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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Status Summary and Update for Members

Latest Updates (as of May 29, 2020)

Messages from San Francisco Travel

San Francisco Travel is committed to bringing its members the latest information on the ongoing coronavirus situation. Click below to read any of these past updates and explore the resources within.

  • May 28, 2020 - With important details about San Francisco's phased reopening plan.
  • May 21, 2020 - With examples of new marketing materials designed by San Francisco Travel to encourage visitation when the time is right.
  • May 18, 2020 - With details about how San Francisco Travel is working with city government, hotel partners, and others to prepare to welcome meetings and conventions back to San Francisco.
  • May 14, 2020 - With guidelines for reopening certain retail businesses, as well as for keeping your business clean and safe for customers.
  • May 11, 2020 - With new industry resources from U.S. Travel, San Francisco Travel, and others.
  • May 7, 2020 - With important information about the proposed phased reopening of certain retail businesses within San Francisco.
  • May 4, 2020 - With new guidelines from U.S. Travel about how our industry can continue to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 as certain travel restrictions are lessened.
  • Apr. 30, 2020 - With important updates to San Francisco's shelter in place and social distancing guidelines, as well as an example of how our industry is thanking those on the front lines of this crisis.
  • Apr. 27, 2020 - With valuable opportunities to make your voices heard by decision makers in City Hall.
  • Apr. 23, 2020 - With great examples of how San Francisco is being recognized in global media for its pioneering steps to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
  • Apr. 20, 2020 - With information about creative ways that San Francisco is showing its support for the hospitality and healthcare workers of our city.
  • Apr. 16, 2020 - With links to valuable new industry resources about visitor sentiment.
  • Apr. 13, 2020 - With information about Hospitality Helps, Order415.com, and more ways to support local business and hospitality workers.
  • Apr. 9, 2020 - With information about temporary changes to San Francisco's Muni system.
  • Apr. 6, 2020 - With details of how San Francisco is showing its support of hospitality workers across the city.
  • March 30, 2020 - With important information about the latest plans from San Francisco's city government to contain the spread of illness.
  • March 26, 2020 - With key details about the changes San Francisco Travel has made to its operating procedures for the duration of the coronavirus situation.
  • March 23, 2020 - With important information about employer and employee resources, and industry advocacy at the federal level.
  • March 19, 2020 - With an outline of San Francisco Travel's marketing communications strategy through the duration of the coronavirus crisis.
  • March 16, 2020 - With important details about the shelter in place order issued for San Francisco and surrounding Bay Area counties.
  • March 12, 2020 - With important updates about how San Francisco Travel will continue to conduct business during the coronavirus situation.
  • March 9, 2020 - With a note about our future forecasting for the industry.
  • March 6, 2020 - With links to the City's latest directives on preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
  • March 5, 2020 - With additional details on the City's response to the first confirmed coronavirus cases in San Francisco.
  • March 2, 2020 - With important updates on business cancellations and links to official sources.
  • Feb. 26, 2020 - With details about the City of San Francisco's declaration of local emergency.

Updates (Feb. 27, 2020)

Updates from San Francisco Travel Offices

Additional Industry Resources

Airline Service and Travel Restrictions

  • The U.S. State Department is currently maintaining its Level 4 warning for China, restricting all travel to China.
  • U.S. embassies and consulates may not be reopening visa applications until May. The majority of European consulates recently began resuming their visa services.
  • United Airlines has extended the suspension of its 37 weekly direct flights between SFO and China destinations (Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Hong Kong) through Apr. 24.
  • China's three major airlines have cut more than half a million seats per week on international flights. SFO flights aboard these carriers have been suspended through Mar. 28.

Medical Experts

Updates (Feb. 5, 2020)

Industry Resources

  • AviaReps, one of our representation agencies in China, has prepared a comprehensive document detailing airline service limitations and a prospective forecast of the virus's impact. It also outlines a recommended marketing and communication strategy for the China market over the next few months. You can download that document here. Please note that the document was prepared on Feb. 4 and may not reflect the most current information.
  • Tourism Economics, one of our trusted research partners, has prepared a forecast of the potential impacts of the coronavirus by comparing it to the 2003 SARS outbreak. This study delves deeper into the effect the situation may have on specific U.S. destinations, including San Francisco. You can download that report here.

Travel Restrictions

As of Jan. 31, 2020, the U.S. has banned foreigners traveling from/through China in the last 14 days from entering the country.

The following airline partners have taken action to limit their service to, from, and within China:

  • Air China/Beijing - TBA
  • China Southern/Guangzhou - Canceled Feb. 15 - Mar. 28
  • China Southern/Wuhan - Canceled until further notice
  • China Eastern/Qingdao - Canceled Feb. 6 and 8
  • China Eastern/Shanghai - Canceled through Feb. 9
  • United Airlines/Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu - Canceled through Mar. 28
  • United Airlines/Hong Kong - Canceled through Feb. 20
  • Cathay/Hong Kong - TBA
  • Singapore Airlines/Hong Kong - TBA

Wuhan Virus Cases Nationwide Summary (Jan. 28, 2020)

Visit California has provided San Francisco Travel with the following information about the ongoing coronavirus situation.

  • The diagnosed infection numbers are still climbing every a few hours across China, and according to the medical experts’ forecast, the full outbreak period is February and March of 2020.
  • Shutdown of Wuhan was escalated to shutdown of the entire Hubei Province.
  • HK is permanently suspended the bullet trains and fights to/from Wuhan city on Jan. 25, 2020.
  • Beijing is cutting off all trans-province bus/coach services until further notice since Jan. 26, 2020.
  • The City of Shantou, Guangdong provinces shutdown the city on the morning of Jan. 26, 2020.
  • U.S and Korea government are planning charter flights to evacuate their citizens in Wuhan and other locked down cities in China. France government is planning to transfer their citizens to Changsha, and after 14-days quarantines there, the government will make the next plan.

Feedback from Industry and Trade Partners

It was reported, according to the news from China Association of Travel Service, that starting from Jan. 27, 2020, there is a ban on all group travel services, including fly hotel packages. No preorganized groups are going out of/in China from Jan. 27, 2020. We currently do not have a confirmed date for when travel will resume but will continue to monitor the situation.

Airline partners

  • All Chinese airlines announced their free cancellation policies for Chinese who purchased domestic and international tickets.
  • America Airlines announced their free cancellation policies for the Chinese who had purchased the tickets from/to Wuhan.
  • America Airlines and Delta announced the cancellation / change policies for those who had purchased tickets to Beijing and Shanghai.
  • United Airlines is applying the cancellation polices from their HQ for the Wuhan Virus situation.

There is no current data about how many flights will be cut between US and China due to this situation, but we hope we can get this data after the CNY holidays.

Outbound travel agencies

  • Travel agencies have to cancel all groups (outbound and domestic) departing after Jan. 27, 2020.
  • All our key partners are dealing with the group cancellation and refund issues with their clients and are super busy negotiating with Airlines and land receptives for the group cancellation.
  • Some of the key tour operators extended their Chinese New Year holidays 1 more week to Feb. 10, 2020. And due to the CNY holidays and a foggy outlook of the epidemic situation, most of the trade partners have no immediate action plans and are following the instructions and guidance of the Chinese government.
  • All the offline promotion activities have also been cancelled to align with the new outbound travel ban. This includes roadshows and trade shows originally organized by wholesalers (Fancy Tours / Spring travels / AITS / Galaxy) in Feb. 2020.
  • According to the interview of some key tour operators, the travel ban may at least affect the China outbound business for the first half year of 2020.
  • There will be no new official updates from the key tour operators till the end of the CNY holidays.