Should you still travel during coronavirus outbreak?
There are more than 100,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19), which has spread across more than 100 countries.
The COVID-19 outbreak has crippled global economies, and both travel and event industries are particularly feeling the pain.
All of which begs the question: while governments around the world recommend staying away from large groups of people, is getting into a small metal box with a couple of hundred people you don’t know (i.e. travel) still worth the risk?
The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its travel advisories for flights, crusies and international travel. It has also recommended several ways to fight the spread of the coronavirus in your place of work and local community.
According to the CDC, there are three warning categories:
Warning Level 3: Avoid all nonessential travel
Alert Level 2: Talk to a doctor and consider postponing travel
Watch Level 1: exercise increased caution while travelling
Europe, North America and South America
Besides Italy, the CDC says no country in Europe, North America and South America is under any travel notice (despite some countries in those areas having infected cases).
Which means there is little or no risk flying to those countries.
That doesn’t mean you should not take some essential precautions, however, such as keeping your hands clean, not touching your face or mouth and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
Warning Level 3 – don’t travel to these countries unless necessary
Currently, travel to places such as China, Iran, South Korea and Italy are all under Warning Level 3 – so if you’re planning on a summer vacation to Seoul, you had best put that on hold.
Alert Level 2 - consider postponing travel
Currently, the CDC lists Japan as having a slight risk.
It asks you to talk to a doctor or healthcare professional before travelling to ensure you have a clean bill of health (so that you neither spread or contract the COVID-19 virus).
Especially high-risk travellers, such as older adults or those with chronic medical conditions, should consider postponing travel.
Watch Level 1: exercise caution while travelling
Hong Kong is currently the only country listed as Watch Level 1 – so travellers there should practice precautions.
However, the CDC points out that there is currently no danger that comes from travelling to Hong Kong.
If in doubt, get it checked out
Are you concerned about your travel arrangements?
Your best bet is to get in touch with the airline to inquire what (if any) restrictions are in place, and if the airline has taken any special measures with regards to the Covid-19 outbreak.
If you are feeling unwell, then it is always worth getting yourself checked out by a medical professional.
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