Tourism Australia Update 03.02.2020
Countries close borders to travellers from China
Approximately 63 countries have increased border restrictions for travellers from China. Singapore, Italy, the USA, New Zealand, and Australia have introduced the most extensive measures.
Airlines continue to suspend or reduce flights to and from China
Airlines are continuing to reduce or suspend flights to and from mainland China, mainly as a response to declining demand for travel to that country. You can track flight changes here.
Cruise ships suspend operations to and from China
In accordance with the 24 January directive from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to suspend group tours, cruise ship operators in China have suspended operations. On 26 January major international cruise liners Royal Caribbean, MSC an Costa Cruises announced voyages would be cancelled through mid-February. By 30 January all international cruise ships to/from Shanghai were suspended by the companies not by Chinese authorities. Industry association Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) – which represents most of the major cruise liners – has advised its member cruise liners have suspended crew movements from mainland China and will deny boarding to any individual, whether guest or crew, who has travelled from or through mainland China within the previous 14 days. Additional health screening measures would also be implemented.
A useful summary of cruise ship cancellations and passenger restrictions can be found here.
Still no WHO recommendation to restrict international travel
The WHO continues to advise against any restrictions on international travel or trade.
Global cases of coronavirus continue to rise – first death outside China
There are now over 17000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus across at least 23 countries (including Spain, Sweden, Russia and the UK). Of the confirmed cases approximately 180 are outside China. The global death toll has risen to over 360 and the first death outside of China recorded in the Philippines. Over 480 people are said to have recovered from the virus, including 5 in Thailand and 1 in Vietnam.
For more information regarding confirmed and recovered cases visit this heat map.
Anti-Asian sentiment grows in the wake of the coronavirus
Reports of racism against people of Asian appearance have been reported in a number of countries including France, Canada and Australia. It’s our collective responsibility to ensure that people understand the facts about the transmission of this virus to keep these incidents to a minimum, to ensure a speedy recovery from our largest market.
Confirmed cases of coronavirus continue to rise in China
China is reported to have 17335 confirmed and over 12000 suspected cases of the coronavirus. Of these approximately 1300 have been classified as severe.
Bird flu outbreak in Hunan Province
China has reported an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu in Hunan Province and has culled 18,000 chickens.
Australia announces entry restrictions to non-citizens travelling from China
The Australian Government has announced temporary border restrictions on entry to Australia for travellers from, or transiting through, China (with the exception of Australian permanent residents) after 1 February. These measures will be reviewed in 14 days. Australia also raised its overall travel advice for mainland China to ‘Level 4 – Do Not Travel’ and introduced a requirement for all travellers arriving out of mainland China (not just Hubei Province) to self-isolate for a period of fourteen days.
The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) has issued updated isolation requirements for hotel & tourism operators
The Chief Medical Officer today issued updated medical advice for hotel and tourism operators on the new requirements for self-isolation as follows
- Any person who left Hubei Province less than 14 days ago (isolate until 14 days after they left Hubei
- Any identified close contacts of proven cases of novel coronavirus (isolate until 14 days after last contact with the proven case)
- Any person who left, or transited through, mainland China on or after 1 February 2020 (isolate until 14 days after leaving China).
Qantas suspends flights to and from mainland China
On 2 February Qantas announced a suspension of its two direct China flights effective 9 February to 29 March 2020 citing logistical challenges for rostering crew to operate these services in the wake of entry restrictions imposed by countries including Singapore and the United States.
There is no change to Qantas services to Hong Kong.
Confirmed cases of coronavirus continue to rise in Australia
Twelve cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Australia, two in Queensland, two in South Australia, four in Victoria and four in New South Wales (as at 3 February). In addition, 17 cases that meet the suspected case definition have been reported by several states and territories and are under investigation: Victoria (9 cases), Western Australia (2 cases), and New South Wales (6 cases).
The coronavirus situation is constantly evolving. For up-to-date and accurate information, the following websites are both trusted sources and regularly updated
**This information is up to date as of 5:00PM 03.02.2020**
Coronavirus Update #7
The Australian government has initiated a range of necessary safety precautions to help contain the outbreak of the coronavirus in Australia. Please find a link below through to the statement from the Chief medical offices of Australia and each of the states and territories outlining the restrictions that were introduced effectively Saturday afternoon
Over the weekend the association initiated immediate discussions with Tourism Australia, The Federal Minister for Tourism and his Ministerial Staff and a range of key industry stakeholders.
TAA will be working hard on behalf of the industry to address challenges and act quickly to get the best outcomes for the industry.
This is an evolving situation and will impact tourism operators in many different ways
The Australian Government Department of Health has the latest medical advice.
- People who have been in contact with confirmed coronavirus cases must be isolated in their home for 14 days after exposure.
- Returned travellers who have been in China must self-isolate in their home for 14 days after leaving China other than for seeking individual medical care.
- Chinese travellers have had a temporary restriction imposed and are currently unable to travel to Australia at this time.
The Australian Department of Health’s Chief Medical Officer has provided a specific coronavirus update for hotel and tourism operators.
The Department also released two fact sheets with more specific advice regarding the coronavirus. There are separate factsheets for Hotels and Hotel Staff and Hotel Guests. They include information about preventive action staff and guests should take and the restrictions that now apply to anyone who has been in China in the past 14 days.
Further information about the coronavirus and how to manage it is available on the Department of Health website.
The World Health Organisation has these standard recommendations for the general public to reduce exposure to, and transmission of, a range of illnesses, including coronavirus.
Airlines continue to suspend or reduce flights to China
Airlines are continuing to reduce or suspend flights to and from mainland China, mainly as a response to declining demand for travel to that country. Qantas recently joining many others now suspending flights to and out of mainland China. You can track flight changes here.
Global cases of coronavirus continue to rise
There are now over 14000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus across the globe. The global death toll has risen to over 300.
Some have recovered from the virus
For more information regarding confirmed and recovered cases visit the heat map.
**This information is up to date as of 8:00AM 03.02.2020**
Information for Hotel and Travel Operators
Following the Chief Medical Officer’s advice yesterday the Department has now developed two fact sheets with more specific advice regarding the novel coronavirus infection (2019-nCoV).
Please find one factsheet for hotel management and staff and the other for hotel guests. They include more information about preventive action staff and guests should take and the restrictions that now apply to anyone who has been in Hubei Province, China in the past 14 days.
The restrictions the department has recommended are highly precautionary measure. They still believe that people are unlikely to be infectious if they are well.
We will continue to provide regular updates on this emerging situation as information becomes available.
If your staff have further concerns, they should contact their state or territory public health authority on the below numbers:
- ACT call 02 5124 9213 during business hours or (02) 9962 4155 after hours
- NSW call 1300 066 055
- NT call 08 8922 8044
- Qld call 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84)
- SA call 1300 232 272
- Tas call 1800 671 738
- Vic call 1300 651 160
- WA call 08 9328 0553
**This information is up to date as of 12:30PM Friday 31.01.2020**