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Travel news: Eight countries now classified as green list travel destinations | UK | News


Holidaymakers could be allowed to travel to international locations as soon as May 17 under the Government’s plans for the easing of lockdown. However, based on the traffic light system that indicates which countries are safer to travel to, Britons can currently only chose from eight countries if they wish to enjoy quarantine-free holidays.

New modelling conducted by Robert Boyle, former strategy chief at BA and its owner IAG, listed USA, Gibraltar, Israel, Iceland, Ireland, Malta, and Australia and New Zealand as green list nations.

The Government is set to review the system on June 28 and popular tourist destinations such as Spain and Greece – which currently remain on the amber list – could turn green if their coronavirus figures improve.

The study read: “Last year, the Spanish and Greek islands were given a lower-risk rating than the mainland and that could happen again this year.”

The report labelled Gibraltar as “the surest case for green,” adding that “ it has essentially zero cases of any type and the population is fully vaccinated.”

It added: “Israel must be the next most likely. Again, it has vaccinated close to its entire population and case numbers are below even last year’s threshold.”

There is currently speculation over whether India should be added to the red list after a new coronavirus variant was first identified there.

The UK has already detected 160 cases of the variant, which has a “double mutation” in the spike protein, E484Q and L452R.

The strain is currently dubbed a “variant under investigation” rather than a “variant of concern” by the UK health authorities.

Professor Beate Kampmann, director of the Vaccine Centre at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, stressed that herd immunity may not work in a scenario where various strains of coronavirus are in circulation.





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Gary Sanchez has hand injury after being struck by foul tip


Yankees catcher Gary Sánchez was removed from Saturday afternoon’s game against the Rays before the bottom of the fifth inning, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com was among those to relay. Sánchez was struck in the right hand by a foul tip in the prior inning. While he stayed in the game to take his next plate appearance, Sánchez was replaced by Kyle Higashioka thereafter.

Sánchez has been diagnosed with a contusion on his index and middle fingers, but X-rays came back negative, via Hoch. He is currently listed as day-to-day, but if it does require him to miss time, Higashioka would figure to pick up the bulk of the playing time behind the dish. Those two are the only catchers on the Yankees’ 40-man roster, so another move would be forthcoming if Sánchez isn’t able to make an immediate return to action.

Rob Brantly and Robinson Chirinos are both in the organization on minor-league deals, but the latter remains on the mend from surgery to repair a wrist fracture last month. That seemingly suggests Brantly is next in line should additional catching depth be required in the Bronx.





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Travel news live: domestic holidays get the go-ahead


(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

It’s getaway day!

According to the government’s roadmap, domestic travel in “self-contained accommodation” is permitted from today, 12 April.

It means, after more than three months of lockdown, trips to Airbnbs, campsites and caravan parks and some holiday parks – including Center Parcs – are permitted for one household or social bubble only.

Follow live as The Independent’s travel desk heads off on domestic adventures…

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Everything you need to know about domestic travel

Here’s a handy digest of everything you need to know about what travel rules are changing today: what you can do, where you can go and with whom.

Cathy Adams12 April 2021 09:01

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Train stations gear up for a busy day

Commuter trains to London appear to be busier than they have done for months.

Overall passenger numbers on Britain’s railways have been at or below 25 per cent of pre-pandemic levels since the third lockdown began. By far the highest proportion of journeys are to and from London.

While final figures will not be in for 10 days, anecdotal evidence suggests stations are significantly busier than over the past two weeks; the “stay at home” rule in England was lifted on 29 March. 

As the Monday morning rush hour got under way, station staff said they were seeing many more passengers. Train operators have increased the number of trains running from 70 to 75 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

Vauxhall station in southwest London gears up for a busy day

(Simon Calder)

Robert Nisbet, director of Nations and Regions for the Rail Delivery Group, said: “Rail companies are pulling out all the stops so that people can travel with confidence as restrictions ease, with continued extra cleaning, more services, high levels of face mask wearing and ventilation that refreshes air in the carriage at least every 10 minutes.

“We are advising that people to travel at quieter times [and] leave longer for their journey.”

Simon Calder12 April 2021 08:24



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Heat vs. Trail Blazers – Game Recap – April 11, 2021


PORTLAND, Ore. — — Bam Adebayo scored 22 points and Jimmy Butler added 20 to lead the Miami Heat to a 107—98 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday night.

The Heat, who have won six of their last seven games, led by as many as 20 points early in the fourth quarter.

CJ McCollum and Norman Powell each finished with 17 points for the Blazers, who were hurt by 17 turnovers. Miami’s aggressive defense held Damian Lillard to just 12 points on an off night when he made just three shots from the field, all 3-pointers.

