For the latest advisories and health recommendations on how you can protect yourself and your family, please visit The World Health Organization at www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
Our extraordinary Customer Service and Client Success teams remain fully operational, with no impact on performance or order responsiveness. If you have questions about your business, please contact your Client Success Manager. If you have an urgent order inquiry, please contact your Customer Care Team.
Over the last 14 months, our local teams have worked in every country to responsibly prepare and deliver orders, while respecting all regional restrictions and community lockdowns. While some backorders are still being processed, and some popular products are facing temporary stock shortages, we are working to ensure availability wherever possible. Although many local situations change daily, we can report the following current status updates:
As over 59% of Japanese people protest the upcoming Olympic Games, the country has administered 4.4 million doses amid a rising 4th wave of infections. Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia also continue to report high infection rates, as they race to administer vaccine doses. In Australia, after many months of low stock, exercise equipment, outdoor playground equipment and bicycles and are now available for member orders, and deliveries have fully resumed. A pre-emptive response to single-digit outbreaks is ensuring a near-zero reinfection rate in all states.
Trinidad & Tobago has entered a lockdown as cases increase, and order fulfillment is temporarily suspended. Hotspots continue in Uruguay, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil, as the more potent variants spread faster than local vaccination rates. In Colombia, rampant protests in over 247 cities in response to social inequality and the government’s fiscal reforms are disrupting local order fulfillment.
With only 2.5% of the population fully vaccinated, India is struggling to contain a devastating countrywide 2nd wave. While reported case counts have begun a slow decline, over 320,000 new cases have appeared every day for the last 3 weeks. Physical INR prepaid Visa cards continue to be ordered and processed, but deliveries are being temporarily held. Lockdown restrictions vary from region to region, with most states restricting deliveries to just essential items:
While case counts have significantly declined from January highs, and 32.4% of the population has been fully vaccinated, the US still continues to report an average of 52,600 new infections every day since early February. Order processing and fulfillment continues uninterrupted in all states as our members continue to redeem for a record number of rewards. Lingering stock shortages will continue for bicycles, small kitchen appliances, gaming consoles, laptops, and televisions well into the last quarter of the year as manufacturers struggle to source raw materials, microchips and shipping container capacity.
Canada’s slow vaccination rollout (only 3.3% are fully vaccinated) has hampered recovery efforts, with a recent infection spike creating stay-at-home orders and significant lockdowns in all major provinces. While order fulfillment has not been significantly hampered, we expect ongoing shortages of outdoor furniture and bicycles through the end of the year.
Africa and the Middle East
The Eid al-Fitr holiday and ongoing pandemic restrictions will impact order processing and delivery throughout the Middle East this week. Israel can boast the world’s highest vaccination record with 56.1% of their population completely vaccinated.
As in North America, there is a European-wide stock shortage of gaming consoles, some electronics, small appliances and bikes — due in part to local food delivery companies bulk purchasing bikes to service a sudden rise in food orders. Despite the continued growth of member redemptions, our processing and delivery promises are being met, with only a very few localized disruptions. Continental travel has mostly resumed, with many countries relaxing border restrictions (for EU residents only) and aiming to fully reopen businesses by June. Brexit aside, the UK leads Europe with a 77% 1st vaccination rate, fueling an aggressive reopening plan.
While some countries are experimenting with safe travel corridors, and many airlines are flying once again, evolving border restrictions and local arrival quarantines will continue to affect travel plans. Our travel team urges all members to visit the travel portion of their program site and review the cancellation policy that relates to their booking. If there is an opportunity to cancel directly on the website we would recommend doing so. If their travel is imminent, with the departure date outside of the cancellation policy window, please submit a cancellation request and we will work to see if a cancellation/refund is possible. Cancellations that would normally not qualify for a refund are being reviewed on a case-by-case basis with individual airlines, hotels and accommodations to support travelers during this time. If a member is currently at their destination and requires emergency assistance, they are encouraged to contact: (858) 999-8206 (MX Toll Free 800-681-5365, AU Toll Free 1-800-146-417, UK Toll Free 0-800-069-8735, JPN Toll Free 0800-222-1195)
Around the globe, event suspensions, postponements, cancellations, and other approaches continue in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some events that are suspended or postponed today may eventually be cancelled, but event promoters may take days, weeks, or even months to make a final decision. For events that have been cancelled (meaning the event will not be held at its scheduled time, or any time in the future, OR it will be held without patrons in attendance) the member is entitled to a full refund of the purchase price, including delivery charges. You, nor the member, need to take any action, as our customer service team will email you with full refund details. Given the number of events impacted, we've been advised that members can expect to receive refunds within 4 weeks. Many major events have been cancelled, while others have been suspended or postponed, rather than cancelled. These events – and orders associated with them are in a “pending” state and are treated as postponements. Until they are cancelled, we cannot issue a refund. Should the events eventually be rescheduled, any tickets purchased will be valid for the rescheduled event – as per standard industry policy. If and when any suspended or postponed events become cancelled, we will issue a refund.
We’re proud of how our supply chain partners continue to adapt and respond to this global pandemic. Our Customer Service and Client Success teams are fully operational, with no impact on performance or order responsiveness. If you have questions about your business, please contact your Client Success Manager. If you have an urgent order inquiry, please contact your Customer Care Team.