Footnotes – July 2020


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July 2020

Blue Ribbon Business Travel is here for you!The safety and well-being of you, our valued clients, and our employees continues to be our top priority.  On behalf of Blue Ribbon Business Travel International, we want you to know that we are here, and remain available to you throughout this pandemic. If you have any questions regarding current travel restrictions or policies, the re-scheduling of trips, or anything else related to travel, please contact us.

Call us at 952-835-2724 or 800-626-5309

Latest News

Gov. Walz issues statewide mask mandate for Minnesota

Gov. Tim Walz has issued an executive order mandating mask use for indoor public spaces.

The mandate will take effect early Saturday morning July 25th, and requires Minnesotans to wear masks in public indoor gathering areas like stores and restaurants, as well as while using public transportation.

Exemptions are in place for people with medical or mental health conditions that make it “unreasonable for the individual to maintain a face covering.” 

Children under the age of five are also exempt from the order, though masks are still encouraged for children between the ages of two and five. The order states that “those who are under two years old should never wear a face covering due to the risk of suffocation.”

The order also states that workers must also wear face coverings outdoors when social distancing cannot be maintained. A detailed Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page has been posted on the Minnesota Department of Health website.

“I think here in Minnesota with this mask mandate, with the things we have done previously to this, I think it is very possible … for us to start moving forward. If we can get a 90-95% compliance … we can reduce the infection rates dramatically which slows that spread and breaks that chain,” Walz said.

“This is the cheapest, most effective way for us to open up our businesses, for us to get our kids back in school, for us to keep our grandparents healthy, and for us to get back that life that we all miss so much.”

Face coverings to be mandatory at MSPThe Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) board approved making face coverings mandatory at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The new regulation will take effect July 27.

The face covering requirement applies to “all public spaces at the airport, including outdoor locations where individuals cannot reliably maintain at least six feet of physical distance from others,” a press release from MAC reads. “The face covering regulation also applies in terminals, parking ramps, shuttle buses, trams, rental car operations and other similar facilities.” 

How Delta is giving customers more space for safer travel

From the check-in line to Delta Sky Club seating to an empty middle seat onboard, Delta is giving customers more space for safer travel during the pandemic.We know that having extra space is important to our customers, with 64 percent of survey responders listing it as the most important factor when travelling.A part of Delta CareStandard – our ongoing commitment to keeping your spaces clean, giving you more space and offering you safer service, have a look at what “more space” means for customers:

  • Onboard the flight:
    • We’re making space for safer travel by blocking middle seats and limiting capacity across all cabins through Sept. 30, 2020
    • Flight attendants are reminding customers to give each other extra space when deplaning too
  • In the check-in lobby:
    • Customers will see markers on the floor to indicate where to safely stand
    • Plexiglass shields are installed at counters to protect customers and employees
  • In the Delta Sky Clubs:
    • Similar to the check-in lobby, customers will see markers on the floor and plexiglass shields at the counter and bar
    • Over the next several weeks, plexiglass will be installed between seating areas in the Clubs and Clubs will be reconfigured to have 40 percent fewer seats and more space
  • At the gate:
    • Similar to other parts of the airport, there are markers on the jetbridge and plexiglass shields at the counters
    • Over the coming weeks, stanchions indicating where to stand and reminding customers to wear face coverings, as well as seat decals prompting customers to maintain a safe distance from each other will be installed across the network
    • Aircraft are now being boarded back to front and in small groups of about ten customers at a time

Delta is constantly updating best practices and improving the new standard of care based on expert medical advice and the feedback of customers. Using the same innovative spirit for which we are known, we will continue to evolve and look to do better with cleanliness and safety top of mind.

Delta Says It Has Already Banned Over 100 People Who Refused to Wear Masks

Delta Air Lines said it has placed over 100 people who refused to don masks on its “no-fly” list.

Speaking on the NBC program the Today Show, Ed Bastian, the airline’s CEO, said that anyone who won’t wear a mask won’t fly on Delta.

“We’ve been steadily and rather aggressively stepping up our enforcement of the mask policy,” he said. “You cannot board a Delta plane unless you have a mask on. If you board the plane and insist on not wearing a mask, we insist that you do not fly Delta into the future. We already have 100 people put onto that list.”

