Colorado State Patrol to crack down on illegal parking in Loveland, Berthoud passes after viral video

Colorado State Patrol will crack down on illegal parking on Loveland and Berthoud passes, the agency said Thursday, days after a video showing scores of cars parked back-to-back along the road went viral amid concerns that the drivers were failing to appropriately social distance.

The areas have seen a “high influx” of skiers and hikers in recent days and that’s led to dangerous parking conditions, Trooper Josh Lewis said in a statement. Loveland Pass is a designated HAZMAT route and is critical for delivering supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, and vehicles that are parked alongside the road, or partially in the road, can obstruct that critical path.

“Vehicles that park anywhere other than designated parking areas are subject to citations or being towed,” Lewis said in the statement.

U.S. 40 and U.S. 6 also are used by large commercial vehicles that must navigate tight turns and limited visibility, Lewis said. Those conditions are exacerbated when vehicles park on the shoulders.

“Additionally, last weekend, many people were seen walking in the roadway with their backs to traffic; not only improper but highly dangerous,” the release said.

Extra state patrols will be in the area in the coming days.

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Arizona congressman calls for closing Grand Canyon immediately; worker tests positive for COVID-19


Arizona Rep. Raúl Grijalva is calling on the National Park Service to close the Grand Canyon to visitors immediately because of concerns of spreading the coronavirus. The tourist destination has also seen its first case of the coronavirus in a hospitality worker.

a person wearing a hat talking on a cell phone: A tourist wears an N-95 mask at Mather Point at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona on March 18, 2020.

On Friday, the Democratic Arizona congressman said the park agency has blocked requests from him, the Navajo Nation, Coconino County officials and the park’s chief. 

Grijalva is the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, which has oversight of the National Park Service.

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The agency could not be immediately reached for comment. Its website noted a Friday afternoon update that said: “Precautions are being taken due to the novel (new) coronavirus.”

It was unclear what the new precautions were.

The worker who tested positive for COVID-19 lived at a dorm within the park and worked at one of the lodges, said Glen White, a spokesman for park concessionaire Delaware North.

The man worked only one day during the past three weeks, White said, but at a time before guest services were suspended at Yavapai Lodge. The lodge and the dorm were being cleaned Tuesday, and any employees who came into contact with the man were offered temporary housing elsewhere, White said.

The man has been in isolation for several days.

Seven employees have tested positive for COVID-19 across the National Park Service, the agency said. It is not releasing the names of the parks to protect the employees’ privacy.

Grijalva said federal parks continue to attract “hundreds” of people, running afoul of official guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force to limit gatherings to fewer than 10 people.

“It’s not something we can mandate. But my preference is always just closing,” Grijalva told The Arizona Republic, part of the USA TODAY Network.

He added: “It’s a public issue as well. The concession is closed. There’s no amenities at the park and no guided tours. Nothing’s going on. At some point, you know, in deference to the health of the people that work there and the public itself … it just becomes something where you’re asking the staff to do too much.”

Grijalva called on the Park Service to prevent large gatherings anywhere in the park, despite the administration’s “desire to maintain a sense of normalcy.”

“It’s time for a more serious federal response,” he said. “Grand Canyon National Park is a federal facility and federal guidelines need to be enforced, whether it makes some government officials uncomfortable or not.”

Felicia Fonseca of the Associated Press contributed reporting


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Easyjet flights: When will Easyjet fly again

British airline group EasyJet grounded every single one of its 330 aircraft on Monday. All flights with Easyjet have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic – but will they be flying again any time soon? Express.co.uk has the answers.

The low-cost airline explained the move was necessary due to “unprecedented travel restrictions” placed on them by governments globally.

Most flights had already been cancelled, except for flights bound to rescue Brits stranded abroad.

The airline has rescued around 45,000 people so far.

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Why has Easyjet cancelled its flights?

The global coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on all travel, and airlines in particular.

Scottish airline Loganair CEO Jonathan Hinkles told the BBC that any airline saying it could survive without financial help from the government “would probably be lying”.

When will Easyjet fly again?

The airline hasn’t given an indication of when flights will resume.

This depends entirely on how the pandemic plays out, since Brits and many other citizens of the world are currently advised against all but essential travel abroad.

