Coronavirus – a guide to the latest travel news and medical advice
For the latest updates on the Coronavirus situation, make sure you are following the GTM Twitter account – details here: http://ow.ly/QYmh50yghXK
To see how Global Travel Management are ensuring clients’ travel plans are managed smoothly, despite the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak, please see here:
UPDATE: 22 MAY 16:45
UPDATE: 15 MAY 16:45
UPDATE: 12 MAY 16:30
There are reports that the UK Government will instigate a quarantine policy on arriving passengers, from early next months – an announcement heavily criticised by IAG‘s Willie Walsh. Elsewhere…
- The UK aviation industry warns the Government that it faces a cliff edge at the end of next month.
- Air France is to instigate temperature checks on passengers.
- Singapore Airlines is requiring the use of face masks by passengers.
- Lufthansa Group has announced it will serve 106 destinations in June.
- Emirates is offering flights back to Dubai.
- Best Western has announced the introduction of a new cleaning programme.
UPDATE: 8 MAY 16:30
Virgin Atlantic has announced plans to cut jobs. KLM mandates face masks. Finland opens borders. IATA oppose the blocking of middle seats, favouring face masks. Eurowings asked passengers for new ideas. Qatar increases operations. Hong Kong Airport introduces full body disinfection booths.
UPDATE: 4 MAY 08:00
Travel providers continue to make plans and adjustments in the on-going fight against the pandemic. Airports are sharing plans and results, hotel groups are enhancing their product and offerings, while airlines and rail companies continue to update their arrangements.
- Berlin’s Tegel Airport may close for two months.
- Heathrow announced its quarterly results – passenger numbers down by 97% in April.
- Hyatt has announced enhanced cleaning and safety measures.
- Best Western Hotels & Resorts is offering front line workers status upgrades.
- Face masks have been made mandatory on Lufthansa Group, United and Eurostar.
- In rail news, Amtrak has extended status privileges in its Guest Rewards programme, while Air France has been told not to compete with the TGV.
- American Airlines is to accelerate the retirement of around 100 aircraft, while Boeing has reported an operating loss of $1.7 billion for the first quarter of 2020, and plans to reduce its global workforce by 10%.
- IAG carriers Iberia and Vueling access over €1 billion in state-backed loans, while, elsewhere in the group, British Airways franchise Comair is not expected to fly before October.
- Emirates is to operate limited passenger flights in May.
- Ryanair to operate “less than 1%” of flights until July.
- Aeroflot encourages rebookings with three-year vouchers and discounts.
And, finally, on this day in 2018, Heathrow Airport celebrated “Star Wars Day” with an announcement of several new destinations, from Tatooine to the Death Star…
UPDATE: 28 APRIL 10:00
Airlines have announced further suspensions and arranged further repatriation flights; the UK government is discussing passenger quarantine; Gatwick issues a gloomy prediction; while The Londoner’s opening is postponed.
- Singapore Airlines cancels most flights until the end of June.
- Philippine Airlines has planned repatriation flights from New York to Manila.
- Wizz Air has announced plans to restart selected flights from London Luton airport on 1 May.
- The UK government is discussing proposals to require in-bound passengers to self-quarantine for a fortnight.
- Gatwick has warned that it could take up to four years for passenger numbers to recover.
- Ryanair has extended its limited flight schedule for a further two weeks to Thursday 14 May, with over 99% of its fleet remaining grounded.
- American Airlines has announced cabin crew will wear face masks from 1 May.
- United Airlines has announced further suspensions of services to the UK.
- Edwardian Hotels has confirmed that the opening date for The Londoner has been pushed back.
UPDATE: 24 APRIL 16:00
IATA announce the end of cheap travel and predict the UK will see 140m fewer flights; airlines continue to suspend services; airlines mandate use of masks and PPE; while airlines and hotel groups offer further concessions to customers.
- IATA chief says “cheap travel is over“.
- Austrian Airlines will retire half its Boeing 767 fleet.
- Air Canada has announced the suspension of all flights to the United States.
- Air Mauritius has gone into voluntary administration.
- Air New Zealand decides not to return to London.
- Lufthansa “will require state aid to survive“.
- Philippine Airlines launches cabin crew uniforms with PPE.
