COVID-19 revival puts pressure on spending and travel recovery | News

The resurgence of COVID-19 this summer has made consumers cautious and investors are cutting back on investment in the travel sector, which is still struggling to recover.

July retail sales fell by a staggering 1.1% as consumers spend less on clothing, furniture and sporting goods. At the same time, investors are withdrawing from cruise lines, airlines and other travel-related stocks as the number of cases of COVID-19 surged due to the highly contagious delta mutant.

The recession in spending and investment in the travel sector represents an unwelcome reversal from growth throughout the year. Vaccinations seem to be knocking down the virus, and after spending more than a year at home, people have more freedom to shop, eat out, and plan trips.

“Obviously, as we’ve learned in the last 18 months, there are undefinable twists and turns,” said Mike Stritch, Chief Investment Officer at BMO Wealth Management.

As people spend more on services, some of the recession in consumer spending on commodities was expected. According to the Supply Chain Association, the service sector, including restaurants, began to recover in July with record-accelerating growth.

Analysts aren’t expecting another series of blockades, but people can begin to reduce travel to restaurants and other public spaces, putting pressure on the recovery of the service sector.

“Our emotional indicators are starting to flash bright yellow to red,” Stritch said. “It potentially gives a pause in the short term.”

Concerns have been rising on Wall Street in recent months as analysts and investors have carefully tracked the rise in virus cases. The resurrection was strong enough that at the end of July the CDC recommended that even vaccinated people resume wearing masks indoors in public places.

Some airlines have warned that a surge in the virus could hinder their recovery. Southwest Airlines does not expect to make a profit in the third quarter after making a sufficient recovery to make a profit in the second quarter. Spirit Airlines states that the service meltdown that began in late July and the increase in COVID-19 cases have led to more last-minute cancellations and fewer bookings.

Major retailers have yet to raise concerns about the resurgence of the virus that keeps shoppers home. Both Wal-Mart and Target have given investors bright forecasts for the rest of the year. But investors are getting more attention.

The S & P 500’s consumer discretionary sector, including clothing companies and other retailers that rely on discretionary spending and face-to-face services, increased by just 0.5% in July and then decreased by nearly 1.5% in August. The sector rose just under 3.8% in June.

Chris Zaccarelli, Chief Investment Officer, said: For the Independent Advisor Alliance.

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

COVID-19 revival puts pressure on spending and travel recovery | News

Source link COVID-19 revival puts pressure on spending and travel recovery | News

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Five great biking trails in North America for your travel wish list

No matter how much you love your spin classes, nothing quite compares to riding through nature. Here are just a few impressive bicycling trails in North America worth travelling for.

Empire State Trail, New York

The Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail in Niskayuna, New York, part of the Empire State Trail.

For a new endurance challenge, head to New York’s Empire State Trail, which opened to hikers and cyclists at the end of 2020. It runs from the southern tip of Manhattan right to the Canadian border, connecting some pre-existing segments to create a route that spans more than 1,200 kilometres — making this the longest multi-use trail in the U.S. Visitors can stop to take in some of the state’s iconic landscapes, or stroll alongside the Hudson River or the Erie Canal in Buffalo. Head up to the northern section of the route, through Champlain Valley, to get up close to the Adirondacks.

Véloroute des Bleuets, Quebec

Quebec's idyllic Véloroute des Bleuets circles around Lac St-Jean.

There’s something for everyone on Quebec’s iconic Véloroute des Bleuets (“blueberry cycle route”). Located in the Saguenay—Lac St-Jean region, the idyllic, 256-kilometre trail circles around Lac St-Jean, and gets its name from the rolling blueberry fields that run alongside sections. It’s apt for all levels and perfect for a three- to five-day trip, as it takes riders past beaches, farmland and 15 charming municipalities, including Alma and Saint-Félicien. Parc national de la Pointe-Taillon is also accessible via the route.

Greenbrier River Trail, West Virginia

A bridge along the Greenbrier River Trail in West Virginia.

