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Travel during the continuing PANDEMIC


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54 minutes ago, J.O. said:

So all he needs to do is bamboozle a smaller neighbour into giving up their own pharmaceutical industry in exchange for a free trade deal, then we can all live high on the hog. 

Trudeau has hardly been a shining star over the past year but it wasn't his government who sold our pharmaceutical independence down the road to get a deal. We're all paying the price for that mistake even though it's more than a 1/4 century old, because not unexpectedly, most countries (including the USA) are prioritizing their own citizens first and we get their leftovers. Lucky you to have slipped past that one.

Thats the Liberal talking point to explain their monumental screw up, but pharmaceutical independence is not the reason we are 65th in the world in vaccinations.  Of the 64 countries ahead of us, how many are manufacturing their own vaccines?  6 or 7 maybe. Israel doesn’t make any.

We are behind because the Liberals waited until August to start ordering vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna etc.   That put us behind most other Countries and because the Liberals have had  a very poor relationship with the industry the last few years they are not about to do us any favours.

Why did they wait?  Virtue signalling is all this government cares about so they signed a deal with China in the spring. The deal blew up 3 days after they signed it but they waited 3 months to move to plan B.  
If we had a competent government we would be in the top 10 in the world now.

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10 hours ago, J.O. said:

So all he needs to do is bamboozle a smaller neighbour into giving up their own pharmaceutical industry in exchange for a free trade deal, then we can all live high on the hog. 

Trudeau has hardly been a shining star over the past year but it wasn't his government who sold our pharmaceutical independence down the road to get a deal. We're all paying the price for that mistake even though it's more than a 1/4 century old, because not unexpectedly, most countries (including the USA) are prioritizing their own citizens first and we get their leftovers. Lucky you to have slipped past that one.

JO...

You know better. Two parties negotiating and one does better than the other.....let's not blame that on "size". Competence might be more appropriate.

To be clear...I didn't " slip past" anything. I was qualified to receive the vaccine in the US....and availed myself of the opportunity.

And then there was my re-entry to Canada at a land border crossing.

Keep in mind that Canada required that I obtain a PCR test within 72 hours of my arrival. I obtained a test at Fll and had my results within 24 hours.

Upon entry and production of my negative PCR, I was directed to an area with a few tents where I was to be tested anew. My driver was exempt.

There were 8/9 people at the tents; there to assist me with the provision of a sample for testing and to give me a 2nd test kit for self-testing 10 days later.

There was one vehicle ahead of ours upon arrival. We began the process ( my wife and I) and just before completion, 25 minutes later....the next vehicle arrived.

So...call it 8 people to attend to the "needs" of 4 incoming residents in about 45 minutes. The lady on my side of the vehicle was from Barrie...staying at government expense at a nearby hotel. I believe her compatriots were from other areas in the Province.

My incoming test was conducted at Fll. There were perhaps 5 people working. I was in and out in 5 minutes. There was not much of a " rush" but the flow was fairly constant. As stated, I had my results within 24 hours.

So....how much are "we" paying for this elaborate and useless scheme by our government to convince Canadians that they are being protected from the scourge?

I failed to mention that as I sat in the vehicle at this tented enclosure, I watched truck after truck pass by....their drivers all exempt.

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Don Martin: Travelling back to normal is going to require vaccine certification

Published Friday, March 19, 2021 9:09AM EDT
CTV QP: How does a vaccine passport work?port departure lounge near you:

Boarding pass? Check.

Photo ID? Check.

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With injections ramping up quickly, the federal government should be turning its attention to the fall of 2021 when vaccinated Canadians will be salivating to re-enter global travel and large-crowd hospitality venues.

But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau remains far from clear on what his government is doing to meet the demand for international COVID-19 vaccine certification.

And, whether he likes it or not, this hot potato won’t toss out of the federal government’s hands.

If certification becomes mandatory to enter sports stadiums, entertainment arenas or restaurants, that will be up to the owners.

Requiring one for workers in meatpacking plants or on assembly lines will be up to their employers.

Compulsory vaccination for health care workers and other public service employees is up to the provinces.

But negotiating, designing and implementing some sort of vaccination proof for travel outside Canada is a sole federal responsibility.