- Singapore Airlines is offering complimentary rebooking for all SIA and SilkAir tickets issued between 5 March and 30 June.
- United Airlines incorporates social distancing on flights and directs cabin crew to wear masks.
- Heathrow Airport has closed Terminal 3 until further notice.
- The UK will see 140 million fewer airline passengers this year, according to IATA.
- Indonesia bans air travel until 1 June.
- Manila lockdown extended until 15 May.
- IHG Rewards Club extends membership status through until January 2022.
UPDATE: 21 APRIL 17:00
Global Travel Management continues to publish regular tweets, every day, to update followers on all aspects of business travel, including the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. You can follow GTM’s Twitter account here – @GlobalTravelMgt h– meanwhile, here are some recent tweets:
UPDATE: 17 APRIL 17:00
Airlines have taken further actions amid warnings of revenues diminishing significantly, while another rail company is seeking government help and a U.S. airline has taken an innovative approach to reducing onboard touchpoints.
- Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary is predicting an airline price war when global travel restrictions are lifted.
- Emirates has begun conducting on-site rapid COVID-19 tests for passengers.
- easyJet expects to report first half losses in the range of £360 million to £380 million, with around half of this figure as a result of over-hedging on fuel and FX.
- Lufthansa says that it has decided to decommission its entire fleet of A340-600s.
- Italo – Europe’s only open-access rail operator – is looking for government support, having seen its passenger numbers fall by 99%.
- Delta Air Lines has introduced pre-packed snacks bags on domestic services to decrease onboard touchpoints.
UPDATE: 15 APRIL 12:00
Airlines, airports, hotel groups and national governments all continue to react to the global pandemic.
- Aberdeen International airport has opened a drive-through coronavirus testing centre.
- Air Asia Group’s CEO Tony Fernandes has pledged to keep all of the airline’s staff during the global coronavirus crisis.
- In India, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has announced that all domestic and international scheduled airline operations in India will remain suspended until 23;59 on 3 May. Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the extension of India’s lockdown period until 3 May.
- Emirates Airlines has updated its fee waiver policy.
- The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has predicted that half of all airline business will disappear this year.
- Turkish Airlines has extended its suspension of international flights until 20 May.
- Delta Air Lines has extended several of its amended travel policies further.
- Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has announced it is offering essential workers complimentary gold membership upgrades in its Wyndham Rewards loyalty programme.
- Cathay Pacific is allowing its customers to make unlimited changes to new tickets, at no extra cost for all new tickets purchased before 30 June this year.
UPDATE: 13 APRIL 18:00
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, is taking full advantage of the aircraft downtime as a result of the coronavirus pandemic to conduct an extensive maintenance and cabin refresh programme.
UPDATE: 12 APRIL 15:00
Air Asia and Air France KLM have been reported in the news this weekend:
- Air Asia has cancelled all domestic and international flights until 30 April.
- Air France KLM is reported to have announced internally that the company is losing €25 million per day.
UPDATE: 11 APRIL 10:00
Brussels Airlines has released footage of the process of storing their fleet of aircraft, now grounded at Brussels Airport. Each A330 takes about 400 man hours to store and the airline’s Maintenance and Engineering teams meticulously follow Airbus’ instructions to ensure they’re properly and appropriately parked up. Thirty employees are now working, full-time performing weekly inspections and turning the aircraft wheels every day to ensure even wearing, despite the weight of the aircraft.
UPDATE: 10 APRIL 16:00
Airlines continue to reduce services and make other savings, while Stansted has opened a testing centre and repatriation flights are planned for stranded travellers in India.
- The British High Commission has announced plans for additional charter flights to bring home British travellers stranded in India.
- easyJet is to defer delivery of at least 24 Airbus aircraft which it was due to receive over the next three years.
- Stansted airport has opened a coronavirus testing centre.
- Korean Air has updated its planned flight schedules until the end of May, with the majority of international services remaining suspended.
UPDATE: 9 APRIL 12:00 NOON
As airlines reduce their schedules further, Airbus has reacted by cutting planned production. Meanwhile, Marriott Bonvoy joins the increasing number of travel providers taking decisions to protect and extend earned status.
- Airbus is cutting production of A320s, A330s and A350s.
- Air Baltic has cancelled around 50% of its planned flights for the summer 2020 schedule.
