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05 Mar 2020 | 09:55 AM UTC

Germany: Lufthansa suspends all flights to Israel March 8-28 /update 7

Lufthansa suspends all flights to Israel March 8-28; confirm travel itineraries

health
transportation
DEU

Event

On Thursday, March 5, Lufthansa announced that it would suspend all flights to Israel starting on Sunday, March 8, until Saturday, March 28. This announcement comes after Israel's Ministry of Health announced new self-quarantine measures for travelers arriving from Germany, France, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland on Wednesday, March 4. Foreign tourists who cannot prove they have arranged quarantine measures prior to arrival will not be allowed to enter the country.

Lufthansa has also canceled 7100 European flights for the month of March due to decreased demand. Cancelations will affect domestic flights as well as flights to other European destinations, particularly Italy.

To date, there have been 262 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Germany. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On February 28, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the risk of spread and the risk of impact of the virus is "very high" at the global level.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue; throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.

In the case that symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness emerge either during or after travel, individuals are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider. Travelers returning from China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran who develop symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.