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Coronavirus – a guide to the latest travel and medical advice

Following media reports of an outbreak of a new virus, we have compiled a number of resources that provide the latest advice for business travellers.

About Wuhan novel coronavirus


Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses with some causing less-severe disease, such as the common cold, and others causing more severe disease such as Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) coronaviruses.

The source of the Wuhan novel coronavirus (WN-CoV) outbreak has yet to be determined. Preliminary investigations identified environmental samples positive for WN-CoV in Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan City.

Although evidence is still emerging, information to date indicates human-to-human transmission is occurring. 

Further information: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-background-information/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-epidemiology-virology-and-clinical-features (Public Health England website).

Travel advice

On 22 January 2020, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office issued advice against all but essential travel to Wuhan city, Hubei Province.

The FCO advice on travel to China can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/china.

Coronavirus outbreak updates

Travel Health Pro continues to monitor coronavirus from its initial reports on 31 December 2019 and continues to do so as the virus evolves.

The latest information from Travel Health Pro is available here: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/updates.php?base=2896.

Enhanced monitoring

Enhanced monitoring has been put in place from all direct flights from Wuhan to the UK. The enhanced monitoring package includes a number of measures that will help to provide advice to travellers if they feel unwell.

For further information and the latest advice on travel to China, see the Public Health England page, here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-and-avian-flu-advice-for-travel-to-china.

Dr Nick Phin, Deputy Director, National Infection Service, Public Health England, said:

This is a new and rapidly evolving situation where information on cases and the virus is being gathered and assessed daily.  Based on the available evidence, the current risk to the UK is considered low. We are working with the WHO and other international partners, have issued advice to the NHS and are keeping the situation under constant review.

The risk to visitors to Wuhan is moderate reflecting an increase in the number of cases being identified in China and evidence that the virus has limited spread from person to person. If you are travelling to the area, you should maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene and should avoid visiting animal and bird markets or people who are ill with respiratory symptoms. Individuals should seek medical attention if they develop respiratory symptoms within 14 days of visiting Wuhan, either in China or on their return to the UK. They should phone ahead before attending any health services and mention their recent travel to the city.

A Foreign & Commonwealth Office spokesperson said:

In light of the latest medical information, including reports of some person-to-person transmission, and the Chinese authorities’ own advice, we are now advising against all but essential travel to Wuhan.

The safety and security of British nationals is always our primary concern, and we advise British nationals travelling to China to remain vigilant and check our travel advice on gov.uk.

Business travel to China and South East Asia

At Global Travel Management we are experts in all types of business travel to all parts of the world.  But one area we are finding a lot more demand for is South East Asia.  So, whether you’re making your first business trip to Shanghai or Beijing or you’re a regular traveller to Hong Kong or Singapore, we have the partnerships, relationships and experience to ensure your trip runs as smoothly as possible.  And we can advise on everything from flight planning to hotels, from visas to passports and from lounge passes to frequent flyer rewards.

  • Flights 

It’s easy to find a flight at a good price from the UK to China or elsewhere in the region.  But finding a flight is very different from finding the right flight.  Our team works hard to ensure your itinerary works for you.  So we search every airline and every route while securing the best price in the right class of travel for your flight.  And many times we will find a route you may not have considered.

Want to save money?  We will search the lowest price on the right flight for you.  Want to save time? Let us build you the best itinerary.  Want to make sure you maximise your frequent flyer rewards on the trip?  Leave it to us.

So, if you simply need to fly from London to Beijing, don’t be surprised if we find you an exceptional fare, via the “short route”.  We might find you a great fare in a better class than you had planned for.  And we will “go the extra mile” to make sure your frequent flyer membership gets topped up with every leg of the journey.

Check out our Facebook page for some of the best news from airlines flying from Europe to China.

  • Passports and Visas

Leave us with the hassle of your visas and passports.  We keep your records so we can remind you when you need a visa for an up-coming trip to China or when your passport is due for renewal.  And we partner with suppliers that make the process as easy as possible for you.

  • Hotels 

Do you have a preferred hotel brand?  Let us know and we will book it for you.  Need advice on hotels in a city you’ve never stayed in before?  We can help.  Whatever you need from your hotel, let us know.  You’ll set off knowing your hotel booking’s been taken care of and you can spend your time preparing for meetings, not trying to find somewhere to stay.

  • Anything else? 

Do you need car hire? A train booking?  Ferries?  Let us know – we can get straight onto it.

At Global Travel Management, we have been at the forefront of business travel, worldwide, for more than two decades.  And, as more businesses are needing to travel to China and South East Asia, we are very proud of our ability to provide an excellent service for travel to the region.

If your business needs to make trips to China and South East Asia, give me a call on 01483 227 369.  I will be happy to explain how Global Travel Management will help save you money on your trips and provide a reliable, first-class service to manage all of your business travel. 

Paul Baker 

Important Chinese Visa Update.

Please note that with immediate effect the Chinese Embassy (in the UK) have implemented new rules for non-UK passport holders.

Any non-UK passport holder now applying for a Chinese visa in the UK must also provide a residency card, or equivalent (depending upon their nationality), when submitting their application. For EU nationals the China Embassy will no longer accept applications without proof of UK residency.

Should you have any questions or concerns about your application then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Finnair Super Deals To The Far East.

Fly Finnair to the Far East this winter for prices (excluding airport taxes) starting from just £49 (Delhi)! Be quick though, the selling period for this offer ends on the 11th December.

Fly from either London, or Manchester to : Hong Kong SAR, China, Japan, Thailand, Singapore or India. Flights are via Helsinki, advertised as the shortcut route between Europe and Asia, due to the Trans-Siberian route flown by Finnair. There are some blackout dates, namely the Christmas holidays, but depending upon your destination, travel to some destinations is permitted right through to 30 June 2013.

Finnair is a One World alliance carrier : http://www.oneworld.com/

Amazing Finnair Prices to Asia!

Book air fares to China & Japan from just £62!

For a limited period only Finnair are selling flights from London & Manchester to various destinations in China & Japan, however, the selling period ends on 12th November 2012. The headline fare of £62 applies to Chongqing in China. The highest fare to any of the following destinations is only £123 (prices exclude airport taxes and fuel surcharge) : Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Osaka & Nagoya.

Whilst the sales period ends on 12 November, travel can take place right through to 31st March 2013.

NB. Finnair flights connect via Helsinki, which is widely regarded as an efficent airport to transfer in, with minimal time spent on the ground.

 

Super Typhoon Jelawat.

Super Typhoon Jelawat is forecast to bring rain and heavy winds to Taiwan and China’s eastern coastal areas over the next couple of days. When last tracked yesterday, Jelawat’s center was located about 770 kilometers southeast of Taiwan’s southernmost point, moving northwest at 15 kilometers per hour.

Strong winds are forecast to begin hitting Taiwan as well as coastal Fujian province during the next 24 hours. The Washington Post has also reported that the typhoon could hit Okinawa before a possible encounter with mainland Japan, depending on how the storm tracks.
 
Jelawat is currently a Category 4 storm, however, it is expected to gradually weaken because of decreasing water temperatures and should be a Category 1 or 2 storm as it nears the vicinity of Okinawa on Saturday, before weakenning further to a minimal hurricane or tropical storm with a possible landfall south of Tokyo on Sunday and into Monday.

As Jelawat may cause flight delays or cancellations travellers are advised to monitor local media and remain aware of further devleopments.