Czech govt issues China flight ban
The government has approved a ban on direct flights between China and the Czech Republic due to the spread of a new type of coronavirus on Chinese territory. It will be valid from Sunday 9 February. Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch said that the ban will be valid indefinitely. Czech Post will not limit shipments between the Czech Republic and China.
According to Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček, the authorities know about 105 Czech citizens who want to return from China to the Czech Republic. If some remain in China, the state is ready to send a government airbus for them.
Vojtěch issued a ban in the form of a protective measure under the Public Health Protection Act.
The ban applies to commercial flights. However, the ban doesn’t apply to government flights. The Czech Post has not considered restrictions on shipments between the Czech Republic and China yet. Deliveries may be delayed due to flight restrictions.
In response to a government decision, the Chinese embassy pointed out that the World Health Organization (WHO) did not make recommendations to restrict travel and trade in goods due to coronavirus.
There are 12 flights a week between Prague and China. Last week, due to the spread of coronavirus, Sichuan Airlines decided to temporarily suspend flights between Prague and Chengdu, which now operate twice a week. The last return flight will fly on Saturday, 8 February, and on 12 February, the airline wanted to send a plane for Chinese passengers from Prague.
China Eastern Airlines has also announced a one-way connection between Prague and Shanghai in recent weeks, so it was scheduled to fly four times a week since March. The same carrier also operates twice a week to Xi’an.
Coronavirus, which has been spreading from China’s Wuhan city since December, has infected more than 17,300 people in China and abroad. The disease claimed 362 victims, including 361 in China and one in the Philippines. The epidemic has prompted the Chinese authorities to take action against the spread of the disease, which has also affected the economy, especially transport, tourism, and trade.
Some of the other countries banning flights to and from China due to the coronavirus include North Korea, Vietnam, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Iran, Indonesia, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Italy.