living abroad in diplomatic and military outposts — is limited to eight tests (up from the original limit of four), regardless of how many people live there. Tests can take a few weeks to arrive, so you will want to order them well before a trip.

Anyone who can’t order online or needs help with the process can call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY: 1-888-720-7489) from 8 a.m. to midnight Eastern time for help in more than 150 languages.

If you’ve already used up your free test from the government, another way to subsidize your travel testing costs is through insurance. Since Jan. 15, private insurers are required to cover the cost of eight over-the-counter at-home tests per individual per month.

According to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website, “insurance companies are required to reimburse you at a rate of up to $12 per individual test.” Once you’ve purchased a test, go online and buy the manufacturer’s telehealth supplement to make it approved for international. (Make sure to read the fine print for your insurance company’s reimbursement details before purchasing your test.)

What you need to pack for the test

Every testing company will have their own rules, but for my iHealth test, I wasn’t allowed to use a tablet or smartphone to conduct the video call. So along with the tests, I had to pack my laptop. For some vacationers, that may be an annoying ask, but it’s smart to bring one anyway in case you catch the coronavirus on a trip and need to work remotely.

If you didn’t want to bring a computer, you could see if your hotel or Airbnb has one that meets iHealth’s requirements: access to the Google Chrome browser, a working microphone and a front-facing camera.

For peace of mind, you may want to pack a backup test in case something goes wrong with your first one (i.e., you get a false positive, you lose it or you damage it).

You tested positive in a foreign country. Here’s what you should do.

What it’s like to take it

I booked my iHealth video appointment a couple of days in advance to get one that suited my travel schedule. The process was simple and straightforward, taking just a couple of minutes. The company sent out confirmation emails for the purchase and appointment reminders, including one within an hour of the test with a link to the video call.

My Airbnb had reliable WiFi that worked through the entire testing process: greeting the proctor (who wasn’t visible to me, I could just hear their voice), opening the package, preparing and taking my test, then waiting 15 minutes for the results to be confirmed by another proctor. Within seconds of going over my results, the proctor emailed me a report and a QR code to show the airline (or in my case, upload to the VeriFly app, per American Airlines requirements).

Only one of our travel group of four experienced a small glitch during his testing process. While it took most of us no time to get connected with a proctor to verify our results, he was stuck for about a half-hour on an iHealth page saying they were connecting him to a proctor. We finally refreshed the page, and he was connected with someone immediately.



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UK Foreign Office update: 21 countries Brits can now travel to without any tests or vaccine proof


With coronavirus travel restrictions significantly easing, there are a number of countries British tourists can now visit without taking a covid test.

But in what will likely come as a blow to some, Spain is not yet one of them. The nation has retracted earlier changes which had been announced to its coronavirus travel rules.

It was reported that Spain had loosened restrictions and was allowing unvaccinated Brits into the country just in time for the Easter holidays. But now, in a rare reversal, the Spanish tourist board in London has withdrawn the promise of opening up to unvaccinated British visitors.

READ MORE: Spain retracts latest covid travel update

Just hours after issuing the announcement, travellers were told the information provided was incorrect. The announcement resulted from an error of interpretation of the official state bulletin.

UK travellers aged 12 and above are still required to show proof of being fully vaccinated or a certificate of recovery (dated no more than 180 days previously). The only exception is for those aged 12 to 17 (inclusive) who can show a negative Covid test (PCR or similar) taken within the 72 hours before arriving in Spain.

The good news is there are currently 21 countries that don’t require unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travellers to test before arrival. Let’s take a look at places you can visit without having to prove you’ve been vaccinated, or take a test.

Ireland

If you are travelling to Ireland you do not need to show any proof of vaccination, proof of recovery, proof of negative test or Irish passenger locator form receipt. There are no post-arrival testing or quarantine requirements for travel to Ireland.

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms while in Ireland should follow the HSE guidance in relation to isolation and undertaking antigen or PCR testing as appropriate.

Poland

Since March 28, the obligation to undergo quarantine on arrival in Poland has been lifted. There is also no longer a requirement to demonstrate your vaccination status on arrival. A pre-departure test is no longer required for travellers arriving from non-Schengen countries, which includes the UK.

Sweden

As of April 1, people travelling to Sweden from the UK or other countries outside the EU/EEA will no longer be required to present a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination.

