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New passports are ‘life-or-death’ only

The U.S. State Department, which largely shut down its passport processing in March, says it is chipping away at a backlog of applications. With more than 1.2 million passports awaiting issuance and many sites still closed or understaffed, officials say the only new requests they can handle are “life-or-death” emergencies. For everyone else, the agency’s answer boils down to three words: “Expect significant delays.” Instead of turning in any new applications or renewal forms, customers who aren’t in life-or-death situations are being asked to wait until the passport officials give them a green light to go ahead. “You can still apply now,” the agency told would-be customers in a release, “but unless you have a life-or-death emergency, you will experience delays before receiving your passport and the return of your citizenship documents such as previous passports, and birth and naturalization certificates.”

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Los Angeles Times

Hawaii eyes ‘resort bubbles’

Hawaiian islands are considering creating “resort bubbles” so that visitors can quarantine with a vacationlike experience at hotel properties. The idea would be to geo-fence guests to the confines of resorts on Maui, Kauai or the Big Island. The state currently has a 14-day quarantine for visitors in effect until September. Those who are self-quarantining must reserve select hotels and motels. More than 200 visitors have been arrested for not observing the quarantine.

TravelPulse

Delta extends waivers

With COVID-19 cases rising around the country, Delta Air Lines has extended its waiver on change fees. Travelers who purchase tickets through Aug. 31 will be able to change bookings for up to a year with no fee, effective July 30. The previous waiver had been set to expire on July 31. Tickets purchased prior to April 17, before the pandemic, for flights through the end of the year can be changed free of a fee for two years, through Sept. 30, 2022.

Kerri Westenberg