Some companies are halting business travel as spring break vacations are being canceled along with concerts and festivals of all sorts. Rose White, a spokeswoman for AAA Iowa, says concerns about outbreaks of the illness are impacting the entire travel industry.
“While the number of confirmed cases globally has grown to nearly 116,000, of those, 104,000 are in the countries currently on the U.S. government’s ‘avoid travel’ list. This includes China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran,” White says. “Certainly, follow the recommendations posted by the U.S. State Department.” One of the State Department’s latest warnings urges all U.S. citizens, especially those with underlying health conditions, not to travel by cruise ship.
“Certainly, the latest recommendations will hurt the cruise industry,” White says. “What we expect to happen though is they are going to take all precautions necessary to help ensure a safe travel adventure. We can also encounter or expect to receive some substantial discounts as cruise lines adjust their itineraries and make plans for this additional change.” Cruise lines have enacted policies denying boarding to anyone who has recently traveled in certain countries while doing enhanced illness screenings on passengers and boosting sanitation practices.
Some airlines are slashing fares to entice travelers while offering more flexible return policies. Since the situation changes from day to day, White encourages all travelers to consider purchasing travel insurance. “Coverage options can vary based on the type of policy you purchased, when you bought it and your trip’s departure date and destination,” White says. “However, there are some travel insurance providers that are changing their policies to include coverage for claims related to the virus.”
If you have a trip already booked, White says to check with your cruise line, airline or hotel to see what waivers they have in place.