Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Tuesday, March 10, that all flights arriving from areas considered “high-risk” due to coronavirus (COVID-19) would be suspended for at least 14 days. High-risk areas include Italy’s Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont, Veneto, Marche, and Valle d'Aosta regions, as well as Iran, Ischgl (Austria), Hubei province (China), and Daegu city and Gyeongbuk province in South Korea. Individuals arriving in Denmark from high-risk areas will not be allowed to enter the airport or use public transportation. Danish citizens are also being advised to avoid all travel to the abovementioned areas.
Scandinavian Airlines has also expanded flight suspensions as of Tuesday. All flights to Milan, Bologna, Turin, and Venice (Italy) are suspended until April 3. Service between Copenhagen and Rome was canceled for Wednesday, March 11, but the airline is still deciding whether or not to fully suspend flights to Rome. Flights to and from Beijing and Shanghai (China) as well as Hong Kong remain suspended through at least April 30. Further service disruptions are possible over the coming days and weeks. Additional information can be found on the SAS website here.
As of March 10, there are 262 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Denmark. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
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.
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 general 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, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your 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.