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Polish LOT ceases flight operations due to corona virus

The ski holidays in Hamburg come to an end at the weekend. The Easter holidays, one of the most important travel times of the year, begin in March in many other federal states. However, due to the rapid spread of the corona virus, personal mobility and thus travel are extremely restricted. Here you will regularly find the latest news about the Corona crisis and travel.

+++ March 14: Polish LOT completely stops air traffic +++

The Polish government has announced that it will completely cease international flight operations for its fleet. As reported by the portal “airlive.net”, air traffic from and to Poland and Hungary will be at a standstill for ten days from Sunday. LOT, Poland’s largest airline, serves more than 120 routes worldwide. The airline is the first in the world that not only reduces flight operations, but also completely stops them.

+++ March 14: Zugspitzbahn ceases operation +++

Due to the corona virus, the Zugspitzbahn will cease operations until Monday until further notice. “The Zugspitze is closed and the Garmisch-Classic area too,” said a spokeswoman for the Bavarian Zugspitzbahn Bergbahn AG on Saturday. All mountain railways are affected by the precautionary measure. Public transport between Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Grainau will remain, however, it was said. The number of visitors to the ski areas should already be limited on Sunday.

+++ March 14: Turkey stops entry for Germans +++

After the Czech Republic, Austria and a few other countries, Turkey has also banned travelers from nine European countries to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The Turkish Interior Ministry said on Saturday. The border was closed to people from Germany, France, Austria, Spain, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and Sweden. People from third countries who have been in these nine countries in the past 14 days are also no longer allowed to enter the country.

Turkish citizens are “temporarily” not allowed to travel to the countries mentioned, it said. Turkey announced on Friday that it would suspend flights to these countries from Saturday morning until April 17. Ankara had previously stopped flights to China, Iran, Iraq, Italy and South Korea. The number of confirmed infections in Turkey had risen to five on Friday.

+++ March 14: border controls in Lithuania +++

In the fight against the further spread of the corona virus, Lithuania is reintroducing fixed border controls at its EU internal borders with Poland and Latvia. From Saturday at 6 p.m. local time, the measure will initially apply for ten days, said Interior Minister Rita Tamasuniene in Vilnius. The government of the Baltic EU country is also considering closing its borders to foreigners. The borders remained open for goods traffic, said Tamasuniene of the agency BNS.

Health checks are introduced at the airports in Lithuania, travelers are checked with a thermal imager and have to fill out a questionnaire. Conversely, Lithuanians are prohibited from traveling to high-risk areas. At the same time, a mandatory quarantine of 14 days applies to all people who have returned from such an area. So far there have been seven proven cases of infection in Lithuania. The government in Vilnius has declared a state of emergency due to the spread of the corona virus.

+++ March 14: Czech Republic controls borders with Germany and Austria +++

The Czech Republic reintroduced the fixed border controls on Germany and Austria at midnight on Saturday night. The reason is the fear of a further spread of the coronavirus. Germans, Austrians, Swiss and citizens of a further twelve risk countries are no longer allowed to enter the EU member state and are rejected. Czechs are not allowed to travel to Germany and Austria. Exceptions only apply to Germans residing in the Czech Republic and commuters in a strip 100 kilometers deep on both sides of the border. From Monday the entry stop will be extended to all foreigners.

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The Czech state railway Ceske Drahy completely stopped international travel at midnight. The private operator Regiojet also temporarily stopped bus and train traffic to and from the Czech Republic. Czech Airlines and Smartwings will no longer fly to the capital city of Prague from the beginning of the week. Prime Minister Andrej Babis of the populist party ANO had declared a state of emergency for 30 days on Thursday.

Birgit Schlerith has Covid-19. Because of the novel corona virus, she and her family are in quarantine.

+++ March 14: Russia closes borders with Poland and Norway +++

Because of the spread of the novel corona virus, Russia closes its borders with Poland and Norway. The ban came into effect on Sunday night and applies to all foreigners who travel for private, professional, tourist or study reasons, the government in Moscow said on Saturday. Citizens of Belarus, members of official delegations and people who have a permanent residence permit for Russia are excluded.

Russia has a short land border with Poland south of the Kaliningrad exclave and a border with Northern Norway that is almost 200 kilometers long. So far, 45 infections with the novel corona virus have been registered in Russia. In the fight against the corona virus, the country had previously closed its borders to China and restricted entries from Iran and South Korea. Flight connections to the EU are also to be reduced.

+++ March 14: Saudi Arabia suspends international flights +++

Saudi Arabia has suspended all international flights for two weeks due to the corona virus. The measure will come into effect on Sunday at 11 a.m. local time (9 a.m.CET), the Saudi state news agency SPA reported on Saturday, citing the Ministry of the Interior in Riyadh. Due to the spread of the corona virus, Saudi Arabia had already imposed an entry ban on all 27 countries in the EU as well as other countries in Asia and Africa. Pilgrimages to the cities of Mecca and Medina, which are sacred to Muslims, have also been prohibited for some time.

+++ March 14th: Travel restrictions reduce “Corona export” +++

Travel restrictions imposed after the outbreak of the corona virus in China, according to a study, reduced the export of cases abroad by around 70 percent by mid-February. Without these travel restrictions, 779 Sars CoV-2 cases would have been exported by February 15, writes Alison Galvani of Yale University in the United States on Friday (local time) in the journal “Proceedings” of the US Academy of Sciences (PNAS) published study.

+++ March 14: New Zealand quarantines travelers +++

Anyone entering New Zealand must go into quarantine for 14 days from Sunday. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Saturday to stop the spread of the corona virus. Only travelers coming from the Pacific Islands are exempt. Ardern also called on her compatriots to refrain from any unnecessary overseas trips. Cruise ships are not expected to moor in New Zealand ports until June 30.

