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Luxury travel news this week: Coronavirus update

Here’s a round-up of luxury travel stories that have caught the eye this week. To make sure you receive these new weekly alerts in your web browser, please click on the red bell icon in the bottom right hand corner of the page and click ‘subscribe’ (works on desktop only – for other ways to subscribe, please click here). This will also alert you to any other posts on the blog. Should you wish, you can unsubscribe at any time, by clicking on the icon again and selecting ‘unsubscribe’. How the world’s billionaires are handling the Covid-19 outbreak Richard Branson’s rocket-launch company is looking to join the rush to make ventilators, as a shortage of the life-saving equipment looms because of the coronavirus pandemic. Virgin Orbit is trying to start producing a simple type of medical ventilator in April at a rate of several hundred a week, spokesman Kendall Russell said on Monday. The company is working with the Bridge Ventilator Consortium, an effort led by the University of California at Irvine and the University of Texas at Austin… [read more] COVID-19: Set Jet to offer free pre-flight antibody indicator testing Private jet charter company Set Jet has become the first company to perform free coronavirus (Covid-19) antibody indicator testing of its members. Equipped with the technology, all staff, including pilots, cabin hostesses, maintenance personnel and member services representatives, will be tested just before flights. Test results will be kept confidential and provided in approximately ten to 15 minutes, according to the company… [read more] Delta, United, and American are ‘fogging’ their planes to make them safe for travel amid coronavirus — here’s what that means The COVID-19 crisis has forced airlines to ground their planes and drastically reduce service as social distancing and stay at home orders are greatly reducing the demand to fly. While many planes are flying with near-empty cabins, air travel, however, still remains essential for some and airlines still need to mitigate the risk of potential exposure for employees and customers… [read more] All eyes on Asia: normality is still a long way off as museums emerge from lockdown As the first wave of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic crashed over Asia earlier this year, the continent’s museums were forced into unknown territory, balancing their public mission with the need to protect staff and visitors from infection. Many museums were closed by government mandate for part or all of the crisis, while those in places with more managed outbreaks of the virus, such as Taiwan and Singapore, remained open with special precautions… [read more] Claridge’s is offering free rooms to NHS workers who can’t stay at home Claridge’s is offering free accommodation to London NHS workers who are unable to live at home during the coronavirus pandemic. The five-star luxury hotel (whose rooms usually start at £650 a night) will open to 40 doctors, nurses and other key workers on Friday and will provide dinner and breakfast to those staying. Many NHS workers have been forced into alternative accommodation due to living with relatives in high-risk groups… [read more] We really enjoy hearing from our readers and would love to hear your views on any of these stories! Please click on the comments below and share your thoughts. Thank you. Have a story you’d like to share? Please contact us for details.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. Better late than never but it’s still frustrating knowing how long some vital things have been left like ventilators. There’s a shortage of tests, no antibody tests, hospitals running low on ventilators and oxygen, and only now is some production starting, or hoping to start, happening. I’d be curious to know what antibody test the Set Jet company are using. Apparently our government aren’t happy with the reliability of any of them, though many makers are claiming they’ve got robust results and are begging them to allow their use so who knows. I guess if we want antibody testing we’ll have to book a trip on a private jet! It’s nice of Claridge to join other hotel businesses in offering NHS free lodgings. Can’t be easy going home to families not knowing whether you’re risking their safety by bringing back the virus unawares.

  2. Could the private jet company be setting a new trend? In future will people need a medical certificate before they fly?

    I know it’s an odd parallel but in the Middle East you are allowed to take one falcon on a flight, at no cost – as long as the falcon has a certificate saying it is healthy. But the medical is expensive involving a compulsory endoscopy!

  3. I’m very encouraged to hear about some airlines taking on the “fogging” idea. It’s the budget airlines that have always worried me, even in the pre Covid -19 days. These planed are often flogged to death with the first flight around 6.00 am and the last one getting in after 9.00 pm. How many people sit in a seat every day? How many germs?

    1. Yes, you raise a good point. I usually keep some handy wipes or disinfectant wipes in my bad with me, but for whatever reason, I always end up forgetting to use them. It’s probably a good idea to make that a habit in the future, wiping things down around me. I’m sure if I had done that in the past, it would’ve saved me from getting sick fewer times. And washing my hands better too!

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