On Tuesday, the airline said it would require medical screenings for those passengers who do not want to wear a mask on board its aircraft due to medical reasons.  It also said that it would prefer that those people who cannot wear masks for health reasons reconsider flying amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

United Extends Mask Requirements to Airports

United Airlines announced that customers will be required to wear a face covering in the more than 360 airports where the airline operates around the world. This includes United customer service counters and kiosks,

United Club locations, United’s gates and baggage claim areas. If customers refuse to comply, they may be refused travel and banned from flying United at least while the mask requirement is in place. This will be effective for all customers traveling on and after July 24 regardless of when their ticket was purchased.

United also will strengthen its mask exemption policy by only excluding children under the age of two. If a passenger believes that there are extraordinary circumstances that warrant an exception, they should contact United or speak to a representative at the airport.

American Airlines Strengthens Its Commitment to Safety With Expanded Face Covering Requirements and Enforcement

American Airlines will require all customers over the age of 2 to wear face coverings at airports and on board, strengthening the airline’s commitment to keep customers and team members safe. This requirement will become effective on July 29, 2020. Due to safety risk of asymptomatic COVID-19 transmission by individuals without face coverings, all customers must wear a face covering from the time they enter their departure airport and not remove it until they exit their arrival airport. This updated policy expands American’s face covering requirement to include all areas of the airports at which American operates, including Admirals Club lounges, as well as on board all American flights and does not allow for exemptions for those over 2 years old.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention one of the best ways we can slow the spread of COVID-19 is to wear a face covering,” said Alison Taylor, Chief Customer Officer of American Airlines. “Customers and team members have been clear that they feel more safe when everyone is wearing a face covering. In light of this important feedback, we are expanding and enhancing our requirements onboard and at airports.”

The only time face coverings may be removed at the airport or on board is when the customer is eating or drinking. Those unwilling to comply with this face covering requirement at any time during their journey with American may be barred from future travel for the duration of this face covering requirement.

Southwest Airlines to block middle seats through at least October amid coronavirus pandemic

Southwest Airlines plans to continue blocking middle seats through at least October.

The airline, the only major carrier that does not assign seats, said it will limit the number of seats for sale on each flight in the name of social distancing. It had previously said it planned to block seats through Sept. 30.

“Customer feedback has been very positive,” the airline said in its quarterly earnings report Thursday.

Families and other people traveling together are not prohibited from using middle seats under the airlines’ policies.

Southwest Airlines toughens mask policy

Southwest Airlines said it was eliminating exemptions from its face covering requirement except for children under 2-years-old beginning July 27, and rolling out a thermal screening trial at its homebase airport Dallas Love Field to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If a Customer is unable to wear a face covering or mask for any reason, Southwest regrets that we will be unable to transport the individual,” Southwest said in a statement.

HERTZ COVID-19 update: For your safety – and ours – please wear a mask

Your safety is our priority, especially now. To help protect everyone, we will start requiring customers and employees at all Hertz locations to wear masks effective July 27.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have followed guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure the safest environment possible. The CDC recently called on Americans to wear masks to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Therefore, we’re asking customers and employees to wear masks across all our locations’ touchpoints. Young children (aged 3 or below) and anyone with a health condition that prevents them from wearing a mask are exempt.

This is one more step we’re taking to ensure a safer, faster, easier car rental experience. All our vehicles go through a thorough sanitization process. Additionally, we introduced Hertz Gold Standard Clean. That way, you can rent confidently knowing no one else has been in your vehicle after it’s been disinfected. We also offer low-touch pick-up and return options for loyalty members that strictly follow safe social distancing protocols.

During this time of uncertainty, we will not compromise on our commitment to providing a safe, reliable and enjoyable rental experience for all our customers. It is the very core of who we are and what we do.

Differences in global definitions of quarantine and self-isolation confuse travelers

Quarantine/Government quarantine: Mandatory isolation for high-risk groups such as travelers, people with COVID-19 or those who came in direct contact with them, to limit the spread of the virus and prevent it from being transmitted further into the local community. Quarantine is usually done at government-approved facilities such as hotels, hostels and/or hospitals under close supervision, usually for a period of two weeks. While many countries initially absorbed the costs of quarantine, travelers are increasingly required to pay at least a portion of the costs. Depending on the country, international non-resident travelers may be required to pay the full cost of government quarantine.

