With cases of the Coronavirus now confirmed in 27 countries, a growing list of airlines have suspended flights to and from China, and China itself has banned its citizens from booking overseas flights. Foreign governments around the world have issued travel warnings, including the US, which upgraded its warning level to “Do Not Travel” on Feb 2.

There are screening measures in place at a seemingly endless list of major overseas airports, and several countries have implemented restrictions on flights from China.

We’ll keep this page updated with all the latest restrictions [last updated Feb 19]. If you see that we’re missing something, please let us know by sending an email to news@ops.group

The Biggies

The US

On Feb 2, the US said it would deny entry to any foreign nationals who have visited China in the past 14 days. More info

The restriction applies to travel to parts of the US, including overseas territories (Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and Guam.)

In addition, US citizens returning from Hubei province, where the outbreak started, may be subject to up to two weeks of mandatory quarantine. US citizens who have been in other parts of mainland China in the past 14 days will undergo screening at the designated airports and up to two weeks of monitored self-quarantine. More info

All flights from China are being re-routed through 11 airports: KJFK/New York, KEWR/Newark, KATL/Atlanta, KORD/Chicago, KSFO/San Francisco, KSEA/Seattle, KLAX/Los Angeles, PNHL/Honolulu, KDFW/Dallas, KDTW/Detroit, and KIAD/Washington.

The US FAA has published a Safety Alert for Operators, with advice for flight crews operating to/from China. View it here.

On Feb 7, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) ordered that all operators flying into the US must now collect info on any passengers who have travelled to mainland China (excluding Hong Hong and Macao) within 14 days of entry into the US. Operators need to collect five key bits of info on these passengers:

1. Full name
2. Address while in the US
3. Email address
4. Primary phone number
5. Secondary phone number.

This applies to all types of flight, from all countries – not just flights from China. The CDC may then contact operators to request this info if they need to track someone down.

If you’ve got a spare 2 hours, you can read the huge backstory on this here, as published in the Federal Register.

Hong Kong

From Feb 8, all travellers arriving from mainland China will be put into home quarantine for 14 days – including Hong Kong residents and foreign citizens. Even if they are entering Hong Kong from other places, if they have visited the Mainland over the past 14 days, mandatory quarantine will still be applicable upon their arrival. More info

The Notam issued by VHHH/Hong Kong says that flight crew are exempt:

A0359/20 – TO STRENGTHEN THE FIGHT AGAINST THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS, THE HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION GOVERNMENT IS IMPOSING A 14-DAY MANDATORY QUARANTINE ON PEOPLE HAVING STAYED IN THE MAINLAND CHINA FOR ANY PERIOD DURING THE 14 DAYS PRIOR TO ARRIVAL IN HONG KONG, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF EXEMPTED PERSONS. AIR CREW DISEMBARKING FROM PLANES AT HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AND ENTERING HONG KONG ARE EXEMPTED. 07 FEB 23:08 2020 UNTIL PERM. CREATED: 07 FEB 23:08 2020

Visitors must isolate themselves in hotel rooms or government-run centres. Residents must stay inside their homes. Anyone caught flouting the new rules faces a fine and a prison sentence. However, Hong Kong’s hotel industry union have complained that the government has not provided guidelines on handling quarantined guests. More info

Hong Kong is using a system for residents returning home from China’s Hubei province where people are placed on home quarantine and tracked using wristbands which must be connected to a smartphone and remain in the quarantined person’s home.

Hong Kong has thus far closed 10 out of 13 border crossings with mainland China. VHHH/Hong Kong airport, the Shenzhen Bay joint checkpoint and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao bridge remain open. There are ongoing protests by some medical staff to demand that the government close all routes to mainland China.

Singapore

From Feb 2, foreign nationals who have travelled to mainland China within the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore. For flight crew, you’ll be exempt from this restriction if you stayed airside whilst in China or if you don’t get off the plane whilst in Singapore. The CAA have issued two Circulars on this – read the original one here, and the second one here which aims to clarify the restriction.

