China zero-Covid lockdowns, CNY vacation impression provide chains, ports

Streets in Tianjin, China, empty on January 10, 2022 as the city goes into partial lockdown following a surge in Omicron cases.

Geno Hou | Future Publishing | Getty Images

Covid lockdowns, quarantines and restrictions are causing a backlog at some of China’s major ports, causing “chaos” and increasing air freight by up to 50% in some cases, analysts tell CNBC.

Ahead of the extended Lunar New Year holiday in China, air freight rates have skyrocketed and some shipping companies have suspended services, putting a renewed spotlight on congested supply chains.

It comes as China presses ahead with its zero-Covid strategy – meaning a recent spike in infections has led to lockdowns and restrictions in major port hubs and major cities across the country.

“Although ports are still open, current restrictions — such as mandatory quarantines and testing — continue to slow transportation and cause delays,” Atul Vashistha, founder and chair of supply chain consultancy Supply Wisdom, told CNBC.

China’s top priority right now is to limit the spread of Covid cases ahead of next month’s Winter Olympics and the upcoming Lunar New Year, he added. However, the resulting curbs at the ports have also created a certain “chaos”.

“Products are piling up while ships are banned from entering. Between negative PCR test requests and last minute rerouting, 2022 starts as 2021 ended – chaos,” Vashistha said, referring to the polymerase chain reaction Covid tests.

Cases have been reported in the main port cities of Shenzhen, Tianjin and Ningbo, as well as in the United States Industrial center of Xi’an, spark arrestors and other curbs.

Infections were also reported in other cities, e.g Dalian and anyang.

The capital Beijing reported its first locally transmitted Omicron infection on January 15. On Sunday, less than two weeks before the Winter Olympics, Beijing authorities introduced new restrictions to stem a recent outbreak after nine locally transmitted cases were detected in Beijing the day before.

the Ningbo eruption in December also triggered some curbs and disrupted traffic in the world’s third busiest port, Ningbo-Zhoushan.

Operations have now largely resumed, but shipments have been diverted to Shanghai — the world’s busiest port — causing congestion and delays there too, Judah Levine, head of research at freight-booking platform Freightos Group, told CNBC.

Supply chain tech firm project44 said the shift from the Ningbo port to Shanghai “backfired on some carriers” as congestion mounted in Shanghai. As a result, Shanghai saw an 86% increase in empty runs year-over-year, it said, referring to an industry term for when an airline decides to skip a particular port or the entire journey altogether.

In an email to CNBC last week, Freightos’ Levine said all eyes are on China and the impact strict outbreak containment measures could have on logistics. “Steps have been taken to quell the spread of positive cases, which have been detected in multiple locations including Beijing, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Dalian and several others,” he said Jan. 19.

Rising air freight rates

Spot prices for ocean shipping en route from Asia to the U.S. West Coast were up 4%, Levine said, but they’re unlikely to rise much further because production is on hold as the Lunar New Year holiday approaches and factories shut down for a while be closed for a longer period of time.

However, air freight rates are still rising, he added.

“With enough time to still move cargo by air, the pre-holiday rush coupled with pandemic-constrained capacity is driving air freight rates higher,” he said, adding that the Freightos Air Index showed that the Rate from China to Northern Europe was $9.59 per kg in mid-January – up over 50% from under $6 per kg in early January.

The Lunar New Year is China’s biggest holiday, and hundreds of millions of people traditionally travel back to their hometowns from the cities where they work.

According to Vashistha, some major shipping companies such as Ocean Network Express and Hapag-Lloyd have suspended their services and operations even earlier than last year to celebrate the season. That puts a strain on already fragile supply chains, he said.

This latest shock comes at a bad time for global supply chains. They were already stressed out by the holiday season combined with the omicron variant, but port troubles in China take these complications to a new level.

John Ferguson

economic impact

Shipping costs have fallen in recent months as supply chain backlogs have reduced, but the recent Covid surge and possible port closures will dwarf any progress made, said Paul Gruenwald, chief economist at S&P Global Ratings.

“I would say that this will slow down the improvement that we’ve seen over the past few months,” he told CNBC’s Squawk Box Asia on Thursday.

Impact of China’s zero-Covid on the Winter Olympics

China’s zero tolerance for Covid will have a major impact on global supply chains, said John Ferguson, globalization, trade and finance practice leader at think tank Economist Impact.

“This latest shock comes at a bad time for global supply chains. They were already stressed out by the holiday season combined with the Omicron variant, but port issues in China are taking those complications to a new level,” Ferguson said.

“China’s zero-Covid strategy is critical as further outbreaks will lead to more closures or lockdowns in key areas,” he told CNBC. “With China approaching the Winter Olympics, as well as major political events later in the year, China is unlikely to abandon its Covid strategy in 2022.”

One bright spot is that many companies have already prepared for stressed supply chain scenarios and are now implementing their plans, he said.

