3 Locations Removed From Chicago’s Travel Advisory This Week – NBC Chicago


Three locations were removed from Chicago’s travel advisory this week, dropping the list of places on the city’s warning list to 45 states and two territories.

The city’s health department announced Tuesday that Florida, Hawaii and the District of Columbia dropped off the advisory and four other states could soon be removed.

Currently, every state or territory except for California, Connecticut, D.C., Florida, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico are on the advisory.  

Maryland, Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana are close to coming off the list if their metrics stay below the threshold for another week, health officials said.

“The good news is that a few states have been able to maintain daily COVID case rates under 15 and have come off our travel advisory this week,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady. “A few more states, if they can maintain their positive trends, may come off the list next week. But the fact that some of our fellow Midwest states have had their case rates rise steeply shows how fragile our advances can be. We must continue to be vigilant with vaccinations and mask-wearing if we’re going to keep COVID down as the temperatures come down.” 

States are added to the advisory’s “orange list” when COVID metrics rise above the threshold of 15 cases per day per 100,000 people. Any below that mark are on the “yellow” list, with public health officials still warning against non-essential travel.

“If you are traveling, whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated – especially if you are unvaccinated – please do not take COVID lightly,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a statement. “We still have a long way to go before we can all confidently travel safely throughout the country. COVID is a threat to everyone – but the threat is reduced tremendously if you are vaccinated.”  

States and territories currently on the advisory include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, District of Columbia, Guam and the Virgin Islands.  

Just before the Labor Day, the city updated its guidance for what unvaccinated travelers visiting or returning from such locations should do, adding new testing and quarantining recommendations before and after travel.

According to the city, before travel, unvaccinated individuals should:

  • Get tested 3-5 days prior to departure.

While traveling:

  • ALL individuals regardless of vaccination status should wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
  • In Chicago, wear a mask in all indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Avoid crowds, try to stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who is not traveling with you, and wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).

 After travel, unvaccinated individuals should:

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days.
  • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
  • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.

The city advised all travelers to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms and isolate and get tested if they develop any after travel.

“We have seen and know that travel is a significant risk factor for acquiring COVID,” Arwady said. “If you decide not to get tested, the recommendation is actually to stay home and self quarantine for 10 days after travel, and you should avoid being around anybody who has an increased risk for severe COVID outcomes for 14 days after travel regardless of whether you get tested or not. Obviously we want anybody who’s traveling to self monitor for COVID symptoms and get tested if you develop symptoms.”

This week’s update to the travel advisory comes at a time when the average daily number of new cases in Chicago is down to 291 per day – down 13% from the previous week.

That figure is still much higher than the low of 34 the city saw in late June but remains lower than the more than 700 cases per day the city was seeing during the most recent surge earlier this year.

Hospitalizations in Chicago are down 39% from the previous week, but deaths are up 4% from the week prior, per the city’s data. The positivity rate in testing held steady at 2% this week.

Arwady noted last month that about 99% of new COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths are among unvaccinated individuals.

The travel advisory is updated every Tuesday, with any changes taking effect the following Friday.



Source link

ESPN Tips Off its 20th NBA Season with Full Court Press for “Premiere Week”


  • Lisa Salters Rejoins Breen, Van Gundy and Jackson as Sideline Reporter for NBA Finals, Marquee Games throughout Season Including Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks October 20
  • NBA Today Hosted by Malika Andrews Launches, New NBA Countdown Team Debuts, Hoop Streams with Cassidy Hubbarth Returns
  • Naismith Basketball Hall-of-Famer Hubie Brown Begins 50th NBA Season
  • Senior NBA Analyst Jay Williams to Appear Across ESPN Platforms

ESPN’s 20th season of NBA coverage begins the week of October 18 with a full-court press for a jam-packed “premiere week” as the league’s 75th Anniversary Season gets underway. ESPN will provide wall-to-wall, cross-platform coverage all week long surrounding its live game telecasts on Wednesday, Oct. 20, and Friday, Oct. 22. For ESPN’s 2021-22 NBA game schedule, visit ESPN Press Room. ESPN’s season-opening game schedule and commentator assignments are below:

Date Time (ET) Game Commentators Platform(s)
Wed, Oct 20 7:30 p.m. Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, Lisa Salters ESPN, ESPN App
10 p.m. Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns Mark Jones, Richard Jefferson ESPN, ESPN App
Fri, Oct 22 7:30 p.m. Brooklyn Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Cassidy Hubbarth ESPN, ESPN App
10 p.m. Phoenix Suns vs.