Australia

On Feb 1, the government announced it will deny entry to foreign travellers who have left or passed through mainland China. This restriction will be in place until Feb 29 at the earliest. Limited exemptions exist for flight crew, where they have taken appropriate precautionary measures. The Department of Foreign Affairs also raised its travel advice for China to the highest level of “Do Not Travel”. More info

Israel

On Jan 30, Israel’s Health Ministry said it will not allow flights from China to land at its airports. Israel later published a Notam saying that any crew/pax who have been in China, Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand within 14 days prior to flying to Israel will be denied entry, and must be flown back to their airport of origin (exemptions exist if you spent less than 6 hours in Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore or Thailand waiting for a connecting flight; or if you plan to spend less than 6 hours on the ground in Israel):

A0448/20
1. FROM 20 FEB 2020 THE POPULATION AND IMMIGRATION AUTHORITY OF ISRAEL WILL DENY ENTRY INTO ISRAEL TO EVERY PASSENGER AND CREWMEMBER WHO WERE PHYSICALLY PRESENT WITHIN THE PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF CHINA, MACAU, SINGAPORE, THAILAND AND HONG KONG, DURING THE 14-DAYS PERIOD PRECEDING THEIR ENTRY OR ATTEMPTED ENTRY INTO ISRAEL, SUBJECT TO THE EXCEPTIONS IN SECTION 2.
2. SECTION 1 SHALL NOT APPLY TO:
A. PASSENGERS AND CREWMEMBERS WHO ARE ISRAELI CITIZENS OR RESIDENTS.
B. PASSENGERS WHO HOLD A VALID FLIGHT TICKET FOR A FLIGHT DEPARTING ISRAEL WITHIN 6 HOURS FROM THE TIME OF THEIR ENTRY TO ISRAEL, AND CREWMEMBERS WHO WILL DEPART ISRAEL WITHIN 6 HOURS FROM THE TIME OF THEIR ENTRY TO ISRAEL.
C. PASSENGERS AND CREWMEMBERS WHO WERE PHYSICALLY PRESENT WITHIN MACAU, SINGAPORE, THAILAND AND HONG KONG FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONNECTION FLIGHT ONLY.
D. PASSENGERS AND CREWMEMBERS THAT HAVE A SPECIFIC ENTRY APPROVAL FROM THE POPULATION AND IMMIGRATION AUTHORITY OR FROM THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH.
3. THE AIRLINE WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR RETURNING THE PASSENGER AND CREWMEMBER WHOSE ENTRY INTO ISRAEL WAS DENIED, TO HIS AIRPORT OF ORIGIN.
THIS NOTAM WILL BECOME EFFECTIVE FROM THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 0900PM LOCAL TIME (ISRAEL TIME). 20 FEB 19:00 2020 UNTIL 30 MAY 20:59 2020 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 18 FEB 15:40 2020

The 14-day-rule countries

Several countries have implemented a straight-forward rule denying entry to foreign nationals who have visited mainland China within the past 14 days. (Some countries require a greater number of days – this is shown in brackets below):

Antigua & Barbuda (28 days), Belize, Cook Islands, Fiji, Grenada, Guatemala (15 days), India, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Madagascar, Maldives, Saint Lucia, Solomon Islands, Somalia (20 days), Trinidad & Tobago.

A few countries also have the standard 14-day-rule, but extend it to include any travel through Hong Kong and Macau, not just mainland China:

Philippines, Seychelles, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Palau.

