Update, March 24th:
We now have a dedicated Coronavirus Ops : Live page where we’ll bring you all the latest updates. We’ll consign this particular page to history. As usual, check it out and if you see something missing from our own alerts, please let us know!
From now on, use https://ops.group/corona for the latest information.
With the Coronavirus now present on every continent except Antarctica, expanded travel restrictions and flight bans are coming thick and fast.
Keeping tabs on all countries around the world is proving tough – nearly every country now has some kind of restriction in place regarding travel, and these change daily. So we will keep this page updated with only the big changes, shown below with the date in red for when each country’s info was last updated. If you see that we’re missing something, please let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Big change to the rules coming at midnight on Mar 19 – all travellers entering Hong Kong will be required to go into compulsory quarantine for 14 days. For Hong Kong residents, this can take place at home. For everyone else, quarantine must be at a government quarantine centre – you can’t serve your 14 day quarantine period in a hotel. Transit flights not affected, unless you fail the health screening. More info
Malaysia is entering a two-week lockdown starting today, Mar 18. Until Apr 1 at the earliest, all foreign nationals have been banned from entering the country, and all Malaysians will not be allowed to travel overseas. All returning Malaysians will have to self quarantine for 14 days. Foreign nationals are permitted to depart the country, however flight options are increasingly limited. More info
Foreign nationals from outside Europe are being turned away from airports and borders, after the EU imposed a 30-day ban on Mar 17 to halt the spread of coronavirus. The entry ban will not affect Europeans going home or cross-border workers. The ban specifically covers all EU states as well as countries within the Schengen border-free zone, including Iceland, Switzerland, Norway and Liechtenstein. More info
Although this technically does not apply to the UK, the UK itself has advised against non-essential travel anywhere in the world for the next 30 days.
European countries have already implemented drastic measures with Italy, France, Spain, Austria, Ireland, Belgium and Denmark all on varying degrees of lockdown. Some, such as Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Latvia, Ukraine, Estonia, Cyprus and Slovakia, have already shut their borders.
Most airlines have now cut almost all flights in and out of Italy. If you’re trying to fly out of there, there’s a high chance that wherever you’re going to will now have some kind of inbound travel restriction or outright flight ban – check the FIR Notams for that country, as well as the latest entry restrictions published on official government websites. Keep an eye on the Deskaeronautico site for the latest on Italian airport closures.
Israel has taken drastic steps to control the spread of the virus. From Mar 12, all foreign nationals are denied entry, but “permission to enter Israel will be considered for foreign nationals who can prove that they have a place and are able to go into a 14-day isolation.” This exception does not apply to foreign nationals coming from: China, South Korea, Thailand, Italy, Macau, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and Egypt.
As of March 18, Turkey has suspended all flights to and from a long list of countries: Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, China, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Iran, Ireland, Iraq, Italy, Kosovo, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, South Korea, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom. Foreign nationals who have visited these countries within the past 14 days are also barred from entering the country. More info
Eurocontrol have a very useful dedicated page with all the latest flight restrictions in Europe, as published by Notam, which will get updated daily. Go to the NOP site, and click on the ‘COVID-19 Notam Summary’ link from the Network Headline News panel.
From Mar 19, foreign nationals, except those holding valid resident permits, will not be permitted to enter Taiwan. Effective immediately, self-isolation will now be required for those who entered Taiwan from the UK, Ireland and Schengen Area since Mar 5. More info
Russia has said it will close its border to foreign nationals at midnight on Mar 17 until May 1. The ban will not affect those with permanent residency in Russia, diplomats, crew, and transit passengers. More info
From Mar 18, Canada will ban foreign nationals from all countries except the US from entering the country. This measure does not apply to flight crews or transit passengers. International flights can now only use four airports: CYYZ/Toronto Pearson, CYUL/Montreal, CYYC/Calgary and CYVR/Vancouver, to allow for enhanced screening (although this rule does not apply to flights from the US, Mexico and the Caribbean, and Canadian domestic flights). All travellers arriving in Canada are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days as a precaution. More info
New rules implemented on Mar 16: all travellers, including Singapore residents, who have travelled to these countries within the past 14 days will be issued with a 14-day Stay-Home Notice: ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam), Japan, Switzerland, and the UK.
