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adamhanlon

Community Updates on Coronavirus Travel Restrictions

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The coronavirus outbreak in China has started to affect travel. 

Currently, this has mostly impacted travel to and from China, with airlines suspending flights and government issuing advice on travel to the country that effectively nullify travel insurance.

For Government advice on travel, possible resources include the US State Department (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/china-travel-advisory.html), the UK's Foreign Office (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/china) or the Canadian Government (https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/china) among others.

As the situation develops, we ask that the Wetpixel community post in this thread their experiences, in order to help others to adapt or modify their travel plans.

 

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To get the ball rolling, Wetpixel's friend and long-time community member Douglas Seifert ( @Yellowmon ) reported that the Papua New Guinea Immigration and Citizenship Authority suspended (https://news.pngfacts.com/2020/01/png-authorities-shut-down-entry-ports.html) all online visas, on-arrival visas and  flights and other entries from Asia.

This was subsequently reversed today (Friday 31 January), and now only individuals that have visited Wuhan Province are not allowed to enter.

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Updates: 

At least some flights that fly into or route via Hong Kong have now been cancelled.

Alex Dawson reports that flights into Truk (Micronesia) are also affected.

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6 hours ago, adamhanlon said:

Alex Dawson reports that flights into Truk (Micronesia) are also affected.

Into Truk from where?

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Micronesia appears to have banned travel from any country with confirmed cases of coronavirus:

"...the FSM emergency declaration casts a wide net, banning travel from the United States and over a dozen other countries where the 2019-nCoV has been confirmed."

And:

"There is a complete travel ban on visitors from China to the FSM. For people traveling to the FSM from other countries with confirmed cases of the coronavirus, they are required to spend 14 days in a country or territory without the virus before they will be allowed to enter Micronesian ports in Pohnpei, Kosrae, Chuuk and Yap, Mr Panuelo's declaration stated."

Details are here: https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/408617/fsm-marshall-islands-step-up-coronavirus-travel-bans

And the official announcement is here: https://gov.fm/index.php/component/content/article/35-pio-articles/news-and-updates/262-clarification-of-the-public-health-emergency-declaration?Itemid=177

Adam

 

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The Philippines announced on Sunday that it would institute mandatory 14 day quarantine for arrivals from China, including Hong Kong, even if only in transit. 

The FSM ban is the same, even if only transit, for travellers from any country, not only China with confirmed cases. This includes the US!

It's going to get worse.  My organization is working daily with the WHO to advise countries across Asia and the predictions are dire.  Not for fatalities (this is not a particularly dangerous virus) but for economic disruption. I have staff stuck in multiple countries with no way to get home.

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Hi Everyone,

FYI, two days before we were to leave for Raja Ampat, Cathay Pacific cancelled our flight from Hong Kong to Jakarta.  The rebooking they offered did not get us there in time to catch the Garuda flight to Sorong.  Other airlines were also cutting flights so we couldn't find a workable option. So we wound up having to stay home.  So far, we are getting refunds from the airlines (small penalty from Garuda), but the boat has not offered any accomodation like a reschedule etc.  I imagine that boats throughout the region are having problems with cancellations, delays, etc.  Just have to hope this virus gets controlled sometime soon.  If we do work something out with the boat, I will let you know.

Tom

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Wow, that's a real bummer, Tom. I fear though that is going to be the way of things for the coming months. I've just written off flights and accomm for a weekend in Venice with my son next month. Nothing compared though to a liveaboard trip.

 

 

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I just got 4 people cancelling on my boat departing 1st of August...this seems absolutely madness

My company is asking me to stop travel and self quarantine this is getting out of hand

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Posted (edited)

People cancelling departure from a country with few cases to a country with few cases does seem mad. Hope you don’t lose too much money on this. I’m in Indonesia now and many locals are reporting significantly reduced numbers of tourists even though Indonesia has had very few cases. 

Edited by hyp

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1 hour ago, hyp said:

People cancelling departure from a country with few cases to a country with few cases does seem mad. Hope you don’t lose too much money on this. I’m in Indonesia now and many locals are reporting significantly reduced numbers of tourists even though Indonesia has had very few cases. 

It is not looking good right now. I travel regularly for work and Milan airport is a desert the flight to London had 19 passengers

At this pace flights will get cancelled because of lack of passengers and this will have a knock on effect on everyone

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Posted (edited)

Sometimes I get the impression this virus has more impact on the brain than on the lungs.  Getting bizarre.  Here in Germany we had 25.000 peoples dying from the flue in 2018 alone. Zero so far on Corona. And people stack loopaper for the next 10 years...

