Following the continued and updated news reports regarding the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus in China, we would like to extend our sympathies to those who have been affected, clarify what cover may be available and provide information about the best steps to take.
Update from UK Foreign Travel, as of Thursday 12th March:
Travel to China
People arriving from overseas into Beijing and Guangdong province (from 13 March) irrespective of country of origin, must undertake 14 days of self-isolation at their place of residence or centralised quarantine. There have been multiple reports of British and other foreign nationals being put under compulsory quarantine or home isolation in locations across China on arrival from overseas. The possibility that local authorities impose mandatory quarantine in response to fresh outbreaks is high. Restrictions in place may also affect travel to Hong Kong and entry to other countries if travelling from China.
Beijing Municipal Government has announced that, as of Monday 16 March, all people arriving into Beijing from overseas (including those without symptoms of coronavirus) must undertake 14 days of centralised observation (quarantine) at places designated by the Beijing authorities. This announcement will affect all British Nationals irrespective of their departure point. Those undergoing observation in Beijing (and potentially other locations) will be asked to cover the fees for their period of quarantine.
If you are due to visit Italy
- The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has advised against all but essential travel to Italy, due to the outbreak.
- Italian authorities have advised against travel for tourism purposes throughout the country.
- If you arrive at an Italian airport you will be subject to temperature checks and may be asked to register with the Italian health authorities.
The majority of carriers have now ceased operating direct flights between Italy and the UK. Alitalia continues to operate flights on a reduced basis. Other airlines have indicated that they will assist British tourists in Italy who have booked travel with them to return to the UK, which may require travel via other countries. Travellers should, therefore, contact their airlines as soon as possible.
Only one airport per region will remain open. Rome Ciampino closed for commercial flights on 13 March. Terminal 1 (only) of Rome Fiumicino airport will close on 17 March. Other airports, including Milan Linate, are due to close in the coming days.
Train companies are reducing services, for both domestic and international travel. Some cross-border bus companies are also cancelling their services. Ports remain open although we understand that passengers on cruise ships will not be allowed to disembark for tourism purposes. Passenger ferry schedules remain subject to change and cancellations. Several neighbouring countries have imposed restrictions on people entering Italy. Please consult travel advice for the country concerned.
If you are in Italy
- You should follow the advice of the Italian authorities.
- Limit your movements to those necessary to return to the place where you live.
- If you are travelling to neighbouring countries from Italy, restrictions have been imposed. Please consult travel advice for the country concerned.
- Call Italy’s 112 emergency number if you believe you have symptoms. English speaking operators are available.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advised the following on Tuesday 28th January:
- We advise against all travel to Hubei Province due to the on-going novel coronavirus outbreak.
- We advise against all but essential travel to the rest of Mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao).
Should I leave Hubei Province if I am already there?
- If you are in Hubei Province and are able to leave you should do so. It may become harder over the coming weeks for those who wish to leave China to do so.
- If you feel that you may want to leave China soon, you should consider making plans to do so in case any further restrictions are imposed as the situation develops.
- You should comply with any additional screening measures put in place by the local authorities. For more information and advice, visit the TravelHealthPro website.
We understand that the British Government is planning to bring UK Citizens currently in Hubei Province home. For further information on this, please contact the FCO 24/7 number +86 (0) 8529 6600 if you are in Hubei Province or the FCO in London on (+44) (0) 207 008 1500.
What if I am due to fly to Hubei Province or mainland China?
- It has been published that British Airways (BA) has suspended all flights to and from Mainland China with immediate effect, due to the outbreak of the virus.
- If you are due to fly to China with BA, please follow this link for more information about the next steps that can be taken.
If you are travelling, or have travelled, to China and need more detailed information and advice, download the PDF below:
For travellers click here, for further advice from the UK Government.
Our general advice to policy-holders at this time is:
- To take guidance as provided by the FCO and adhere to its advice.
- To not travel contrary to any travel restrictions as may be advised by any government or public/health authority.
- To speak with your travel provider regarding any possible change(s) to your travel itinerary.
- To continue to monitor any further advice as may be provided.
The situation will continue to be monitored. We shall provide further updates as they become available.