Latest Travel Information, News and Updates

Coronavirus – Latest News: 07 October 11:30am

Wendy Wu Tours defers all tours departing between 23 March and 30 November 2020

Our customers’ safety and wellbeing is our number one priority, therefore effective from 23 March, Wendy Wu Tours is deferring all tours and tailormade holidays up until 30 November 2020.

We thank you for your patience and understanding in these unprecedented times.

Special Terms and Conditions for Wendy Wu Tours. Effective 23 March 2020

Tours departing to 30 November 2020

If you have booked a group tour or tailor-made holiday departing between 23 March and 30 November 2020 you will receive a Refund Credit Note of 100% of monies paid. This will be automatically applied to your booking and we will be in touch via email with confirmation of this.

This Refund Credit Note (RCN) is financially protected by ATOL and must be redeemed before 31 January 2021. You can use this credit towards an alternative holiday with a departure date on or before 31 December 2022.

We have been working hard behind the scenes negotiating the best rates for your next holiday and we are seeing strong demand already for 2021 & 2022 holidays which will be bookable at 2020 prices with us.

Airfares held in credit are bound by each specific airline’s different terms and conditions. We will be in contact to discuss these options with you, should they apply.

During this busy time, in order to provide you with the best possible service, we kindly ask you to contact us via email Operations@wendywutours.co.uk if you have any queries, or to discuss amending your booking.

There is no need to call us right now. However, if it is extremely urgent please only call us if you were due to depart in the next 5 days.

Tours departing between 01 December and 31 December 2020

Whilst we monitor the situation closely on a day-by-day basis, for reassurance and peace of mind, we will be relaxing the date that your balance is due from 11 weeks prior to departure down to 6 weeks prior to departure date. 

This means you have up until 6 weeks prior to your departure date until your outstanding balance is due to us. Your balance due date is automatically extended and there is no further action needed from yourselves.

If we make the decision to defer your tour, we will be in contact via email to advise of your options.

Tours departing after 01 January 2021

For tours departing after 01 January 2021, normal booking conditions apply.

Travel Safe with our Pioneering Covid Safe Protocols

Your safety and well-being will always be our Number 1 priority which is why we’ve instituted the most stringent Covid health and safety protocols on all of our tours.

See our Travel with Confidence page for more information.

Have a question?

If you have a question about your booking, please read our comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Read the latest advice for Wendy Wu Tours travellers here

Update 1 Oct 2020 09:00

Exciting News in the race to find a cure for Covid 19

Dr. Josef Penninger, a University of British Columbia Life Sciences Institute Director who helped discover an enzyme and develop a drug to stop the spread of SARS more than 20 years ago, is using that knowledge to fight COVID-19.

The promising findings of his first clinical trial of his new treatment were recently released in the Lancet Medical Journal.

The patient, a 45-year-old woman in Vienna who was on a ventilator due to severe COVID-19 symptoms, showed improvement shortly after receiving the drug known as APN01.

In one or two days, the virus disappeared in her blood system and also in her lungs. She developed perfect immunity from the virus.

She is now back home and healthy.

This encouraging news comes on top of a recent WHO report that announced that there are now 7 COVID-19 vaccines in the final stage of trials before approval for general use, including 4 in China which hopes to officially launch the vaccine at the end of December 2020. Read more.

Update 26 Sep 2020 09:00

Taj Mahal re-opens

Encouraging news from India.

The incredible UNESCO world heritage site had been closed down for visitors since 17th March but has now re-opened. Robust new measures are now in place to ensure everyone’s safety including limiting daily visitors to just 5,000. You could expect 70,000 a day pre lockdown!

Update 17 Sep 2020 09:00

Thailand added to UK government Safe List

More great news – the UK government has included Thailand on the list of countries where you will no longer have to self-isolate on arrival in England adding it to the list of following countries:

Update 21 Aug 2020 09:00

“Tokyo Olympic Games will go ahead”

The Vice President of the International Olympic Committee, John Coates, confirmed that the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics will definitely go ahead next year. A resounding endorsement of the influential committee’s confidence that the country will be safe in 2021.

He said “These will be the Games that conquered Covid, the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Update 21 Aug 2020 09:00

Travel Safe with our Pioneering Covid Safe Protocols

Your safety and well-being will always be our Number 1 priority which is why we’ve instituted the most stringent Covid health and safety protocols on all of our tours.

Here are some of the many steps we are taking to ensure you will be safe, secure and satisfied when you travel with us.

Guides and National Escorts

  • Our National Escorts and guides will conduct a Health and Safety briefing with you before the tour begins and will help everyone ensure they adhere to social distancing, hygiene practises and local regulations
  • They will carry a supply of face masks and hand sanitizer for you to use free of charge and will, of course, observe the highest level of personal hygiene at all times.
  • Should anyone on the group fall ill your National Escort will ensure the individual receives swift medical attention and can only return to the group once cleared to do so.

Transport & Sightseeing

  • Vehicles will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected with disinfectant after each excursion service, overnight and between different groups.
  • You will always have at least one seat between you and your fellow tourers, hand sanitiser will be given to the group on each embarkation and vehicles will be thoroughly ventilated prior to passengers boarding.
  • Drivers will always embark vehicles after clients, disembark before the group vehicle prior to clients disembarking and maintain social distancing and maintain a high level of personal hygiene at all times.
  • Only front facing microphones will be used on vehicles and headsets or speaker systems will be used whilst sightseeing.
  • Your guides will assess the situation on the ground avoiding large crowds – where possible, alter timings and splitting the group into smaller sizes.

