Is it safe to travel in the era of the Coronavirus?

The NY Times published a timely article answering travelers’ questions about the Coronavirus. Here’s an excerpt. Visit their site for the complete article.

Arriving passengers wear masks at Singapore’s Changi Airport. Anyone who has been to mainland China within 14 days of arrival is not allowed to enter Singapore.  Credit…Adam Dean for The New York Times

The coronavirus outbreak that has sickened almost 75,000 in China and killed more than 2,000 worldwide, has upended travel and commerce across the world. In light of the spread of the disease, which has been named COVID-19, would-be travelers to Asia and even parts of the world with few or no cases are wondering what to do.

The Times asked readers for their most pressing questions and got a flurry of queries: Should I cancel my trip to Asia, despite the financial penalties? Or go ahead? What about going to other parts of the world? How hard is it to disinfect an airplane, anyway, and is a mask enough to protect from the virus?

For anyone planning to travel, the website of the World Health Organization is a good starting point. (W.H.O. has been issuing daily updates about the spread of COVID-19 and the status of cases.) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has advised Americans to cancel all nonessential travel to China, also offers information and guides for travelers. The Times has a map of the number of cases reported in each country.

In addition to those agencies, travelers should consult the websites of their home country and their intended destination to see what policies have been put in place.

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“You should also be double careful to do the things we say everyone should always do like hand washing with soap and water, especially after touching surfaces or coming in contact with someone who has been coughing,” said David Eisenman, director of University of California, Los Angeles’s Center for Public Health and Disasters, and professor of community health sciences at the university’s Fielding School of Public Health. “You should be avoiding close contact with others if you’re sick and you should have your flu shot.”

Click here for of the most common questions and the current advice from health and travel experts. Questions have been combined and condensed for clarity.

Published by edsalvato

LGBTQ marketing, communications and travel safety expert; CEO of the LGBTQ Pavilion at the New York Times Travel Show; educator; public speaker; expert panel organizer and moderator

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