The situation regarding the outbreak of Coronavirus in China continues to evolve and the information below is the most up to date available from Tourism New Zealand, Tourism Industry Aotearoa and the Ministry of Health (MOH).
Statement from Stephen England-Hall, Chief Executive, Tourism New Zealand
As you will be aware, the Coronavirus has spread across China and has now had confirmed cases in Australia. We have been made aware that China’s Ministry of Tourism and Culture has notified tourism bureaus in China to suspend the operation of group tour and flight and accommodation packages. These relate to both domestic and outbound travel from 24 January. The notice permits groups who have already commenced their travel to continue with their trip. As a result, we encourage industry to liaise with Chinese partners and travel sellers on how the notice may affect imminent tour arrivals.
This will undoubtedly have an impact on Chinese arrivals. Tourism New Zealand will continue to monitor the impact on the sector and keep you updated as the situation changes. We are also working closely with government, the sector and our off-shore offices to support their efforts to control and prevent the spread of the virus.
Tourism Industry Aotearoa Updates
Check out the news updates on Tourism Industry Aotearoa’s website which also includes advice for operators regarding booking cancellations.
Information from the Ministry of Health (MOH)
MOH have created a new page about the Coronavirus on their website here.
There are no cases of 2019-nCoV in New Zealand to date. The risk of an outbreak in New Zealand is low, but the Ministry of Health is monitoring the situation closely.
Health advice cards in both traditional and simplified Chinese are available at international points of entry. These cards provide general advice on symptoms of concern and advise ill travellers to call Healthline (for free) on 0800 611 116 and mention their travel history.
Healthline has been informed and will continue to triage any symptomatic callers.
With the support of New Zealand Customs, banners have been developed for points of entry in traditional and simplified Chinese to draw attention to the health advice cards.
Information for Guests and Travellers
Keeping in mind that it is the Northern Hemisphere's flu season, MOH suggests that travellers with mild flu like symptoms should follow the basic principles to reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infections. These are:
- avoid close contact with others
- frequently wash hands, especially after contact with ill people or their environment
- avoid close contact with sick live farm animals or wild animals
- people with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands).
If a case of Coronavirus is strongly suspected in a person with severe acute respiratory infection coming from Wuhan, the medical officer of health will inform the Ministry of Health.