Los Angeles Lakers

Ryan Ruocco, Doris Burke ESPN, ESPN App

*ESPN’s season-opening game coverage is presented by State Farm as part of AT&T 5G Opening Week.

ESPN game commentators
Mike Breen, the voice of the NBA Finals and Curt Gowdy Media Award-winner, and analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson return to call ESPN’s first NBA game of the season on Wednesday, October 20, at 7:30 p.m. ET as the Boston Celtics visit the New York Knicks. The trio have set records both collectively and individually as the most prolific voices of the NBA Finals and will be together for the top games during the regular season and NBA Playoffs. ESPN recently re-signed Jeff Van Gundy with a new, multi-year agreement and has all three commentators signed long-term. Lisa Salters will rejoin the trio as ESPN’s lead sideline reporter for its coverage of the NBA Finals, Conference Finals, NBA Playoffs, NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC presented by Oculus from Facebook series and NBA Christmas Day presented by State Farm games.

Naismith Basketball Hall-of-Famer Hubie Brown will begin his 50th season in the NBA between coaching and broadcasting. The legendary Brown returns for his 17th consecutive season as an ESPN NBA game analyst. Another Hall-of-Famer, Doris Burke, who is a Curt Gowdy Media Award-winner, returns to ESPN for game coverage throughout the season. Van Gundy, Jackson, Brown and Burke lead ESPN’s deep roster of game analysts, which will also include Richard Jefferson and Vince Carter this season. In addition to Breen, Mark Jones, Dave Pasch and Ryan Ruocco, who return as ESPN’s core play-by-play broadcasters, Brian Custer and Beth Mowins will call the action for select games. ESPN sideline reporters include Salters, Cassidy Hubbarth, Malika Andrews, Jorge Sedano, Rosalyn Gold-Onwude and Katie George. ESPN NBA game commentators will appear on site, health and safety permitting.

Jay Williams adds multi-platform NBA role
Jay Williams will add to his multi-platform ESPN role, beginning with “premiere week.” The former Duke standout will serve as senior NBA analyst and appear regularly across ESPN studio programming, including Get Up, First Take and SportsCenter. Williams will continue his role on ESPN Radio’s national morning show with Keyshawn Johnson and Max Kellerman.

New NBA Countdown team debuts
ESPN recently announced its new NBA Countdown team, featuring high-profile analysts Stephen A. Smith, Curt Gowdy Media Award-winner Michael Wilbon, Jalen Rose, and host Mike Greenberg. The quartet will also be joined frequently by Naismith Basketball Hall-of-Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson. The team will make its debut live from Madison Square Garden ahead of the Celtics vs. Knicks game on Wednesday, October 20, at 7 p.m. during ESPN’s first night of regular season coverage. There will also be on-site updates within the 6 p.m. edition of SportsCenter leading into NBA Countdown. The show will generally emanate from ESPN’s Seaport District Studios in New York, N.Y. with select shows coming from ESPN’s Los Angeles Production Center.

The team of Kendrick Perkins, Richard Jefferson, Chiney Ogwumike and Michael Eaves will handle responsibilities for the Wednesday editions of NBA Countdown in February once ESPN’s NBA on ABC package is underway. NBA Countdown on ESPN is presented by Mountain Dew. For more information on ESPN’s new NBA Countdown approach, visit ESPN Press Room.

NBA Today Launches
As recently announced, ESPN’s new, weekday afternoon studio show NBA Today will debut during “premiere week.” NBA Today is hosted by Malika Andrews and will emanate from ESPN’s Los Angeles Production Center at L.A. Live. The show makes its debut on Monday, October 18, on ESPN2 and will make its ESPN debut on Tuesday, October 19, in conjunction with the first day of the NBA regular season. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is scheduled to join the NBA Today team on Tuesday, October 19 for an interview to tip off the league’s 75th Anniversary Season. Zach LaVine is slated for Wednesday and Damian Lillard is scheduled for Thursday. Also on Wednesday, October 20, NBA Today will reveal 25 members of the NBA 75 list of all-time greatest players.

