January 27, 2020 / 1:15 PM / a month ago

REFILE-Emirates advises crew to stay in hotels, avoid crowds in China due to virus outbreak

(Corrects typo in para 2)

By Alexander Cornwell

DUBAI, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Dubai’s Emirates airline is advising its flight crew to stay in their hotels when on a layover in China due to the new coronavirus outbreak there that has killed 81 people.

In an internal notice, seen by Reuters, the airline also recommends that crew avoid areas where there would be large gatherings of people.

Emirates flies to three mainland China cities, including Beijing and Shanghai. It does not fly to Wuhan where the virus first appeared.

The state-owned carrier is providing hand sanitiser and face masks to crew operating flights to China, the Jan. 27 internal notice said.

An Emirates spokeswoman said crew have been advised to wear a mask during flights to China if they serve passengers with any symptoms.

Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific has said flight crew and frontline airport staff can wear surgical face masks at their own discretion.

Major airports around the world, including in Dubai, are screening passengers arriving on flights from China.

Emirates has offered to waive rebooking, rerouting and refund charges on some flights to and from China. (Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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