Accommodation

  • Wendy Wu Tours will only offer hotels that have undergone a detailed hygiene assessment, have specific COVID-19 protocols in place and comply with government standards.
  • We will ensure these protocols include staff practising social distancing and wearing appropriate PPI, regular cleaning and disinfection of high frequency touch points in all areas and food safety.

Dining

  • All the restaurants we visit will be researched and inspected regularly to ensure that they follow the strictest health, cleanliness and safety guidelines.
  • All waiting staff will wear face masks and gloves and self-service buffets will be avoided in favour of à la carte dining, waiter-served meals or waiter-assisted buffets.
  • Hand sanitiser will be provided to the group before and after every food and beverage service.

See our Travel with Confidence page for more information.

Update 20 Aug 2020 09:00

Great News in the Race to Find a Vaccine for COVID-19

The World Health Organisation (WHO) have announced that there are now 7 COVID-19 vaccines in Phase 3, the final stage before approval for general use.

The UK, US and Germany have 1 vaccine trial each at Phase 3, whilst the other 4 are all being developed in China.

On March 16, one particular COVID-19 vaccine, developed by Major General Chen Wei and her team, became the first to be approved by China for the first stage of clinical trials, and then the second stage domestically and internationally.

“A large amount of research needs to be done before we start clinical trials so as to minimize risks,” Dr Chen commented. “What you see is that we have one vaccine undergoing clinical trials, but behind that we have about 30 candidates.”

The team led by Dr Chen have also announced that it hopes to officially launch the vaccine at the end of December 2020, with an annual output of 200 million doses. An initial dose of the vaccine is anticipated to provide a 97% antibody rate, with a second shot reaching 100%. The cost of the two-dose regime is estimated to be low, at around £130.

The vaccine is also in popular demand for large scale trials in Russia, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Chile, due to its reputation as a successful vaccine against strands of SARS and Ebola.

Early on in the fight against COVID-19, Dr Chen led a team to Wuhan in the Hubei Province of China to combat the pandemic on the frontline. After arriving in Wuhan, Chen’s team started building a portable testing lab, which started operation on January 30. The lab fast achieved a capability of testing 1,000 people per day.

In other news, Russia has recently announced production of a vaccine after having only gone through the 2nd stage of clinical testing, due to the country’s eagerness in controlling the virus.

Update 6 Aug 2020 09:00

Malaysia added to UK government Safe List

Great news – the UK government has included Malaysia on the list of countries where you will no longer have to self-isolate on arrival in England adding it to the list of following countries:

  • Japan
  • Vietnam
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Hong Kong
  • Malaysia

This makes us optimistic that we will return to life as normal and be able to enjoy our dream holidays soon.

Update 20 July 2020 09:00

River Cruising is Back

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has changed its advice around the ban on cruise ships, allowing us to now take river cruises.

This is a sensible course of action. River cruise ships, like our very own Victoria Mekong, are far smaller than ocean going liners, carry a fraction of the passengers, and are always in close proximity to the shore, and therefore to local healthcare.

The Victoria Mekong also exclusively cruises a quieter stretch of the Mekong Delta with small group excursions to destinations firmly off the beaten track. Explore the ship

Experience our brand new state of the art ship on our most popular tour of Vietnam and Cambodia Classic Mekong

Update 9 July 2020 9:00

Government announces Quarantine Exemptions List

Great news – the UK government has decreed that from today you will no longer have to self-isolate on arrival in England from the following countries:

  • Japan
  • Vietnam
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Taiwan
  • Hong Kong
  • Macao
  • Malaysia

Update 15 June 2020 9:00

Encouraging Coronavirus vaccine news from China

Reports from China suggest that they are just about to move into the third phase of clinical testing on a new Coronavirus vaccine.

Employees of state owned companies are volunteering to test the vaccine when travelling overseas – having beaten the virus in China, there are insufficient numbers of cases to test efficacy of the vaccine in China itself.

Work is continuing apace to produce the vaccine once it is finally approved with one high tech factory completed already and another due to open shortly. Together they will have the capacity to produce 200 million vaccines a year.

Update 26 May 2020 9:00

Japan declares end to State of Emergency

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the nation on Monday that the “Japan model” has effectively beaten coronavirus as he lifted a nationwide state of emergency after seven weeks.

Mr Abe said the “uniquely Japanese way” in which the country had confronted the pandemic – which, unusually, did not include a strict lockdown – had allowed it to escape the large outbreaks and devastating death tolls seen in several European countries and the United States.

Japan has had about 17,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 850 deaths

Update 12 May 2020 9:00

The Telegraph – Why China should be your first post Coronavirus holiday

The Telegraph’s Mark Stratton talks to founder Wendy Wu and writes why, for all sorts of reasons, China should be your first holiday after the Coronavirus lock-down is lifted.