Still, not everything will go smoothly.

“While global companies have become more nimble during this crisis, we should still expect some delays from this latest round of supply chain stress,” he added.

Supply Wisdom’s Vashistha summed it up: “Combine the closures with the increase in Covid-related port congestion, China’s zero-tolerance policy and reduced air transport capacity and the problem becomes even clearer: cargo continues to increase, without there being any way to move it or places to go.”

Covid instances rise but once more in U.S. forward of Thanksgiving vacation

One resident sorts her free groceries while another works in the pantry of the Fourth Presbyterian Church amid the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Boston, Massachusetts, Jan.

Brian Snyder | Reuters

Doctors urge caution to prevent Covid-19 outbreaks as cases surge across the country after a plateau lasting nearly three weeks and Americans prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family next week.

According to a CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University, the US reported a seven-day average of nearly 95,000 new Covid infections on Thursday, up 31% over the past two weeks. Cases across the country declined for weeks this fall before fluctuating between 70,000 and 75,000 a day from late October, more than 50% less than the peak of the delta surge that devastated the US this summer.

But as the holiday season approaches and the cold weather pushes more people to meet indoors, public health officials are hoping to mitigate another record-breaking wave of Covid this winter. Last Christmas preceded the country’s worst spike in covid ever, with cases peaking at more than 250,000 a day on Jan. 11. Deaths from the virus also hit a pandemic high of around 3,400 a day in early 2021.

The combination of Thanksgiving, Christmas and plummeting temperatures makes this time of year “the perfect storm” for Covid, said Dr. Bruce Farber, chief infectious disease at Northwell Health in New York, told CNBC.

Infectious Disease Specialists largely agree that it is safe to celebrate the holidays with friends and family as long as everyone is vaccinated against Covid. but a new study from Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center found that half of respondents at their gatherings would not ask about guests’ vaccination status, and about 54% said they would not require unvaccinated partygoers to test negative for the virus.

“I wouldn’t allow anyone to go to Thanksgiving if they weren’t vaccinated,” Farber said. “I think that should be the price you pay.”

As the effectiveness of Covid vaccine doses has been shown to wear off over time, Farber advised fully vaccinated individuals to get their booster vaccinations for extra protection during the holidays. The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved the Pfizer and Moderna booster vaccinations for all adults in the United States.

People vaccinated in the earliest stages of introduction are prone to breakthrough infections, said Dr. Reynold Panettieri, Vice Chancellor of Translational Medicine and Science at Rutgers University.

“I expect we’ll see an upward trend in and around the holidays just because people get together with more exposures,” said Panettieri. He noted, however, that advances in vaccination and treatment options mean that an outbreak this winter “will now be far from what it was before”.

A downward trend in Covid hospital admissions and deaths, which typically delays reported case numbers for a few weeks or more as people contract the virus and then get sick enough to need urgent help, is showing signs of flattening. About 48,000 Americans are currently hospitalized with the virus, the same level as two weeks ago, based on a seven-day average from Health Department data. And the daily average of roughly 1,200 reported deaths tracked by Hopkins is showing signs of an increase after barely changing for two weeks.

Outbreaks in the Midwest and Northeast, where cases have increased 56% and 47% in the past two weeks, seem to be driving the national numbers. Hospital admissions there rose by 20% and 7%, respectively.

The very dense cities of the northeast and the colder temperatures in the Midwest – compared to the south, where the falls have collapsed due to the more pleasant weather – could help explain these regional differences, Panettieri noted.

“The weather is driving people indoors and interest in more indoor activity could certainly add to the experience,” said Panettieri.

Panettieri said those who gather for Thanksgiving should know if their fellow attendees have been careful to avoid exposure to Covid, in addition to getting vaccinations and refreshments. But even with the risk of another outbreak this winter, advances in immunizations and natural immunity in those infected with Covid during the delta surge have made the US “much better” this Thanksgiving than it did last, Dr. Arturo Casadevall, Chair of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told CNBC in an email.

“Of course, if people have any respiratory symptoms like colds or flu-like illnesses, they need to rule out COVID-19 by getting tested before meeting with loved ones,” Casadevall wrote. “Common sense, caution, and vaccinations are great recipes for a safer vacation.”

Southwest affords workers additional pay, frequent flyer miles to keep away from vacation journey disruptions

A bag handler pushes a bag near a Southwest Airlines plane at Hollywood Burbank Airport in Burbank, Calif., October 10, 2021.

Robyn Beck | AFP | Getty Images

Southwest Airlines On Saturday, its flight attendants offered new incentives to avoid further flight cancellations, especially during the main holiday season, amid staffing concerns, an internal memo said.

Southwest canceled more than 2,000 flights around Columbus Day weekend, disruptions the airline said cost it $ 75 million. American Airlines, which also offers flight attendants and other crews additional payment for vacation shifts, had to contend with mass cancellations of flights at the end of last month and also at the beginning of November.

