News Alerts

11 Feb 2020 | 07:36 PM UTC

US: American Airlines extends suspension of flights to mainland China, Hong Kong until late April /update 11

United States of America News Alert

American Airlines extends suspension of flights to mainland China, Hong Kong until late April; confirm flight reservations

TIMEFRAME expected from 2/11/2020, 12:00 AM until 4/24/2020, 11:59 PM (America/Chicago). COUNTRY/REGION United States

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Event

American Airlines announced on Tuesday, February 11, that it would extend the suspension of flights to and from mainland China and Hong Kong due to the ongoing outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Flights between Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) are suspended through Thursday, April 23, while flights between DFW and mainland China are suspended through Friday, April 24. Services between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and HKG and mainland China will not resume until Saturday, April 25. 

On January 31, the US Secretary of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency in the United States due to the ongoing outbreak of the virus. Measures related to the declaration entered into effect at 17:00 (local time) on Sunday, February 2. The measures include mandatory quarantine for 14 days for any US citizen that has been to Hubei province (China) in the two weeks prior to their return. Those returning from other areas of mainland China will be subject to a health screening at a select number of ports of entry and the possibility of up to two weeks of monitored self-quarantine until the risk has been cleared.

The US Department of State increased its travel advisory to "Level 4: Do Not Travel" (the highest level) for all of mainland China on Thursday, January 30, due to the ongoing outbreak. US citizens are also being warned to prepare for travel restrictions that may be put into effect with little or no advance notice. All nonessential US government personnel have been requested to defer travel to China.

As of February 11, 13 cases of 2019-nCoV have been confirmed in the US. Cases have been confirmed in the states of Washington, California, Arizona, MassachusettsIllinois, and Wisconsin. The first human-to-human transmission of the virus in the US was confirmed on January 30. More than 60 cases are still being investigated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC maintained as of February 7 that "the potential public health threat posed by 2019-nCoV virus is high" for the general American public.

Further international spread of the 2019-nCoV virus is to be expected over the coming days and weeks.

Context

The first case of 2019-nCoV was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in 25 countries worldwide. Virus screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the ongoing novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak is a "public health emergency of international concern."

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia. 

Advice

Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments. Individuals are advised to take precautionary measures to reduce their risk of contracting the virus:

  • Avoid all contact with animals (dead or alive); avoid eating animal products that are undercooked; avoid all markets where animals are sold
  • Avoid all close contact with people displaying symptoms of the disease (e.g. difficulties breathing)
  • Frequently wash hands, wear a face mask
  • Individuals within China developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to seek medical attention, avoid contact with other people, and wash hands regularly
  • Adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments
  • Travelers returning from China developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid spreading the disease. 

 

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