” When China unlocks its doors, I think travellers will be rushing back to China because it will be the safest country in the world to visit, free of Covid-19″

” The jewels of their tourism offering have already reopened as the Chinese government deems Covid-19 sufficiently under control. The Great Wall reopened on March 24 and Xian’s terracotta warriors a day later”

” International travellers who head to China when it opens will experience its most famous sights without the crowds”

For a great insight into what holidays in China are like right now take a look at this video report about a visit to Chengdu’s famous Panda Research Centre

With visitor numbers closely controlled – 5,000 a day versus 35,000 before Covid-19 – it feels like visiting China 30 years ago!

Read the full article about how China is getting back to better than normal here

 

Read the full article in the Telegraph

Update 21 September 2020 09:00

Positive news in the fight against Coronavirus

While many parts of the world are still struggling with the virus, there are many places in the world that are winning the fight.

China, of course is the most well known example, with new infections almost totally confined to imported cases and great strides being made in the developments of treatments and a vaccine.

China and South Korea have shown that we will beat the virus. In the world of Wendy Wu Tours, the countries below are currently the safest with very low rates of new infections which makes us optimistic that we will return to life as normal and be able to enjoy our dream holidays soon. We’ve also included our most popular tour to each destination so you can stop dreaming and start planning!

*On the UK government safe list meaning you will no longer have to self-isolate on arrival in England

Figures correct as of 19 October 2020

Update 27 April 2020 9:00

China begins second phase of clinical trials on Vaccine

The new coronavirus vaccine developed by the academician Chen Wei and the team at China’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences started the second phase clinical trial on April 12, becoming the only new coronavirus vaccine to enter the second phase clinical trial in the world.

Update 8 April 2020 9:00

Wuhan ends lockdown

The Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus first emerged in December, is emerging from lockdown after more than two months. Healthy residents and visitors – those with a “green” code on a health app – will now be able to leave the city. Train, road and rail connections have also resumed.

Update 7 April 2020 12:00

China records no new virus deaths for first time

China reported no coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, the first time since it started publishing daily figures in January.

The National Health Commission said it had 32 confirmed cases, down from 39 on Monday. All of the confirmed cases on Tuesday had arrived from overseas.

Update 27 March 2020 10:00

Signifcant discovery in the fight against Coronavirus

A research team, led by renowned epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan, has published a paper demonstrating that Lianhua Qingwen is effective against the new crown virus and can prevent the virus from replicating. The drug has passed the final stages of clinical trials, been officially added to the new crown pneumonia treatment program and is now in production.

The medicine has been widely used in medical institutions in Hubei province to fight the epidemic and China has provided 100,000 boxes of Lianhua Qingwen to hard-hit Italy.

In other encouraging news, the team led by French biologist Didier Raoult has published that chloroquine has also proven effective in treating the virus. The treatment has been adopted by Dr Zhong Nanshan and his team and the results have been described as “encouraging” by the US government.

Update 9 March, 10:00

Lowest number of daily new cases so far in China

The National Health and Medical Commission in China has reported 40 new cases of the Coronavirus as of midnight last night, the lowest daily total since records began.

36 of those 40 cases were reported in Wuhan with the remaining four, travellers from Iran, meaning no new infections in all of the remaining provinces outside of Hubei.

The government has monitored the situation carefully and continues to gradually re-open tourist attractions. Over a third of national scenic areas are now open and more attractions are expected to open in the near future.

Update 7 March, 18:00

Coronavirus vaccine expected in April

The National Health and Medical Commission in China has confirmed that the new vaccine will arrive in April and, once regulated, will be effective for clinical and emergency use.

Speaking at a special press conference on 6 March, experts from the NHMC advised that the vaccine is in final testing stages and is advancing rapidly.

The vaccine is being developed by Major General SAIC Chancellor Chen Wei, China’s top epidemiologist and virologist. Chen is widely credited for her contribution in both the SARS and Ebola outbreaks.

Update 6 March, 13:00

World Health Organization praises the global efforts being taken to control the spread of COVID-19.

Speaking at the WHO media briefing on 5 March, Tedros Adhanom, Director-General of the WHO, said: “This epidemic can be pushed back, but only with a collective, coordinated and comprehensive approach that engages the entire machinery of government. We are seeing this in operation now and are calling on every country to keep on acting with speed, scale and clear-minded determination.”

In its latest report the WHO summarises the current global statistics as follows:

  • There is now a total of 95,265 reported cases of COVID-19 globally, and 3281 deaths
  • In the past 24 hours, China reported 143 cases. Most cases continue to be reported from Hubei province, and 8 provinces have not reported any cases in the last 14 days.
  • Outside China, 2055 cases were reported in 33 countries. Around 80% of those cases continue to come from just three countries.
  • We see encouraging signs from the Republic of Korea. The number of newly-reported cases appears to be declining, and the cases that are being reported are being identified primarily from known clusters.
  • Although a few countries are reporting large numbers of cases, 115 countries have not reported any cases
  • 21 countries have reported only one case and 5 countries that had reported cases have not reported new cases in the past 14 days.

Today WHO has launched a new social media campaign ‘Be Ready for COVID-19’, which urges people to be safe, smart and informed.

Update: 2 March 12:00

China citizens return to work as virus recedes plus more attractions open

After months of home stay citizens in China are now returning to work as companies, factories and shops are finally reopening for business. Apple has now reopened all of its manufacturing facilities outside of Hubei Province, one of the clearest signs that life in China is returning to normality. By the end of the first week of March, over 73% of business enterprises will have resumed production.

