Photos show what it's like to travel around the world by train, bus, boat, and plane in the age of coronavirus

AP Photo/Ebrahim NorooziA worker disinfects subway trains.
  • The spread of the new coronavirus has affected travel throughout the world.
  • The outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China, has killed 2,700 people and infected more than 81,000 according to recent totals.
  • The virus can pass from person to person, and one of the most common ways is through public and semi-private transport.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The death toll of the novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, is now more than 2,700, and the virus has infected more than 80,000 people.

On January 30, the World Health Organisation (WHO) officially declared it a global health emergency. The virus has disrupted travel worldwide, leading to flight cancellations, quarantines, and other breakdowns in movement.

The virus spread to 41 countries and is now on every continent except Antarctica. Experts are now calling it a “mild pandemic,” and theorizing that it could become a permanent virus that humans face, akin to the seasonal flu.


Nearly every aspect of travel has been affected by the coronavirus to some degree in areas hit by the coronavirus.

AP Photo/Eugene HoshikoTokyo subway.

Public transportation in nothern Italy has nearly emptied out, photos show.

AP Photo/Antonio CalanniMilan, Italy.

Italy’s coronavirus outbreak has made it the epicentre for transmission in Europe, going from three to 283 confirmed cases in less than a week.

AP Photo/Antonio CalanniSubway in Milan, Italy.

Source: Business Insider


Trams in Milan continue to function, despite the precautions people are taking.

AP Photo/Antonio CalanniTram in Milan.

In Venice, sanitation workers use special tools to sanitize public waterbuses.

Photo by ANDREA PATTARO/AFP via Getty ImagesVaporetto public waterbus.

Though the virus is spread by human to human contact, officials are taking extra precautions.

Photo by ANDREA PATTARO/AFP via Getty ImagesVaporetto public waterbus.

The inside of the waterbus gets a thorough cleaning…

Photo by ANDREA PATTARO/AFP via Getty ImagesVaporetto public waterbus.

…and so does the outside.

Photo by ANDREA PATTARO/AFP via Getty ImagesPublic waterbus,

Iran has also taken measures to disinfect subways in its capital of Tehran.

AP Photo/Ebrahim NorooziSubway in Tehran, Iran.

On Tuesday, Iran’s deputy health minister said that he tested positive for the coronavirus.

AP Photo/Ebrahim NorooziSubway in Tehran, Iran.

Source: Business Insider


On Monday, viewers noticed that the health minister looked sick during a press conference. Iran has since ramped up precautions, cleaning public buses as seen here.

AP Photo/Ebrahim NorooziBus in Tehran, Iran.

The World Health Organisation says the situation in Iran is “deeply concerning.”

AP Photo/Ebrahim NorooziSubway in Tehran, Iran.

Source: CNBC


The country has closed schools across 14 provinces and committed 230 hospitals to fight the outbreak.

AP Photo/Ebrahim NorooziSubway in Tehran, Iran.

Source: Business Insider


Iran’s health ministry has announced 19 deaths from the coronavirus so far.

AP Photo/Ebrahim NorooziA worker disinfects subway trains.

Source: The Wall Street Journal


Public transportation in the country is still functioning, though it has been shutdown in other affected countries including the origin in Wuhan, China.

AP Photo/Ebrahim NorooziPublic bus in Tehran.

Source: BBC


Bahrain has banned travel to Iran after the country’s first case was diagnosed in a man who had travelled there.

Photo by MAZEN MAHDI/AFP via Getty ImagesA bus driver wearing a mask.

The CDC issued a Level Two travel notice for Japan, warning travellers to “practice enhanced precautions.”

Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty ImagesSubway train at a station in Tokyo.

Source: Business Insider


Fears of infection have impacted car travel and taxis, too.

AP Photo/Eugene HoshikoA taxi in Tokyo.

In Italy, the Army has been called in to put up road checks on cordoned off areas.

AP Photo/Antonio CalanniItalian Army soldiers check transit.

At least 12 towns in Italy have been quarantined, and residents need special permission to enter or leave.

AP Photo/Antonio CalanniItalian Army soldiers check transit.

Source: Business Insider


Many of the infections are clustered around Northern Italy.

Claudio Furlan/Lapresse via APItalian Army soldiers.

In China, ride-hailing app DiDi Chuxing started a program to install protective sheets in ride-share vehicles to “prevent droplet transmission of COVID-19.”

DiDiDiDi ride-hailing China.

Source: Business Insider


The company said that it’s dedicating $US14 million to protective measures including masks, disinfectants, and sheets.

DiDiDiDi ride-hailing China.

Train travel, like this high-speed train in Zhengzhou, China, has also been affected.

Xinhua/Li An via Getty ImagesZhengzhou high-speed railway.

Special trains were commissioned to take workers back to Zhengzhou to resume work, and staff took extra precaution cleaning out the trains.

Xinhua/Li An via Getty ImagesZhengzhou high-speed railway.

Source: Business Insider


Borders in Europe aren’t closed, but they are being closely monitored. A train headed to Munich, Germany from Venice, Italy was stopped for several hours to clear a passenger with flu-like symptoms.

Lino Mirgeler/picture alliance / GettyDeutsche Bahn information desk.

Source: Business Insider


Beijing, like many other cities, has started using heat scanners as one way of ensuring that people are healthy before they enter.

Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty ImagesHeat scanner train station.

Airports around the world are also putting out alerts about what signs of infection travellers should look out for.

Photo by Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty ImagesSign warning travellers.

This airport in India has special screenings for passengers arriving from countries with elevated risk.

Photo by Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty ImagesSign warning travellers.

Air travel hasn’t halted altogether, but at least 26 countries have cancelled flights outside of China.

Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty ImagesFlight to Shanghai.

Source: Business Insider


Travellers wear masks in this photo taken at Sao Paulo Airport in Brazil, which recently confirmed the first case of the coronavirus in Latin America in a person returning from Italy.

AP Photo/Andre PennerSao Paulo airport.

Source: The New York Times


Passengers are screened in this picture in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for signs of coronavirus. Africa has only one confirmed case so far, but Bill Gates and others have warned that it could hit Africa even more severely than China.

Photo by Luke Dray/Getty ImagesPassenger screening at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.

Source: Business Insider


Even boats are being monitored. Albania has enlisted medical staff to detect infections because of close ties to Italy.

Photo by GENT SHKULLAKU/AFP via Getty ImagesPassenger check at Albanian port.

Taking temperatures is one way medical professionals have quickly scanned groups for possible infection, though thermometer guns are reportedly “notoriously” unreliable.

Photo by GENT SHKULLAKU/AFP via Getty ImagesPassenger check at Albanian port.

Source: Business Insider


Finally, after the quarantine of the Diamond Princess cruise ship, the CDC “recommends that all travellers reconsider cruise ship voyages to or within Asia.”

Kim Kyung-Hoon/ReutersThe cruise ship Diamond Princess.

Source: Business Insider

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