The Rest…

Taiwan

From Feb 6, all foreign nationals who have been to China, Hong Kong, or Macao within the past 14 days will be denied entry to Taiwan. This does not apply to flight crew who have transited through these countries but who have not left the transit areas. More info

United Arab Emirates

From Feb 5, all China flights are banned except to/from ZBAA/Beijing Capital Airport. All travellers from ZBAA will reportedly be subject to a 6-8 hour medical screening before boarding. More info

Russia

From Feb 4, UUEE/Moscow Sheremetyevo will be the only airport where foreign citizens coming from China by air can enter Russia. Flights here must go to a specially-designated terminal where passengers are screened for signs of infection. More info

Bermuda

On Feb 11, TXKF/Bermuda airport issued a Notam banning all flights from China:

A0016/20 – WIE DUE TO HEIGHTENED GLOBAL PROLIFERATION OF THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS, NO APPROVAL SHALL BE GRANTED TO ANY FLT ORIGINATING FROM CHINA TO LAND IN BERMUDA (TXKF) . THIS NOTAM APPLIES TO ALL ACFT OPR WHETHER COMMERCIAL OR PRIVATELY OWNED. 11 FEB 17:50 2020 UNTIL 30 APR 23:59 2020. CREATED: 11 FEB 17:45 2020

Bahamas

The Bahamas issued a Notam on Feb 5 banning all flights from China:

A0041/20 – EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY DUE TO HEIGHTENED GLOBAL PROLIFERATION OF THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (2019-NCOV) WHICH PRESENT AN INADVERTENT HEALTH RISK TO THE COUNTRY AIR TRAFFIC SERVICES SHALL BE DENIED AND NO APPROVAL SHALL BE GRANTED TO ANY FLIGHT ORIGINATING FROM CHINA TO LAND AT ANY AERODROME IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMAS. THE PILOT IN COMMAND MAY DEVIATE FROM THIS NOTAM ONLY IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY SITUATION WHICH INDICATES THAT THE OPERATING EFFICIENCY OF THE AIRCRAFT HAS BEEN IMPAIRED. THIS NOTAM APPLIES TO ALL AIRCRAFT OPERATORS WHETHER COMMERCIAL OR PRIVATELY OWNED. 05 FEB 20:50 2020 UNTIL 29 APR 19:00 2020. CREATED: 05 FEB 20:47 2020

They have also said that any traveller who has been to China within the past 20 days will be denied entry. More info

Gabon

From Feb 7, Gabon will deny entry to all travellers coming from China until further notice. More info

Saudi Arabia

On Feb 6, the Saudi government barred its citizens and residents of the kingdom from traveling to China. Anyone who breaks the ban and travels to China will not be allowed back into the country. Those already in China wanting to return to Saudi Arabia must disclose their travel dates to officials two weeks before their arrival date. More info

Malaysia

On Feb 6, the government extended the temporary travel ban on Chinese nationals. Under the new regulations, the ban now covers anyone traveling from any province placed under lockdown by the Chinese government. Previously the ban only applied to those from Hubei province. More info

India

From Feb 5, existing visas are no longer valid for any foreign national traveling from China. Anyone traveling to China will be quarantined on their return. More info

Samoa

From Feb 4, all travellers from or transiting through China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Singapore, or Thailand, must spend at least 14 days in self-quarantine at a country with no confirmed cases of coronavirus before arrival into Samoa. There’s a long list of other countries from which travellers cannot travel without getting a medical examination within three days before arrival. More info

Papua New Guinea

On Feb 4, the government announced that all non-scheduled flights to Papua New Guinea must now land at AYPY/Port Moresby as their first port of entry, so that screening checks can be carried out. Looks like this applies to non-scheduled flights from everywhere, not just China. More info

There has been a restriction in place since Jan 29 – entry will be refused to any traveller who has visited China within the last 14 days, unless they are cleared at a “World Health Organisation (WHO) approved medical facility”. More info

South Korea

Since Feb 4, South Korea has been denying entry to foreign citizens who have travelled to China’s Hubei province over the past 14 days.

