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Say what now? CDC tells Americans told not to travel for Thanksgiving

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#UnitedStates – November 19, 2020 – Basically, no place on the planet is safe enough to visit according to the United States’ top health agency: the Centers for Disease Control, CDC which is advising against travel for the Thanksgiving season including within the States.

The CDC, today released:  “Travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.  You can get COVID-19 during your travels. You may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still spread COVID-19 to others.”

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The recommendation by the CDC seems to validate decisions by state governors who are calling for limited gatherings during the most family-oriented holiday of the calendar year for Americans; Thanksgiving.

News reports indicate this is the strongest guidance from the CDC since the pandemic gripped the United States, which has now recorded over 250,000 deaths and 11.6 million infections. 

The CDC, on its website says:  “postponing planned travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year” and offers questions Americans should ask themselves before making a trip.

The advisory comes one week after airlines announced they would be adding flights in anticipation of the highest demand for travel since March.

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United Airlines alone had said it would add 1,400 flights.  JetBlue plans to add 25 non-stops to at least two Caribbean destinations, namely Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

It is too early to determine if the CDC alert will actually impact the travel plans of Americans.  Tourism executives in both the Turks and Caicos and The Bahamas, for example, had already touted that bookings were strong for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

For Americans who opt to keep their travel schedules, the advice is about protection of self and family by wearing a mask which covers the nose and mouth when in a public place; to stay at least six feet apart from anyone who is not in your household; to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol; to avoid anyone who is sick and to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Also worth the mention is, on its travel alert map; the CDC shades nearly 100 percent of the planet in a dark tan.  Dark tan is the colour assigned to a Level 3 Travel Alert, which means Covid-19 risk is high.

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Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”

Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.

A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.

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Health

Shocking changes in UK COVID strategy as demands intensify for PM Johnson’s resignation

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#UnitedKingdom, January 20, 2022 – In a shocking twist Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that come Thursday January 20, the United Kingdom will no longer mandate the National Health Services pass for use in public spaces and offices.

Residents will no longer be mandated to work from home which could see hundreds of thousands of workers returning to shared office spaces. Face masks will no longer be government mandated for residents or in classrooms, the announcement was met with screams of joy from gathered politicians in the House of Commons.

Johnson cited one of the reasons behind the decision as the extraordinary booster campaign. The UK has a booster rate of just over 63 percent.

Meanwhile omicron still manages to evade vaccines and boosters and Pfizer is scrambling to create a vaccine to temper the variant, which reportedly presents as milder in vaccinated individuals.

The news comes as trouble is brewing in the United Kingdom for Prime Minister Boris Johnson even after his shock announcement ending several COVID-19 protocols early this week. Calls for the Prime Minister to leave office have grown louder and louder with even senior conservatives turning their backs on Johnson.

It was said the softening of restrictions were to distract from the Prime Minister ‘bring your own booze’ staff party held at #10 Downing Street during the lockdown of 2020.

One Senator publicly switched sides and a former Minister told Johnson “in the name of God go.”

Johnson is accused of flagrantly touting the rules he himself out into place while fellow Britons were suffering during lockdown.

The BBC reports that so far six Conservative MPs have publicly declared no confidence in the PM, but more are thought to have submitted letters to that effect.

If Johnson does not step down or regain his party’s faith, a leadership election in the Conservative party could be looming on the horizon.

 

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Caribbean News

Jamaica to be ‘fire on ice’ at upcoming Winter Olympics, Bobsled is back

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By Deandrea Hamilton

Editor

 

#Jamaica, January 19, 2022 – Jamaica has qualified with a bobsled team for the Winter Olympics, and it is the first time for the Caribbean country’s appearance in 24 years.

“It will be fire on ice as TeamJamaica secured their spot at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.  This will be the 1st time JAM has qualified in 3 Olympic bobsled events:  four-man, two-man and women’s monobob,” tweeted TeamJamaica on Monday morning.

News reports are buzzing over the return of the electrifying TeamJamaica; unique to participate in winter sports with the obvious reason being, Jamaica never sees snow as it is a sizzling hot Caribbean destination.

For at least one team member, who showed off his qualification as part of TeamJamaica on social media, it is a dream come true.

“A childhood dream has come a reality. I gave up on this dream a few years back although I knew the elite athlete in me hasn’t died yet and had unfinished business. Blood, sweat and tears went into this and it has paid off! Best day of my sporting career! I was honoured to selected to compete in 13 out of the 16 races this season and gave it all I had.

I will have to say a special thanks to sooo many people, I’ll soon be direct messaging you, but especially my Mum, Dad and Sister…  for helping with organising my speed work over the years and continuously checking up on me for letting me use the athletics track, the @jbsfed staff, team sponsors, all my clients from my sports injury clinic business “Anatomy Well-being” and to everyone who have sent me positive messages and showed support you don’t understand how much that helped,” said Ashley Walton.

Jamaica will also have a countryman in a ski event; British-born Benjamin Alexander.

The Winter Olympics begins on February 3; an opening ceremony will take place at the famous Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing, China.  The games will span two weeks.

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