NBA Today airs live from 3-4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and will travel to the site of marquee live events during the season and postseason. Analysts Richard Jefferson, Kendrick Perkins, Chiney Ogwumike and Vince Carter and reporters Adrian Wojnarowski, Zach Lowe and Ramona Shelburne will round out the cast of NBA Today. For more on NBA Today, visit ESPN Press Room.

Hoop Streams is back
Hoop Streams, ESPN’s digital NBA pre-game show, will return for its third season. Hoop Streams precedes marquee NBA games on ESPN and ABC throughout the regular season and postseason. Hoop Streams, hosted by Cassidy Hubbarth, will make its season debut during “premiere week” leading into ESPN’s first night of NBA game coverage on Wednesday, October 18, starting at approximately 6:30 p.m. The show is available on the ESPN App, and ESPN’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube platforms. Hoop Streams previews the game action and provides expert commentary from analysts and reporters on the most compelling stories in the league.

Reporters
ESPN senior NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski leads a versatile team of reporters providing breaking news coverage across ESPN platforms. Wojnarowski will regularly appear on NBA Today, NBA Countdown, SportsCenter and other platforms contributing news and context. ESPN senior writer Ramona Shelburne and The Undefeated’s Marc Spears will also regularly contribute to ESPN’s studio programming during “premiere week.”

ESPN.com
On Monday, Oct. 18, Senior NBA Writer Zach Lowe will spotlight the five most intriguing players to watch this season. Then, ESPN.com will outline the season outlook for all 30 teams in its opening night Power Ranking, projecting the highs and lows for contenders and lottery-bound teams alike.

Later in the week, Senior NBA Writer Brian Windhorst examines four title aspirants seemingly stuck in suspended animation – the Sixers, Nets, Clippers and Nuggets – and how they are navigating ambition with reality. In addition, as LeBron James embarks on season 19, ESPN.com charts all of the milestones within reach for the multi-time champion and MVP.

Marketing
The NBA on ESPN Brand Marketing team’s goal for the 2021-22 NBA season is to implement a custom music strategy to story tell key moments, further embed culture into ESPN’s NBA platform and get fans excited for weekly matchups. The team partnered with music label EMPIRE, to remix ‘Say Go’ by rapper D ‘Smoke for the opening week topical and is also scheduled to release a custom song and social hype video with rapper Money Man.

-30-



Source link

Hawaii tourism leaders wait on Gov. David Ige’s travel announcement this week


HONOLULU (KHON2) — During the delta surge this summer, Gov. David Ige asked visitors not to come to Hawaii through October, and the tourism industry took a hit.

“The restaurants have reported that they’re seeing a 50% to 60% loss. Attractions are seeing $30 million in cancellations in bookings across the board,” explained Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association President and CEO Mufi Hannemann.

Get Hawaii’s latest morning news delivered to your inbox, sign up for News 2 You

Hannemann said hotel occupancy over the summer was at 80% to 90%, and now it is down to 40% to 50%.

“So this has meant that workers hours have been shortened, people have been put on furlough, and that’s not a good trend,” he continued.

UHERO’s Carl Bonham said it’s important to start learning to live with the virus. He said jobs are down 14% from where they were before the pandemic, and while federal earnings kept families afloat, the assistance is now gone.

“The crisis for a lot of these households is really just the beginning or it’s just about to begin because the transfer payments are going away,” he said during a House hearing on Monday.

Experts and leaders are hopeful reduced restrictions and events like the Honolulu Marathon will bring more people to the state and put people back to work.

House Speaker Scott Saiki said the state is halfway through the month, and people need to begin booking their trips and know what to expect if they want to come to Hawaii for the holidays.

“We don’t want unvaccinated travelers, we want vaccinated travelers to Hawaii, but the governor needs to speak out, clearly and quickly at this point,” Saiki said.

