Last updated: 04 June 2020
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization has officially categorized the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as a pandemic. We now look at what it means to the travel and tourism industry, and what needs to be taken into consideration when making travel arrangements.
As of May 2020, the following countries have implemented special procedures related to international travel to mitigate the spread of COVID-19:
Albania has shut down its borders on March 16, with restrictions on flights to/from Italy, Greece and United Kingdom.
Algeria has temporarily halted air and sea travel to/from Europe as of March 19. The North African country has earlier stopped flights to/from China and Morocco.
Passengers arriving from China are screened via thermal scanners to detect fever and are required to fill out and submit health cards. They are asked to contact Bangladesh’s Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) if they develop a fever within 14 days from date of arrival. If any traveler has a fever higher than 100 ̊F (37.7 ̊C), the passenger will be quarantined in an observation room at the airport. Travelers will be moved to Kurmitola General Hospital, if necessary.
Canada has announced only Canadian citizens and permanent residents on international flights will be allowed to enter Canada. Aircrew, diplomats, immediate family members of Canadian citizens and United States citizens are exempted.
Air operators will be required to prevent travelers showing symptoms of COVID-19 to board the aircraft and to complete a basic health assessment of each traveler in line with guidelines from the Public Health Agency of Canada. Any person exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted to come to Canada.
On March 18, 2020, only four Canadian airports will be accepting international flights: Montréal—Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL, CYUL), Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ, CYYZ), Calgary International Airport (YYC, CYYC) and Vancouver International Airport (YVR, CYVR).
Domestic flights and flights coming from the US, Mexico and the Caribbean will remain unaffected.
China has started to lift travel restrictions but stringent regulations still apply. As these are subject to frequent change, it is best to consult with the Jetex Team for any business aviation operation.
Health experts believe the novel coronavirus outbreak originated in a seafood and animal market in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, in December 2019. The Government of China has recently put Wuhan in lockdown, canceling flights as well as all public ground transportation.
Shanghai Pudong International Airport (ZSPD) serves international flights and is one of the few airports in China that allow VIP entry and exit formalities. At the moment, ZSPD has suspended all VIP access.
Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport (ZGSZ) has also canceled VIP access for international operations of general aviation flights. However, VIP entry and exit can still be arranged with pre-approval obtained before arrival.
NOTE: All diplomatic and evacuation flights are conducted in Wuhan Tianhe International Airport (ZHHH) only. However, permission and services need to be secured via diplomatic channels. Jetex China can help communicate with local handlers to assist with such flights.
The closest airport to Wuhan that operators can fly into is Changsha Huanghua International Airport (ZGHA). Jetex can help with ground transportation arrangements to transport personnel to ZGHA to fly out of the country.
Due to the outbreak, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has decided not to extend their holiday, with authorities and staff returning to their official posts to manage the crisis.
Airlines that have temporarily suspended, reduced or downgraded their services to Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau include (as of 10 March 2020):
- Air Asia
- Air Canada
- Air France
- Air India
- Air New Zealand
- Air Seoul
- Air Tanzania
- Air Mauritius
- American Airlines
- ANA Holdings
- Australian Airlines
- British Airways
- Brussels Airlines
- Cathay Pacific
- Cebu Pacific
- Delta Air Lines
- Hainan Airlines
- Iberia Airlines
- JejuAir Co Ltd
- Kenya Airways
- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
- Korean Air Lines Co.
- Lion Air
- LOT Polish Airlines
- Nordic Airlines
- Oman Air
- Philippine Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Royal Air Maroc
- Singapore Airlines
- United Airlines
- Vietjet and Vietnam Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
Preventive measures are being applied, including screening passengers with temperature checks. Passengers onboard scheduled and charter operation flights must fill out a Public Health Card before aircraft landing.
Airlines operating to Egypt must indicate their cleaning and disinfection process according to the Hygiene and Sanitation in Aviation Third Edition for airlines section. Airlines must also indicate the nationalities of their passengers onboard.
The aircrew is advised to allow the quarantine team to enter the aircraft, in case the quarantine team decides to go onboard before passenger embarkation to conduct medical checks on flights coming from countries with confirmed COVID-19 cases, or on flights with passengers from these countries.
