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ICYMI - Climate, crises, and transportation challenges

One of the big elements to any relocation and assignment program is transportation. Getting people and stuff to and from destinations is a large cost for mobility programs and has a large impact on the environment. 

While France made the news with it's recent ban on short flights, other countries such as Spain, Belgium, and Germany have enacted or are considering measures to reduce or ban short flights. The European Union’s long-term mobility plan calls for discouraging plane travel where lower-impact alternatives exist. As for how those in the U.S. are viewing things, most agree that replacing flights under 500 miles with high-speed rail would reduce emissions, but that there are too many hurdles for this to happen in the near future. As a reminder, short-haul flights made up about half of the U.S. domestic market in 2019. 

Here is more on why your mobility program will likely be unimpacted by bans on short flights in the near future. Would your company implore relocating employees to take the least ecologically adverse transportation option when participating in a global mobility program?

With that noted, here are some locations to pay attention to:

  1. United States: The U.S. is seeing a late-summer spike in COVID cases, prompting some schools, hospitals and businesses to encourage — or even require — people to start masking up again. According to NPR, hospitalizations increased by nearly 19% in a single week and deaths jumped by more than 21%. Note that 70% of hospitalizations are among those who are 65 and older. Public health officials have their eye on two new variants: The Omicron variant EG.5 — nicknamed Eris — has become dominant in the U.S., while BA.2.86 is starting to spread.

  2. Brazil – The deadline for the requirement of U.S., Canadian, and Australian visitors to Brazil needing to acquire visit visas (VIVIS) has been pushed back. This requirement will now begin on January 10th, 2024. The VIVI will allow visitors to stay in the country for up to 90 days for business, tourism, study, and more.

  3. China – As of August 30th, China no longer requires inbound visitors to provide a negative pre-arrival COVID test. Travelers will now be able to enter China under regular entry procedures. Additionally, China has extended tax breaks to foreign professionals working in China until the end of 2027. These breaks are for preferential individual income tax for those living and working in China. These tax breaks include housing rentals, education expenses for dependents, language training, relocation expenses, and more.

  4. Japan: Per Crisis24, adverse severe weather forecast across much of the country through at least Sept 8. Flooding, landslides and associated disruptions are likely. Japan's birthrate hit a record low last year, and new research says that 42% of Japanese women turning 18 may end up never having children. Supporting growth through immigration (expatriates) has thus become an urgent priority.

  5. Taiwan: Taiwan expects to restore power supply to thousands of homes cut off by Typhoon Haikui in the island's south and east, where schools and businesses were shut, while domestic airlines canceled all but a handful of flights.

  6. Italy – The Italian government has issued 40,000 new quotas for seasonal workers. The supplementary decree will be available to seasonal workers in the agricultural, tourism, and hotel sectors. Applications will be processed in a first come, first served fashion.

  7. Czech Republic – The Czech government has approved a digital nomad visa focused on highly qualified IT professionals from either Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, or the United States. There are also more criteria that must be met before interested individuals can be approved for the visa.

  8. United Kingdom – The U.K. government is proposing the establishment of a short-term visa program that would help more foreign EU workers come into the country to tackle labor shortages. While nothing is set in stone yet, talks between other EU countries have been underway to lure more young workers to the United Kingdom.

  9. France – Preparations for future mobility plans should be made as France gears up for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Expect delays, temporary lodging shortages, and increased cost in travel from July 26th to August 11th and surrounding dates as an influx of attendees for the games will be coming into the country. A reported 10 million tickets were made available, and it is estimated that up to 600,000 people will be in attendance for the opening ceremony alone, which will take place along the Seine River.

  10. Israel: Ongoing protests and related labor actions over judicial reform in Israel are likely to continue through at least September. Activists are continuing to hold weekly protests on Saturdays in Tel Aviv and other major cities in Israel to denounce the new legislation. Increased security is expected, and Crisis24 expects that some level of unrest is likely. This would lead to safety concerns and local disruptions to transportation near any demonstrations. 

Did you miss our last update? Go back and check it out: ICYMI: El Nino, the EG.5 COVID subvariant, and global immigration  We're also excited to have even more expertise coming from the APAC region - Plus Relocation Grows with New Regional Manager in Singapore!

The U.S. is seeing a late-summer spike in COVID cases, prompting some schools, hospitals and businesses to encourage — or even require — people to start masking up again. The most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, from earlier this month, shows nationwide COVID hospitalizations increased by nearly 19% in a single week and deaths by more than 21%.


global mobility, relocation, transportation, short flight ban, france, united states, brazil, china, japan, israel, taiwan, italy, czech republic, united kingdom, covid, immigration, vivis, paris olympics, tax breaks, singapore