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April 7, 2020

Travel Alert: Coronavirus

The TripActions Team
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News
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Get regular updates on the evolving COVID-19 situation and join in on the conversation on TripActions Community

Coronavirus Update (Tue., Apr 7, 2020, 3:00pm PT)

This past weekend, the Centre for Disease Control announced recommendations to the general public to wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

The CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure. You can find the CDC’s full guidance and recommendations on the CDC website.

This CDC announcement came just before the Foreign Commonwealth Office made an extension to its March 17 recommendation that U.K. nationals avoid all travel abroad. The announcement originally had a 30-day timeline, but on Monday, the FCO announced that the recommendation was “indefinite.”

Should you or any of your employees need assistance finding and booking travel home, TripActions travel agents continue to be available 24/7 by chat, phone, or email.


Coronavirus Update (Thu., Apr 2, 2020, 3:00pm PT)

This week, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo advised that any American citizens still overseas should seek arrangements immediately to return home. "We do not know how long the commercial flights in your countries may continue to operate," Pompeo said. "We can't guarantee the U.S. government's ability to arrange charter flights indefinitely where commercial options no longer exist."

We are here to get travellers home safely. TripActions travel agents are available 24/7 via chat, phone and email should you or any of your travelling employees need help in booking or changing travel plans to get home safely.


Coronavirus Update (Wed., Mar 18, 2020, 12:00pm PT)

This morning, U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a mutual agreement between the U.S. and Canada to close the U.S.-Canada border to ‘non-essential traffic’ to further prevent the spread of COVID-19.

This travel restriction comes after Monday’s announcement that Canada would be closing its borders except to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. You can get regular updates on the evolving situation on the TripActions Community.

Please continue to follow guidance from the CDC for recommendations on travel and reducing the spread of infection.


Coronavirus Update (Fri., Mar 13, 2020, 2:10pm PT)

Many countries in Europe are experiencing widespread and sustained transmission of the coronavirus (COVID-19). In addition to China, Iran, South Korea and Italy, the CDC is now recommending that travellers avoid all non-essential travel to the following countries:

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City.

If you have spent time in the specified countries above during the past 14 days, the CDC recommends that you:

  • Stay home for 14 days from the time you return from travel, monitor your health and practice social distancing. Social distancing means staying out of crowded places, avoiding group gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.
  • If you get sick with fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, or have trouble breathing, seek medical advice. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room and tell your doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.

More information can be found on the CDC website.

Today, Delta Airlines announced that they would be eliminating travel to continental Europe for the next 30 days, with the exception of London, UK. Delta has not yet provided additional details as to when this will take effect or if they will maintain service to all London airports or any others in the broader UK.


Coronavirus Update (Wed., Mar 11, 2020, 8:35pm PT)

U.S. adds restrictions on travel from Europe, excluding the U.K.

U.S. President Donald Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation which suspends the entry of most foreign nationals who have been in certain European countries at any point during the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival to the United States. The travel restrictions are set to take effect the evening of Friday, March 13, 2020, and are expected to last for 30 days.

The list of countries includes: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

The travel restriction does not apply to legal permanent residents, (generally) immediate family members of U.S. citizens, and other individuals who are identified in the proclamation — all of whom will likely have to undergo appropriate health screenings upon entry to the United States.

The official press release from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is available here.

Earlier today, the coronavirus was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea remain at a Level 3 travel health notice by the CDC which recommends individuals avoid all non-essential travel to the countries. Foreign nationals who have been in China and Iran at any point during the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival to the United States already face similar restrictions as noted above for European countries.

TripActions travel agents remain available 24/7 via chat should travellers need to change their travel plans as a result of the new travel restrictions. If and when waivers apply for travel, our travel agents will apply them accordingly to help save money.

We will continue monitoring new bookings and will reach out to travellers with potentially impacted travel. We will also continue to provide updates here on our blog and in the coronavirus dashboard available in the TripActions Admin Dashboard.