And this big job seems to be on the fringes of cabinet decision-making.

Trudeau’s gone from declaring certification to be an idea ‘fraught with challenges’ to one the government is pondering.

Public Safely Minister Bill Blair nixed the notion of using land border crossings for a pilot project, somehow believing that a limited reopening to vaccinated arrivals isn’t any better than a complete closure to non-Canadian travellers.

Given that international partners will be required to create a certificate for Canadians leaving the country or foreigners coming to Canada, one might think the minister of foreign affairs would be engaged. So far, crickets from Marc Garneau.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu seems to understand the need for Canada to be a player in making an international certification happen, but shies away from any firm commitment beyond it being a ‘live’ issue.

This great hesitancy suggests Canada will be a distant follower, not a leader, in promoting the concept of vaccine passports.

We will end up playing catch-up to a world getting ready to embrace vaccine verification over trust in forehead temperature readings and three-day-old test results.

Of course, there are secondary concerns and considerations before mandated certification can be implemented.

Until vaccination is definitively proven to prevent transmission of the virus or the general population has achieved herd immunity, safe vaccinated travel can only resume in tandem with continued testing.

And the fact some people cannot medically handle the vaccine means exemptions will have to be made.

But if Canada continues to dither on the file, it will become a forced follower in the months to come.

The European Union is proposing it. You’ll never get into Australia or New Zealand without it. The U.S., which is never shy about raising its drawbridges for America-first protection, will probably require proof of vaccination for inbound travellers.

Be it a digital imprint on your passport, a QR code that can be scanned from your phone at the security gate or a stamp on your health care card, something should be in the advanced planning stages by a government which insists we’ll see vaccination for everyone before the summer ends.

As for the anti-vaxxer crowd, well, perhaps it’s time to get booking those domestic staycations for the next few years.

Until COVID-19 has been vanquished to the pandemic history books, you’re going nowhere.

That’s the bottom line.

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More than 1,400 tourism workers to help deliver B.C. vaccinations

 

  • Calgary Herald
  • 25 Mar 2021
  • LAURA DHILLON KANE

More than 1,400 tourism and hospitality workers who have been laid off or are struggling with reduced hours are set to provide non-clinical help with the COVID-19 immunization rollout in British Columbia.

Premier John Horgan said the province has partnered with 14 hard-hit businesses across the province, including Air Canada, Westjet and the Vancouver International Airport, to help get some of their employees back to work.

These companies have already begun to call and train hundreds of staff, he said, and they will provide their expertise at immunization clinics to help move people through the facilities efficiently and safely, with some using language skills.

“These are challenging times, but they are also inspiring times,” he told a news conference Wednesday.

Horgan said other businesses or organizations involved in the partnership include the Vancouver Canucks, Vancouver Giants, Fraser Valley Bandits, Tourism Whistler, Pacific National Exhibition, B.C. Business Council and the B.C. Chamber of Commerce.

Some companies will fully pay their employees' salaries as they work in the clinics, while the province will fill in the gaps for those who aren't paid, Horgan said. He did not specify how much the workers would be paid or how much the program would cost.

Dr. Penny Ballem, who is leading B.C.'S immunization program, said these companies have suffered significantly in the past year and the province is extremely grateful to the tourism employees who have stepped forward to use their skills.

Baljinder Sandhu, a Westjet customer service agent, said she and other airline workers have been deeply affected by the pandemic. Her hours were reduced from fulltime to part-time, so she said she jumped at the opportunity to help in a clinic in Richmond, B.C.

“I was the first to put up my hand,” she said. “We want to get B.C. back to normal and our airlines back to normal, and we will do anything to help out.”

Ceres Terminals Canada, which operates the cruise port at Vancouver's Canada Place, is also participating in the partnership. Regional vice-president Kathy delisser said the industry has been hit particularly hard, with a continued ban on cruise ships through 2022.

“Many of our staff were facing another year of unemployment. This partnership has meant that we've been able to employ with our cruise partners over 300 personnel and counting to be able to work in these clinics,” she said.

Horgan was asked about proposed legislation in the U.S. that would allow cruise ships to bypass B.C. He said he doubted it would pass, but he has been in touch with the government south of the border and will reach out to the Alaska governor's office on the issue.

