Travel Alert - Philippines, Iran & China January 2020



Due to ashfall triggered by the eruption of the Taal Volcano, flights both to and from Manila have been disrupted. The volcano is located about 60 kilometers south of the capital. According to the Manila International Airport Authority, the affected airlines include: Philippine Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Oman Air, PAL Express, Air Asia and Cebu Pacific. Philippine authorities have advised a "total evacuation" of nearly half a million people near the capital Manila.


Travellers are urged to reconsider the need to travel to Iran. The security situation in Iran remains volatile and could deteriorate with little or no warning. On 8 January, Iran fired missiles against two military bases in Iraq containing U.S. personnel. Iranian authorities have also acknowledged responsibility for the shooting down of a Ukrainian International Airlines flight shortly after take-off from Tehran on 8 January. A number of international airlines have cancelled flights to Iran. Tensions in the region could escalate rapidly. If tensions escalate, your options to leave Iran may be limited.

Do not travel to:

  • within 100km of the Afghanistan border or to Sistan and Baluchestan province and areas in Kerman and Hormuzgan provinces east of the cities of Bam and Jask due to the dangerous security situation.
  • within 10km of the border with Iraq.


More than 50 people have been infected by a mystery virus in the Chinese city of Wuhan from 12 to 29 December 2019. Today, reports of the first case outside of China has surfaced. A Chinese, female traveller arrived in Bangkok from Wuhan and has been quarantined after she was diagnosed with the virus. The previously unknown to science virus has been identified as a coronavirus by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Infected patients have presented pneumonia-like symptoms. Cases have been linked to the South China Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan. The market has subsequently been closed down for cleaning and disinfection by the Chinese Authorities.