Travel and the coronavirus – staying safe…

Coronavirus cases have now jumped by more than 2 dozen – bringing us to 89 cases and two deaths. Internationally speaking, travelers will face new restrictions and cancellations focused on more recent high risk destinations including Iran, Italy and South Korea. American Airlines, Delta and United amongst others have all announced the suspension of certain flights in and out of the US to highly impacted countries. Most are waiving cancellation fees and are issuing refunds for affected flights.

But what about domestic travel? Public health experts say that the biggest risk for domestic travel is actually still the flu and that nationally speaking travelers in the US are a low risk. However that doesn’t mean don’t take precautions. So, if you’re planning a trip in or outside the U.S. here area few ways to protect yourself!

— Reconsider traveling to affected areas, and realize you may not be able to return home if quarantined. There are still a safer options where you can have a fantastic spring break. If you really want to be careful – drive, train or look at destinations you can get to on shorter flights. Also destinations that promote being outside is a plus, like an open beach or the mountains, rather than a busy theme park or cruise ship.  There are some logical ways to make an informed choice about travel – use the CDC’s three level warning system to judge your travel plans.

— Get a flu shot and necessary vaccinations, rest, stay hydrated, eat well, exercise and stay healthy before traveling. Also make sure you talk with doctors and pediatricians regarding any pre-existing conditions you may have that would make you or your children more susceptible to the virus.  Also don’t travel sick – if you have a fever – even if it isn’t related to the virus, you may be subject to quarantine anyway to determine that you are not affected. Also get a flu shot and necessary vaccinations, rest, stay hydrated, eat well, exercise and stay healthy before traveling.

— Consider refundable rates whenever possible when making reservations at hotels and for rental cars. They may be more expensive, but worth it if your plans change. Read the fine print. And note the cancellation window on your hotel booking.Travel insurance policies are no longer covering the coronavirus…just like cannot buy fire insurance as wildfires approach your house. So it’s up to you to make an informed decision about travel.

— While flights themselves are not considered high risk, the proximity of people in a confined space does make a difference…wipe down tray tables, seat-belts etc use hand sanitizer and note that paper masks do not stop you from catching the virus.