The premier said B.C.'S vaccination program has seen a success, but the province has also seen a recent increase in cases, which means residents must continue to follow public health orders.

“All of us are tired of this,” he said. “We're just exhausted with COVID-19. But we are not out of the woods yet. We have several more miles to go before we rest.”

B.C. announced 716 new cases on Wednesday and three Covid-related deaths for a total of 1,441 fatalities since the pandemic started.

So far, 582,634 vaccine doses have been administered in the province.

Horgan said he expected his government to introduce regulations to require employers to give employees paid time off to get their vaccinations, similar to measures taken by Saskatchewan.

The premier assured residents that immunizations would remain on track despite the European Union holding back shipments of Moderna and Pfizer-biontech doses, as well as a Reuters report that said India is freezing major exports of the Oxford-astrazeneca vaccine.

Horgan said his office spoke with the federal government on both issues on Wednesday and received assurances that it is “full steam ahead,” though he added that B.C. will continue to be prudent and strategic with scarce resources of vaccine.

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ICAO Joins WHO And Other Agencies Calling On Aircrew Vaccine Priority

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is joining a number of other UN agencies in calling for priority vaccinations for aircrew. The main argument underpinning this request is that vaccinating this sector of society will ensure the optimal operation of civil aviation networks and the global transport of essential shipments.

Fostering economic recovery through global trade and mobility

As part of a March 26th statement, the ICAO joined four other UN organizations in its appeal for countries to prioritize both aircrew and maritime workers. The other organizations included the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Labor Organization (ILO), and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). This appeal came in the form of a joint statement, signed by the respective head of each UN body.

The statement says that maritime and air transport are essential activities underpinning global trade and mobility, and key to a sustainable socio-economic recovery and points out that travel restrictions- particularly on workers in air and sea transportation- have raised costs while limiting important mobility:

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“As the Joint Statement draws attention to, the application of stringent public health rules to these key workers, including quarantine, has resulted in hindered connectivity, operational complexity, and significant costs.” -Dr. Fang Liu, Secretary General, ICAO

The ICAO notes that in 2019, air transport carried about 5.7 billion passengers, and airfreight pre-pandemic represented 35% of the value of goods shipped in all modes combined.

Therefore, the ICAO and its fellow organizations is calling on governments to prioritize maritime workers and aircrew in their national COVID-19 vaccination programs. The organization would like to see air and sea workers grouped together with other essential workers, “in accordance with the WHO SAGE Roadmap for prioritizing the use of COVID-19 vaccines.”

Joint statement advises against vaccination as entry requirement

Another portion of the Joint Statement came out against proof of vaccination for international travel, as a condition of entry. This was advice came via the WHO, which explained that this was due to both the critical unknowns regarding the efficacy of vaccination in reducing transmission, and the limited global availability of vaccine doses.

 
ICAO statistics notes that pre-pandemic licensed aviation professionals, including pilots, air traffic controllers, and licensed maintenance technicians, totaled approximately 887,000. 

However, many countries are moving ahead with implementing entry policies that at least make vaccination a condition to avoid a 10-14 day quarantine. The majority of countries with this type of arrivals policy are in Europe, and include:

  • Estonia
  • Iceland
  • Greece
  • Poland
  • Romania

The article on this particular topic can be found here.

In the end it will be up to each country to decide what level of priority air (and sea) crew will have when it comes to getting their vaccinations. Politics may also be a determining factor, as various groups fight for their place in the vaccination line-up.

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This will indeed be interesting to watch, will the lawsuit be successful and if so will it set a precedent?

Quote
https://apnews.com/article/pandemics-fort-lauderdale-florida-ron-desantis-coronavirus-pandemic-b48fe818a3d475f28618bc88b2d05c26
Florida to feds: Allow cruise ships to operate or we’ll sue
By TERRY SPENCERMarch 26, 2021

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ripped into the federal government’s continued pandemic ban on cruise ships using U.S. ports, threatening Friday to file a lawsuit if one of the state’s biggest tourism sectors is not allowed to resume operations soon.

Appearing at Port Canaveral with leaders from Carnival, Norwegian, Disney and Royal Caribbean cruise lines, DeSantis and Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said they are exploring the state’s legal options if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not allow U.S.-based cruising to resume by summer.

