5 February 2020
Dear Travel Partners,
As Diethelm Travel Group, we are not in a position to make assumptions about the coronavirus’ spread in countries we operate in or the medical assessment of the coronavirus. However, we would like to provide you with an overview of our perceptions on the ground in Asia and the measures being taken by government authorities at our destinations in order to contribute to your own objective assessment.
Below, we refer to information shared by the official announcements from WHO and other government agencies.
The spread of the virus is mostly concentrated in the area of Hubei province, which is less of a tourist destination, however, most of the tourist sites are closed throughout the country. Rail and air connections are very limited and tourist travel in the country is currently impossible. The authorities are making great efforts to contain the spread of the virus, which is connected with great restrictions for the population. The public holidays around the Chinese New Year celebrations have been extended until 9 February, however Diethelm Travel China can be reached as usual and is completely accessible for our customers.
Nineteen cases of illness have been reported from Hong Kong. As a precautionary measure, the government has closed the borders for entry from China except for one border crossing and bridge crossing. There are no restrictions for tourists in Hong Kong. International air traffic takes place without restrictions. There is only very limited air traffic to China.
As of today, there have been two confirmed cases. However, daily life remains as usual. There are only restrictions for flights from China affecting travellers from or via China to the Philippines.
As of 22 April 2020, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health confirmed a total of 268 cases of COVID-19 with no new cases reported in the past six days. Besides, 216 of the affected patients have recovered and discharged from hospitals and not a single death from coronavirus.
Social distancing restrictions will be eased in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city from 23 April 2020. With the restrictions lifted, many non-essential businesses will be allowed to resume as long as the safe distance is adhered to. However, activities like festivals, sports events involving a lot of people and operation of bars, karaoke venues, massage parlours, beauticians, flower shops and zoos are still banned. Sidewalk economic activities will also be forbidden. Schools are slated to re-open in early to mid-May. Transport businesses are also allowed to resume but with reduced capacity, about 20-30 per cent. All international commercial passenger flights will remain suspended until further notice. The two local airlines plan to begin offering more domestic routes which had been suspended since 1 April 2020. Borders are remaining closed for all nationalities until further notice. The cities will not be receiving foreign tourists for the time being. All localities still enforce regulations on wearing face masks, avoiding mass gatherings, keeping a two-meter distance in social interactions, and observing strict hygiene standards.
Cambodia has reported one case of infection. The country has not issued any special precautions and tourism is taking place in normal conditions, with a large absence of the main visitors from China.
There is little change in perception in daily life. Tourists move around without restrictions. The country has reported no illnesses.
Malaysia has reported a total of eight cases of coronavirus. Economic life and tourism are taking place in normal conditions, however the states of Sarawak and Sabah have imposed a flight ban with China. International flights are unrestricted except to China.
Singapore has reported 24 confirmed cases. Comprehensive precautionary measures are being taken, including cleaning and disinfection measures. Changi Airport reports unrestricted operation, however Singapore has banned all arrivals from China and also visitors who have travelled to China. All international flights are operating as usual, except with restrictions to China.
Myanmar has reported no confirmed cases of infection and life takes place as normal. Yangon International Airport is conducting coronavirus screenings and has been working closely with the Ministry of Health and Sports, implementing the required orientations and undertaking health precautionary measures for all airport users’ safety and wellbeing. The flight schedule is also operating as normal, except for connections to China.
There are 25 cases of illness in the country. The government is following the situation very closely and recommends tourist centres (airports, shopping centres, hotels, etc.) to increase cleaning and disinfection. Hand disinfection is offered at various locations. At crowds and airports, many travellers wear face protection. Commercial and tourist facilities are open throughout the country without restrictions.
The government recommends that travellers at crowds (e.g. airports) take precautions by wearing masks. The full range of tourist services remains available as usual. There are no restrictions on air travel, except to China.
There is no change in perception in daily life. The country has reported no illnesses.
Diethelm Travel Group
We are conducting business as usual. All our offices are open regularly and our 24-hour concierge service is available to all clients. All of our teams are keeping a close eye on the situation and should there be any immediate amendments, they will ensure full support is provided and close coordination is done with our partners, suppliers and guests.
While Diethelm Travel is not implementing a general cancellation policy, our office in China is honouring cancellations until the end of March and reassesses the situation weekly. Our enquiries with our service providers in our regions show that the contractual conditions apply. The situation is continuously assessed and decisions are made in the interest of our guests.
If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Diethelm Travel Team