Flight attendants, pilots and other operations staff could earn up to 120,000 Rapid Rewards points valued at more than $ 1,400. Flight attendants are entitled to work 36 days between November 15 and January 14, while cabin crews who work 28 days during that period could earn 60,000 points, the note said. Southwest said the number of qualifying shifts or days varies by work group.

The number of no-shows or unreachable flight attendants has risen recently, Southwest’s vice president of Sonya Lacore, vice president of in-flight operations, said in her message to cabin crew that was reviewed by CNBC. Sick calls have also increased when the company lifted emergency policies that required flight attendants to produce a medical certificate when they called sick. Lacore said, for example, when the airline last lifted these procedures on Nov. 9, two consecutive hours of sickness went from 20 to 90 an hour.

“We have a great opportunity here to maintain that commitment to you and her amid a difficult time for all of us,” wrote Lacore. “Our first step in addressing this and actively working to keep operations safe was to cut the schedule and we believe this incentive program will take us one more step in the right direction.”

The airline also offers ground operations workers triple pay for Thanksgiving and Christmas work, and double pay for overtime between November 17th and November 30th and December 17th through January 3rd. half salary.

The airlines had offered their employees early retirement packages and leave of absence to cut their labor costs during the pandemic, but were under staff shortages when demand picked up again this year. More flight attendants are returning from vacation to America and the Southwest, while these and other airlines are also aggressively hiring.

American Airways jacks up flight attendant vacation pay to keep away from extra flight cancellations

An American airline Airbus A321-200 approaches Washington Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Arlington, Virginia on February 24, 2021.

Daniel Slim | AFP | Getty Images

American Airlines, shocked by Bulk cancellations last weekend offered flight attendants three times their salary for work-holiday trips, even if they are perfectly staffed by the beginning of January.

The offer comes just days after American canceled hundreds of flights last weekend and earlier this week, many of them related to flight attendant staff shortages. The added incentives show Americans are willing to pay to avoid recurrence.

American said flight attendants and reserve cabin crew members who go on business trips between November 23 and November 29 or December 22 through January 2 will be given one and a half time, according to an internal memo verified by CNBC. If you do not have any absences from November 15 to January 2, you will receive an additional 150% of the remuneration for these main travel times.

“The past few months, and last week in particular, have been challenging,” wrote Brady Byrnes, vice president of flight service to flight attendants.

“With Mother Nature devastating the operations, the myriad policy changes you had to keep up with, and an increase in incidents of customer misconduct, you are dealing with a lot,” added Byrnes, referring to an increase in recalcitrant travelers, including an alleged attack on a flight attendant by a passenger last week.

Airlines spent much of the last year pushing their employees to take vacations or accept takeovers.
When travel demand recovered in late spring and summer, some airlines did not have enough staff to cover routine disruptions such as bad weather. Southwest Airlines offered flight attendants double pay to get more people to pick up their shifts on the weekend of July 4th.

The Newest: S Korea prepares for surge with upcoming vacation | Your Cash

SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea’s daily surge in coronavirus infections has hit the 62nd mark.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said more than 940 of the 1,375 new cases reported Monday came from Seoul and the nearby metropolitan area, where a surge in infections has been linked to school reopenings and summer vacation returnees was brought.

While the virus has slowed outside the capital region in recent weeks, KDCA official Kim Ki-nam said transmissions could worsen nationwide during the Chuseok hiatus, which begins September 20, a time when normally Millions travel across the country to meet relatives.

Officials enforce the strongest social distancing rules in the country unless there is a lockdown in the metropolitan area, where private social gatherings of three or more people are prohibited after 6 p.m. unless attendees are fully vaccinated.

Due to a slow adoption of the vaccine, less than 35% of South Koreans will be fully vaccinated by Monday. Kim said the country hopes to speed up injections over the next few weeks so that 70% of a population of more than 51 million people will be vaccinated by the end of October.



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– More AP coverage can be found at and



HANOI – Approximately 23 million Vietnamese students have started a new school year, most of them in virtual classrooms, amid a COVID-19 lockdown to contain a surge in virus in the country.

Since April, when the latest wave of the virus spread through the country, Vietnam has closed schools and educational institutions in pandemic areas and shifted learning activities to online platforms.

Millions of students spent their summer vacation at home as more than half of the country is locked. In severely affected provinces, schools have been converted into quarantine facilities and field hospitals.

In Ho Chi Minh City, the epicenter of Vietnam’s worst virus outbreak, teachers and students observed a minute’s silence to pay tribute to those who died of COVID-19 and to honor the frontliners before class on Monday opened.

In this latest wave, Vietnam reported 520,000 confirmed cases with over 13,000 deaths. Ho Chi Minh City, a metropolis of 10 million people, is responsible for most of the toll.


WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Most of New Zealand will come out of lockdown on Tuesday, with the exception of the largest city, Auckland, which will remain in the strictest form of lockdown until at least next week, the government said on Monday.

The nation has been battling an outbreak of the delta variant of the coronavirus since last month. All of the most recent cases have been found in Auckland, including 20 that were found on Monday.

A total of 821 cases were identified in the outbreak. The government is pursuing an unusual strategy to completely eliminate the virus.


JERUSALEM – Israel says it will reopen its doors to foreign tour groups soon – even as it battles one of the highest rates of coronavirus infection in the world.

The country’s tourism ministry announced on Sunday that organized tour groups would be allowed into the country from September 19.

Tourists must be vaccinated against the coronavirus, present a negative PCR test before their flight, and undergo both PCR and serological tests upon arrival. Visitors would have to be quarantined in their hotels until the test results come back – a process that is not expected to take more than 24 hours.

Tourists from a handful of “red” countries with high infection rates – including Turkey and Brazil – are not allowed to enter for the time being.

Israel launched a similar program in May after vaccinating most of its population earlier this year. However, the program was suspended in August when the Delta variant began to spread.

In recent weeks, the country has begun giving booster vaccinations to anyone vaccinated over five months ago. The campaign has shown signs of controlling the delta eruption so the government can begin allowing tourists to return.


WASHINGTON – The U.S. government’s foremost infectious disease expert says he believes delivery of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to Americans who have received doses of Pfizer may begin on September 20, while Modernas may have one hits the market a few weeks later.

Dr. Anthony Fauci told CBS Face the Nation on Sunday that it was still the Biden government’s plan to start “in some ways” on the third dose in the week of September 20 pending food approval and Drug Administration.

The government had hoped that by this time both Pfizer and Moderna booster shots would be introduced. But Fauci said it was “conceivable” that Moderna “could have no more than a couple of weeks, if any, a couple of weeks of delay,” as the company provides the FDA with more data on the booster ‘s effectiveness.

President Joe Biden announced boosters on Aug. 18 as protection against the more highly transmissible Delta variant of the virus and said Americans should consider getting a booster eight months after their second vaccination.

Ron Klain, Biden’s chief of staff, said Sunday the government has always made it clear that September 20 is a target date and “no one will get boosters until the FDA says they are approved.”

Klain told CNN, “We’re ready to go as soon as science tells us.”


ROM – Italy’s health minister has hinted that a meeting of his G-20 colleagues could lead to a pledge to ensure COVID-19 vaccines reach everyone in poor countries.

Minister Roberto Speranza told reporters on Sunday after the opening session of the two-day meeting in Rome that he hoped the assembly would produce a “pact” on the challenge of making vaccines available to all, including the more fragile populations.

Speranza complained that there was a deep divide between wealthier and poorer countries in vaccine distribution. He expressed optimism that the meeting of the Group of 20 Nations would lead to a determination “that the vaccine is the right of all and not just a privilege for the few”.

Italy currently holds the rotating G-20 presidency. Speranza also held separate meetings with the UK, India and Russia ministers of health. On the eve of the gathering, Speranza tweeted that “only working together can ensure a fairer distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.”


LONDON – The UK government has confirmed that it plans to introduce vaccination cards for nightclubs and large gatherings from next month.

Vaccination Minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Sunday that officials want to start certification measures from the end of September, when two doses of COVID-19 vaccine would have been offered to the entire population over the age of 18.

Zahawi told Sky News that this is the “right thing” to ensure the economy stays open. However, lawmakers and companies have criticized the measure as divisive, saying it could involve nightclubs in discrimination cases.

“It is best to work with industry to ensure that they can be opened safely and sustainably over the long term.

The plans stipulate that people wishing to enter nightclubs and other major events must provide evidence that they have received two doses of a coronavirus vaccine.

Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon said earlier this week that nightclubs and large events will require vaccination certificates from the end of this month as Scotland faces a surge in infections.

Individuals are wanting to hit the street Labor Day vacation weekend

Large areas such as national parks and beaches are still popular for long vacation weekends.

Thomas Barwick | Stone | Getty Images

A spike in Covid-19 infections due to the Delta variant may slow recovery from the pandemic, but Labor Day travelers looking for a hurray last summer – and with the shadow of possible future bans on their mind – are eager to to be on the way.

Recent studies have shown that this is happening despite ongoing concerns about Covid-19 and related restrictions like mask and vaccination requirements for travel destinations and venues.

Up to that point, 75% of people surveyed by travel website The Vacationer and SurveyMonkey on August 1 said the coronavirus remains a “minor” or “major” problem, according to co-founder Eric Jones. However, Jones said he thinks Labor Day travel is on the rise “because people want to make sure they get something”.

“There is talk of new quarantine rules or bans … so some fear they will not be able to travel again,” added Jones, finding in an earlier poll this summer.