Reported cases within China are now at an all time low with only nine reported new cases outside of Hubei Province in the last 24 hours. The World Health Organization has once again praised China for the stringent measures it has taken to control and eradicate the virus, testament to the current situation which sees China returning to some semblance of normality.

As China returns to work, more tourist attractions are gradually reopening, again another clear sign that China is bouncing back. The Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism are now reviewing all tourist attractions with an expectation that everything will be open from April onwards.

Wendy Wu Tours have confirmed that, in light of these developments, all tours are expected to operate in full from 1 April. The operators current policy allowing free cancellations for tours departing up to 31 March remains in place. Tours departing April and May this year are expected to operate as planned. In the event of any changes, passengers will be contacted three weeks prior to departure to discuss travel options.

Tours for all other destinations are operating as normal.

Update: 27 February 09:00

Virus peak passed and now in sharp decline – World Health Organization reports from China

Speaking on the current COVID-19 outbreak, Dr Bruce Aylward, team lead of the WHO-China joint mission on COVID-19, said: “In Wuhan, the first place to be hit by the virus, the peak appears to have passed and is now in sharp decline.”

The WHO has again praised China for its efforts at controlling the virus stating that although the outbreak is not yet over, China’s experience and the lengths taken to control and eradicate the virus by the Chinese government are to be commended and offer key lessons to the world in virus control.

Dr Aylward commented that against all the media speculation and panic, largely witnessed since the outbreak began, moving forwards if we encounter another such virus again then globally we must all adjust our mindset from one of panic to a state of resolute response and stopping the virus as close as possible to placed where it occurred.

Second, people should be prepared for the virus and advised that organised and disciplined action is absolutely necessary.

Third, it is necessary to strengthen the capacity of health centres. Good organisation of separate spaces for patients and ensuring adequate protection gear and equipment for health workers and health institutions are the key conditions for successfully fighting the virus.

All of the above has been applied in China, proving that China is succeeding in complete virus eradication, leading the world in its methods and is likely to emerge much stronger in the outcome.

Update: 24 February 17:00

New cases in wider China area continue to fall

The number of new cases in China (outside of Hubei Province), has been on a downward trend since 8 February as predicted, with only 18 new cases reported yesterday. (398 in Hubei Province, making a total of 416 across all of China) In fact, 13 Provinces including Shanghai and Beijing, have reported 0 new cases for the past 3 consecutive days.

Many other countries are also doing a great at containing the virus, evident below:

  • India has seen only three cases of the virus, all of which have recovered.
  • In Cambodia, there has only been one confirmed case of the virus.
  • Vietnam has seen 16 cases, with 15 fully recovered.

Update: 23 February 11:00

Beijing – evidence supports city potentially virus free by mid-March

News outlet the Beijinger is reporting that for the first time since Beijing began daily reporting of COVID-19 infections on Jan 21, there has been zero new infections reported over the last 24-hour period.

Over the same period, 11 additional Beijing patients have recovered, lowering the total of currently hospitalised patients in the city to 206. This is the 10th consecutive day in Beijing where the number of recovered patients has been higher than the number of newly admitted.

A total of 33 patients were admitted over the last 10 days, while 121 have recovered. This has resulted in a net decrease in patients under treatment of 88 over this 10-day period.

Should this trend continue and no new major outbreaks occur, the city could be looking at having 0 patients remaining under treatment by March 17!

Update: 20 February 10:30

Drop in new cases continues

As of midnight 19 February, the National Health Commission reported 394 new cases of confirmed infections, the lowest total since 23 January.

Update: 19 February 14.30

Wendy is invited by the BBC to speak on BBC1 News, BBC World News and BBC News Channel about the impact of coronavirus on the tourism industry.

Hear how Wendy Wu Tours are responding to this, the measures China are taking to beat the virus and reopen its doors again for tourism.

 

Update: 11 February 2020, 12:00

China announces drop in new cases for third straight day

China has announced a drop in new cases from the coronavirus outbreak for a third consecutive day. On Sunday, authorities reported 2,009 new cases and 142 more deaths nationwide. New cases spiked earlier in the week after a change in the way they were counted but have been falling ever since.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that along with a drop in infections within Hubei there had also been a rapid increase in the number of people who had recovered.

On Saturday, World Health Organization (WHO) head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised Beijing’ response to the outbreak.

Update: 15 February 11:00

New crown pneumonia vaccines have entered experimental testing stage

The China Health and Medical Commission today announced that some of the new crown pneumonia vaccines have entered the experimental testing stage. “The safety of vaccines is first and foremost, researchers need to give time to develop safe and effective vaccine products. ”

Update: 14 February 12:00

Coronavirus outbreak estimated to peak in Wuhan mid-late February 2020

The coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan could peak in mid-to-late-February if the basic reproduction number (R0) of the virus continues to vary as it has in Wuhan, according to preliminary new estimates from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Update: 13 February 09:30

The number of deaths and infections reported as caused by the coronavirus in China has risen after authorities changed the way they calculate the figures. Hubei has started using a broader definition to diagnose people – which accounts for most of the rise in cases.