Adebayo said it was important to set a tone to start a four-game road trip.

“We were just trying to really hone in on defense. We just really felt with this team that’s how you win,” Adebayo said. “We were able to get stops and get into transition and get a few dunks. That’s why we won by a lot.”

The Heat were without Victor Oladipo indefinitely because of right knee soreness. Oladipo, acquired by the Heat on March 25 in a trade with Houston, was injured in the fourth quarter of Miami’s victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.

Kendrick Nunn started in Oladipo’s place. Nunn, who didn’t play in six straight games after injuring his ankle early in a March 26 game against Charlotte, finished with 15 points.

“We know on the road we have to be able to defend at a high level,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Our defense has to travel. It’s a key to our success.”

The Blazers started Jusuf Nurkic, who sat out of Saturday night’s victory over the Detroit Pistons due to injury management of knee inflammation. In his place, Enes Kanter set a franchise record with 30 rebounds in the game, which the Blazers dominated 118-103.

Blazers coach Terry Stotts said he was hesitant to blame Portland’s lackluster performance on the back-to-back. The Heat hadn’t played since Thursday.

“To be honest, I thought we looked a step slow and they looked like a rested team,” he said. “I don’t say that very often.”

Nurkic, who was on a minutes restriction against the Heat, picked up two quick fouls and went to the bench with 7:02 left in the first quarter. With about 3:50 left in the opening half, Nurkic left the court, his hand on his lower back. But he returned to start the second half and said after the game that the X-rays were negative.

Derrick Jones Jr.’s 3-pointer put Portland up 29-19 early in the game but the Heat closed the gap in the second quarter and went into the break with a 56-48 lead. The Heat stretched their advantage to 65-50 early in the third quarter.

Portland got another scare in the third quarter when Kanter went down after knocking heads with another player. But he also returned.

TIP INS

Heat: It was the first of a four-game road trip. Tyler Herro was listed as questionable for the game because of right foot soreness, but played. KZ Okpala remained out because of health and safety protocols.

Trail Blazers: It was the second of two meetings with the Heat this season. Portland won the first 125-122 in Miami on March 25. … With a 3-pointer in the third quarter, Lillard passed Dirk Nowitzki on the NBA’s career made 3s list.

FRUSTRATION

Portland has lost four of its last six games. But the Blazers looked especially out of sorts against the Heat.

“I understand the frustration with the fans and everybody, but sometimes it’s frustrating for us too,” Nurkic said. “I know the coaches, no matter what they tell us, they can’t go out there and change it. I get that, everybody gets that, but at some point, something’s got to happen.”

UP NEXT

Heat: Visit the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday.

Trail Blazers: Host the Boston Celtics on Tuesday.



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Australia news live updates: Scott Morrison blames ‘supply problem’ for slow Covid vaccine rollout | Australia news





Former Australia Post chief executive, Christine Holgate, has lodged an explosive submission to the Senate inquiry into her sacking for the decision to award executives Cartier watches as bonuses.

“It is almost five months since the events of October 22nd, 2020, when, for no justified reason, I was humiliated in Parliament and then unlawfully stood down by the Australia Post Chair from a role I was passionately committed to,” the submission begins.

In the submission, Holgate doubles down on her claim she never voluntarily stood down and accuses Australia Post chairman, Lucio Di Bartolomeo, of unlawfully standing her down and alleged “he lied repeatedly to the Australian people and to their parliament about his actions”.

”Time after time he has made statements that I had agreed to stand down when I had done no such thing.”

Holgate said she offered to resign, but alleged Australia Post then leaked the letter to the media, before sending a counter-offer which is “itself confirmation that no agreement had been reached”.

Holgate said the gift of Cartier watches was “legal, within Australia Post’s policies, within my own signing authority limits, approved by the previous chairman, expensed appropriately, signed off by auditors and the CFO, [and] widely celebrated within the organisation”.

Holgate accused Di Bartolomeo of “seriously misleading” evidence to the Senate on 9 November, including about his knowledge of a BCG report into the incident.

Updated




Travel agents and hotel operators have welcomed details of the two way travel bubble with New Zealand, but have warned “there will be very little real benefit” for the sector in the short term.

This is because most of the initial travellers from 19 April are expected to be low-spending tourists visiting family and friends, as Tourism and Transport Forum chief executive, Margy Osmond, told the Guardian.

Accommodation Association of Australia has backed that prediction up, with its chief executive Dean Long reigniting calls for post-jobkeeper wage support for CBD hotels in Melbourne and Sydney that are still reeling from a drop off in international tourism and business travel.

The Association said Sydney is currently the worst performing city market in Australia with revenue declines of 67% and forward booking rates of less than 10% for the next 90 days and that Melbourne is similarly decimated.

