COVID-19 Update: Public Health Alert Regarding Travel from Europe

To help clarify misunderstandings, here is a new policy position paper dealing with Covid-19 from our chief public health officer.  Yes, there have been significant losses attributable to this health care threat, but it pays off in understanding when one compares the losses in lives, property, and steadiness of soul from, say, the bubonic plague or the great influenza epidemic.

We must reorient ourselves and our outlooks and let us pray that we do so in a spirit of future prosperity, which links us together under new conditions of social distancing. There will be changes, new playbooks, playing fields and even new games and rules, but we can expect to help us and others in achieving renewed success. May God bless you and all of our partners.

Please check this message below from Dr. Vince WinklerPrins, Georgetown University Chief Public Health Officer:

Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community,

I am writing today to provide an update regarding the coronavirus outbreak.

Following the release of new federal guidance for those who have recently traveled to the United States from Europe,“Travelers returning from the specified countries in Europe must stay home for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing.” No one returning from any of these countries—including student, faculty, staff or visitor —should come to campus before completing at least a 14-day self quarantine in an off-campus residence.

This guidance applies to all countries designated as Level 3 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention due to COVID-19. Newly designated countries now include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City.

As a reminder, all university-sponsored travel has been suspended for faculty, staff and students until further notice, and beginning Monday, March 16, the university is moving to a virtual learning environment and, as a consequence, is also moving to an operating status of a telework flexible environment. 

Please refer to Georgetown’s travel guidance on our website

We know that we have many members of our community with friends and family members who may be impacted by the virus. We encourage anyone who might need support to reach out to university resources, including the Office of Campus Ministry, Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) and Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP).

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we work through this evolving public health emergency. You can find all university updates, answers to frequently asked questions and other resources related to coronavirus on the Georgetown University website.

Sincerely,

Vince WinklerPrins, MD, FAAFP

Chief Public Health Officer

Shopping is an important tourism and service activity in London. Of particular interest are the stores of Jermyn Street with their bespoke shops and their tailors.

Chatham House sets the rules for chats while accommodating many prime ministers

Why Thanksgiving Is the Best Time to Travel Business – Huff Post

By Huff Post

Everyone’s getting ready for turkey and some serious travel, but maybe what I should do is fly business and grab the turkey in Amsterdam instead.

Because as everyone goes home to spend some time with the fam bam on the cheapest price they can, no one is going abroad. In fact, the international business travel sector suffers the most during this timeframe. (“Hey hon, gotta skip Thanksgiving this year because I got to meet with a few contractors in Budapest,” just doesn’t have the same ring as “pass the gravy.”) As a result, a lot of the airlines slash prices for premium travel to fill capacity. If you’ve got a hankering to fly international business, this is one of the most affordable times to do it all year. Business for $1000? It can be done.

Based on the data from this FlyerTalk thread, expect sales to start sometime in the summer with the majority of them occurring around August. (We can even make an exact guess for 2015 for when these sales start: August 5.) If you’re looking to go any other time of the year, forget it. This weird phenomenon somewhat sort of only explicitly applies to Thanksgiving:

Typically these fares are offered for travel outbound from the U.S. in the period from the Sunday before to the day after Thanksgiving. Return travel is usually valid for the day after Thanksgiving to the following Wednesday.

Prices can be as low as $854 for flights from the East Coast to Europe. (That particular sale applied to EWR-DUB on U.S. Airways in 2012). The average “lowest price” from 2007 to 2014 is about $1,312.50, which is a significant savings on most business class travel and rivals high-season economy prices. Business travel can easily cost $3000 and upwards.

Even better, there seems to be hard data about when some of these previous sales started. Based on that information, Thanksgiving premium travel sales for 2015 should start around August 5. To find this we began by averaging the day of the years (e.g. August 9 = day 221, June 18= day 169, etc.), also accounting for leap years. In past years, the sales started on August 9 this year and June 18 for 2013.

To get a better idea of this plays out, we collated some of the data on FlyerTalk combined with our own projections for next year:

Dates Lowest Price Found Sale Date
2007 ~$1100 September 22
2008 $1560 July 2
2009 $1309 August 11
2010 $1272 August 18
2011 $1380 August 8
2012 $854 July 11
2013 ~$1400 June 18
2014 $1625 August 9
2015 $1,312.50 August 5

Proof? I got an email from Virgin America last Thursday offering 50 percent off their Main Cabin (business) and First Class fares over Thanksgiving weekend. In fact, it made Main Cabin fares cheaper than some economy fares. Travelzoo found that LAX-EWR fares one-way was $207 in Main Cabin instead of $341 in economy. I’ll take that.