The current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was first reported from Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019. In the UK, the Department of Health has given the police the authority to force anyone into quarantine when needed. This new regulation comes into place after one British patient tried to get away from the Arrowe Park Facility. In there, some patients were quarantined for COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) At the time of writing, there are already 9 confirmed cases in the country. If you would like to know more about the disease, please click here >
In Brighton, a staff member in a GP practice tested positive which resulted in the practice being shut down temporarily. The UK government has now declared the disease a serious and a threat to public health.
One passenger on EasyJet from Geneva to Gatwick also tested positive for the disease which prompted the health ministry to find the other passengers that seated in close proximity with the said passenger. This is presently ongoing and more details can be seen on the Easyjet website.
Update 28/02/2020: the Geneva Motor Show is cancelled amid fears of coronavirus after one case was found in Switzerland.
How COVID-19 affected airlines.
Restrictions on travels have been set because of the outbreak and a number of airlines are suspending some flights until this threat diminishes.
Flights going to Beijing and Shanghai have been cancelled by British Airways. It will last until March 31, 2020, while the returning flights will be cancelled until the 1st of April, 2020.
Virgin Atlantic already released a statement for passengers who are travelling to Hongkong. “If you are due to travel to Hong Kong and have visited China (excluding Macau) in the past 14 days, you will not be allowed to travel.
Passengers who have flight-only bookings can get a full refund on all of the unused parts of their tickets and a partial refund for those that have already commenced. The ones who have booked a holiday package will need to call their travel agent directly to ask for a refund.
How COVID 19 Affected Cruise lines.
One of the Caribbean Cruises ships has returned to Fort Lauderdale. Indeed, more than 300 people on board have fallen ill. It was said that there are 229 passengers and 22 crew members sick, vomiting and having diarrhoea. Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago did not grant the ship access to the port. The travel agency released the following statement.
“The quarantine end date remains on February 19, unless there are any unforeseen developments.”
The cruise line offered 50% refund to all its guests and also a credit note that valued at 50% for the passengers’ future travel for the inconvenience that they have experienced.
The Royal Caribbean Cruises are putting regulations in order to protect their guests and their crew against COVID 19. The said company is refusing boarding to all passengers and crew who have a passport from Hongkong, China or Macao. They also issued a statement telling passengers about their rights if in case they no longer want to travel. More information about the statement is on their website.
Norwegian Cruise lines also denied passengers with passports from Hongkong, China and Macau. They said: “Guests who have travelled from visited or transported via airports in China, including Hong Kong and Macau, within 30 days of their voyage embarkation, regardless of nationality, will not be allowed to board any of our vessels.”
The impact of COVID 19 on China
The coronavirus disease has now claimed more than 1,000 lives and has now infected more than 42,000. Hongkong suspended cross-border travels and services in order to stop the spread of the said disease.
In addition, China also implemented closures of transportation and a non-issuance of visas for travellers to Hongkong. In order to raise awareness, China has launched an online app. This will allow people to check themselves and see if they are at risk. It will alert users if they are in proximity to someone who has been confirmed or suspected ill.
Holidaymakers who have booked through a travel agency should know that they are not likely to receive any compensation. Once the FCO lifts the ban though, the travel will be back to normal.
Before travelling – useful information
The coronavirus outbreak puts huge pressure on airlines and travellers. Before going abroad, remember to make sure your passport is still valid. If you want to renew a passport, click here > We also recommend you to travel with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). To know more about the EHIC, click here >