With coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spreading quickly across the globe, our day-to-day lives are changing significantly. Businesses are shut down, public events are cancelled and everyone is encouraged to social distance for the next few weeks, at least. So what does this mean for your travel plans in the coming months? Do you need to revise them, reschedule them or cancel them altogether?
We’ve compiled information from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other reputable sources to help answer your questions.
Is it safe to travel within the US?
There are several things you should consider when deciding whether it is safe for you to travel. Using crowded travel settings like airports and train stations increases your chances of getting COVID-19.
If you decide to travel in the next few months, consider driving to reach your destination and staying in an isolated vacation rental rather than a hotel or motel.
If you have questions about the area you’re visiting, you should check your destination’s local health department website for more information.
If I cancel my flight, will I get my money back?
It depends. In normal circumstances, you would have to pay a cancellation fee or booking penalty if you did not purchase a more expensive, fully refundable ticket.
But in light of COVID-19, many airlines including Delta, United and American are loosening their booking policies and suspending cancellation or rescheduling fees.
USA.com offers tips on how to get a refund on nonrefundable airline tickets.
What preventative measures should I take if I decide to travel?
If you do decide to travel, be sure to take steps to help prevent getting and spreading COVID-19 during your trip. The virus is spread through coughs and sneezes and by touching contaminated objects, so make sure to wash your hands often and carry alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you.
You should also keep a six-foot buffer of space between you and strangers, and avoid touching your face if you can help it. Consider wearing gloves to help keep you mindful about what you’re touching.
For the most up-to-date COVID-19 travel information, visit CDC COVID-19 Travel page.
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