Ethiopia is applying strict measures to prevent nCov from entering and spreading in the country. At Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (HAAB), passengers flying from Wuhan and other Chinese cities are being screened. Two thermal screening facilities have been established at HAAB, and Tikur Anbessa Hospital and Saint Paul’s Millennium Medical College are ready to provide medical services if required.
Travelers coming from the European airspace – EU member states (except Spain), Andorra Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and Holy See – will not be subject to any sanitary measures, if they do not exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms.
Travelers coming from outside the European airspace – EU member countries (except Spain), Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and Holy See – as well as travelers coming from the United Kingdom (from June 8 onwards) and from Spain (by air only), will be invited to undergo a two-week quarantine at home or in a dedicated location upon their arrival in France.
Travelers flying to French overseas territories, or travelers showing symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival on the French territory, will need to undergo mandatory two-week quarantine at home or in a dedicated location.
The Ministry of Health is screening all passengers – both arriving to and departing from Ghana airports. No further actions are being taken so far.
All aircraft operating to Hong Kong International Airport (HKG, VHHH) must obtain a valid runway slot, parking stand and landing permit. All arriving passengers and crew must comply with health declaration policies, regardless of their departure points.
Electronic Health Declaration Forms
The Department of Health (DH) has issued electronic health declaration forms that inbound travelers can complete and submit through their smartphones or mobile devices. Please click here to access the form.
Crew and passengers must personally present the completed electronic forms to onsite health officers. Guidelines on submitting the electronic health forms can be found here.
Compulsory quarantine will apply to travelers who have been to the following territories in the past 14 days:
- The regions of Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy and Veneto in Italy*
- South Korea**
- Mainland China***
*Crew members will not be exempted.
**Hong Kong residents and crew members who are non-Hong Kong residents coming from South Korea, except Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do, must undergo medical surveillance for 14 days. Hong Kong residents and crew members coming from Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do will need to stay at a quarantine center. All non-Hong Kong residents and non-Hong Kong crew members who have been to South Korea in the past 14 days are restricted from entering Hong Kong.
***All inbound travelers who have been to Mainland China in the past 14 days, regardless of nationality and travel documents used, will be quarantined for 14 days.
NOTE: If a visitor’s stay in Hong Kong is shorter than the required quarantine period, he/she will be refused entry. Persons who need to be quarantined will be brought to a designated area at the Passenger Terminal Building of the airport for an interview by Port Health, after which they will receive a quarantine order. Persons under medical surveillance must wear marks and report daily to DH.
Major international airports in India are on high alert and are screening all passengers. People who have shown symptoms of the coronavirus have been quarantined in different cities, including Mumbai, New Delhi and Hyderabad.
EU Passport Holders
From June 3, inbound travelers with EU passports and are coming from an EU country can freely enter Italy. EU passport holders are not required to declare their reason for travel upon arrival.
The above guidelines apply to EU travelers flying to and from the following territories:
- EU and Schengen countries
- Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Non-EU Passport Holders
From June 3 to 15, non-EU passengers and crew will be allowed entry for work-related purposes and must complete a self-declaration form.
If they need to stay for more than 72 hours, inbound travelers must self-quarantine, provide their hotel/accommodation address and contact number, and inform local health authorities of their presence in the country.
The 72-hour limit can be extended for another 48 hours for valid reasons such as work, emergency and health.
Travel to EU country
EU passport holders traveling to any EU country can depart from Italy without the need to accomplish a self-declaration form with their reason for travel but are subject to country of arrival regulations.
Non-EU passport holders traveling to any EU country must complete a self-declaration form.
Travel to non-EU country
Passengers and crew (whether EU or non-EU passport holders) departing from Italy to a non-EU country need to declare their reason for travel.
NOTE: Travelers heading to Sardinia must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival. Operators must collect and declare passenger information, including names, identifying documents and address.
Effective February 1, 2020, Japan has banned entry for the following travelers:
- Foreigners who have traveled to Hubei Province in the People’s Republic of China within 14 days before arriving Japan.
