China has banned its citizens from booking overseas tours and purchasing overseas hotels and flight packages amid the Wuhan coronavirus that has killed 42
The Chinese government on Saturday announced a ban on overseas tours and the purchase of flights and hotels abroad, according to a report from The New York Times. The move comes as the government works to limit the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus that has so far killed 42 both within its borders and abroad. Buses to and from the country's capital city of Beijing have also been restricted. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
China on Saturday banned its citizens from booking overseas tours and from purchasing overseas flights and hotel packages amid the ongoing coronavirus epidemic that began in the city of Wuhan according to a report Saturday from The New York Times. The move comes as the government attempts to limit the spread of the deadly virus within its own borders and from further spreading the virus to other countries. Per The Times report, the move comes at a time when countries around the world have begun to implement procedures for scanning incoming travelers who could have come in contact with coronavirus. The Beijing city government has also prohibited buses that travel between various provinces, which as The Times reported, will limit travelers heading into the country's capital city from other parts of the country. Groups currently on tours abroad are allowed to proceed with their trips that are still in progress, The Times reported, though the association for China's travel agencies warned the groups to monitor their health for signs of the virus that has so far lead to 42 deaths across China.
Each of the 42 deaths has occurred within China's borders, though the virus has been spread worldwide with reported cases in 12 other countries, including Australia, Malaysia, Nepal, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, France, and the United States, per The Times. Vehicle traffic within Wuhan was restricted beginning at midnight local time Saturday in a move that prohibited vehicles from driving toward the city center. Travel in and out of the city has been restricted since Thursday. Read more: Hong Kong is shutting down its schools until February 17 to limit the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus Transit going in and out of Wuhan, China is being shut down to contain coronavirus The US government will reportedly evacuate its diplomats and citizens from Wuhan on a chartered plane amid the coronavirus outbreak UK public health officials are searching for 2,000 people who flew from Wuhan after coronavirus reached EuropeJoin the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: The surprising reason Americans drop a ball on New Year's Eve
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Australia and New Zealand have been able to keep their number of coronavirus cases low thanks to early lockdown efforts. Experts say it's 'probably too late' for other countries to learn from them.
Both Australia and New Zealand have reported low numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths compared to...Both Australia and New Zealand have reported low numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths compared to other major industrialized nations. Experts say that early national lockdown efforts, good public adherence to the rules, and widespread testing capabilities may have prevented the two countries from being overwhelmed with a wave of infections. "New Zealand shows the benefit of having quite high levels of scientific expert input into the policymaking process and a Prime Minister who is a very good communicator who the public trust," one expert told Business Insider. Despite early successes, Australia and New Zealand maintain that it is too soon to ease coronavirus restrictions. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread around the world, some countries' efforts to slow the spread of infection that have been more successful than others. Both Australia and New Zealand have reported low numbers of coronavirus infections and deaths, compared to other major industrialized countries. As of Friday local time, Australia has reported 6,462 coronavirus cases and 63 deaths, while New Zealand has recorded 1,401 cases and only nine deaths. Both Australia and New Zealand have been hailed for their early mitigation efforts to curb the spread of disease, which has been linked to their smaller-than-average number of cases and deaths among Western nations. Experts say that early national lockdown efforts, good public adherence to the rules, and widespread testing capabilities may have prevented Australia and New Zealand from being overwhelmed with a wave of infections, similar to what is being seen in hard-hit countries like Italy and the United States. "At least for New Zealand, it was relatively prompt action at an early stage to go for a strong lockdown," Nick Wilson, a professor and public health expert at the University of Otago in New Zealand, told Business Insider. New Zealand has a population of around 4.8 million. New Zealand began imposing restrictions on travel weeks before recording even a single coronavirus case within its borders. Starting on February 3, the government restricted access to individuals who had traveled to mainland China, then widened the restriction on February 28 to include those who traveled to Iran or were passengers or crew aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship. The country confirmed its first case — a New Zealand citizen who visited Iran — on February 28. By March 23, the country recorded 102 cases. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern raised the country's alert to Level 3 restrictions, which meant that the country was under "heightened risk that disease is not contained." The move closed schools, canceled mass gatherings, and allowed people to speak to their doctors online. Two days later, the country entered into Level 4 restrictions, which instructed all individuals to stay at home and severely limited travel. By April 9, compulsory quarantine for New Zealanders returning home was put in place. According to Wilson, Google data shows that early and strict mitigation efforts were followed by a vast portion of the population, allowing the spread to be effectively contained. "The Google data shows that New Zealanders have followed the lockdown rules ... with a remarkably high level of behavior change," Wilson wrote in an April 12 blog post on how Australia's lockdown compliance compared to other countries. "Activity dropped almost instantly, by over 90% from baseline levels in some categories," he added. He pointed out that a reduction in activity led the number of coronavirus cases to level off around April 6, about 10 days after lockdown measures were first put in place. Australia, too, has been effective in implementing early mitigation strategies. The country has managed to keep the number of cases among its population of nearly 25 million lower than other major hubs like Italy and the UK. On January 