The Vacationer found that 25% of Americans are planning so-called revenge trips. “That means they travel more than usual just because they were bottled at home,” Jones said. “Well, I suspect this is one of the last Labor Day opportunities you have this summer.”

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In fact, The Vacationer’s latest survey found that more than 53% of 571 respondents are planning a work holiday trip, with 4.03% using public transit, 12.08% flying, and 36.95% driving a car. The result – extrapolated to the US population as a whole – would mean that 137 million American adults will travel that weekend, according to the website, an increase from July 4th and more than 10% more than the total number of weekends on Easter and on Memorial Day together.

For its part, Tripadvisor found that only 31% of Americans surveyed plan to travel this weekend, which is in line with 2020 (32%) and even 2019 (35%) levels.

Elizabeth Monahan, senior communications manager and US travel expert on site, said that “this is pretty consistent when it comes to a long weekend.” Tripadvisor found that 86% of travelers will stay in the US, with 45% traveling locally by car or train and 41% using domestic flights. Only 14% plan to travel abroad.

Among the age cohorts, Millennials are the most willing to travel with 38%, followed by Generation X with 32% and Generation Z with 31%. Older Americans are far less inclined to travel this week, with only 13% of baby boomers traveling.

Millennials, who are often thought to be in their 30s and 40s now, are more likely to be parents of children who went to school at home in the last year – perhaps Monahan explains the population’s eagerness to leave the home.

“This group in particular really missed some of the great memories that travel and experience different parts of the world with those who are closest to you can make,” she said.

It’s not just surveys that show an increasing interest in Labor Day travel, but also in hard sales data. TripIt, from Concur’s data analysis, showed domestic flight, car rentals, accommodations and vacation rentals bookings were 53%, 75%, 62% and 46% respectively, compared to Labor Day 2019 only 33% of 2019 levels; Bookings from car rental companies and accommodation have also increased significantly since the end of May.

Jen Moyse, TripIt’s senior director of product, said the analytical results were not a “big surprise”.

“What we’ve seen in our previous studies is that people are more comfortable traveling and that is reflected in the bookings,” she said. “As soon as the vaccines came out, we saw the level of comfort increase.”

In terms of spending, 39.4% of respondents said they wouldn’t spend cash on travel this weekend, The Vacationer found. But of those who take a trip, the majority of travelers are spending less than $ 500 at 37.13%, while 12.08% will spend $ 501 to $ 1,000, according to The Vacationer’s survey. Meanwhile, about 11.38% will spend $ 1,001 or more. That means almost one in four adults will be spending more than $ 500 this weekend.

TripIt found that travelers stay longer, with accommodation reservations increasing by a factor of 10 since 2019 for both 8-13 day trips and trips longer than 14 days. Moyse also attributes this to business travelers who just want to stay away longer when they decide to travel. “When I get out, I’ll travel as I mean,” she said.

The more flexibility the various hospitality sectors can offer guests, the more businesses these providers will win.

Elizabeth Monahan

Senior Communications Manager at Tripadvisor

According to Tripadvisor, flexibility remains important for travelers; Filters like Free Cancellation, Pay at Stay, and Travel Safe are some of the most clicked filters on the page.

“The biggest benefit people are looking for is cleanliness, but flexibility is also a priority right now,” said Monahan. “The more flexibility the various hospitality sectors can offer guests, the more business these providers will win.”

Later that year they also booked weekend Labor Day flights, with TripIt seeing 51% of reservations in July, compared to just 18% in 2020. Tripadvisor has also seen a trend towards last minute bookings. The website found that 70% of trips booked in the first week of August were for trips within three weeks.

TripIt’s Moyse attributed this behavior to people knowing that conditions change day by day.

“Some of this has to do with looking at the current conditions and thinking, ‘Am I ready to go? What will it be like in this destination?'” Moyse said, citing Hawaii, which eased entry restrictions in July just got to tighten them again.

No escape from Covid

EMS FORSTER PRODUCTIONS | DigitalVision | Getty Images

Three in four of The Vacationer’s respondents said Covid-19 was a “slight” or “big” problem for Labor Day. Almost half fear that they (46.06%) or a family member or friend (46.76%) could get Covid, and 37.83% fear that they could unwittingly spread it. Mask (28.55%) and test or vaccine requirements (20.32%) were also of concern, regardless of whether respondents were for or against such mandates. Only 16.99% had no concerns at all.

Moyse at TripIt said, “There’s still some nervousness there [and] they are still cautious. “

However, this may be due to the surprising rise of the delta variant. “Once the Delta variant has been with us for a while, it’s possible we will see other responses from people,” she added.

“But right now, people are learning how to mask, they’re learning to take precautions, they’re learning to plan ahead, and that’s some of the advice we’ve given a lot,” added Moyse. “Think about how you can plan your trip a little differently than in 2019.”

