High Country News: COVID-19 makes it harder to know when to harvest sugar beets

High Country News: COVID-19 makes it harder to know when to harvest sugar beets. “To create forecasts, meteorologists look to weather models fueled in part by temperature, pressure and humidity readings collected by commercial flights. But as the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe in early 2020, travel ground to a halt: In March, air traffic was cut by 75% to 80%, leaving meteorologists with just a fraction of their usual data, and, by September, many airlines were still operating less than half their pre-pandemic flights. Fewer readings mean that experts have an incomplete picture of what’s happening in our skies, resulting in murkier forecasts for farmers.”

Covid: Vaccination will be required to fly, says Qantas chief (BBC)

BBC: Covid: Vaccination will be required to fly, says Qantas chief. “International air travellers will in future need to prove they have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in order to board Qantas flights, the airline says. The Australian flag carrier’s boss, Alan Joyce, said the move would be ‘a necessity’ when vaccines are available.”

Covid-19: China pushes for QR code based global travel system (BBC)

BBC: Covid-19: China pushes for QR code based global travel system. “Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for a “global mechanism” that would use QR codes to open up international travel. ‘We need to further harmonise policies and standards and establish ‘fast tracks’ to facilitate the orderly flow of people,’ he said. The codes will be used to help establish a traveller’s health status. But Human Rights advocates warn that the codes could be used for “broader political monitoring and exclusion”.

BuzzFeed News: Is It Safe To Get Together With Loved Ones This Thanksgiving? We Asked 7 Experts.

BuzzFeed News: Is It Safe To Get Together With Loved Ones This Thanksgiving? We Asked 7 Experts.. “…despite the fact that almost a quarter of a million Americans have died of COVID-19, fatigue has set in among many. More people are hosting social gatherings in their homes with people they don’t live with, or who are outside of their ‘quarantine bubble,’ leading to more infections. In many parts of the country, people have rejected guidance to wear masks. The holidays will likely be no different.”

Los Angeles Times: California lawmakers travel to Hawaii conference amid COVID-19 travel warnings

Los Angeles Times: California lawmakers travel to Hawaii conference amid COVID-19 travel warnings. “Legislators from California and other states are gathering for an annual conference in Maui this week despite a spike in COVID-19 cases in the Golden State that resulted in travel warnings by health officials.”

Straits Times: SIA applies self-disinfecting coating in planes as it prepares to carry more passengers

Straits Times: SIA applies self-disinfecting coating in planes as it prepares to carry more passengers. “Self-disinfecting coatings have been applied in the toilets as well as on the handles of overhead storage compartments on Singapore Airlines (SIA) planes as the carrier prepares to welcome more passengers on board. The airline is also working with the authorities on Covid-19 testing protocols, with more details to be announced at a later date.”

BBC: EasyJet slumps to first annual loss amid pandemic

BBC: EasyJet slumps to first annual loss amid pandemic. “EasyJet has reported its first annual loss in the airline’s 25-year history as the coronavirus crisis continues to affect the travel industry deeply. The airline posted a loss of £1.27bn for the year to 30 September as revenues more than halved. EasyJet added that it expected to fly at just 20% of normal capacity into next year.”

Cruise Industry News: Royal Caribbean Opens Website for Cruise Volunteers

Cruise Industry News: Royal Caribbean Opens Website for Cruise Volunteers. “Trial cruises are expected to be short and sail to the company’s private island at CocoCay, where Royal Caribbean can create a so-called bubble environment, controlling the entire experience. Trial sailings are said to be monitored by company officials, a third-party class society as well as the CDC. The test sailings could happen as soon as December or January.”

TechCrunch: Google adds COVID-related health and safety info to Google Travel

TechCrunch: Google adds COVID-related health and safety info to Google Travel. “Starting this week, when users search for hotels and vacation rental properties through Google Travel, they may see new information about COVID-19 safety precautions at the property — like enhanced cleaning procedures that may be in use, for example, or if there’s an option for a contact-free check-in, among other things.”

ThreatPost: Millions of Hotel Guests Worldwide Caught Up in Mass Data Leak

ThreatPost: Millions of Hotel Guests Worldwide Caught Up in Mass Data Leak. “A widely used hotel reservation platform has exposed 10 million files related to guests at various hotels around the world, thanks to a misconfigured Amazon Web Services S3 bucket. The records include sensitive data, including credit-card details.”

Arizona State University: New ASU research examines how varying COVID-19 ‘shelter in place’ policies influenced travel

Arizona State University: New ASU research examines how varying COVID-19 ‘shelter in place’ policies influenced travel. “Three Arizona State University researchers in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning sought to find out how people moved through their lives differently due to the pandemic. The new research, led by Sarbeswar Praharaj, assistant research professor with the Knowledge Exchange for Resilience and the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, uses a visual and data-driven lens to see how COVID-19 government policies have impacted public mobility.”

Washington Post: In Delaware, a new Instagram-friendly driving trail spotlights local artists and sites

Washington Post: In Delaware, a new Instagram-friendly driving trail spotlights local artists and sites. “Ask me what I did on a recent trip to Delaware and I will tell you that I stand-up paddleboarded on the Mispillion River. Rode in the back of a pickup truck through a stand of sunflowers. Romped through a cascade of azaleas. And, before heading home, stood in a starburst of sunshine while a dolphin frolicked at my feet. Now ask me how I could participate in so many activities during a pandemic and I will share my strategy: I followed the Delaware Discoveries Trail.”

BBC: Machu Picchu reopens after eight-month Covid closure

BBC: Machu Picchu reopens after eight-month Covid closure. “Machu Picchu, the ancient city high in the Andes mountains, has reopened after nearly eight months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. Peruvian authorities organised an Incan ritual to thank the gods on Sunday as the major tourist attraction once again allowed visitors. But numbers will be restricted to just 675 tourists a day for safety reasons, around 30% of previous capacity.”

NPR: Do Masks On Plane Flights Really Cut Your Risk Of Catching COVID-19?

NPR: Do Masks On Plane Flights Really Cut Your Risk Of Catching COVID-19?. “Just on Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it now ‘strongly recommends’ all passengers and crew members wear masks. So the big question is this: How well do the masks work? Do they make it safe to fly across the country for a family visit? Scientists are just beginning to answer that question. And their findings offer a glimmer of hope as well as fresh ideas about what’s most important for protecting yourself on a plane.”