Coronavirus and Travel
The past few months everywhere you have heard of the Coronavirus or Covid-19. It’s been on every TV station, social media, and just about anywhere that you look. People have been raiding the stores in purchasing surgical masks, buying up supplies in case they are in their homes, canceling their travel plans, and just living in fear of this.
In today’s day and age with news and information coming at you 24×7, it is so easy to get into a panic. And that’s normal, but before we do let’s take a deep breath, get the facts and then move forward. First, we should look at the W.H.O. (World Health Orgranization) and to the C.D.C. (Centers for Disease Control) for the proper and up to date information on the disease. And if you are traveling you can also look to the US Department of Travel about any travel bans in that area, and in this case about the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
Who to turn to for information
For day to day concerns on the Coronavirus, I wanted to share some links from the experts. Click on the name of the agency below to go to their website to get more information:
As of March 1, 2020, CDC recommends travelers avoid all non-essential travel to China, South Korea, Iran, and Italy. Now, this list could change as things develop. However, at this time, it is not bad enough to restrict travel to all areas of the world, or even within the US. The CDC and the WHO still feels that it is safe enough for you to take your vacation to the Caribbean, Alaska, or Hawaii. You will need to take some precautions. See the video below from the WHO about travel.
As your travel professional, I wanted to let you know that I can not tell you if you should travel or not, that decision is yours to make. However, you should make that decision with facts. For all of my clients, as I receive them, I’ll be passing them along to you.
When you do decide to travel, you should always follow the CDC guidelines. The good news about that is the cruise lines, airlines, and travel operators’ driving force for setting their current policies.
What about cancellations?
I was asked the other day about cancellation and cancellation fees. If you do decide to postpone or cancel your reserved trip, know that canceling out of fear of the virus is not a reason to avoid the cancellation fees imposed by the travel providers. Most standard travel insurance policies and credit card insurance policies exclude an epidemic, such as Coronavirus, as a covered reason for trip cancellation benefits.
Some policies have a “cancel for any reason” benefit on their policies. That can you peace of mind when purchasing your travel plans.
What to do now?
I know that there is a lot of hype out there about the Coronavirus right now. It’s always best to get the facts and remain calm. Right now it’s flu season, and the best defense for all of us is to keep washing our hands, cover that cough, and turn off the news and watch a light-hearted TV show for a bit. After all, laughter is the best medicine.