I’ve seen dozens of posts on Facebook and Reddit asking – Should I still travel despite Coronavirus or should I cancel my trip, because of Coronavirus?
Of course, always check the latest information on sites including: Smart Traveller (Australia), US Travel Advisory site (USA) or the Foreign Travel Advice (UK) or your country’s offical government equivalent as things can change rapidly.
If you’re unfamiliar with details of the Coronavirus including how it’s spread, you should check the centre for disease control (CDC) for factual information, void of hysteria and don’t rely solely on information spread on Facebook.
In short (having read through all three government sites), the big concern you would have heard is that Italy has seen a spike of Coronavirus cases, however warnings to Italy are at an ‘excise caution’ level in specific regions only. The rest of Italy is considered at a normal ‘safe’ travel level.
What this means is you may need to alter your plans slightly, to avoid specific regions in the north of Italy, known to contain Coronavirus, however there are plenty of places to visit, out of the affected areas.
Remember, Italy has a population of approximately 60 million people, all going to work, and living their lives, regardless.
Regions affected in Italy include: Lombardy (Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano) and one in Veneto (Vo’ Euganeo) so avoid these areas if possible.
As always, take normal health precautions (as recommended by the CDC) like wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face, throw away used tissues and pay attention to local advice.
Whilst Italy is in the news, there’s many places in Europe that are considered safe from Coronavirus (obviously this can change but currently) the safe list includes:
- United Kingdom
- Czech Republic
If you only need a point-to-point ticket in Britain or Europe, you can book those here.
As an avid traveller, I’ve never cancelled a trip, despite the outbreak of SARS in 2003, backpacking with a broken arm, and travelling to America two months after 9/11 (it was a super cheap deal, $299 return, I could not say no).
So clearly I’m not a worrier and wouldn’t let anything get in the way of a good trip, but I respect that others may feel differently, however it’s important to ensure you have all the relevant information, so you can make an informed decision.
Asking strangers on the internet, is it safe to travel because of Coronavirus? Is not a reliable source of information. Checking official government websites is.
If you’re worried about getting money back from an airline for a cancelled trip, call them or email them or check their website. Most airlines have an official policy regarding Coronavirus cancellations. These are closely interlined with offical government warnings.
However remember that for every trip cancelled, there’s a small hotel business, a restaurant, a shop keeper, a taxi driver, a cafe worker, an airport employee, a flight attendant, a travel agent… that all will be missing out on your tourism dollars.
Cancelling a trip when there is minimal risk, affects more than just you.
Many airlines like Qantas, have altered their schedules due to reduced demand, flying instead to alternate regions.
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Right now, it’s a tumultuous time in travel, with many travellers choosing to stay home instead, but the Coronavirus saga will end.
When this happens, there will be a short term increase of prices as demand surges, followed by discounts and sales to follow as airlines restructure their schedules with increased capacity, once more, to cater to demand.
But if you are already booked, should you still travel or should you cancel because of Coronavirus? If you’ve read this article in full, then the answer should be clear.
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