Coronavirus Update (Wed., Mar 11, 2020, 10:10am PT)

Cases stabilise in China, centre of coronavirus shifts; airlines reduce number of flights

China has reported that the domestic spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus has significantly slowed in recent days, including a record low of new cases in Wuhan for the sixth day in a row (Reuters). As a result, lockdowns have been partially lifted in the Hubei province, and key industries will be allowed to resume in Wuhan. The government has announced it will allow industries like public transport, medical supply and producers of daily necessities to return to work.

Meanwhile, the number of cases have continued to rise in other countries. Today, a World Health Organisation spokesperson said that the centre of the coronavirus is now shifting to Europe. Italy is now taking deeper precautions to limit the spread of the virus.

In response to multiple countries closing their borders and placing bans on travellers arriving from countries, airlines continue to cancel or reduce routes. Yesterday, British Airways announced the cancellation of all flights to Italy until April. Other large airlines such as KLM, Lufthansa, Delta, and United also reduced or cancelled routes in response to fewer travellers.

In the U.S., at least 1,015 people have tested positive for the virus. As a result, companies are asking employees to work from home to contain the spread of the virus.


Coronavirus Update (Thu., Mar 5, 2020, 12:10pm PST)

The novel coronavirus has impacted the business travel world and travel as a whole, with organisations, governments, and airlines reevaluating travel policy. As such, airlines continue to offer waivers and are making route adjustments as needed. As a reminder, airlines provide waivers, or simply remove fees, in the event of bad weather or unexpected events like the coronavirus. Waiver policy varies across airlines and these guidelines are subject to change at the airlines’ discretion.

You can find more information in this blog with links directly to the websites to some of the most commonly booked carriers detailing waiver information.

If you’re already a TripActions customer, our 24/7 global travel agents are available via chat, phone and email to help adjust travel bookings. Travel agents will apply a waiver code when applicable.


Coronavirus Update (Fri., Feb 28, 2020, 5:20pm PST)

Countries Raise Travel Alert Levels

Today, as denoted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a number of countries increased the travel alert levels. Below shows the changes.

Alert Levels 2/24 Alert Levels 2/28
Level 1 Hong Kong, Iran, Italy Hong Kong
Level 2 Japan Japan
Level 3 South Korea and China South Korea, Italy, Iran, and China



As a reminder:

  • Level 1 alerts recommend practising usual precautions when travelling to the country.
  • Level 2 alerts recommend practising enhanced precautions when travelling to/through/from the country.
  • Level 3 alerts recommend avoiding all nonessential travel to the countries.

For more information, click here.


Coronavirus Update (Mon., Feb 24, 2020, 3:46pm PST)

Additional Countries Issue Alert Levels

Cases of the coronavirus continue to grow globally. In effort to control the spread of the virus, countries have begun issuing alert levels, as denoted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. South Korea and Japan have both issued Level 2 alerts whereby it is now recommended to practice enhanced precautions when travelling to/through/from either country. Similarly, Hong Kong, Iran, and Italy have now issued Level 1 alerts recommending to practice usual precautions when travelling there. For more information, click here.


Coronavirus Update (Fri., Feb 14, 2020, 2:40pm PST)

Additional Country-wide Travel Bans and Restrictions

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, over 60 countries have implemented immigration restrictions to help contain the virus globally. The scope of restrictions vary from country to country, and a list by the consular department of China’s foreign affairs ministry divides these restrictions into three main categories. Category I restrictions are the most strict, and ban entry to all Chinese nationals and foreign nationals who have been in China in the last 14 days. Countries within this category are the United States, Australia, Singapore, Russia and North Korea. Category II restrictions apply only to travellers who have been to Hubei while Category III restrictions include border health checks, health declaration requirements and screening measures.

If you have upcoming international travel, please check with the country’s government for possible travel restrictions applicable to you.

