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12 Mar 2020 | 08:23 AM UTC

US: Delta Airlines extends flight cancelations to China March 11 /update 23

Delta Airlines announces the extension of flight cancelations to China on March 11; confirm travel itineraries

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USA

Event

On Wednesday, March 11, Delta Airlines announced it would extend its flight cancelations to China through at least Sunday, May 31, amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The airline also announced that seasonal summer service to Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka (Japan) will also be reduced. Delta Airlines also announced on Tuesday, March 10, that the airline would be suspending all service to Italy and Israel due to the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The airline will suspend its route from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) starting on Saturday, March 14, until Wednesday, March 25.

During a televised address on the evening (local time) of March 11, US President Donald Trump announced that all travel to and from Europe, except for the UK, will be suspended for 30 days from midnight on Friday, March 13, due to the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). Foreign nationals who have traveled in the Schengen Area within 14 days prior to their arrival in the US will not be allowed to enter the country. American citizens who have undergone appropriate screenings will be excluded from the new measure. Similar restrictions remain in place for travelers from China, Iran, and South Korea. Additional travel restrictions may be implemented over the coming days and weeks. As of March 11, 1281 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the US, along with 38 associated fatalities. Cases have been reported in almost 40 states, with the hardest hit areas including Washington, California, New York, and Massachusetts. Some universities are extending holiday breaks or suspending classes as a precautionary measure. Multiple cities are also banning large gatherings and sporting events.

As of Thursday, March 12, some 1321 COVID-19 cases and 38 associated deaths have been confirmed in the US. Cases have been reported in almost 40 states, with the hardest hit areas including Washington, California, New York, and Massachusetts. Some universities are extending holiday breaks or suspending classes as a precautionary measure. Multiple cities are also banning large gatherings and sporting events. Further international spread of COVID-19 is expected over the coming days and weeks. 

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 March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

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

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

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 COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.