- Virgin Australia is to suspend all scheduled flights from 10 April with the exception of its key service between Sydney and Melbourne.
- Jet 2 says its flights will remain suspended until the middle June.
- Jetblue has announced plans to consolidate operations at Boston, LA, New York, San Francisco and Washington until mid-June.
- Southwest cuts flights by 50% in June.
- Marriott Bonvoy has said all elite statuses earned in 2019 have been extended to February 2022.
UPDATE: 8 APRIL 15:00
Airlines continue to adapt schedules and aircraft, while an airport in London opens up a drive-through coronavirus testing facility.
- American Airlines and United Airlines have extended their flight change fee waivers for customers.
- Etihad has added rescue flights to Melbourne and Amsterdam.
- Delta Air Lines is to introduce a number of social distancing measures both on the ground and in-flight.
- Gatwick Airport has provided one of its long-stay car parks as a drive-through testing centre.
UPDATE: 7 APRIL 15:00
Airlines and airports are taking further measures to combat Covid-19, while Google and Etihad have announced technology advances.
- Google has introduced new features for delivery and takeaway options and has published reports showing people’s movements over the course of the coronavirus pandemic.
- British Airways is suspending flights to Japan.
- Brussels Airlines has extended its flight suspensions until the middle of next month.
- Changi Airport Group has announced the consolidation of terminal operations at Singapore Changi Airport.
- Etihad is testing technology to test passengers for coronavirus at airports and encourages loyalty members to donate miles to coronavirus prevention efforts.
- Hilton and American Express donate one million US rooms to medical staff.
- easyJet has secured a loan of £600 million from HM Government and the Bank of England.
- Amsterdam Schiphol airport now has just three of its piers now in operation.
- Hong Kong extends its border control measures ‘until further notice’.
UPDATE: 6 APRIL 11:00
Airlines have been told to give prompt refunds, more airlines reduce flight schedules and extend policies, rescue flights from India commence, one UK airport bucks the European trend and robots are deployed to help with cleaning…
- The US Transportation Department has announced that both US and foreign airlines must give a “prompt” refund to passengers for flights to, within, or from the US that have been cancelled due to Covid-19.
- British Airways will suspend all flights between the UK and Japan later this week, with the country’s prime minister Shinzo Abe set to declare a state of emergency.
- East Midlands Airport records “smallest drop in flight numbers of any major airport in Europe”.
- United Airlines has cut flights from its New York airports and made a number of changes to its Mileage Plus frequent flyer programme.
- Delta Air Lines has extended its re-booking policy through to May 2022 and announced that members of its Sky miles programme will have an extension to their status.
- Air New Zealand has cut its domestic capacity by 95%.
- The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has announced the first round of rescue flights from India this week.
- Hong Kong International Airport has deployed robots to clean public areas.
UPDATE: 4 APRIL 12:00
Airlines and hotel companies continue to make changes to their schedules and services in reaction to decreased demand in the light of the coronavirus outbreak.
- Accor pledges to pay for employee Covid-19 medical bills.
- American Airlines has said it will suspend more than 60% of its international flying this summer compared with the same period last year.
- British Airways says it is joining the “community fight” against the coronavirus pandemic…
- Cathay Pacific and its regional airline Cathay Dragon will reduce their flying capacity by 97% for the month of April.
- Delta will make temporary changes to its food and beverage services on board all long-haul international flights starting from April to “lessen physical touch points on board”.
- Emirates will commence flights from Dubai to London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Paris, Brussels and Zurich from 6 April.
- International Airlines Group says it will reduce capacity by around 90% during April and May.
- LATAM Airlines Group will not operate passenger flights to Europe this month.
- Lufthansa is to serve a total of just six long-haul routes this month.
- Sri Lankan Airlines has announced the suspension of all its flights from 8 April to 21 April.
UPDATE: 3 APRIL 16:00
Airports Council International has issued a gloomy prediction for the length of the air travel crisis, but airlines, car hire companies and even museums have released better news.
- Airports Council International has warned that it may take until the end of 2021 before traffic levels reach pre-coronavirus levels.
- Qatar Airways has announced the steps it is taking to limit the spread of Covid-19.
- Emirates has received approval from the UAE authorities to start flying a limited number of passenger flights.
- Finnair is boosting the value of its refund vouchers.
