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Travel picking up: SFO officials see more flights being booked


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – After more than a year of staying home, San Francisco International Airport leaders say they’re starting to see more people booking flights.

Some people said they’ve been waiting to travel for a long time and many people are flying to tropical places for leisure.

“This is the first time that I’ve traveled since the pandemic,” Antonio Perez said.

Perez says it’s been more than a year since he’s checked in for a flight and he’s not alone in his decision to fly.

“Last month there were probably 10,000-11,000 people per-day going through our security checkpoints, that number is now up to 14,000-15,000 a day and continues to climb,” Doug Yakel said. 

Doug Yakel with San Francisco International Airport says many of these people are taking vacations.

“We’re not expecting much in business travel for the remainder of this year so we do think that as travel is starting to recover and it is, it’s really that leisure sector that is leading the recovery,” Yakel said. 

Airport leaders are trying to keep people safe — They have reminders for people to social distance, hand sanitizer available, and partitions up.

“Masking is still a requirement. Although a lot of states around the country have lifted their masking requirement at any airport on any aircraft in the united states it’s now a federal requirement that you wear a face mask at all times,” Yakel said. 

Still, Perez says he’ll be taking extra precautions on his flight.

“I cannot say that I feel very safe — That’s why I brought this one because I want to wear this on the plane because I think the air in the plane can be more contaminated than outside,” Perez said. 

Airport officials are looking into creating a digital health app that will be able to certify that people have been vaccinated or have had a negative test recently.



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This May Be the Most Underrated and Easiest Sleep Tip Ever


The global pandemic has caused many of us around the world to lose sleep for a variety of reasons. It could be due to the work-from-home situation or the lack of social activities, travel opportunities and more. This means that more should be done to regulate our sleeping patterns, especially if we find ourselves lying awake in the middle of the night with nothing but tech devices to rely on to fall asleep. 

For World Sleep Day on March 19, we consulted a wellness expert to provide more insights on how we can fall into a deep slumber without trouble. 

While we’ve previously shared a list of tips on how to fall asleep better, this new tip is remarkably easy to follow and studies have also found it to be effective.

(Related: Battling Insomnia Due to Covid-19? 8 Simple Tips to Improve the Way You Sleep)

“Despite the importance of sleep, it is constantly way up at the top of the list of concerns people have about their health. It’s safe to say that almost everyone can relate, we’ve all had a bad night’s sleep at some point in our lives. Maybe it was because of a long haul flight, woke stress or even young kids keeping us awake,” said Dr Tal Friedman, Head of Naturopathic and Research & Development Specialist at Chiva-Som Hua Hin, a luxury wellness and international health resort. 

“An entire industry has been built around trying to get people to sleep better. From speciality mattresses and bedding to essential oils, pillow mists and a wide variety of supplements. To be fair, I do enjoy many of those products and supplements and they do have their uses.”

However, he added there is one “deceptively simple tool that barely gets any mention”.

Journaling. That’s right, the simple act of writing could actually help you unwind and prep yourself for bed effectively every night.



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Desire for Normalcy Is Fueling a Busy Travel Season – NBC Boston


Hope is on the horizon for those dreaming of summer travel. With President Joe Biden targeting July 4 for small gatherings and public health experts giving summer getaways the green light, many are already planning an escape.

At Audley Travel, the phones are ringing off the hook from those looking to book.

“In the last three months, we’ve seen a 300% increase in bookings,” said Alex Shattuck of Audley Travel.

Shattuck said prices are still reasonable, but will be going up due to all of the pent-up demand. He also said many are looking to travel to domestic destinations first.

“Hawaii is our single biggest booking destination, followed by the U.S. national parks,” Shattuck said.

On Cape Cod, vacation rentals and hotels are also in hot demand. Matt Pitta, the director of communications for Red Jacket Resorts, said they are expecting a huge summer at their properties.

“We started getting hundreds of phone calls in January from people inquiring about availability, and from that point on, it has done nothing but accelerate,” Pitta said.

Pitta said the popular summer weekends are already starting to fill up and anyone looking to book a Cape escape should do so soon.

“If you want a certain room or date, don’t wait. There is so much demand this year, we are going have to hire more employees,” he said.

The travel and tourism industry is starting to bounce back in Boston, too. Martha Sheridan of the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau said more people are starting to inquire about small weddings and events. She said what would help is more advance notice from the state about when the gathering limit will increase.

