Almost two weeks after the first case of the coronavirus was confirmed in the U.S., the impact the virus is having on the travel industry continues to grow.
On Friday, after declaring a public health emergency, the U.S. installed a temporary ban on foreign nationals who have traveled in China within the last two weeks (Hong Kong and Macau are exempt). All Americans who have been in China within the last 14 days and are returning will face screening at airports — passengers will be directed to one of seven major airports where they can be screened — and will be then required to perform self-screening for the next two weeks.
Americans flying to the U.S. from China will be rerouted to the following airports for enhanced screenings by the CDC: John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York; Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Illinois; San Francisco International Airport, California; Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Washington; Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, Hawaii; Los Angeles International Airport, California; and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Georgia.
“We realize this could provide added stress and prolong travel times for some individuals, however public health and security experts agree these measures are necessary to contain the virus and protect the American people,” DHS acting Secretary Chad Wolf said in a statement on Sunday. “To minimize disruptions, CBP and air carriers are working to identify qualifying passengers before their scheduled flights. Once back in the U.S., it’s imperative that individuals honor self-quarantine directives to help protect the American public.”
Additionally, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued a new directive that requires airlines to ask passengers on flights from outside the U.S. if they've been to China in the past two weeks.
More than 360 people have died from the virus in China and more than 17,000 have been infected across more than 25 countries. Three cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in California, officials said Sunday, bringing the total in the U.S. to 11.
American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines are suspending all flights between the U.S. and mainland China, after originally limiting service.
American Airlines’ suspension takes place immediately and will last until Mar. 28. United will suspend service starting on Feb. 6, and expects it to resume operations on Mar. 28. Delta began its temporary suspension on Sunday Feb. 2, four says earlier than planned, and will resume operations April 30.
United is the largest American carrier to mainland China, with flights from Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and Washington, D.C.
American Airlines and United will both still operate flights between the U.S. and Hong Kong (Delta does not fly to the destination).
Accor Hotels will accept cancellations or offer modifications, without penalties, for individual travelers and groups for guests planning to travel to Accor-branded properties in Greater China (People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) or guests planning to travel from Greater China to any Accor properties worldwide until Feb. 29 regardless of the booking channel.
For Hilton guests whose travel plans are being affected by the novel coronavirus in China, modification and cancellation penalties may be waived for stays with arrivals between now and Saturday, Feb. 29, regardless of travel destination.
Hyatt is waiving cancellation fees through Feb. 29, for Greater China guests with reservations at Hyatt hotels globally and guests with reservations at Hyatt hotels in Greater China.
All IHG hotels will be waiving cancellation fees for guests traveling to or from mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and Taiwan region who wish to change or cancel their reservation for any stay dated between Jan. 23 and Feb. 29.
Marriott is waiving cancellation fees for hotel stays through Feb. 29 for guests with reservations at the brand’s hotels in mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan and guests from Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan traveling outbound to other Marriott destinations globally.
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts guests traveling to or from China with direct bookings for stays in any of the brand’s hotels from now through Feb. 29 will have their cancellation or change penalties waived.
CLIA member cruise lines have suspended crew movements from mainland China and are denying boarding to anyone, guest or crew, who has traveled from or through mainland China in the last two weeks.
“The safety and health of passengers is the number one priority of CLIA members. CLIA and its member lines maintain close contact with health professionals and regulators around the world, including the World Health Organization (WHO), and are continually assessing and modifying policies and procedures as developments emerge,” CLIA said in a statement.
A number of cruise lines with itineraries scheduled to sail in China have canceled those sailings, including Azamara Cruises and Celebrity Cruises, both of which who have canceled China sailings through mid-February, along with Costa Cruises, which was forced to quarantine Costa Smeralda in Rome after a passenger from Macau showed symptoms of the coronavirus (the 6,000 or so people onboard were released after the passenger tested negative).
MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and Silversea have also canceled all of their China calls.
Other lines — Cunard, Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn, and Crystal — have replaced China and Hong Kong calls with other cities.
And other lines that have been unaffected by cancellations and reroutes, including Oceania, have installed screening procedures for passengers that include temperature gauging before they get onboard.
With additional reporting from Daniel McCarthy.