The state is the nation’s cruise capital with three of the world’s busiest ports: Miami, Port Canaveral near Kennedy Space Center, and Port Everglades near Fort Lauderdale. Millions typically cruise from Florida each year and the industry generates billions for the state’s economy.

DeSantis said the continued ban is only hurting Florida with no effect on the pandemic as cruising is resuming elsewhere in the world and Americans are flying to the nearby Bahamas to board ships.

“Is it OK for the government to just idle an industry for a year?” the Republican governor said. He said people now need to decide for themselves what they are willing to risk.

The CDC shut down the cruise industry a year ago when several coronavirus outbreaks were tied to ships worldwide. DeSantis and industry leaders argued Friday that with widespread testing and vaccines becoming more available, the danger is now no worse than air and train travel, which are open. Cruising has resumed with restrictions and protocols in much of the world with the industry leaders saying there have been no new outbreaks tied to their ships.

The CDC did not immediately respond to an email Friday seeking comment. It issued guidelines in October that require cruise ships conduct mock voyages to test procedures and have onboard testing labs before passengers would be allowed, but no further guidance has been issued, leaving the ban effectively in place.

Cindy Prins, a University of Florida epidemiologist, defended the ban, saying it is still too early for cruise ships to operate. Unlike other modes of transportation, families and groups on cruises mingle and dine together for long periods, increasing the likelihood of spread, she said, and testing and symptom screening are not perfect methods of prevention.

She said cruise lines would need to limit passengers and crew to those who can prove they are fully vaccinated to avoid spreading the virus. No industry leader suggested Friday that would be a requirement if they resume U.S. operations, and DeSantis expressed opposition to requiring vaccination for participation in the economy.

Moody, also a Republican, said if a lawsuit is filed, it would challenge the ban as based on medical information that is out-of-date and no longer valid.

“When you have a government that is working against the interests and vitality of its citizens it serves, that is a problem. And historically, you can see how that leads to the demise and destruction of those they are trying to govern,” Moody said.

More than 8 million passengers cruised from Florida in 2019, the last full year before the pandemic. The Cruise Lines International Association estimates that 150,000 jobs in the state are created by the industry, including dependent jobs at hotels, restaurants and airlines, generating nearly $8 billion in wages. Almost all of that has been wiped out.

Industry leaders appearing with DeSantis and Moody complained that little movement has been made in the U.S. toward reopening, even though cruises have resumed in the Caribbean, Europe, the Mediterranean, Australia and Asia.

“Let’s get people back to the work. The health situation has changed,” said Thomas Mazloum, president of Disney Cruise Line. “Cruise lines are cruising very successfully outside the United States, proving that with the right protocols cruising is a very safe and beautiful experience.”

___

 

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Yup. AC and Transat will be ramping up that schedule to Europe any day now..... not.

Summer 2021 international travel remains a great big question mark. Only hope is vaccination passport. And that will have to be an approved protocol in both directions.

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26 minutes ago, rudder said:

Yup. AC and Transat will be ramping up that schedule to Europe any day now..... not.

Summer 2021 international travel remains a great big question mark. Only hope is vaccination passport. And that will have to be an approved protocol in both directions.

I would say the passport is way to late for summer 2021.

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3 minutes ago, AIP said:

I would say the passport is way to late for summer 2021.

My guess is that the current Federal government and PHAC want to keep everything buttoned up until Labour Day. No summer 2021 international travel, including US (especially the US).

We will be lucky if someone from BC (with shots) will be allowed to puncture the Atlantic bubble.

The pain for airlines will continue. Did anybody hear a rumour about sector specific aid for the airlines......?

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I’m sure I saw a story that said American Airlines ticket sales are now back to 90% of pre-COVID, and Delta today is selling middle seats again (they were the only ones that left those seats open). So methinks aviation is once again booming south of the border.

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Quote

CDC Gives Green Light For Vaccinated Americans To Travel
by
Jay Singh
April 2, 2021

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has given the green light for fully vaccinated Americans to travel. The updated information indicates that fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19. However, passengers should still adhere to guidelines for safe travel and any government or airline mandates.


