We will be updating this Coronavirus (COVID-19) traveler risk alert post periodically in an effort to keep everyone up to date.
Updated April 1, 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19): What Travelers Need To Know
- CDC Level 3 travel warning, its highest level, recommending travelers avoid all nonessential travel to the following areas: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, Europe, United Kingdom. Cruise Ship Travel.
- Japan Travel Information: Effective from midnight on April 3, 2020, Japan will bar admission to travelers who have recently visited any country that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has designated ‘Level 3’ for infectious disease concerns, which includes the United States. Travelers from the United States are not permitted to enter Japan and should not board flights. For details and exemptions, please refer to the Japan National Tourism Organization‘s website.
At this time, Japanese authorities advise that passengers transiting in Tokyo’s Narita or Haneda airports without clearing immigration will still be allowed to proceed to their onward destination. Passengers will not be permitted to transit between airports or from an international flight to a domestic flight.
Locations with Confirmed COVID-19 Cases:
Central African Republic
Democratic Republic of Congo
Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire)
Antigua and Barbuda
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
United Arab Emirates
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Holy See (Vatican City)
Republic of Korea
Coronavirus originated in China’s Hubei province where it jumped from livestock to a human host in the city of Wuhan. The World Health Organization (WHO) is releasing daily situation reports that include the number of Coronavirus confirmed cases globally. (See a full list of resources at the end of this post.)
Business Travel Recommendations and Assistance:
Avoid Travel: Our recommendation is that if travel can be avoided while the advisory is in place, it should be. Not just due to the risk of infection but also due to the risk of being stranded, given the dynamics of the situation.
Due to the ongoing uncertainty of travel planning, some airlines are providing “waivers” on all fares, giving travelers the ability to change their travel without incurring the usual change fee. Check airline websites for change fee exemptions on new flight purchases or ask your JTB Business Travel Advisor. Sabre has created a compilation of links to Airline Travel agent portals where policies and guidelines in relation to COVID-19 are being updated daily.
Rely On Us For Assistance, Even If You Booked Directly: Hold times with airlines, can be frustrating. Let us assist you with your travel, even if you didn’t book with us! Simply call a JTB Business Travel Advisor.
If You Must Travel, Plan Ahead: Due to reduced TSA personnel and air traffic capacity, several airlines have moved operations to different terminals in some major airports. Reconfirm your flights with airlines or your JTB Business Travel Advisor prior to departure to avoid missing flights or sitting at the airport. In fact, this advice would apply to all your travel reservations during this time.
We sincerely wish that our valued clients, colleagues, and their families are as safe as possible during this time.
Health Safety Recommendations for International Travelers From the WHO
It is prudent for travelers who are sick to delay or avoid travel to affected areas, in particular for elderly travelers and people with chronic diseases or underlying health conditions.
General recommendations for personal hygiene, cough etiquette and keeping a distance of at least one meter from persons showing symptoms remain particularly important for all travelers. These include:
- Wash Your Hands Frequently: Perform hand hygiene frequently, particularly after contact with respiratory secretions. Hand hygiene includes either cleaning hands with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand rub. Alcohol-based hand rubs are preferred if hands are not visibly soiled; wash hands with soap and water when they are visibly soiled;
- Practice Respiratory Hygiene: Cover your nose and mouth with a flexed elbow or paper tissue when coughing or sneezing and disposing immediately of the tissue and performing hand hygiene;
- Refrain from touching eyes, mouth and nose;
- Practice Social Distancing: Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. A medical mask is not required if exhibiting no symptoms. However, in some cultures, masks may be commonly worn. If masks are to be worn, it is critical to follow best practices on how to wear, remove and dispose of them and on hand hygiene after removal (see Advice on the use of masks)
If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early.
Be Careful About Incorrect or Misleading Information:
There is quite a bit of incorrect information being spread about the virus, how it is transmitted and how to avoid contracting it. The WHO has put together a Myth Busters page. We highly recommend checking it regularly!
COVID-19 Resources for Travelers:
- CDC Travel Notices: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices
- CDC COVID-19 information page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/novel-coronavirus-2019.html
- Resources for those who travel to Japan: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Japan.html
- US Embassy in Japan: https://jp.usembassy.gov/
- WHO Daily Situation Reports: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports/
- WHO International Travel Recommendations: https://www.who.int/ith/2019-nCoV_advice_for_international_traffic-rev/en/
- WHO Corona Virus Q & A: https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses
We will be updating this Coronavirus (COVID-19) traveler risk alert regularly. Check back here often and be sure to use the various traveler resources we have gathered for you here.