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With countries, provinces and American states beginning to relax shelter-in-place restrictions despite caution from the medical community, companies must navigate a work environment that is vastly different. Ontario will gradually begin reopening on Tuesday. Restrictions will be lifted on retail stores, golf driving ranges and tennis courts, surgeries and pet-care services.

Premier Doug Ford cautions that restaurants will have to remain closed for now. They will be restricted to serving takeout food, wine, beer, and spirits. Ontario can now gradually begin to open workplaces, but working from home should continue as much as possible.

“Businesses should open only if they are ready,” Ford said at his daily press conference. “And we need to keep in mind that all of this is dependent on the numbers.”

Los Angeles

• Everyone in Los Angeles must wear a mask when outside their homes. The new order is intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus as easing of other restrictions allows more people to return to work and recreation.

Easing of the “safer at home” orders issued by the city and Los Angeles County began last week with the reopening of some retail using curbside pickup, hiking trails and golf courses. Beaches reopened Wednesday, and there is now further opening of retail, manufacturing and logistics.

Retail

• More than 300 Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman stores will reopen for business by the end of the week, starting with curbside or store pickup services. Approximately 20 stores in Europe, 35 stores in Japan, 35 stores in Malaysia and nearly 30 stores in Australia will be opened to customers, according to parent company Tapestry Inc. All stores have reopened in China and South Korea. Stores open to customers will adhere to social distancing guidelines under modified hours.

Sports and entertainment

• Lisa MacLeod, Ontario’s Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture, said Thursday the provincial government is not focused on contributing financially to the CFL outside of the 2021 Grey Cup. Ontario is home to three of the CFL’s nine franchises: the Toronto Argonauts; Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Ottawa Redblacks

The CFL has asked the federal government for up to $150 million in financial assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The league is looking for $30 million immediately, additional cash in the event of an abbreviated season and up to $120 million if there’s no 2020 campaign.

The CFL has postponed the start of training camps which were to open this month. It also pushed back the June 11 kickoff of the regular season to early July, at the earliest. However, many provincial governments have said there will be no sports events with large crowds this summer.

• The Toronto Zoo is planning to reopen as a “drive-thru experience” once the province gives it the green light. A spokeswoman for the zoo says a “pre-booked driving route” will allow visitors to see the animals from “the comfort and safety of their own vehicle.” She says visitors will travel along a 3.4-kilometre route through the park. The executive director of Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums says the organization’s members are also looking at providing masks to visitors and having them walk along a predetermined route.

• The Calgary Zoo announced this week it will be returning two giant pandas on loan from China because the COVID-19 pandemic has caused problems with getting enough bamboo to feed them.

Aviation

• Delta Air Lines is retiring its huge 777 aircraft with little evidence that international travel will pick up soon. Delta is burning through cash and looking for ways to cut costs. On Thursday, the carrier said it would no longer fly the 777 and other older, less efficient aircraft. When international travel picks up, Delta said it will be flying the more efficient A330 and A350-900 wide-body planes made by Airbus

• Australia’s Queensland state government is an interested bidder for Virgin Australia. It could offer either a loan, guarantee or buy an equity stake. Queensland wants to keep the airline in the state and protect jobs. Virgin Australia went into voluntary administration on April 21.

• Lufthansa, SWISS and Eurowings are adding numerous leisure and summer destinations to their flight schedules in June, as well as more long-haul destinations. The first batch of flights are now available for reservation.

By the end of June, the Lufthansa Group airlines plan to offer around 1,800 weekly roundtrips to more than 130 destinations worldwide.

Lufthansa’s additional flights that are resuming in the first half of June, in Germany and Europe, are from: Frankfurt: Hanover, Majorca, Sofia, Prague, Billund, Nice, Manchester, Budapest, Dublin, Riga, Krakow, Bucharest and Kiev. From Munich, it is Münster/Osnabrück, Sylt, Rostock, Vienna, Zurich, Brussels and Mallorca.

Lufthansa’s long-haul resumption of flights planned for the second half of June from Frankfurt (subject to possible travel restrictions): Toronto, Mexico City, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Tel Aviv, Riyadh, Bahrain, Johannesburg, Dubai and Mumbai. The destinations Newark/New York, Chicago, Sao Paulo, Tokyo and Bangkok will continue to be offered.

