Flights and tours to China are being cancelled as The World Health Organisation declares the coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
China’s Ministry of Health has confirmed there are currently 7,711 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 12,167 suspected cases throughout the country.
Of the confirmed cases, 1,370 are severe and 170 people have died. 124 people have recovered and been discharged from hospital.
The latest findings reported on WHO show there are now 83 cases of the virus in 18 countries, including Australia.
Of these, only seven had no history of travel in China.
WHO believes that it is still possible to interrupt virus spread, provided that countries put in place strong measures to detect disease early, isolate and treat cases and trace contacts.
Your clients, especially those with upcoming travel plans in China, will likely have many questions for you right now.
The official advice from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and The Department of Health is not to travel to the Hubei Province and to “reconsider your need to travel to China” in general.
Some airlines, including British Airways, are cancelling or limiting flights to and from China. You can read more about that here.
This morning, Air New Zealand confirmed it is temporarily reducing its Shanghai operations as it prepares for a decline in demand for travel between New Zealand and China.
The airline currently operates seven return services per week between Auckland and Shanghai. From 18 February to 31 March, this will reduce to four return flights per week.
In terms of tours to china, we know that On The Go Tours has cancelled all its upcoming trips to China. You can find more information on that here.
World Expeditions has also confirmed it has cancelled trips imminently departing to China and is offering refunds to passengers with travel booked to mainland China between now and 30 April 2020.
World Expeditions CEO, Sue Badyari, said travellers’ safety is paramount.
“The closure of some of China’s iconic sites, coupled with this unfolding situation, make it impossible to provide assurances to customers who are travelling in the weeks and months ahead,” she said.
“We feel this decision responds to the situation and addresses our customers’ concerns,” she said.
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