Travel News

The US Has Put China at a Level 3 Travel Advisory Due to the New Coronavirus

Written by Charlie

The US has issued a Level 3 Travel Advisory for China to reconsider travel due to the new coronavirus. Here is what you need to know and US airline waivers.

If you have followed any international news at all over the last couple of weeks, you know about the new coronavirus that started in the city of Wuhan in China. It has now infected thousands of people and has spread to several other countries around the world as well. This has created a major travel issue for China and those going from or to China.

The US Views China as a Level 3 Country Due to New Coronavirus

As of today (January 29, 2020), the US State Department has now assigned China at a Level 3 travel advisory (read here to see what the US State Department travel advisories actually mean). They have even assigned the Hubei province as a Level 4 zone – the highest level of travel advisory.

Even a Level 3 means that you should “Reconsider Travel” to China. This is how serious this virus has become in China. British Airways has suspended all their flights to China and various US airlines have begun suspending certain routes or diminishing them due to effects of this coronavirus. There is even a report that the White House is considering banning US airlines from flying to China.

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 today 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:

If you must travel to China, you should:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Discuss travel to China with your healthcare provider. Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues may be at risk for more severe disease.
  • Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

If you traveled to China in the last 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should:

  • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
Have Travel Booked to China? US Airline Information

Hopefully, the world’s health organizations can get a handle on this virus soon (there had been reports of a cure but these were not real – check this page, last updated today, for more information on that). 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.

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.

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