You may have heard about the outbreak of the coronavirus that news outlets have been covering lately. Should you be worried? Before you think of cancelling your flights, make sure you have all the facts. With that in mind, we unpack everything you need to know about the coronavirus.
What is the coronavirus?
Coronavirus refers to a family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).
The current news revolves around a new coronavirus, which is simply known as a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). It was first reported in Wuhan City, China, and there have been reports of it in other countries. It was transmitted through contact with livestock and dead animals in the markets in Wuhan City initially and later via infected individuals.
General safety tips
While you can’t always assume someone has contracted the new coronavirus if they start coughing or sneezing suddenly, however, to be sure, there are ways you can protect yourself.
- Wash your hands thoroughly throughout the day with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever or cough
- Stay away from markets selling live animals and avoid unprotected contact with animals
- Avoid eating raw or undercooked foods. Use different boards and utensils for raw and cooked foods.
If you develop a fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing, take note of the following:
- When coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or flexed elbow – throw the tissue away immediately and wash your hands
- Avoid spitting in public
- Avoid close contact with other people to prevent infection
- Seek medical attention immediately and share your previous travel history with your health care provider
What to expect at the airport
Travellers at Nigerian airports are now being screened, especially those arriving from destinations in Asia.
Enhanced temperature screenings will take place for all international travellers from China. These screenings will detect if a passenger shows symptoms of a fever. If an alert is raised, the passenger will need to provide the authorities with a detailed travel history and a medical examination at the airport’s health facility. Any passenger with a potential infection of the virus will go into quarantine before they are sent to a designated hospital.
Which flights to China are suspended?
Currently, flights to China from Nigeria are still available. But some airlines have suspended their flights.
From 29 January 2020, British Airways, Lion Air and Air Seoul cancelled their itineraries for travel to China.
Other airlines have made partial cancellations:
- United Airlines – 24 flights suspended, from Chicago to Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai between 1-8 February.
- China Airlines – flights to China postponed until 10 February.
- Air Canada – 33 of its weekly flights to China have been suspended.
- Cathay Pacific – half of their flights to China have been reduced between 29 January and the end of March
From 30 January, more airlines followed suit:
- AirAsia – A ban on flights from Kota Kinabalu, Bangkok and Phuket to Wuhan until the end of February.
- Air Austral – Flights between La Reunion and Guangzhou from 8 February to 1 March are suspended.
- Air France – The three weekly flights to Wuhan have been suspended. Flights to Beijing and Shanghai have been suspended until 9 February.
- Air India – The Mumbai-New Delhi-Shanghai route has been suspended until 14 February. Flights between Delhi and Hong Kong have been reduced for two weeks.
- Air Madagascar – The once-weekly flight between Antananarivo and Guangzhou has been suspended during February.
- American Airlines – flights from Los Angeles to Beijing and Shanghai have been suspended between 9 February and 27 March.
- Delta Air Lines – Only 21 flights are currently operating from the US to China. A new schedule will be in effect from 9 February to 30 April.
- EgyptAir – Flights to Hangzhou from February have been suspended and those to Beijing and Guangzhou from 4 February.
- Emirates – Some flights have been suspended from February 5, but a service to Beijing still continues.
- Etihad – Some flights have been suspended from February 5, but a service to Beijing still continues.
- El Al – Flights to Beijing have been suspended until 25 March.
- Finnair – Group travel from China has been halted. Some other flights will be suspended from 5 February through to most of March.
- IndiGo – Flights between Delhi and Chengdu, and between Bangalore and Hong Kong have been suspended until 20 February.
- Iberia – Flights to Shanghai have been suspended.
- KLM – All flights to China have been suspended.
- Lufthansa – Flights to China have been cancelled until 9 February.
- Myanmar Airways International – Flights to 10 Chinese cities have been suspended.
- Myanmar National Airlines – Flights between Hong Kong and Chengdu have been halted.
- Royal Air Maroc – Flights from Casablanca to Beijing have been suspended until 29 February.
- Scandinavian Airlines – Direct flights to Beijing and Shanghai have been suspended until 9 February.
- Singapore Airlines – Some flights to China have been cancelled.
- Qatar Airways – Suspended until further notice.
- Turkish Airlines – Flights to Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Xian have been suspended until 9 February.
