Categories
Travel

British Airways furloughs 36,000 staff in worst-ever crisis

Three months ago, British Airways and its staff were beginning what was expected to be their most successful-ever year.

Today BA, in common with the rest of the airline industry, is on life-support as scheduled flying reaches a near-standstill.

A combination of international flight bans, national lockdowns and passenger concerns about coronavirus have created the biggest crisis in modern aviation history. In response, British Airways is to suspend 36,000 employees.

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The move affects four out of five of BA’s ground staff, engineers, office workers and cabin crew. They will be switched to the government’s job-retention scheme, which covers 80 per cent of salary up to a maximum of £30,000 annually.

A deal with the Unite union is about to be concluded, with no redundancies involved at this stage. The official British Airways statement consists of just two words: “Talks continue.”

Cabin crew comprise the largest group of workers affected by the furlough, with 16,500 employed by BA. Part of their pay is made up of allowances from flying, so many will lose more than 20 per cent of their income.

The British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) had previously negotiated a temporary pay cut and unpaid leave on behalf of BA’s 4,000 pilots. Their earnings, which are typically much more than £30,000 a year, will approximately halve.

Much of the British Airways fleet is grounded, and the airport bases at Gatwick and London City have shut down completely.

But unlike the UK’s other giant carrier, easyJet, BA is continuing to fly, with ​a skeleton service running to and from Heathrow airport.

On Thursday, short-haul flights are running to and from Aberdeen, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Belfast, Berlin, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Geneva, Glasgow, Gothenburg, Manchester, Munich, Oslo, Sofia and Stockholm.

Top: Nabi Younes market, Mosul

Bottom: Charles Bridge, Prague

Grand Mosque, Mecca

2/20 Grand Mosque, Mecca

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

3/20 Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Nabi Younes market, Mosul

4/20 Nabi Younes market, Mosul

Basra Grand Mosque, Iraq

5/20 Basra Grand Mosque, Iraq

Charles Bridge, Prague

6/20 Charles Bridge, Prague

Taj Mahal hotel, India

7/20 Taj Mahal hotel, India

Dubai Mall, UAE

8/20 Dubai Mall, UAE

Beirut March, Lebanon

9/20 Beirut March, Lebanon

Gateway of India, Mumbai

10/20 Gateway of India, Mumbai

Cairo University, Egypt

11/20 Cairo University, Egypt

Amman Citadel, Jordan

12/20 Amman Citadel, Jordan

Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

13/20 Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

Beirut March, Lebanon

14/20 Beirut March, Lebanon

Cairo, Egypt

15/20 Cairo, Egypt

Cairo University, Egypt

16/20 Cairo University, Egypt

Victoria Memorial, India

17/20 Victoria Memorial, India

Amman Citadel, Jordan

18/20 Amman Citadel, Jordan

Amman Citadel, Jordan

19/20 Amman Citadel, Jordan

Sidon, Lebanon

20/20 Sidon, Lebanon

1/20

Top: Nabi Younes market, Mosul

Bottom: Charles Bridge, Prague

Grand Mosque, Mecca

2/20 Grand Mosque, Mecca

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

3/20 Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Nabi Younes market, Mosul

4/20 Nabi Younes market, Mosul

Basra Grand Mosque, Iraq

5/20 Basra Grand Mosque, Iraq

Charles Bridge, Prague

6/20 Charles Bridge, Prague

Taj Mahal hotel, India

7/20 Taj Mahal hotel, India

Dubai Mall, UAE

8/20 Dubai Mall, UAE

Beirut March, Lebanon

9/20 Beirut March, Lebanon

Gateway of India, Mumbai

10/20 Gateway of India, Mumbai

Cairo University, Egypt

11/20 Cairo University, Egypt

Amman Citadel, Jordan

12/20 Amman Citadel, Jordan

Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

13/20 Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

Beirut March, Lebanon

14/20 Beirut March, Lebanon

Cairo, Egypt

15/20 Cairo, Egypt

Cairo University, Egypt

16/20 Cairo University, Egypt

Victoria Memorial, India

17/20 Victoria Memorial, India

Amman Citadel, Jordan

18/20 Amman Citadel, Jordan

Amman Citadel, Jordan

19/20 Amman Citadel, Jordan

Sidon, Lebanon

20/20 Sidon, Lebanon

Intercontinental services are departing from Heathrow to Boston, Dallas, Hong Kong, Mexico City, New York, Santiago, Seattle, Seoul, Sydney, Tokyo and Washington DC.

The critical question for all airline staff is: how many of them will be needed when passengers start flying again in significant numbers?

Earlier, Greg Foran, chief executive of Air New Zealand, said: “We expect in a year’s time, we will be at least 30 percent smaller than we are today.”

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Categories
Travel

Covid 19 coronavirus: Balcony bingo keeps residents entertained in Ireland, Spain

First, it was the Italians singing across their balconies. Now, residents in Spain and Ireland have found a new way to pass the time during lockdown – by playing bingo out their windows.

Videos are doing the rounds on social media of residents in apartment blocks hanging out their windows for a community game of bingo.

In one part of Madrid, balcony bingo is a regular fixture each evening Monday to Friday, starting with music at 6pm to signal residents to get ready for the game.

A woman who organises the bingo games in her building, Cristina Pruenza, told CN Traveler it helps keep them entertained at night.

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Categories
Cruises

Iconic spots to explore on Google Maps now

Exploring the world is absolutely off limits right now due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But if being housebound is leaving you feeling restless and missing the wonders of the world, Google Maps can take you on an array of globetrotting virtual adventures from the comfort of your living room, The Sun reports.

TAJ MAHA L

Taj Mahal, India. Picture: Yawar Nazir/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

If you've ever wanted to take a closer look at the Taj Mahal, why not take this virtual tour.

The impressive building is arguably India's crown jewel of architecture.

RELATED: Follow the latest coronavirus updates

RELATED: A third of the world is now in lockdown

It was built 350 years ago in honour of a powerful ruler's beloved wife.

If you fancy taking a stroll around the building, Google Maps has a video tour, 360-degree panoramic images and a street-view option.

PYRAMIDS OF GIZA

Pyramids of Giza, Egypt. Picture: iStockSource:Supplied

Seeing the Pyramids of Giza is on many bucket lists.

You can travel back in time with Google Maps and take a self-guided tour through the Giza Necropolis.

View pyramid panoramas and take a look at the Sphinx as you learn facts about one of the ancient wonders of the world.

ANGKOR

Angkor Wat. Picture: iStockSource:istock

The ancient city of Angkor was the capital of the Khmer Empire.

It arose in the 9th century and was abandoned around 1431AD.

To explore the ruins of some of its numerous majestic temples just follow this Google Maps virtual tour.

PETRA

Petra, Jordan. Picture: iStockSource:istock

Check the awe-inspiring site of Petra off your list by using Google Maps to explore the archaeological city.

Located in southern Jordan, the iconic Petra facade was created more than 2000 years ago.

VENICE

Venice. Picture: iStockSource:istock

Venice got its name from the ancient Veneti people who moved into the Italian region around the 10th century BC.

You can explore its many canals and gondolas with a scroll of your finger.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

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Categories
Travel

Covid 19 coronavirus: Skier goes off-grid, returns to another world

Five years ago, I spent the second week of March undergoing my third round of chemotherapy – the 11th week since a cancer diagnosis changed everything in an instant. My red blood cell counts were so low that I couldn’t walk up the stairs in my house without resting halfway up.

This year I spent the second week of March with my boyfriend at a backcountry ski lodge in the Canadian Rockies, acutely aware of how fortunate I was to again have the physical health and strength to take a vacation that required climbing mountains.