- London Heathrow is “to become a single runway airport” from 6 April.
- Avis is currently offering reduced rates for key workers renting vehicles in the UK.
- The British Museum, the Louvre, the Van Gogh Museum, the Vatican Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Rijksmuseum and the Musée d’Orsay are offering free virtual tours.
UPDATE: 2 APRIL 11:45
Airlines continue to announce changes, cuts and suspensions as they continue to battle the effect of the coronavirus outbreak.
- American Airlines has produced a dramatically-reduced schedule for April.
- British Airways has reached a deal to suspend more than 30,000 of its cabin crew and ground staff.
- Singapore Airlines is extending its Krisflyer and PPS Club member status for twelve months.
- Loganair has begun flying into London Heathrow for the first time.
- Japan Airlines has announced cuts of 85% to its flight schedules for April.
UPDATE: 1 APRIL 11:30
British, Chinese, Philippine and Singapore airlines adjust schedules, including routes to and from London, while the Indian Government launches an online resource for stranded foreign nationals and Virgin Australia donates toilet paper to charity:
- British Airways appears to be suspending flights from Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney in early April, according to Business Traveller.
- Virgin Atlantic has reduced its schedules to three routes from Heathrow – Hong Kong, Los Angeles and JFK.
- Chinese airlines have revamped international flight schedules until the beginning of May.
- Philippine Airlines will operate a Manila-London roundtrip for stranded travellers.
- Singapore Airlines announces reduced April schedule, including London, LA and Frankfurt.
- The Indian Government’s Ministry of Tourism has launched a web portal that helps stranded foreign nationals in India.
- Virgin Australia will donate thousands of rolls of toilet paper to charity.
UPDATE: 31 MARCH 15:00
More travel providers have suspended and reduced services and further restrictions have been announced:
- British Airways has suspended all services from London Gatwick.
- easyJet has announced the grounding of its entire fleet.
- Vietnam Airlines has suspended most domestic routes.
- Hull Trains suspends operations
- South Korea to impose 14-day quarantine for all arrivals from tomorrow but the cabinet in India has announced there are no plans to extend the country’s lockdown.
- The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has announced it will spend £75m repatriating Britons currently abroad.
- Taiwan‘s Health Minister has announced the country’s airlines will be required to wear full protective gear during flights, starting tomorrow.
- The London Heliport, the capital’s only CAA-licensed helipad, is to close with immediate effect.
- Loganair is to seek UK Government support.
- Meanwhile, it has been reported that fewer than 200,000 passengers a day are passing through airports in the United States.
UPDATE: 26 MARCH 09:15
Airlines and airports worldwide have continued to suspend and limit services, including:
- Air New Zealand has reduced its international service to just eleven routes.
- Dubai International Airport has closed to passengers.
- London City Airport has announced the suspension of all commercial and private flights.
- Oman Air is suspending all international flights from noon on Sunday.
- Thai Airways has temporarily suspended more international flights to destinations in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe.
- Virgin Australia, having already reduced domestic capacity by 50% will now increase the cut to 90% of capacity and has temporarily closed its lounges.
UPDATE: 24 MARCH 16:00
Airlines, cities and national governments have applied further restrictions:
- British Airways has paused all its operations at London City Airport.
- France has toughened restrictions on its citizens in its second week of lockdown.
- Hong Kong will stop all non-residents arriving in the city’s airport, including transit arrivals, from entering the city starting from today.
- Paris Orly could close by the end of this month.
- Qantas has closed all of its lounges across its network “until further notice”.
- Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary says he does not expect the airline to operate any flights in April and May.
- Singapore will ban short-term visitors from entering or transiting through the city state starting today, while Singapore Airlines will cut 96% of its scheduled capacity until the end of April.
- South African Airways will suspend all international flights.
- Taiwan will suspend the transit of airline passengers through the island starting today until 7 April.
- Turkish Airlines will suspend almost all international flights from 27 March until 17 April.
Meanwhile, in India:
- Uber and Ola suspend services.
- All domestic scheduled commercial flights must be grounded from 23:59 India Standard Time.
- Indian railways has announced the shutdown of all passenger train services until 31 March.
But, yet again, there are some, small pieces of good news:
- Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said the UK government will help facilitate rescue flights for the thousands of British travellers trying to get home from abroad.