Denmark

There are no COVID-19 related requirements regarding test or self-isolation when entering Denmark.

Mexico

Most visitors from the United Kingdom can enter Mexico without taking a test, as Mexico is open to travellers regardless of their vaccination status. Travellers are required to complete a Health Declaration Form and scan the QR code it generates on arrival.

Norway

Entry requirements for Norway are the same for all travellers, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status. You don’t need to provide your vaccination status for entry to Norway.

Iceland

There are no COVID-19 related travel restrictions for Iceland.

Montenegro

You do not need to provide your vaccination status or a negative test result for entry to Montenegro.

Hungary

On March 7 all COVID-19 restrictions on entering Hungary were lifted. Hungary does not require any COVID-19 vaccination proof, or a negative test result to enter the country, regardless of your vaccination status.

Romania

All restrictions related to COVID-19 ceased on March 9. There is no longer a requirement to quarantine, to test before entering Romania, or to complete the PLF (Passenger Locator Form).

Slovenia

You no longer need to provide proof of your vaccination status for entry to Slovenia.

Lithuania

British nationals travelling to Lithuania from the UK are no longer required to prove their vaccination status, recovery from COVID-19 or have a negative COVID-19 test result on arrival.

Madeira (Portugal)

It is recommended that you complete a passenger locator form before you travel to Madeira and Porto Santo. If you’re travelling with children aged 11 and under, include their details in your form. There are no other requirements for entry to Madeira and Porto Santo.

Cuba

As of April 6, there is no requirement for travellers arriving from the UK for either a COVID-19 vaccination certificate or a negative COVID-19 test. All travellers are required to complete a Health Declaration (Declaracíon Jurada de Sanidad) online before travel.

Costa Rica

Adults who are not fully-vaccinated can visit Costa Rica without taking a test as long as they have proof of travel insurance that covers lodging and medical expenses in case of contracting Covid-19. Anyone aged 18 or under, along with fully-vaccinated adults, can enter Costa Rica without mandatory insurance.

El Salvador

Most travellers can enter El Salvador without a negative test result and do not have to quarantine on arrival. You also do not need to be vaccinated, however, travellers are advised to bring proof of vaccination as this may be required for entry to specific events and premises.

Saudi Arabia

There is no requirement to provide a vaccination certificate or negative PCR or antigen test certificate to enter the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. All visitors must fill out the Registration Immunization Information Form, and you will need a visa to enter or travel through Saudi Arabia.

Jordan

All travellers regardless of their vaccination status, are no longer required to conduct pre-departure PCR tests and PCR tests on arrival in Jordan. You will need a visa to enter or travel through Jordan as a visitor.

Latvia

If you travel to Latvia from EU, EEA countries, Switzerland or the UK, you are not required to show proof of vaccination, take COVID-19 tests or self-isolate when you arrive.

Moldova

All COVID-19 entry requirements were removed, both for Moldovans and foreign nationals, on March 22. Border Police will permit you to cross the Ukrainian-Moldovan checkpoint with a national ID card or a birth certificate.

Mongolia

COVID-19 related restrictions for entry have been lifted. Negative COVID-19 PCR tests before and after arrival are no longer required. You should contact the Mongolian Embassy in London for the most up-to-date advice on entry requirements and visas. Borders between China and Mongolia are closed except for freight traffic.

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High Demand Tests Ground Transport Supply


Whether for safety concerns to limit potential exposure to Covid-19, or because of sustainability desires, the demand for ground transportation options for business trips continues to grow. But the environment has changed since March 2020.

It’s been well-publicized that car rental companies, after decimating their fleets with significant sell-offs during the beginning months of the pandemic, found themselves with supply shortages once demand started to return. Though primary rental agencies have begun to bolster their fleets, they still are behind 2019 numbers, and some have redistributed their inventory to destinations with strong leisure demand. 

It doesn’t look like this will change markedly anytime soon, given the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage and nascent-but-growing return to business travel. Still, some travelers who used to fly shorter distances are opting for car rentals for social distancing—or because airlines have cut certain secondary and tertiary routes. 

As a result, many business travelers find they may need to book further in advance to ensure availability. Prices have spiked to take advantage of this strong demand. In 2019, the mean daily price for car rentals was $77, according to J.D. Power & Associates. It increased to $85 in 2020 and stayed steady in 2021, at $84. But year to date in 2022, it’s $91.

