ITAC Coronovirus Briefing


We remain committed to working with our members and the industry to support the dissemination of information so that proper steps may be taken to address travel bans and traveller concerns. If your business is being directly affected, please keep ITAC informed. We are here to help.  

Destination Canada’s statement: 

We are actively monitoring the impact of coronavirus and are conscious of the industry’s concern.

It is a fast-evolving situation and we are working hard to provide our partners up-to-date information as it relates to our sector. The visitor economy is vital to Canadians from coast to coast to coast, and directly touches businesses large and small. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is sharing all relevant information on coronavirus on their website. PHAC has also published information on preventing coronavirus infection here and have a hotline that the public can call if they have further questions at 1-833-784-4397.

While it’s still too early to speculate on potential long-term impacts, we are committed to working together with industry to continue inspiring those with glowing hearts to fall in love with Canada.

Background:  

In late December, several cases of pneumonia were reported in Wuhan, China linked to a new coronavirus (a large family of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses). 

February 2 – New York Times:

  • More than 2,000 new cases were also recorded in the country in the past 24 hours, raising the worldwide total to nearly 14,557, according to Chinese and World Health Organization data. The vast majority of the cases are inside China; about 150 cases have been confirmed in at least 23 other countries.
  • All of China’s provinces and territories have now been impacted by the outbreak.
  • Countries and territories that have confirmed cases: Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Australia, Malaysia, Macau, Russia, France, the United States, South Korea, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Britain, Vietnam, Italy, India, the Philippines, Nepal, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Finland, Sweden and Spain.

Many of the world’s leading infectious disease experts say the outbreak is likely to become a pandemic, defined as an ongoing epidemic on two or more continents.

Scientists do not yet know how lethal the new coronavirus is, but there is a growing consensus that it is readily transmitted. Scientists have found that it is spreading more like influenza than its slow-moving viral cousins, SARS and MERS.

Additional Travel Bans: (Source

In terms of outbound destinations’ responses to incoming Chinese travel, an increasing number of countries have closed their borders to travelers from China. North Korea, Taiwan, and the Northern Mariana Islands are refusing entry to Chinese passport holders. From 1 February, Singapore has refused entry to anyone who has been in China within the past 14 days. On 31 January, the US placed a ban on all foreign travelers from China, and stated that US citizens traveling from China would be placed under quarantine. On 1 and 2 February, respectively, Australia and New Zealand banned incoming foreign travelers from China. From 30 January, Israel prohibited the entry of flights from China, and any travelers arriving from China are placed in solitary confinement for 14 days. Mongolia and Russia have both shut their borders to China. The Philippines has stopped issuing visas to Chinese nationals from 28 January, and from 5 February, passengers on inbound flights to Cebu from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau will be quarantined for 14 days. Rome and Vietnam are both closed to flights from China. Japan is refusing entry to travelers who have been to Hubei in the past 14 days or whose passports were issued in Hubei. Malaysia and Hong Kong have both paused entry to residents of Hubei, or those who have visited the province in the last two weeks. Kazakhstan has suspended its 72-hour visa-free transit policy for Chinese citizens and suspended all air, train, and bus traffic from China. As of 26 January, Egypt has banned tourism flights to and from China. Around the world (including in Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, India, the UK, Indonesia, France, Myanmar, Italy, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Australia, Singapore, Rwanda, and the UAE), airports have set up health screenings for passengers arriving from China, and are asking travelers to report any symptoms that may develop during their travel.

British Airways, Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, KLM, Finnair, El Al, Air Seoul, Qantas, Air New Zealand, Delta, United, American Airlines, Qatar Airlines, Air France and other international carriers have suspended all flights to and from mainland China. Air Canada has suspended Beijing and Shanghai flights until the end of February at the earliest. Air India suspended Shanghai-Delhi flights until 14 February. Jetstar Asia, Korean Air, and Eva Air are all suspending some flights. Many other airlines are offering free cancellations or ticket changes, including All Nippon Airways, Singapore Airlines, JAL, El Al, and many more.