This nearly 126-kilometre historic route was once part of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway, which carried timber to local businesses. Now, hikers, bikers and horseback riders take to the scenic Greenbrier River Trail, one of the longest trails in the state. Starting in Caldwell, it passes through a number of small towns, and some of West Virginia’s most remote areas, and offers views of the Greenbrier River and Allegheny Mountains. You can make a camping trip out of your visit, too: You can stay overnight at several places along the way, like Cass Scenic Railroad or Watoga State Park.

Confederation Trail, Prince Edward Island

There’s perhaps no better way to take in all PEI has to offer than the Confederation Trail. Totalling 449 kilometres, the route stretches from tip to tip across the province. The 273-kilometre main path — Tignish to Elmira — is built upon a decommissioned railway line and connects to six branch trails; depending on your chosen route, you can cycle to breathtaking scenery, landmarks like the Cape Bear Lighthouse and Cabot Beach Provincial Park, or right to the heart of Charlottetown. The trail is also laid out like an outdoor museum, with nearly 250 panels scattered across it, sharing historical and geographical facts about the sights.

The Whole Enchilada Trail, Utah

The name of this popular, 53-kilometre Utah trail tells you what you can expect: a bit of everything. Starting atop Geyser Pass in the La Sal Mountains, travellers will descend the rocky terrain and come across ledges, drops and ultrathin paths, making the Whole Enchilada best suited to more advanced riders. But if you have the experience, the journey is worth it — you’ll bike through dense forests, aspen groves and desert, eventually nearing the Colorado River as you approach the canyon floor. Come prepared: the high-elevation area can get cold and wet, so pack enough gear, water and snacks to sustain yourself.

Travellers are reminded to check on public health restrictions that could affect their plans.

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16 Stateside B&Bs, Resorts, and Everything in Between for Last-Minute Labor Day Travel

The Applewood Manor

With towering resorts on the shores of exclusive beaches and luxury boutique spots in metropolitan cities, classic bed and breakfasts can fall to the wayside. The Applewood Manor, which was constructed in 1912, however, serves as a stunning reminder that B&Bs are alive and well. There’s something indisputably sweet about a five-room space (plus a separate cottage) that feels more like an elegant private residence than a hotel, and Ashville’s The Applewood Manor is no exception. 

The surrounding cherry, oak, pine, and maple trees and the Blue Ridge Mountains inform every nook within the highly decorated interiors, all of which are outfitted in Regency-style antiques from 1stDibs. Plus, because the estate used to be the original owner’s home (until he passed away in 1939), the manor looks and feels like a private residence. The main level comprises a large entry hall that extends all the way to the back of the house, a colorful parlor with several fireplaces, a living room, a formal dining room, a butler’s pantry, a half bath, and a kitchen. Four of the guest rooms, all of which are designed in the style of their unique names (Granny Smith, Northern Spy, York Imperial, and MacIntosh), reside on the manor’s second floor. The last guest room, the sprawling Winesap suite, takes over the entire third floor.

In the center of the Snake River Sporting Club development, Caddis Lodge features impressive views of the Snake River Canyon.Photo: Snake River Sporting Club

Snake River Sporting Club

Spread across nearly 1,000 acres, some of which make up a fully functioning ranch, the Snake River Sporting Club in Jackson Hole is like a transcendent threshold into a supremely rugged oasis. When it comes to sleeping quarters, there are no wrong choices between the three multi-room rustic cottages: The Shooting Cabin is a wooded jewel box perched atop more than 31 acres, the four-bedroom Fairway Lodge boasts 20-foot-tall vaulted ceilings in the open-layout living room, and the Caddis Lodge features stunning views all the way down the Snake River Canyon. There’s also plenty to do at the club: skeet shooting, horseback riding, golf, mountain biking, archery, platform tennis, and hiking. From the riding trails and serene pastures to the nearby granite mountains and river, Snake River Sporting Club is a gentle reminder that the Old West never went anywhere, and it’s as popular as ever. 