Hannemann said it takes time to put people back to work, and visitors planning their trips need to plan their holiday vacations around things like rental cars which will be in low supply again this holiday season.

Unlike this summer, other countries could re-open, and it will bring competition to Hawaii.

“More places are opening up, so this is what confuses a lot of that responsible travelers out there because they go, ‘Wow, why is it that I can get to California get to New York? They don’t have as many restrictions, and why is Hawaii continuing to hold people back?’” Hanneman said.

He added that the state wants to start marketing to a more respectful and responsible traveler too.

“Most importantly, they’re going to know that we place a great premium on the person that is vaccinated to come here, and I think that’s sort of happening around the world,” he continued.

Find more COVID-19 news: cases, vaccinations on our Coronavirus News page

Over the summer, the state saw about 35,000 daily arrivals. According to Hawaii Tourism Authority data, in late December 2019, there were about 40,000 arrivals daily.



Source link

Winter storm this week could make travel ‘very difficult to impossible’ on Wyoming roadways


The gate on the onramp to I-25 at Hat Six Road is closed on Saturday, November 30, 2019, in Casper. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City File)

CASPER, Wyo. — A “large, potent weather system” creeping into northwest Wyoming Sunday night will bring significant snow and travel impacts to roadways including interstates, 80, 25 and 90, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) in Riverton.

(NWS Riverton)

Late Sunday through Tuesday evening, the Cody Foothills could get 6 to 12 inches of snow, with accumulations of 12 to 18 inches in the high terrain of the Bighorn, Teton and Absaroka ranges. Winds could gust as high as 35 mph.

“Travel could be very difficult to impossible,” the NWS said.

Article continues below…

Central areas including Natrona County should start seeing snow by late Tuesday.

Total snow accumulations of 6 to 12 inches are forecast for the lower elevations of the Powder River Basin and Casper. 

Casper Mountain and the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains could see amounts closer to 12 to 24 inches. Winds could gust as high as 40 mph.

5 to 9 inches are possible in the Wind River Basin, with the highest amounts expected in the Lander Foothills.

In east-central and southeast Wyoming, 4-6 inches of snowfall is expected for lower elevations in Converse County and parts of Carbon and Platte counties through Wednesday morning. 12 to 18 inches are possible in the Snowy and Sierra Madre ranges. 

(NWS Cheyenne)

The Interstate 25 corridor in the northern part of Laramie County could also see 1-3 inches of snowfall.

55-mph gusts are also possible Wednesday morning in SE Wyoming, leading to visibility impacts from blowing snow on the I-25 and I-80 corridors. 



Source link

National Parks Week: 5 expert tips for planning a park visit


Not only is it illegal to intentionally disturb wildlife (including feeding, scaring, touching them, etc.), each park has different rules for how much distance visitors should keep from wildlife. Most, but not all, require a minimum of 25 yards for the majority of animals, and 100 yards for predators including wolves and bears.



Source link

Banks, travel stocks boost Australian share market; RBA & RBNZ to meet this week


The Australian share market has opened sharply higher, following gains on Wall Street on Friday.

By 10:50am AEDT, the ASX 200 was 1.4 per cent higher at 7.287 points, after dropping last week.

The Australian dollar had gained a quarter of a per cent against the greenback, to buy around 72.75 US cents.

All sectors of the share market were on the rise in early trade, lead by education, financials and industrials.

Travel stocks were making strong gains, with Flight Centre (+5.6pc) the top-performing stock among the top 200, followed by Webjet (+5pc), as COVID reopenings in several states draw nearer and the government commits to reopen international borders in November.

Shares in furniture retailer Nick Scali climbed 10.4 per cent after announcing it would buy Plush-Think Sofas for $103 million. 

Nick Scali said the acquisition would increase its number of showrooms across Australia and New Zealand to 108.

The company will fund the Plush purchase through a combination of existing cash and new debt, after it doubled its profit last financial year as people updated their decor during the pandemic.

Bank stocks helped lift the broader market, with Commonwealth Bank up 4.7 per cent after completing a $6 billion share buy-back.

