Wuhan Coronavirus Update: Countries and Airlines Imposing Travel Bans and Suspending Flights to China

Wuhan Coronavirus Update: Countries and Airlines Imposing Travel Bans and Suspending Flights to China

All you need to know about the coronavirus travel restrictions and flight suspensions.

The outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was first reported in Wuhan, China on 31 December 2019 and has since become a global crisis with 146 confirmed cases in 23 countries outside China and over 300 deaths to date. The World Health Organisation has declared the epidemic a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). Many countries have since strengthened measures to tackle this, often involving stringent travel advisories and travel restrictions. As countries rush to contain the outbreak, we round up the various bans and guidelines put in place.


Singapore has prohibited entry and transit to all visitors of any nationalities with recent travel history to mainland China, except Singaporeans and permanent residents. The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) has suspended the issuance of all forms of new visas to those with Chinese passports. Additionally, Singapore Airlines (SIA), Silkair and Scoot will be reducing flights between Singapore and mainland China.


Malaysia has temporarily revoked granting of visas for all residents from China’s Hubei province, including its capital Wuhan. It has also banned visitors from the city and surrounding province. There is no ban on flights from other regions in China to Malaysia – except in Sabah, which has banned all air travel from China.  


Indonesia is restricting visitors who have stayed in China for 14 days or more from visiting or transiting in Indonesia. It will also temporarily stop flights to and from China.


Following its first fatal case of the virus (also the first outside of China), the Philippines has banned travellers from mainland China, Macau and Hong Kong, including those transiting through.  However, the ban excludes Filipinos and holders of permanent resident visas who have been to China.


Vietnam has cancelled flights from China altogether and also suspended new tourist visas for Chinese nationals and foreigners who have travelled to China in the past two weeks. VietJet and Vietnam Airlines have suspended flights to destinations in China, but lifted its ban on Taiwan.


Thailand requires all arriving Chinese tourists to provide medical certificates declaring that they are healthy and free of infection from the novel coronavirus.

Hong Kong 

Hong Kong has suspended some of its high-speed rail service and cross-border ferry services between the city and mainland China. It will also be reducing flights to the mainland by half and has announced new border closures. 


Taiwan is denying entry to all foreign nationals who have been to China during the past 14 days, due to the growing threat of the coronavirus. This is an extension of the existing ban on visitors from mainland China. 

South Korea 

South Korea will bar entry to all foreign nationals who have been in China’s Hubei province in the past 14 days. Air Seoul has temporarily suspended flights to Wuhan and other cities in China.


Japan has banned foreign nationals who visited China’s Hubei Province from entering the country.


India has banned the export of personal protection equipment such as masks and clothing. Air India and IndiGo have suspended certain flights between some Indian cities and China.


Australia will not allow entry to anyone flying from or through China except for Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family.


Canada has not placed any restrictions on Chinese residents entering the country, which has earned praise from China’s foreign ministry. However, Air Canada has cancelled all flights to Shanghai and Beijing. 


Air France has followed suit and suspended all scheduled flights to and from mainland China between 30 January and 9 February.


Finnair will suspend all flights to and from mainland China between 6 February and 29 February.


Lufthansa has extended its flight suspension to and from Beijing and Shanghai until 29 February.


Italy has suspended all incoming flights from Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and Macau until April 28. 


Israel has forbidden entry to anyone, except Israeli citizens, who have visited China in the past two weeks. El Al Airlines has suspended flights between Tel Aviv and Beijing until March 25.


KLM will temporarily suspend direct flights to the cities of Chengdu and Hangzhou and has reduced its number of flights to Shanghai from 11 to 7 per week.

New Zealand 

New Zealand is barring entry of all foreign nationals arriving from mainland China. New Zealand citizens and permanent residents returning as well as their immediate family members will still be able to enter New Zealand.


Qatar Airways has suspended flights to China as of 3 February, the first Middle Eastern carrier to do so. 


Russia has warned that foreigners diagnosed with the novel coronavirus may be deported. It has also suspended visa-free travel for tourists to and from China and will temporarily cease accepting and issuing documents for work visas to Chinese nationals.


Turkish Airlines has suspended flights to Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Xi’an until 9 February.

United Kingdom 

Britain has not introduced similar restrictions or bans, although there are precautions (i.e. quarantines) in place. British Airways has ceased services linking London with Beijing and Shanghai for a period of one month.

United States of America 

Foreign nationals who have traveled to China in the last two weeks will be temporarily banned from entering the U.S.A, with the exception of immediate family members of American citizens and permanent residents. Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and United Airlines have also suspended all flights to and from China.

Stay Safe on Your Travels! 

From air travel bans to mandatory quarantines subjected to anyone returning from China, governments and authorities all across the globe have implemented measures to combat the spread of coronavirus. While expedient actions have been taken, travellers should still uphold health and safety procedures. 

Avoid close contact with people who are unwell — especially those with cold symptoms — and make hand-washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds a habit. Stay safe on your travels!

Also read: Wuhan Virus: Death Toll Rises to Nine, Cases Confirmed in US, Thailand, Korea & Japan

About Author

Ifah Sakinah
Ifah Sakinah

Sakinah has a discerning palate and an innate desire to satisfy her inner curiosity. While she hasn't been everywhere, it's definitely on her list.


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