The CDC has updated guidelines for fully vaccinated domestic travelers. Photo: Getty Images
You are considered fully vaccinated by the CDC if two weeks have passed since you have received the second dose of a two-dose series (such as Pfizer or Moderna) or two weeks after a single dose vaccine (such as Johnson & Johnson).

Fully vaccinated passengers can travel again
The CDC updated its guidelines for Americans on Friday, giving the green light for passengers to travel again after being fully vaccinated. For domestic travelers, the CDC recommends waiting until after passengers are fully vaccinated before embarking on their trip. This means waiting until at least two weeks after your final dose of the vaccine.
As the CDC is giving out more white cards, it is opening up domestic travel for vaccinated passengers. Photo: Getty Images
During travel, passengers should still wear a mask over their nose and mouth. This is more than just a guideline; it is federal law. Airlines have also shown that they will remove passengers who do not comply with the mask mandate from their flights and give them a ban from traveling with that airline for as long as the mask mandate is in place. Passengers should also wash their hands or sanitize often and social distance where possible.

The CDC also outlined guidance that fully vaccinated passengers do not need to get tested or self-quarantine before or after travel. The CDC recommends getting tested one to three days before a trip and within three to five days after a trip for unvaccinated passengers.

What about international travel?
The CDC did not give blanket guidance authorizing international travel for all passengers jet yet. However, the organization has laid some of the groundwork for vaccinated passengers to travel internationally.


The CDC has not endorsed a vaccine passport for international travel, but private sector development continues. 
The CDC has outlined a risk assessment for countries around the world. Most countries are still considered at very high risk for infection during travel. You can see the risk assessment for countries here.

International passengers do not need to get tested before departing the US unless the foreign destination they are visiting requires it. The mandate for negative test results within three days of boarding a flight to the US is still in place. The CDC also recommends getting tested three to five days after international travel, but it does not recommend self-quarantining for vaccinated travelers.

Huge news for the airline industry
For the past year, the airline industry has been riding high on the hopes of a vaccine to unlock travel. Now, the CDC is finally providing that road map. The US has been rolling out vaccines at an impressive pace, and now, with over 150 million vaccines administered, over 30% of the country’s population has received at least one dose.


More people are traveling again, as March set many passenger records since the start of the pandemic
With this in mind, the airline industry saw an excellent March, and a summer surge seems all the more likely. The CDC is focusing on opening barriers for domestic travel, as the US sees the light at the end of the tunnel for the pandemic. Shots are also going in arms at a fast pace.

For international travel, the CDC is waiting for other countries to ramp up their vaccination programs before it starts to relieve some burdens or restrictions in place for those travelers. Foreign citizens coming from high-risk countries like the EU, Brazil, UK, and South Africa remain barred from entering the United States.


New York ended its mandate for domestic quarantine requirement on April 1st. Hawaii is expected to open up with fewer restrictions for domestic travelers this summer. With the new CDC guidelines in effect, expect other states and local jurisdictions to remove further domestic restrictions and revitalize the tourist industry outside of hotspot destinations like Florida.

 

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I hope they don't open cross border USA/CANADA flying too soon..

Seeing my son and his family did not make to YYC last year for Xmas but they thought they would , I sent the Xmas gifts to YYC.

If they can't get into Canada until at least late November/  early December, I won't have to buy them anything this year  ScreenShot001.jpg.9a8c9e96d0578f4e547359d46cb27274.jpg

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Chris Selley: Trudeau's mandatory hotel quarantine had one job — keeping out new variants. It failed
Chris Selley  37 mins ago
The Brazilian variant of COVID-19, known as P.1, is mounting a stalwart challenge for supremacy in British Columbia, where case rates are currently soaring. Two weeks ago, just 65 cases had been identified in B.C.; as of Monday the number was 737. At that rate of growth it will shortly surpass the British strain, which has been blamed for rapid growth in both B.C. and Ontario (where P.1 hasn’t yet shown up in large numbers).


Evidence from Brazil suggests the strain may be more dangerous to younger people than COVID-regular (though still far less dangerous than it is to older people). Evidence from B.C. suggests it’s responsible for both the Vancouver Canucks season being put on hold and the huge outbreak in Whistler that currently has the ski hills shut down completely.