The skiing was phenomenal and the scenery stunning. For seven days straight, I had to do nothing but eat, ski and sleep. Icefall Lodge was magical.

Our third day at the lodge, the World Health Organisation declared covid-19 a global pandemic. But I didn’t know this at the time. After a helicopter deposited Derek, me, and 13 other skiers and snowboarders from the United States, Canada and Australia at the lodge – in winter, a 20-minute helicopter flight is the only way to get to Icefall – I was completely disconnected.

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Categories
Travel

Coronavirus: Holland America's Zaandam, Rotterdam get OK to transit Panama Canal for Florida


Passengers on Holland America’s MS Zaandam and MS Rotterdam may soon be home. 

The cruise line said late Sunday night the Panama Canal Authority has granted permission for the ships to transit the canal. Panama’s Ministry of Health gave its permission Saturday, expediting the ships’ return to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Four elderly passengers on the Zaandam have died of coronavirus; 73 guests and 116 crew members have reported flu-like symptoms associated with the virus that has sickened more than 723,000 people and killed nearly 34,000 worldwide as of Sunday night. Of the current symptomatic passengers who were tested, two tested positive for COVID-19. 

Holland America thanked the Panamanian authorities in a statement issued by spokeswoman Sally Andrews late Sunday night. “We are still finalizing the details for where and when our guests will disembark, and are asking for the same compassion and humanity to be extended for our arrival,” the statement continued. 

Holland has been transferring healthy passengers to the Rotterdam, and said that process was completed Sunday. It added the two ships will remain together for the rest of the journey.

“Guests on both ships will remain in their staterooms until disembarkation, and all necessary precautionary measures are being taken on both ships that have been developed in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” the statement said.

Healthy, sick passengers had been separated between ships

By Friday afternoon, Holland America had transferred nearly 100 healthy passengers from the Zaandam to the Rotterdam.

A possible reason for dividing the passengers became clearer late Friday. 

Holland America said the Zaandam arrived in Panamanian waters on Friday and had since been following the protocol of Panama’s Ministry of Health, which originally stated that if a vessel has individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 on board, it cannot make any port operations or transit the Canal.

By transferring the healthy passengers transferred to the Rotterdam, they would have been more likely to obtain permission to transit the Panama Canal and continue their journey back to the U.S.

“Today we announced a plan to transfer groups of healthy Zaandam guests to Rotterdam, with strict protocols for this process developed in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” Holland America said in a statement released by spokesman Erik Elvejord. “Only those who have not been ill will be moved, and health screenings will be conducted before transferring.”

RELATED GALLERY: Coronavirus is changing everyday life across the US

Slide 1 of 105: A lone traveler enters an empty baggage claim area in Terminal Four at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. Airlines are reducing flights due to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.
Slide 2 of 105: Dave Heinzel installs one of his handmade signs with the saying "Everything Will Be Ok" along with a 3D red heart that he handmade in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in front of a home on West Lawrence Avenue, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in Springfield, Ill. Heinzel started taking requests for the signs on social media and the demand soared to over 200 requests. "I really think everything will be okay," said Heinzel. "It's going to get worse and it's not going to be fun and we're going to lose people we know, but it will be okay."
Slide 3 of 105: Aidan Hawthorne, 19, sits by the pond and begins to paint Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at Sharon Woods Metro Park in Westerville, Ohio.
Slide 4 of 105: Geraldine "Gerrie" Mitchell, left, a resident at St. Joseph's Apartments, in Erie, Pa. is greeted by her granddaughter Jennifer Frick, of Erie, on March 29, 2020. It was Mitchell's 100th birthday. Mitchell is on a stay-at-home order to slow the spread of COVID-19, the new coronavirus and can't have any visitors.

Slide 5 of 105: Father Sandy McDonald presides over the funeral of Ralph Ray, 73, at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Columbia, S.C. on March 27, 2020. In the front row, L-R, are Ray’s widow Cathy Ray; son Steve Ray; and Steve’s wife Ness Ray. Due to coronavirus social distancing measures, no more than ten people were allowed to attend the funeral. Three family members and two friends attended. His daughter, siblings, and grandchildren were unable to attend.
Slide 6 of 105: Cathy Ray, the widow of Ralph Ray, blows a kiss while listening to members of her garden club sing “Amazing Grace” in the parking lot following the funeral of Ralph Ray, 73, at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Columbia, S.C. on March 27, 2020.
Slide 7 of 105: Workers set up a camp in front of Mount Sinai West Hospital inside Central Park on March 29, 2020 in New York City.
Slide 8 of 105: Gary Meyer, owner of Friedrichs Coffee, throws a bag of coffee into a car window at Friedrichs Coffee in Urbandale, Iowa, on Saturday, March 28, 2020. Meyer spent Saturday morning giving free bags of coffee to residents to help pull the community together as residents spend more time isolated in their homes due to the Covid-19 coronavirus.
Slide 9 of 105: Nurses stand on a hill outside the emergency entrance to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx borough of New York, Saturday, March 28, 2020, as they demonstrate with members of the New York Nursing Association in support of obtaining an adequate supply of personal protective equipment for those treating coronavirus patients. A member of the New York nursing community died earlier in the week at another New York hospital. The city leads the nation in the number of coronavirus cases. Nurses say they are having to reuse their protective equipment endangering patients and themselves.

