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COVID-19: Travel Update on 05 March 2020

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In early January 2020, a cluster of pneumonia cases of unknown cause was detected in Wuhan City, Hubei, China. The resulting coronavirus, named COVID-19, has led to over 95,000 confirmed cases worldwide. Of these confirmed cases, the total number ‘recovered’ is almost 54,000. Since mid-February, the rate of recovery has sharply increased (over 50%), while newly reported cases are clearly slowing in number.

Of our 11 destinations in Asia, there are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Myanmar, Laos or the island of Bali. Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Malaysia have recorded less than 110 confirmed cases collectively – of which, 70 people have made a full recovery. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on February 27, removed Vietnam from the list of destinations vulnerable to community transmission of COVID-19 citing Vietnam’s comprehensive actions against the epidemic.

Singapore and Hong Kong have recorded just over 100 cases each, and Japan close to 330. Our advice is still to reconsider all non-essential travel to China until May. For all other destinations, we are handling bookings as per usual. Life in our destinations continues as normal, and with the exception of China, travelling around the region remains easy. Asia remains as attractive as ever right now with a range of exceptional experiences on offer across our destinations – check out our news website for the latest ideas.

With the exception of China, all travel plans can continue as normal. No travel restrictions have been issued by the WHO or national governments between other destinations in our portfolio. Rather than cancelling any planned trips, we recommend rescheduling and will be happy to accommodate such requests. Should you have a question related to a particular program, please contact your usual Destination Asia consultant for booking and country-specific details. Click here to view contact details for all offices.

Answering your clients’ questions concerning COVID-19

At Destination Asia, our operational teams are regularly briefed on how to answer your clients’ questions concerning COVID-19. We would also like to ensure you that our operations teams have been, and continue to adhere to the following guidelines:

  • We are avoiding wet market visits and replacing these with suitable alternatives.
  • Destination Asia guides will advise guests against visiting areas where large crowds gather and shall manage alternative arrangements on a case by case basis.
  • Destination Asia guides can assist in purchasing masks and hand sanitizer gels for protection. However, stock levels are running low in many areas so we recommend guests bring their own where possible.
  • Destination Asia takes your client’s health and safety extremely seriously. It is already standard practice, but please be assured we are thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting all hard surfaces within our vehicles used to transport guests following each use. Where appropriate, we also clean and disinfect the air filter systems.

For the latest information and protection advice, the WHO offers a number of informative videos and printable notices for download from here.

The WHO also provides a daily situation report with specific figures on confirmed cases and distribution of COVID-19. The most recent (4 March) can be viewed here.

Update on general travel restrictions

We have compiled an update on current travel restrictions related to countries across our network, the majority of which place limits on travel from China. Our operations outside of China continue to function as usual with actions implemented in accordance with the WHO’s guidelines on preventive measures against COVID-19.

HONG KONG:
All travellers regardless of nationalities coming from mainland China entering Hong Kong are required to go into mandatory quarantine for 14 days. This also applies to travellers who have visited Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy or Veneto regions in Italy or Iran in the past 14 days. Travellers who have visited South Korea within 14 days of arrival to Hong Kong will not be permitted entry. The Chief Executive has announced the suspension of immigration services at Kai Tak Cruise Terminal and Ocean Terminal, thus no cruise ships will be accepted until further notice. At this point, all border crossings have been closed, except for the Shenzhen Bay joint checkpoint, Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge and international airport. At present, Hong Kong Disneyland, Ocean Park, Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car, and Jumbo Floating Restaurant are closed until further notice.