Coronavirus Update

By January 30, 2020 Industry News & Updates

Please find below an update from Brodie Carr, Tourism WA Managing Director. The update includes a Chief Medical Officer Communique specifically for tourism operators, which was released on Thursday 30 January. 

Last updated: 5pm, Thursday 30 January 2020

Dear Senior Industry Leaders,

The latest development with the greatest potential impact to the Australian tourism sector is the decision by a number of international airlines to suspend or reduce flights to and from mainland China. Airlines are attributing their decision to reduced market demand, and also to calls by some countries (including China) to avoid ‘non-essential’ travel to and from the country.


Coronavirus cases – live map

Johns Hopkins University has produced a heat map that updates the number of confirmed coronavirus cases around the world.

New cases of coronavirus confirmed in Finland and the UAE

There are now close to 8000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus across 17 countries (Japan, Republic of Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, Nepal, Sri Lanka, USA, Canada, France and Germany, United Arab Emirates, Finland and the USA).  Of the confirmed cases 89 are outside China.  The global death toll continues to rise and now stands at 170 (all in China).

Airlines suspending or reducing flights to China – List below

A number of international airlines have announced plans to suspend or reduce flights to and from mainland China Yesterday, British Airways suspended all flights to and from Beijing and Shanghai with immediate effect until 31 January and has suspended all bookings until 29 February citing the travel advice of the British foreign office. Many others have followed suit with flight reductions or reduced service, and a list of the current state of play is at the bottom of this email.

Still no WHO recommendation to restrict international travel

The WHO still have not declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, nor are they recommending the introduction of international travel restrictions.

WHO Emergency Committee on coronavirus reconvened today

World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will today reconvene the Emergency Committee on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). We will provide an update on the outcomes from this meeting as they relate to the sector.


Confirmed cases of coronavirus continue to rise in China

As at 29 January, the WHO reports China has 5997 confirmed and 9239 suspected cases of coronavirus. Of these 1239 have been classified as severe.


The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Australia continues to rise

Seven cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Australia, one in Queensland, two in Victoria and four in New South Wales (as at 16:00 29 January). The number of suspected cases of coronavirus continues to increase and testing underway.

How to prevent the virus spreading – Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC)

While the evidence for pre-symptomatic transmission is currently limited, AHPPC has advised a highly precautionary approach and released the following new recommendations:

  • People who have been in contact with any confirmed novel coronavirus cases must be isolated in their home for 14 days following exposure;
  • Returned travellers who have been in Hubei Province of China must be isolated in their home for 14 days after leaving Hubei Province, other than for seeking individual medical care;
  • Given the lower number of cases in China reported outside of Hubei province, AHPPC does not currently recommend self-isolation for travellers from other parts of China or other countries. AHPPC is closely monitoring the development of cases outside of Hubei province and will update this advice if necessary.

Chief Medical Officer has sent communique to hotel and tourism operators

The communique updates medical advice regarding the virus and how it should be managed. Please find this here.

Tourism WA / Industry

Industry Advice

Information about the coronavirus and how to manage it relevant to the tourism industry is available on the Department of Health website.

Tourism Australia along with Tourism WA is assessing impacts on the tourism sector – please continue to send us insights

Please continue to send in insights and updates to help us assess the impact of the virus on Australian tourism.

List of Suspended or reduced flights to China

Many others have followed suit with flight reductions or reduced service, and a list of the current state of play is at the bottom of this email.

Flight suspensions or reduced service, including:

  • Qantas and Singapore airlines flights to and from mainland China remain unchanged at this point in time.
  • Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Group has announced plans to progressively reduce flights to and from mainland China by 50 per cent or more from today until the end of March, , citing low demand and the city government’s response plan to the virus. Cathay Pacific Group previously operated 480 flights per week to/from mainland China.
  • Lufthansa and its Swiss and Austrian subsidiaries, which said all flights to mainland China would be suspended until at least 8 February 2020.
  • Air Canada has suspended all flights to Beijing and Shanghai from 30 January until 29 February. Air Canada previously operated 33 flights per week.
  • United Airlines has cancelled 24 return flights between 1 to 8 Feb to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong (reduced from 12 flights to 8-9 flights per day) and said more cancellations may follow.
  • Delta Airlines has announced plans to halve flights between the US and mainland China from 42 flights per week to approximately 21 flights with effect from 6 February to 30 April.
  • American Airlines has cancelled flights between Los Angeles and mainland China from 7 February to 26 March.
  • Lion Air Group and Batik Air announced the suspension of all flights to China during the month of February. Lion Air had more than 50 flights per week to China. Batik Air had 10 flights per week.
  • Jetstar Asia has suspended flights from Singapore to Hefei, Guiyang and Xuzhou from 31 Jan to 31 March. Jetstar has offered optional cancellation/rebooking after 31 March for all Jetstar passengers with flights to, from or via mainland China between 24 Jan and 31 March.
  • Finnair has cancelled its three weekly flights to Beijing and two weekly flights to Nanjing through end March.
  • Air India is suspending Delhi-Shanghai flights, which operate six times a week, from 31 January until February 14.
  • Jetstar Asia will temporarily suspend flights to the Chinese cities of Hefei, Guiyang and Xuzhou starting 30 January through the end of March due to a drop in demand.
  • South Korea’s second-largest carrier, Asiana Airlines, will temporarily suspend flights to the Chinese cities of Guilin, Changsha and Haikou starting next month.
  • Korean Air, South Korea’s biggest airline, said it is also considering grounding some of its flights to mainland China as passenger demand drops. Korean Air had operated four flights a week to the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, before suspending them on Jan. 23.
  • Taiwan’s Eva Air announced a partial cancellation of flights to and from mainland China for two weeks starting on February 2. In addition, the airline also has stopped providing towels, magazines, table clothes, and is limiting use of blankets and pillows on its flights.
  • Kazakhstan announced on 29 January plans to suspend all flights, train and bus traffic and to halt issuing visas to Chinese nationals. Before the Wednesday’s suspension, there were 24 flights a week from Kazakhstan to China, including a daily flight to Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang.

As always, please ensure you disseminate this information to your industry networks.



Brodie Carr
Managing Director
Tourism Western Australia