The US has now moved their travel advisory for mainland China from Level 3 (reconsider travel) to Level 4 which says “Do not travel.” This comes on the heal of the World Health Organization issuing a statement that the new coronavirus is a “public health emergency of international concern.”
The US Says “Do Not Travel” to Mainland China
As of today (January 31, 2020), the US State Department has now assigned China at a Level 4 travel advisory (read here to see what the US State Department travel advisories actually mean).
To view the latest updates as this virus continues, check out this page at the NY Times.
There are now more cases of this virus in China than there were of the SARS virus many years ago. Plus, it is spreading to other countries to people who had not even visited China. The US flew a 747 plane from the affected zone that just landed in California the other day as part of a health evacuation.
To read more about the virus and precautions you should take, check out this website from the CDC.
Here is what the State Department says about travel to China at this time:
“Do not travel to China due to novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. On January 30, the World Health Organization has determined the rapidly spreading outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.Commercial carriers have reduced or suspended routes to and from China.
Those currently in China should consider departing using commercial means. The Department of State has requested that all non-essential U.S. government personnel defer travel to China in light of the novel coronavirus.
In an effort to contain the novel coronavirus, the Chinese authorities have suspended air, road, and rail travel in the area around Wuhan and placed restrictions on travel and other activities throughout the country. On January 23, 2020, the Department of State ordered the departure of all non-emergency U.S. personnel and their family members from Wuhan. The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Hubei province.”
Have Travel Booked to China? US Airline Information
Hopefully, the world’s health organizations can get a handle on this virus soon. In the meantime, if you have travel scheduled to terminate in or to connect through China, check with your airline for their waivers that they have in place.
For now, these waivers allow for travel to be changed all the way into March. I would guess that they will extend this if the need arrives. Since you may get one shot at a change, unless your travel itinerary is for the very near future, I would wait to see if they extend it even further.