Toyota Motor Corp's production plants in China will stay closed through February 9, the Japanese automaker said on Wednesday, in response to the spread of a new coronavirus that now includes a sharp rise in fatalities.
China has urged its own citizens to delay trips overseas, with at least 15 countries having confirmed cases of the disease. The move means more than 1,400 people who have returned from Wuhan since January 10 should isolate themselves for 14 days from the date of leaving China.
Air France has suspended trips to Wuhan, the city in central China that's been hit the hardest by the coronavirus outbreak, until March as well.
Elsewhere, there have been partial cancellations and significantly reduced timetables for airlines that frequently fly to China.
"These travelers will be carefully screened and monitored to protect their health, as well as the health and safety of their fellow Americans", State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said.
Aoyama said many people who wish to go home to Japan are still in Wuhan, including workers at a Japanese supermarket chain staying open to supply food. However, WHO said most cases reported to date "have been milder, with around 20% of those infected experiencing severe illness".
Air Seoul, a budget airline, became the first South Korean airline to suspend its fights to mainland Chinese destinations apart from Wuhan, stopping its flights to the cities of Zhangjiajie and Linyi.
Air Canada said in a statement that it is cancelling "select flights" to China and notifying customers. This fast-spreading disease on Wednesday (China time) exceeded the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic in the total number of confirmed cases in mainland China. The company owns Cathay Pacific Airways, cargo carrier Air Hong Kong, Cathay Dragon and Hong Kong Express.
Those flights had been affected because they are popular with Chinese tourist groups, the airline said in the statement posted on VKontakte, Russia's largest social media network.
The White House notified airlines it is mulling a temporary ban on flights from China to the U.S.as the deadly coronavirus continues to spread in parts of the world, sources told CNBC on Tuesday. Its routes to Chinese cities, except for Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus outbreak, are operating for now.
But in what could be a major step towards taming the disease, scientists in Australia said they had developed a lab-grown version of the coronavirus, the first to be recreated outside China.