- Foreigners who have Chinese passports issued by Hubei Province in the People’s Republic of China.
All passengers who have been to China, Italy, South Korea and/or Iran in the past 14 days are not allowed to transit or enter Jordan. Only delegates and diplomats who have been to China and/or Italy in the past 14 days are exempted.
Jordanian nationals and their wives and children who hold foreign passports are exempted from these restrictions and can enter Jordan, provided that their information is forwarded in advance via email to transit section at Queen Alia International Airport (AMM, OJAI).
The Kuwait Ministry of Health is taking precautionary measures at all arrival ports. The Ministry of Health will be working with the Ministry of Interior (Ports and Passports Department) to implement precautionary measures and installation of thermal cameras, in addition to ensuring the preparedness and availability of health clinics and isolation rooms at the airport. Airport personnel will also be provided with protective equipment such as gloves and masks.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation will be monitoring passengers arriving at Kuwait International Airport, in compliance with instructions issued by the Ministry of Health, and will refer passengers to examination, if deemed necessary.
UPDATE: Kuwait has suspended all flights to/from Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Iran, Thailand, Italy and Iraq.
All passengers and crew arriving in Macau must fill out and submit health declaration forms to Immigration Offices. The forms will be distributed by ground handling agents or can be accessed and accomplished online by passengers and crew. Please click this link to access the form.
All passengers and crew will undergo temperature checks. Persons with a temperature lower than 37.5°C can enter Macau, but persons with temperature higher than 37.5°C will be directed to the Macau Health Bureau.
All passengers and crew will go through temperature checks. Persons with a temperature higher than 37.5°C will not be allowed to exit Macau and will be directed to the Macau Health Bureau.
Inbound travelers who have been to the following countries in the last 14 days will be subject to respective procedures:
|Hubei Province, China||Entry will be denied, unless the person has a valid certificate confirming they do not have COVID-19.|
|South Korea||The concerned person will need to undergo a 14-day medical observation at a designated venue in Macau.|
|Italy and Iran||The concerned person will need to undergo a 14-day medical observation at a designated venue in Macau.|
|Germany, France, Spain or Japan||The concerned person will need to undergo a medical examination, with possibility of a 14-day quarantine at the discretion of health authorities.|
|Areas with high cases of COVID-19||The person under investigation must go through six to eight hours of medical observation, with possibility of compulsory quarantine.|
Inbound travelers who are Macau residents will be observed at a local venue approved by health authorities, while non-Macau residents will be observed at a designated hotel. Hotel fees will be shouldered by non-Macau residents.
All international flights to and from Morocco have been suspended until further notice.
Authorities are monitoring suspected passengers through thermal screening and they issued preventive procedures to avoid this virus.
The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has positioned scanners in all airports to screen inbound passengers. Authorities have also emphasized the need for environmental and personal hygiene.
Oman’s Ministry of Health has set up their own 24-hour clinic at the arrival terminal. All inbound passengers, especially those coming from China, are undergoing thermal screening.
In addition, all passengers who have been in China for 14 days will have to sign the arrival declaration form.
UPDATE: Oman has suspended flights to/from China following increasing coronavirus cases around the world.
Authorities have started screening all passengers and applied the following preventive actions at major international airports:
- Prepared isolation room for affected passengers
- Conducted hygiene inspection of food outlets
- 24/7 availability and duty roster of airport doctors and healthcare staff
- 24/7 manning of polio counters
Authorities have activated the “Communicable Disease Preparedness Procedure” across all international airports. This includes preventive measures that follow guidelines set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and WHO.
Although quarantine and screening are routine procedures in Philippine airports, there is heightened security and monitoring on all arriving passengers.
On January 23, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) has declared an indefinite suspension of flights between Wuhan, China and the Philippines. All airlines with flights coming directly or indirectly from China need to obtain a health declaration checklist from the Bureau of Quarantine. Passengers must fill out the checklist prior to disembarkation.
All passengers and crew of business aircraft operating into Singapore must make a health declaration before they can get permission to depart for Singapore. Any passenger or aircrew member who declares themselves to be unwell – has a pneumonia or respiratory symptoms such as coughing, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath – will be considered as a patient, and the flight will be considered and operated as a medical evacuation (medevac) flight.