Top 15 Labor Day Destinations on Tripadvisor for 2021

  1. Ocean City, Maryland
  2. Orlando Florida
  3. Las Vegas
  4. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  5. new York
  6. Cancun, Mexico
  7. Virginia Beach, Virginia
  8. Miami Beach, Florida
  9. Key West, Florida
  10. Honolulu
  11. Panama City Beach, Florida
  12. Atlantic City, New Jersey
  13. Gatlinburg, Tennessee
  14. Chicago
  15. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Source: Tripadvisor

In fact, Tripadvisor found that beaches and national parks – mostly outdoor areas that became popular amid pandemic lockdowns last year – remain the most sought-after attractions in August.

“When people want to get out and travel, they want to be sure to do so in places like the outdoors or on beaches or while hiking – we’re even seeing a lot of interest in camping,” Monahan said. “Places where you can enjoy beautiful views but also practice social distancing have remained a really strong trend, and we’re now seeing that for Labor Day weekend as well.”

The trend is reflected in how Tripadvisor’s top Labor Day travel destinations compare to those in 2019, when more urban spots were popular. This year, Ocean City, Maryland ranked first, pushing former No. 1 destination Las Vegas to third, and 10 of the top 15 travel destinations are warm weather or seaside destinations. Two years ago, on the other hand, 10 out of 15 top positions were large cities.

That said, don’t expect the city to stay out forever.

“We’re seeing some places like New York and even Chicago popping up again,” Monahan said.

The Big Apple, # 2 in 2019, held its fifth place this year, and the Windy City, once the sixth most popular, retains some attraction at 14th place.

Vacation grilling: Hold sizzling meals sizzling, cool meals cool | Native Leisure

Remembrance Day is one of the two biggest barbecue days of the year. Before falling under the spell of smoke and sizzle, keep in mind that food safety principles also apply to outdoor cooking.

Memorial Day is the second biggest barbecue day of the year, according to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association. 56 percent of adults in the US boil out, only topped by 68 percent as of July 4th. When asked why people grill, the HPBA found that 68 percent were grilled for taste, followed by “Lifestyle” with 45 percent, convenience with 33 percent and entertainment with 32 percent. and 19 percent said it was a hobby.

“Outdoor cooking requires extra attention to food safety as you don’t have your usual food safety tools on hand, such as a refrigerator to maintain safe temperatures and a sink with running water to put tools, plates and hands clean, “said Mary Jane Cody, a Perry County Extension Agent for the University of Arkansas Agricultural Systems Department. “It’s important not to forget these realities even when we’re having fun outside.”

Food-borne diseases are no mean feat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 48 million people fall ill, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from food-borne diseases in the United States each year.

Kristen Gibson, associate professor of food safety and microbiology, says grillers should add another tool to their collection of spatulas, tongs, and plates.

“Your thermometer is your best friend when grilling!” She said. “If you slice and visually inspect the meat of your choice, you can’t tell the temperature or the right cooking time.”

She also urged the grillers to “avoid cross-contamination. Tongs and spatulas should be washed with soap and water or changed after raw meat has been placed on the grill or agitated. “

Cody offered these reminders to help prevent foodborne illnesses from ruining your picnic, block party, or outdoor family dinner:

CLEANING – Wash your hands with soap before and after handling raw meat, poultry, and seafood. Wash work surfaces, utensils, and the grill before and after cooking. Think about where you want to grill. If there is no source of clean water, bring it with you for preparation and cleaning. You might even consider using vinyl gloves on your raw meat.

SEPARATE – Do not cross-contaminate. Throw away marinades and sauces that have touched raw meat juices. Put cooked meat on a clean plate.

COOKING – Use a food thermometer to make sure the meat is being cooked hot enough to kill harmful germs. When smoking, keep the temperature inside the smoker at 225 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit to keep the meat at a safe temperature while cooking.

COOLING – It is important to keep cold food cold. Only take out what is immediately put on the grill. Keep meat, poultry, and seafood refrigerated until grilled. Keep it below 40 degrees Fahrenheit when shipping in an insulated cooler. Always keep your hot food hot. After you’ve cooked meat and poultry, keep it hot until it’s ready to serve, at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer.

COOLING – Immediately store leftovers in the refrigerator. If you plan to reheat those hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, make sure they hit 165 degrees Fahrenheit and throw away any food that’s left outside for more than an hour. Divide leftovers into small portions and place in covered, flat containers. Put it in the freezer or refrigerator within two hours of cooking, or an hour if it’s over 90 degrees Fahrenheit outside.