Staff have been given a two-month leave of absence, so Easyjet will remain inactive until June earliest.

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What will happen to Easyjet staff?

It has been revealed that the cabin crew will be furloughed.

This means that 80 per cent of their wages will be paid by the Government from Wednesday April 1.

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Spirit Suspends Flights to and From Five Airports

In response to the growing number of coronavirus cases in the northeast of the U.S., Spirit Airlines will be suspending flights to and from five airports in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.

In a statement to Fox News, Spirit confirmed that service to LaGuardia Airport, Niagara Falls International Airport, Plattsburgh International Airport, Hartford–Brainard Airport and Newark International Airport will be suspended “at least through May 4.” As of last year, Spirit Airlines was the fifth largest carrier in both LaGuardia Airport and Newark International Airport.

“Taking care of our Guests and Team Members continues to be our number one priority as we navigate these unprecedented times. Guests booked on these flights will receive emails notifying them of the change and explaining their options,” read the statement.

The decision was finalized following the CDC’s latest travel advisory warning warned against all non-essential travel to New York and the tri-state area for at least 14 days due to COVID-19 concerns.

As of March 31, New York and New Jersey have been the focal points of the pandemic in the United States, with nearly 70,000 reported cases in New York and over 16,500 reported cases in New Jersey. Connecticut has reported 2,571 cases of coronavirus.

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Google Maps: Is this proof of the afterlife? Street view captures line of spooky vehicles

Google Maps Street view is often used by people who wish to take a glimpse of the world from their own homes. It’s especially useful for those who can’t go abroad and want to look at some of the world’s most famous landmarks. However, sometimes Street View is used by eagle-eyed users hoping to spot something hilarious or creepy to share with the world in the hopes it will go viral.

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Some users often spot people pulling hilarious gestures or carrying bizarre objects.

Google’s massive camera lens captures both the weird and the wonderful.

And in fact, the most unusual scenes often do go viral.

This may be the case for one strange scene which was spotted by a Reddit user recently.

If you have ever needed proof that the afterlife exists, this may be the proof that you need.

The eagle-eyed user posted the photo with a haunting caption which said: “A line of ghost cars.”

And that it what appears to be in the photo – a line of ghostly cars blurring into one.

The first car appears to be red with another burgundy car floating on top of it.

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The other cars further down the line are white and seem to blur into one.

Further down the line there are black cars that almost look like one big long car.

Is it proof that the afterlife exists or just a glitch from the Google Street View camera?

While it would be spooky if this was proof that the afterlife did exist, it is more likely that the Google lens managed to blur the cars together so they almost look like a ghost train.

It could be that the Google Street View car was stuck in traffic and ended up blurring all the cars together as they moved.

There aren’t any people in the photo except for a person wearing a red top in the distance.

The scene shows a sunny summer day with blue skies and white clouds.

The bizarre image was taken outside a hairdressers in Prague, the Czech Republic.

It comes as one man was spotted holding a very strange object in California recently.

The object was as large as the man holding it and looks heavy even though he is holding it with one hand.

The man was seen carrying a giant spatula that was far too big for being used for cooking.

He is also with a friend who is wearing shorts and a t-shirt who is also carrying a huge stuffed dog that looks a bit like a bulldog.

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UK government’s £75m repatriation plan for Britons stranded by coronavirus will be bigger than Thomas Cook airlift

The government has warned British travellers stranded abroad that the £75m airlift to repatriate UK citizens “will not be quick or easy”.

As coronavirus lockdowns extend around the world, large groups of British travellers are located in South Africa, Australasia, India and other Asian countries. 

The repatriation operation was announced at the daily 10 Downing Street briefing on Monday by the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab. He said: “An unprecedented number of British travellers are trying to get home.”

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But ministers say they do not know how many UK citizens are abroad – nor when the airlift will begin or which locations it will serve.

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday morning, the transport secretary, Grant Shapps said: “This is not going to be quick or easy.

“Our rescue will be larger than the German one, which I think is €50m [£45m]. This is a £75 million rescue, so it’s on scale, and actually we probably had a lot more people abroad in the first place.

“The scale of it is enormous. I handled the Thomas Cook repatriation, which was the largest at the time. This one is even bigger simply because it’s not a single airline and we don’t know where everybody is.”