These patients arriving on medevac flights must test negative for COVID-19 from the source country before they are allowed to fly into Singapore. They need to have a hospital in Singapore to receive them and a risk assessment of the patient must be submitted to the said hospital.
Non-Singaporean business aviation passengers and aircrew members on non-medevac flights who have a fever or symptoms of any respiratory illness upon arrival will not be allowed entry. The business aircraft will be mandated to turn around at the soonest possible time.
Singaporeans, Permanent Residents and Long-term Pass holders arriving on these flights must undergo screening, which may include a COVID-19 swab test, before entry is allowed.
As of March 16, Russia has closed its borders and restricted entry of all foreigners into its territory until May 1, 2020. Exemptions are granted to diplomats, crew, transit passengers and foreigners with valid residency.
The Saudi Civil Aviation Authority, in cooperation with the Health Ministry, is enforcing precautionary and preventive measures against the virus. The Saudi CAA has instructed airports and airlines operating in the Kingdom to take the “necessary health precautions” for incoming travelers, especially those coming from countries where coronavirus cases have been confirmed.
- All carriers operating to KSA airports are obliged to implement preventive measures to counter 2019-nCov.
- Health education facilities will be provided for travelers heading to areas where nCov has appeared.
- If a person traveling on an aircraft bound to KSA is suspected of being infected, the operator of the aircraft should provide the necessary information to the health control center at the arrival airport, in accordance with the general declaration of the aircraft (annex 9 of the International Health Regulations). The passenger identification form should be completed and must include the suspected passenger’s seat number and location in the aircraft and all his/her contact information.
- Health control centers at Port of Entry will screen travelers arriving directly or indirectly from China and will refer suspected cases immediately to the regional public health department.
UPDATE: Saudi Arabia has temporarily stopped the operations of its state-owned airline, Saudia, to/from China. The Kingdom has also restricted its citizens and residents from traveling to China, while an entry ban is imposed on travelers going back to Saudi from China. In addition, Saudi Arabia is restricting foreigners from making pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina, and will only be allowing citizens and residents to visit the holy sites.
Passengers are being screened through a thermal scan. No additional procedures or restrictions are being implemented so far.
Spain is not allowing flights from Italy to land in Spanish territory until March 25.
NOTE: The European Union has announced a 30-day travel restriction that bans non-essential travel for foreign nationals who are not EU residents or citizens. This has been extended to May 15, 2020.
Passengers arriving from China are screened and monitored.
Arriving passengers who have been to countries listed below must fill out and submit health certificates:
- Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau
- South Korea
All passengers and crew coming to Thailand from these countries are required by law to not go to crowded areas exposed and to wear a surgical mask in public.
Authorities have begun implementing preventive measures in Tunisian airports, in coordination with WHO. No cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Tunisia as of this time.
All passengers and crew arriving at Istanbul Airport (LTFM) from China are undergoing thermal screening. All handling staff members are wearing masks and gloves when providing services to flights arriving from China.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
The UAE has announced it will temporarily suspend inbound and outbound passenger flights, effective from 23:59 of 24 March to 7 April 2020. Essential cargo and evacuation flights can still operate. However, cargo flights from Hubei Province of China and Iran are still restricted.
The United States has announced a 30-day travel ban on foreign nationals coming from Europe, including the United Kingdom and Ireland, which will be effective on Monday, 16 March 2020. US citizens who have been screened before entering the country are exempted from the ban.
Vietnam has suspended air travel to and from China.
INCREASING NUMBER OF PRIVATE JET INQUIRIES
An executive of a Hong Kong-based business aviation group has said the company received an influx of inquiries on private flight charter requests, mainly for travel departing from China or Hong Kong. However, the company is unable to meet the requests due to international travel restrictions on China and its special administrative territories.
FURTHER INFORMATION & ASSISTANCE WITH FLIGHT OPERATIONS
Governments and airport authorities are responding to the developments of the COVID-19 outbreak as they happen. As such, some standard procedures might change and we will do our best to keep this updated as possible.