HOW THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK IS IMPACTING BUSINESS AVIATION.
The impact of the global coronavirus epidemic is fluid and evolving rapidly. The number of countries enacting travel bans to/from mainland China along with imposing restrictions on anyone who has been in China within the last 20 days is growing rapidly. While we do our best to keep this article current by adding additional information once it is received and confirmed, always check with your Universal Trip Support Team and local authorities for the most current information. When available, we will provide links to country’s official travel policies. Deaths in China reach 4,633, World death of 310,000 and infections climb past 4.6 million.
Non-Chinese citizens must follow China Immigration department’s regulation:
Please see below suspension of entry by foreign nationals to China issue:
- Starting from 00:00 LT 28 Mar, only those who hold diplomatic, service, courtesy or C visas will be allowed entry to China mainland. Other type of visa issued BEFORE 27 Mar will be on the suspension of entry list.
- Any other types of visa policies like visa on arrival, visa-free transit policy will be suspended as well till further notice;
- 2/ Entry with diplomatic, service, courtesy or C visas will not be affected and foreign nationals coming to China for necessary economic, trade, scientific or technological activities or out of emergency humanitarian needs may apply for visas at Chinese embassies or consulates. Entry by foreign nationals with visas issued after this announcement will not be affected.
Please see Chinese health form for passenger.
We have been advised that the passengers will need a letter from the Chinese CDC permitting entry into the country. A permit cannot be applied for without. Once we have that the CDC letter, flight permit can take about 2-3 days. Please note that no changes can be made once the letter is issued, otherwise a new CDC letter will be needed causing delays.
In early December 2019, a new coronavirus was detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province in China. Spread of the virus has escalated since mid-January 2020. On Jan. 30, 2020 the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global emergency.
Special quarantine and health inspection procedures have been enforced in China and other locations in Asia and around the world in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus. Extra planning and precaution is required if you are planning a trip to China and Asia.
Below is a list of precautions authorities are taking to limit the spread that will have an impact on business aviation.
1. Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau restrictions
As of 02:00Z/10:00LT on 23 January 2020, all public transportation including flights have been suspended in Wuhan and Wuhan Airport (ZHHH) was subsequently closed.
New health inspections are also being enforced at Beijing Capital International Airport (ZBAA), Shanghai Pudong International Airport (ZSPD), Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (ZSSS) and Shenzhen International airport (ZGSZ) airports.
For all arrivals/ departures, crew and passengers are subjected to temperature checks. Health Declaration Forms are also required for international arrivals in ZBAA and ZGSZ.
In Shanghai Pudong Airport (ZSPD), effective 28 January 2020, all crew and passengers on international business flights will clear Customs & Immigration procedures in Terminal 1. The complete procedure will be longer than usual due to the latest CIQ requirement.
HKSAR Government has announced a new inflection prevention and control measures. Effective from 00:00L on 8 Feb 2020 (16:00Z on 7 Feb), all people entering Hong Kong from the Mainland China will be placed under mandatory quarantine for 14 days. Further details will be announced later and we shall keep you updated.
Hong Kong SAR Government announced on 28 January 2020 that all cross-border rail routes (High Speed Rail and Intercity Through Train) and ferries between China and Hong Kong will be suspended starting at 00:00LT 30 January 2020 (16:00Z 29 January 2020) and services at six border checkpoints (out of a total of 14) will also be closed until further notice. The number of cross-border flights will be halved and the number of cross-border buses will also be reduced.
On Feb. 3, 2020, Hong Kong announced additional cross-border restrictions. In response to the situation of the novel coronavirus infection and having considered the advice of experts, the Government yesterday (February 3) announced that the consolidation of control points must be taken in a more resolute manner in order to further reduce the flow of people between the Mainland and Hong Kong significantly. Cross-boundary passengers by land or by sea will be converged to Shenzhen Bay and Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge control points, while passenger clearance services at four control points – Lo Wu, Lok Ma Chau Spur Line, Lok Ma Chau and Macau Ferry Terminal – will be suspended. Coupled with the other control point management measures implemented on January 30, the number of control points with passenger clearance services suspended will increase to 10.
Hong Kong Business Aviation Centre (HKBAC) announced safety precautions it will be taking, including having temperature check stations at the entrance of the facility.
HKBAC employees will avoid access to all aircraft where possible and only go beyond the aircraft steps if operationally required, such as aircraft towing which cannot be avoided. For any other non-essential issues our employees will not enter the aircraft.
The HKBAC Terminal lounges shall be occupied by aircrew and passengers only. Any other activities within lounge are not advised unless permitted by HKBAC employees.
Please find below the link from Centre of Health Protection, HKSAR Government for the most current information https://www.chp.gov.hk/en/features/102465.html.