Asked if the UK government had a responsibility to bring everyone home who wanted to be repatriated, Mr Shapps said: “I do accept that there is a duty on us to help British citizens abroad. We don’t know every circumstance and where people are.

“It’s a much more complex and more global affair and it will take time and some patience.”

Early on in the coronavirus crisis, two repatriation flights were organised from Wuhan – the Chinese city at the centre of the outbreak – and one from Tokyo, carrying 43 passengers from the stricken cruise ship, Diamond Princess.

Since then, the only coordinated rescue effort has been to Peru, where an estimated 1,000 UK travellers have been brought back in a series of four British Airways flights. 

Another took place at the weekend from Accra in Ghana.

In addition, the cruise line Fred Olsen chartered three British Airways planes to fly from Havana to Heathrow after Cuba allowed Braemar to dock, following other ports’ refusals to accept the ship.

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British Airways to temporarily halt Gatwick operations

British Airways will temporarily suspend operations at Gatwick Airport in London as travel demand continues to stall in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

International Airlines Group – owner of British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus – has already announced huge cuts to services, with the British flag-carrier to focus efforts on Heathrow in the short term.

Gatwick itself is currently operating from a single terminal, following a sharp fall in flights.

easyJet, a major operator at the south London airport, yesterday said it would suspend all departures for the foreseeable future in response to the crisis in global travel.

A brief statement from British Airways said: “Due to the considerable restrictions and challenging market environment, like many other airlines, we will temporarily suspend our flying schedule at Gatwick. 

“We are contacting affected customers to discuss their options.”

The carrier yesterday extended its American revolving credit facility as it seeks to boost its liquidity situation during the virtual shutdown of aviation.

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Rocky Mountaineer delays 2020 travel season

Rocky Mountaineer will extend the delay of its 2020 travel season and suspend all train departures until July 1st.

The season was scheduled to start on April 13th.

Guests on suspended departures will receive a future travel credit for 110 per cent of the value paid, which can be applied to a new departure in the 2020, 2021 or 2022 seasons.

Guests can contact their travel professional or the Rocky Mountaineer sales centre before November 30th next year to apply the future travel credit. 

“Our team is incredibly disappointed in not being able to start our season as originally planned.

“With the Canadian borders closed to international travellers until June 30th and other global travel mandates, it has become impossible for us to operate while these restrictions are in place,” said Steve Sammut, president and chief executive officer of Rocky Mountaineer.

“In addition to the future travel credit for guests impacted by the suspended departures, we have waived all fees associated with changing travel dates, so guests who are proactively calling us can move their train journey to later this year or 2021.

“Our hope is this will offer guests greater flexibility and time to make a decision regarding their travel plans.

“We sincerely thank our partners, guests, and team members for their patience and understanding as we work through these challenging times.” 

The resumption date of Rocky Mountaineer’s operations will be determined in accordance with travel restrictions and mandates from the Canadian and other international governments, the company added.

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British Airways flights: BA grounds all flights from Gatwick Airport amid coronavirus

British Airways made the announcement to staff on Monday via email with the airline’s Gatwick managing director Adam Carson telling workers they can “expect to hear more soon” about potential job losses. Mr Carson said: “Due to the considerable restrictions and challenging market environment, like many other airlines, we will temporarily suspend our flying schedule at Gatwick. “I know you will have concerns and questions about what this means for you.

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“I appreciate there is a desire for more detail about jobs and you should expect to hear more soon.”

A British Airways spokesperson said in a statement: “Due to the considerable restrictions and challenging market environment, like many other airlines, we will temporarily suspend our flying schedule at Gatwick.

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“We are contacting affected customers to discuss their options.”

However, the airline will still be carrying out essential functions such as maintenance, towing and cleaning to support the airfield and be ready for an efficient start up.  

It comes after easyJet decided to ground its fleet yesterday in a move to save the airline from financial strain.

Ryanair also decided to cut down 80 percent of their flights to help halt the spread of coronavirus.

The move has also seen BA move all of its London flights to Heathrow Airport Terminal 5.

The airline announced on Twitter that they would be pulling out of Terminal 3 of the airport over the weekend.