This is in addition to the previous rules announced, banning entry (including transit) to foreign nationals who have been to these countries within the past 14 days:
– Italy, France, Spain, Germany (Issued Mar 15) More info
– Iran, South Korea (Issued Mar 4) More info
– China (Issued Jan 31) More info
The Singapore Ministry of Health has published a nice, neat table which makes all these restrictions very clear:
Kuwait – from Mar 12, foreign nationals are no longer allowed to enter Kuwait. All commercial flights to and from OKBK/Kuwait airport were suspended from midnight on Mar 13 until further notice. More info
UAE – the ‘Safety Decisions’ listed on the CAA’s website is the place to go to find out exactly what the restrictions are here. The latest one was issued on Mar 14, banning flights (including transits) from Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey. From Mar 19, the UAE will temporarily suspend all visas on arrival.
Saudi Arabia – all international flights suspended from Mar 15 for two weeks. Consider Saudi Arabia completely closed until Mar 29 at the earliest. More info
Qatar – from the evening of Mar 18 for a period of at least 14 days, no international passengers (including those with a residence permit) will be allowed to enter Qatar. Transit passengers going on to another destination will still be able to transfer through Qatar. Qatari citizens will continue to be allowed into the country after they quarantine for two weeks. More info
Jordan – all passenger flights in and out of Jordan were suspended on Mar 16; this decision will be reviewed on 30 March. More info
Bahrain – no huge lockdown yet, but visas on arrival were suspended on Mar 18, foreign nationals are being denied entry if they have visited China, Iran, Iraq or South Korea within the past 14 days, and travellers from a long list of other countries will be tested on arrival and may be put into quarantine. More info
Argentina – from Mar 17, all flights from Europe and the US are suspended for at least 30 days. Travellers arriving from countries with a significant number of cases will be required to go into quarantine for 14 days. More info
Colombia – from Mar 16, Colombia will bar entry to any foreign national who has been to Europe or Asia within the past 14 days. Colombian citizens who return from affected areas will be subject to mandatory quarantine for 14 days. More info
El Salvador – on Mar 11, El Salvador announced it would bar entry to all foreign nationals. More info
Guatemala – from Mar 16, Guatemala will bar the entry of citizens of the US, Canada, South Korea, Italy, France, the UK, China and Iran. More info
Peru – on Mar 16, Peru published a Notam saying that all flights are suspended until Mar 31. There’s another Notam which bans flights to/from Europe and Asia until Apr 15.
Uruguay – on Mar 13, Uruguay announced that all passengers arriving from China, South Korea, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Iran, France and Germany must go into mandatory quarantine for 14 days. More info
Venezuela – on Mar 12, Venezuela announced it would suspend all flights from Colombia and European countries for at least a month. More info
Bolivia – all flights to and from Europe will be suspended from Mar 14 until the end of the month. Foreign nationals arriving from China and South Korea are also prohibited from entry. More info
Paraguay – on 12 March, the government announced a suspension of direct flights to and from Spain from Mar 13-26. Air Europa provide the only direct service between Europe and Paraguay. All travellers who have been in China, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Italy, or Iran within the past 15 days must self-quarantine for 14 days. More info
Ecuador – published Notams on Mar 15/16 saying that all inbound flights are now prohibited except those carrying Ecuadorian citizens/residents, or empty aircraft going in to evacuate people.
Chile – the president has announced that Chile will close its borders to foreign nationals from Mar 18. More info
From Mar 18, passenger flights from countries in Europe (including the UK) will be prohibited. Passengers arriving from UAE, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait will be quarantined for 14 days. Both these restrictions will be in force until Mar 31. More info
This is in addition to previously issued restrictions – all incoming travellers, including Indian nationals, arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, France, Spain and Germany after Feb 15 shall be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days. More info
Foreign nationals who have been in China, Iran, South Korea or Italy will not be allowed to enter Australia for 14 days from the time they have left or transited through these countries; all travellers to Australia from everywhere else will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. More info
Foreign nationals who have been present in, or transited through, Iran or mainland China in the previous 14 days cannot enter New Zealand. Travellers to New Zealand from the rest of the world, except most Pacific Islands, must isolate themselves upon arrival for 14 days. More info
Entry will be denied to any foreign nationals who have been in these countries within the past 14 days: the UK, Ireland, any of the 26 Schengen countries, China, and Iran. The rule does not apply to US residents, or foreign flight crew travelling on a C-1, D, or C-1/D visa. Read the statement in full.