- Accor says that members of its ALL (Accor Live Limitless) loyalty programme will receive a boost in status nights and points to help them retain status.
- Aer Lingus is boosting the value of its refund vouchers, for customers who are due to fly before 31 May.
- Airbus has announced plans to at least partially resume production and assembly work.
- Eastern Airways says that Southampton-Dublin is one of seven routes which it plans to announce “once there is a clear view when services will return to normal”.
- SNCF is offering free services to medics coming to the aid of Paris hospitals.
UPDATE: 20 MARCH 10:00
Several more governments have issued cross-border and internal movement restrictions:
- Australia and New Zealand have barred foreign nationals from entering the country.
- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has issued a nationwide, 0700-2100 curfew on Sunday.
- Malaysia is on a movement control order until 31 March.
- The State of California has started a lockdown, which will remain in place until further notice.
Airlines and other travel providers have announced more suspensions and cancellations:
- Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon will cut flights by 96% in April and May amid a “severe drop in demand”.
- Malaysia Airlines has cancelled over 4,000 flights.
- Lufthansa Group is currently flying just 63 of its fleet of 763 aircraft.
- Transport for London (TfL) has announced a series of service reductions and station closures.
But there is also some news that is more positive:
- Etihad Airways has launched ‘Etihad Credit’ to allow customers to delay their travel plans.
- The Lufthansa Group has announced an extension of its change fee waiver policy as the disruption to aviation intensifies.
- Former Manchester United footballers Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs will open two hotels to NHS staff free of charge.
UPDATE: 19 MARCH 09:00
As the Covid-19 outbreak continues, more travel suppliers have released information about their short-term plans.
- In London, to help ensure the capital’s critical workers are able to make essential journeys, Transport for London has announced a series of Underground station closures and service reductions.
- In France, SNCF has suspended its international TGV service from Paris to Turin and Milan…
- …and Paris has ramped up its lockdown measures.
- Brussels Airlines has announced that it will suspend all its services for several weeks from next Tuesday.
- Also from next Tuesday, Spain will be closing all hotels.
- Etihad has announced further reductions.
But there’s also some good news:
In Venice, the city’s canals are reported to have cleared up for the first time in many years due to the drop in visitors.
UPDATE: 17 MARCH 11:05
Last night, the European Commission proposed a ban on travel to the European Union. This was covered on the GTM website, here.
Meanwhile, a number of travel providers have made further announcements, including:
- Amtrak is set to cut services by 90% in the Northeast Corridor.
- Austrian Airlines will “halt operations” from 19 March.
- Avlo – the Spanish low-cost, high-speed rail operator – has postponed next month’s planned launch.
- Malaysia Airlines has suspended services between Kuala Lumpur and Seoul until 31 March.
- The Qantas Group – Qantas and its subsidiary Jetstar – will cut international capacity by about 90% until at least May.
- Low-cost airlines easyJet and Ryanair may be forced to ground their fleets.
UPDATE: 16 MARCH 11:00
The impact of the Covid-19 outbreak continues to be seen across airlines. Aer Lingus and Delta have released statements aimed to reduce the volume of calls to their call centres. While British Airways has warned of potential job cuts.
Several more airlines have announced reductions in their services:
- Air New Zealand will reduce its long-haul capacity by 85% per cent over the coming months.
- American Airlines will implement “a phased suspension of additional long-haul international flights from the US” from today.
- Emirates has suspended flights between Dubai and Italy.
- Finnair will cut capacity by 90%.
- Low-cost carrier Jet 2 has suspended all flights to Spain.
- Low-cost carrier Norwegian has announced it will ground 40% of its long-haul fleet.
- SAS has announced it will temporarily halt “most of its traffic” from today.
However, some airlines have made more positive announcements:
- Cathay Pacific is adding flights to London and to the US ahead of the Easter break.
- Lufthansa Group’s airlines have said they will continue operating some flights to the US despite President Donald Trump’s restrictions on non-citizens entering the country from 26 European countries.
- Vietnam Airlines has reversed its decision to suspend flights from London, Paris and Frankfurt.
- Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Jetblue, American Airlines, Lufthansa and many other carriers have released detailing of their regular aircraft cleaning procedures and what they are doing to increase health precautions in light of the situation.