23, the country began restricting flights coming in from Wuhan, China, the initial epicenter of the virus. The country reported its first coronavirus case — a Chinese citizen who returned from China — on January 25. By January 31, the country recorded nine cases and initiated a mandatory two-week quarantine for those entering the country from China. Australia recorded its first death on March 1. The country announced a $AU17.6 billion stimulus package to on March 12, when it reported 142 cases, and on March 15, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that all travelers arriving in or returning to Australia must self-isolate for 14 days. Morrison also limited public gatherings to two people from March 29 and said Australians would only be allowed to leave their house for essential shopping, medical reasons, exercise, or work. By that point, the country recorded 4,159 confirmed cases, including 15 deaths. Wilson said that both Australia and New Zealand have "rapidly expanded" their testing capabilities and have extensively implemented contact tracing measures, which monitors people who have caught the virus and identifies close contacts in order to ensure isolation measures are followed. Despite early successes, Australia and New Zealand said it remains too soon to ease coronavirus restrictions. Australia announced on Thursday that it would keep measures in place for another month, while New Zealand will decide whether to extend the nationwide shutdown on April 20. Wilson added that although Australia and New Zealand serve as examples of countries that have successfully kept their number of coronavirus cases low, he said that it is "probably too late" for other countries to implement similar mitigation measures. He said that while New Zealand is aiming to "eliminate" the disease from within its borders, other countries may have different goals in mind that may indicate success in curbing the virus. "A possible advantage of New Zealand's elimination strategy is that if it works over the next one to two months, then the whole economy can be fully opened up (except for international tourism, as borders will probably keep with strict quarantine until a vaccine is available)," Wilson said. "New Zealand shows the benefit of having quite high levels of scientific expert input into the policymaking process and a Prime Minister who is a very good communicator who the public trust," he added.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Here's what it's like to travel during the coronavirus outbreak
China is relaxing its coronavirus lockdowns, but the rules are still more restrictive than US cities under quarantine
China eased coronavirus travel restrictions in Wuhan this week, ending a 76-day quarantine, with a drop in...China eased coronavirus travel restrictions in Wuhan this week, ending a 76-day quarantine, with a drop in the country's new daily cases signaling the lockdowns have helped slow the spread of the virus. But life in Wuhan is hardly returning to normal as residents still need a government-issued QR code declaring them healthy enough to travel and face temperature checks before boarding public transit. The measures show a stark contrast to the US, where states have been wildly inconsistent in enacting and enforcing stay-at-home orders, with some even allowing large religious gatherings to continue. Experts warn that relaxing quarantines prematurely has already led to a resurgence of cases in some Asian countries, which could prompt new waves of lockdowns. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. On Wednesday, residents of Wuhan were allowed to leave the city for the first time in 76 days as Chinese officials eased coronavirus travel restrictions. Wuhan, where the bulk of China's nearly 83,000 cases have occurred, was put under strict lockdown in late January. Residents were unable to travel and most businesses and public transit closed, as the country scrambled to slow the spread of the virus. The measures appear to have helped: on March 19, China reported no new COVID-19 cases for the first time since the outbreak began (though some doubt has been raised about the accuracy of the numbers). But as restrictions lift, experts worry the area could see a second wave of coronavirus cases. Asymptomatic carriers who don't know they're infected could still spread the disease as well as international travelers bringing the virus back into the country. That means life is hardly returning to normal for Wuhan residents, with officials keeping many rules in place out of an abundance of caution. By comparison, the US response has been much slower, lacking clear and decisive action from the federal government, and states have been mostly on their own. The result has been wide variations in how quickly states have implemented stay-at-home orders as well as how aggressive they've been in enforcing them. In California, nearly 40 million residents have been ordered to stay home and avoid non-essential trips since March 20, with police even ticketing residents who violate social distancing rules. Meanwhile, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, after weeks of inaction, exempted religious gatherings from his state's order, which didn't go into effect until April 3. But Americans under the strictest state lockdowns are still able to move much more freely than residents of Wuhan can — even under the newly relaxed policy. Here's how the rules around travel differ in the two countries.Wuhan residents must use a coronavirus smartphone app that allows the government to track their health status and travel history to determine where they can go. The software generates a color code: green (you're healthy), yellow (you've had contact with another infected person), or red (you're infected). Only those with a green code can travel. In the US, some state authorities have begun checking for people fleeing hotspots like New York, but travel within states has been much less tightly controlled. Some American technology companies have built software tools to help public health authorities track the virus, but the US hasn't implemented anything close to resembling China's government-mandated app. Airline and train station employees have also been checking people's temperatures as they board public transportation to identify potential carriers of the disease. Some "essential" businesses that remain open in the US during the pandemic have begun conducting temperature checks on their workers, though it's not clear how widespread the measure is for Americans. While businesses have started to reopen in Wuhan, the city's schools remain closed, people are still sheltering at home, and the crisis is far from over. In the US, the lack of a cohesive nationwide strategy has left some states lagging in their response to the virus, and experts warn the worst is still to come.
Nations across the world have imposed travel restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Here,...Nations across the world have imposed travel restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Here, the current list of countries limiting entry.