Slide 10 of 105: A lone traveler enters an empty baggage claim area in Terminal Four at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix on Mar. 27, 2020. Airlines are reducing flights due to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.
Slide 11 of 105: Teacher Julie Dannenmueller holds her sign for the students with the help of the Caped Crusader as teachers from Bluewater Elementary school have a parade through their school’s neighborhoods to sat “hi” to their homebound students on March 27, 2020 in Niceville, FL.
Slide 12 of 105: Caution tape is posted on playground equipment as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19 in St. Joseph, Minn. on March 26, 2020.
Slide 13 of 105: A cashier, left, works behind a plexiglass shield at a Super H Mart grocery store in Niles, Ill., March 26, 2020. Local grocery stores are installing plexiglass shields in the checkout aisle as a coronavirus precaution.
Slide 14 of 105: Robert Becker walks his dogs while carrying a .410 bore shotgun as a precaution due to the new coronavirus pandemic on March 26, 2020, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Slide 15 of 105: New York City Department of Parks and Recreation employees remove the basketball hoop from a court in Tompkins Square Park, Thursday, March 26, 2020, in New York. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said authorities would remove basketball hoops at 80 public courts where people were not respecting coronavirus social-distancing instructions not to shoot around with anyone outside their households, while leaving up roughly 1,700 others where there were no problems.
Slide 16 of 105: University of Cincinnati sophomore's Allison Brown, left, and Vanessa Perez, walk through the toilet paper section at Target in Newport, Ky., on March 14, 2020.
Slide 17 of 105: A general view of a lock on the main entrance gate on what was supposed to be opening day between the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Slide 18 of 105: Zach Tobler lifts weights in Zilker Park in Austin, Texas on Thursday March 26, 2020, the second day of the shelter in place order due to the coronavirus pandemic. Tobler said his gyms have closed but he is continuing to train for an upcoming bodybuilding competition.
Slide 19 of 105: Mary Lou Vignola, center, waves to her neighbors during a socially distant block party she and her husband Frank Vignola helped organize om March, 21, 2020 for their neighborhood off Hawkins Lane in Eugene, Ore. over the weekend.
Slide 20 of 105: Tom Giesfeldt, of Milwaukee walks his his dogs in an empty Miller Park parking lot on what would have been the Milwaukee Brewers opening day game against the Chicago Cubs in Milwaukee on Thursday, March 26, 2020. The game was postponed due to the coronavirus.
Slide 21 of 105: Playground equipment is taped off to prevent use at Tysons Woods Park due to Coronavirus on March 26, 2020. Fairfax County, Virginia has closed some parks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Slide 22 of 105: Kate Madsen, 6, displays her drawing in her window in hopes that it would cheer her neighbors up on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 in Sioux Falls, S.D. Madsen and her first-grade classmates are learning remotely to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at Robert Frost Elementary School. The six-year-old says she misses her teachers, friends and art class.
Slide 23 of 105: Gloria Lyons, 37, of Detroit, left, sits with a mask on as her husband Kirk Myers, 32, asks questions at a meeting before they go leafleting. The Detroit Water and Sewage Department is leafleting Wednesday, March 25, 2020 to let customers know that if their water was shut off it will be restored due to the Novel Coronavirus outbreak.
Slide 24 of 105: Becky Kreager, center, her husband Doug, granddaughter Kamdem Villemeure, 1, center left, talk to their neighbors the Runkel family in Milan, Mich. on Tuesday, March 24, 2020.
Slide 25 of 105: Lori Glazer of Ossining, N.Y. rides an empty Metro-North train in to New York City during the morning rush hour March 25, 2020. Glazer is a registered nurse in the Children's Hospital at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. She says that riding the empty trains is surreal and that it's scary going into the city because "you never know when you're going to get sick."
Slide 26 of 105: A low number of vehicles travel on a normally busy Marquette Interchange in Milwaukee on March 24, 2020. Scores of businesses will close for a month under a new order from Gov. Tony Evers aimed at keeping people in their homes to limit the spread of coronavirus in Wisconsin.
Slide 27 of 105: New York City is the epicenter for the coronavirus in the United States. Gov. Andrew Cuomo reported 25,665 cases in New York on March 24, 2020.
Slide 28 of 105: A sign on the Southbound Lodge Freeway reminds people about the entry restrictions to Canada on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 in Detroit. (Via OlyDrop)
Slide 29 of 105: Residents at The Waterford at St. Luke Senior Independent Living Community emerge from their apartments to wave flags and sing "God Bless America" on their balconies and porches in North Canton, Ohio on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. In the wake of the coronavirus crisis, they must remain in their living areas.
Slide 30 of 105: Nearly deserted walking paths of the National Mall with the U.S. Capitol seen in the background on March 23, 2020 as officials urge the public to avoid the DC's famous cherry blossoms and are taking steps of closing down public streets to traffic in order to keep visitors away and prevent possible coronavirus spread.
Slide 31 of 105: Mail carrier Jasmine Armstrong wears a mask while delivering the mail in Peekskill, N.Y. March 23, 2020. Armstrong says the the postal service supplies gloves and a mask, and she is maintaining the recommended six feet from others in order to avoid being exposed to the Covid-19 virus.
Slide 32 of 105: A man wearing a red bandana crosses Main Street as the Snow flies in Worchester, Mass. on Monday, March 23, 2020.
Slide 33 of 105: Alba Sanchez, right, and her children, left to right, Stefanie Mendoza, 16, Alberto Mendoza, 11, and Iker Mendoza, 6, pick up their free breakfast and lunch that was delivered on a school bus to Park Place at Loyola apartments on Monday March 23, 2020 in Austin, Texas. Austin ISD continued to provide free meals to its students and their parents amid the school closures caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Slide 34 of 105: Palm Beach Atlantic University student Bella Langston of Dallas, Texas, carries here bedding to her car after students were asked to go home to help curb the spread of the coronavirus in West Palm Beach, Fla on March 23, 2020.
Slide 35 of 105: People wait in line with appropriate social distancing for the 8 a.m. opening of the H-E-B in the Tanglewood Village Shopping Center in South Austin, Texas on Sunday March 22, 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Slide 36 of 105: Joze Sola waves through a window to his 70-year-old mother, who lives at a senior citizens center in North Austin, Texas, on March 22, 2020.
Slide 37 of 105: Anne Peepas is blessed by Deacon Bill Shea who was posted in a window on Sunday, March 22, 2020 at St. Joseph Church in Charlton, Mass. The parishioners parked their cars at the front entrance and walked up to the windows to receive their blessings.
Slide 38 of 105: Daily routines must continue, Sammy Irizarry of Passaic, wears a mask and gloves as a precaution against COVID-19 while washing his clothes at Tri-City Laundromat on Sunday, March 22, 2020. Irizarry has preexisting health conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure and is still working.
Slide 39 of 105: Police officers direct drivers as they enter Glen Island Park in New Rochelle, New York on March 22, 2020. The park was the first site set in Westchester County set up for Covid-19 testing. New Rochelle was the epicenter of the spread of the Covid-19 virus after congregants of a neighborhood synagogue were the first to be diagnosed with the virus.
Slide 40 of 105: Signs block the paths to the beach at the Okaloosa Island, Florida, Boardwalk, Saturday, March 21, 2020, as beach closure orders are in effect for Walton and Okaloosa Counties in the Northwest Florida panhandle.
Slide 41 of 105: Times Square in Manhattan was far emptier than usual for a Saturday afternoon March 21, 2020. Coronavirus concerns have closed almost all businesses and kept most New Yorkers indoors.
Slide 42 of 105: A security guard walks through a sparsely populated transit hub in the downtown financial district as retail stores remain shuttered due to COVID-19 concerns, Saturday, March 21, 2020, in New York. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced sweeping orders Friday that will severely restrict gatherings of any size for the state's more than 19 million residents and will require workers in nonessential businesses to stay home.
Slide 43 of 105: Medical personnel administer tests to New Jersey residents at the drive-through coronavirus testing center at Bergen County Community College in Paramus, New Jersey on Friday, March 20, 2020.
Slide 44 of 105: A sign at Ever Open Cafe references the statewide closure of restaurants in Fort Collins, Colo. on Friday, March 20, 2020. Gov.¤Jared Polis ordered all Colorado restaurants, bars and breweries close to public dining and drinking on Monday, March 16, 2020. Mandatory Credit: Bethany Baker/The Coloradoan via USA Today Network. (Via OlyDrop)
Slide 45 of 105: Extremely light traffic moves along the 110 Harbor Freeway toward downtown mid afternoon, Friday, March 20, 2020, in Los Angeles.
Slide 46 of 105: Shoppers line up at a grocery store in Ardsley, NY early Friday morning, March 20, 2020. The store is limiting shoppers and attempting to enforce social distancing.
Slide 47 of 105: A man walks through a nearly empty Oculus transportation hub in lower Manhattan on March 20, 2020 in New York City.
Slide 48 of 105: A man wears a mask on his face and a camera around his neck as he looks at a mostly empty Times Square in New York City, early Thursday evening, March 19 2020.
Slide 49 of 105: A car parked on Main Street in the village of Brewster telling people to stay home because of the Coronavirus March 19, 2020.
Slide 50 of 105: Healthcare workers screen patients who will be tested for COVID-19 at the FoundCare drive-thru testing station in Palm Springs, Florida on March 19, 2020.
Slide 51 of 105: Eva's Village distributes meals to-go to hundreds of north Jersey residents in need during the ongoing coronavirus epidemic on March 19, 2020. The change from sit down meals to take away, is aimed to help minimize the spread of the coronavirus by limiting or canceling in-person events consisting of 50 people or more, according to CDC guidelines.
Slide 52 of 105: A closed sign posted at Knotz Hair Studio, one of the several businesses closed in New Rochelle, NY due to the coronavirus pandemic, March 19, 2020.
Slide 53 of 105: Two Taiwanese tourists wear masks while taking in the view at Mather Point at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona on Mar. 18, 2020. Due to the coronavirus COVID-19, park entrance fees are suspended, shuttle bus service is suspended and visitor centers are closed.
Slide 54 of 105: Gillian Goldman-Klein helps her son Ethan,6, with his math work as he does his school work at their Bedford, N.Y. home March 18, 2020. Ethan is a first-grader at the Bedford Village Elementary School. Students of all ages have started schooling at home as schools have closed due to coronavirus concerns.
Slide 55 of 105: Electronic message sign in front of the Rockland County Courthouse in New City gives advice on fighting the COVID-19 coronavirus March 18, 2020.
Slide 56 of 105: Aerial view of the Lincoln Tunnel entrance during the morning rush hour commute where few cars are seen on the road during the coronavirus outbreak on Wednesday March 18, 2020 in Weehawken, N. J.
Slide 57 of 105: Empty cheese and dairy shelves greet customers at the Stop & Shop in Cross County Center in Yonkers, March 18, 2020.
Slide 58 of 105: Jordan Cook of Anderson Interfaith Ministries Hunger Ministries, gets ready to load a car in the drive-through during food pantry hours in Anderson, S.C., March 18, 2020.
Slide 59 of 105: Former employees at Redfire Grill in Hockessin, Del. come in for free to help owner Carl Georigi shut down and sort through perishable food for his employees to take home on March 17, 2020. Georigi had to lay off nearly 400 employees across his 6 restaurants after dine-in services were banned by Gov. John Carney Monday afternoon.
Slide 60 of 105: Ashley Layton, an LPN at St. Luke's Meridian Medical Center, communicates with a person before taking a swab sample at a special outdoor drive-thru screening station for COVID-19 coronavirus in Meridian, Idaho on March 17, 2020.
Slide 61 of 105: Clark Drobek works at processing collections of swabs taken from various patients to see if they tested negative or positive for the Coronavirus COVID-19. The pathology and laboratory medicine labs at the Henry Ford Hospital on W. Grand Blvd in Detroit , Mich. were very busy on March 17, 2020 with many medical technologists and laboratory managers working long hours.