They posted on Twitter: “We are temporarily moving all of our flights at Heathrow Terminal 3 to Terminal 5 from Sunday.

“If your flight is affected, we will be in contact by email to make sure you are kept up to date.”

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However, customers were not happy with BA’s announcement, accusing them of allegedly not responding to messages.

One customer replied: “How about replying to your customers phone calls, twits and emails? Will that happen anytime soon?”

Another said: “It’s nice to see replying to everyone here but you haven’t bothered to reply to the two messages I sent asking for help.

“Pretty sure all I need is a link to submit details and you can’t even be bothered to do that.”

Others questioned how the airline was still saying flights were running despite travel restrictions.

One user said: “I can’t even work out why flights are even allowed in or out of the country!

“What’s the point in a lockdown when you keep letting fresh people in the country and potentially contaminated people leave the country?”

BA responded saying, “We’re still operating rescue and repatriation flights to help people return home. Everyone entering a new country has to follow FCO and WHO guidelines on self isolation and quarantine.”

The remaining terminal 3 routes at Heathrow will now take off from terminal 5 where there is more room due to reductions to the schedule.

BA flights from Gatwick were already being pared back.

Jersey Airport also advised that “due to the current situation BA Jersey/Gatwick services will be suspended as from Tuesday 31 March until end of April.”

Virgin Atlantic have also moved all their London flights to Heathrow.

Gatwick Airport will close its North Terminal from tomorrow and then move its existing flights to the South Terminal.

Last week, London City airport decided to close until the end of April earliest after BA decided to suspend its services there.

Gatwick Airport has been contacted for comment.

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Pound to euro exchange rate: GBP shoots up to new two-week high despite coronavirus crisis

The pound to euro exchange rate rocketed to a two-week high as the trading week got underway yesterday. GBP investors continue to monitor the coronavirus crisis, experts have said. However, the pound’s bump upwards benefited from “glimmers of hope surrounding a potential vaccine.”

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Coronavirus will remain the focal point today although attention will also likely be on month- and quarter-end rebalancing flows.

The pound is currently trading at 1.1213 against the euro, according to Bloomberg at the time of writing.

Michael Brown, currency expert at international payments and foreign exchange firm Caxton FX, spoke to Express.co.uk regarding the latest exchange rate figures this morning.

“Sterling continued to press higher against the common currency on Monday,” said Brown.

“It hit a fresh two-week high just below the 1.13 handle, as investors continued to closely monitor the coronavirus pandemic.

“Sentiment was also boosted by some glimmers of hope surrounding a potential vaccine.

“Today, the virus will – of course – remain the primary centre of attention, though month- and quarter-end rebalancing flows are likely to have a significant impact on price action.”

Coronavirus has made currency very vulnerable over the past weeks.

There are currently a total 786,291 confirmed cases globally, 22,454 of which are in the UK.

Greg Baggio, Head of Performance at WeSwap, said: “Across all markets, we’ve seen extreme volatility levels and the FX market is no different.

“Currency movements are not only driven by headlines on COVID 19’s progress, but also by the various governments and central banks’ decisions on interest rates and cash injections to support their economies.

British travellers are worried about the money they have lost on cancelled holidays.

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Travel association ABTA yesterday warned that a lack of Government action on travel regulation puts UK travel businesses on the brink.

ABTA cautioned that “catastrophic damage” could be caused to the UK travel industry.

What’s more, Britons could face lengthy delays in getting refunded for their cancelled holidays if travel firms are forced into bankruptcy.

France, Belgium, Denmark, Italy have all introduced changes to EU rules but UK government “drags its feet,” ABTA said in a statement.

Package Travel Regulations currently stipulate that the window for refund payments is 14 days.

However, ABTA has said that this should be extended to a four-month period.

ABTA Chief Executive Mark Tanzer said: “The global pandemic has put enormous financial strain on tour operators and travel agents, with businesses seeing a collapse in sales while facing immediate repatriation costs and refund demands for cancelled holidays on a scale that is unmanageable in the short term.

“These businesses are themselves waiting for refunds from hotels and airlines and without this money, they simply do not have the cash to provide refunds to customers within 14 days. Existing regulations are entirely unsuited to deal with this situation.”

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