Is it still safe to travel amid coronavirus outbreak?
Mar 19, 2020
The highest-level travel alert has been issued by CDC
“All Australians should not travel at this time, regardless of destination, age or health” is the latest recommendation of Australian Federal Government. This “DO NOT TRAVEL” warning applied to all international destinations on 18 March 2020, is the highest advice level (Level 4 of 4) in Australia so far.
Understanding the importance of minimising Coronavirus spread to protect Australian wellbeing and livelihood, on 16 March, we have made a tough decision beforehand to suspend all tours for the time being (applied to tours departing from 16 March to 30 April, 2020 only).
We at Asia Vacation Group suggest all Australian citizens currently overseas should come home as soon as possible to avoid confusing problems.
- Recently, more and more countries have closed down their borders or performed travel restrictions, which may disrupt your plan of returning to Australia when needed. Please prepare yourself to suffer from long-haul flights, crowded airports and even being quarantined.
- There may be a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 overseas. If unfortunately getting sick across the ocean, you may not have access to proper health support as the local health care system may be under strain and may not have enough capacity for the foreigners.
TOP 7 PLACES AT IMMEDIATE RISK TO NOVEL CORONAVIRUS INFECTIONS
Contrary to the well-known beauty of Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan…, cities in China have significantly changed when the acute respiratory infection caused by Coronavirus breakout in late December 2019. Wuhan has been completely locked down by the government since January 23, 2020. The entire public transportation system to and from this city has been suspended, leading to the nearby cities being isolated. This severe epidemic has been affecting a total of about 52 million people. As of March 18, 2020, there are about 81,086 cases and 3,241 deaths from Covid-19 in mainland China.
Fortunately, China has been gradually controlling the disease as the number of new cases and deaths have decreased day by day. However, there is not enough evidence of safety to comfort visitors here since China still ranks first on the list of unsafe countries by CDC.
Travelers should have been surprised as such a pandemic entered the biggest tourist attraction in Europe and broke out so fast that turned Italy to be the largest outbreak in Europe – the second largest one in the world.
As of March 18, the number of Covid-19 infections in Italy exceeded 31,000. Within a day, there are 345 new Coronavirus deaths in Italy, making the death number exceed 2,500. The Italian government has taken steps to control the outbreak, including a ban on public events in at least 10 cities, including the famous Venice Carnival, the blockade of Lombardy province (where was the original outbreak) and many surrounding towns. On March 9, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that all Italy would be placed under a blockade until the beginning of April due to the severity of the crisis.
A tourist attraction after the sanctions are gradually lifted and the political situation is more stable, the ancient Persia is known as an important destination of the Silk Road originating from China, which leads to the fast-spreading epidemic situation in Iran.
Quickly, the outbreak expands to the Middle East since the control at the Iranian border is regularly loose, making this place no longer a safe and desirable place for tourists as well.
Currently, Iran is the third-highest number of infections in the world, with 16,169 cases and 988 deaths, as of March 18. The country has even released more than 54,000 prisoners with negative Covid-19 test results to reduce the risk of disease spread.
Located in the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe, Spain is no stranger to travelers around the world. Not only is the country of vibrant flamenco dance and thrilling bullfights, Spain is also a land of beautiful beaches, magnificent castles and rich cuisine fluttering in the smell of warm aromatic wine. So for those who want to explore a unique history and culture, Spain is the most ideal choice. Unfortunately not this time, when the pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus is raging throughout Europe in general and Spain in particular.
As of 18 March, Spain has become the second-largest outbreak in Europe with nearly 14,000 cases and 623 deaths from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Particularly in the epidemic centers in Catalonia, 4 towns of Igualada, Vilanova del Cami, Santa Margarida Montbui and Odena have been locked down, the number of cases seems to double after each day. European health authorities are extremely concerned about the epidemic in Spain and afraid that at the current rate, in less than a week the country will fall into the same situation as Italy.
When it comes to Germany, tourists often mention a peaceful natural landscape with the majestic Alps, forests and romantic rivers, magnificent squares, cathedrals and castles; or a bustling Germany with Oktoberfest beer festival and famous sausage that people desire to experience. That is before the Covid-19 epidemic, at the moment, Germany is no longer an ideal tourist destination anymore.
According to the statistics of Morgenpost newspaper, on 18/3, the number of cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Germany has reached nearly 11,800 people and more than 20 deaths, including the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged all citizens to “minimize” social outreach, calling on states to cancel all non-urgent events, including those with fewer than 1,000 attendees.
Not outside the “crisis” of Covid-19 in Europe, the disease situation is also spreading day by day in France. Regularly considered one of the most romantic and magnificent countries in the world, now France has become the country with the sixth-highest number of Covid-19 cases worldwide. According to statistics on 18 March, the country recorded 11,973 cases of infection, of which 28 cases were fatal.
The worry is that all 13 regions in France have been affected, including the Guyane region abroad. The main outbreaks in France are still Oise, Haute-Savoie and Morbihan provinces. The French government has to admit the “irresistible” spread of coronavirus, with the possibility that the disease will soon turn into “stage 3”, making traveling to France at this time unsafe.
Once the most romantic destination in Asia, Korea is now heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. As of March 18, Korea is reported to have a total of 8,413 cases, making it the sixth most infected country in the world. In Korea, many people who were confirmed positive for Covid-19 still refused to be hospitalized for treatment. As of March 5, when about 1,777 were positive for the virus, people still refused to quarantine.
So far, there are 106 countries and territories, including Australia, applying restrictions on entry, tighten quarantine procedures with people from Korea, especially Daegu city – the epidemic center of this country. Australia has also refused entry of foreign nationals for 14 days after visiting mainland China, Iran, South Korea and Italy (except for Australian permanent residents).
We are always here to support
In this uncertain situation, our AVG team are trying to do our best to rearrange all of your bookings as well as deliver support to those who are en route. Meanwhile, please stay inside if possible, do not panic and thoughtfully follow governmental and health advisories.
We wish all of you and your family safe and well through this harsh period!