CBA bought back around 3.8 per cent of its shares on issue.

Two very different central bank meetings

Both the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand will meet this week, but far more action is expected across the ditch.

After last month postponing a widely-forecast rate hike due to a new COVID outbreak, markets consider a rate rise by the RBNZ as a near-certainty.

“As of Friday, the market was pricing an almost 90 per cent chance of a 25 basis point hike,” NAB senior interest rate strategist Nick Smyth said.

“News yesterday that most of Waikato would enter a snap five-day lockdown, after the discovery of two new cases in the region, is unlikely to shake this consensus since the RBNZ has been clear that lockdowns won’t necessarily prevent rate hikes and an October hike has been strongly signalled. “

While a rate rise in Australia is tipped to be a few years away yet, with the RBA sticking to its 2024 timeline, there will be interest in any commentary from the central bank on the housing market on Tuesday and on Friday.

“Given the current focus on macro-prudential policy, the Financial Stability Review (FSR) on 8 October will be particularly interesting,” ANZ economists said.

“The RBA statement on Tuesday will likely flag some of the key conclusions of the FSR. Otherwise, we think the October statement will be a bit of a non-event.”

Indications regulators will introduce measures to curb home lending growth, such as debt-to-income ratios, have increased, with the Council of Financial Regulators discussing potential policy responses at its latest meeting

In a recent speech, RBA assistant governor Michele Bullock said the RBA expects annual household credit growth to increase to 11 per cent in coming months.



Source link

COVID-19: UK’s travel rules are changing this week – what will be different and how will it work? | UK News


The UK’s travel rules are set to change again this week as more restrictions are relaxed, allowing people to be more confident about making plans.

British holidaymakers have been forced to adapt to many new travel rules since the summer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since May this year, travellers have been adhering to the government’s travel traffic light system, which regularly changed which countries were safe visit.

Experts say they are worried about the risk of variants infecting UK travellers in Europe this year
Image:
The traffic light system will be changed as part of the shake-up

These changes made planning a trip abroad difficult, but a major shake-up announced a few weeks ago will come into force on Monday – and the rules are set to remain in place until the New Year.

Which travel rules are changing this week?

Traffic light system

The current traffic light system of red, amber and green countries will be replaced with one red list only.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the plans last month as he said the aim was to “simplify measures”.

He wrote on Twitter: “We’re making testing easier for travel.

“From Monday 4 October, if you’re fully vaccinated you won’t need a pre-departure test before arrival into England from a non-red country and from later in October, will be able to replace the day 2 PCR test with a cheaper lateral flow.

“We’ll also be introducing a new simplified system for international travel from Monday 4 October, replacing the current approach with a single red list and simplified measures for the rest of the world – striking the right balance to manage the public health risk as number 1 priority.”

PCR tests

People who are fully vaccinated will no longer need to take a pre-departure test for travelling into England from countries on the non-red lists.

At the end of October, people will also be able to replace their day-two PCR test with a cheaper lateral flow test.

UK travellers face expensive COVID tests
Image:
UK travellers previously faced expensive COVID tests when travelling

However, those who are unvaccinated will still have to pay for PCR tests.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid previously said he wanted to get rid of PCR tests for travel “as soon as I possibly can”.

He told Sky News’s Trevor Phillips On Sunday: “I’m not going to make that decision right now, but I’ve already asked the officials that the moment we can, let’s get rid of these kinds of intrusions.

“The cost that generates for families, particularly families just trying to go out and holiday, you know we shouldn’t be keeping anything like that in place for a second longer than is absolutely necessary.”

Lateral flow tests

The pre-arrival lateral flow test required by all Britons returning to the UK will also be scrapped this week.

The government will also keep adding pressure on people to get their jabs by maintaining a 10-day quarantine on the unvaccinated despite which country they arrive from.

Which countries will still be on the red list?

Anyone returning from a red list country will also still be required to pay £2,285 to quarantine at a government-approved hotel.