The province – which accounts for more than 80% of overall Chinese infections – now includes “clinically diagnosed cases” in the number of confirmed cases. This means it includes those showing symptoms, and having a CT scan showing an infected lung, rather than relying only on the standard nucleic acid tests.

Update: 12 February 10:35

No new countries reported cases of the virus in the last 24 hours (as at 10:00am on 12 February 2020)

The number of new confirmed cases of coronavirus on the Chinese mainland outside Hubei province has been decreasing for seven consecutive days (as reported by the National Health Commission) confirming that more patients have been cured and discharged from hospitals due to improved treatment. A total of 381 new confirmed cases were reported outside Hubei on the 10th February, compared with 444 on Sunday 9th February and 890 on February 3rd. In total 2,478 new confirmed cases were reported on the Chinese mainland on Monday, compared with 3,062 on Sunday

In Beijing, the city’s number of new infections has been on the decline since reaching a peak of around 30 on Feb 2; that’s a 10-day trend downward.

The World Health Organization is currently convening a global research and innovation forum in Geneva to mobilise international action in response to the coronavirus. This will fast-track the development and evaluation of effective diagnostic tests, vaccines and medicines

Update: 11 February 2020, 12:00

  • Andrew Marr speaks to the Chinese Ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, on Coronavirus.

    Find out exactly how China are controlling the virus and how it will finally be beaten.

    BBC1 The Andrew Marr Show – Sunday 9th February 2020

 

Update: 10 February 10:45

World Health Organization confirms coronavirus cases are stabilising and peak is imminent

The number of coronavirus cases being reported on a daily basis in China is stabilising, confirmed the World Health Organization on Sunday 9 February.

The health agency advises this is good news and represents a significant turning point in the curtailment of the virus. Whilst reports would suggest that the virus is peaking the WHO advised that it would need to assess the case data over the next five to seven days to confirm this. Commenting on the latest reports, Michael Ryan, head of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme said “There has been a stabilisation in the number of cases reported from Hubei and we’re now in a four-day stable period where the number of reported cases hasn’t advanced.”

WHO director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, also reinforced the message that the number of reported cases is stabilising, reflecting the impact of the control measures that have been put in place.

As it stands the total number of people who have fully recovered form the virus is 3,466 – a figure which is nearly four times higher than the current mortality rate.

Overall the fatality rate remains at 2% compared to SARS which had a fatality rate of 9.6% and MERS at 37.2%.

It must also be noted that the current mortality rate is 910 whereas in 2019, influenza was responsible for 57,300 deaths around the world and infected over 41.3 million people.

Update: 9 February 08:45

As of midnight on 8 Feb, the China National Health Commission had received 37,198 reports of confirmed cases and 811 deaths and in all 2,649 patients had been cured and discharged from hospital.

There still remained 33,738 confirmed cases (including 6,188 in serious condition) and 28,942 suspected cases. So far, 371,905 people have been identified as having had close contact with infected patients. 188,183 are now under medical observation.

Update: 8 February 11:00

For more than four-in-five, this is a mild infection.

James Gallagher – The BBC Health & Science correspondent stated this morning “This is the clearest detail we have had on the spectrum of disease this coronavirus can cause. It is good news for most people and emphasises that for more than four-in-five, this is a mild infection.”

Update: 8 February 09:30

As of 24:00 on Feb 7, the National Health Commission had received 34,546 reports of confirmed cases and 722 deaths and in all 2,050 patients had been cured and discharged from hospital.

There still remained 31,774 confirmed cases (including 6,101 in serious condition) and 27,657 suspected cases. So far, 345,498 people have been identified as having had close contact with infected patients. 189,660 are now under medical observation.

Update: 7 February 15:30

Drop in new Coronavirus cases is cautious good news

A drop in the number of new Coronavirus cases for two days is good news, says the director general of the World Health Organization. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the numbers could go up again, but the last two days were showing a declining trend.

At the Science Media Centre, Paul Hunter, professor in Medicine at the University of East Anglia, reported that over the last two days we have actually seen the first of two consecutive declines in the number of new cases.

Update: 7 February 09:30

As of 24:00 on Feb 6, the National Health Commission had received 31,161 reports of confirmed cases and 636 deaths in 31 provincial-level regions on the Chinese mainland and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, and in all 1,540 patients had been cured and discharged from hospital.

There still remained 28,985 confirmed cases (including 4,821 in serious condition) and 26,359 suspected cases. So far, 314,028 people have been identified as having had close contact with infected patients. 186,045 are now under medical observation.

Update: 6 February 10:30

Recovery rates continue to rise. Latest figures are: 28, 339 reported cases of which there have been 565 deaths and 1,322 fully recovered.

The national mortality rate is stable at 2.1% (at the beginning of the epidemic it was 2.3%) showing a decline. Whilst the number of reported cases has risen in the last two days, the speed of spread is plateauing indicating that the virus is being contained and is approaching its peak.

Update: 5 February 09:00

As of midnight on 4 Feb, the National Health Commission had received 24,324 reports of confirmed cases and 490 deaths on the Chinese mainland, and in all 892 patients had been cured and discharged from hospital. There still remained 23,260 suspected cases and 3,219 patients in serious condition.

