Trump considering opening US to Europe
According to Reuters, there finally seems to be some movement in the US about reviewing the travel ban for Europe and Brazil. This has been confirmed to Reuters by airline and government officials. Trump is said to be considering whether it is an appropriate time to lift the ban. The plan has been approved by White House coronavirus task-force members, public health and other federal agencies. However, no time frame has been mooted and with Trump making the final decision it could go either way.
The current ban means that if you have been in the UK, mainland Europe or Brazil in the last 14 days you can’t enter the US except if you are a US citizen or for some specialist visas or business reasons. It was originally introduced in March in an effort to contain coronavirus in the US. Obviously, that horse has long since bolted and the US does not seem anywhere near getting it under control yet. So the original reasons for having the ban seem less important.
One of the issues is that many European countries have very high rates of COVID infections. However, looking at the most recent data, the US has near twice the rate of infection as the UK at 379/100,000 per 7 days versus the UK at 190/100,000. When the ban was first introduced, it did not include the UK. With the UK due to leave Europe in just over a month, it could be that we are given a reprieve even if Europe does not. With the fact that we allow Americans to visit and now they would only have to quarantine for 5 days before getting tested, it could help our case. Most countries in Europe have currently banned people from the US from visiting due to their rates of COVID.
Accor completes the acquisition of more luxury hotels
Accor has finalised its most recent acquisition of sbe hotel group. Accor is taking full ownership of sbe’s hotels including the Delano, Mondrian, SLS, and Hyde hotel brands along with most of sbe’s Food & Beverage brands including Cleo, Fili’a or Carna by Dario Cecchini. There are two new hotels opening in 2021, the Mondrian London and SLS Dubai.
The new hotels will now be part of a separate entity within Accor focused on lifestyle and known as Ennismore. At its inception, it will comprise 12 brands with 73 hotels in operation with more than 110 hotels to come and another c. 70 hotels under active discussion, and over 150 destination restaurants and bars. The brands within it will include The Hoxton, Gleneagles, Delano, SLS, Mondrian, SO/, Hyde, Mama Shelter, 25hours, 21c Museum Hotels, TRIBE, JO&JOE and Working From_.
Buenos Aires to reopen to international tourism
Buenos Aires has confirmed that it will reopen for International tourism on 15 December including by air. Currently, only visitors from neighbouring countries are welcome. We don’t know when they will allow visitors from other countries, but it is a step in the right direction.
Tourists will be required to present a negative COVID test certificate from within the last 72 hours. A new testing on arrival regime will be implemented which will not require people to isolate until they get their test results back.