With two B.C. icons suddenly idled just as the end of this nightmare seems at hand, this has all been very much in the news. What seems to have largely escaped notice is that this was not supposed to happen. Keeping foreign strains out of Canada was precisely the justification Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cited on January 29 when he announced the “mandatory three-day hotel quarantine” for all returning airline passengers from abroad.

“We know that just one case of the variant that comes in could cause significant challenges,” said Trudeau. “That is why we need to take extra measures.”

It was another three-and-a-half weeks before the rule kicked in — too late to do anything about the British variant. But the first Canadian case of the Brazilian variant had only been detected , in Toronto, on February 7, and it was apparently contained. It was more than a month after that that P.1 first cropped up in Quebec, Alberta and B.C.

It obviously wasn’t just one or two people who smuggled P.1 into Canada. Several cases have breached the defences Trudeau erected, and as a result B.C. is in far worse shape than ever before.

This isn’t surprising, but it was potentially preventable, or at least significantly mitigable.

I have written before about the ludicrous sham that is Canada’s “mandatory three-day hotel quarantine” regime. Countries that are serious about this prophylactic measure keep people locked up for 10 or 14 days, testing repeatedly and monitoring for symptoms. Canada doesn’t even make people stay for the three days they’re required to book and pay for: as soon as their negative test conducted on arrival comes through, they’re free to go. (That’s assuming they don’t just refuse to participate and sally off home, as they have in several cases.)

If “just one case of the variant” is a problem, as Trudeau said, then this policy is an indefensible failure. Keeping variants out was literally the only positive thing such a policy could theoretically do.

In practice, mind you, the policy wouldn’t have even have made sense at 10 or 14 days. The National Post’s Adrian Humphreys reported last week that nearly a quarter of all arriving air passengers from abroad have been deemed exempt from the hotel-quarantine requirement entirely — roughly 26,000 people as of March 22. Meanwhile more than 100,000 commercial truck drivers cross the border from the United States every single week!

In an op-ed in the Toronto Star this week, Dr. Amanpreet Brar, a University of Toronto surgery resident who contributes to Punjabi-language call-in shows, relayed Canadian truck drivers’ increasing concerns about travelling unvaccinated to and from an increasingly unrestricted United States. “We need to push governments to prioritize these transportation workers (for vaccination) along with all other essential workers,” she plausibly contended. The U.S., with 10 times the population as ours and fewer restrictions on its citizens’ foreign travel, is surely going to be a potential source for variants.

Even without vaccinations, this was a problem Ottawa could have tried to manage: A month ago, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said the feds were looking at deploying their rapid-test stockpiles to the border for such essential workers. Nothing happened.

It is understandable that provincial governments absorb most of the criticism for pandemic disappointments: they’re in charge of most of it, and there is nearly boundless scope to criticize. The entire gigantic province of Ontario, ranging from regions with near-zero cases to ones with historic highs, is suddenly under a so-called “shutdown.” In Toronto and Peel, this essentially amounted to closing down patio dining and gyms, which had just been vouched safe two weeks previously, while half-heartedly scolding the owners of warehousing, food processing and meatpacking concerns that are proven and consistent sources of massive outbreaks.

On Monday, Peel’s chief public health officer announced he was closing schools a week early for spring break, effective Tuesday; his counterpart in Toronto said she wouldn’t follow suit, then changed her mind on Tuesday, effective Wednesday. I have no idea how parents cope. “Why?” is a question no one can even begin to answer. Premier Doug Ford threatens more stringent incoherency to come.

But Ottawa has been just as bad if not worse at managing its own business, and nowhere has it been more obvious or detrimental than at the border. On Tuesday, Health Minister Patty Hajdu allowed that a public inquiry into Canada’s pandemic response might be warranted at some point in the future. No kidding! Properly adjudicated, any such undertaking will have absolutely scorching words for almost everyone in charge at every level.

 

image.png

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Just because it is called the Brazilian variant does not mean it was imported from Brazil. The virus naturally mutates everywhere it lives. It's entirely possible it mutated right here in BC. The Spanish flu didn't come from Spain ...