Slide 62 of 105: A sign announcing the shelter in place order in San Francisco is posted on Kearny Street on March 17, 2020 in San Francisco, Calif.
Slide 63 of 105: A New Orleans Police Department cruiser drives past Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, known as the oldest bar in the United States dating back to the 1700s, as it enforces an order from Louisiana's Governor John Bel Edwards to shut bars and restaurants state-wide to limit the spread of the coronavirus pandemic on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, La., March 16, 2020.
Slide 64 of 105: With gloves, mask and gown on, Johanna Mannone, 79, caresses and hugs her husband Michael Mannone in the front room of WellBridge of Rochester Hills, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center in Rochester Hills, Michigan on March 13, 2020.She didn't know when she'd get to see him again, perhaps in a few days as the center is restricting visitors because of the Coronavirus Covid-19. She was only able to visit her husband who has lived here for 6 months for a half hour.
Slide 65 of 105: Kristi Rodriguez takes the sack lunches being handed out by Student Nutrition workers at Johnston Elementary School in Abilene, Texas on Tuesday March 17, 2020. Rodriguez was feeding her nine-year-old son Lucas and two other children in the back seat. The Abilene Independent School District is handing out breakfast and lunch to students at designated schools around the city.
Slide 66 of 105: Volunteers from the nonprofit Sponsored By Grace gathered across the street from the Vista Landing apartments on Cleveland Road in Jacksonville, Fla to distribute 11 pallets of food including dry goods, produce and meat from Feeding Northeast Florida Tuesday, March 17, 2020. According to Ron Armstrong, the Executive Director of Sponsored By Grace his organization has sponsored children in the neighborhood for some time but with the closing of schools due to the coronavirus fears and the the closing of the nearby Save A Lot, two major sources of food for the communities children, they decided to bring food to the community. "It is good that the schools are providing free lunches" said Armstrong "but 70 percent of the neighborhood does not have transportation and with the closed Save A Lot the area has become a food desert." Much of the food from Feeding Northeast Florida was donated by The Players Championship after the cancelation of this years golf tournament.
Slide 67 of 105: Mar 17, 2020; Valhalla, NY, USA; A car enters an area where tents are set up on the grounds of the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla for Coronavirus testing by appointment only March 17, 2020.
Slide 68 of 105: A man with a face mask stands on the subway station on March 17, 2020 in the Brooklyn Borough of New York City.
Slide 69 of 105: Lighter than normal traffic on the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is seen at 5:00 p.m. on March 16, 2020.
Slide 70 of 105: Bethel School District workers staff a station to hand out breakfast and lunch bags to students at Fairfield Elementary School in Eugene, Ore. on March 16, 2020.
Slide 71 of 105: A medical team prepares to test people for COVID-19 at a drive through station set up in the parking lot of FoundCare, federally qualified health center in West Palm Beach, Fla. on March, 16, 2020.
Slide 72 of 105: Helen Wood, a client advocate, and Nicole Davis, a special events planer, prepare food packages for client pickup on March 16, 2020. The Center for Food Action in Englewood, NJ is limiting the packing of food donations and access to the inside of their pantry to staff only in accordance to social distancing recommendations to prevent the spreading of the coronavirus. Clients picking up food are doing so outside and all employees are wearing gloves to handle food items and interact with the public. Donations are down and the request for food has increased.
Slide 73 of 105: Dr. Marjorie Bessel, Chief Clinical Officer at Banner Health discusses the COVID-19 coronavirus testing process during a press conference in Phoenix on March 16, 2020.
Slide 74 of 105: A pharmacist gives Jennifer Haller, left, the first shot in the first-stage safety study clinical trial of a potential vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus,, March 16, 2020, at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle.
Slide 75 of 105: Aranza Arteaga, 4, receives a bagged lunch at the Edison Elementary School in Port Chester, N.Y., March 16, 2020. With public schools closed due to the coronavirus, several schools in Port Chester distributed free lunch to students. (Via OlyDrop)
Slide 76 of 105: A normally packed Cross County Parkway in Yonkers, NY carries very light traffic as seen March 16, 2020 at 7:25 a.m.
Slide 77 of 105: People entering the White House grounds have temperatures checked by officials at the northwest gate along Pennsylvania Avenue due to the coronavirus emergency before being allowed into the grounds on March 16, 2020 at the White House in Washington, D.C.
Slide 78 of 105: Rev. Roger Grimmett delivers his message to an empty sanctuary and a camera crew for First United Methodist Church's Sunday morning service for the first time due to restrictions of large gatherings because of COVID-19, Sunday, March 15, 2020, in Springfield, Ill. First United Methodist Church live streamed their 9 a.m. traditional service as well as their 10:30 a.m. contemporary service on the church's Facebook page because of the restrictions. It's the first time the church has closed to corporate worship since 1918 at the height of the flu epidemic.
Slide 79 of 105: Amy Driscoll, 45, looks out the front door of her home, Sunday, March 15, 2020, in Hudson, Ohio. After testing positive for COVID-19 on Friday, Driscoll became Summit County's second confirmed case of coronavirus.
Slide 80 of 105: Mandy Barnett performs during the Grand Ole Opry broadcast on WSM Radio without a live audience at The Grand Ole Opry House Saturday, March 14, 2020.
Slide 81 of 105: New York State Police and Westchester County Police stop cars at the entrance to Glen Island Park in New Rochelle March 14, 2020. The park is the location for mobile testing of the Coronavirus.
Slide 82 of 105: Even for a typically slow Sunday afternoon Grand Central Terminal in New York City was quieter than usual March 15, 2020 as Coronavirus concerns kept travelers and tourists off the streets and away from popular destinations in the city.
Slide 83 of 105: Deer Valley ski resort officially closed March 15, 2020 due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. Parent company Alterra Mountain Company closed all of their fifteen resorts.
Slide 84 of 105: A health care worker with ChristianaCare takes a swab from a person in a vehicle during a drive-thru coronavirus testing setup in the parking lot of Chase Center on March 13, 2020. Tests were free, and patients will receive their results in two to five days.
Slide 85 of 105: Cars line up for a drive through testing center for the COVID-19 coronavirus at the Denver Coliseum on Mar 14, 2020.
Slide 86 of 105: People stand outside the gates of Disneyland Park on the first day of the closure of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure theme parks as fear of the spread of coronavirus continue, in Anaheim, California, on March 14, 2020.
Slide 87 of 105: A train commuter wears as mask as he waits on the Stamford bound platform at the New Rochelle Train Station, March 13, 2020.
Slide 88 of 105: Customers at grocery chain HEB in Austin look for products among increasingly empty shelves as the city responds to concerns of the spread of the new coronavirus and COVID-19 on March 13, 2020.
Slide 89 of 105: ACT Environmental Services crews clean a JetBlue plane after a flight from New York landed Wednesday night carrying a passenger who’d been infected with coronavirus at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida on March, 12, 2020.  (Via OlyDrop)
Slide 90 of 105: A woman moves out of Chadbourne Hall Thursday, March 12, 2020 on the campus of UW-Madison in Madison, Wis. The university is one of multiple Wisconsin universities on Wednesday took dramatic steps to ward off or curb the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, everything from moving courses online to canceling university-sponsored travel and events to extending spring break.
Slide 91 of 105: Tourists visit the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on the final day the U.S. Capitol will be open to the public due to the coronavirus outbreak on March 12, 2020 in Washington, DC. Earlier today it was announced the U.S. Capitol will be closed until at least April 1 due to evolving concerns about the spread of the virus.
Slide 92 of 105: Trader Michael Gallucci works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, March 11, 2020. Stocks are closing sharply lower on Wall Street, erasing more than 1,400 points from the Dow industrials, as investors wait for a more aggressive response from the U.S. government to economic fallout from the coronavirus.
Slide 93 of 105: Judie Shape, left, who has tested positive for the coronavirus, waves to her daughter, Lori Spencer, right, Wednesday, March 11, 2020, as they visit on the phone and look at each other through a window at the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Wash., near Seattle. In-person visits are not allowed at the nursing home. The vast majority of people recover from the new coronavirus. According to the World Health Organization, most people recover in about two to six weeks, depending on the severity of the illness.
Slide 94 of 105: Voters arrive with masks in light of the coronavirus COVID-19 health concern at Warren E. Bow Elementary School in Detroit, Tuesday, March 10, 2020.
Slide 95 of 105: Street performers who wear character costumes to pose for photos with tourists in exchange for tips, stand around waiting for customers, Tuesday, March 10, 2020, in New York's Times Square. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus.
Slide 96 of 105: Students leave New Rochelle High School after classes are dismissed, Tuesday, March 10, 2020, in New York. State officials are shuttering schools and houses of worship for two weeks in part of the New York City suburb New Rochelle and sending the National Guard there to help respond to what appears to be the nation's biggest cluster of coronavirus cases.
Slide 97 of 105: David Rodriguez, top, and Joseph Alberts, of the City of Austin Transportation Department, take down a South by Southwest street banner on East 7th Street outside the music venue Barracuda on Tuesday March 10, 2020, after SXSW was canceled due to the coronavirus scare.
Slide 98 of 105: Passenger aboard the Grand Princess celebrate as they arrive in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, March 9, 2020. The cruise ship, which had maintained a holding pattern off the coast for days, is carrying multiple people who tested positive for COVID-19, a disease caused by the new coronavirus.
Slide 99 of 105: A patient is loaded into an ambulance at the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Wash. Monday, March 9, 2020, near Seattle. The nursing home is at the center of the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Washington state.
Slide 100 of 105: A worker wipes down fare gates at the Montgomery Street Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station on March 7, 2020 in San Francisco, California. As the Coronavirus continues to spread, people are taking precautions to keep themselves and the general public safe by cleaning surfaces and wearing protective masks.
Slide 101 of 105: A woman who tested positive with the coronavirus is brought to the University of Nebraska Medical Center, March 6, 2020. She was transferred from Omaha's Methodist Hospital in an isolation pod inside an ambulance.
Slide 102 of 105: People walk through a sparse international departure terminal at John F. Kennedy Airport as concern over the coronavirus grows on March 7, 2020 in New York City. The number of global coronavirus infections has now surpassed 100,000, causing disruptions throughout the globe. The airline and travel industries has been especially hard hit by the outbreak, with both business and leisure travelers cancelling plans.
Slide 103 of 105: Golden State Warriors fan Noah Gutierrez 11-years-old form Littleton, Colo. holds out his hand while wearing an elastic glove hoping to get a high five from Golden State Warriors Damion Lee prior to their game against the Denver Nuggets, March 3, 2020 in Denver. The NBA has told players to avoid high-fiving fans and strangers and avoid taking any item for autographs, the league's latest response in its ongoing monitoring of the coronavirus crisis.
Slide 104 of 105: Larry Bowles, an equipment service worker for King County Metro, sprays Virex II 256, a disinfectant, throughout a metro bus at the King County Metro Atlantic/Central operating base on March 4, 2020 in Seattle, Wash. Metro's fleet of 1600 buses will get sprayed once a day to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
Slide 105 of 105: A staff member blocks the view as a person is taken by a stretcher to a waiting ambulance from a nursing facility where more than 50 people are sick and being tested for the COVID-19 virus, in Kirkland, Wash. on Feb. 29, 2020.