Airline Cancellations and Waivers

Since the coronavirus was declared a global emergency, airlines continue to issue waiver codes and cancel or change flights into surrounding areas in China in an attempt to contain the virus. This week, some airlines began extending waiver code expirations through to the end of April. Please contact TripActions travel agents, available 24/7, should you wish to enquire whether your flight booking has an applicable change or cancel waiver.


Coronavirus Update (Tue., Feb 4, 2020, 10:00am PST)

Returning Flights from China to the U.S. Rerouted to 1 of 11 Airports

All returning flights from China to the U.S. are being rerouted to one of eleven major airports in an effort to mitigate risk and contain the spread of the coronavirus. Travellers are being rerouted at no cost. Below is the list of airports where flights from China to the U.S. are being rerouted.

  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Illinois
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas
  • Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Hawaii
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), Michigan
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Georgia
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York
  • Los Angeles International Airport, (LAX), California
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), New Jersey
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO), California
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Washington
  • Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD), Virginia

More information can be found here and is summarised below:

  • CBP and airlines are working together to identify and rebook any passengers that require re-routing. Travellers showing symptoms of the virus should be prepared for the possibility of prolonged delay to avoid spreading the infection.
  • American air travellers that have been to China in the last 14 days will be routed through one of the above airports and be required to undergo enhanced health screenings.
  • Any individual travelling from Hubei Province, China or other areas of the mainland who’s showing symptoms associated with coronavirus will be screened and required to be quarantined at a nearby medical facility.
  • Any individual who spent time in China, but outside the Hubei province, who shows no symptoms following a health screening will be re-booked to their destination and asked to “self-quarantine” at their home.
  • Travellers may also be routed through one of these eleven airports if it is discovered mid-flight that someone else on their flight has been in China in the last 14 days.

Airline Cancellations and Waivers

Since the coronavirus was declared a global emergency, airlines continue to issue waiver codes and cancel or change flights into surrounding areas in China in an attempt to contain the virus. Please contact TripActions travel agents, available 24/7, should you wish to enquire whether your flight booking has an applicable change or cancel waiver.

Additional Country-wide Travel Bans

Countries continue to follow the U.S. government’s actions by banning the entry of foreign nationals who have travelled within China. The Czech Republic, the Maldives, Iraq, and effective February 7th, Taiwan, are some of the countries that have taken similar action.

We are continuing to monitor this situation closely and will provide updates accordingly within this blog. If you or your travellers have any questions related to this issue, please contact us via chat in app or reach out to [email protected].


Coronavirus Update (Fri., Jan 31, 2020, 2:40pm PST)

The US government announced today that effective February 2, 2020, there would be a ban on any foreign national who has travelled within China in the last 14 days from entering the United States. Those returning from Hubei province will be required to be quarantined for two weeks before being allowed to enter the country. Others returning from elsewhere in China will be allowed to self-monitor their condition for a similar period. The US will also begin funnelling all flights to the US from China to seven major airports where passengers can be screened for illness. The administration declared the coronavirus a US public health emergency Friday, January 31, 2020.


Coronavirus Update (Thu., Jan 30, 2020, 3:30pm PST)

As of Thursday, Jan. 30, the World Health Organisation has declared the coronavirus as a global health emergency. This is an upgrade in severity from previous days as the outbreak has spread outside of China, where it originated in the city of Wuhan.

The number of confirmed cases has risen to more than 8,000, with Chinese officials reporting 171 deaths total. In the U.S., there have been six confirmed cases. Roughly 200 Americans were evacuated from Wuhan and arrived in Los Angeles, California on Wednesday afternoon. On Thursday, U.S. health officials confirmed the first case in which the virus spread from person to person within the states.

Infections have also been confirmed in Canada, Cambodia, France, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam.

We are proactively reaching out directly to any TripActions travellers impacted by any flight disruptions to offer help on adjusting their travel bookings.

