Coronavirus: Latest updates as flights are cut, borders are shut and Louvre is closed for a second day

'Today the opening of the Louvre is delayed. We will inform you about a potential opening time as soon as possible' – sign at museum in Paris

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Monday 02 March 2020 12:28
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Travellers in Europe and worldwide are facing increasing difficulties as nations and organisations respond to the coronavirus.

The Louvre in Paris is closed for a second day, as a result of staff concerns.

The greatest art museum in France has not opened since Saturday evening, as staff seek reassurances from management about minimising the risks of contagion.

A sign for visitors on Monday morning read: “Today the opening of the Louvre is delayed. We will inform you about a potential opening time as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding.”

The biggest airline grouping in Continental Europe, Lufthansa, has announced another wave of flight cuts. Flights from Munich to Hong Kong will be suspended from 6 March to 24 April, with passengers rebooked via Frankfurt or Zurich.

Some individual flights from Frankfurt and Munich to Seoul will also be cut over the next two months.

The German airline is also cancelling some flights to Italy and cutting back frequencies on many domestic routes from Frankfurt, Berlin and Munich.

Under European air passengers’ rights rules, travellers booked on the flights can opt for refunds or ask to be rebooked as closely as possible to the original schedule.

Jordan has announced a ban on anyone who has visited Italy in the previous two weeks. The Foreign Office travel advice says: “Travellers, except for diplomatic passport holders, will not be allowed to enter the country, if they have travelled to China, South Korea, Iran and Italy within 14 days prior to their arrival.”

The ban does not apply to Jordanian nationals, their spouses and children.

In countries close to Iran, including Armenia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, the shutters are coming down, and the British Embassy in Tehran is moving some staff and families out.

The Tenerife tourism authorities are claiming the coronavirus outbreak at a hotel in the south of the island “is already in its completion phase”.

Hundreds of guests had been confined to the H10 hotel in Costa Adeje after five Italian tourists tested positive for the coronavirus. They are in “good health” in isolation in hospital on the island. More British tourists who were confined to the hotel are being allowed home.

As the coronavirus spread, apprehension is increasing about prospective travellers.

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But Abta, the travel association, said: “Most destinations do not have any British Government advice against travel. If there is no advice against travel to your destination, if you don't want to go, you’re free to make that choice, but there's no obligation on your holiday company to give you a refund.

“Normal cancellation charges will apply. It is highly unlikely that you will be able to claim any cancellation charge on your insurance as there isn’t normally cover for disinclination to travel but you can check the terms of your policy.”

Late on Friday night, the world’s leading travel trade event, ITB Berlin, was cancelled.

But at least one delegate is on his way to the German capital. John Potter, publisher of the European Rail Timetable, tweeted “ERT still going to Berlin (non-refund rail, hotel).

“Hoping to see a few other contacts and more of Berlin that wouldn’t normally be possible in the time. Then to Stuttgart to visit brother + family.”

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