UPDATE: 15 MARCH 12:00
Further to the announcement that the United States has extended its travel ban (see below), the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has updated its travel advice for the United States, as follows:
The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the USA, due to restrictions put in place by the US government with effect from 03:59 GMT 17 March in response to the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19)
UPDATE: 14 MARCH 17:00
President Trump and Vice President Pence have extended the United States Schengen-area travel ban to include the United Kingdom and Repulic of Ireland. Please see this breaking news story.
UPDATE: 13 MARCH 15:00
The travel industry continues to react to the coronavirus outbreak. An increaesing number of airlines are suspending services reflecting reduced demand, while several new travel restrictions have been put in place.
The following airlines have recently announced suspensions of service:
- American Airlines will further reduce its services to mainland China and Hong Kong.
- British Airways has announced the suspension of services from London City to New York JFK.
- El Al is has announced a phase out of most routes from 15 March.
- Finnair is suspending all flights to Delhi and the United States.
- Lufthansa Group has cancelled 23,000 flights during April.
- Norwegian will temporarily suspend flights to the US from Amsterdam, Barcelona, Madrid, Oslo, Paris and Rome.
- Thai Airways has temporarily suspended services to Italy.
- Vietnam Airlines will reduce flights to London, Paris and Frankfurt.
- Virgin Atlantic has cut its Tel Aviv route.
- Virgin Australia has cut services to Tokyo, Los Angeles and Auckland.
Some airlines have introduced relaxation to rules regarding change fees and cancellation fees:
- Cathay Pacific has announced changes can be made with no rebooking fees.
- easyJet has told passengers it will waive flight change fees.
- In India, a number of domestic airlines are waiving rescheduling and cancellation fees.
Meanwhile, some governments have introduced increased visa restrictions:
- India has suspended all tourist visas and e-visas.
- Thailand has suspended granting of visas on arrival to nationals of Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan and Vanuatu.
- The United States has imposed a temporary travel ban for travellers from 26 European countries.
- Vietnam has suspended visa-free travel for people from the UK, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Spain and Sweden.
UPDATE: 10 MARCH 12:00
Rail companies and airlines have announced further suspensions of services, fee waivers and details of cleaning and disinfection regimes. These include:
- Amtrak issues guidance, waives fees and suspends New York-DC service – Amtrak has issued customer guidance and advice on preventative measures; waived change and cancellation fees on all tickets purchased before 30 April; and suspended its non-stop route between New York and Washington DC.
- Cathay Pacific suspends Japan service – All Cathay Pacific flights between Hong Kong and Fukuoka, Nagoya, Sapporo, and Tokyo Haneda are suspended until 28 March.
- Emirates announces enhanced cleaning and disinfection and fee waivers – Emirates has announced enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures on all aircraft from Dubai and a newly-introduced waiver policy for all booked tickets issued until 31 March 2020.
- Lufthansa Group plans 50% flight reductions – Lufthansa Group has announced a plan to reduce its number of flights across the group by 50% and to examine the extent to which its entire A380 fleet can be temporarily decommissioned.
- Qantas cuts international flights and grounds eight A380s – The Qantas Group has announced cuts to its international network which will see a 23% reduction in capacity until mid-September.
UPDATE: 6 MARCH 12:00
More airlines have announced cancellations, schedule changes and restrictions due to the on-going Covid-19 outbreak. These include:
- Aeroflot suspends flights to Hong Kong Aeroflot will temporarily suspend flights from Moscow to Hong Kong amid growing fears over the spread of the coronavirus.
- American Airlines suspends flights to Seoul American has suspended its daily operation between Seoul Incheon Airport and Dallas-Fort Worth Airport.
- British Airways to waive flight change fees British Airways has announced it will waive flight change fees for customers who book until 16 March.
- Delta suspends JFK-Milan Delta Air Lines has suspended its daily route between New York JFK and Milan Malpensa amid global concern over the spread of the coronavirus. The service is set to resume on 1 May. Delta’s daily flights from JFK and Atlanta to Rome remain unaffected.
- Delta cuts Japan flights Delta Air Lines will reduce its weekly flying schedule to Japan until 30 April and suspend its summer seasonal service between Seattle and Osaka this year.
- Delta waives change fees for bookings in March Delta Air Lines will waive change fees for all flights booked between 1 March and 31 March to any destinations the airline serves.