Andrea Bergmann Anderson, 63, a passenger from Ohio, was one of the passengers hoping to be given medical clearance to move to the Rotterdam. But first, she had to pass a questionnaire and temperature screening.

“I went to the medical center nine days ago because of the sinus infection and a cough,” she told USA TODAY Friday afternoon, adding she completed two rounds of antibiotics for the infection. Her husband, Rob, had also reported a cold to the medical center. She was feeling a bit nervous that she would not be allowed to transfer because of her visit to the center. “We filled out a medial form, and we were honest.”

Andrea and Rob were not among the passengers to get the green light to switch ships.

A little later on Friday afternoon, Andrea told USA TODAY that they had not passed the health screening. Neither had a fever at the time of the screening and neither was asked to take a test for COVID-19. But they were told they would be remaining on the Zaandam nonetheless.

“I am kind of depressed about this,” she said. “I had hoped that we could go and that the ship would be clear to disembark. We could have lied, but that would not be right.”

Andrea understood why she and Rob weren’t allowed to make the switch, in spite of her disappointment. “They have be careful.”

Zaandam caught at sea as cruise lines agreed to suspend operations 

Holland America Line, along with major cruise lines worldwide, announced March 13 it would suspend cruise operations for at least 30 days and end its cruises in progress. But cruise ships that were at sea at the time that were stuck on the water. They have been denied ports and scrambled to get passengers disembarked amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Zaandam began its South American voyage from Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 7 and was originally scheduled to end the sailing in San Antonio, Chile, March 21.