Effective 24 January 2020, Macau International Airport (VMMC) has implemented the below temporary measures for all arrival and departure flights.
For ALL GA / BA arrival flights:
- All passengers / crews are required to complete a health declaration form
- Ground handling agents will distribute the health declaration form to crew at the aircraft upon arrival
- Passengers / crews must present the completed health declaration form and passports to the immigration officer at FBO Customs and Immigration hall
- “Online Health Declaration Form” is NOT accepted
- Immigration officers will carry out body temperature readings for passengers / crews, body temperature lower than 37.5°C can enter Macau as usual
- If passengers / crews’ body temperature is higher than 37.5°C, Macau Health Bureau will be informed for further action
For ALL GA / BA departure flights:
- Immigration officers will carry out body temperature checks for passengers / crews at FBO Customs and Immigration hall
- If passengers / crews’ body temperature is higher than 37.5°C, they will not be allowed to leave Macau and the Health Bureau will be informed for further action
As of 27 January 2020, all non-Macao residents from Hubei Province, Mainland China must present doctors’ certificates issued by legal medical institutions, stating that they are not infected with coronavirus when entering Macau. Those who cannot present the stated certificates, will be prohibited from entering Macau.
Those people who have been to the Hubei Province in the past 14 days and do not have symptoms will be put under mandatory home quarantine.
Effective Feb 1, 2020, Japan is no permitting the following individuals from entering the country:
- Foreigners who have travelled to Hubei Province in the People’s Republic of China within 14 days before arriving Japan.
- Foreigners who have Chinese passports issued by Hubei Province in the People’s Republic of China.
- Japan’s notice to airline companies
- Japans’ Traveler Health Questionnaire
Effective Feb. 1, 2020, Singapore’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will suspend the issuance of all forms of new visas to those with PRC passports issued in China with immediate effect. Previously issued short-term and multiple-visit visas, as well as visa-free transit facilities, for those with PRC passports issued in China , will also be suspended with immediate effect. During this period of suspension, they will not be allowed entry into Singapore.
No one who has been to China in the previous 14 days will be allowed to enter Singapore.
Note: Singapore PR and long-term pass holders are exempted. They will be subject to quarantine measures.
- Official Jan. 31, 2020 Singapore Circular
- Official Feb. 5, 2020 Singapore Circular
- Effective Feb. 8, 2020 all departing passengers will undergo temperature screening
The Civil Aeronautics Board announced on 28 January 2020 that it will stop issuing visas on arrival for Chinese travelers.
On Feb. 2, 2020, the Philippines said that is no longer allowing any person of any nationality coming from China, except Filipino, citizens from entering the country. It also is restricting any person of any nationality, except Filipino citizens, who have been to China in the last 14 days from entering the country.
Foreigners who hold permanent residency in the Philippines can travel to the Philippines from Hong Kong and China but must go into quarantine upon arrival.
The Ministry of Public Health, Thailand will issue Health Beware Cards to travelers arriving in Thailand. At Suvarnabhumi Airport (VTBS), Don Mueang International Airport (VTBD), Chiang Mai International Airport (VTCC), Krabi International Airport (VTSG) and Phuket International Airport (VTSP), thermal scanning is in place for detecting fever and respiratory symptoms.
Please find the attached regarding advisory for travelers in Thailand https://ddc.moph.go.th/viralpneumonia/eng/introduction.php
6. United States
Non-US citizens who have been in China within 14 days of their planned travel will not be permitted to fly to the United States. This direction considers a person to have recently traveled from the People’s Republic of China if that person departed from, or was otherwise present within, the People’s Republic of China (excluding the special autonomous regions of Hong Kong and Macau) within 14 days of the date of the person’s entry or attempted entry into the United States. Also, for purposes of this document, crew, and flights carrying only cargo (i.e., no passengers or non-crew), are excluded from the measures herein. This direction is subject to any changes to the airport landing destination that may be required for aircraft and/or airspace safety as directed by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Per the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. is still accepting flights from China, however, if a person on a flight (Commercial or GA) has been in China within the last 14 days they will be routed to one of the following major airports regardless of their final destination for screening. Those airports are:
- John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York;
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Illinois;
- San Francisco International Airport (SFO), California;
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Washington;
- Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Hawaii;
- Los Angeles International Airport, (LAX), California;
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Georgia;
- Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD), Virginia
Effective Monday February 3, this list of airports is expanded to include:
- Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), New Jersey.
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas;
- Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), Michigan
The U.S. State Department released a Travel Advisory suggesting avoidance of all nonessential travel to China.
7. United Kingdom
The British government is warning against “all but essential travel” to mainland China.
Malaysia has followed the Singapore lead and has ceased visas on arrival facilities for travelers arriving from Hubei.
Russia has barred Chinese tour groups from entering the country. Far East Russia, Mongolia, and North Korea have closed their borders with China.
10. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has suspended all visas on arrival from China.
As of Jan. 31, 2020, Italy is now forbidding any flights from China, Hong Kong, Maccau and Taipei. Additionally, the Pilot in Command must verify if any passengers have been in China in the last 14 days. If so, the flight must proceed directly to LIMC (MILANO/MALPENSA AD) OR LIRF (ROMA/FIUMICINO AD) for screening.
Exceptions include overflights, state, medevac, hospital, humanitarian and cargo flights to/from LIRF/LIMC and those flights specifically authorized by Italian Civil Aviation Authority.
Effective Feb. 2, 2020 all Passengers and crew with travel history to Mainland China within the last l4 days will not be allowed to enter or to transit through the Maldives.
Notwithstanding the above, Maldivian nationals originating from and transiting through Mainland China will be permitted entry.
On 1 February 2020, the Prime Minister of Australia announced that any foreign travellers who have left or transited through mainland China on or after 1 February 2020 will be refused entry to Australia, in order to minimise the potential spread of Novel Coronavirus.
Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family, legal guardians and spouses will be exempt from these measures, but will be required to self-isolate for a period of 14 days from their arrival into Australia. Limited exemptions also exist for airline and cruise ship crew, where they have taken appropriate precautionary measures.
effective Feb. 2, 2020, every passenger that stayed in China during the 14 days prior to departure to Israel, Including airline crew members will be refused entry to Israel. This order will not affect passengers travelling with Israeli passport / citizenship. These passengers will be entry to Israel and will received appropriate instruction upon arrival to Israel from the Israeli authorities.
15. South Korea
All foreign nationals but Korean nationals who have visited or stayed in Hubei Province within the past 14 days are banned from entering the Republic of Korea.
All passengers arriving from China must go through enhanced measures verifying the local residence address and contact information, effective from 0001 LCL on 4FEB.
When all foreigners who hold a U.S or Australian visa take any flight, departing from China, transferring from S.Korea to the U.S. or Australia, they are prohibited from entering into S.Korea. But, U.S. or Australian citizen’s immediate family, permanent residents and the resident’s immediate family are excluded.
Lastly, the Jeju provincial government suspends its visa-free entry policy in Jeju island temporarily.
Starting Feb. 3, 2020, all flights from or to China’s mainland are forbidden until further notice. Indonesian Government suspends China nationality visa-free entry policy in Indonesia temporarily.
Palau has restricted all flights coming from Mainland China, Macau and Hong Kong. Also all passengers or crew who have traveled through these countries.
Starting February 7, 2020, the Republic of China (Taiwan) will implement a temporary measure prohibiting foreign nationals who in the previous 14 days have visited or resided in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), including Hong Kong and Macao, from entering Taiwan
In view of the fact that the Taiwan government on February 5 designated all areas of the PRC (including Hong Kong and Macao) as being severely affected by the novel coronavirus outbreak (areas of level 2 or higher), foreign nationals who have visited or resided anywhere in the PRC, including Hong Kong and Macao, in the previous 14 days will be temporarily prohibited from entering Taiwan starting February 7. Entry visa applications by such foreign nationals, including those submitted for special reasons, will not be accepted by Taiwan’s overseas missions while this temporary measure is in effect.
Visit your country’s local health department. Other resources to check include:
- ASEAN is keeping a country by country update: https://www.aseanbriefing.com/news/2020/02/06/coronavirus-asia-asean-live-updates-by-country.html
- World Health Organization: http://www.who.int
- Centers for Disease Control: http://www.cdc.gov
- Federal Aviation Administration: http://www.faa.gov/
- EuroControl: http://www.eurocontrol.int/
- UK Department of Health: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-of-health
- Public Health Europe: http://ec.europa.eu/health/
- Pan American Health Organization: http://www.paho.org/hq
- WHO Africa: http://www.afro.who.int/
- WHO Southeast Asia: http://www.searo.who.int/en/
- WHO Europe: http://www.euro.who.int/en/home
- WHO Eastern Mediterranean: http://www.emro.who.int/index.html
- WHO Western Pacific: http://www.wpro.who.int/en/
- U.S. State Department: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/china-travel-advisory.html
- EASA Safety Bulletin: https://ad.easa.europa.eu/ad/2020-02
- EBAA advice: https://www.ebaa.org/news/statement-updated-advice-for-operators-on-the-coronavirus-2019-ncovoutbreak/
The rapid spread of the coronavirus is having a major impact on business aviation around the world, as many countries enact procedures to reduce the risk of the virus spreading. The situation is fluid as additional nations are taking more steps daily. We will do our best to keep this article current.
Operators should be aware of all potential restrictions before any mission, particularly to Asia or if they have been in the Wuhan region recently, as this could limit their options.