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America's newest airline is launching in April with a focus on leisure routes and fares as low as $19: Meet Avelo Airlines
Avelo Airlines just broke cover and plans to start flights on April 28 from Burbank, California.
Andrew Levy, former president of Allegiant Air, is at the helm with a focus on cheap flights and friendly service.
A total of 11 routes have already been announced to popular destinations across the American West.
See more stories on Insider's business page.
It's lights, cameras, action for America's newest airline that's planning its Hollywood debut later this month.

Avelo Airlines plans to launch flights on April 28 from Hollywood Burbank Airport near Los Angeles, giving travelers yet another option when planning pandemic getaways. The new ultra-low-cost airline is focused on cheap leisure flights and will fly to popular destinations in the American West from before expanding across the country.

"Avelo is a different and better kind of airline, built from scratch to offer an affordable, convenient and caring travel experience," chief executive Andrew Levy said in a press release.

The initial slate of 11 routes from Burbank include flights to:

Santa Rosa, California from April 28;
Pasco, Washington from April 29;
Bozeman, Montana from April 30;
Phoenix, Arizona from May 3;
Ogden, Utah from May 4;
Grand Junction,
Colorado from May 9;
Medford, Oregon from May 9;
Eugene, Oregon from May 12;
Bend, Oregon from May 13;
Eureka, California from May 19; and
Redding, California from May 20.
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Burbank, just north of downtown Los Angeles, offers a convenient alternative to Los Angeles International Airport that the company hopes will help spur bookings and encourage flyers to travel.

"A big part of our business model is not just offering every day, great fares," Levy told Insider. "We're a low-cost carrier. We're built to offer low fares, but at the same time we're going to offer a great level of convenience by utilizing Burbank, which we think is probably the best secondary airport in the country."

An airport stuck in time, the one-story terminal building at Burbank resembles a scene from the 1950s. Passengers are required to board aircraft directly from the tarmac since there are no jetways.

The Boeing 737-800, a tried and true narrow-body aircraft that can seat 189 people in the airline's all-economy configuration, will be Avelo's flagship aircraft. The plane is a staple of other well-known low-cost carriers like Southwest Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, and Ryanair thanks to its low operating costs and high availability on the market.

In true ultra-low-cost fashion, flyers won't find seat-back entertainment screens - though WiFi may be coming within the next year. Avelo says it's working with potential suppliers for the service.

In-flight snacks and drinks service won't be offered in the airline's initial run, either, due to the pandemic. Customers will instead receive a "convenience package" with hand sanitizer, a bottle of water, and a small snack.

The bulk of the aircraft's seating are "slimline" seats, the term for thinner seats on airplanes, with only 29 inches of pitch across the 129 seats. The remaining 60 seats, however, will range in pitch from 31 to 38 inches, and reserving one will cost at least $18.

Fares as low as $19 are being offered on all of the airline's initial routes from April into mid-June for some destinations, except for flights around Memorial Day Weekend. They're just introductory fares but low ticket prices are part of Avelo's overall strategy to stimulate demand in underserved markets and become a go-to for cheap flights.

"Quite honestly, I'd love to be able to do, over many years, what Southwest has done," Levy said. "Where when people hear 'Avelo,' they just associate us with low fares."

Offering low fares, however, means that Avelo will have to fill its planes as close to the brim as possible in order to turn a profit. "We're looking to sell the flights very full, we're defining full as 80-85%," Levy said.

And unlike competitors, Avelo doesn't have a robust system of extra fees to fall back on. Advanced seat assignments start at $5 and checking a bag will only cost $10, with the latter meant to open more space in the cabin during boarding and deplaning. There's also no fee to make a flight change or make a reservation over the phone.

These extra charges, known as ancillary fees, have become the backbone of ultra-low-cost airlines' strategy as they don't incur taxes.

Keeping calm during a crippling pandemic for airlines
Avelo, one of two low-cost airlines launching operations during the pandemic, has the benefit of an experienced founder. Levy formerly served as the co-founder and president of Allegiant Air and chief financial officer of United Airlines.

"I think probably during the pandemic, maybe the hardest thing was just to keep everybody calm and to recognize that there's a lot of good that's going to come from the end of the business cycle," Levy said
The industry veteran was actually optimistic instead of pessimistic when the pandemic hit the US in March 2020. Leveling the playing field for airlines made it easier for a new entrant to compete with established players.

