Global tourism chiefs and health officials have called for a “measured and consistent” response to the coronavirus crisis that is “proportionate” to the global health threat posed by the deadly infection.
The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and World Health Organization (WHO) have warned against stringent, or even blanket, travel restrictions that could disrupt international traffic “unnecessarily” or have wider “negative repercussions” on the tourism sector.
It comes after the virus this week swept across Europe, with several countries – including Austria, Spain and Croatia – reporting their first cases. More than 400 cases have now been confirmed in Italy, with a number of other cases on the continent being linked to the outbreak in Italy.
A hotel in Tenerife has been placed under quarantine for 14 days after an Italian guest, understood to be a doctor, tested positive for the infection.
In the UK, the Foreign Office is currently advising against all travel to China’s Hubei province where the virus is thought to have originated, and all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China. It is also advising against all but essential travel to 11 towns in northern Italy.
Any Britons returning from parts of the country north of Florence and Pisa have been told by Public Health England to self-isolate if they are experiencing symptoms.
The same advice has been extended to those returning from virus-hit areas of Asia including South Korea, which has the second highest number of confirmed cases after China, as well as Cambodia, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.