27 January 2020
In light of the Chinese Government suspension of group travel out of China and the attached notice here from the China Association of Travel Services, and to support the Ministry of Health taking the prescribed cautionary approach to initiate preventive measures to deal with Coronavirus, FHTA advises members as follows:
1. Recommended Practice for Bookings and Cancellations
Based on the information to hand, cancellations and/or rebookings will take place until the China-based epidemic has been neutralised.
Therefore the proposed cancellation fee policy will be as follows:-
1. For Guests who have not yet arrived in the country
a) Should Guests cancel their travel then normal cancellation fees apply.
b) Should Guests postpone their travel i.e. rebook for new dates; then no cancellation fees apply.
2. For Guests who are in the country and No Shows
Failure to arrive at the booked hotel should be treated as per the hotel’s normal cancellation/no show policy. Guests should be able to claim against their travel insurance. If they have no travel insurance, that is their conscious decision and they take the risk.
This recommendation is provided to allow consistency and to minimise confusion among our partners.
2. MEDIA RELEASE 3: 2019 NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (27/1/2020)
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services health team at the Nadi International Airport received notification from Fiji Airways of six ill Chinese national passengers onboard Apia-Nadi flight FJ 254 shortly prior to landing at 5.48pm on Sunday January 26th. The entire group of six Chinese nationals were reportedly refused entry into Samoa upon arrival on flight FJ 255 Nadi-Apia earlier in the day due to travel restrictions implemented by Samoa last week related to the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak. The group had transited through Nadi enroute to Apia on the same day via Hong Kong on flight FJ392. It is not clear if the reportedly ill passengers was medically assessed or noted to be ill while being refused entry in Samoa.
Health staff met the Apia-Nadi flight upon arrival at 5.48pm and the 6 Chinese nationals were medically screened. All six were examined by a doctor and assessed as well, with no fever. All six are from Fujian province in China. None had a history of travel to Wuhan, or Hubei province. However, as a precaution, further investigations are underway for one of the passengers, a 71-year-old male, and the group remains under quarantine until they are cleared to fly.
While Fujian province in China has reported 18 confirmed cases of 2019 novel coronavirus, all internationally exported cases to date have had a history of travel to Wuhan in Hubei province- which is the epicenter of the outbreak with over 1000 confirmed cases. Based on the medical examination and history it is not expected that this is a case – however, taking a cautious approach, quarantine is being maintained for all six Chinese nationals until further investigation results are available.
3. Preventative Measures:
The CDC (Centre for Disease Control) advises the following preventative measures:
How to protect yourself
There are currently no vaccines available to protect you against human coronavirus infection. You may be able to reduce your risk of infection by doing the following;
- wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- avoid close contact with people who are sick
For information about hand washing, see CDC’s Clean Hands Save Lives!
How to protect others
If you have cold-like symptoms, you can help protect others by doing the following;
- stay home while you are sick
- avoid close contact with others
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands
- clean and disinfect objects and surfaces
If you are not sure, see a medical doctor.