Coronavirus chaos: Entry bans, flight cancellations, Dutch issue 14 advisories

Dozens of countries and territories implemented emergency measures to contain or prevent an outbreak of coronavirus in their lands on Saturday. While Dutch airline KLM said it would work to repatriate passengers, its subsidiary Transavia recommend people scheduled on cancelled flights quickly rebook their tickets to an available option if possible.

As a response, the Dutch government updated its travel advice to 14 different countries. A short description of these advisories follows this article.

Holiday tour provider Corendon said it was cancelling the vacations of 28 thousand travelers over the next four weeks, with free rebooking at a later date. Tour operators Sunweb and Prijsvrij reportedly did the same, and TUI was considering the move.

KLM will begin repatriating its stranded passengers wherever possible, it said. "If a country bans passengers from entry, but flights are allowed, KLM will operate as much as possible to allow passengers who are in that country to return home," the airline stated.

Aruba, Curacao and Suriname, as well as the Dutch Caribbean islands of Bonaire, Sint-Eustatius and Saba, will not allow passenger flights from the Netherlands, nor from other European countries. TUI said it would fly empty planes to Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao and Suriname to bring its stranded passengers back to the Netherlands.

Almost a dozen airlines have canceled all flights to and from Schiphol, as of 1 p.m. on Saturday. They include Alitalia, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Czech Airlines, Delta, El Al, Iran Air, Level, SunExpress, Surinam Airways and Turkish Airlines.

Netherlands travel advisories issued on Saturday

The Dutch government cautioned that the countries of Bolivia, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Hong Kong, Malta, Myanmar, New Zealand, Portugal and Slovakia could all make rapid policy decisions that could affect whether or not travelers will be allowed to enter or leave their land. The same words of caution were issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the countries listed below, in addition to more concrete warnings:

Columbia has an entry ban in place for all passengers arriving from Asia or Europe for the next 14 days. Its own citizens and legal residents are only permitted to enter under quarantine rules.

Cyprus will put in place travel restrictions beginning Sunday.

Denmark started restricting access to people entering and leaving the country from Saturday. It also affected people traveling by ground transportation.

Morocco will no longer accept flights into its airspace at 8 a.m. on Sunday, and no flights may depart Morocco after 12 p.m. on Sunday. Ferry crossings to Ceuta were to stop from 8 p.m. on Sunday, the Ministry said, but reports from AFP and Reuters suggested only Spanish citizens were allowed to use the ferry to return to Spain.

Poland will start restricting border access from 12:01 a.m. on Sunday.

Russia will permit air travel only via Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow to European Union capitals, the Ministry said.

Taiwan will force anyone arriving from the Netherlands and all other Schengen Area countries, Ireland and the United Kingdom into quarantine beginning March 17. The quarantine will last 14 days.

Ukraine will restrict entrance and exit across its borders from Sunday.

Vietnam will ban entry to anyone who has been in a Schengen Area country over the past 14 days. The ban will begin at noon on Sunday, the Ministry stated, adding that travelers from the Netherlands could potentially face a 14-day quarantine.

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