What Travelers Need to Know About COVID-19

What Travelers Need to Know About COVID-19

What is coronavirus?


The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a “new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person to person. The virus first appeared in Wuhan, China, and has been detected in some countries outside China, including the U.S. and Canada.

Symptoms of the virus include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The virus is spreading between people.

What is the best way to protect against coronavirus?


The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.” Other steps can help, including staying home when you are sick, washing your hands with soap and water frequently, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

When should I worry?


The public should be concerned “if you were in China within the past 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing” — and you should seek medical care.

How does it compare to other illnesses?


While the coronavirus has grabbed headlines, North Americans are still much more likely to be impacted by the flu than the coronavirus. 22 million Americans have suffered from the flu, and that 12,000 adults and 78 children have died during this flu season,” which began in October. That’s significantly more than the coronavirus cases in the U.S. and Canada combined or the 1,300 people worldwide who have died of the virus and the 3,400 patients who have been infected and recovered according to CNN.

Recommend canceling travel?


Right now, only recommending that travelers “avoid all nonessential travel to China,” which falls in line with a new Level 4 Do Not Travel Advisory from the U.S. State Department (only for mainland China and not for Hong Kong, Macau, or Taiwan). The State Department has also issued a Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution Advisory for Hong Kong and Macau, but is not recommending against travel for those areas or any other country.

Currently, though there are confirmed cases all over the world, the most danger lies in going to mainland China. Otherwise, travelers should check a country’s Destination Page or the Travel Health Notice website before traveling, though there are no other “Do Not Travel” warnings to any other country for coronavirus concerns.

How are airlines reacting?


Airlines have been recommending that Canadian travelers arrive at airports earlier than usual because of new enhanced screenings that will apply to tens of thousands of travelers a day. They have also been altering China flight schedules through the spring in response to the spreading virus.

How are cruise lines reacting?


Most major cruise lines have begun altering itineraries to avoid Asia. Norwegian Cruise Line last week announced that it would be moving Norwegian Spirit’s upcoming Asia itineraries away from the region because of concerns over the virus. And this week, Royal Caribbean canceled 18 cruises in Southeast Asia.

Diamond Princess was the only ship to have confirmed cases onboard (over 200 people between crew members and guests tested positive). Guests were finally allowed to disembark the ship and complete the rest of their quarantine at a shoreside facility this week when the ship landed in Japan.

But most cruise ships that made it into the media headlines about coronavirus concerns had no confirmed cases.

Carnival’s Costa Smeralda ship had to be quarantined near Rome when a passenger from Hong Kong was said to have coronavirus, which turned out, instead, to be a common cold.

Concerns about some Chinese nationals onboard Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas earlier this month forced the cruise line to delay its next itinerary, even though no guests tested positive for the coronavirus (one guest onboard, however, did test positive for the flu).

How are hotels reacting?


Major hotel chains are waiving cancellation fees for guests with plans to stay in China (including Hong Kong and Macau) or Chinese guests planning to travel internationally, through the end of the month.

What about travel advisors?


Travel executives speaking to Travel Market Report said that it’s important for advisors to be well-informed during these situations, when the public can get easily overwhelmed and confused by the news. This is key for advisors in providing the best value to their clients.

While advisors should give important information to their clients, executives also said that it’s vital to leave the decision about whether or not to travel up to the client.

Will travel insurance cover any cancellations?


Travel insurance will only cover some coronavirus cancellations.

“Fear of traveling due to coronavirus is not a covered reason to cancel a trip on a typical comprehensive travel insurance plan, “Unfortunately, there is limited cancellation coverage under most standard travel insurance policies.”

In one recent incident, a Hawaiian family lost $32,000 on a Norwegian Cruise Line trip to Asia booked through Costco, after they decided to cancel due to coronavirus concerns. Their cruise insurance, not purchased through Squaremouth, did not cover their decision.

Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.

You will visit the following 7 places:

Split

Split

Split is the largest Dalmatian city, the second-largest urban centre in Croatia, and the seat of Split-Dalmatia County. The city is located on the shores of the Mediterranean, more specifically on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, spreading over a central peninsula and its surroundings, with its metropolitan area including the many surrounding seaside towns as well. An intraregional transport hub, the city is a link to the numerous surrounding Adriatic islands and the Apennine peninsula, as well as a popular tourist destination. Split is also one of the oldest cities in the area, and is traditionally considered just over 1,700 years old, while archaeological research relating to the ancient Greek colony of Aspálathos establishes the city as being several hundred years older.

Spain

Spain

Spain – one of Europe’s most top travel destinations for its fantastic beaches, islands, UNESCO World Heritage sites, stunning and diverse countryside, buzzing nightlife, delicious cuisine and world-famous fiestas! The country is a friendly, multicultural society dedicated to building curious minds, positive attitudes and creative spirits. With great beaches, fun nightlife, many cultural regions and historic cities, Spain makes a great destination for any kind of trip. 

Portugal

Portugal

Portugal is a southern European country on the Iberian Peninsula, bordering Spain and the Atlantic Ocean. It has a rich, unique culture, lively cities and beautiful countryside. Its rolling interior is perfect for exploring on foot, by kayak, by bike or even on horseback – though a large part of the country’s charm comes from languorous days on the beach, dining on fabulously fresh seafood and kicking back with a beer to watch the sunset over the Atlantic. It is also a developed country with an advanced economy, a high living standard, being also the 11th most peaceful country in the world.

Italy

Italy

Italy is a country in Southern Europe. It is home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. Much like its food, this country is an endless feast of experiences. It is famous worldwide for its delicious cuisine, its trendy fashion industry, luxury sports cars and motorcycles, diverse regional cultures and dialects, as well as for its beautiful coast, alpine lakes and mountain ranges (the Alps and Apennines).  There is also the country’s enormous cultural legacy: Tuscany alone has more classified historical monuments than any country in the world; there are considerable remnants of the Roman Empire all over the country, notably in Rome itself; and every region retains its own relics of an artistic tradition generally acknowledged to be among the world’s richest.

Eu

Eu

Canada

Canada

China

China

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