In addition, Hertz exited or renegotiated corporate contracts during bankruptcy restructuring, so some companies aren’t getting the same deals as before. Rising gas prices add to the costs. 



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U.K. lifts travel restrictions requiring covid tests for the vaccinated


“Of course, we know that covid can spring surprises,” he said. “But everybody now should feel confident about booking holidays and business trips and visits to family and friends abroad.”

The country is also paring down testing requirements for travelers who are not fully vaccinated, scrapping a rule mandating that they take a test on the eighth day after arrival. However, they will still need to take a take a test before departing and a PCR test on or before their second day in England. Regardless of vaccination status, all arrivals will need to complete a passenger locator form, which Shapps said will be simplified, “making it quicker and easier to complete.”

Children under the age of 18 traveling to the United Kingdom will not face any tests at the border.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed the rule change earlier Monday, but he did not provide specifics on the timeline, multiple outlets reported.

Johnson said that “to show that this country is open for business, open for travelers, you will see changes so that people arriving no longer have to take tests if they have been vaccinated, if they have been double vaccinated,” per the Associated Press.

The change in England’s travel policy follows a number of altered restrictions the country has announced in recent weeks. In early January, England dropped its preflight testing mandate for fully vaccinated travelers. Johnson announced a further easing of health and safety measures intended to combat the omicron variant in England last week — a popular move among some Conservative lawmakers — amid calls for his resignation.

Johnson has had difficulty moving past allegations that the prime minister’s quarters hosted a number of parties during the pandemic when such gatherings were banned in England. He apologized at the House of Commons and admitted he had attended a “BYOB” garden party at his home in May 2020.

Following a surge in cases due to the omicron variant, Britain has seen an improvement in coronavirus numbers that appears to indicate the country has passed its omicron peak. According to tracking data compiled by The Washington Post, through Monday afternoon, Britain had a reported 24,032 cases per 100,000 people, with a seven percent drop in daily cases over the past seven days.

Scotland announced Monday that it would similarly ease restrictions, doing away with testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers arriving to the country. The change will also take effect on Feb. 11 at 4 a.m.



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Flights to UAE: Do tourists need Covid PCR tests to travel? – News


Emirates, Etihad clarify rules as new Covid protocols come into effect.



KT file

KT file

Published: Sun 27 Feb 2022, 9:25 AM

Last updated: Sun 27 Feb 2022, 9:26 AM

UAE airlines have clarified the rules for tourists travelling to the country as Covid safety protocols were eased.

According to information provided on Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways’ website, unvaccinated tourists coming to the UAE capital will have to either take a PCR test 48 hours before the flight from an accredited clinic or present a Covid1-9 recovery certificate with a QR code dated within 30 days.

But full vaccinated tourists are not required to carry a negative PCR test.

Plus tourists will have to take a test on arrival at Abu Dhabi International Airport. Children under 16 are exempt from testing.

This announcement comes in the wake of UAE’s National Authority for Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management (NCEMA) easing Covid-19 safety protocols including dropping PCR test requirements for vaccinated residents and making it optional for people to wear masks outdoors.

Similarly, Dubai’s flagship carrier Emirates said on its website tourists travelling to Dubai will have to submit either a Covid-19 vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test not more than 48 hours valid.

The world’s biggest international carrier said the valid vaccination certificate should prove that the “passenger is fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the WHO (World Health Organisation) or the UAE, and includes a QR code.”

Similarly, the Covid-19 PCR test certificate for unvaccinated passengers should also have a QR code and the test should be taken from an approved health service provider.

The new rule came into effect from February 26 for all tourists travelling to Dubai, including those coming from GCC.

Tourists can also present a valid medical certificate issued by the relevant authorities that the passenger has recovered from coronavirus within a period of one month from the date of recovery to the date of arrival, with a QR code System, Emirate said in an update.

Emirates said, if requested, tourists will have to undergo a PCR test on arrival in Dubai and self quarantine until they receive a negative result. In the event the passenger tests positive, then they should follow the guidelines issued by the local health authority.

Dubai’s flagship carrier said printed or digital PCR test or vaccination certificates are accepted in English or Arabic and must include a QR Code. SMS certificates are not accepted.

ALSO READ:

Covid-19 PCR Test or vaccination certificates in other languages are acceptable if they can be validated at the departure point.

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