So far, 252,154 people have been identified as having had close contact with infected patients. 185,555 are now under medical observation. On Feb 4, 18,457 people were freed from observation.

Update: 4 February 15:00

Coronavirus expected to peak around Saturday 8 February

Commenting on this breaking news, Wendy Wu, founder of Wendy Wu Tours said:

We have the latest update from Dr Zhong Nanshan, the leading doctor spearheading the elimination of coronavirus, that the virus is expected to peak around February 8th and then the speed of the virus spread will subside. In addition, full immunisation is expected within weeks rather than months.”

Update: 4 February 10:30

Virus recoveries are exceeding mortality figures

The number of people having totally recovered from Coronavirus is exceeding mortality rates by a considerable margin. Figures released by the World Health Organisation show that there have been 427 mortality cases and 730 cases of total recovery.

Yesterday three patients were discharged in Beijing having made a full recovery without the need for medical intervention. Patients made a full recovery via their own immune systems.

4 February 2020, 09:30

Medical experts are on the verge of creating formula to rapidly detect and suppress Coronavirus

Zhang Yanjun, Director of the Institute of Microbiology and Inspection, Zhejiang Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention has made the remarkable discovery on how the virus invades the body, how it multiplies, how it makes people sick and exactly how the virus is discharged to infect people. The whole lifecycle and gestation process has now been formally identified and tracked.

Given this extraordinary breakthrough, medics at the Zhejiang Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention can now focus on the corresponding drugs and vaccines for the prevention, suppression and treatment of the virus.

Medics also expect that they are close to developing reagents for the rapid detection of the virus. It now takes three hours to test a case however with rapid test reagents, results will be produced in less than 15 minutes.

Update: 3 February 14:30

Dr Li Lanjuan announced that three complete sets of corona virus have now been separated and isolated in a Chinese medical lab and that immunisation will be ready in a matter of weeks. In addition research groups from Germany, UK, USA and Australia are working around the clock to finalise the immunisation.

There are 45 new fatalities today, all in Wuhan, with 85 people being cured. The total number of fatalities since the virus began is 305 with the total number of people having recovered being 385. This is now the second consecutive day when the number of recoveries has exceeded the number of fatalities.

Today 20 patients left hospital following a total recovery and constituting the largest number of patients released on the same day. The 14 medical staff who caught the virus from a brain surgery patient, during surgery pre-diagnosis, have all recovered and been released from hospital. This case gave light to the fact that the virus can be passed on from human to human, but only by close contact such as through saliva, sneezing and coughing.

Update: 3 February 2020, 09:00

China completes hospital build in record-breaking eight days.

The first patients have now arrived at China’s new, state-of-the-art, 1000 bed hospital in Wuhan. Construction work started on the Huoshenshan hospital on 23 January, finishing eight days later.

It’s taken 7,500 people to complete the build with, at the build’s peak, over 6,000 builders occupying the site, amassing over 24 hours of uninterrupted construction.

The designer, CITIC Architectural Design Institute, contracted more than 60 employees in Han, working overtime day and night, to complete the site. The initial levelling design was completed in five hours, the complete design plan completed within 24 hours, with all construction plans completed within 60 hours.

A second hospital with 1,500 beds is also under construction in the city and is due to open soon.

Update: 2 February 08:00

The number of confirmed cases climbed to 14,380 as of Saturday at midnight, including 304 deaths, data released by the Chinese National Health Commission on Sunday morning showed.

There were also 4,562 new suspected cases reported, increasing the total suspected infections on the Chinese mainland to 19,544.

While a total of 2,110 patients remain in serious condition, 328 people have been released from hospitals after being cured, the commission said. A total of 137,594 people that have had close contact with infected patients are still under medical observation, while 8,044 such people were released from observation

Update: 1 February 08:00

The total number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus climbed to 11,791 as of midnight of Jan 31, including 259 deaths and 243 who had recovered and been discharged from the hospital, according to the National Health Commission.

A total of 17, 988 suspected cases were reported as of Friday. At present, 136,987 close contacts of confirmed cases had been tracked, and among them, 118,478 are under medical observation while 6,509 such people were freed from observation on Friday.

Update: 31 January 09:10

World Health Organization (WHO) praises Chinese government at the highest level for containing the virus

The WHO has congratulated the Chinese government for their leadership, commitment to transparency, and the extraordinary efforts they have made to contain the virus. The committee praised China and the progress they have made to protect Chinese citizens as well as the global community. They quickly identified the virus and shared its findings so that other countries could diagnose it quickly and protect themselves, which has resulted in the rapid development of diagnostic tools.

China has taken a comprehensive multi-sectoral approach to prevent further spread including daily contact with the WHO. It has also taken public health measures in other cities and provinces; is conducting studies on the severity and transmissibility of the virus, and sharing data and biological material. The country has also agreed to work with other countries who need their support. The measures China has taken are good not only for China but also for the rest of the world.

Given the unprecedented measures China has taken to isolate and control the virus, the WHO confirms that it is now possible to interrupt virus spread, provided that countries put in place strong measures to detect it early, isolate and treat cases and trace contacts.

