What’s the REAL Deal with the Coronavirus and Travel?(Updated as of 03/19/20)
There’s an overwhelming amount of information about COVID-19 incoming from a variety of “news” sources. You’re probably wondering about implications for travel, so let’s get to “just the facts, ma’am.”
At Suncierge, our dashboard monitoring of weather, health, political, economic and other conditions globally resembles a NASA-like rocket launch. It’s all in the name of making sure you’re educated in your decision-making and prioritization of travel goals. You can rest assured knowing that as your travel advocates, we get our facts from reputable and reliable sources, and we’ll keep you up to date on all warnings and advisories that could impact your travel.
Where is it safe to travel?
You might imagine the most popular question we’re hearing is, “Where is it safe to travel?” In order to best answer that question, we review and monitor alerts, updates and reports provided by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and the US State Department daily. In addition, we are receiving frequent communications from tourism organizations, cruise lines, and tour companies within our Virtuoso network. All are highly reputable sources for facts and status concerning global travel. We encourage you to periodically review these sites for updates.
First, as of 03/19/20, the U.S. State Department has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory. “The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.”
Second, per the CDC, high-risk individuals should also refrain from domestic travel, as there are areas within the US that are experiencing community spread. If you are planning travel, please review these specific recommendations from the CDC for your safety and health that are similar to best practices for minimizing the risk of getting the flu.
What about cruises?
Currently, the CDC recommends travelers defer all cruise ship travel worldwide.
The cruise industry association, CLIA, shared an update that introduces additionally adopted measures being enacted across all lines. In addition, cruise lines have been amending itineraries and implementing additional protocols to ensure the safety and health of passengers. As they have canceled or modified cruise itineraries, they are reaching out directly to us in the advisor community. Viking, Uniworld and Princess and other cruise lines have canceled cruises into the spring, and we are in progress on the next steps for clients.
Should I get travel insurance?
The CDC recommends that you should consider travel insurance if you are planning international travel. Even if you already have medical insurance, it may not cover you when traveling outside of the United States.
What does travel insurance cover?
- If a traveler becomes ill during his/her travels, coverage may be available for emergency medical assistance and expenses, as well as emergency medical evacuation depending on the inclusions within the policy.
- Plans, where the Cancel for Any Reason upgrade has been purchased, allows travelers to decide for themselves whether to travel or cancel their trip according to the terms of the plan.
- It is important to note that concerns about travel, travel advisories and destination being inaccessible due to this illness are not covered risks under most insurance policies.
- In the event a traveler cancels his/her travel for a non-covered reason, the insurer may allow the traveler to apply the plan to another trip at a later date.
- Please refer to your appropriate policy document for complete details regarding plan coverage.
What if I am in Canada?
For more information on Canada’s activities to manage novel coronavirus, please visit the Government of Canada’s webpage.
Thank you for entrusting Suncierge with your unforgettable travel experiences. As your trusted travel advocate, we will always prioritize your safety above all else and proactively communicate and educate to empower you to make the most informed decisions confidently about your travel plans.
For questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-866-0445.
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