What travelers need to know about the coronavirus

Introduction

The new coronavirus disease, scientifically named COVID-19, was first detected in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, at the end of December 2019. By the middle of March 2020, the virus had become a pandemic and had spread to more than 140 countries, areas, and territories on six continents, infecting over 150,000 people and leading to the deaths of thousands.

To limit the spread of the virus, countries throughout the world are closing their borders to foreign nationals and asking that their people stay home in isolation. Health authorities are asking everyone to avoid non-essential air travel and cruise travel.

As hard as it may be, in this context, travelers need to stay put.

But spending time at home does not have to be a time of boredom and anxiety. Not all the news out there is bad. China is closing its temporary hospitals after weeks of fighting the virus. The people of Italy and Spain are finding ways to have fun, socialize, and keep smiling despite the isolation; and the penguins of Chicago's Shedd Aquarium are enjoying some breathing space without the crowds.

To keep up your spirits and keep a clear head as this health crisis unfolds, we’re compiling relevant news coverage to the coronavirus, as well as some feel-good stories from around the world so that travelers stuck at home may stay informed, and stay hopeful.

What travelers need to know about the coronavirus outbreak

Traveling is not recommended.

Latest News

Lions in South Africa’s Kruger National Park are taking over empty roads and golf courses

Dogs may be trained to sniff out coronavirus to help stop the spread

Princess Sofia of Sweden will assist medical workers during the pandemic

The Vancouver Aquarium could close permanently because of COVID-19

Tonight, the American flag is being projected onto the Matterhorn in a display of solidarity

Celebrity chef José Andrés promises doctors and nurses will eat for free at his restaurants for the rest of 2020

Emirates rolls out rapid pre-flight COVID-19 tests for passengers

The US airline industry will receive a $25 billion bailout

New York governor orders everyone to wear masks in public

99-year-old British army veteran raised over $17 million for health services

UK travel industry unites to give healthcare workers free vacations

Conspiracy theorists are setting fire to 5G cell phone towers they believe are linked to the COVID-19 crisis

Austria is the first European country to ease coronavirus lockdown measures

Australian couple mistakenly fined $1,000 each for violating lockdown

Lego is making 13,000 face visors a day for hospital workers in Denmark

United Airlines flew a team of health workers from San Francisco to NYC to help battle coronavirus

Japan airport sets up cardboard beds for incoming travelers awaiting COVID-19 test results

Drone footage of Cape Town, South Africa, shows an entirely empty city

Unfazed by coronavirus fears, cruise bookings are up for 2021

Conspiracy theorists are setting fire to 5G cell phone towers they believe are linked to the COVID-19 crisis

In these locked-down cities, animals are taking over the vacant streets

Amid worldwide lockdowns, seismic noise has gone way down

Iconic San Francisco bookstore facing closure raises over $451,000 in just three days

All-girl Afghan robotics team builds ventilator out of car parts

Himalayas visible from Northern India as COVID-19 lockdown dramatically reduces pollution

China is gradually reopening after a months-long lockdown, but it’s already raising major safety concerns

Delta’s new cancellation policy allows passengers to rebook for two years

The world’s best restaurant prepares thousands of meals for front-line workers

New Zealand’s strong response to the coronavirus crisis is already paying off

Spain to establish basic income to help citizens through the coronavirus pandemic

Several European countries eyeing tentative return to normalcy

These charts show the dramatic decline of traffic in cities around the world

Donate your ski goggles to medical workers on the front lines

Tonight, the American flag is being projected onto the Matterhorn in a display of solidarity

This Facebook group is helping medical workers self-isolate by matching them with unused RVs

Ireland’s prime minister is returning to medicine amid the coronavirus pandemic

Airlines must refund passengers for canceled flights during the COVID-19 crisis

110,000 restaurants expected to permanently close in the United States

Unemployment in the US spikes as the coronavirus crisis unfolds

Atlanta medical workers fly to NYC to aid in the fight against coronavirus

The New England Patriots team plane is carrying 1.2 million surgical masks from China

US Coast Guard orders cruise ships with sick passengers to remain at sea indefinitely

With ‘suspended shopping’ Italians are paying it forward during the coronavirus crisis

Drone footage captures ‘isolation disco’ party in Newcastle

Real ID deadline extended by one year

TSA checkpoint numbers show just how few people are traveling right now

Mountain goats are taking over this Welsh town during lockdown

The International Center of Photography wants to see your pandemic photos

Cell phone data reveals which Americans are staying at home and which ones aren’t