Lets have a Mexican beer, shall we?

Edited by bubffm
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All... I'm reading some of these posts about cancellations and sparse planes and then hearing people complain that this might be an overreaction to this particular epidemic (not a pandemic yet). And then the impact on travel companies, etc.

The only way (and I mean the ONLY way) the transmission of this virus is slowed down or halted (worldwide) is through "social distancing" (basically keeping people from gathering together where transmission becomes easier). That means much less travel, group travel, meetings, etc. 

Although the transmission started in China the Chinese government did us all a favor. Their enforced isolation and quarantines prevented upwards up 100M more infections (and then many more follow-on transmissions). 

Now it is up to other countries to deal with this. Keep in mind we are dealing with a  virus that mutates about every 14 days, or every other step in the transmission chain. So far, those mutations have generally led to milder strains emerging (why we are seeing fewer deaths), however that's not guaranteed as we go forward (to view the alternative, take a look at what's happened on several of the cruise ships). 

The R0 value (how infectious this virus is) has been recalculated - it now may have a real R0 value of somewhere between 5 an 7 (for infection hotspots), which would place it somewhere between Polio and Smallpox. 

Those countries that don't have large outbreaks (yet) need to be preparing for what might be coming. Yes, the economic impact is real for many people right now, but if we can't slow down/stop the rate of transmission the impact will get much worse.

I'm not trying to scare anyone - it is important that we all realize what is happening. I've already cancelled one trip at a loss of significant $, and now considering cancelling another. 

 

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13 hours ago, oneyellowtang said:

All... I'm reading some of these posts about cancellations and sparse planes and then hearing people complain that this might be an overreaction to this particular epidemic (not a pandemic yet). And then the impact on travel companies, etc.

The only way (and I mean the ONLY way) the transmission of this virus is slowed down or halted (worldwide) is through "social distancing" (basically keeping people from gathering together where transmission becomes easier). That means much less travel, group travel, meetings, etc. 

Although the transmission started in China the Chinese government did us all a favor. Their enforced isolation and quarantines prevented upwards up 100M more infections (and then many more follow-on transmissions). 

Now it is up to other countries to deal with this. Keep in mind we are dealing with a  virus that mutates about every 14 days, or every other step in the transmission chain. So far, those mutations have generally led to milder strains emerging (why we are seeing fewer deaths), however that's not guaranteed as we go forward (to view the alternative, take a look at what's happened on several of the cruise ships). 

The R0 value (how infectious this virus is) has been recalculated - it now may have a real R0 value of somewhere between 5 an 7 (for infection hotspots), which would place it somewhere between Polio and Smallpox. 

Those countries that don't have large outbreaks (yet) need to be preparing for what might be coming. Yes, the economic impact is real for many people right now, but if we can't slow down/stop the rate of transmission the impact will get much worse.

I'm not trying to scare anyone - it is important that we all realize what is happening. I've already cancelled one trip at a loss of significant $, and now considering cancelling another. 

 

I understand your concerns however I am curious about the logic of cancelling the trip. Where were you going and how far in the future?

My surprise is that people cancel trips 5 months or more in advance without a fact base. If this becomes a real issue airlines and resort will cancel themselves and at least you get a refund?

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The Spanish flu killed somewhere around 50 million people. Of course, today, with supportive treatments and antibiotics for immune suppressed secondary infections the death rate would be less in first world countries. But, the flu is a deadly virus and some varieties thereof are especially dangerous but yet none of my co-workers take their flu vaccines and most people I know do not and refuse to do so. All sorts of reasons they provide, most quite ridiculous. And yet this Corona virus outbreak is being hyped and weaponized in part for political service and harm to the economy and compared to Ebola. The only way we will not take our planned vacation trips is if the airlines ground themselves and I cannot drive. Yeah, be cautious, but I am not going to put my life on hold for the fake news media to hype doom and gloom.  I think I too will break out a Corona Light tonight.

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Hi,
if you follow the problems in Italy, our neighbor state, you maybe change your mind...
100 dead people in one day...
And why?
Its a very family friendly / crowding country.
Most of the dead persons are older than 60... Had other health issues, and the virus killed them!
Means that younger, maybe not ill feeling members brought it with them, and the older had troubles with it..
Specially there it is common to travel a lot, and have contacts to tourists, like in Venice and the beach region...
So any kind of virus can spread easy...
And no other country has a so much deadly quote....
So please ceep the older ones seperated ( sorry dont know a better word ), as hard this sounds, and ceep them alive this way!
Cancel a trip if it is necessary, and try the best to stay healthy.