Update: 30 January 12:00

As of midnight 29 Jan, China’s National Health Commission confirmed that there are 7,711 confirmed cases of the virus. A total of 170 people have died of the disease, 1,370 patients remained in acritical condition and there are a further 4,456 suspected cases. 124 people had been discharged from hospital after recovery. A total of 88,693 close contacts had been traced with 81,947 still under medical observation , 2,364 of whom were discharged from medical observation on Jan 29.

Update: 29 January 2020, 17:00

Wendy was a guest speaker on BBC World News and the BBC Business Show giving her commentary on the Coronavirus situation.

 

Update: 29 January 2020, 14:00

As of midnight on 28 January, the National Health Commission have received a total of 4,515 confirmed cases of the virus. This figure includes 1,239 severe cases and 132 deaths. 103 cases have since been treated and discharged from hospital having completely recovered. There are a further 6,973 suspected cases under quarantine. A total of 65,537 close contacts have been tracked, of which 59,990 people are undergoing medical observation, and 1,604 people were released today after test showing negative of the virus.

Update: 28 January 2020, 16:00

Wendy gives us an update on the latest report from Dr Zhong Nanshan, the medical expert behind the speed elimination of SARS and the leading doctor on the current Coronavirus.

 

Update 28 January, 08:30

  • As of midnight on 27 January, the National Health Commission confirmed a total of 4,515 cases of the virus. This figure includes 976 severe cases as well as 106 deaths. 60 cases have since been discharged from hospital having completely recovered. There are a further 6,973 suspected cases.
  • Medics are controlling the escalation, evidenced in the fact that 47,833 people, deemed as being in close contact with the virus, have now been tracked. 44,132 members of this group are receiving medical treatment, with 914 members of this group released on the same day.
  • The virus has been successfully identified, separated and isolated.
  • Medical tests can now accurately detect and report on the virus within three hours.
  • The immunisation is expected to be developed in the lab within 30 days. Once developed it will then be field tested, then mass produced and released to the affected area with overall completion expected in 2 months.
  • Xiehe Hospital in Wuhan has successfully treated 11 virus patients and released them, with all being completely clear of infection.
  • Two hospitals are being built, each with 1000 beds, in order to provide a full quarantine facility

Update 27 January, 09:00

As of midnight on 26 January, the National Health Commission had received a total of 2,744 confirmed cases, including 80 cases of mortality (the mortality rate is 2.9% among patients. It is a level 2 contagious disease, much lower than SARS and Ebola, both of which are level 1), and 51 cases of total recovery.

The majority of the mortality cases are elderly patients, of an Asian ethnicity who have recently travelled to or live in Wuhan.

The virus is passed on by saliva, at close contact.

Advice for travellers on Wendy Wu Tours

China

Current FCO Advice

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.

For further information visit the FCO China travel advice page.

All Wendy Wu tours to China are suspended between 17 March and 30 November 2020.

Our operations team are calling all passengers, in departure date order, to discuss travel options.

At present all tours beyond this date are scheduled to operate as normal. In the event that we are unable to offer your full tour, we will be in contact three weeks before your tour departure to discuss your options with you.

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Vietnam

Current FCO Advice

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.

For further information visit the FCO Vietnam travel advice page.

All Wendy Wu tours to Vietnam are suspended between 17 March and 30 November 2020.

Our operations team are calling all passengers, in departure date order, to discuss travel options.

At present all tours beyond this date are scheduled to operate as normal. In the event that we are unable to offer your full tour, we will be in contact three weeks before your tour departure to discuss your options with you.

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Japan

Current FCO Advice

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.

For further information visit the FCO advice page.

All Wendy Wu tours to Japan are suspended between 17 March and 30 November 2020.

Our operations team are calling all passengers, in departure date order, to discuss travel options.

At present all tours beyond this date are scheduled to operate as normal. In the event that we are unable to offer your full tour, we will be in contact three weeks before your tour departure to discuss your options with you.

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India

Current FCO Advice

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.

For further information visit the FCO India travel advice page.

All Wendy Wu tours to India are suspended between 17 March and 30 November 2020

Our operations team are calling all passengers, in departure date order, to discuss travel options.

At present all tours beyond this date are scheduled to operate as normal. In the event that we are unable to offer your full tour, we will be in contact three weeks before your tour departure to discuss your options with you.

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Cambodia

Current FCO Advice

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.

All Wendy Wu tours to Cambodia are suspended between 17 March and 30 November 2020.

Our operations team are calling all passengers, in departure date order, to discuss travel options.

At present all tours beyond this date are scheduled to operate as normal. In the event that we are unable to offer your full tour, we will be in contact three weeks before your tour departure to discuss your options with you.

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Laos

Current FCO Advice

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.

All Wendy Wu tours to Laos are suspended between 17 March and 30 November 2020.

Our operations team are calling all passengers, in departure date order, to discuss travel options.

At present all tours beyond this date are scheduled to operate as normal. In the event that we are unable to offer your full tour, we will be in contact three weeks before your tour departure to discuss your options with you.

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Myanmar

Current FCO Advice

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.

For further information visit the FCO advice page.

All Wendy Wu tours to Myanmar are suspended between 17 March and 30 November 2020.

Our operations team are calling all passengers, in departure date order, to discuss travel options.

At present all tours beyond this date are scheduled to operate as normal. In the event that we are unable to offer your full tour, we will be in contact three weeks before your tour departure to discuss your options with you.