Congress ultimately saved many airlines from possible bankruptcy, but the pandemic's outcome still favors leisure airlines like Avelo, analysts say. More Americans are willing to get back in the air after an extended pandemic and ultra-low-cost airlines are allowing them to do it without breaking the bank.

Read More: Spirit Airlines' low-cost model puts it in the perfect spot to be the big winner of the pandemic, a Deutsche Bank analyst says

"I think all of our investors realize that this will have been a pretty strong opportunity for us to get into markets we otherwise wouldn't have been able to get into, take advantage of materially lower costs for things like airplanes, office leases, IT contracts, parts agreements, etc.," Levy said.

Avelo currently has three planes and more than 200 crew members but plans to have six Boeing 737s and 400 crew members by the end of the year.

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U.S. taxi services see business boost helping Canadians avoid hotel quarantine

Travellers entering Canada by land aren't required to check into a quarantine hotel

covid-cda-us-students-20200727.jpg

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The companies said they'll drive Canadians to or across the Canadian border for around $100 US and, for an added fee, the Buffalo companies will drive passengers directly to their homes in Ontario. Each company said it has seen a boost in business after Canada introduced the hotel quarantine requirement.
Since late February, Buffalo Limousine has, on average, transported 50 customers a day across the Canadian border. Buffalo Limousine charges about $120 US to drive a couple from the Buffalo airport across the border to neighbouring Fort Erie, Ont., or Niagara Falls. A trip to downtown Toronto costs around $300 US.

"it's not even so much the cost, it's like you're in jail … with this hotel quarantine."

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This alternative is still probably cheaper than a direct flight (if they were still offered) at AC or WJ at 2 or 300/ person...cheap tickets on Allegiant or Southwest in to Buffalo than a cab ride home...bingo!! And returning snowbirds will have already had the vaccine down south, been tested 72 hours prior, tested on entry, and subject again to the test 10 days in quarantine.

Taxi service is also being offered for the Ottawa residents....flying into OGS Ogdensburg...at least, to get landed in Canada. Alliegiant stopped service there this winter but connectors are still flying.

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The Liberal government and PHAC have no intention of making it easier to travel out of country this summer. And the CAN-US border will remain closed.

Even some provinces are making inter-provincial travel difficult to impossible.

 

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Rather embarrassing news for Canada on the world stage, so more evidence things won’t open soon:

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WASHINGTON — The CDC is advising Americans to avoid traveling to Canada, even if they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Canada is currently ranked as a Level 4 health risk by the CDC due to high levels of the virus and low vaccination rates.

https://www.abcactionnews.com/news/national/coronavirus/avoid-traveling-to-canada-even-if-youre-vaccinated-cdc-says

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1 hour ago, st27 said:

Rather embarrassing news for Canada on the world stage, so more evidence things won’t open soon:

https://www.abcactionnews.com/news/national/coronavirus/avoid-traveling-to-canada-even-if-youre-vaccinated-cdc-says

Not embarrassing as far as I am concerned. Cross border traffic is something that we do not want or need right now.  

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10 hours ago, Kargokings said:

Not embarrassing as far as I am concerned. Cross border traffic is something that we do not want or need right now.  

Take a moment and reflect upon your numerous posts on this subject and ask why you have taken such an immutable position.

As has been reported, there is currently a very significant amount of cross-border traffic mostly represented by the transportation industry and "essential" workers.

There is sparse evidence that these travellers are carriers /spreaders of the virus. The balance of traffic consists of persons required to produce evidence that they are not infected and are required to quarantine.

Please explain how you are more at risk from these individuals than from your friends down the road whose social/work borders are within the confines of Ontario.

Please tell me how fully vaccinated "snowbirds" who comply with all of the requirements imposed upon returning Canadians place you at risk.

I previously posted that it is a known and indisputable fact that almost every DEL/ YYZ flight carries Covid positive pax. It is suspected that their pre-flight PCR tests are bogus.

NZ arrived at the same conclusion noting that of 26 positive cases arriving by air from ALL locations, 17 were from India. They have closed the border to persons coming to NZ from India for two weeks, regardless of citzenry.

There are, of course, resulting cries of rascism.

But...at least...one can point to extrinsic evidence to support the prejudice. Can you?

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