Travel tips: To go out or stay in amid Coronavirus scare?

New York Times|
​Covid-19 outbreak: Are you planning to travel?
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​Covid-19 outbreak: Are you planning to travel?

As the coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, whether to travel, and where it’s safe to go, has become increasingly complicated.

Experts say you need to stay informed. Their advice on some of the most pressing questions facing people who might be considering traveling.

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​Safety
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​Safety

I have a vacation planned. Is it safe to go?

This is up to you, experts said. People need to make an individual decision at this point, weighing the risks and benefits.

Weisenberg said travelers should consult with a health care provider before making a decision. Avoid all non-essential travel to destinations with Level 3 travel notices. These countries include: China, Iran, South Korea and Italy.

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​If I cancel my flight, will I get my money back?
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​If I cancel my flight, will I get my money back?

It depends. Typically, you would have to at least pay a cancellation fee or booking penalty if you did not buy a fully refundable ticket, which is usually more expensive.

But the coronavirus has hit airlines hard, and many, including Delta, United and American, are loosening their booking policies and suspending cancellation or rescheduling fees.

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​What about travel insurance?
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​What about travel insurance?

Insurance companies have very specific circumstances under which they pay out if you decide to cancel or interrupt your trip.

Choosing not to travel because you are concerned about getting infected with the coronavirus is not one of them, nor is a government advisory, a travel insurance company said.

The answer has been to buy what is called cancel-for-any-reason coverage, which costs more, but usually lets you recoup about 75% of your money.

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​Will I be quarantined when I come back?
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​Will I be quarantined when I come back?

Possibly.

If you travel to a city that does not have a large number of confirmed cases — or perhaps no cases at all — but the number of confirmed cases rapidly increases during your stay, it could affect what happens when you return home.

Even if you are not quarantined by health officials, some companies are requiring employees who have been traveling to work remotely. And things are changing rapidly.

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​Should I just stay home?
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​Should I just stay home?

The safest option is to limit travel until the world has a better understanding of the virus.

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Copyright © 2020 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service

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