The Lake House on Canandaigua’s bright and airy lobby feels more like a living room than a hotel’s communal space. Photo: Joe Thomas

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Travel news latest: Booster jabs ‘will be needed’ for holidays

Hong Kong’s government said it would upgrade 15 countries including the United States, Spain and France to “high risk” from “medium risk” by August 20, meaning international arrivals from those countries will face lengthened quarantine.

The government said arrivals from Bangladesh, Cambodia, France, Greece, Iran, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United States would all face the new restrictions.

Hong Kong has some of the most stringent coronavirus entry requirements globally, with arrivals from countries considered “high risk” mandated to undergo compulsory quarantine for 21 days in a designated quarantine hotel, even if they have been vaccinated.

Countries including Brazil, India, and the United Kingdom had already been classified as “high risk”, but the government had largely relaxed measures for travellers from most other countries, prompting hope of increased international travel for residents and a greater number of foreign visitors.

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School Is Starting. Can Children Stay Safe From Covid-19?

This wasn’t how the school year was supposed to begin.

The Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest in the nation, and several other districts in California return to in-person classes today. But the relief and joy of this much-anticipated moment has, for many, been eclipsed by uncertainty and anxiety.

Amid an alarming rise in coronavirus cases nationwide, schools in Texas, Arizona and elsewhere have already had to close this month because of outbreaks, heightening fears among parents in California. In one county in the Atlanta suburbs, more than 700 students and employees tested positive for the virus in just the first two weeks of school, my colleagues report.

But experts say that though reopening does increase the risks of transmission, California classrooms will be among the safest in the nation. Here, masks are required and teachers must be vaccinated against the virus.

“We’re not seeing outbreaks when people are following the guidelines,” said Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, a pediatric infectious-disease specialist at Stanford Medicine and chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases. “When people point out, ‘Look at this outbreak’ in this school or that school, it’s almost exclusively because they’re not wearing masks.”

Still, the reopening of schools comes at an unfortunate time. The highly contagious Delta variant is spreading widely in the U.S., and vaccines haven’t been approved for children under 12, leaving them especially vulnerable to infection.

But there are ways to help keep children safe. Experts told me that layering multiple safety measures can provide strong protection, a strategy sometimes called the Swiss cheese model.

“We have learned that in-person education is not something we can replace with virtual learning,” Dr. Neha Nanda, medical director of infection prevention at Keck Medicine of U.S.C., told me. “So, logically speaking, when we open, we want to make sure we have all — and I mean all, all, all — mitigation strategies in place.”

This is what works to prevent spread in schools, according to the experts:

  • The most important tool is vaccination. Anyone who can get their shots should, as it will protect them and people around them who aren’t yet eligible.

    Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom mandated that all teachers and school staff members be vaccinated against the virus or submit to weekly testing. On Friday, L.A.U.S.D. officials took that further, requiring vaccinations by Oct. 15 for anyone who sets foot on campus.

  • Masking is also key. Whether a KN95 or a three-layer cloth mask, it needs to fit snugly.

    A test to check whether it fits properly: If you wear glasses and they fog up while you’re wearing your mask, the seal isn’t tight enough.

  • Other effective methods for reducing spread: regular testing, ventilation, staggered lunches and physical distancing.

    Many California districts are not requiring physical distancing inside the classroom because of space constraints. Experts say that masking and vaccinations reduce the need for distancing, but leaving space between students can further reduce chances of transmission.

A rising number of children hospitalized with Covid-19 nationwide has raised concerns that the Delta variant is particularly severe for that age group.

But in California, the approximately 18 children and teens being hospitalized daily with Covid-19 is lower than the 29 per day that were hospitalized during the winter surge, The Los Angeles Times reported.

The numbers suggest that what’s driving the record number of pediatric hospitalizations elsewhere is the sheer volume of people falling ill, experts told me.

Florida, Arkansas and other states with hospitals inundated with pediatric Covid-19 patients also have far worse overall outbreaks than California.

