“April is a promise that May is bound to keep.” — Hal Borland, nature journalist (1900-1978)
Hold Onto That Face Mask
The mask mandate put in place by TSA that was initially set to expire on May 11 has been extended through September 13. This regulation applies to travelers on planes, airports, trains and boats.
Meantime, some cities, states, and counties are struggling with adjustments to their local mask requirements because of last week’s CDC update. Florida has taken a path of its own.
Overall, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) took a major step into a post-pandemic world, relaxing the rules on mask wearing outdoors where there are no crowds. Under new guidelines, Americans who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus no longer need to wear a mask outdoors while walking, running, hiking or biking alone, or when in small gatherings, including with members of their own households.
Masks are still necessary in crowded outdoor venues like sports stadiums, and for indoor gatherings and activities—such as hair salons, restaurants, shopping centers, museums and movie theaters—the CDC recommends all Americans continue to wear facial coverings.
Meantime…Happy 90th to the Empire State Building
U.S. Household Income Surged by Record 21.1% in March…Higher income, spending and saving are expected to help power a fast economic recovery — The Wall Street Journal, 4/3/02021
Consumer-fueled economy pushes GDP to 6.4% first-quarter gain — CNBC, 4/29/2021
Miscellaneous travel factoids pointing at a fast-paced domestic recovery.
- Mayor Bill De Blasio says New York City will “fully reopen” by July 1, 2021.
- The European Union is expected to allow vaccinated American tourists to visit beginning this summer.
- Booking windows are now 80 days in advance in EMEA, 70 days in North and South America and 54 days in Asia Pacific. That’s compared to a low globally of about 55 days in September 2020, reports Skyscanner.
- The volume of travelers processed by TSA at U.S. airports has been above one million daily since March 11, 2021, frequently above 50% of same day 2019. The agency is holding recruitment fairs and offering a $500 bonus in a scramble to hire 6,000 officers for this summer.
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security has extended the REAL ID deadline to May 3, 2023.
- In Texas, the leisure and hospitality sector added 23,100 jobs in March.
- Puerto Rico is seeing record-setting travel demand. Travelers touching down in Puerto Rico without a negative PCR test are being fined $300 and required to take a test within 48 hours.
- Hawaii visitor arrivals in March increased for the first time in a year and rental car shortage emerges as a new problem.
- More than 2.2 million visitors were in Las Vegas in March 2021, up 45 percent from February 2021.
- After 412 days closed, Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park reopened with limited capacity and for admission to California residents only on April 30, 2021.
- CDC says cruising can re-start in mid-July if 98% of crew and 95% of passengers are fully vaccinated.
- Last week alone, travel startups including TravelPerk, Guesty, Staymyway, and TripAbrood, announced more than $212 million in funding.
- Uber has launched Uber Rent Valet service in partnership with Hertz and Avis, allowing travelers to rent a car from the app, have it delivered straight to the user’s preferred location and returned to the valet.
- The latest Longwoods International survey indicates 86% percent of American travelers say they plan to travel in the next six months. Destinations Analysts’ latest survey finds 87% planning to travel between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
- And, this happened: The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) held its 2021 Global Summit in Cancun last week with 600 delegates in attendance, the first major face-to-face travel meeting since the global pandemic began more than a year ago.