- Finnair announces China cancellations and more frequency reductions Finnair will cancel all flights to mainland China (Guangzhou, Nanjing, Beijing Capital, Beijing Daxing, Shanghai and Xi’an) until 30 April 30. Daily flights to Seoul will be suspended from 9 March to 16 April. Throughout April it will fly to Hong Kong once daily rather than twice daily. It will also reduce its Osaka route from 12 to 10 weekly frequencies from 29 March to 24 October.
- Finnair suspends all flights between Helsinki and Milan Finnair flights between Helsinki and Milan will be suspended between 9 March and 7 April, following an updated travel advisory from the Finnish Foreign Ministry on travel to Milan.
- KLM cancels flights to Hong Kong and extends China flight suspensions KLM has adjusted its flights to mainland China and Hong Kong. KLM has suspended its services to Beijing and Shanghai until 28 March and to Chengdu, Hangzhou and Xiamen until 3 May. KLM is also offering flights to Hong Kong every other day instead of daily flights until 3 May.
- Lufthansa Group airlines to suspend flights to Israel The Lufthansa Group has announced that all flights to Israel will be suspended from 8 March until 28 March due to an Israeli government travel ban.
- Norwegian cuts transatlantic services Norwegian says it will cancel a total of 22 long-haul flights between 28 March and 5 May. Affected routes include London-New York (where the three daily departures will be reduced to two on some days), and services from Rome to Los Angeles, Boston and New York.
- Vietnam Airlines suspends all South Korea flights Vietnam Airlines said it will temporarily suspend all flights between Vietnam and South Korea starting 5 March.
- Virgin Atlantic waives flight change fees for March bookings Virgin Atlantic has announced it will not charge passengers a fee for changing flights for travel booked from Wednesday 4 March until Tuesday 31 March.
UPDATE: 2 MARCH 12:00
Several airlines have announced updates and changes due to the on-going Covid-19 outbreak. Here is a summary of some of the latest announcements:
- British Airways reduces flights to Italy, Seoul and Singapore British Airways is “merging” a number of flights to Italy, Singapore and Seoul, as it reacts to a fall in demand called by coronavirus.
- American Airlines suspends flights to Milan American Airlines has announced it is suspending flights to and from Milan, Italy from both New York (JFK) and Miami (MIA) from March until 25 April 2020.
- Korean Air cuts international flights Korean Air has suspended and reduced flights to a number of international destinations due to the outbreak in South Korea.
- Delta to cut flights to Seoul until end of April Delta is temporarily reducing flights it operates between the US and Seoul Incheon Airport.
- Juneyao Airlines to delay the launch of three Europe routes Shanghai-based Juneyao Airlines will delay the launch of three new transcontinental routes from Shanghai to Dublin, Manchester and Reykjavik, all with a stop in Helsinki, which it initially planned to launch in late March this year.
- Lufthansa Group to cut short-haul operations by “up to 25 per cent” Lufthansa Group says it will cut its short-haul operations in the coming weeks, “As a result of the current situation caused by the accelerated spread of the coronavirus”.
- easyJet to halt recruitment and offer unpaid leave easyJet said that it had seen “a significant softening of demand and load factors into and out of our Northern Italian bases”, as well “slower demand across our other European markets”. The airline said that as a result it would be cancelling “some flights, particularly those into and out of Italy, while continuing to monitor the situation and adapting our flying programme to support demand”.
UPDATE: 26 FEBRUARY 14:01
The National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) has provided updated general advice for foreign travel and how individuals can help reduce the spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 outbreak and specific advice for those travelling to category one locations (Wuhan city and Hubei Province (China); Iran; Daegu or Cheongdo (South Korea); and any Italian town under containment measures) or category two locations (Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, north Italy, Japan, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, Myanmar, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam).
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office continues to publish travel advice to China South Korea, Italy and other destinations via its public pages.
The Department for Health and Social Care and Public Health England have published the latest public advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19) here and will update this page with the latest situation in the UK at 14:00 every day, until further notice.
UPDATE: 7 FEBRUARY 13:30
Virgin Atlantic has issued the following advice:
Due to the ongoing situation with the Coronavirus the following Governments have made the decision to restrict entry for foreign visitors who have travelled to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau).