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The Talladega Superspeedway helps tornado victims

On Friday April 2nd, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., fans will have the opportunity to get behind the wheel of their own vehicle on the Talladega Superspeedway to help disaster victims. With a donation of USD 50 per vehicle, participants can drive two full laps of the track. The proceeds will go to American Red Cross Alabama Disaster Relief through Dega Gives, a donor-advised fund of the NASCAR Foundation. You can find an early registration at and is strongly recommended to guarantee a place. Drives can also be purchased on the day of the event. Participants behind the wheel must have a valid driver’s license and all vehicles must have a valid license plate. Every vehicle must be equipped with sufficient seat belts for all passengers. Vehicles that are classified as unsafe by TSS employees are not allowed to drive on the route for a route trip. No motorcycles, mobile homes or tractor units are allowed on the route. Participants must complete a Talladega Superspeedway route and a COVID-19 waiver.

Red Barat

For one night only, Red Baraat, a pioneering band from Brooklyn, New York, will be performing a virtual live concert on the Internet on Thursday, April 1st at 6pm Alys Stephens Center. The group, conceived by Dhol player Sunny Jain, has received worldwide praise for its unique sound, which is a mixture of hard North Indian bhangra with elements of hip-hop, jazz and raw punk energy. Red Baraat’s second album in 2013, “Shruggy Ji”, debuted at number 1 on the Billboard World Music Chart in the US and put the band on a world tour that is not yet over. The event is free and open to the public.

Wilson Pickett Music and Arts Festival

The Wilson Pickett Music and Arts Festival will practically return with entertainment, artists and activities from April 3rd to May 1st. Shop for art online from the comfort of your home, attend workshops, and more. Shop for original creations by local and regional artists in the virtual artist village. Performances include Bama Sound, Cameron DuBois and a concert of five fantastic reinterpretations of Wilson Pickett hits. Chef Chérie Bryant shows how to make Pickett’s favorite dishes. Take a closer look at Prattville’s talented artists and take a sneak peek at Margarita Partridge’s upcoming original musical telling the story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs. Sign up for virtual workshops, including a live musical theater workshop with Muse founders Alex Lacamoire, Joseph Joubert, and Zane Mark. Younger festival-goers can take part in a live cookie decorating workshop and three visual arts workshops taught by Prattville artists, including a crayon workshop, an acrylic painting workshop, and a watercolors workshop. Visual arts workshop participants who live in and around Prattville can collect a free bag containing all of the supplies needed to conduct each workshop while supplies last. Contact the Bureau for Cultural Arts and Special Events at 334-595-0850 or visit

Alabama Ballet

Tickets are for sale for Alabama Ballet “Romeo and Juliet. Performances will take place April 23-25 ​​at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. Classical ballet was choreographed by Roger VanFleteren, associate artistic director and resident choreographer of the Alabama Ballet, and is based on Shakespeare’s tragedy. Ballet is known for its breathless pas de deux, dramatic emotions and tragic story. Loyal to Shakespeare, it follows the fate of the Star Crossed Lovers from their first meeting to their untimely, tragic death. “Romeo & Juliet” is probably the most famous love story in the world, and the ballet version of the tragic story is based on Prokofiev’s dramatic score, widely recognized as a masterpiece of 20th century music.

A very crazy tea party

Greet the spring with a friendly couple at the A Very Madd Tea Party, which debuts on OWA Island in Foley. This teatime experience will put the spotlight on a family-friendly live show with a cast of characters straight from Wonderland. With a selection of snacks and teas The spice and tea exchangeThis hour-long interactive experience features a live song-and-dance performance from Madd Hatter and friends including Alice, Queen of Hearts, and the elusive White Rabbit. Stay after the show for photos with characters and an autograph session. The Ticket event is available through April 3rd at selected times.

A Very Madd Tea Party will be held at the OWA in Foley until April 3rd. (contributed)

A Very Madd Tea Party will be held at the OWA in Foley until April 3rd. (contributed)

A Very Madd Tea Party will be held at the OWA in Foley until April 3rd. (contributed)

Bellingrath Gardens and House

When the sun rises Bellingrath Gardens and House At Easter, guests are invited to enjoy a sunrise service with friends and family on the Great Lawn. The free service starts at 6:30 a.m. and is open to everyone. Guests are requested to bring their own chairs and are 6 feet apart for this outdoor event. A cooked breakfast can be purchased after the service. If the weather is bad, the service will be moved to the Magnolia Café.

Alabama Symphony Spring Serenades

These special, never-before-seen performances were featured in this unusual season by the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. Each presentation can be viewed for a little over a week. The spring serenades include Mozart’s “Clarinet Quintet”, “Bohemian Serenade” and “Cinematic Spring”. Watch spring serenades Here.

Avondale Brewing Company concert

The stolen faces will perform at the Avondale Brewing Company on Friday April 2nd at 8pm. Tickets are $ 15. Only a small percentage of tickets are sold for these shows. Tables are available based on availability. You are welcome to bring garden chairs. The guests are asked not to gather in front of the stage and to distance themselves socially from other groups.