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Posted (edited)

I will follow the advice of the degreed professionals. If they tell me to not go some place, I will give that educated advice careful consideration. I will not follow the hype of the news media and junk science they present as fact. 

I am very sorry for those places that have been hit so terribly hard with this novel virus. I will keep Italy in my thoughts and prayers and be thankful the reports from China are improving. That gives us all hope for an end to this. Hopefuly sooner than later, we can pray for it.

In the US H1N1 killed over 12,000 people and infected upwards of 61 million people, that was hardly yesterday. It is hard to have perspective on a hammer when you are getting hit by the hammer, I appreciate that. Losing our family members and friends is hard to fathom until one has experienced it. 

I am 66 yo and my wife is 63 yo and a nurse and works in a hospital. Yes, I have my eye on it but I am not going to panic. Thankfully only one case in our state and the low population density of many areas in the US will make transmission inefficient, we can hope for.

James

Edited by Captain Fathom
spelling

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I flew into PNG yesterday. All international flights must now land in Port Moresby for heath screening. This was a paper questionnaire and every passenger getting their ear temperature taken on arrival. They are asking about travel to/through China, whether you are a health care worker and whether you've had contact with a confirmed case.

PNG is also re-routing all international boat traffic to three ports for a mandatory 7 day hold before being allowed to visit other PNG ports.

Personally I think this is a good idea for PNG as they don't have a health system able to deal with a crisis. Three weeks ago I went to Canada (Vancouver) and there was nothing in arrivals despite being a major port for Asian travellers.

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On 3/8/2020 at 6:28 PM, Captain Fathom said:

And yet this Corona virus outbreak is being hyped and weaponized in part for political service

Pure BS, unless you mean it is being ignored and downplayed for political service.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, tursiops said:

Pure BS, unless you mean it is being ignored and downplayed for political service.

When I say weaponized I do not mean deliberate spread, I mean that an unfortunate circumstance is being used for political purpose. And that is not BS. It is very difficult for normal people to make reasonable decisions when so much of the news media is providing false or deliberately hyped information. I am going to go to the WHO and CDC, not NBC or MSNBC, for information. 

 

 

 

Edited by Captain Fathom
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The government of the Philippines has announced "community quarantine" in the entirety of metro Manila. Domestic air travel is shut down, and highways will be closed by the weekend. That means access to all dive sites is not possible via Manila but access to some is currently possible via Cebu. However it is clear that we will see nationwide cases soon, so restrictions are certain to expand. 

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Sometimes I get the impression this virus has more impact on the brain than on the lungs.  Getting bizarre.  Here in Germany we had 25.000 peoples dying from the flue in 2018 alone. Zero so far on Corona. And people stack loopaper for the next 10 years... Lets have a Mexican beer, shall we?      

 

 Just wait. It’s like that here in San Francisco (estimates 600 people infected and a few deaths). Check back in 2-4 weeks and the hospitals may well be deciding who lives and gets the ventilator and who dies.

 

Germany is going to get hot in 1-2 months too, although you don’t have the problem of gross incompetence at the highest levels of government.  

 

Anyone saying this is a hype or a hoax is watching too much US Pravda TV and Facebook groups.... I’d like to chuckle and say go for the Darwin Award ... but the reality is people who are young and become carriers will be killing 60+ year olds. 

 

Also Spanish Flu on 1918 had three mortality peaks - one small in June, the highest one in November, and another medium one the following Spring. So it may get better and then much worse.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1918_spanish_flu_waves.gif

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi,
its a virus very simmilar to the flue.
But a bit more deadly.
We had 25000 flue invected, dont know how many have died this year. But sure more than this one!
And its allways the older or not so fit persons...
A scientific pro had sayed that it is possible that this virus was around for years,
but nobody had been tested for it.
So if somebody died in wintertime while flue is around, nobody would have had a look for that virus...

In the moment i am sitting on a tropical island, no case here...
But i got a mail that i have to go home one week earlier, because there will be no more flights....
Here its save, and at home?
Had to shorten the annual dive trip from 20 to 12 days before out of medical reasons.
Now 7 days less....
Only spent a lot of money and had a stressy time traveling for nothing..
And thats the annual "long" holiday. Have no idea if i can get another one this year...

Any we will do this and that in 3 days mean, that all the people will do it before, so no effect.
If i tell you te traffic will be shut down on monday, you will leave saturday...
And if infected, take it with you...

Regards,
Wolfgang

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