“We’re hopefully that will increase as vaccinations go up and infection rates go down. People are tired of being cooped up at home and they’re ready,” Sheridan said. “They’re not looking, they’re booking.”





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Metlakatla appeals to Ninth Circuit in fishing rights case against Dunleavy administration


The Metlakatla Longhouse. (Eric Stone/KRBD)

Metlakatla Indian Community is appealing a federal judge’s dismissal of a fishing rights case against Gov. Mike Dunleavy and his administration. Lawyers for the tribe filed the appeal in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday.

Lawyers argue that Metlakatla tribal members shouldn’t need state permits to fish in waters within a day’s travel of the community at the southern tip of the Southeast panhandle. When Congress created the Annette Islands Reserve in 1891 as the tribe’s permanent self-sustaining home, Metlakatla’s attorneys say lawmakers implicitly granted tribal members the right to fish in nearby waters — even outside the reserve’s boundaries.

The tribe asked the court to stop the state from enforcing commercial fishing regulations on tribal members.

But U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick sided with attorneys for the state, who argued that Congress did not intend to grant the tribe off-reservation fishing rights. Sedwick cited the language of the 1891 law and congressional debate surrounding the measure.

Sedwick also pointed to the tribe’s unique history — Metlakatla was founded in 1887 when around 800 Tsimshian people fled their previous home in Canada. The longtime federal judge contrasted that with the circumstances of many Lower 48 tribes who were forcefully relocated or negotiated treaties to relinquish land claims.

Metlakatla’s attorneys are due to submit their opening brief to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals by May 10. The state’s answer is due June 9.

This story was produced as part of a collaboration between KRBD and Alaska’s Energy Desk.



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John Kerry to travel to Europe next week for climate talks