Self-isolation/Self-quarantine: Also called self-quarantine or home quarantine, it is a less restrictive form of isolation where the individual is allowed to self-isolate or quarantine at home or their accommodation for a specific period. The monitoring and enforcement of this period varies between governments, and some are stricter than others. It is important to note that this form of quarantine may be harder for authorities to monitor as the onus is on the individual to ensure guidelines are adhered to. In addition, self-isolation/self-quarantine can either be mandatory or recommended, depending on the respective authorities as well as the individual case of each traveler. The period of self-isolation can also differ, some governments only require individuals to self-isolate until they test negative for COVID-19, while others require travelers to isolate for a full 14-day period.


Blue Ribbon Business Travel International Inc. is committed to providing you with useful information on the latest developments in the travel industry. The following information has been compiled from a variety of sources and is updated regularly.

Thinking of Traveling in the U.S.? These States Have Travel Restrictions

Nearly half of the states have strict measures in place for visitors, from mandatory testing to quarantine requirements.

Americans are planning millions of trips this summer within the United States, according to a forecast released by the AAA in June. But packing a face mask and hand sanitizer aren’t the only things these travelers need to consider, as nearly half of the states have restrictions in place for visitors, from mandatory testing to quarantine requirements.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is continuing to caution against travel, both internationally and within the United States. For those who do take a trip, the C.D.C. recommends people wear a face mask in public, wash hands frequently, avoid touching their face, keep six feet from others, cover coughs and sneezes, and use drive-through service and curbside pickup at restaurants and stores.

Below is a link listing a summary of current restrictions in the United States for leisure and business travelers. Some municipalities or counties may have more stringent restrictions. With the number of coronavirus cases surging across the country, check the areas you plan to visit before you travel.

State by State Travel Restrictions

Federal REAL ID Enforcement Deadline Extended to Oct. 1, 2021

The deadline was originally set for Oct. 1, 2020, but is being delayed by one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The federal, state and local response to the spread of the Coronavirus here in the United States necessitates a delay in this deadline,” Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf said in a statement. “Our state and local partners are working tirelessly with the Administration to flatten the curve and, therefore, we want to remove any impediments to response and recovery efforts.”

Many DVS exam stations, deputy registrar and driver’s license agent offices have closed or limited services due to COVID-19 concerns.

Marriott Will Require Guests to Wear Masks at All US Hotels

President and CEO of Marriott International, Arne Sorenson, took to the internet airwaves with a message for customers, announcing that guests of all Marriott properties across the nation will soon be required to wear face-coverings in common areas, regardless of jurisdiction. Marriott’s new mandate that guests wear face-coverings onsite will take effect on July 27, 2020.

“So, to our valued customers: please, pack your mask. We’re doing our part with pre-arrival reminders, signage and training, which will be rolled out over the course of the next several days,” he added. “I know so many of us are eager to get back on the road again. Let’s take these simple preventive measures and make it safer and easier to travel by protecting each other.”

“Please help us do what we can to beat COVID-19,” he urged. “These are all easy steps we can take to support one another and the communities we love, whether we live there, work there or are visiting.”

Hyatt, IHG to Require Face Masks at U.S. and Canadian Hotels

Both Hyatt Hotels Corp. and InterContinental Hotels Group will require guests to wear face coverings within indoor public areas of its U.S. and Canadian hotels beginning July 27, Hyatt announced in a statement Tuesday and an IHG spokesperson told BTN. The move comes one day after Marriott International introduced the same policy for its hotels globally. All three companies cited the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Safe Stay guest checklist recommendations, which were released last week.

Hyatt specified that the requirement would include meeting and event spaces, restaurants and bars, and fitness centers. “Some guests may be exempt from this mandate, including but not limited to people with medical conditions, consuming food or beverages in restaurants, and children under the age of two years,” according to the hotel company.

Any Hyatt guest not wearing a face covering indoors will be asked to wear one. Face masks will be made available to guests who do not have one. As part of its cleanliness initiative, Hyatt already requires all staff to wear face covering at its hotels globally. IHG did not indicate what the consequences of not wearing a mask would be for guests.

“This new policy comes at a pivotal time amidst the ongoing challenges of Covid-19 and helps us care for the health and safety of our guests and colleagues,” said Hyatt president and CEO Mark Hoplamazian in a statement. “In an effort to enable safe travel, we support AHLA’s recently expanded Safe Stay initiative and traveler checklist that help us come together as an industry to promote clear guidelines, which for the foreseeable future include the wearing of face coverings in indoor public spaces and practicing social distancing throughout the hotel.”

Hilton Worldwide confirmed that it too would introduce a face mask policy for guests, but did not provide further details. Loews Hotels already requires face masks for guests.