Easter photos on the quay

Get a professional Easter keepsake family photo at The quay in Orange Beach 2-3. April from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. There are several background options to choose from. So wear your Easter and “spring” in the season. Choose from a variety of pricing packages. Photos have a socially distant composition and masks are recommended. Live rabbits may not be available.

China cash charges hit 21-month excessive on vacation demand, coverage tightening worries

FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, is pictured in Beijing, China on September 28, 2018. REUTERS / Jason Lee

Emerging markets

Reuters employees

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s short-term monetary interest rates extended rallies to over 21-month highs on Wednesday as investors feared policymakers may move to a tighter stance to cool price and property market gains.

Unlike in recent years, the central bank has not made any net liquidity injections into the banking system to meet the strong demand for cash for the long New Year holidays. In fact, it used up the funds and surprised dealers.

The vacation starts on February 11th of this year.

On Wednesday, the volume-weighted average price of the Chinese benchmark overnight repurchase agreements (repo) traded on the interbank market rose to 2.976% by late morning, an increase of 20.14 basis points on the day and the highest level since April 17, 2019.

The 7-day repo rose to 6.0%, its highest level since June 27, 2018.

China’s major stock indices were up more than 4% this month before pulling back in recent days.

“Cash conditions are very tight today,” said a trader at a foreign bank.

“Investors have given up hope for high-quality liquidity support before the New Year celebrations.”

People’s Bank of China (PBOC) injected 180 billion yuan ($ 27.86 billion) through open market operations at the beginning of the session, as opposed to at least 2 billion yuan a day in previous sessions, but still 100 billion yuan on a net basis 280 billion yuan withdrawn should expire.

The PBOC said the injection was intended to “keep the liquidity of the banking system adequate” as budget spending soared towards the end of the month. [CN/MMT]

A second trader at a Chinese bank said the PBOC’s moves suggested regulators were keen to reduce leverage in financial markets as many investors were betting on relatively loose monetary terms ahead of the holiday.

PBOC advisor Ma Jun said this week that if China fails to adequately change its monetary policy stance in the face of recent rapidly growing leverage, the risk of asset bubbles will remain.

“It is the forerunner that the Chinese central bank begins to normalize its monetary policy,” said Marco Sun, a financial analyst at MUFG Bank.

Other economists also warned that the central bank will gradually weaken its policy stance this year after massive emergency measures to cushion the shock from the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

“Monetary policy in 2021 will be a gradual normalization that depends on COVID-19,” said Lu Ting, China’s chief economist at Nomura.

“With the reintroduction of lockdowns and travel bans due to the recent wave of COVID-19, we believe the PBOC will be marginally slowing its normalization.”

However, the state-run Securities Times in a front-page comment urged investors not to exaggerate the impact of the central bank’s short-term liquidity operations on the equity and bond markets.

The PBOC was expected to resume the 14 day reverse repo and run medium term credit facilities (MLF) to increase liquidity and reduce financing costs to more reasonable levels.

Reporting by Winni Zhou and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Tom Hogue and Kim Coghill

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

© 2020 Reuters. All rights reserved.

NRF stated vacation gross sales rose 8.3%, topping estimates

People shop for vacation items at the country store on Main Street in Stockbridge, Massachusetts on December 13, 2020.

Joseph Prezioso | AFP | Getty Images

Retail sales during the holidays rose 8.3% on Friday from 2019, according to the National Retail Federation, as consumers used the gift season as a way to cheer themselves up over the holiday season Covid pandemic.

“Faced with increasing transmission of the virusDue to government restrictions on retailers and heightened political and economic uncertainty, consumers chose gifts that lifted the spirits of their families and friends and conveyed a sense of normalcy in the challenging year, “said Matthew Shay, President and CEO of the National Retail Federation. in a statement.

The large retail group predicted so in November In 2020, Christmas sales would increase between 3.6% and 5.2% year-over-year, which amounts to $ 755.3 billion to $ 766.7 billion. Americans were said to be spending more as they had less travel and dining expenses and were hoping for the Covid vaccine to be distributed.

Christmas sales have increased by an average of 3.5% over the past five years, and they have increased 4% in 2019, the NRF said. The sales exclude car dealerships, gas stations and restaurants.

The pandemic has messed up typical holiday shopping patterns. Many retailers started selling in October and October kept shops closed on Thanksgiving Day. she put more offers online and expanded contactless options like roadside pickup to reduce the number of shoppers cluttered in stores.

Even so, there were some factors that the retailer could not get hold of, such as economic insecurity and unemployment during the recession and fewer gatherings with family and friends.

So far, retailers’ holiday results seem to reflect trends related to pandemics. Lululemonthat has seen strong sales in the sport as people work from home forecasts fourth quarter earnings at the upper end of his expectations because of a strong holiday season. target said comparable sales online and in stores jumped 17% in November and December As vacation shoppers, they flocked to convenient, contactless options like roadside pickup. Still Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters reported disappointing vacation just as many shoppers stayed away from shopping malls.