No one has been off the ship since March 14 when it was in Punta Arenas, Chile.

Contributing: Andrea Mandell

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus: Holland America’s Zaandam, Rotterdam get OK to transit Panama Canal for Florida

WATCH: Holland America ships headed to Florida (provided by CBS Miami)


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easyJet grounds its entire fleet

Britain’s biggest airline by passenger numbers, easyJet, has grounded its entire fleet of 344 aircraft.

The Luton-based airline says its last flight operated on Sunday 29 March and there will be no further departures anywhere in Europe until further notice.

It attributes the shutdown to “unprecedented travel restrictions imposed by governments in response to the coronavirus pandemic”. 

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While easyJet has given no date for re-starting commercial operations, the airline says it has agreed with the Unite union to furlough all its UK-based cabin crew during April and May.

Crew will be paid 80 per cent of their average pay through the government’s job-retention scheme. 

The company is seeking additional financial liquidity, saying: “easyJet maintains a strong balance sheet, with no debt re-financings due until 2022.

“We are in ongoing discussions with liquidity providers who recognise our strength of balance sheet and business model.”

Over recent days it has operated more than 650 rescue flights to date, taking more than 45,000 passengers home.

Johan Lundgren, chief executive of easyJet said: “I am extremely proud of the way in which people across easyJet have given their absolute best at such a challenging time, including so many crew who have volunteered to operate rescue flights to bring our customers home.

“We are working tirelessly to ensure that easyJet continues to be well positioned to overcome the challenges of coronavirus.”

The airline says it will “continue to work with government bodies to operate additional rescue flights as requested”.

Ryanair is operating a skeleton service of links between the UK and Ireland with some flights to and from Continental Europe. British Airways is running both long- and short-haul operations.

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Peru rescue missions could still leave some UK travellers stranded amid coronavirus outbreak

Even though the government is spending more than £1m returning British travellers from Peru, some UK citizens say they are being left behind.

The Foreign Office has laid on a total of four flights from Lima to London, with additional connecting domestic flights from the tourist hubs of Arequipa and Cusco to the Peruvian capital.

They have been told: “On arrival in Lima you will remain on the aircraft until the UK charter is ready for boarding – you will not be allowed to disembark the aircraft.”

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But some British backpackers are under lockdown in a hostel in Cusco with 140 others after a guest tested positive for coronavirus. They have no way of reaching the buses that are supposed to take them to the airport. 

Sian Forkan, whose Twitter profile describes her as “Mancunian currently trying to get home from Peru”, tweeted: “We received an email to say we can get on the flight tomorrow, great news!

“BUT no reference on how we get out of Pariwana hostel which is currently on full lockdown, with the army on the door.”

Later she tweeted Kate Harrisson, the UK ambassador in Lima, saying: “It would be great if you could reach out personally to those UK nationals that are stuck in Pariwana Hostel with now no hope of getting on the repatriation flights.

“We were told 5 hours before we were due to leave after receiving the email today. Now told we’re here indefinitely.”

Buses were laid on overnight from the cities of Huaraz, Trujillo, La Libertad and Huanchaco to Lima for the flights, which are expected to depart late on Sunday. 

Ms Harrisson said on Saturday night: “We expect that the majority, though not all, seats on tomorrow’s flight to London will be taken up by passengers from Cusco. The two London flights on Monday will include passengers from Cusco, Arequipa and Lima.

“Ireland has also chartered a British Airways flight leaving Lima tomorrow and some British nationals – including some of those arriving to Lima by bus – will be boarding that additional flight.”

A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “The British embassy will continue to provide consular support to any British nationals who remain in Peru and require assistance. We are in close contact with travel operators and local authorities.”

The cost of the four international flights from Lima and three domestic charters is believed to total around £1.2m, with passengers expected to pay £250 per person once they return home.

Thousands of other UK citizens are stranded in other countries – with a large concentration in India, which has banned all flights.

The foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, is expected to announce additional repatriation flights early next week.

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Is it safe to travel on public transport during the coronavirus lockdown?

As the UK approaches the end of the first week under lockdown, some people may find they haven’t left their house for several days.

However, for keyworkers and those who can’t do their jobs remotely, travelling by public transport might still be a part of daily life.

Photos shared on social media showed packed tube carriages this week, prompting pleas from medical staff for people who don’t need to travel to stay off the network to prevent the further spread of Covid-19.

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So is it safe to travel this way during the coronavirus pandemic? And what can those who need to commute do to mitigate the risk?

Here’s everything you need to know.

What are the rules?

Public Health England (PHE) has said that people must stay at home as much as possible and should only go outside for food, health reasons or work – this last example only if they cannot work from home.

That means that, in addition to keyworkers such as hospital workers, anyone whose job cannot be done remotely is entitled to use public transport networks.

PHE also says people should stay 2m, or 6ft – around three steps – away from others. While this can be tricky at the best of times, on a packed train, it is nigh-on impossible.

Why are trains so full?

Pictures have circulated showing busy train and tube carriages this week. Part of the problem is that transport services up and down the country have been drastically reduced. This means that the same number or more people than usual are getting on at the same time, despite fewer people using public transport.

Is the risk of catching coronavirus greater on public transport?

While the risk of transmission for any individual on any individual journey may be small, there is still a risk there. 

“If buses and trains are crowded, then commuters will be less than 2m away from a greater number of people and thus the risks of transmission increase,” Dr Michael Head, senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton, tells The Independent

“It is up to all of us to act responsibly, and only take public transport if the journey is essential.”

In a 2018 study, Analysing the link between public transport use and airborne transmission, experts found a link between public transport use and transmission of infectious diseases.

The paper’s authors, Lara Gosce and Anders Johansson, studied a large number of journeys on the London Underground using publicly available Oyster card data to estimate the spread of airborne diseases.

Comparing the results with influenza-like illnesses (ILI) data collected by Public Health England in London boroughs, the study found a strong correlation between the use of public transport and the spread of ILI. 

What can you do to reduce the risk of catching coronavirus?

“Washing hands thoroughly before and after using public transport is important, so for example before you leave the house and when you get to your destination,” says Dr Head.

Other scientists have recommended avoiding touching armrests on trains and trying to stand up and sit down on the Tube without touching any bars or handles, as there is a risk in touching surfaces – especially plastic or metal, where Covid-19 lasts the longest – that an infected person may have coughed or breathed on. Alternatively, wear a pair of gloves for the journey that you then remove when you reach your destination – but be sure to refrain from touching your face while wearing the gloves.

TfL has said that commuters may wish to avoid travelling at the busiest times, which have been identified as: 5.45-7.30am and 4-5.30pm. Travelling outside these peak hours may mean trains are less crowded, making adhering to social distancing rules easier.

Are trains being cleaned more often?

The Tube and London bus network have enhanced their usual cleaning regimes, using additional substances that kill viruses and bacteria on contact in order to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading.

Trains, stations and buses are professionally cleaned daily, and the enhanced disinfectant is being used in depots and drivers’ cabs, which previously were regularly cleaned with traditional disinfectant.

All buses will now have areas that are regularly touched, such as poles and doors, wiped down with a strong disinfectant every day.

A spokesperson for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators and Network Rail, said: “To help tackle the spread of coronavirus, rail companies are doing more to ensure our trains and stations are clean. The kinds of steps being taken include a greater focus on cleaning high-touch areas in trains and at stations, increasing the use of anti-viral cleaning products and ensuring toilets are well stocked with soap and water.”

Are there any alternatives?