- Ukraine International Airlines – Flights to Hainan have been suspended until 24 February.
- Urals Airlines – Flights from China to Paris and Rome have been suspended.
From 31 January 2020, the following airlines suspended their routes to Chinese destinations:
- Air Mauritius – To Shanghai *
- Kenya Airways – To Guangzhou
* A hotline has opened for all passengers who wish to modify their travel arrangements. For Mauritius, please contact +230 2077575 and for China, +86 021 – 6330 0538.
What about visas and ports of entry?
China has suspended pending visa applications for Nigeria as a way to protect travellers. Other countries in the world have taken other preventative measures.
- Antigua and Barbuda – Passengers who have been in China in the past month are not allowed to enter Antigua and Barbuda.
- Australia – If you have transited through or have been in China on or after 1 February 2020, you will not be allowed to transit or enter Australia.
- The Bahamas – Passengers who have been in China in the past 22 days are not allowed to enter.
- Bangladesh – If you are arriving from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong or Macau, you must have a medical certificate proving you are free from the novel coronavirus.
- Cook Island – Passengers who have been in China in the past 16 days are not allowed to enter Cook Island.
- Fiji – If you have been in China in the past 16 days, you are not allowed to enter Fiji.
- Guatemala – Should you have been to China in the past 17 days, you will not be allowed to enter Guatemala.
- India – Passengers arriving from China and have an e-visa are not allowed to enter India.
- Indonesia – Should have been spending time in China in the past 16 days, you will not be allowed to enter or transit through Indonesia.
- Iraq – If you have been in China in the past 16 days, you will not be allowed to enter Iraq.
- Israel – Passengers who have been in China (People’s Rep.) in the past 14 days are not allowed to enter Israel.
- Jamaica – Should you have been travelling in China, you will have to go into immediate quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.
- Japan – If you have been to the Hubei Province in China in the past 16 days, you will not be allowed to enter Japan.
- Jordan – Passengers who have been to China in the past 16 days are not allowed to enter Jordan.
- South Korea – Should you have been spending time in the Hubei Province of China in the past 16 days, you will not be allowed to enter South Korea.
- North Korea – Tourists are not allowed to enter. Business travellers must spend 14 days in quarantine upon arrival.
- Macao – Passengers who have been in the Hubei Province in the past 16 days must present a certificate issued by a legal medical institution proving they are not infected with the novel coronavirus.
- The Maldives – You cannot enter the Maldives if you have been to China in the last 16 days.
- The Marshall Islands – If you are arriving from China, Hong Kong or Macao, you are cannot enter the Marshall Islands.
- Mauritius – You will not be free to enter Mauritius if you have been to China, Taiwan, Hong Kong or Macao in the past 16 days.
- Micronesia (Federated States) – Passengers who have been to China on or after 6 January 2020 will not be allowed to enter Micronesia.
- Mongolia – If you have been to the Hubei Province in the past month, you will not be able to enter or transit through Mongolia.
- Myanmar – You will not be able to get a visa on arrival if you are travelling from China.
- New Zealand – Passengers who have travelled to or transited through China on or after 2 February 2020 will not be allowed to enter or transit through New Zealand.
- The Philippines – If you have been to China, Hong Kong, or Macao in the past 16 days, you will not be allowed to enter the Philippines.
- Samoa – You will have to spend 14 days in quarantine before arriving in Samoa if you have been in or transited through countries with confirmed coronavirus cases. You must also have medical clearance issued 3 days before your arrival.
- Singapore – Passengers who have been in China in the past 16 days are not allowed to enter or transit through Singapore.
- Solomon Island – If you have been in or transited through China in the past 16 days, you cannot enter Solomon Island. This also applies to passengers who have transited through Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru and Papua New Guinea.
- USA – You cannot enter the United States if you have been in China in the past 16 days.
- Vanuatu – Passengers travelling from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong or Macao must have a medical certificate proving they are free from the novel coronavirus.
- Vietnam – If you have been to or transited through China in the past 16 days you cannot enter Vietnam.
We will update this page as new information gets released.
Make sure to stay updated on your flight status.
All information on this blog page was correct at the time of publishing and may change at any time without prior notice. Travelstart will not be held liable for loss or inconvenience resulting from the use of out-dated or incorrectly noted information.