A lot of updates and announcements are rolling out regarding the various destinations that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the constant flow of information, travel advisories, and flight suspensions, it can be challenging to stay on top of the most recent rules.
We are here to provide clarity on the situation and break down which destinations travelers should avoid due to the coronavirus pandemic.
With international cases of coronavirus continuing to rise, a few countries have temporarily suspended tourism, taking it a step further to limit movement in and out of their countries.
With the largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases outside of China, authorities in Italy decided to extend their quarantine restrictions to the entire country.
All public gatherings and sporting events in Italy have also been canceled.
Similarly, the Ministry of Health of India announced on Wednesday that it would be suspending all travel visas with few exceptions until April 15, starting on Friday, March 13.
Additionally, the Chief Minister of Manipur took the precautionary action of closing the India-Myanmar border in an attempt to contain the further transmission of coronavirus.
The office of Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau announced on Thursday evening that he is in self-isolation after his wife, Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, began experiencing “mild flu-like symptoms” following a speaking engagement in London, England.
She has since tested positive for coronavirus.
While the Prime Minister himself is not displaying any symptoms, as a precautionary measure, he will remain in isolation for 14 days.
The Canadian government currently has several active travel health notices for coronavirus, with each country having varying levels of risk.
The current list of destinations with travel health notices for coronavirus for Canada are as follows:
In an Oval Office address held on Wednesday afternoon, President Trump announced that travel between the United States and Europe would be suspended for 30 days, beginning Friday, March 13. The travel ban excludes Britain.
The president explained that this decision was made because the European Union did not address its COVID-19 situation quickly enough.
The United States has issued travel advisories to the following destinations:
- China (Level 3)
- Iran (Level 3)
- Most of Europe (Level 3 Travel Health Notice)
- South Korea (Level 3 Travel Health Notice)
Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation suspending the entry of most foreign nationals who have visited specific European countries within the Schengen Area at any point in the past two weeks before their arrival in the United States.
Those countries are as follows:
- Czech Republic
The rule does not apply to legal permanent US residents, immediate family members of US citizens (generally), and other specific individuals mentioned in the proclamation.
In an update posted on their website on Tuesday, American Airlines announced additional adjustments to its schedule resulting from the decrease in demand amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Flights to Asian destinations, including mainland China, Hong Kong, Seoul, and Tokyo, will be impacted by these changes, and flight suspension information regarding various airports has been updated.
Similarly, service to European destinations, including Rome, Milan, Venice, Barcelona, Madrid, and Paris, have also experienced changes that can be read in the updated announcement.
Flights to South America, including service to Uruguay and Chili, are also impacted.
The airline states that it will be reducing its international capacity for the summer peak season by 10%, including a 55% decrease in trans-Pacific capacity.
Similarly, Air Canada has also extended its suspensions of flights for a multitude of destinations, including flights between Canada and Beijing and Shanghai, China, until April 30.
The airline also has extended suspensions of its non-stop flight from Toronto to Hong Kong until May 30.
Non-stop flights from Toronto to Seoul, South Korea, will be suspended until May 31 due to a decrease in market demand. However, the airline’s non-stop route from Vancouver to Seoul will accommodate passengers initially booked on the direct flight out of Toronto.
The non-stop flight between Calgary and Tokyo will be suspended until June 29, but the non-stop Vancouver route will accommodate those booked initially to fly out of Calgary.
Due to the closure of Italy’s borders, Air Canada suspended all services between Canada and Italy as of March 11.
Similarly, due to recent regulations announced by the Israeli government, Air Canada will be temporarily suspending its daily service between Canada and Israel beginning on March 17.
Lufthansa flights to mainland China have been suspended until April 24, and flights to Hong Kong will be reduced in March and April.
Flights will also be suspended to and from Tehran, Iran, until April 30,.
Delta Airlines is permitting its customers to make one-time alterations to their travel plans for no charge if those plans include the cities of Seoul, South Korea (through May 31), Beijing and Shanghai, China (through May 31), and all locations in Italy (through May 31).
The airline is also reducing the capacity of flights as a result of a decrease in demand. Domestic flights across the US will be decreased by 10-15%, and Latin American flights will be trimmed by 5%.
United Airlines is providing refunds to passengers with un-flown flights to China because of the coronavirus pandemic as well as change fees and waiving fare differences for new flights departing between January 24 and June 30, permitting the travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin and between the same cities as the original tickets.
The same rules apply for United flights to Hong Kong (for flights departing between January 28 and June 30), South Korea (for flights departing between February 24 and June 30), and Northern Italy (for flights departing between February 27 and June 30).
For a full break down of the various airlines’ updates, you can find them here:
In an announcement posted on their website on Thursday, Princess Cruises stated that they would be voluntarily suspending their services temporarily for 60 days due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The pause in service will impact the operations of 18 ships and will last from now until May 10.
Additionally, Viking River Cruises also issued a statement on their website explaining that they would also be suspending their operations of both river and sea cruises for voyages taking place between March 12 and April 30.
In terms of sectors within the overall travel industry, cruise lines have been suffering particularly severely with ships such as the Diamond Princess and Grand Princess receiving substantial media coverage for confirmed cases onboard their vessels.
The coronavirus pandemic is sending shockwaves through the entire travel industry, and travelers are growing increasingly concerned regarding their health and safety. It is wise, in times like these, to instill best practices and remain informed regarding any new information surrounding travel advisories and government policies.
If you do plan on traveling, conduct the best prevention practices. Wash your hands frequently, refrain from touching your face, and avoid contact with sick people.
For more information regarding how you can protect yourself from coronavirus, visit the World Health Organization website.