Coronavirus: what's the latest?

Coronavirus Update

Latest update as of 8th April

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice. If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available.

 

Stay at home

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
  • If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • Do not meet others, even friends or family.

 

Latest update as of 25th March

Any country or area may restrict travel without notice. If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available. Many airlines are suspending flights and many airports are closing, preventing flights from leaving.

 

Latest update as of 23rd March 2020

If you're abroad:

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises British people against all but essential travel worldwide due to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions. You must follow the advice of local authorities. Your safety and security is the responsibility of the local authority where you are. If you wish to leave the country you are in, contact your airline or travel company and your insurance provider as soon as you are able, and keep up to date with the latest developments. International travel has become significantly more difficult.

If the local authority where you are proposes to quarantine you for your own protection, you should follow their advice. When you are abroad, your safety and security is their responsibility. If there are suspected cases of coronavirus where you are, you may need to remain in your hotel room or accommodation for 14 days, move to quarantine facilities, take tests for coronavirus and, if positive in some cases, be hospitalised abroad.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) now advises British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. This advice takes effect immediately and applies initially for a period of 30 days.

Latest update as of 17 March 2020

In response to coronavirus measures, the FCO is advising against all and all but essential travel to some countries, cities and regions. It is vital to check the travel advice to the country you are travelling to. 

We have compiled a list of advice per destination as per the FCO, which can be found here.

Many countries and territories have introduced screening measures (such as temperature checks and health/travel questions) and entry restrictions at border crossings and transport hubs.

As a result of updates from governments and local authorities, some airlines are changing their schedules or suspending flights for some destinations. Please get in touch with your Personal Travel Consultant if you have any questions surrounding your upcoming travel plans. 

If you are aged 70 and over, or if you have underlying health conditions, the FCO advise against cruise ship travel at this time.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) now advises British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. This advice takes effect immediately and applies initially for a period of 30 days.

Latest update as of 10 March 2020

The latest official advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office sees China still off limits, along with three cities in South Korea,  the whole of Italy and 4 islands in the Maldives (Kuredu, Vilemendhu, Batalaa and Kuramathi Island Resorts).

The FCO is NOT advising against travel to any other country/territory as a result of coronavirus risks.

To check advice for the specific country you are looking to visit, please check official advice here (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice)

Barring these countries that are ‘off limits’, this means that travel advice to the remaining 193 countries in the world is unaffected by the coronavirus.

Number crunching

While the spread of Covid-19 continues to hit the headlines, it’s important to remain focused on the facts. More than 70% of cases of the outbreak are in China. Italy is currently accounting for 8% of worldwide cases; Iran for 7% and South Korea for 6.5%. Of the 100 countries or territories to have reported cases, 66 have less than 20 people who have reported positive to the virus and 44 report less than five people – unlike in China where that figure is 80,904. (https://www.statista.com/statistics/1043366/novel-coronavirus-2019ncov-cases-worldwide-by-country/)

To curb the spread of the virus, passengers may have to comply with enhanced health screening procedures at arrival and departure areas in many countries – a small price to pay for peace of mind.

As are all government bodies and travel suppliers, Not Just Travel is reviewing the situation on an ongoing basis. We are working closely with operators to ensure our customers are given up-to-date advice.

Many operators are now offering more flexible terms and waiving charges for changes should you need to alter your plans. Call us now and we can give you full details.

We’re also seeing a flood of amazing offers.  As a company, we’ll always act responsibly to sell you the right holiday for you. If you book a holiday package through us and the  FCO advice for that destination subsequently changes, then you’ll be offered an alternative or a refund.

 

Latest updated as of 3rd March 2020

The FCO is currently advising against all travel to Hubei Province, and against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China. If you’re in China and able to leave, you should do so. See the latest travel advice for China.

The FCO is also advising:

·       against all travel to the city of Daegu and all but essential travel to the city Cheongdo, in South Korea

·       against all but essential travel to 10 small towns in the Lombardy region and 1 in the Veneto region of Italy

See the latest travel advice for South Korea and Italy.

The FCO is not advising against travel to any other country/territory as a result of coronavirus risks.

FCO travel advice remains under constant review to ensure it reflects our latest assessment of risks to British people. 

How serious is it?

“It’s important to note that just under 90% of cases remain in China – predominantly in Hubei province, where the virus originated late last year.

Of the nearly 8,800 cases outside China, 81% are in four countries - Iran, South Korea, Italy and Japan. All these countries are working hard to contain the spread.

The World Health Organisation says the virus appears to particularly affect those over 60, and people already ill.

About 81% of people who are infected with the coronavirus have mild cases of COVID-19, according to a study published by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Scientists currently think the proportion of people dying from the disease is low (between 1% and 2%) and evidence suggests those who have died were elderly or had pre-existing conditions.

It’s worth noting that 400,000 people die each year from seasonal flu.

But with the virus in its early stages, and many milder cases not yet counted, the figures are still unreliable.

Latest update as of 5pm on Tuesday 25th February 2020:

In light of the recent escalation in coronavirus outbreaks and recent news of its spread to Italy and, as of this afternoon, to Tenerife, naturally there is concern for those due to travel overseas – particularly to southeast Asia and those countries currently affected.

However, it is important that, while not underestimating the seriousness of the situation, advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Public Health England is followed. These authorities are monitoring the situation closely and are currently advising against all travel to Hubei Province in China – the source of the outbreak - and against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China. If you’re in China and able to leave, you should do so.

Likewise, they advise against all but essential travel to Daegu and Cheongdo in South Korea due to the ongoing outbreak.

The FCO is not advising against travel to any other country/territory as a result of coronavirus risks, meaning that all travel is safe and there is no reason for plans to be changed.

FCO

The FCO, along with suppliers and tour operators, are looking into the situation on an ongoing basis and if a destination is officially deemed unsuitable for travel, all bookings to the restricted areas will subject to a full refund.

Please note: if you choose to cancel your holiday to regions that have not been currently earmarked as being ‘off limits’ by the FCO or their tour operator, this will be at your own cost. In such cases, you may not be able to claim a refund, are unlikely to be able to claim on insurance and could lose any money you have already paid.

Masked in China
Craig and Janet
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