Only Hong Kong still has an exception. Foreign Affairs is taking the decision because the measures taken by the Chinese government to prevent corona virus infection and spread “have major implications for transportation, economic activities, health care and tourism throughout the country”. The situation is constantly monitored, says Foreign Affairs. If you leave in a few weeks, the circumstances can be completely different again. “But it is best not to leave in the coming days or the coming week,” says spokesperson Arnaud Gaspart.
The Belgian umbrella organization of travel organizations ABTO predicts that the planned holidays to China will be canceled. Travelers can view with their tour operator whether they choose a different destination or have their travel reimbursed. According to ABTO this involves a few dozen Belgians.
Ghent University brings students back
Ghent University had canceled the travels of its students and staff to China earlier today. Academic activities at all universities in the country have been suspended indefinitely by the authorities, “so there is little point in keeping students or staff on site.” Ghent University has contacted all students with travel plans and informed about the state of affairs. Whoever is in China returns at the expense of the university.
Americans and Japanese already evacuated, Europeans “probably Friday”
In the meantime, a plane with about two hundred Americans evacuated from the city of Wuhan has already landed on Wednesday at a military base in the state of California. Health workers were already watching the passengers during the flight. Japan also evacuated some two hundred civilians. They arrived in Tokyo on Wednesday morning.
France is putting in two planes to evacuate at least 350 Europeans, including 250 French. The first flight takes off “probably Friday”, Paris says. Belgium is still looking at its options for repatriation. It is also unclear how many Belgians would like to be repatriated.