From Feb 12, heightened screening measures will be implemented for travellers arriving from the rest of China, Hong Kong, and Macau – all travellers will be required to use specific counters and fill out a special quarantine report, disclosing any visits to Hubei province within the past 14 days. More info

New Zealand

New Zealand has closed its borders to any foreigners arriving from China – including those who have passed through in transit – until Feb 23 at the earliest.  Flight crew are excluded from the travel restrictions where they have taken “appropriate precautionary measures”. More info

Czech Republic

The government has announced it will ban direct flights between the Czech Republic and China effective Feb 9. More info here, and also published by Notam:

A0096/20 – BASED ON THE PROTECTIVE MEASURE OF THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC ALL AIR CARRIERS OPERATING DIRECT INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS WITH PASSENGERS ON BOARD FROM THE PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF CHINA ARE BANNED FROM OPERATING FLIGHTS TO ALL INTERNATIONAL AERODROMES IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC. 09 FEB 00:00 2020 UNTIL 09 MAY 23:59 2020 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 03 FEB 15:54 2020

Oman

From Feb 2, all flights to/from mainland China are suspended, including those which makes intermediate stops elsewhere. Does not affect overflights of the OOMM/Muscat FIR. Here’s the Notam:

A0045/20 – IN COOR WITH OMAN MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND PACA WIE ALL FLT BTN OMAN AND MAINLAND OF PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF CHINA SUSPENDED. SUSPENSION APPLICABLE TO ALL FLT ORIGINATING OR ENDING IN MAINLAND CHINA INCL FLT WITH AN INTERMEDIATE STOP BUT DOES NOT AFFECT ACFT OVF OOMM FIR . REQ FOR EXEMPTION FOR HUM FLT TO BE APPROVED BY PACA PRIOR TO OPR. H24, 02 FEB 17:35 2020 UNTIL 01 MAR 23:59 2020 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 02 FEB 17:46 2020

Vietnam

On Feb 1, the government suspended all flights from China, and said that anyone who has visited China in the previous 14 days will be refused entry to Vietnam. The only exceptions will be people with specific agreement travelling on official government business. More info

Japan

From Feb 1, foreigners who have travelled to Hubei or Zhejiang provinces in China in the last 14 days are not permitted to enter Japan. More info

Micronesia

If you have visited, or transited mainland China since Jan 6 you will be denied entry to Micronesia. Additionally, you must spend at least 14 days in a country with no confirmed cases of coronavirus before entering Micronesia. More info

Mongolia

The Mongolian Government has announced a ban on foreign nationals entering Mongolia from China, effective from Feb 1 to Mar 2. Foreign nationals travelling in the opposite direction, from Mongolia to China, will only be allowed to do so via ZMUB/Ulaanbaatar airport and the rail border point in Zamyn-Uud. More info

Niue

Foreign nationals who have travelled to China in the past 30 days will be denied entry, unless they have spent at least 14 days in a country with no confirmed cases of Coronavirus and can supply a medical certificate issued within 3 days prior to arrival. More info

Tonga

Foreign nationals arriving from or transiting through China will be denied entry, unless they have spent at least 14 days in a country with no confirmed cases of Coronavirus and can supply a medical certificate issued within 3 days prior to arrival. More info

Vanuatu

Foreign nationals who have travelled to China, Hong Kong or Macau since Dec 31 will be denied entry to Vanuatu, unless they have spent at least 14 days outside those countries and can supply a medical certificate. More info

Italy

On Jan 31, Italy published a Notam banning all flights coming to Italy from airports in China, Taipei, Hong Kong or Macau. Overflights are not affected.

A0647/20 (Issued for LIBB LIMM LIRR) – UPON REQUEST OF THE ITALIAN HEALTH AUTHORITIES ALL FLIGHTS TO/FM PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (PRC) INCLUDING THE HONG KONG, MACAO SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGIONS AND TAIPEI ARE FORBIDDEN RMK: TFC NOT AFFECTED: OVERFLY, STATE/MEDEVAC/HOSP/HUM AND SPECIFIC ACFT AUTORIZED BY ITALIAN CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY (ENAC) REQUESTS SHALL BE ADDRESSED TO SCHEDULED.PERMITS(AT)ENAC.GOV.IT REF AIP GEN 1.2-23. 02 FEB 00:00 2020 UNTIL 28 APR 23:59 2020 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 31 JAN 19:00 2020.