+++ March 14: Cambodia prohibits entry from Germany and other countries +++

Cambodia is banning citizens of Germany, Italy, Spain, France and the USA from Tuesday (March 17th) for 30 days to prevent the spread of the corona virus. The Ministry of Health announced on Saturday.

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In Cambodia, the temple complex of Angkor Wat is one of the greatest attractions in Asia. The number of visitors here has recently dropped sharply due to the corona virus. 119,000 visitors came in February – 56 percent fewer than in the same month last year. Angkor Wat is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

+++ March 14: Uruguay blocks travelers from “risk countries” +++

Uruguay closes its borders for travelers from Germany and other “high-risk countries” due to the coronavirus pandemic. President Luis Lacalle Pou announced on Friday that he would quarantine travelers from nine “high-risk countries” for two weeks. According to Minister of Health Daniel Salinas, travelers from China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Iran, Italy, Spain, France and Germany are affected.

The government in Montevideo had previously declared a health emergency, ordered a landing ban for cruise ships and had all public events canceled. Several South American countries are already suspending their flight connections to Europe due to the increasing number of infections on the continent.

+++ March 14: US cruise ships cancel trips +++

The cruise lines Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and MSC have suspended their cruises from the United States for 30 days, according to US President Donald Trump. This is done at his request and applies from midnight on Saturday night (local time / 5 a.m.CET), Trump wrote on Friday evening on Twitter. The U.S. State Department said last Sunday that US citizens should avoid cruising.

+++ March 14: Weil urges citizens to use “bike instead of bus or train”

Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister Stephan Weil has called on people to avoid public transport if there is no compelling reason. “I recommend all of us to organize our own lives as far as possible in such a way that the risks are limited, for example, better to ride a bike instead of a bus or train,” explained Weil in the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung”.

+++ March 14: Spahn declares Madrid and Tyrol to be Corona risk areas +++

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has also declared the Spanish capital of Madrid and the Austrian state of Tyrol to be risk areas due to the spread of the novel corona virus. On Friday evening, the RKI added Madrid and Tyrol to its list of international risk areas, which already included Italy, Iran, the province of Hubei in China, the province of North Gyeongsang in South Korea and the Grand Est region in France.

Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU) recommended that all travelers who have been to Italy, Austria or Switzerland in the past two weeks stay at home for two weeks. “If you have been in Italy, Switzerland or Austria within the past 14 days: avoid unnecessary contacts and stay at home for 2 weeks – regardless of whether you have symptoms or not,” Spahn wrote on Twitter in the evening.

+++ March 14: Poland and Denmark close borders +++

Germany’s neighboring countries Poland and Denmark are closing their borders because of the coronavirus pandemic. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced on Friday evening that Poland would no longer allow foreigners to enter the country. Poles and foreigners living in Poland who return to the country are to be quarantined for two weeks. The measures come into effect at midnight on Saturday, the government said. They are initially valid for ten days, but can be extended.

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The border closure in Denmark takes effect on Saturday at 12 noon. All foreigners and tourists who have no “valid reason” for their trip to Denmark will be denied entry from this point onwards, said Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. The measure initially applies until April 13.

+++ March 13: Costa Crociere ceases ship operations worldwide until April 3 +++

The Italian shipping company Costa Crociere also announced at 5.20 p.m. that it would cease operating the ships worldwide by April 3. The decision was made because the worldwide expansion of Covid-19 requires extraordinary measures and the determined contribution of everyone involved to curb the Corona virus. “Cruises that are currently taking place will only end their current cruise so that guests can disembark and return home. Costa Crociere immediately informs all travel agencies and customers concerned,” said a press release.

+++ March 13: Spain calls the alarm state +++

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced in Madrid on Friday that this measure should be adopted by an extraordinary Council of Ministers. “We want to mobilize all means of the state to better protect the citizens,” said the socialist, who spoke of an “extraordinary crisis”. The alarm condition is the third highest of the emergency levels provided for in the Spanish constitution. The alarm condition had previously only been called once in Spain after the return to democracy in 1975: 2010 because of an air traffic controller strike.

The measure comes into force with the adoption of a so-called royal decree. For example, the government coalition could restrict the freedom of movement of people and vehicles. It could ration and, among other things, have food and other important goods confiscated and order interventions in factories and other production facilities. In contrast to a state of emergency – the next higher emergency level – the fundamental rights of citizens cannot be restricted.

+++ March 13th: In Tirol the accommodations close +++

Due to the worldwide spread of the corona virus, Austria has announced the closure of all ski areas in the state of Tyrol. The ski areas remained closed from Sunday evening. Accommodation facilities such as hotels, apartments and private rooms will be closed on Monday, March 16, 2020. As of Friday, the Paznaun Valley with the municipalities of Galtür, Ischgl, See and Kappl and the municipality of St. Anton am Arlberg were isolated, initially for 14 days.

All departing guests from abroad are registered, they can leave with a form and pass through the set up checkpoints. An information sheet with clear instructions is given to foreign guests without stopping off and going to home quarantines at home and contacting the local health authority. The Austrian Ministry of Health also informs the respective home state of the foreign guests leaving.

Appeal to reason: Minister of Transport Scheuer calls on Germans to stop traveling

+++ March 13th: Aida Cruises cancels all cruises from +++ until the beginning of April

The Rostock-based company will complete the journey of all 14 ships in the next three to four days and enter ports from which the passengers can be brought home. By the beginning of April, the Rostock company’s ships will moor at berths and will not accept any new passengers.

The situation had worsened after there were more and more travel restrictions in Asia, Norway, France, Spain and the Gulf States, reports the German press agency. The shipping company spokesman did not want to provide any information about the amount of the financial losses.

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