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Sri Lanka

Current FCO Advice

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.

For further information visit the FCO advice page.

All Wendy Wu tours to Sri Lanka are suspended between 17 March and 30 November 2020.

Our operations team are calling all passengers, in departure date order, to discuss travel options.

At present all tours beyond this date are scheduled to operate as normal. In the event that we are unable to offer your full tour, we will be in contact three weeks before your tour departure to discuss your options with you.

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Thailand

Current FCO Advice

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.

All Wendy Wu tours to Thailand are suspended between 17 March and 30 November 2020.

Our operations team are calling all passengers, in departure date order, to discuss travel options.

At present all tours beyond this date are scheduled to operate as normal. In the event that we are unable to offer your full tour, we will be in contact three weeks before your tour departure to discuss your options with you.

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Colombia

Current FCO Advice

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.

For further information visit the FCO advice page.

All Wendy Wu tours to Colombia are suspended between 17 March and 30 November 2020.

Our operations team are calling all passengers, in departure date order, to discuss travel options.

At present all tours beyond this date are scheduled to operate as normal. In the event that we are unable to offer your full tour, we will be in contact three weeks before your tour departure to discuss your options with you.

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Bhutan

Current FCO Advice

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.

For further information visit the FCO advice page.

All Wendy Wu tours to Bhutan are suspended between 17 March and 30 November 2020.

Our operations team are calling all passengers, in departure date order, to discuss travel options.

At present all tours beyond this date are scheduled to operate as normal. In the event that we are unable to offer your full tour, we will be in contact three weeks before your tour departure to discuss your options with you.

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Malaysia

Current FCO Advice

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.

For further information visit the FCO advice page.

All Wendy Wu tours to Malaysia are suspended between 17 March and 30 November 2020.

Our operations team are calling all passengers, in departure date order, to discuss travel options.

At present all tours beyond this date are scheduled to operate as normal. In the event that we are unable to offer your full tour, we will be in contact three weeks before your tour departure to discuss your options with you.

As always our customers’ safety is our top priority and we will continue to monitor carefully the advice from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the relevant local authorities.

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Check before you travel

We recommend you visit the Foreign Office website before you travel. For each country listed, its website gives useful information on subjects including safety and security, local laws and customs, entry requirements, natural disasters, the political situation, health alerts, and crime information. It also tells you what to do if something goes wrong.

To ensure you receive the latest flight status updates via SMS or email, please update contact details in the ‘Manage my Booking’ section of the airlines website that you are travelling with.

Coronoavirus Frequently Asked Questions

  • Has my trip been deferred?

    We will be providing regular updates on this page and we will be contacting all our passengers in departure date order to discuss their options. 

  • What options do I have if my trip is deferred?

    Wendy Wu Tours is committed to supporting our clients. We will work with our passengers to ensure that we can rearrange your holiday to suit you.

    Our tours are generally more expensive year-on-year. We have been working hard behind the scenes negotiating the best rates for your next holiday and we are seeing strong demand already for 2021 holidays which will be bookable at 2020 prices with us if your tour is like-for-like.

    We are not charging any Wendy Wu Tours amendment fees. Please note there may be third party charges (e.g – airlines, hotels, etc) which we can check for you on a case-by-case basis.

    Alternatively, we will supply you with a Refund Credit Note.

  • What is a Refund Credit Note and how does it work?

    A Refund Credit Note can be used towards any destination that Wendy Wu Tours features and is valid for you to depart the UK up to and including 31 December 2022 (subject to the airlines amendment policy on your booking).

    We would like to state that any monies that you have paid to Wendy Wu Tours or your travel agent is safe and secure, and the Refund Credit Note is financially protected by ATOL until 31 January 2021.

  • What happens if I do not use the Refund Credit Note before the expiry date?

    We recommend re-booking your holiday before 31 January 20201 in order to obtain a new ATOL certificate. This will ensure your trip is financially protected under the ATOL scheme.

    In the unlikely event that you are unable to use the refund credit note by 31 January 2021, then come 31 January 2021 you can exchange the Refund Credit Note for a cash refund.

  • What happens if I want a full refund?

    We understand that some of our clients may prefer to receive a full refund and we can certainly consider this. Please contact us and we will discuss this with you in more detail

  • Shall I pay my outstanding balance?

    Wendy Wu Tours have decided to relax the balance due dates for any bookings due to depart up until 31 December 2020. The final balance payment will now be due 6 weeks prior to departure.

    If you have booked through a Travel Agent, you will need to double check with them in regard to your agreed payment terms.

  • What if Wendy Wu Tours goes out of business?

    Wendy Wu Tours have been a secure global business for 25 years and, thanks to prudent financial management, look forward to the future with the utmost confidence. If you are concerned about the extremely unlikely event of our financial failure – any monies paid to Wendy Wu Tours or your travel agent are financially protected through ATOL and ABTA schemes.

  • What do I do about applying for my visa? 

    At this time, we recommend waiting until 6 weeks prior to your departure date before looking into applying for your visa. This will still give you plenty of sufficient time to apply for your visa.

    We are currently focussing on assisting our clients whose travels plans have been disrupted by the impact of Covid-19. Therefore, we are currently not processing any visa applications and will be unable to assist with visa related queries at this time.

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