Famous Abbey Road crosswalk is being repainted during the coronavirus lockdown

Pilots are spelling out messages in the sky during the coronavirus outbreak

Portugal grants migrants and asylum seekers permanent resident rights during the coronavirus outbreak

Oakland and other cities are converting hotels into housing for the homeless

Social distancing measures are slowly paying off in Italy, San Francisco, and elsewhere around the world

Four dead, nearly 200 with flu-like symptoms on cruise ship en route to Florida

Airbnb is offering free housing to 100,000 COVID-19 responders

The Smithsonian Channel released 68 free ‘Aerial America’ episodes for a hefty dose of isolation escapism

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are officially postponed to 2021

Drone footage of San Francisco captures an eerie, empty city

Italian mayors are losing it and yelling at people for ignoring lockdown rules

Rugby commentator hilariously narrates everyday life as virus cancels all sporting events

Four Seasons Hotel in NYC is offering free rooms to medical workers

This cowboy museum’s security guard is now in charge of social media, and his posts will have you laughing

Ryan Reynolds’ liquor brand is donating part of its proceeds to out-of-work bartenders

National parks are closing to slow the coronavirus outbreak

Some state parks are being turned into quarantine zones for COVID-19 patients

You should be shopping at Asian groceries during the coronavirus crisis — and long after

How people are coping with being far from family when borders are closed

10 simple ways to help your local community combat coronavirus

Millions of tulips destroyed in the Netherlands as coronavirus cuts demand

Mallorca police put on an uplifting concert for citizens in lockdown

Across the US, students confront college life without a campus

Canada and Australia officially withdraw from the Olympics

Local craft distilleries are the new, unexpected heroes in the fight against COVID-19

TV medical dramas are donating their supplies to hospitals

How you can help hospitality workers affected by COVID-19

Independent bookshops in England are offering home delivery during the coronavirus crisis

What travel bans mean for the Australians who needed tourism after summer bushfires

Customer leaves $9,400 tip to help Houston restaurant through the coronavirus closure

During lockdown, people get creative with workouts, bingo, and dance sessions

Norway’s prime minister holds a coronavirus press conference just for children

Kentucky Derby postponed until September amid the coronavirus health crisis

Two children put on a cello concert for their elderly neighbor in self-isolation

Customer leaves $2,500 tip at this Ohio bar before its closure due to the coronavirus

José Andrés is converting closed restaurants into community kitchens

Hotels throughout the world could be converted into hospitals for coronavirus patients

Chicago aquarium lets penguins meet other animals during coronavirus closure

John Oliver urges people to take 30 seconds to selfishly complain about the coronavirus

French luxury brand LVMH is using its factories to make hand sanitizer

What travelers need to know about the coronavirus outbreak

Everest closes to climbers, Nepal suspends tourist visas

Disney is closing all its theme parks due to the coronavirus pandemic

Italians in lockdown in Siena come together in song

From an American in Europe, here’s what this new travel ban means

Princess Cruises cancels all voyages for two months

Broadway goes dark, and other NYC cultural institutions to shut their doors

For the first time in over 250 years, New York’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is postponed

Coachella and Stagecoach are officially postponed over coronavirus

Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day parade canceled over coronavirus fears

South by Southwest canceled over coronavirus

Buying masks when you’re not sick is doing more harm than good

No, you can’t make hand sanitizer with vodka

The Louvre, closed due to coronavirus fears, has just reopened

US universities are canceling study abroad programs over coronavirus

Museums and tourist attractions closed due to coronavirus reopen in Italy

Senior official says Olympics ‘probably looking at cancellation’ if Tokyo can’t host

Belgium is asking its citizens to register online before traveling due to coronavirus fears

Austria will stop people suspected of carrying the coronavirus at the border

Coronavirus cases escalate in Italy, ending the Venice Carnival early

As coronavirus spreads, Kyoto launches campaign to bring back tourists

South Korea at highest alert level due to sharp rise in coronavirus cases

This misleading map of the coronavirus sparked unfounded panic

NYC launches campaign to help Chinatown businesses hurt by coronavirus fears

Airbnb freezes bookings in Beijing amid coronavirus concerns

Cathay Pacific cuts nine international routes over coronavirus fears

Six-hour customs lines at US airports due to coronavirus screening

Volunteers are breaking into homes in Wuhan to rescue abandoned pets

Chinese residents on lockdown are passing time in some pretty creative ways

The new coronavirus will have a major impact on global travel

Airlines are canceling flights to China amid coronavirus concerns

First case of deadly Chinese coronavirus reported in the US

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