They’ve published another Notam, saying that if you suspect you’ve got an infected passenger onboard and have to divert to Italy, you can only go to LIRF/Rome Fiumicino or LIMC/Milan Malpensa. More info here.

Iran

On Jan 31, government officials announced the suspension of all flights to and from mainland China until further notice. More info

Kazakhstan

From Feb 20, travellers arriving in Kazakhstan from certain countries will be divided into three categories and be subject to measures aimed at curbing the spread of illness. If you’ve recently been in mainland China you’ll be put into hospital quarantine for 14 days from the last day you were in China. If you’re flying in from Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong or Macao, you have to self-quarantine for 14 days. They say flight crew will be “subject to more lenient measures.” More info

Brunei

On Jan 30, the Brunei government announced that all travellers who have visited Hubei province up to 14 days before arrival in Brunei would be denied entry. The government has not stated how long the ban will be in effect for. Brunei citizens and permanent residents will be exempted, but may be subject to temperature screenings and possible quarantine. More info

Macau

From Jan 24, all pax and crews are required to complete a health declaration form, a copy of which will be given to you on arrival. It’s no use completing the online version in advance – it won’t be accepted! Immigration officers will then carry out body temperature readings. If you register as lower than 37.5°C you’re free to enter; if not, they don’t say exactly what they’ll do with you.

Germany, France, Poland, French Polynesia, Mayotte, Reunion

These countries have published almost identical Notams saying that for all flights from anywhere in China, Hong Kong or Macau, you must submit the health part of the Gendec to the authorities on arrival. All travellers must also complete a copy of the ICAO health declaration.

The German and Polish Notams go one step further in instructing that operators must also keep all pax data (names, contacts, where they sat on the plane) in case the authorities need to see it (we suppose, following any cases of infection discovered later that are traced back to your flight).

United Kingdom

No entry restrictions have been announced yet. The government has just recommended against all but essential travel to mainland China, and have provided guidance for British nationals wanting to evacuate.

EGLL/Heathrow, EGGW/Luton and EGBB/Birmingham airports have all published similar Notams about a new “coronavirus protocol” procedure. (This most likely applies to all UK airports, it’s just these three are the only ones to have published a Notam so far). All direct flights from China, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Macau have to do it. Basically, you have to contact the airport at least 60 mins before arrival to let them know if you’ve got any suspected flu cases on board. Failure to do so may result in an arrival delay!


In China

Almost all major Chinese airports are now testing pax and crew temperatures upon arrival and before departure.

The city of Wuhan itself is on lockdown, and the airport (ZHHH) is effectively now closed until further notice – although flights operated for several days after the virus was identified, including non-stops to San Francisco and New York.

Local handlers in China have told us that other major airports in the country remain open and operational, and most of the hotels are still available and operating – all the big international chains (Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental, Marriott) are now waiving cancellation fees for travellers in affected regions.


EASA published a Safety Information Bulletin on Jan 27, recommending all flights to China be stocked with “Universal Precaution Kits” for crews (gloves, hand sanitizers, face masks, etc). They have also provided additional promotional material for airlines and their crews, with some practical measures they can take to reduce the risk of the virus spreading.  They say airlines and operators should ensure that:

  • A sufficient quantity of potable water is available in the water tank of aircraft prior to departure
  • A sufficient number of gloves is available on board
  • Disinfectant gel is available for the crew
  • While on the ground with passengers onboard, the maximum time without air conditioning/ventilation should be less than 30 minutes

The NBAA has decided to cancel this year’s Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE), given health concerns and other challenges which have arisen in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak. ABACE 2020 was scheduled to take place in Shanghai from April 21-23.


For Updates to the restrictions, keep an eye on the following sources:

David Mumford

David Mumford

Opsgroup team member. International flight ops news hound.

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