The red list:

Afghanistan

Angola

Argentina

Bolivia

Botswana

Brazil

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Transport Sec on travel restrictions

Burundi

Cape Verde

Chile

Colombia

Congo (Democratic Republic)

Costa Rica

Cuba

Dominican Republic

Ecuador

Eritrea

Eswatini

Ethiopia

French Guiana

Georgia

Guyana

Haiti

Indonesia

Lesotho

Malawi

Mayotte

Mexico

Mongolia

Montenegro

Mozambique

Myanmar

Namibia

Nepal

Panama

Paraguay

Peru

Philippines

Réunion

Rwanda

Seychelles

Sierra Leone

Somalia

South Africa

Sudan

Suriname

Tanzania

Thailand

Trinidad and Tobago

Tunisia

Uganda

Uruguay

Venezuela

Zambia

Zimbabwe

What happens if a traveller tests positive when returning to the UK?

Anyone who tests positive will need to isolate and take a free confirmatory PCR test.

This would then be genomically sequenced to help identify new variants.

Will the new rules apply to the whole of the UK?

The travel changes will only apply to England.

The Scottish government has already announced it will not remove the requirement for people who are fully vaccinated to take a pre-departure test before returning from non-red list areas.

The Scottish government said: “A UK government decision to implement proposals to remove the requirement for a pre-departure test in England and to use lateral flow tests on day two have not been adopted at this stage in Scotland due to significant concerns at the impact on public health.”

A plane lands on the southern runway at London Heathrow Airport. US and EU travellers who are fully vaccinated against coronavirus will be allowed to enter England and Scotland without the need to quarantine from Monday. Travellers will be required to take a pre-departure test, and a PCR test on or before the second day after their arrival. Picture date: Thursday July 29, 2021.
Image:
Anyone who tests positive will need to isolate and take a free confirmatory PCR test upon arrival

Eluned Morgan, minister for health and social services, added the Welsh government would “carefully consider” the new travel measures announced for England before making a decision.

Are the rules the same for leaving the UK and returning from other countries?

The rules will only apply to those getting back into the UK.

Towards the end of October, passengers who change flights or international trains during their journey will be able to follow the measures associated with the country they originally departed from, rather than the countries they have been through as part of their journey.

However, a date for this has not yet been confirmed.

Passengers should continue to check GOV.UK travel guidance to keep up to date with entry requirements into the UK here.



Source link

China’s Golden Week Travel Not Expected to Return to Pre-COVID Levels This Year | World News


By Sophie Yu and Brenda Goh

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Golden Week holiday this year is unlikely to see domestic travel rebound to pre-COVID levels, industry estimates show, hurt by uncertainty over pandemic curbs and consumer fears about the health of the economy.

The seven-day holiday from Oct. 1 to mark the founding of modern China is traditionally one of its busiest times for travel and is closely watched as a barometer of consumer demand in the world’s second-largest economy.

Chinese travel booking site LY.com said it is expecting some 650 million trips, about 80% of the number made for the same period in 2019 and the lowest level since 2017. That is only a tad higher than the 637 million trips made last year when the holiday was eight days long.

“The impact of COVID-19 is big and is long,” said Zhang Qidi, visiting researcher at the Center of International Finance Studies at the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing.

Political Cartoons on World Leaders

“Citizens are heavily indebted because of their home and car loans and that has resulted in a decline in disposable income.”

While China’s economy has rebounded from last year’s coronavirus-led slump, momentum in that recovery has slowed over the past few months – in part due to COVID-19 curbs imposed in several provinces and more recently due to power shortages.

For those who are travelling, cheaper shorter trips are in vogue.

Online searches for “niche travel destination” have surged in the run-up to the holiday, according to Chinese lifestyle site Little Red Book, and domestic online travel company Trip.com Group said last week that more than half of the tourists using its platform were preferring to take shorter distance trips.

“Going to fifth-tier cities is the new choice for the long holiday,” Trip.com said in a report, referring to some of the country’s least-developed and rural areas.

China’s commerce ministry said this month it would strengthen efforts to boost consumer spending. At least 20 local governments have handed out coupons that can used at shopping malls, convenience stores and restaurants to encourage spending from late September’s Mid-Autumn Festival through to Golden Week, state media has said.

(Reporting by Sophie Yu and Brenda Goh; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.



Source link