Long said:


The opening of the trans-Tasman corridor is a very welcome step in the right direction but the reality is while it’s good news for the travel sector, given most travellers will be catching up with friends and families there’s very little immediate benefit for our tourism sector or our hotels and motels. With the end of jobkeeper and given the massive holes in the market especially in Australia’s international hubs of Sydney and Melbourne, the flow on benefits for our hotels and motels, and the many small businesses who supply them is negligible. There’s no doubt it will be a big kick along for consumer confidence but it doesn’t erase the need for tailored support for our accommodation sector. The reality is it’s great news for our travel sector but not so good for tourism.

Australian Federation of Travel Agents chair Tom Manwaring said many of his members were already seeing “increased interest in booking NZ albeit primarily to visit friends and family”.

Manwaring said:


It’s not a massive increase in business and our sector still desperately needs support but it is a much needed step in the right direction.” However, we urge both the Australian and the New Zealand governments to do all they can to ensure now the corridor is open that it stays open. This is important both in terms of consumer confidence in booking travel and from a workload perspective for travel agents who are still working hard on repatriating the outstanding $4bn still owed to Australians by airlines, hotels and tour operators on Covid-impacted travel and managing re-bookings and cancellations as a result of state restrictions.

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NJ Community Raises $2,000 for Server After Group Leaves No Tip, Angry Note Over Time Limit


As anyone who has gone to eat at a restaurant anytime since last summer knows, there are strict rules the establishments operate under. One such common rule is implementing a time limit for customers, which roughly puts a cap on how long customers can be seated at the table for.



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© Provided by NBC New York


In New Jersey, one restaurant-goer was not too happy to be given such a limit, and expressed disapproval on the bill — which went viral, and has led to an outpouring of support for the restaurant staff.

Along with utilizing a QR code for the menu, the Glenbrook Brewery in Morristown states at each table that seating is limited to 90 minutes due to COVID capacity restrictions. Last Friday evening, a group of four sat down and at least one of them didn’t seem to appreciate being given such a limitation.

So the customers ate their food and paid their $86 bill, but not a cent more, neglecting to leave any sort of monetary tip. What was left, however, was an angry tip for the staff in the form of a note, reading in part, “Don’t kick paying customers out after 90 minutes.”

The staff was surprised to get such a reaction from customers regarding a fairly commonplace rule adopted across the service industry that is a direct result of COVID and capacity limits.

“It’s not like we’re trying to keep people from staying here, it’s just something that needs to happen in 50 percent capacity for a business to survive,” said Beth, who served the table.

The upsetting note — and perhaps more upsetting lack of appreciation for the service workers — was met with support from the Morristown community, however. After a fellow serve at another neighboring establishment posted a snapshot of the receipt, donations started pouring in. The restaurant had receive nearly $2,000 in support.

“The public support and outpouring, the kind comments, just the things people say bring me to tears,” said Beth. She is working server jobs while studying for her doctorate in nursing practice.

While the donations have come in to make up for her dismal treatment by the customers, she said that the money won’t just be going to her.

“The plan is to split with the other servers and donate the rest to the community,” she said.

Continue Reading



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A few frequent flyers ‘dominate air travel’


John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace, told BBC News: “Taxing frequent fliers is a good idea – but we also have to do something about air miles, which reward frequent fliers for flying more frequently. This is obscene during a climate crisis – and it should be stopped.”



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Magic rally in fourth, snap Clippers’ six-game win streak


LOS ANGELES — Chuma Okeke scored 18 points and the Orlando Magic rallied in the fourth quarter to snap Los Angeles’ six-game winning streak Tuesday night, defeating the Clippers 103-96.

The Magic didn’t have the lead until late in the fourth quarter and went on a 17-3 run to close the game and get their first road win since Feb. 12, ending a seven-game skid. Kawhi Leonard made a pair of free throws to give the Clippers a 93-86 lead with 2:36 remaining before the Magic scored 11 straight points to take the lead.

Terrence Ross tied it at 93 with 1:46 remaining on two free throws, and Wendell Carter Jr. put the Magic in front with 1:10 remaining with a tip-in after James Ennis III missed a layup, making it 95-94.

“This league is all about wins. We took a great step forward in the right direction,” Carter said. “It definitely is a confidence booster going up against one of the best teams in the Western Conference and getting a win on the road.”

While the Clippers are one of the league’s top teams, the Magic are a squad in transition. They traded five players — including their top three scorers — in three separate deals during last Thursday’s trade deadline.

Coach Steve Clifford hasn’t had much time to get some of the players acquired up to speed, but two had good games against the Clippers. Otto Porter Jr. scored 13 points, including eight in the final quarter, and Carter had 11 points.