For NHS staff living and working in London, biking could be a possibility. London mayor Sadiq Khan has said all NHS staff will be given free access to Santander Cycles during the crisis. Just make sure you wipe down any surfaces you might touch or wear gloves and wash your hands before and after the journey.

Anyone who has access to a vehicle can also benefit from the suspension of all road user charging schemes, including the Congestion Charge, Ultra Low Emission Zone and Low Emission Zone. However, Londoners have been asked by TfL not to travel unless absolutely necessary to keep the roads clear for critical workers.

Are taxis safe?

Although travelling by taxi means passengers will come into contact with fewer people, there is still the possibility that someone with the virus has used the cab before you. Experts recommend wiping down the seatbelt with antibac or wearing gloves during the journey, which are removed when you reach your destination. Washing your hands before and after every journey is also recommended. 

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Full list of repatriation flights available to stranded Britons amid coronavirus lockdown

The coronavirus pandemic has triggered large-scale lockdowns around the world as infection rates have soared.

With borders closing at short notice, tens of thousands of Britons have been left stranded abroad with few options when it comes to getting home as flights dwindle.

It’s made harder by countries and regions that are barring transit passengers from entering.

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Fortunately, a number of repatriation flights are now available for those who are stranded. There are also new details of getting alerts for any flights that may be arranged in the coming days.

Here’s a full list.

Slovakia

The airports of Bratislava, Kosice and Poprad have stopped regular scheduled passenger flights.

A commercial charter company, Charter Advisory, is offering tickets on flights out of Slovakia to UK nationals. The FCO advises: “Please note these are NOT UK government organised flights, and all arrangements are between passengers and the company concerned. Please note the conditions of carriage carefully.

“It is the operator which decides who boards and who is eligible. Anyone travelling must have appropriate and valid identity documents for the UK. We understand that seats on the flights are offered on a first come, first served basis.”

Upcoming flights can be found on the comany’s Facebook page, in Czech only.

Latvia

With the exception of some land crossings, Latvia has closed all of its borders.

There are currently limited “exceptional commercial flights” from Riga to London Gatwick scheduled for 25, 26 and 27 March. British nationals have been advised to check the Air Baltic website for details.

Greece

Direct flights between the UK and Greece have been suspended until 15 April. However, you can still find indirect flights home.

The FCO advises contacting the British Embassy in Athens if you need additional help.

UAE

The UAE stopped all flights as of midnight 24 March.

There are no repatriation flights at present, but the FCO has advised UK nationals to contact their airlines so “any demand is logged”.

Those who are stranded in the Emirates and are in difficulty should contact the British Embassy on [email protected] You should include your full name, passport number, visa status (resident or tourist), contact details and your particular circumstances. 

Jordan

On 16 March, Jordan closed all of its borders, both land and sea.

The UK government is currently working out the possibility of a commercial flight out of Jordan, to Doha, with Qatar Airways. From there, you will need to book separate tickets to the UK. The FCO said this will be in the range of 1,599 JOD (£1,900).

The FCO said: “In line with the FCO Travel Advice of 23 March, British nationals who have travelled to Jordan and who now find themselves without travel options to return home are the priority for places on this flight.

“If you are in this category and interested in purchasing a ticket on this flight, please send a copy of your passport biodata and visa stamp pages to [email protected] by 8am on 25 March. The Embassy will then reply on 25 March with further details. You cannot purchase tickets for this flight through other means.”

Kuwait

Flights in and out of Kuwait have been suspended since 13 March.

There may be flights to London with Kuwait Airways from 26 March, and the FCO has advised British nationals hoping to leave to contact the airline’s call centre on 171 or or send the passenger name and nationality via WhatsApp to 00965 22200171.

For the latest updates on the flights, British nationals have also been advised to follow the British Embassy in Kuwait’s Twitter account.

Top: Nabi Younes market, Mosul

Bottom: Charles Bridge, Prague

Grand Mosque, Mecca

2/20 Grand Mosque, Mecca

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

3/20 Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Nabi Younes market, Mosul

4/20 Nabi Younes market, Mosul

Basra Grand Mosque, Iraq

5/20 Basra Grand Mosque, Iraq

Charles Bridge, Prague

6/20 Charles Bridge, Prague

Taj Mahal hotel, India

7/20 Taj Mahal hotel, India

Dubai Mall, UAE

8/20 Dubai Mall, UAE

Beirut March, Lebanon

9/20 Beirut March, Lebanon

Gateway of India, Mumbai

10/20 Gateway of India, Mumbai

Cairo University, Egypt

11/20 Cairo University, Egypt

Amman Citadel, Jordan

12/20 Amman Citadel, Jordan

Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

13/20 Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

Beirut March, Lebanon

14/20 Beirut March, Lebanon

Cairo, Egypt

15/20 Cairo, Egypt

Cairo University, Egypt

16/20 Cairo University, Egypt

Victoria Memorial, India

17/20 Victoria Memorial, India

Amman Citadel, Jordan

18/20 Amman Citadel, Jordan

Amman Citadel, Jordan

19/20 Amman Citadel, Jordan

Sidon, Lebanon

20/20 Sidon, Lebanon

1/20

Top: Nabi Younes market, Mosul

Bottom: Charles Bridge, Prague

Grand Mosque, Mecca

2/20 Grand Mosque, Mecca

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

3/20 Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Nabi Younes market, Mosul

4/20 Nabi Younes market, Mosul

Basra Grand Mosque, Iraq

5/20 Basra Grand Mosque, Iraq

Charles Bridge, Prague

6/20 Charles Bridge, Prague

Taj Mahal hotel, India

7/20 Taj Mahal hotel, India

Dubai Mall, UAE

8/20 Dubai Mall, UAE

Beirut March, Lebanon

9/20 Beirut March, Lebanon

Gateway of India, Mumbai

10/20 Gateway of India, Mumbai

Cairo University, Egypt

11/20 Cairo University, Egypt

Amman Citadel, Jordan

12/20 Amman Citadel, Jordan

Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

13/20 Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

Beirut March, Lebanon

14/20 Beirut March, Lebanon

Cairo, Egypt

15/20 Cairo, Egypt

Cairo University, Egypt

16/20 Cairo University, Egypt

Victoria Memorial, India

17/20 Victoria Memorial, India

Amman Citadel, Jordan

18/20 Amman Citadel, Jordan

Amman Citadel, Jordan

19/20 Amman Citadel, Jordan

Sidon, Lebanon

20/20 Sidon, Lebanon

Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan has suspended all flights in and out of the country. However, the Uzbek Government has organised two flights from Tashkent to Munich, which are due to depart during the week commencing 23 March.

The FCO has not released the details of the flights but British nationals hoping to get a seat on the flight are advised to contact Uzbekistan Airways by email on [email protected]

India

While the FCO has advised British nationals in India to be prepared to wait until commercial flights are available, it has said those who want to leave should get in touch with their details.

It said: “If you are a British national who is currently visiting India and you wish to return urgently to the UK, please email [email protected] Please include your full name (and the names of any family members with you), date/s of birth for all named family members), your passport number, visa status and contact details, including your exact location in India.

“Please confirm your date of arrival in India and details of the return flight that you had planned to take back to the UK. Please also inform us if you have any special circumstances such as a medical condition we may need to be aware of.”

Pakistan

All international flights to Pakistan have been suspended until 4 April, which would also impact outgoing flights.

However, despite the ban, Qatar Airways is planning to operate daily flights from the country between 25 March and 3 April, according to the FCO. Other airlines may also be planning one-off flights out of the country in the coming days.

