Charter flights between Russia and China will be suspended on February 14, Russian Federal Air Transport Agency Head Alexander Neradko said in a statement on Wednesday, APA reports citing TASS.
Since February 1, the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency has curbed charter flights to China amid an outbreak of the novel coronavirus. Russia’s Transport Ministry has allowed the air carriers to make charter flights from Russia to China in order to retrieve Russian nationals from that country.
"In accordance with the minutes of the meeting, held on February 3, 2020, of the emergency center for the prevention of entry and spread of the new coronavirus on the territory of the Russian Federation, I inform you that from February 14, 2020 at 00:00 Moscow time a temporary ban shall be imposed on public charter flights operated by Russian airlines from the territory of the Russian Federation to the territory of the People's Republic of China and back," the statement says.
It also says that airlines should inform passengers - both Russian and Chinese citizens - about the ban.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova, who chairs the emergency center for the prevention of entry and spread of the coronavirus in Russia, warned earlier about a possible ban on charter flights to China.
On December 31, 2019, the Chinese authorities reported to the World Health Organization about an outbreak of pneumonia of unknown etiology in Wuhan, an economic and industrial metropolis with a population of 11 million. The virus - 2019-nCoV - was identified on January 7, 2020. Apart from China, 24 other countries, including Russia, have reported confirmed coronavirus cases. The World Health Organization declared the new coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, characterizing it as an epidemic with multiple locations. According to the latest reports, 24,300 cases of patients infected with the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in China. The virus’ death toll has now hit 492, yet more than 900 patients have recovered from the disease.