Rennies

TRAVEL ALERT - China - China/Czech - Australia - Italy January 2020

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CHINA

The virus, thought to have originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province at the end of last year, has spread to Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Macau, as well as the United States, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.

Huanggang, situated close to Wuhan, the city at the epicentre of the outbreak has shut all urban transport networks and suspended outgoing flights from 10 a.m. (0200 GMT) on Thursday due to the coronavirus outbreak. Authorities have also mandated that indoor entertainment venues including movie theatres and internet cafes be closed by the same deadline, and are asking citizens not to leave the city other than under special circumstances.

Taiwan's China Airlines has suspended flights to Wuhan from 23 January to 29 February, after the city shut its airport. Mandarin Airlines is also cancelling flights from Taipei's smaller Songshan airport to Wuhan. In addition, South Korean budget airline T'way Air postponed Tuesday's scheduled launch of a new route to the Chinese city of Wuhan because of rising concern over the spread of a new coronavirus.

Further afield, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in U.S.A said it will begin screening passengers for the virus at two more airports: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta and O'Hare in Chicago. The CDC started screening airplane passengres from Wuhan on Friday for signs of the respiratory illness in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. Now, all passengers whose flights originate in Wuhan will be rerouted to one of those five airports.

CHINA/ CZECH REPUBLIC

China's Hainan Airlines will halt regular direct flights between Beijing and Prague starting in March, the Prague Airport and the Czech Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

No reason was given but relations between the Czech Republic and China have deteriorated sharply in the past months following a series of diplomatic spats. Flights to China by other carriers are not affected, the airport said.

AUSTRALIA

Canberra Airport has been closed due to an ongoing bushfire threat.

ITALY

Rome commuters can expect a 24-hour transport strike on Monday 3 February, in what will be this year's first strike by employees of the city's public transit company ATAC.

The strike action will affect Rome's buses, trams, metro and light rail services Roma-Lido, Termini-Centocelle and Roma-Civitacastellana-Viterbo, operated by ATAC, with the city's night buses at risk on the night between Sunday and Monday.