With new cases being reported every day, more and more precautions are being taken against the novel coronavirus. In the latest press release by the World Health Organization on January 25, a total of 1,320 confirmed cases have been reported across the world. A total of 1,297 cases come from China, with in Wuhan in Hubei province as ground zero. The figures are also putting a strain in aviation and tourism in and around China. Local carriers Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific announced that passengers with flights between the Philippines and China from January 24 to February 29 have the option to cancel or postpone their travel.
Cebu Pacific passengers bound for Shanghai, Canton, Beijing, Shenzen, Xiamen, Hong Kong, and Macau can rebook flights (with new flight date within 30 days of original travel date), refund tickets in full, or store the value of the ticket in a Travel Fund for future use. Extra charges for doing so are waived. This can be done through the Manage Booking portal on Cebu Pacific's website. Those who booked their flights through an online travel website or travel agency are advised to coordinate with their travel agents.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) ticket-holders that are traveling to and from Xiamen, Jinjiang, Canton, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, and Macau may likewise request to rebook, reroute, or refund their plane tickets. Rebooking and rerouting are allowed for travel until June 30 with penalties waived, but fare difference and taxes still apply. Refunding is also allowed with no penalties. PAL passengers who booked through the website or ticket offices can call their hotline at (02) 8855-8888. For tickets coursed through travel agencies, it is best to get in touch with your travel agent.
The World Health Organization advises "that measures to limit the risk of exportation or importation of the disease should be implemented, without unnecessary restrictions of international traffic." Hand and respiratory hygiene and safe food practices are also recommended.
Major attractions in the region also announced temporary closures: Disneyland and Ocean Park in Hong Kong, Shanghai Disney Resort, Shanghai Tower, Shanghai Jin Mao Tower, China Art Museum, Modern Art Museum Shanghai, Pudong Library, Shanghai Botanical Garden, Sheshan National Forest Park, and Jiabei Countryside Park. Performances and shows at the Shanghai Culture Square, Shanghai Oriental Art Center, and nearly 70,000 Chinese were also cancelled.