Flight Centre Travel Group proprietary limited urges China-bound travellers to reconsider plans
The Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) is urging travellers to reconsider all non-essential travel to China as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak.
The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on 30 January. Several countries, starting with the United States, have issued advisories to reconsider travel to China.
The virus has been confirmed in the following countries to date: Australia, Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, The Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden,
Taiwan, Thailand, UAE, UK, USA, Vietnam
As of 4 February 2020, there are no reported or suspected cases in South Africa.
There is no impact to visitors visiting South Africa and no travel or trade advisories or restrictions have been put in place for travellers visiting South Africa, except those imposed on Chinese citizens by the Chinese government.
South African health authorities and hospitals are on high alert and temperature screening remains in place at most international airports in South Africa. This is a routine precaution that was instituted at airports in 2010.
“Travel experts from The Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG), including Flight Centre Business Travel, Corporate Traveller and FCM, are contacting all their customers due to travel to China over the coming weeks. We recommend that customers reconsider
their travel plans and make use of the relevant airline’s re-accommodation policies,” says Kim Taylor, Customer Experience Director at the Flight Centre Travel Group.
“Some airlines are allowing clients to refund or make changes to their travel at no additional cost,” says Taylor. The Flight Centre Travel Group will continue to monitor and update as communication is received from airlines.
For travellers already in affected areas, FCTG strongly advises:
- Avoid all travel to Hubei province, as it is under lockdown by Chinese authorities.
- Practice advanced hygiene measures, including frequent hand washing and sanitising.
- Wear a face mask or respirator in public if travelling in Chinese cities with reported infections.
Strict health screening is being performed at various airports worldwide. All travellers should allow for sufficient travelling time in case of any delays at the airport.
Travellers are, as always, advised to adhere to the advice of local authorities, airport security personnel and health organisations.
We urge affected customers to contact their Flight Centre Travel Expert for details and assistance. We will continue to advise our customers on the situation as more details unfold.