Lufthansa’s long-haul return flights from Munich in detail (subject to possible travel restrictions): Chicago, Los Angeles, Tel Aviv.

All destinations can be booked on lufthansa.com.

• Austrian Airlines has decided to extend the suspension of regular flight operations for a further week, from 31 May to 7 June. A resumption of service in June is being considered.

• SWISS is planning to resume services to various destinations in the Mediterranean region, and other major European centres such as Paris, Brussels and Moscow will also be added to the programme.

In its long-haul operations, SWISS will again offer its passengers new intercontinental direct services in June, in addition to its three weekly services to New York / Newark (USA). The Swiss carrier plans to offer flights from Zurich to New York JFK, Chicago, Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo, Mumbai, Hong Kong and Johannesburg.

• Eurowings announced last week that it would be expanding its basic program at the airports of Düsseldorf, Cologne/Bonn, Hamburg and Stuttgart and gradually adding 15 further destinations within Europe from May onwards. With flights to Spain, Greece, Portugal and Croatia, the focus is on destinations in the Mediterranean region. Furthermore the island of Mallorca will again be offered from several German Eurowings gateways

• Brussels Airlines plans to resume its flight operations with a reduced network offer as from 15 June

When planning their trips, customers should consider the current entry and quarantine regulations of the respective destinations. Throughout the entire trip, restrictions may be imposed due to stricter hygiene and security regulations, for example due to longer waiting times at airport security checkpoints. The catering services on board will also remain restricted until further notice. In addition, passengers will continue to be asked to wear a nose-and-mouth cover on board during the entire journey.

Cruising

• The last of the three major cruise lines posted quarterly results Thursday and its losses were far greater than expected. However, Norwegian Cruise Lines says it’s raised enough cash to withstand the suspension of cruises for more than 18 months. Demand for cruises, Norwegian said, is picking up for the final three months of this year and bookings for next year are “within historical ranges.”

• Carnival Corp., the world’s largest cruise company, announced on Thursday it will be laying off hundreds of employees due to the coronavirus pandemic. CEO Arnold Donald said the combination of layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts were “necessary” as the pause on cruise travel enters its third month.

The majority of affected employees in the US will be in Florida, California and Washington stateThe company is eliminating 820 positions and furloughing 537 employees for up to six months in Florida out of a workforce of about 3,000 employees. Carnival Corp. did not reveal the number of job eliminations in the other states or countries around the world.

Carnival Cruise Line, one of the company’s brands, announced earlier this month it will start cruising again beginning in August to Caribbean destinations from Florida and Texas.

Rail

• Rocky Mountaineer has extended the suspension of its 2020 travel season until July 31. This suspension is in addition to the previously announced suspended departures from April 13 to June 30.

Guests on a suspended departure will receive a future travel credit of 110% value of monies paid, which is valid through to the end of the 2022 season. Rocky Mountaineer is also holding its 2021 rail prices at the 2020 level

Hotels

• Hyatt Hotels has announced it will cut 1,300 jobs globally starting next month. It has already reduced pay for senior positions and other employees but says the further cuts are necessary due to “the historic drop in travel demand and the expected slow pace of recovery.” Affected staff will get a severance package.

Hyatt operates more than 900 hotels in 65 countries and has a global workforce of about 55,000.

• According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association, the Covid-19 pandemic is costing the industry about US $1.4 billion in lost revenue per week

Tourism

• France will spend €18-billion ($27.32 billion) to support restaurants, hotels and other tourist destinations that have been closed since mid-March. That includes tax cuts, state-backed loans and other financial aid. Restaurants and cafes may reopen on June 2 in regions with limited less infections.

With the country starting to ease its lockdown this week, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said Thursday that citizens will be able to vacations in country and in territories starting in July and August. The government hopes local tourism will help the sector survive the anticipated absence of foreign travellers this summer. Tourism in France represents about 8% of the country’s gross domestic product, 30% of which comes from international visitors.

• The head of Spain’s Balearic Islands, a popular beach holiday spot in the Mediterranean, said it would like to fly in groups of foreign visitors at the end of June for trial runs before reopening to tourism in July. Officials have asked Spain to drop the two-week quarantine for those visitors that is now mandatory for tourists. About 16 million people visited the islands last year.

Source: Travel Industry Today
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