Customers due to travel to:
- Antigua or Barbuda who have been to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 28 days, will not be allowed to travel
Antiguan nationals are exempt from the restriction however will be subject to quarantine for 14 days on arrival if they have travelled to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 28 days
- Montego Bay Jamaica who have been to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days, will not be allowed to travel
Jamaican nationals are exempt from the restriction however will be subject to quarantine for 14 days on arrival if they have travelled to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days
- Tel Aviv Israel who have been to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days, will not be allowed to travel
Israeli nationals are exempt from the restriction however may be subject to quarantine on arrival if they have travelled to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days
- Mumbai, Delhi India who have been to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days, will not be allowed to travel
Indian nationals are exempt from the restriction however may be subject to quarantine on arrival if they have travelled to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days
- St. Lucia who have been to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days, will not be allowed to travel
St Lucia nationals are exempt from the restriction however will be subject to quarantine for 14 days on arrival if they have travelled to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days
- Grenada who have been to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days, will not be allowed to travel
Grenada nationals are exempt from the restriction however will be subject to quarantine for 14 days on arrival if they have travelled to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days
- Trinidad and Tobago who have been to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days, will not be allowed to travel
Trinidad and Tobago nationals are exempt from the restriction however may be subject to quarantine on arrival if they have travelled to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days.
Contact your GTM Account Manager for details of any refunds due on flights booked.
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office continues to offer the following advice:
1. The FCO advise against all travel to Hubei Province due to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak.
2. The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao). The British Consulates-General in Wuhan and Chongqing are currently closed. If you’re in China and able to leave, you should do so. The elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions may be at heightened risk.
3. The Chinese government continues to impose further restrictions on movement within China in response to the coronavirus outbreak. These restrictions include the closure of some provincial highways and inter-city high speed rail, tight control on entry and exit to villages and townships across the country, and restrictions on movement within some provinces, cities and municipalities including Chongqing, Zhejiang and Anhui. Some airlines, including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, have announced a suspension of flights to and from mainland China. Other commercial airlines are still operating, but it may become harder to access departure options over the coming weeks.
4. A number of countries have announced restrictions on entry by travellers from China in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Given the fast-changing situation, you should check the latest FCO travel advice (including entry requirements) for your destination and anywhere you are transiting through, and check with your airline before you travel.
UPDATE: 30 JANUARY 16:10
British Airways has issued a customer update confirming the planned end date of their current cancellations, in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The airline confirms that Shanghai and Beijing flights will be cancelled for all dates up to and including 29 February 2020. Flights to Hong Kong are unaffected.
UPDATE: 29 JANUARY 14:30
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has issued the following, additional information for travellers to China:
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise against all travel to Hubei Province due to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak. If you’re in this area and able to leave, you should do so.
The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao). The Chinese government continue to impose further restrictions on movement within China in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Some airlines, including British Airways, have suspended flights to and from mainland China. Other commercial airlines are still operating, but it may become harder over the coming weeks for those who wish to leave China to do so. If you feel that you may want to leave China soon, you should consider making plans to do so before any further restrictions may be imposed.
Due to increasing travel restrictions and difficulty accessing medical assistance, the FCO is working to make an option available for British nationals to leave Hubei Province. This may happen quickly and with short notice. If you’re a British national in Hubei Province and need assistance, contact our 24/7 number +86 (0) 10 8529 6600 or the FCO in London on (+44) (0)207 008 1500. If you have registered your desire to leave, you will be contacted once arrangements are confirmed.
The FCO has published the following PDF document, setting out the advised travel restrictions in place across China (opens in external site)
UPDATE: 27 JANUARY 20:45
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has issued the following, additional information for travellers to China:
The latest information is available on the FCO website, here:
UPDATE: 27 JANUARY 09:28
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has issued update travel advice:
We are working to make available an option for British nationals to leave Hubei province. If you are a British national in Hubei Province and require assistance, please contact:
· our 24/7 number +86 (0) 10 8529 6600
· or the FCO (+44) (0)207 008 1500
We continue to monitor developments closely and are in close touch with the Chinese authorities. The safety and security of British nationals is always our primary concern.
The TravelHealthPro website has further information on the spread of the Coronavirus outbreak https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/country/49/china#CIoutBreaks
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).
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 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.