Benzinga

Medically Necessary: FDA Way Behind On Facility Inspections

This is an excerpt from the March 4, 2021 edition of Medically Necessary, a health care supply chain newsletter. Subscribe here. Good afternoon. Medically Necessary is a newsletter by Matt Blois about the health care supply chain — how we get drugs, devices and medical supplies to health care providers and patients. FDA way behind on facility inspections The problem: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration largely stopped conducting surveillance inspections — periodic evaluations of manufacturing plants to ensure drug quality — during the coronavirus pandemic. The FDA only conducted three surveillance inspections of foriegn facilities between March and October of 2020, compared with more than 600 during the same period a year earlier. Domestic surveillance inspections plummeted as well, according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office. The agency conducted about 1,000 international inspections per year from 2016 through 2019. About 74% of manufacturers making active ingredients and 54% of facilities making finished drugs for the U.S. market are located outside the country. (Credit: Government Accountability Office) Why it matters: A recent report from a team at Johns Hopkins University’s school of public health says postponed FDA inspections contributed to drug shortages last year, including drugs critical for treating COVID-19 patients. The delays have also slowed the process for approving new drugs. The FDA recently deferred or denied approval for six drugs because it couldn’t inspect manufacturing facilities, according to this must-read story from Politico. A guidance document for drug manufacturers notes that the FDA would try to approve applications for manufacturing facilities by gathering information remotely, but if an inspection is needed they may need to delay a decision. The past: The GAO has criticized the FDA’s oversight of “an increasingly global pharmaceutical supply” for years, according to the GAO report. The GAO determined the FDA wasn’t conducting enough foriegn inspections in both 1998 and 2008. The agency made some recommendations and increased inspections. Inspections started to fall again in 2016. FDA officials said that was because they didn’t have enough staff to keep up, according to the GAO. The pandemic: While the FDA halted many inspections, the agency argued in an annual report from its Office of Pharmaceutical Quality that it still achieved its most important goals. The agency continued some pre-approval inspections — needed before a facility starts producing a drug — by requesting documentation or relying on inspections by European regulators. The FDA used those methods for more than 150 pre-approvals. In 2020, the FDA approved applications for production of 942 generic drugs, down only slightly from 2019. The FDA also told drug producers that manufacturing changes for drugs used to treat patients with COVID-19 would receive priority treatment, and some regulatory flexibility, in order to prevent shortages. In the absence of in-person inspections, FDA did look for other ways to monitor the quality of drug manufacturing during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the GAO called some of these measures inadequate. The agency allowed European regulators to vouch for the quality of drug manufacturers all over the world. Normally, the FDA only accepts those regulators’ inspections of European facilities. It beefed up inspection and testing of products as they entered the U.S., which caught dozens of drug quality problems. The future: The current backlog of inspections could also gum up the drug supply chain for years to come. The GAO report notes that the FDA wasn’t able to complete more than 1,000 of its planned inspections for fiscal year 2020. The FDA aims to inspect drug manufacturers at least once every five years. The backlog means the agency may not meet that goal, increasing the risk of poor-quality drugs entering the supply chain. Each year, the agency creates a list of facilities that need inspection. The highest-risk locations — those that have never been inspected or haven’t been inspected in five years — get priority. Remaining resources go toward other facilities. Previously, the FDA spent less than a third of its inspection resources on the highest-risk facilities, allowing the agency to stay ahead of the curve. By 2022, the GAO estimates the FDA will need to use the vast majority of its resources on high-risk facilities. (Credit: Government Accountability Office) Back on the horse: By October, the FDA started conducting some international inspections once again. FDA conducted nine pre-approval inspections in China during late 2020 and early 2021 but didn’t complete any surveillance inspections. The agency started inspections in India in January, completing two by Feb. 25. Catching up: Like a college student pulling an all-nighter after procrastinating all semester, the FDA is looking for creative ways to cram in inspections after falling behind. The FDA plans to continue using the tools, such as reports from European regulators and document reviews, that helped it carry out its work during the pandemic, but it’s also exploring creative options to speed things up. The agency is researching whether it could use videoconferencing tools to conduct inspections remotely. The Johns Hopkins University team recommended creating new partnerships, similar to agreements with European countries, that would allow inspections by regulators from countries with advanced pharmaceutical markets, like Australia or Japan, to stand in for FDA inspections during pandemics or other emergencies. The Office of Pharmaceutical Quality’s annual report also says the agency is developing a new risk management strategy to prepare for future disruptions. It’s not clear what that strategy looks like. Biden promises vaccine doses for all U.S. adults by May, prioritizes teachers (Photo: Flickr/Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0) Supply boost: The Biden administration is promising to have enough doses of COVID-19 vaccines to inoculate every adult in America by May. However, actually vaccinating every adult will be a different challenge. “It’s not enough to have the vaccine supply. We need vaccinators — people to put the shots in people’s arms, millions of Americans’ arms,” President Joe Biden acknowledged during a press conference on Tuesday. Biden highlighted the federal governments efforts to increase the number of vaccinators, such as enlisting retired doctors and nurses, deploying Federal Emergency Management personnel and the national guard to administer vaccines. Focus on schools: Biden also directed states to start vaccinating teachers so schools can reopen. Many states are already doing that. The White House set a goal of vaccinating every teacher by the end of March. “Let’s treat in-person learning like an essential service that it is. And that means getting essential workers who provide that service — educators, school staff, childcare workers — get them vaccinated immediately,” Biden said on Tuesday. The federal government plans to allow teachers to get shots at retail pharmacies to achieve that goal. The numbers: There are still 18 states that haven’t made teachers eligible for early vaccines, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation policy database. In the 2017 to 2018 school year, there were about 4 million teachers in the U.S., according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The U.S. has recently been delivering about 1.8 million COVD-19 vaccine doses per day. Some days are well above 2 million doses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The U.S. government is sending about 2.4 million doses to retail pharmacies every week, White House COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt reported on Twitter. Reading list: The best stories about the health care supply chain A Covid-19 Vaccine Without a Needle? These Firms Are On the Case —The Wall Street Journal Freight pilots are flying Covid-19 vaccines around the world — and calling for their turn to be vaccinated —STAT Amazon Care’s health provider has quietly filed paperwork to operate in 17 more states —STAT Merck’s COVID Manufacturing Deal With US Government Goes Well Beyond J&J Vaccine —The Pink Sheet Thanks for reading. Please send an email to mblois@freightwaves.com if you have questions, praise or grievances. If this email was forwarded to you, sign up here. Matt Blois See more from BenzingaClick here for options trades from BenzingaAir Cargo 2021: The Good, The Bad And The UglyRepublicans To White House: Limit Infrastructure Spending To Roads And Bridges© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.