“We have been a little bit limited in this stretch due to being on the road, but continue to add things, even if it is teaching them in a ballroom,” Clifford said. “This is the style we are going to have to play. We have to defend and be smart.”

Besides holding the Clippers to 32.7% shooting in the second half (16 of 49), the Magic outscored LA by 18 in the paint in the third and fourth quarters (36-18) as well as having a 15-2 advantage in fast-break points.

Orlando made 22 of its 25 free throws for the game, including 11 of 13 in the fourth quarter.

Leonard scored 28 points for the Clippers. Luke Kennard added 17 points and Ivica Zubac tallied his 10th double-double of the season with 14 points and 13 rebounds.

After a 24-point win over Milwaukee on Monday night, and with Denver up next on Thursday, coach Tyronn Lue thought that his team was winded in the final 12 minutes.

“I thought we struggled from the beginning, honestly. But when you’re down guys and you’re on a back-to-back, I think it’s just tough, trying to keep guys minutes down as much as we could.,” he said. “We missed a lot of shots and they got out in transition in the second half.”

The Clippers scored the game’s first 10 points — including a pair of 3-pointers by Kennard — and extended their lead to 16 points with under four minutes remaining in the second quarter.

LA led 51-37 at halftime on the strength of shooting 52.5% in the first half (21 of 40), but struggled in the third quarter, going 2 of 13 from beyond the arc as Orlando got within 73-70 at the end of the quarter.

The Clippers were 16 of 49 from the floor in the second half, including 6 of 22 on 3-pointers.

“I felt like we got some good shots, got some good looks in that second half that just didn’t fall,” Leonard said. “But obviously, just being more aggressive, attacking us when we’re missing shots, getting out in transition. They kept fighting. They didn’t quit.”

TIP INS

Magic: Ross played in his first game after missing the last seven due to a sore right knee and scored 15 points in 26 minutes. … The 66 points by Orlando in the second half is tied for second most it has had in the third and fourth quarters this season. It had 67 against Washington on Dec. 26.

Clippers: Nicolas Batum tied a season high with 10 rebounds. … Paul George missed his second straight game because of right foot soreness. He has been out for 13 games this season. … Marcus Morris Sr. (right calf contusion) did not play after scoring 25 points in Monday’s win over Milwaukee. … Rajon Rondo (right adductor soreness) has yet to play since being acquired from Atlanta last week, but Lue said Rondo and Patrick Beverley have been doing some on-court work.

UP NEXT

Magic: Travel to the New Orleans on Thursday. Orlando swept the season series last season.

Clippers: Host Denver on Thursday. LA won this season’s first meeting 121-108 on Christmas Day.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Some Californians Willing to Travel a Distance to Get COVID-19 Shots – NBC Bay Area


Everyday it seems many people are hearing stunning stories of friends and neighbors going to great lengths to get vaccinated as soon as they can as Bay Area counties continue to struggle with vaccine supply issues.

For example, thousands of cars coming and going at the Levi’s Stadium mass vaccination site in Santa Clara all day long but don’t be misled.

Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Marty Fenstersheib told NBC Bay Area the county received just 40,000 doses last week. “However, I would warn people, basically, that there aren’t many first dose appointments,” he said.

Fenstersheib said he expects numbers to remain flat again this week. That means for at least one more week, it’s going to be difficult to get your first shot in Santa Clara county.

For Santa Cruz county resident Vijay Char, he said it seemed impossible to find his first shot in his county, so he went to the MyTurn website. “It prompted me to go look in Solano, so I absolutely looked there,” he said.

Char tells NBC Bay Area that he and his wife drove more than two hours from their Aptos home, six days ago to a site in Fairfield, only to find a note above the door stating no vaccines ran out.

Char added that dozens of people showed up in the few hours as he waited there to see if more vaccines would arrive. “It was sad to see some of the older folks that were struggling out of their wheelchairs and getting into their walkers and hobbling over to the door only to find that rejection there,” he said.

The couple did not give up, finally setting up their appointments directly through CVS Pharmacy’s vaccination page. But it was a CVS that was located two and a half hours away in Fresno. “The drive, I mean, it’s okay during these times to get out of the routine and go somewhere,” Char said.

Another looming issue could drag out the supply problem. There is mounting skepticism over AstraZeneca’s vaccine, which is still awaiting FDA emergency authorization. This comes after the company revealed that its publicly stated efficacy findings may have not been final.

Fenstersheib said he’s sure that the FDA and every federal and state agencies involved in approving the drug will vet the vaccine thoroughly. “To the point of making sure that no vaccine is authorized for this country that has unacceptable safety issues around it,” he said.

Fenstersheib believes everyone who wants to be fully vaccinated will be able to do so before the end of summer.





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