The United States has declared a public health emergency regarding the coronavirus.
Major airlines have suspended flights to and from China until the mid-spring.
Mandatory federal quarantine and travel bans are being enforced in certain conditions, all to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
And travelers are fearful to step foot in the airports not knowing what to expect.
So how does this latest virus affect your travel?
Well for starters, if you had plans to work or play in China – don’t.
Not only has the State Department raised the threat alert to a level 4 (Do Not Travel) but you won’t even be able to get to China, really.
And why would you want to at this point?
The virus continues to spread with deaths occurring outside of China, and there still doesn’t seem to be a solution or end in sight.
Delta kicked off the U.S. airline travel ban and made the decision to suspend all U.S. flights to China starting February 1st until April 30th.
United is suspending flights to mainland China until March 28th.
American Airlines has now suspended all flights from mainland China through March 27th and more recently they added a suspension concerning flights from Los Angeles and Dallas to Hong Kong which are now suspended through February 20th.
Many passengers with previously scheduled flights are confused on how to get refunds or rebook their flights, as the information seems to change almost daily.
Mandatory Quarantines And Travel Bans
President Trump wasted no time declaring the coronavirus a public health emergency, and issued several restrictions to help keep Americans safe.
The United States has announced it will no longer allow foreigners who have traveled in or through China within the last 14 days from entering the United States (with a few exceptions for immediate family members of U.S. Citizens).
In addition, a mandatory 14-day quarantine is being instituted for all U.S. Citizens who have been in the Hubei province (where Wuhan is located) where they can be screened to make sure they do not have the coronavirus.
For U.S. citizens coming from other parts of China, they will also undergo screening and monitoring with two weeks of self-quarantine.
Hazmat Suits And Spray Guns
Around the world, other countries are taking the spread of the coronavirus just as seriously.
Passengers who traveled from Wuhan to Indonesia were greeted by men in hazmat suits, who literally hosed down each passenger front to back as they got off the plane.
Australia banned anyone who traveled from or through mainland China from entering Australia – causing chaos with international students missing the start of their courses.
Other countries have tightened their borders encouraging their citizens not to travel to China or restricting flights altogether.
A Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan was quarantined after one of the passengers tested positive for the coronavirus.
According to CNN thousands of people are quarantined as medical officials go room to room to check temperatures and symptoms.
Some cruise lines have issued new restrictions prohibiting guests who have been to China or traveled through the mainland within the last two weeks.
China is angry at Trump and the United States for restricting travel with those who have been in China, and accused the U.S. of ulterior motives.
The Guardian reported:
“The Chinese government criticised the measures, saying it contradicted the World Health Organization’s (WHO) appeal to avoid travel bans and implied that Beijing was not doing enough to contain the virus’s spread beyond China’s borders.
“Just as the WHO recommended against travel restrictions, the US rushed in the opposite direction,” said foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying. “[It is] certainly not a gesture of goodwill.”
With the days ahead, it will be interesting to see if China can get ahold of the virus, or if even more restrictions will need to be set up.
One thing is for sure – it’s clear the world is not prepared to handle the spread of a virus on a large-scale.
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