This information is correct as 10 February 2020
The Accommodation Association is working with all State and Federal authorities to ensure there is clear and timely information available to members on this emerging issue. Members and travellers should know that Australia has well-established procedures to ensure people with illnesses travelling into the country are detected at the border. Australia already requires passengers who show signs of an infectious disease, including fever, sweats or chills, to report their illness to aircrew and this function is undertaken by Biosecurity Officers at the point of arrival so they can be assessed.
We developed this factsheet to help you understand the announcement by the Federal Government on 1 February 2020 to limit the arrivals of visitors from mainland China.
The Australian Government has advised that their is no current date to lift this ban. This position is due to be reviewed on 14 February 2020.
Impact on the Australian tourism industry
On 28 January 2020 China’s National Immigration Administration advised Chinese citizens to postpone all “non-essential” overseas travel. We will provide more information when it comes to hand, but our initial understanding is that this is an advice rather than an outright ban.
This is in addition to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism notice for all tourism operators to suspend group tours and tour packages (domestic and international) effective 27 January until further notice. Visitors coming to Australia through the Approved Destination Scheme (ADS) currently make up 24% of total visitors and those members who are directly impacted by this decision should make contact with the Association.
Current impact on air connectivity to and from Australia from China
On 1 February 2020 the Australian Government announced that all visitors arriving from mainland China will not be allowed to enter Australia for 14 days, from the time they have left or transited through mainland China
This excludes Australian citizens and permanent residents and their immediate family members (spouses, legal guardians or dependants only). This exemption will be extended to airline crews who have been using appropriate personal protective equipment.
Impact on cruise services to Australia from China
On 7 February 2020, CLIA ocean-going member cruise lines agreed to adopt further enhanced screening measures intended to address the industry’s exposure to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. As follows:
- CLIA Members are to deny boarding to all persons who have traveled from, visited or transited via airports in China, including Hong Kong and Macau, within 14 days before embarkation.
- CLIA Members are to deny boarding to all persons who, within 14 days before embarkation, have had close contact with, or helped care for, anyone suspected or diagnosed as having Coronavirus, or who is currently subject to health monitoring for possible exposure to Novel Coronavirus.
CLIA Members are to conduct preboarding screening necessary to effect these prevention measures. Enhanced screening and initial medical support are to be provided, as needed, to any persons exhibiting symptoms of suspected coronavirus.
How to prevent the virus spreading - Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC)
While the evidence for pre-symptomatic transmission is currently limited, AHPPC has advised a highly precautionary approach and released the following new recommendations:
- People who have been in contact with any confirmed novel coronavirus cases must be isolated in their home for 14 days following exposure;
- Returned travellers who have been in Hubei Province of China must be isolated in their home for 14 days after leaving Hubei Province, other than for seeking individual medical care;
- Given the lower number of cases in China reported outside of Hubei province, AHPPC does not currently recommend self-isolation for travellers from other parts of China or other countries. AHPPC is closely monitoring the development of cases outside of Hubei province and will update this advice if necessary.
Global changes in aviation
- Qantas has cased all flights to mainland china for 14 days start 1 February 2020
- Virgin Australia has permanently withdrawn all flights to Hong Kong with the final flight being 2 March 2020
- Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Group has announced plans to progressively reduce flights to and from mainland China by 50 per cent or more from today until the end of March, citing low demand and the city government's response plan to the virus. Cathay Pacific Group previously operated 480 flights per week to/from mainland China.
- Lufthansa and its Swiss and Austrian subsidiaries, which said all flights to Beijing, Shanghai are suspended until at least 29 February 2020. Nanjing, Shenyang and Qingdao will continue to be suspended until 28 March 2020. Hong Kong is unaffected.
- Air Canada has suspended all flights to Beijing and Shanghai from 30 January until 29 February. Air Canada previously operated 33 flights per week.
- United Airlines has cancelled all flights between the USA and mainland China effective 6 February 2020 and will not return any earlier then 28 March
- United Airlines has now cancelled all flights to Hong Kong until 20 February 2020
- Delta Airlines has cancelled all flights between the USA and mainland China and will not return any earlier then 30 April.
- American Airlines has cancelled flights between Los Angeles and mainland China from 7 February to 27 March.
- American Airlines has also cancelled all flights to Hong Kong until 20 February 2020
- Lion Air Group and Batik Air announced the suspension of all flights to China during the month of February. Lion Air had more than 50 flights per week to China. Batik Air had 10 flights per week.
- Jetstar Asia has suspended flights from Singapore to Hefei, Guiyang and Xuzhou from 31 Jan to 31 March. Jetstar has offered optional cancellation/rebooking after 31 March for all Jetstar passengers with flights to, from or via mainland China between 24 Jan and 31 March.
- Finnair has cancelled its three weekly flights to Beijing and two weekly flights to Nanjing through end March.
- Air India is suspending Delhi-Shanghai flights, which operate six times a week, from 31 January until February 14.
- Jetstar Asia will temporarily suspend flights to the Chinese cities of Hefei, Guiyang and Xuzhou starting 30 January through the end of March due to a drop in demand.
- South Korea's second-largest carrier, Asiana Airlines, has suspend flights to the Chinese cities of Guilin, Changsha and Haikou.
- Korean Air, South Korea's biggest airline, said it is also considering grounding some of its flights to mainland China as passenger demand drops. Korean Air had operated four flights a week to the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, before suspending them on 23 January 2020.