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Poland will now allow vaccinated tourists to not undergo quarantine


Poland will now allow vaccinated tourists to not undergo quarantine

As vaccination is making its way into our lives, a lot of travels now revolve around it. If you are travelling to Poland, you can avoid quarantine by getting vaccinated. According to latest rules in Poland, if a traveller is vaccinated, he or she can avoid quarantine. But this rule applies to only those travellers who are permitted to travel to Poland, according to the rules of the nation. As of now, if you are travelling from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Georgia, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Thailand, South Korea, Tunisia, and Australia, as well as their spouses and children, you are restricted from gaining entry.

According to Polish laws, travellers are supposed to undergo ten days of home quarantine. But if you happen to have a COVID-19 negative test report, and that has been taken 48 hours before arrival, then you can avoid the entire quarantine process. Now Polish authorities have further extended this rule to vaccinated travellers. As in, thsoe who are vaccinated can now avoid going under quarantine.

Poland will now allow vaccinated tourists to not undergo quarantine

Meanwhile, Poland has eased restrictions, so the country has opened up its skiing destinations for a two-week trial, and museums, art galleries, and shopping complexes have also reopened. On the other hand, cinemas, opera houses, and theatres have also opened up with fifty percent capacity in the country, and restaurants can serce take-away food only. However, it is important that travellers and locals continue to wear masks, and maintain social distancing at all times in public.

Poland is a terrific European destination that has a historical past, and it is full of great experiences for those who would like to explore Europe in its truest form.





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Warriors vs. Lakers – Game Recap – February 28, 2021


LOS ANGELES — — The Los Angeles Lakers blew a 14-point, fourth-quarter lead in their first meeting against the Golden State Warriors. They were determined not to let that happen Sunday night.

LeBron James scored 19 points in his 1,300th regular-season appearance as the Lakers routed the Warriors 117-91. James is the 23rd player in NBA history to appear in that many regular-season games. He was one of six Los Angeles players to score in double figures.

The defending NBA champions had dropped five of six since Anthony Davis suffered a right calf strain on Feb. 14, but have won their last two.

Eric Paschall scored 18 points for Golden State, which had its three-game winning streak snapped. Stephen Curry added 16 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. 14.

The Warriors rallied for a 115-113 victory on Jan. 18 at Staples Center, but never had a chance in this one. Los Angeles went on a 16-2 run to take a 20-5 lead with 7:23 remaining in the first quarter as four of its first six field goals were 3-pointers.

The Lakers ended the quarter with 12 straight points to go up 41-21. James had 10 points in the quarter, including two on free throws as Los Angeles was 13 of 16 from the line in the quarter.

Los Angeles had a season-high 73 first-half points as it extended its lead to 29 at halftime (73-44). Its largest lead was 35 late in the third quarter.

GREEN INJURED

Draymond Green suffered a left ankle sprain during the second quarter and did not return after scoring six points in 13 minutes.

TIP-INS

Warriors: Golden State was 8 of 34 from beyond the arc. The 23.5% accuracy rate is its fourth worst of the season.

Lakers: Markieff Morris and Alex Caruso each scored 13 points, while Dennis Schröder and Kyle Kuzma had 12 apiece and Talen Horton-Tucker 11. … This was the fourth time over the past two seasons Los Angeles has led by at least 28 points at halftime. … The Lakers were 6 of 9 on 3-pointers in the first quarter but struggled the rest of the game, going 5 of 22.

UP NEXT

Warriors: Travel to Portland on Wednesday. The teams have split their first two meetings this season.

Lakers: Host Phoenix on Tuesday. This is the first matchup between the teams this year after Los Angeles won all three games last season.

——



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Does being fully vaccinated get you around New York’s travel advisory rules?


For now, the answer appears to be “no,” but several other states are lifting quarantine rules for domestic travelers who have received both doses of the vaccine.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — 2 On Your Side has been getting questions from viewers asking whether receiving both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will exempt them from having to follow New York’s COVID-19 travel advisory, which requires testing and quarantine protocols for certain domestic travelers.