“The game-changer of Delta has really been this increased transmissibility,” said Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, infectious disease expert at the University of California, Los Angeles Fielding School of Public Health. “So it’s just that more children, more adults are coming down with the disease.” He added that it’s “not really that it’s necessarily that much more severe in children.”

For more:

  • The Biden administration is developing a plan to start offering booster shots to Americans as soon as the fall, my colleagues report. The first doses are likely to go to nursing home residents, health care workers and the elderly.

  • All of the 100 biggest school districts in the U.S. are fully reopening, but their safety precautions vary widely. Read more.

  • Doctors say that children who have mild or even asymptomatic infections may experience long Covid, a syndrome that can include potentially debilitating issues that disrupt their schooling, sleep, extracurricular activities and other aspects of life.

  • The father of an elementary school student in a town about 50 miles from Sacramento is accused of attacking a teacher because he didn’t want his daughter to wear a mask, BuzzFeed News reports.

Today’s California travel tip comes from Sri Muppidi, a reader who lives in the Bay Area. Sri writes:

I’ve been a lifelong resident of the Bay Area, and a fun spot to visit is the Garden of Eden in Santa Cruz. The Garden of Eden is a small swimming hole near Henry Cowell Redwood State Park in the Santa Cruz mountains. You walk by railroad tracks on the way to get there, and the water is perfect for swimming on a hot summer day. There’s even a rope swing to jump into the swimming hole. My friends and I used to come out here when we went camping or hung out in Santa Cruz.

Tell us about the best spots to visit in California. Email your suggestions to We’ll be sharing more in upcoming editions of the newsletter.

Whether you’re a parent, teacher or student, I’d love to hear from you about the first day of school.

Please send me a few sentences about your (or your child’s) return to the classroom, including your name, school, age and grade, if appropriate. Your response may be published in an upcoming edition of the newsletter.

Joy, anger, fear, boredom — I want to hear it all. Email me at

For those of you in the Los Angeles area, the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival is back, with showings of “The Tempest” through Sept. 5. Get tickets here.

Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. — Soumya

P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Greenish-brown eye color (5 letters).

Miles McKinley and Mariel Wamsley contributed to California Today. You can reach the team at

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Live Travel news latest: Government ‘had months to act’ over testing chaos, says travel watchdog – The Telegraph

Live Travel news latest: Government ‘had months to act’ over testing chaos, says travel watchdog  The Telegraph

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Bush administration hid truth on 2007 Taliban attack targeting Cheney: ‘Afghanistan Papers’ book excerpt

The interviews and documents, many of them previously unpublished, show how the administrations of Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump hid the truth for two decades: They were slowly losing a war that Americans once overwhelmingly supported. Instead, political and military leaders chose to bury their mistakes and let the war drift, culminating in President Biden’s decision this year to withdraw from Afghanistan, with the Taliban more powerful than at any point since the 2001 invasion.

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Travel news latest: Spain to avoid red list and up to 15 countries ‘to go green’

Dubai’s state airport operator expects a “surge” in passenger traffic over the coming weeks and months, its chief executive said today, after the United Arab Emirates announced an easing of travel restrictions from African and Asian countries.

The Gulf state, a major international travel hub, announced yesterday that from August 5 it would scrap its transit flight ban, which will affect passengers travelling from 12 countries, including major market India.

The UAE will also lift this week an entry ban on those who had visited India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Nigeria or Uganda over the past 14 days, for those with valid residencies and who are certified by Emirati authorities as fully vaccinated.

Dubai Airports Chief Executive Paul Griffiths said Dubai International was “ready to accommodate the anticipated surge in the coming weeks and months” once restrictions ease.

The Telegraph understands that Britain is set to ease its ban on travel from ‘hub’ destinations, in a move which would allow passengers to travel through red-listed Dubai and Abu Dhabi without quarantine. 

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Inside the new seaplane service between New York and Boston on Tailwind Air

Inside the new seaplane service between New York and Boston on Tailwind Air

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