We will continue to monitor this situation closely and provide updates accordingly within this blog. If you or your travellers have any questions related to this issue, please reach out to [email protected].


Coronavirus Update (Wed., Jan 29, 2020, 9:25am PST)

The Coronavirus continues to have an impact on worldwide travel as the virus continues to spread across China with cases now reported in at least 16 countries globally. To date, at least 130 people have died and the number of confirmed cases has reached nearly 6,000, according to Chinese officials.

The United States has since expanded the screening of travellers arriving from Wuhan and several airlines have suspended flights and are providing waivers for flights to and from China and Japan. As a reminder, airline waivers allow a traveller to change to alternate flights without paying a change fee, subject to terms specific to the airline.

Airlines that have issued waivers for Wuhan related travel to date are below. Should you wish to apply a waiver code, please reach out to our 24/7 support agents.

  • Air Canada
  • Air China
  • American Airlines
  • Austrian Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • Qantas
  • Shanghai Airlines
  • SWISS
  • United Airlines

We are proactively reaching out directly to any TripActions travellers impacted by any flight suspensions to offer help on adjusting their travel bookings.

We are continuing to monitor this situation closely and will provide updates accordingly within this blog. If you or your travellers have any questions related to this issue, please reach out to [email protected].


Coronavirus Update (Mon., Jan 27, 2020, 9:36am PST)

China is extending the Lunar New Year holiday for three days and enforcing strict containment measures in an attempt to curb the spread of a new coronavirus that has killed 81 people and infected more than 2,700.

More than 56 million people in nearly 20 cities, including Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province where the virus originated, have been affected by travel restrictions. The travel restrictions have been introduced to help contain further transmission of the disease as hundreds of millions of individuals travel during the Lunar New Year celebrations.

We have proactively reached out directly to any TripActions travellers impacted by any flight suspensions to help adjust their travel bookings.

We will continue to monitor this situation closely and will provide updates here on our blog. If you or your travellers have any questions related to this issue, please reach out to [email protected].


Coronavirus Update (Fri., Jan 24, 2020, 9:33am PST)

China has widened its travel restrictions in the Hubei province — the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak — as the death toll has climbed to 26. TripActions has contacted individual travellers who are impacted directly by these travel restrictions and has notified all travel managers. If you have any questions please contact TripActions support via Chat.

Sources say that the travel restrictions are affecting ~20 million people across ten cities, including the Hubei province capital, Wuhan, where the virus emerged. The cities currently impacted are Wuhan, Ezhou, Huanggang, Chibi, Xiantao, Zhijiang, Qianjiang, Huangshi, Xianning, and Yichang.

If you or your travellers have any questions related to this issue, please reach out to [email protected].


(Thu., Jan 23, 2020, 11:06am PST)

Authorities in Wuhan, a Chinese city of nearly 11 million people, have shut down public transport in an effort to stifle an outbreak of a new strain of virus known as 2019-nCoV or “Coronavirus.” Travellers are urged to halt and cancel travel in and out of airports in Wuhan, Huanggang, Ezhou, Chibi, and Zhijiang.

Airlines have been proactively issuing waivers and suspending flights in and out of this region. We expect the number of impacted cities may increase and these measures will escalate. The TripActions team has already proactively reached out to any travellers with bookings in or out of these regions to help them adjust their travel accordingly.

Coronavirus manifests as an infection of the lungs and symptoms start with a fever and cough, progressing into shortness of breath and/or difficulty breathing. In some cases, the virus can lead to illnesses including pneumonia and bronchitis.

If you recently travelled to any of the affected areas and became sick with a fever or cough, seek medical care immediately and inform medical staff about your recent travel. If you are already in an affected area, avoid contact with other people, outdoor markets selling animal products, or products that come from animals including raw meat.

We are continuing to monitor this situation closely, proactively reaching out to support travellers whose travel may be impacted, and will provide real-time updates here on the TripActions blog.

If you or your travellers have any questions related to this issue, please reach out to [email protected].

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