The number of coronavirus cases worldwide rose to 24,324 on Wednesday, creating a wave of new restrictions and concerns for the travel industry to navigate.
Airlines recommended U.S.-bound travelers arrive at airports earlier than usual, as new enhanced screenings will apply to tens of thousands of travelers a day. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco International Airport passengers said they waited hours to get through immigration due to the new sweeping restrictions.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on Sunday instructed airlines with flights to the U.S. from other countries to screen passengers before boarding to find out whether they’ve been in China recently. If so, they have to fly into one of 11 airports in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Atlanta, Honolulu, Newark, Detroit, Dallas and just outside the District.
“The kind of questions people were asking were just basic things, like what is your protocol for routing planes into our airports? What is CDC’s standard for quarantine? Where are we supposed to put these people?” Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green told the Washington Post. “We are an island state that is 80 percent dependent on tourism. This isn’t a case where we can just put people up in hotels without great collateral risk.”
There were 11 cases confirmed in the U.S. as of Tuesday, including six in California, one in Washington, one in Arizona, two in Illinois and one in Massachusetts. More than 100 other Americans are being tested for the virus.
More airlines cancel fligts
Air New Zealand has joined the growing number of international airlines that have suspended service to China. The carrier suspended its Shanghai-Auckland services, effective immediately, until Mar. 29.
Tuesday’s NZ288 service (Shanghai-Auckland) will be the final service the end of next month. All remaining Auckland-Shanghai and Shanghai-Auckland flights are canceled, though flights to Hong Kong will remain in service.
Chinese carriers China Eastern Airlines and Hainan Airlines have suspended some flights to North America. China Eastern flights from Shanghai to Los Angeles and New York will be canceled through Feb. 10. The service to San Francisco will be canceled on Feb. 6 and 9, and to Chicago on Feb. 8. Service to Honolulu is suspended until Mar. 27.
China Eastern will also suspend flights from Kunming to Vancouver via Nanjing and to San Francisco via Qingdao. Its route from Chengdu to Los Angeles via Nanjing will be suspended beginning Tuesday.
In addition to American carriers Delta, United, and American Airlines, Air Canada, British Airways, Air Asia, Cathay Pacific, Air India, IndiGo, Lufthansa, Finnair, KLM, Air France and Qatar Airways have temporarily halted China flights.
United and American both announced Tuesday flights to Hong Kong will also be suspended.
Cruise ships quarantined
Princess Cruises said it has placed 3,700 passengers and crew under mandatory quarantine after 10 people aboard the Princess Diamond in the Japanese port of Yokohama tested positive for coronavirus, including one American. The other infected passengers are from Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, according to Princess Cruises.
The ship will remain under quarantine in Yokohama for at least 14 days as required by the Ministry of Health.
A previous guest who disembarked in Hong Kong tested positive for the coronavirus on Saturday.
The ship, which departed Jan. 20 from Yokohama for a 14-day cruise, was held for 24 hours as local health officials test the 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew members onboard for symptoms.
“The first phase of health screening of all guests and crew onboard Diamond Princess, by the Japanese Ministry of Health, has been completed,” the company said in a statement Tuesday. “We were notified that amongst the samples that have completed testing, 10 people have tested positive for coronavirus.
“These 10 persons, who have been notified, will be taken ashore by Japanese Coast Guard watercraft and transported to local hospitals for care by shoreside Japanese medical professionals,”
The Diamond Princess’ Feb. 4 and Feb. 12 sailings out of Yokohama has been canceled.
Hong Kong announced it was testing roughly 1,800 passengers from a separate cruise ship, the World Dream, from Wuhan after some people reported having a fever and other symptoms. Passengers and crew members are not allowed to get off the World Dream ship without permission, authorities said. More than 90% of the passengers are Hong Kong residents.
Attractions shut down
The temporary closure of Disney parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong could result in a $175 million loss for the company.
Christine McCarthy, chief financial officer at Disney, said on Tuesday’s earnings call the company expects an loss of $135 million on second-quarter operating income from the Shanghai park “assuming the park is closed for two months during Q2,” and about $40 million from the closure of the Hong Kong park.
In Macau, the world's largest gambling center ordered casinos on Tuesday to shut down operations for two weeks in an effort to contain the spreading virus. The suspension will temporarily shutter 41 gambling and entertainment businesses, an official said at a news conference, according to the Wall Street Journal. Among the casinos impacted by the order are the Venetian Macao, which is partly owned by Las Vegas Sands, and Wynn Macau, owned by Wynn Resorts.