All flights from these countries 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.
Entry to Japan is prohibited for foreign nationals who have travelled to these places within the last 14 days:
– China: Hubei or Zhejiang provinces
– South Korea: The city of Daegu or the neighbouring county of Cheongo; and the cities of Gyeongsan, Andong, Yeoncheo, and counties of Chilgok, Uiseong, Seongju or Gunwi in North Gyeongsang Province.
– Iran: Qom Province, Tehran Province, Gilan Province, Alborz Province, Isfahan Province, Qazvin Province, Golestan Province, Semnan Province, Mazandaran Province, Markazi Province, Lorestan Province.
– Italy: Veneto Region, Emilia Romagna Region, Piemonte Region, Marche Region, Lombardy Region
– San Marino
Then from Mar 9, Japan implemented a new restriction on China and South Korea: no more visas will be issued to travellers from these countries, all inbound flights will only be allowed to land at RJAA/Narita and RJBB/Kansai airports, and all travellers will be asked to go into quarantine at designated locations for 14 days. More info
If you want to know what the restrictions are for countries not listed here, we recommend the following:
1. Check out the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office website. The UK has eyes on the ground pretty much everywhere. Each country has a dedicated page, with a specific section on the coronavirus and the latest restrictions on inbound travel, which gets updated regularly.
2. The same goes for the US. If the US has an embassy somewhere, the chances are they will be issuing alerts when there are changes to the travel restrictions there. Click on a country from the list, and then click on the ‘News & Events’ tab for that country, on the top-right side of the page.
3. If the UK and the US both come up empty-handed, Australia might be able to sort you out. They have their own government travel advisory website, which lists inbound travel restrictions. Particularly useful for some of the more out-of-the-way places in the Pacific Islands.
4. Check out IATA’s dedicated webpage. Updated daily.
5. Check out the New York Times list of travel restrictions. Updated daily.
Here’s what’s happening at the main airports:
ZHHH/Wuhan – still closed until further notice.
ZSWZ/Wenzhou and ZSHC/Hangzhou – all international inbound flights are suspended.
ZBAA/Beijing – all travellers arriving into Beijing must go into quarantine for 14 days at places designated by the Beijing authorities. Other cities have not yet formally put in place similar measures (but are likely to do so in due course).
ZGGG/Guangzhou, ZSSS/Shangai, ZSPD/Pudong – 14 days of mandatory quarantine for people who have visited or transited France, Germany, Spain, the US, Italy, Iran, Japan or South Korea over the preceding 14 days before arriving in China. More info
The NBAA has published guidance for operators when planning flights to/from countries affected by the coronavirus. Recommendations include: conducting a risk profile of the intended destination; ensuring you make your travel plans known to the US embassy in the destination country through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program; fueling aircraft immediately after arrival at the destination in case a quick departure is required; plus other suggestions.
This year’s EBACE event in Geneva, as well as the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE) have both been cancelled, given health concerns and other challenges which have arisen in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak. EBACE was scheduled to take place in Geneva from May 26-28; ABACE 2020 was scheduled to take place in Shanghai from April 21-23.
Here’s the guidance from the FAA, CDC and EASA. “Clean”, “Isolate” and “Monitor” are the buzzwords.
FAA guidance – here
CDC guidance – here
EASA guidance – here
More on the topic:
- More: Europe suspends 80/20 slot rule until 2021
- More: Coronavirus Ops : live
- More: Hand sanitizers on board: Fire risks
- More: Cargo Fail: How not to convert your pax aircraft
- More: “The Great Shanghai Airports Meltdown” – coming in November