Nepal

All international flights to and from Nepal have been suspended until 31 March.

British nationals who are stranded in the country have been told to email [email protected] with their name, passport number, email address and phone number. The UK government is working on possible flights out of the country and will be in touch if they are successful.

New Zealand

International flights in and out of New Zealand are being suspended after the country declared a Level 4 (its highest) alert over coronavirus.

UK nationals have been advised to contact their airline, travel provider, and insurance company for the latest information. The British High Commission has also released a contact form where you can leave your details to be contacted regarding any upcoming flights as well as details of the lockdown in the country.

Argentina

There are now no direct flights between Argentina and the UK, although you can still get home via another country. However, international flights are only departing from Buenos Aires at the moment. 

Aerolíneas Argentinas is operating some domestic flights from tourist areas to the Argentine capital. You can also drive, get a taxi or use public transport.

However, as well as your passport and proof of a booked flight, the FCO advises you carry a copy of the letter issued by the Ministry of Tourism confirming that foreign nationals are exempt from the quarantine if they are travelling to return to their country of origin and a letter issued from the British Embassy confirming that you should be allowed to travel. If you are met with any resistance while trying to access the airport, you should contact the British Embassy on +54 11 4808-2200.

Peru

Peru closed all borders from 16 March for 15 days, initially. There’s a flight ban to and from Asia and Europe from 16 March for 30 days.

The UK government is currently working on securing flights home for those who are stranded. British nationals who want to leave should contact [email protected] with their full name, location and best form of contact (ideally email address). 

If flights become available, those who have logged their details will be contacted. Details will also be posted to Twitter and Facebook.

Panama

Commercial airlines have ceased operating from Panama until 22 April. Some exceptional flights may become available and the FCO has advised British nationals to contact airlines directly.

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic has suspended all international flights. There are some limited “ferry flights” to repatriate foreign nationals.

The last direct flight to the UK from the Caribbean island has already departed but the FCO advises that Britons can transit via the US or Canada to get home, provided they meet all the criteria.

Egypt

All flights in and out of Egypt are currently suspended.

Any possible repatriation flights will be shared on the British Embassy in Cairo’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Kenya

Kenya is suspending all international flights from 11.59pm local time on 25 March.

British Airways is operating a small number of additional flights from Nairobi to the UK, which are bookable via the BA website.

The alternative is a Kenya Airways flight to Amsterdam, available for EU and British nationals, at 10pm local time on 25 March. Contact Kenya Airways on +254 741 131 526 or [email protected] for bookings. You will then need to book separate transport home to the UK from Amsterdam.

Senegal

The flight ban in Senegal has been in place since 20 March.

For UK nationals wishing to leave, the FCO has said any outbound flights will be posted to the British Embassy in Dakar’s Twitter and Facebook pages.

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Breaking Travel News investigates: Is Covid-19 the black swan of the airline industry?

The global outbreak of the novel coronavirus creates enormous challenges for almost every business and industry. Still, as so often, the air travel sector takes the full blow. So, what now? Here industry analyst Peter Baumgartner offers a few personal words.

I wanted to write on the status quo of the airline industry in relation to the coronavirus already last week, but I have to say, I was overwhelmed by the rapid development of the events – and, I am free to admit, the sheer heft and complexity of the matter. The news come in on an hourly basis, and the situation is very fluid. I’m certain that once you’ve finished reading these few lines, many important things will have changed, again.

One airline after the other stops its flights and grounds its planes. The airports themselves, the ground handling companies, the caterers and every other service connected to or involved with aviation is obviously heavily affected, too. Almost everyone in aviation has approached their respective governments for support, all three big global airline alliances have spoken up and urged governments to “evaluate all possible means” to assist the industry. Finally, unions at least both in Europe and the US are asking the government to step in as well.

Air transport is essential – in good and in bad times

Let me remind everybody how essential air transport is for the global ecosystem to function. In good times to allow the world for people and goods to be connected – and from local, regional to global ecosystems to function. In challenged times – even during the corona crisis – air travel remains critical to keep the world’s population supplied with those essentials that would not reach their destination by other means of transport. Especially in crisis situations, the timely delivery of critical goods will save lives. So, we do indeed absolutely need air transport – maybe in these times even more than ever. Let’s put aside all discussions around “bail-outs” and how airlines have supposedly not managed to save money for a rainy day and distributed their profits to the shareholders. All of this does no longer matter, we are way beyond the moment when cash reserves would have made a decisive difference.

Why? Simple: without help from their governments, many if not most airlines may go bankrupt in only one or two months. Particularly the smaller ones.

And the same is true for any company with a business that is involved in or dependent on aviation. It’s impossible to predict today who will pull through and who will ultimately fail. Yet it has become clear over the last few days that the “impossible” scenario, a widely spread complete halt of airline (passenger) movement, is indeed a possibility we must consider, as it has already become the reality for many global hubs. This is, I cannot use another word, nothing less than a disaster.

It cannot be in anyone’s interest if large parts of the airline industry go under, particularly at the same time.

Let’s hope that, at the least, this is a time when we are all reminded of how important and vital air transport is to all of us. Medicine and medical equipment need to be moved around, and quickly. Food supplies need to be moved around. Doctors, people helping other people – they need to be moved around, too. And for almost every other sector, supply chains cannot hold without air transport – it’s a lifeline for them as well! 

The airline industry’s claim to be of critical systemic importance is, of course, correct. We need this critical infrastructure. And, yes, maybe we even need a “Lex Airline” that ensures the sector’s right for state intervention and support.

The (faint) light at the horizon

Is there any kind of upside to all of this? Today, I am aware, it all sounds a bit cynical. Nevertheless, let me remind you once again: aviation is at the forefront of mobility, interconnectivity, global networks and the flow of goods that need to continue to flow even in crises. Air transport will not go away. Also, as you know, it is typically an early indicator for the entire economy. This also means that, when things start to look less bleak – and they will – the sector will be one of the first to “come back”. Will everyone pull through? I’m pressed to say no. But the demand will certainly come back as industries are powering back up and the traveling public gets back to enjoy, or rather celebrate, life.

And maybe, just maybe, this is the moment to make the big changes. Do things you could not do before. Our industry has been slow to adapt and change in a few areas, so why not look at it as a clean slate situation. Think the unthinkable. For example:

  • Consider once again what it means to really put the customer at the centre (information management; “seamless travel” commitment; booking flexibility)
  • Reform the fragmented air traffic controls
  • Strengthen cross-industry contingency and crisis management systems
  • Take a long, hard look at minimum slot use requirements
  • Take bold steps in digitising processes and innovating the business from the ground up
  • Work in close collaboration with other companies along the entire value chain
  • Rehaul risk management and become more pro-active

While I am confident that at least the bigger players will find the cash necessary to make it through these tough times, in some cases, this may mean accelerated consolidation. Or long-term sustainable capacity adjustments. Or attached provisions to financial help – there are talks of equity stakes for governments, conditions to keep workers employed, a restriction on dividend pay-outs, a focus on decarbonization. And maybe that’s a good thing, in the long run. 
It’s obvious that I do not have the easy solution to any of this, not at all.

My instinct, however, tells me that innovation, agility, smart adaptation and big, bold decisions are needed today, more than ever. Our industry needs to show and tell that we really are critical to a functioning society, and that we find innovative ways forward. Let’s try this. Now. Not as competitors, but as an industry unified in finding solutions for difficult challenges.

Stay healthy and watch out for each other!

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Peter Baumgartner is a former chief executive of Etihad Airways and recently joined PA Consulting’s specialist aviation team.

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