Except for certain individuals traveling as essential workers, here is the current Traveler’s Advisory, last updated in early November for any traveler to New York State from a non-contiguous state, US territory or CDC level 2 (and higher) country who were out-of-state for more than 24 hours:

  • Travelers must obtain a test within three days of departure, prior to arrival in New York State
  • The traveler must, upon arrival in New York, quarantine for three days
  • On day four of their quarantine, the traveler must obtain another COVID test. If both tests comes back negative, the traveler may exit quarantine early upon receipt of the second negative diagnostic test

For travelers who were out-of-state for less than 24 hours:

  • The traveler does not need a test prior to their departure from the other state, and does not need to quarantine upon arrival in New York State
  • However, the traveler must fill out the state’s traveler form upon entry into New York State, and take a COVID diagnostic test four days after their arrival in New York

According to a person who answered a call we placed to New York’s COVID-19 hotline on Monday, travelers must still follow the testing and quarantine protocols, even if they have received both doses of vaccine.

What some individuals may find as nonsensical (and even maddening) is that New York is clinging to these rules, even though the governor announced more than a week ago that the state would follow another new set of CDC guidelines pertaining to individuals who have been fully vaccinated.

Those guidelines advise that those who’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, need not have to quarantine, even if they are exposed to someone with the virus. 

However, New York still requires you to abide by its quarantine protocols even if you haven’t been exposed, merely because you traveled somewhere. New York is one of only 18 states that still have quarantine requirements for domestic travelers.

And while a number of states, including Vermont, Alaska, and Hawaii have in recent days announced plans to lift restrictions for domestic travelers who have had both doses of the vaccine, there is no word thus far if New York is preparing to do likewise.





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United engine fire grounds Boeing again – this time it’s the 777 jetliner


The National Transportation Safety Board on Monday said a maintenance records group will be formed to investigate the Boeing 777 engine’s history after it failed on United Airlines flight #328 and erupted into flames shortly after takeoff on Saturday.

“Our mission is to understand not only what happened but why it happened so we can keep it from happening again,” NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt said at a Monday evening press conference. 

Sumwalt emphasized that the investigation is still in its preliminary stages. Asked whether the particular engine had been inspected after another engine failure on a Southwest Airlines flight in 2018, Sumwalt said that was a question that will be answered pending a maintenance group investigation.

 

Boeing has recommended that airlines ground all 777s with the type of engine that blew apart after takeoff from Denver this past weekend, and most carriers that fly those planes said they would temporarily pull them from service.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration ordered United Airlines to step up inspections of the aircraft after one of its flights made an emergency landing at Denver International Airport on Saturday as pieces of the engine’s casing rained on suburban neighborhoods. None of the 231 passengers or 10 crew were hurt, and the flight landed safely, authorities said. United is among the carriers that has grounded the planes.

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson identified the focus on the stepped-up inspections as hollow fan blades unique to the Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engine model and used solely on Boeing 777s. Dickson’s statement said the conclusion was based on an initial review of safety data and would likely mean grounding some planes.

United Airlines Flight 328 being inspected. 

United Airlines Flight 328 being inspected. 
(@NTSB_Newsroom)

Boeing said there were 69 of the 777s with the Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines in service and another 59 in storage. The company affirmed they should be grounded until the FAA sets up an inspection regime.

The emergency landing is the latest trouble for Boeing, which saw its 737 Max planes grounded for more than a year after two deadly crashes in 2019 and is suffering amid the huge reduction in air travel due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Max planes began returning to the skies late last year.

COLORADO MAN DESCRIBES ‘CLOSE CALL’ AS HUGE PIECE OF FLIGHT 328 JUST MISSES HOUSE

Video posted on Twitter from Saturday’s emergency showed the engine fully engulfed in flames as the plane flew. Freeze frames from different video taken by a passenger sitting slightly in front of the engine and also posted on Twitter appeared to show a broken fan blade in the engine.

Passengers, who were headed to Honolulu, said they feared the plane would crash after an explosion and flash of light, while people on the ground saw huge chunks of the aircraft pour down, just missing one home and crushing a truck. The explosion, visible from the ground, left a trail of black smoke in the sky.

The NTSB said that two of the engine’s fan blades were fractured and the remainder of the fan blades “exhibited damage.” But it cautioned that it was too early to draw conclusions about what happened.

United says it will work closely with the FAA and the NTSB “to determine any additional steps that are needed to ensure these aircraft meet our rigorous safety standards and can return to service.”

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The NTSB said the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder were transported to its lab in Washington so the data can be analyzed. NTSB investigations can take up to a year or longer, although in major cases the agency generally releases some investigative material midway through the process.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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